NBA Betting News and Notes Sunday, May 25

NBA Betting News and Notes Sunday, May 25

Game 3 - Spurs at Thunder
By Sportsbook.ag

SAN ANTONIO SPURS (72-24) at OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (67-30)

Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Oklahoma City -2 (-105) & 208

The Spurs look to take a decisive 3-0 series lead over the Thunder when the series shifts to Chesapeake Energy Arena on Sunday night.

Game 2's script was similar to that of Game 1, as San Antonio put up a second straight huge effort against struggling Oklahoma City, destroying them 112-77 as five-point favorites. The injury to Thunder PF Serge Ibaka is certainly looking like a big factor in this series as his team has lost the first two contests by an average of 26.0 PPG. In Wednesday’s blowout, the Spurs shot an impressive 50% from the field while going 21-for-23 from the charity stripe. PG Tony Parker put up a game-high 22 points as SG Danny Green went 7-for-10 from behind the arc and finished with 21 points of his own.

Oklahoma City could not figure anything out offensively with their superstars, SF Kevin Durant and PG Russell Westbrook, each scoring just 15 points and combining to go 13-for-40 (33%) from the field. Hitting the road for San Antonio has not been too much of an issue this season, as the club is 32-14 SU (26-20 ATS) in away games. As for the Thunder, they have gone 38-10 SU in their home games and are 26-21-1 ATS.

The two teams have now met up six times this season with Oklahoma City sweeping the four regular season games (both SU and ATS) by a sizable margin of 9.3 PPG, only to be crushed in the first two games of this series. But the Spurs have lost seven straight games (SU and ATS) on the road in this series by an average of 11.1 PPG, and over the past three seasons, the Thunder hold an 11-8 SU edge (12-7 ATS) in this matchup. PF Serge Ibaka (calf) is the only injury in this game and he will likely miss the rest of the postseason for Oklahoma City.

The Spurs have shot lights-out during their past eight postseason games where they are 7-1 with 112.1 PPG on 50.9% FG, 41.3% threes and 77.3% free throws. They have not allowed more than 105 points in any of those games, limiting their opponents to 94.4 PPG on 41.9% FG and 32.0% threes. PG Tony Parker (18.0 PPG, 8.5 APG, 1.5 SPG in series) was more of a distributor in Game 1 with 12 assists, but decided to assert himself more on offense in Game 2, scoring a game-high 22 points on 10-of-17 shooting with five assists and four turnovers. Parker also added two steals in the contest and has at least one steal in six of the past seven games.

PF Tim Duncan (20.5 PPG, 9.5 RPG in series) was a force on Wednesday night with 14 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks while matching Parker with a +30 rating. He has been great when getting to the line over the past five games as well, hitting 16-of-19 from the charity stripe in that time. SF Kawhi Leonard (10.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.0 APG, 2.0 SPG in series) had just four points and four assists in Game 2 while being on the court for only 16 minutes in the blowout. But in the nine games prior to Wednesday's blowout, Leonard had averaged 15.9 PPG (53% FG, 43% threes) and 7.1 RPG during nine straight games of posting at least 11 points and five rebounds. He has also averaged 2.6 SPG over his past seven contests.

SG Manu Ginobili (14.5 PPG, 3.5 APG, 2.5 RPG in series) shot horribly in the playoff series versus Portland with 29% FG and 14% threes (2-of-14), but he has been red-hot in the Western Conference Finals with 56% FG and 67% threes (4-of-6). C Tiago Splitter (7.5 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 2.0 BPG in series) also had a productive Game 2 with nine points (5-of-5 FT), 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in just 24 minutes of action.<P>

The Thunder have certainly missed the presence of PF Serge Ibaka (12.2 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.2 BPG in playoffs) in their lineup not only as a defender, but also as their third option in the scoring department. After averaging 107.2 PPG on 48% FG (34% threes) in the six-game series versus the Clippers, Oklahoma City's offense has dipped to 91.0 PPG on 43% FG (30% threes) in the two defeats this series.

SF Kevin Durant (21.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 3.5 APG in series) has failed to top 30 points in each of the games against the Spurs and went for just 15 points (6-of-16 FG, 0-for-4 threes) with three rebounds and two assists in Wednesday’s loss. Durant's numbers pale in comparison to the 33.2 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 5.3 APG he averaged in the previous series versus the Clippers.

PG Russell Westbrook (20.0 PPG, 6.0 APG, 5.0 RPG in series) also really struggled to score on Wednesday with only 15 points on 7-of-24 shooting (1-of-5 threes) and has now shot 33% from the floor over his past three games. He did have two steals in the contest and now has at least two takeaways in five of his past seven games. But Westbrook is happy to return home where he has put up unbelievable numbers this postseason with 29.6 PPG (47% FG), 8.9 APG and 8.0 RPG in seven games at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

PG Reggie Jackson (10.5 PPG, 3.0 APG in series) needs to be more assertive offensively with Ibaka out, but Jackson has been effective this series though, making 10-of-18 FG (56%). C Steven Adams (6.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG in series) is now playing a bigger role for the team, and was on the court for 30 minutes in Game 2, scoring nine points to go with eight rebounds and a block. After logging only 14.2 MPG in his first 11 playoff games, Adams has played 30.1 MPG over the past three contests where he has 7.7 PPG on 73% FG (11-of-15) with 7.0 RPG.


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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Sunday, May 25

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

San Antonio Spurs at Oklahoma City Thunder (-2, 208.5)

Spurs lead series 2-0.

San Antonio dominated the first two games of the Western Conference finals and Oklahoma City strives to record a breakthrough victory when the Thunder host the Spurs on Sunday. San Antonio won two home games by an average of 26 points, including a 35-point victory in Game 2 that left the Thunder shell-shocked. Oklahoma City also dug itself a 0-2 hole in the 2012 conference finals against the Spurs before rallying to win the next four games.

The Thunder have upgraded power forward Serge Ibaka (calf) from out to day-to-day and general manager Sam Presti cautioned that the announcement doesn’t mean Ibaka is playing in Game 3. “I think it’s important, when you look at this, to recognize that we’re not saying that he’s playing but what we’re really trying to indicate is that the information is telling us that we can’t rule him out,” Presti told reporters on Friday. San Antonio has thrived in the interior with 120 points in the paint over the first two games and has also made nine 3-pointers in each contest.

LINE HISTORY: The line open at the Thunder -2.5, but quickly got bet down to -2 with the total jumping slightly from a 208 opening to 208.5.

INJURY REPORT: Thunder - S. Ibaka (Questionable/Calf)

WHAT BOOKS SAY: "The line has moved twice in San Antonio’s favor since opening. The Spurs have gone from +3 to +2 (-115). Bettors are still backing the Spurs with 69 percent of bets on San Antonio." - Mike Perry, Sportsbook.ag

WHAT SHARPS SAYS: "It will be interesting to see how the extended three day layoff affects both teams in Game 3.  The Thunder have played five of their past six games on the road, so they will be happy to return home. They lost the first two games in the 2012 Western Conference Finals at San Antonio and then rebounded to win the next four in a row.  However, things are a bit different now as the Thunder only lost those two games by three and nine points in 2012, compared to 17 and 35 point defeats this year.  Plus, the Thunder have been playing without Serge Ibaka which leaves a major defensive gap in the middle." - Covers Experts' Steve Merril

ABOUT THE SPURS: The veteran club isn't willing to rest on its laurels despite the consecutive routs. Power forward Tim Duncan and guard Manu Ginobili both referenced the collapse of two years ago in their respective sessions with reporters on Friday. “We cannot take anything for granted,” Ginobili said. “We had a great start and ended up losing the series. We are playing a team that is so talented and has so many way of scoring – it is never over until you win the fourth game. We know that and most of us were on that team.”

ABOUT THE THUNDER: Earlier this week, Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks made it clear Ibaka wasn't going to return during the series but the situation quickly changed with the Thunder landing in a dire situation. Oklahoma City went 4-0 against the Spurs in the regular season but has been caught in a severe mismatch against Duncan without Ibaka’s presence. “He’s still out,” Brooks told reporters. “We’re still focusing on trying to beat the Spurs without him playing, and that has not changed. I know he’s listed as day-to-day but, still, he is out until I’m told differently. All of our attentions and game planning is to focus on ways to play much better than we did last game.”

TRENDS:

*Spurs are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
*Under is 6-2 in Thunder last 8 games following a SU loss of more than 10 points.
*Home team is 8-2-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
*Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in Oklahoma City.

COVERS CONSENSUS:
52 percent of bettors are taking the Thunder -2 with the bulk of the total on the over.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Sunday, May 25

Game 3 - Spurs at Thunder
By Kevin Rogers
VegasInsider.com

The favorites are starting to come around in the conference finals with three straight victories and covers following Miami’s blowout of Indiana on Saturday night. The Spurs routed the Thunder in the first two games of the Western Conference Finals at home as the series shifts to Oklahoma City for a pivotal Game 3 with the Thunder in desperate need of a win.

San Antonio opened things up in the third quarter of a back-and-forth Game 1 to capture the series opener, 122-105 to cash as six-point favorites. However, the Spurs put away the Thunder in Game 2 by halftime in a 112-77 thrashing to take a 2-0 series edge. In Game 2, San Antonio outscored Oklahoma City, 34-18 in the second quarter to grab a 14-point halftime lead, then limited the Thunder to just 33 points in the second half for their seventh straight win at the AT&T Center.

The number one thing to point to for OKC’s 2-0 series hole is the absence of forward Serge Ibaka, who missed the first two games with a calf injury and is questionable for the remainder of the series. The Spurs are scoring at will in the paint, putting up 66 points in the series opener and 54 in Game 2. Danny Green lit up the Thunder for seven three-pointers in Game 2, while the Thunder converted just 2-of-20 shots from downtown on Wednesday night.

The Thunder beat the Spurs four times in the regular season and will look for some sort of magic heading back to Chesapeake Energy Arena for the next two games to save their season. OKC owns a 4-3 SU and 3-4 ATS record at home in the playoffs, while allowing at least 100 points in each of the last six home contests (two games went to overtime). The Spurs have lost seven straight visits to Oklahoma City, while failing to cover each time, all in the role of an underdog. The last time Gregg Popovich’s team won on the road in this series came on March 16, 2012.

Many fans will remember the last time the Thunder trailed the Spurs, 2-0 in the Western Conference Finals and it came in 2012. Oklahoma City stormed back to win four straight games and eliminate San Antonio before falling to Miami in five games of the NBA Finals. How rare was it that San Antonio lost a game much less a series when taking a 2-0 edge? Since 2012, the Spurs have grabbed a 2-0 series lead six times and won Game 3 five times. The lone loss came in Game 3 at Oklahoma City, 102-82 as four-point underdogs.

VegasInsider.com’s Chris David points to the fact the Spurs haven’t been great in the underdog role this season, “I was a little surprised to see San Antonio listed as an underdog in Game 3 due to the outcomes in the first two games and the fact that the Spurs have been receiving a ton of public action in the playoffs. However, it’s very apparent that the oddsmakers know how to gauge San Antonio this season. The Spurs have been underdogs 11 times, once in the playoffs, and they’ve produced a pedestrian 6-5 record in this role. You should make a note that two of those five losses came against the Thunder.”

David shines a light on San Antonio’s offensive struggles when it hits the road against its rival, “Oklahoma City should be confident in Game 3 based on its head-to-head history at home against San Antonio. Including the two wins this regular season, the Thunder have won seven straight meetings versus the Spurs from Chesapeake Energy Arena. What’s even more impressive during this run is that the Spurs have been held under 100 six times and under 90 three times. For whatever reason, the San Antonio offense hasn’t found a way to click at this venue.”

Obviously, the Thunder needs to get major production from its two stars in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who combined to shoot just 13-of-40 from the floor for 30 points in Game 2. In the last meeting at Chesapeake Energy Arena in early April, Durant and Westbrook put up 55 points between them as the Thunder snapped San Antonio’s 19-game winning streak, 106-94 as three-point favorites.

From the totals standpoint, David mentions that the number slightly dropping after OKC’s struggles on Wednesday, “Total bettors are starting a number hovering around 208 points for Game 3, which is a tad lower than the first two games (209, 210) in this series. OKC looked dreadful offensively in Game 2 and it’s rare to see this club have poor offensive numbers in back-to-back games. In their seven home playoff games, the Thunder have scored 100-plus in six of them and 99 in the other. Rather than look at the ‘over’ for the game, I believe ‘over’ in Oklahoma City’s team total has tremendous value, which is 105½ points.”

The Thunder opened as 2½-point favorites, with the number dropping to two at several books. The game tips off at 8:30 PM EST and can be seen on TNT.

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