NBA Betting News and Notes Wednesday, May 21

NBA Betting News and Notes Wednesday, May 21

NBA Playoffs

Oklahoma City is without big man Ibaka for rest of playoffs, a big loss; Thunder beat San Antonio in 10 of last 13 meetings, four of five games this year, but with Ibaka out, OC's defense just isn't the same. Spurs hit 57.5% from floor in Game 1, 9-17 from arc, were +7 in turnovers. Six of last nine series games stayed under total. Oklahoma City is 4-3 on road in playoffs, with losses by 3-2-17points. Spurs won seven of eight at home in playoffs, 5-3 vs spread.

Over is 44-31 in playoffs this season.
Favorites are 26-49 in playoffs this season.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Wednesday, May 21

Game of the Day: Thunder at Spurs
By Covers.com

Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs (-6, 211)

The San Antonio Spurs unleashed a dominant display in the series opener and look to make it two consecutive wins over Oklahoma City when they host the Thunder in Wednesday’s second game of the Western Conference finals. San Antonio shot 57.5 percent from the field and owned a 66-32 edge in points in the paint while rolling to a 122-105 victory. Oklahoma City couldn’t stop Tim Duncan in the first half with post player Serge Ibaka out for the series due to a calf injury.

Duncan scored 21 of his 27 points in the opening half as the Spurs established they could operate at will in the interior. The display also opened up the outside as guard Danny Green went 4-of-5 from 3-point range and guard Manu Ginobili scored all 18 of his points in the second half. Thunder stars Kevin Durant (28) and Russell Westbrook (25) combined for 53 points but San Antonio seldom allowed Oklahoma City to carry the flow of the game. “They’re younger than us and more athletic,” said point guard Tony Parker afterwards, “and so we have to be more perfect.”

LINE HISTORY: Sportsbooks opened with the Spurs as 6-point home faves for Game 2. The total opened 210.5 and is up to 211.

INJURY REPORT: Thunder - F Serge Ibaka (Out, calf).

WHAT THE CAPPERS SAY: "Despite their previous series dominance, the Spurs were going to be in tough in this series regardless whether they were at full strength or not. Without Serge Ibaka they were in a world of hurt in the opener on Monday night, and it's tough to envision a much different story unfolding on Wednesday night. I do expect a stronger showing from Oklahoma City defensively, but the Spurs are simply locked in at both ends of the floor, and realize the importance of holding serve here at home. We could see some value with the 'under' after a high-scoring Game 1." Sean Murphy, Covers Experts.

WHAT THE BOOKS SAY: "With the loss of Ibaka, OKC struggled keeping the Spurs out of the paint. Are the Thunder able to adjust without their rim defender? The Spurs are 6-point faves and are getting 75 percent of the action on that number, Also the over the total of 211.5 is getting 94 percent of the action after a high scoring Game 1." Michael Stewart, CarbonSports.ag.

ABOUT THE THUNDER: Perhaps Ibaka is Oklahoma City’s most important player and not league MVP Kevin Durant. The Thunder were lost defensively without him on the floor – San Antonio’s 57.5 field-goal percentage is the highest allowed in the postseason in the franchise’s Oklahoma City era – and replacements Steven Adams (four points, two rebounds) and Nick Collison (scoreless with three rebounds) were both ineffective. “We’re a no-excuse team,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. “Serge is out. He’s not coming back. We have to play better. If we expect to beat one of the best teams in basketball – and a very good offensive team – we have to play and we’re not going to make an excuse.”

ABOUT THE SPURS: Parker had 14 points and 12 assists and wasn’t the least bit hampered by the hamstring injury he suffered Wednesday in the first round against Portland. He was able to navigate the floor well and control the pace as well as keep up defensively with the speedy Westbrook. “I thought he played a very smart game,” Duncan said of Parker in his postgame press conference. “A very efficient game, made the right plays and that’s what’s going to have to happen this series with him.” Parker said the hamstring held up well and he expects his legs to feel even better in Game 2.

TRENDS:

* Thunder are 10-2-1 ATS in the last 13 meetings.
* Over is 5-2 in the last seven meetings in San Antonio.
* Thunder are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six road games.
* Spurs are 5-0 ATS in their last five home games.

COVERS CONSENSUS: 50.43 percent of wagers on Covers Consensus are coming in on the Spurs -6.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Wednesday, May 21

Game 2 - Thunder at Spurs
By Kevin Rogers
VegasInsider.com

After the Heat rallied past the Pacers last night, favorites are on a short hot streak in the conference finals covering each of the last two games, while improving to 2-1 straight-up and against the spread in this round. The Spurs will try to keep that pace going tonight in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Thunder after dominating Oklahoma City in the paint in the series opener on Monday.

San Antonio finally broke through against OKC after losing all four regular season meetings with a 122-105 rout in Game 1 of the conference finals to cash as six-point favorites. The Spurs owned the Thunder in the paint, 66-32, taking advantage of Serge Ibaka’s absence due to a calf injury that will likely sideline the Oklahoma City power forward for the remainder of the playoffs. San Antonio shot a blistering 57% from the floor, led by Tim Duncan’s 27 points and 18 off the bench from a rejuvenated Manu Ginobili.

The Thunder had to rely on its two young stars in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who combined for 53 points, but the other three starters (Nick Collison, Kendrick Perkins, and Thabo Sefolosha) totaled just five points on 2-of-10 shooting from the field. OKC received a surprising output from veteran Derek Fisher off the bench with 16 points and 13 from standout guard Reggie Jackson, but the Thunder needs to make up for Ibaka’s absence somehow to slow down the Spurs’ frontcourt moving forward in this series.

After failing to cover the first three home games in the opening round against the Mavericks, San Antonio has now cashed five consecutive contests at the AT&T Center, winning each of those games by double-digits. In each win during this five-game hot stretch at home, Gregg Popovich’s club has drilled the ‘over’ four times, while topping the 104-point mark in each of the last six home contests.

Monday’s loss snapped an eight-game SU/ATS winning streak dating back to January in the role of an underdog for the Thunder, which included a 3-0 SU/ATS mark in the second round series victory over the Clippers. OKC has topped the 100-point mark in eight of the last nine games, but the ‘under’ has hit in four of the past six contests.

According to VegasInsider.com handicapper Marc Lawrence and his top-notch historical database, the Thunder are worth strong consideration tonight, “As we’ve learned, teams that fail miserably tend to bounce back rather than stay down. In fact, teams off a point-spread loss of more than 10 points are a very profitable 46-29-1 ATS in 3rd round playoff action.”

To look at the view on both sides, VegasInsider.com’s Chris David first analyzes why to put your money on the Spurs tonight, “After watching Game 1, it's hard to make a case for Oklahoma City unless you believe it can fix its defense in the middle. Watching the Spurs score 122 was solid but what really impressed me is that they put up those numbers with 13 free throws and nine 3-pointers, both below their season averages. Including Monday’s win, the Spurs are now 6-1 both SU and ATS in their last seven games, and all six wins came by double digits. If you’re betting Game 2 and base your handicapping style strictly on current form, it’s hard to justify a play against San Antonio.”

On the flip side, David makes a case for the Thunder simply on their success in the ‘dog role, “If you’re looking for a reason to back Oklahoma City with the points in Game 2, you could lean to its 3-1 ATS record as an underdog in this year’s playoffs. Or perhaps past playoff tendencies will come to fruition again for OKC. Since the 2009 postseason, the Thunder have gone 3-2 in Game 2 after a loss in Game 1. The two losses came by three and nine points, the latter coincidentally came against San Antonio in the 2012 Western Conference Finals. In case you forgot, the Thunder wound up winning that series with four straight wins after trailing 0-2 but they did have a healthy Ibaka and an All-Star named James Harden.”

The Game 1 total closed at 208½ and easily went ‘over,’ but the oddsmakers have adjusted the total up for tonight’s contest to 211. The Spurs were favored to win the series prior to Monday’s opener, but San Antonio is now a -500 favorite (Bet $500 to win $100) to advance to the NBA Finals. The Thunder dropped from +150 to +375 to win this series following the Game 1 loss, but as David mentioned before, this OKC team has rallied past San Antonio before to advance to the NBA Finals.

Tonight's contest tips off at 9:00 p.m. from the AT&T Center and the game can be seen on TNT. The Spurs currently are six-point favorites across the board.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Wednesday, May 21

NBA Playoff Picks
By: David Purdum 
Sportingnews.com

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s first game without defensive stopper Serge Ibaka resulted in a blowout loss at San Antonio in Game 1 of the West Finals.

The Spurs opened as 6-point favorites for Wednesday night’s Game 2.

The Game 1 line opened at San Antonio -4.5, but when Ibaka was ruled out with a calf strain, the number moved to -5.5 at most Las Vegas sports books; it closed as high as -6. The game was not in question for much of the fourth quarter of San Antonio’s easy 122-105 win.

San Antonio has covered the spread in six of its last seven games.

The Spurs are now big -500 favorites to win the series at the LVH SuperBook. After beating San Antonio all four games during the regular season, Oklahoma City now finds itself a +400 underdog to advance.

The Thunder lost Games 1 and 2 to the Spurs in the 2012 conference finals, but rallied to win the next four games. To pull off another turnaround, they need to put up more resistance around the rim.

The Thunder were outscored 66-32 in the paint, a disadvantage that’s going to be difficult to overcome with Ibaka presumably out for the rest of the postseason.

“We’re a no-excuse team,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said after Game 1. “Serge is out. He’s not coming back. We have to play better.”

Brooks started veteran forward Nick Collison in place of Ibaka, but went with a smaller lineup through several long stretches of Game 1. Point guards Reggie Jackson and Derek Fisher each played more than 26 minutes, and small forward Caron Butler got 25 minutes in Game 1. Those three combined for a -38 plus/minus rating.

The smaller Thunder lineup upped the pace, resulting in the highest-scoring game of the teams' five meetings this season. Not including Game 1, Thunder-Spurs games had averaged 202.75 points. If Brooks elects to adjust and go bigger in Game 2, the pace could slow. The total for Game 2 opened 210.5 and could be found as high as 211.5 as of late Tuesday evening.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 53 points, but also had 10 turnovers. Spurs stars Tim Duncan and Tony Parker together scored 41 points with only two turnovers. Parker showed no ill effects from his strained hamstring and dished out 12 assists, equaling Durant and Westbrook’s combined dimes.

The Spurs also got a big lift from guard Manu Ginobili, who snapped out of a shooting funk to hit 7 of 12 shots, including three 3-pointers. The Spurs shot 57.5 percent from the floor and 52.09 percent from the 3-point line.

The Linemakers' lean: The Spurs' depth will keep them fresh, and a letdown is unlikely under Gregg Popovich. The Thunder's main guys, meanwhile, are playing a lot of minutes – Durant logged 41 in Game 1 – and they're bound to wear down.

The Spurs are the league’s top-rated team, and we’re not sure there’s been enough of a reaction by the betting market to the absence of Serge Ibaka. The Linemakers' Kenny White was shocked to see the line move a scant point when news broke that Ibaka was out. Ibaka is worth 3 points to the betting line, and the Game 2 point spread should be closer to 10, says Kenny.

This has the feeling of a five-game series, and we’re laying the points with the Spurs on Wednesday.

We’ll also make a play on the UNDER, as the number keeps climbing the ladder. We’ll wait patiently for it to reach 212 before heading to the bet window.

Spurs and UNDER are the plays.

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