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  1. #31
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    Position-by-position Finals matchups
    May 30, 2017


    A position-by-position look at the matchups in the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers:

    CENTER: Zaza Pachulia vs. Tristan Thompson. Pachulia is back and ready to go after missing two games in the Western Conference finals with a heel injury. He may not be out there long if the Warriors decide they need more mobility against Thompson, who is nearly averaging a double-double and shooting 60 percent while creating plenty of extra possessions with his offensive rebounding for the Cavaliers. Edge: Cavaliers.

    POWER FORWARD: Draymond Green vs. Kevin Love. Green wanted the matchup with the Cavaliers after Golden State fell short last year despite his brilliant Game 7, and now here it comes. On top of his versatility and defense that is so important to Golden State, he's shooting 47 percent from 3-point range in the postseason, tops on a team that has some of the best perimeter shooters in the world. Love broke out in a big way in the Eastern Conference finals after opening the playoffs with two quiet rounds, averaging 22.6 points and 12.4 rebounds against Boston. Edge: Warriors.

    SMALL FORWARD: Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James. Durant has been terrific in his first postseason with the Warriors, averaging 25.2 points on 55.6 percent shooting. James has been even better, putting up 32.5 points on nearly 57 percent shooting, and adding 8.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game. James won his first NBA title five years ago at Durant's expense, and now Durant tries to get his first playing against James. Edge: Cavaliers.

    SHOOTING GUARD: Klay Thompson vs. J.R. Smith. Thompson's shot has been off in the postseason, hitting just about 38 percent from the field, but his defense is probably more important than his offense now anyway as the usual primary defender against Kyrie Irving. Smith has had a quiet postseason, playing more than 30 minutes and taking more than eight shots just once in the Eastern Conference finals. Edge: Warriors.

    POINT GUARD: Stephen Curry vs. Kyrie Irving. With his big performance in Game 5 that helped start Cleveland's comeback, his 3-pointer in Game 7 and then his go-ahead basket in their Christmas Day matchup, Irving has repeatedly hurt the Warriors. Now he comes into this series off a sizzling conference finals, shooting 62 percent against Boston. Curry is averaging 28.6 points in the playoffs and looking like a different player now than heading into last year's NBA Finals after a knee injury earlier in the postseason. Edge: Warriors.

    RESERVES: Andre Iguodala, Shawn Livingston, JaVale McGee, Ian Clark, David West, and Patrick McCaw vs. Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, Kyle Korver, Deron Williams and Richard Jefferson. Iguodala has shot the ball poorly in the postseason but the 2015 NBA Finals MVP will be on the floor plenty anyway because of his other contributions. Meanwhile, McGee (74 percent), Livingston (61), West (57) and Clark (52) have shot it great. Frye and Korver had their minutes slashed in the last round but the Cavaliers figure to need their 3-point shooting now against the tougher Golden State defense. Advantage: Warriors.

    COACHES: Steve Kerr or Mike Brown vs. Tyronn Lue. Kerr is still trying to determine if his back is healthy enough to return to the bench. If not, Brown, who replaced him midway through the first round, faces the team he led to the 2007 NBA Finals. Lue tries to build on the terrific start to his coaching career by becoming just the second NBA coach to win titles in his first two seasons. Edge: Even.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  2. #32
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    49ers' Bowman talks KD in middle school
    May 30, 2017


    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Imagine Kevin Durant as a skinny, timid teen being told to shoot by his middle school point guard who saw so much potential all those years ago.

    He needed a little urging back then. Much of it came from star San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who fondly recalls his days passing to the future NBA star.

    Bowman, who claims he was the superior player at Drew Freeman Middle School in Prince George's County, Maryland, used to encourage the lanky Durant to be aggressive, to take it to the hoop with authority. Durant already measured more than 6 feet tall at the time and would rapidly add inches in the upcoming years.

    ''Can you believe we had to tell him to shoot?'' Bowman recalled with a grin last week at Levi's Stadium while relaxing after football practice in Santa Clara.

    ''Yeah, we had to tell him to shoot. We knew that he could play the game and he would eventually get better, but how tall he was, back in the day if you were that tall you would be in the post or you would be in the paint. This guy was on the wing. You could see the talent there. Eventually, as you see now, he grew into it and became a great player.''

    Durant insists all he wanted to do was create opportunities for others.

    ''I would just always want to please my teammates, so I would pass up a shot to get somebody else a look,'' Durant said. ''I always had that trait and that kind of turned into not being aggressive, if that's what it was called. But I was more so just catering to my teammates, trying to make them feel comfortable. And at a young age, NaVorro being such a leader that he is, he knew that I had some pretty good talent at that age and he just told me, `Go out there and just play.' As a kid, you need that, you want that validation from your teammates. Especially starting off early when I started to take basketball really, really serious, just a couple words from him meant a lot.''

    They've since reunited in the Bay Area, Bowman cheering for KD to win his first championship with the Warriors. Bowman plans to be there in person at Oracle Arena this week. Game 1 against the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers is Thursday night.

    The Maryland boys' paths crossed before middle school, as opponents in AAU ball - Durant figures around age 11.

    As each chased professional dreams over the next decade, they pushed one another from afar without even knowing it, taking great pride in their shared ''DMV'' - D.C., Maryland, Virginia - roots and making it big in their respective athletic pursuits.

    ''We really grew up together. He always played Pee Wee football and you would walk to the field and you'd see NaVorro wearing a No. 99 jersey, all black on with a visor, just bigger than everybody else,'' Durant said. ''You didn't really know who he was until he took his helmet off. But you could tell that he was on another level, just his focus, just how much he wanted it, his energy as a kid and then it just continued to grow. I knew we kind of inspired and pushed each other without even having to say anything.''

    From age 12 through high school, Bowman would play basketball all day at a 24-hour gym, sometimes going from 8 a.m. until midnight. Durant would join him sometimes, though he lived on the opposite side of town. They knew the same people, and where to land a competitive pickup game.

    By eighth grade, scouts flocked to see KD. Bowman attracted a few, too.

    Bowman was recruited by DeMatha Catholic High but didn't want to attend an all-boys school, so he went to nearby Suitland. Durant spent one semester at Suitland, then left for Montrose Christian. That's where his career took off.

    Several prominent schools recruited Bowman for basketball, but he saw a future in football and wound up at Penn State.

    ''I just made a business decision, knowing that I wasn't getting taller,'' the 6-foot, four-time All-Pro said.

    Now, Bowman is getting a thrill as an up-close spectator - supporting a dear friend.

    He sent a text message to KD after the Warriors' sweep of San Antonio last week.

    ''I had to congratulate him on his success and the choice he made. I know it was hard and challenging but it's about winning a championship,'' Bowman said of KD leaving Oklahoma City. ''I think that was his choice and why he made it. I texted him, `I know you're excited to be where you are and accomplish what you've accomplished, let's go get it, let's get it taken care of.'''

    Durant, too, is pulling for Bowman as he comes back from another injury, this time a torn Achilles.

    ''Once I made it, I knew that he was next up, and it's kind of come full circle from playing eighth grade ball together to us living right down the street from each other. He comes over all the time and he comes to games,'' Durant said. ''It's one of those legacy things that we'll sit down and talk about forever, people from our area just for this to come together like this is divine and it's special. I have a friend for life in him.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  3. #33
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    Thursday’s six-pack

    — Astros 17, Twins 6— In nine innings vs Minnesota bullpen this week, Astros scored 28 runs.

    — A’s 3, Indians 1— Chad Pinder homered twice for a team that really needed a win.

    — Padres 2, Cubs 1— Chicago lost its eight road games; this was an 0-6 road trip.

    — Brewers 7, Mets 1— You walk Eric Sogard three times, you deserve to lose.

    — They sell roasted grasshoppers at Mariner games in Seattle. Seriously.

    — Mike Tirico will replace Al Michaels on Thursday Night Football this fall.

    *****************************

    Thursday’s Den: How MLB teams do in series openers……

    Series records for major league teams (thru May 31):

    Road-Home/Total

    National League

    Ariz: 1-4-2…..7-2….8-6-2
    All: 4-5-1…2-3-2…6-8-3
    Chi: 4-4….5-2-1….9-6-1
    Cin: 4-3-1…3-4-2…7-7-3
    Col: 7-0-1…5-2-1…12-2-2
    LA: 1-4-2…5-1-3….6-5-5
    Mia: 2-5-2…2-5-1…4-10-3
    Mil: 4-2-1…3-5-1…7-7-2
    NY: 4-3……4-5……8-8
    Phil: 1-7……3-5……4-12
    Pitt: 2-5-2….5-3…..7-8-2
    StL: 3-3-1…3-5-1…6-8-1
    SD: 3-6….2-4-2…5-10-2
    SF: 2-6-1…4-2-1…6-8-2
    Wsh: 4-4…..8-9……12-13

    American League
    Balt: 2-4-2….7-1…..9-5-2
    Bos: .3-4….6-2-2…9-6-2
    Chi: 4-4-1…3-3-1…7-7-2
    Clev: 5-3-1….2-6…..7-9-1
    Det: 2-4-3….4-2-1…6-6-4
    Hst: 6-1……7-2…..13-3
    KC: 3-5…..2-4-2….5-9-2
    LAA: 1-6-2…3-2-2….4-8-4
    Min: 6-1……3-6……9-7
    NY: 3-4-1…..7-1….10-5-1
    A’s: 1-7…..5-1-2….6-8-2
    Sea: 3-7……5-2…….8-9
    TB: 4-4…..4-3-2….8-7-2
    Tex: 2-6-1…..5-3.….7-9-1
    Tor: 2-5-2…..4-4…..6-9-2
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  4. #34
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    NBA Finals Game 1 Preview
    May 31, 2017


    NBA Finals - Game 1
    No. 2 Cleveland at No. 1 Golden State (ABC, 9 p.m. ET)


    Cavs-Warriors III is finally here, arriving as the first-ever NBA Finals matchup played between teams vying for the title three consecutive times. Considering the Celtics and Lakers have run things in multiple decades and are unquestionably still the rivalry to end all rivalries, this is quite the accomplishment.

    Now the series just has to live up to the hype to try and salvage what's been by all accounts a dud of a postseason. Fortunately, all the ingredients are there.

    Well, most. Steve Kerr won't coach Game 1 and is questionable for the rest of the series as he attempts to overcome lingering side effects from back surgery.

    That means Mike Brown will be coaching these Finals against the Cavs, who fired him after deciding he was expendable back in 2010. LeBron James left Cleveland for Miami weeks later.

    There are loads of ties that bind in this series. There are tons of driving forces that extend beyond just claiming a ring and going 2-for-3 in this Finals matchup.

    Draymond Green feels especially guilty for what transpired after he lost his temper and got himself excluded from a key Game 6 as the Warriors blew a 3-1 series lead last year. That collapse allowed Kevin Durant to feel it was ok to jump ship to the Warriors, which makes this year's task much tougher for LeBron and Co.

    Durant has a score to settle, having been beaten by LeBron as a favorite with Oklahoma City on a team that he led which also featured Russell Westbrook and James Harden. That alleviated James' burden in Miami after being upset in the 2011 Finals by Dallas.

    Then there's Steph Curry, whose 6-for-19 Game 7 implosion contributed heavily to the 93-89 loss in the series-deciding game. He shot 4-for-14 from 3-point range, a performance that still haunts him. It's easier to forget that he also started poorly in last year's Finals, shooting 4-for-15 in Game 1 despite his Warriors pulling away for a 104-89 win.

    Golden State won thanks to its depth, getting a particularly strong game from Shaun Livingston in a 104-89 romp that also featured great efforts from Andre Iguodala and Leandro Barbosa off the bench. All but Barbosa are back, so the noise that this team is weaker due to less depth because they traded Durant is just that - noise.

    Game 2 featured a Cavs team determined to lock in defensively and saw them up 21-19 after a quarter, but at home, depth and familiarity played to the Warriors advantage in an easy 110-88 win as they rolled 91-56 the rest of the way. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love combined for 15 points and six rebounds in a no-show that would seem ridiculous at this point given the form they've displayed this postseason and what they've already accomplished in becoming champs for the first time. James led the team in scoring, rebounding and assists that game, but gets significantly more help these days.

    The Warriors are a -240 series favorite, which is roughly a 70 percent lean on the series. You get the rationale. Up 3-1 without Durant, a key variable since Harrison Barnes was a liability in the same spot in the lineup, the Dubs have to be favored to win a championship. Golden State is a 7-point favorite for Game 1.

    While Love is within his rights to wonder aloud how in the world the defending champs are substantial underdogs defending their own title, there's a method to the madness of bookmakers and experts that are viewing this series without bias.

    As far as Game 1 is concerned, the Cavs have little to lose and can experiment with some strategies that should serve them well down the road in what they're expecting will be a long series. Golden State doesn't really have that luxury since a loss would immediately forfeit the homecourt edge that could play such a huge role in deciding a champ.

    Although they lost Game 7 on their home floor last season, the opportunity to get off to a strong start in Oakland in addition to the prospect of playing a key Game 5 and potential Game 7 there loom large. There's no one under more pressure than Durant, who has faced immense backlash for his decision to defect from the Thunder, even irrationally catching blame for the lack of competitiveness in this postseason. Then there's Curry and Klay Thompson, who need to shoot it well to ensure the Cavs have to respect everyone defensively.

    Cleveland won every game it needed to last year, thriving in a Game 3 where it faced a certain sweep had it lost, then rallying in three straight elimination games to impose its will. It's well within their rights to feel like they're being slighted here and can also rely on having rallied from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit on Christmas Day to edge Golden State 109-108. Irving scored 25 points and made the winning basket, helping the Cavs overcome a 36-point, 15-rebound. Curry shot 4-for-11 in that game, further fueling speculation that Cleveland has his number.

    Tristan Thompson's ability to generate extra opportunities on the boards and serving as the backbone of a defense that was porous most of the regular season makes him the x-factor for the Cavs. Zaza Pachulia is healthy and ready to go for the Warriors, but we'll see how often Brown utilizes him or JaVale McGee in the middle as opposed to going small with Green at the five.

    Because the pace is expected to be fluid and 3-pointers are likely to fly, the total has been placed incredibly high for an NBA Finals game. Oddsmakers opened the total for Game 1 at 225 ½ and that number has held steady over the last week while a couple books have gone to 226.

    VegasInsider.com NBA analyst Chris David provides his thoughts on Thursday’s opener and what could happen with the total numbers during this series.

    “If you look at the last two finals between the pair, you can see that the oddsmakers are expecting some wild shootouts this summer. In 2015, the numbers ranged from 193 ½ to 203 ½ and the ‘under’ went 3-2-1 in that series and two of the games went into overtime. While Cleveland was short-handed in that series, it had a healthy squad last year and the totals ranged from 205 to 210 ½ and the ‘under’ again produced a winning mark (4-3),” said David.

    He added, “Even though the total seems a tad inflated, we’re looking at a completely different Cleveland team. Offensively, they’re averaging 116.8 PPG in the playoffs and that’s a drastic increase (104.8 PPG, 99 PPG) from the previous two postseasons. At the same time, they’ve been worse defensively (103.2 PPG) this year and the margins are kind of startling as well (96.1 PPG, 95 PPG). A great defense usually trumps a great offense and I would lean that way in Game 1. I’d play the Cavaliers team total ‘under’ (109 ½) and also lean to the ‘under’ in the game as well.”

    Cleveland has averaged 118.7 PPG on the road in the playoffs, which has helped produced a 4-3 ‘over’ record. The ‘over’ has gone 4-2 in Golden State’s six playoff games at Oracle Arena. In the two regular season meetings between the pair, the ‘under’ went 2-0 despite Golden State averaging 117 PPG.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  5. #35
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    Cavs-GSW III picks up where it left off
    May 31, 2017


    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) After a summer highlighted by Kevin Durant's decision to leave Oklahoma City for the star-laden Golden State Warriors, a six-month regular season and three rounds of playoffs, the NBA Finals are right back where they ended last June.

    Not that anyone expected any different.

    Take III of the NBA Finals trilogy between Golden State and the Cleveland Cavaliers gives Stephen Curry and Draymond Green a chance to avenge last year's Warriors collapse and LeBron James the opportunity to add a fourth title in his chase of Michael Jordan's six.

    Perhaps most noteworthy, it gives Durant the chance at a first championship and validation for his decision to leave the Thunder and join the league's latest super team.

    ''I can't go out there and do everything on my own or I can't go out there and just let my teammates do all the work for me,'' Durant said Wednesday, a day before the series opener. ''I got to do my part and we all got to make it come together as a group.''

    This matchup has seemed ordained since James walked off the court in Oakland last June, having delivered his native northeast Ohio its first major team championship since 1964.

    James had won two titles as part of another ''super team'' in Miami but last year's crown meant even more to his legacy.

    ''I'm not in the `prove people wrong, silence critics' department no more,'' James said. ''I got a promotion when I got to the 30s. At the end of the day, I know the way I'm built. My only motivation is to be able to compete for a championship every single year.''

    The Warriors have been right there the past two years, winning the franchise's first title in 40 years in 2015 and then blowing a 3-1 lead last year to put a sour ending on a record-breaking 73-win season.

    That series turned when Green was suspended for Game 5 and James and Kyrie Irving took over from there.

    ''Any time someone beats you, you'd love to play them,'' Green said. ''But at the end of the day winning a championship is winning a championship. You don't care who you've got to take down, you just want to take whoever that is down.''

    Here are some other things to watch in Part III:

    FINALS REMATCH


    While the Cavs and Warriors have played in the Finals the past two years, Durant and James met before that in different uniforms. James won his first title in 2012 with Miami in a five-game series over Durant and the Thunder. Durant played well, averaging 30.6 points and shooting 55 percent but James came out on top.

    ''I know I've grown as a player just through experience from the last five years, but if I don't go out there and execute, none of that matters,'' Durant said.

    BROWN CONNECTION


    James' first trip to the Finals came 10 years ago when the Cavs were swept by San Antonio. His coach that year was Mike Brown, who has served as acting coach for the Warriors while Steve Kerr is out following complications from back surgery. Brown had two stints as coach in Cleveland, leading the team to the playoffs five straight times from 2006-10 before returning for a one-year stint in 2013-14 when the Cavs won 33 games.

    ''It feels a little surreal,'' Brown said. ''I'm sure come tip-off tomorrow, when I'm looking at those guys in that uniform, it will feel even more that way, but right now just kind of taking everything in stride.''

    UNDERDOG CAVS

    According to the odds makers in Las Vegas and the number crunchers at analytical sites, the Warriors are the clear favorites to win the series after sweeping their way through the playoffs with a record-setting margin of victory of 16.3 points per game. James has called Golden State a ''juggernaut'' but the Warriors aren't buying all that talk.

    ''We've had a great season to this point, a great playoff run. And hopefully we keep it going, but we fully respect and are aware that this team that we're playing, they're the champions and we're not,'' Kerr said.

    KLAY'S SHOT


    One of the few things that hasn't gone right for Golden State this postseason has been Klay Thompson's shooting. He has hit just 38 percent of his shots as his normally reliable jumper has failed him.

    ''I've had a week off,'' Thompson said. ''So I feel great. Can't get caught up in your shot falling or not.''

    Thompson has been stellar on the defensive end even when his shot has been off and will likely be counted on at times to slow down Irving, who scored 98 points in the final three games last year, including the series-clinching 3-pointer.

    BY THE NUMBERS

    The Warriors are the first team to win their first 12 games of the postseason, sweeping all three rounds so far. The Cavs haven't been far behind, losing only in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final to Boston.

    This series also features 11 players who have been named All-Stars in their careers, including seven this year. The only other time a Finals matchup featured 11 former All-Stars came in 1983 when Philadelphia swept the Los Angeles Lakers.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  6. #36
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    Newcomers to rivalry embrace Finals
    May 31, 2017


    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Watching Part II of the Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals trilogy last spring, Kyle Korver came to a realization.

    ''These are the two best teams and if you were on one of these two teams you were hopeful that you'd be here at the end,'' Korver said Wednesday, a day before the teams meet for the third straight Finals. ''I'm excited this worked out that I could be here.''

    Korver got added to the mix midway through the season when he was dealt from Atlanta to Cleveland and is one of a dozen players on the two rosters who weren't on these teams last June when the Cavs rallied from 3-1 down to win the title.

    While much of the focus leading up to Cavs vs. Warriors III has been on how the addition of Kevin Durant to Golden State's star core led by Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson will make life even more difficult for LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers, there are several other newcomers to the rivalry who could play a key role in determining which team wins a second title in this trilogy.

    ''It's pretty intense,'' Warriors center Zaza Pachulia said. ''Obviously when you play against somebody and it's the third time in a row and split the seasons and championships, they don't like each other. ... Even though I wasn't here the last couple years, talking and hearing the stories and watching the film kind of transfers me and I feel like I've been part of this team.''

    Pachulia passed up a chance at bigger money to have a chance for a title when he signed with Golden State last summer for $2.9 million. He's part of a revamped center position along with fellow newcomers Javale McGee and David West.

    Swingman Matt Barnes adds more energy off the bench and rookie guard Patrick McCaw has provided another boost.

    The Cavaliers added a 3-point specialist in Korver, along with backup point guard Deron Williams and swingman Derrick Williams to the mix in hopes of giving James more offensive options around him.

    Many of these players had to take on smaller roles now that they had joined so-called super teams filled with stars. But it was all worth it because of the quest for a championship.

    ''I felt like when I got here, I could fill in some gaps, fill in some holes just in the way these guys approach the game and the level of seriousness it takes every single day,'' West said.

    All the newcomers remembered watching these two teams square off the past two Junes as fans. There was Golden State winning its first title since 1975 when the Warriors bested a short-handed Cavaliers squad missing Irving and Kevin Love on Cleveland's home court in 2015.

    Then the Cavs got their revenge last year when they rallied back to claim their city's first major team championship since 1964 with a Game 7 win in Oakland.

    ''They've been battles, they've been wars,'' Barnes said. ''This is really the grudge match. I think the world has been waiting for this to finally get here.''

    Barnes wasn't exactly a neutral observer last year, having grown up in Northern California and having played with the Warriors before their recent run of dominance. Barnes was a key reserve on the ''We Believe'' team in 2007 that made it to the second round of the playoffs and said his heart never left the East Bay.

    He started this season in Sacramento before getting waived in February and joining the Warriors for the stretch run. Now he's ready to help avenge last year's disappointment.

    ''They know they left a ring on the table,'' Barnes said of his teammates. ''It kind of goes without saying. It's not something we talk about. Everybody has been waiting to get to this point in the season.''

    Some have waited longer than others. Korver ranks second among all active players with 104 playoff games without a Finals appearance, trailing only Joe Johnson's 112 games. West (95 games), Barnes (90) and Deron Williams (85) aren't far behind.

    That all changes Thursday.

    ''It's been a long journey, some ups and downs but it's well worth it once you get here in the Finals,'' Williams said. ''It's definitely exciting. I feel blessed to be in this position to compete for a championship.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NBA notebook: James' Los Angeles home vandalized
    May 31, 2017


    A Los Angeles home owned by Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James was vandalized Wednesday morning with a racial slur spray-painted on the front gate of the $21 million estate.

    The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed officers were called to the Brentwood neighborhood estate to investigate the incident of the racial epithet.

    The vandalism was discovered about 6:45 a.m. PT and has since been painted over by the property manager, according to the LAPD.

    A Los Angeles Times source described the slur as the "N-word."

    The LAPD is investigating the incident as a hate crime and an official police report was expected later Wednesday.

    James bought the 9,440-square-foot house in 2015 for about $20.9 million, according to public records. His primary residence during the NBA season is in Akron, Ohio,

    --The Los Angeles Clippers reportedly are interested in hiring NBA legend Jerry West from the Golden State Warriors.

    League sources told ESPN's Marc Stein that the Clippers would like to bring the 79-year-old West into their organization in an advisory capacity, similar to the role he holds with the Warriors since May 2011.

    The Hall of Famer is under contract with the Warriors through July as a member of the franchise's executive board. He previously was an executive with the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies, winning NBA Executive of the Year twice.

    Warriors owner Joe Lacob said last week he wants West to remain with the team.

    --Former UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball is expected to make a pre-draft workout for the Los Angeles Lakers on June 7, according to multiple reports.

    Ball also plans to meet with the Lakers' coaching staff and front-office personnel, ESPN and the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday night.

    The Lakers own the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, which will take place in New York on June 22.

    Ball did not attend the NBA combine so the workout will give the Lakers a chance to meet with him for the first time and see him in drills.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Game 1 Props - Best Bets
    May 31, 2017


    Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals tips off Thursday and bettors will have plenty of opportunities to cash tickets on the best-of-seven series between the Warriors and Cavaliers.

    Along with your basic side and total wagers, all sportsbooks are offering up “Proposition Wagers” or “Props” for each game of the series.

    Similar to our predictions for each round, our trio of NBA experts will be offering up their Best Prop Bets for each game.

    Based on a five-unit bankroll for each game, their top plays are listed below for the opener between Golden State and Cleveland.

    Odds & Props provided by Sportsbook.ag

    Chris David

    2 Units – Under Kyrie Irving Total Points 26 (-120)


    If you look at Kyrie Irving’s numbers during the regular season, he was a better scorer on the road but that’s flip-flopped in this year’s playoffs. The All-Star point guard is leading the team with 29.5 points per game at home in the postseason while shooting a blistering 51 percent from the field. In seven road games, that number dips to 20.3 PPG and the field goal percentage (41.9%) also drops substantially as well. You could argue that he should’ve won the Finals MVP last year based on the numbers (30.4 PPG) he produced in the final five games versus the Warriors, but his effort in the first two games (26, 10) in that series from the Bay Area showed his struggles. While his confidence should be high, we certainly didn’t see it in the two regular season meetings versus the Warriors as he was held to 21 PPG while shooting just 37 percent from the floor.

    2 Units – Under Kyle Korver Total Points 8 (-115)

    I really don’t believe we’ll see much of Kyle Korver in this series because he’s such a defensive liability that if he gets on the floor, Golden State will go after him right away. His numbers dropped to 14.6 minutes in the conference semifinals and he only received significant minutes when the games were out of hand. He’s averaging 6.4 PPG in the playoffs and based on this number, he would be 7-3-1 to the ‘under’ so far.

    1 Unit – Under Andre Iguodala Total Points + Rebounds + Assists 14.5 (-115)

    The 2015 NBA Finals MVP hasn’t been himself in this year’s playoffs and that’s due to a knee injury that he suffered in the conference semis versus the Spurs. Even before his minutes declined, you can see a big disparity with his home/away numbers in the postseason. On the road he averaged 8 PPG, 4.7 RPG and 2.3 APG which barely get him ‘over’ the number listed by the oddsmakers. However, those numbers are much lower (4.8 PPG, 4 RPG, 4 APG) in the playoff games played at Oracle Arena.

    Kevin Rogers

    2 Units – Under LeBron James Total Points + Rebounds + Assists 49.5 (-110)

    Even though the Cavaliers won the championship last season, the expectations are still high for James to post big numbers. James has not pulled down double-digit rebounds in the last 10 games, while depending on 30+ point games in 11 of 13 playoff contests. In the first two games of the Finals last season at Golden State, James scored a combined 42 points, but did grab at least eight boards in all seven games of that series.

    James will get his points throughout the series, but this prop depends on him compiling enough rebounds and assists to cash this number.

    2 Units – Under Kyrie Irving 3-Point Attempts 6.5 (-115)

    Irving attempted between six and eight three-pointers in the final four games of the Eastern Conference Finals after posting three attempts in each of the first two wins against Boston. In last season’s Finals, Irving hoisted up more than six treys only twice in the seven-game series, while attempting a total of seven three-pointers in the first two losses at Oracle Arena.

    1 Unit – Under Stephen Curry Total Points 27.5 (-115)

    With the addition of Kevin Durant, there are fewer shot attempts for Curry, even though he scored at least 29 points in three of four games against the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals. In last year’s Finals, Curry scored fewer than 25 points in five of seven games, including three efforts of 18 or less at home. In two matchups against Cleveland this season, Curry posted 15 and 20 points, although he only played in 31 minutes in the second matchup when the Warriors blasted the Cavaliers.

    Tony Mejia

    2 Units – Under LeBron James Total Points 32.5 (-110)

    Because the Cavs lost the first two games in Oakland last year, there should be a sense that this series opener isn't a must-win. All the pressure is on the Warriors, which means James' natural inclination will be to make sure his teammates get going and feel comfortable in the series. We'll see him allow Irving and Love look for their shot, making him more of a distributor here.

    It doesn't help his cause that he'll be seeing a lot of competent defenders on switches and double-teams, which means he'll look to make the right play and find the open man. As a result, I don't see him breaking the 30-point mark here.

    2 Units – Over Kevin Durant Total Points 28.5 (-115)

    Durant was terrific for the Warriors in this season's two meetings against the Cavs, who don't really have an answer for him. There's no question he'll be aggressive here and should lead the way in scoring for both teams, getting to the free-throw line when he needs to and easily topping the 30-point mark since he's under pressure to get off to a strong start as the largest variable in the series.

    1 Unit – Over Andre Iguodala Total Points+ Rebounds+ Assists 14.5 (-115)

    The 2015 Finals MVP will be out there quite a bit since the Dubs value his ability to switch and defend all of the Cavs' key weapons, so expect him to be in the mix for more than 25 minutes. Although he's not much of a scorer, he'll rebound well, keep the ball moving by making the extra pass and should pitch in with a few buckets in transition. Look for him to enjoy a strong Game 1.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NBA knowledge

    Game 1


    Golden State is 12-0 in playoffs, Cleveland 12-1. Teams meet in NBA Finals for third straight year; Cavaliers rallied from down 3-1 LY to win title. Cleveland is 5-2 in last seven series games; they won two of last three games in Oakland, but lost 126-91 here in January. Under is 6-2-1 in last nine series games. Cleveland is 7-0 on road in playoffs; they led by 21 in only playoff game they’ve lost this spring. Over is 6-3 in last nine Cavalier games, Golden State covered five of its last six games; they’re 2-4 vs spread at home in playoffs. Warriors’ last five games all went over the total.

    NBA Finals

    Cleveland-Golden State
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Thursday's NBA Finals Game 1 Betting Preview: Cavaliers at Warriors

    LeBron James averaged 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists in last season's Finals and has been superb this postseason with averages of 32.5 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

    Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors (-7, 225.5)

    Series tied 0-0

    The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers clash in the NBA Finals for the third straight season and the festivities begin Thursday in Oakland, Calif. The Warriors won the title two years ago and the Cavaliers rallied from a 3-1 deficit last season to win their first-ever title.

    Golden State is 12-0 this postseason and viewed as heavy favorites in Finals matchup No. 3, and that doesn't sit right with Cleveland power forward Kevin Love. "The whole underdog thing is funny to me, because, yeah, at the end of the day we are defending our title," Love told reporters. "We're trying to repeat, which is so hard to do. I think we will use it as fuel, we will use it as motivation, but the idea of playing into it? It's tough for me to say that is the case. I don't feel like we're underdogs." The Cavaliers also have been strong this postseason with a 12-1 mark and Warriors forward Draymond Green sees the series as a matchup of "greatness," and doesn't understand why there appears to be a lack of appreciations for how both teams rolled through the postseason. "I think you've found two great teams, and we've played that way, and maybe people don't appreciate it because of a blowout or because of a sweep," Green said. "But people may want to be careful, because I think right now you're witnessing greatness. Two great teams, great players, and that's what it is."

    TV: 9 p.m. ET, ABC

    LINE HISTORY: The Warriors opened as seven-point home favorites for Game 1 and, despite a very brief stop at -6.5, the current point spread is the same as the opening figure. The total hit the betting board at 225.5 and has yet to move off that initial number.

    INJURY REPORT:

    Cavaliers - C E. Tavares (Out For Season, hand).

    Warriors - SG P. McCaw (Probable, ankle), C Z. Pachulia (Probable, heel), SF K. Looney (Out Indefinitely, hip).

    ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (63-32 SU, 44-47-4 ATS, 56-38-1 O/U): Small forward LeBron James averaged 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists in last season's Finals and has been superb this postseason with averages of 32.5 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Point guard Kyrie Irving is averaging 24.5 points this postseason while Love is contributing 17.2 points and 10.4 rebounds. The Cavaliers will be hoping that swingman Kyle Korver (6.4 postseason average) and guards J.R. Smith (6.6) and Iman Shumpert (4.7) step up their performances in the series.

    ABOUT THE WARRIORS (79-15 SU, 48-43-3 ATS, 41-53 O.U): Golden State hasn’t lived down the memory of blowing a 3-1 lead in last season's finals, the turning point being a one-game suspension handed to Green after a flagrant foul for kicking James in the groin during Game 4. Small forward Kevin Durant (25.2 average) is a new part of the mix while point guard Stephen Curry (28.6) has once again been leading the postseason charge. Shooting guard Klay Thompson is averaging a lackluster 14.4 points on 38.3 percent shooting in the postseason but he scored 25 or more three times - including a high of 37 - in last year's Finals.

    TRENDS:


    * Cavaliers are 7-0-1 ATS in their last 8 road games.
    * Warriors are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 NBA Championship games.
    * Over is 4-1 in Cavaliers last 5 games following a straight up win.
    * Over is 5-0 in Warriors last 5 overall.
    * Under is 8-1-2 in the last 11 meetings in Golden State.

    CONSENSUS: 55 percent of users are siding with the road underdog Cleveland Cavaliers and 67 percent are on the Over.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Beware Cavs bettors: NBA Finals rematches have not gone well for defending champions

    There have been eight NBA Finals rematches since 1970 and only once has the team that won the first encounter gone on to prevail a second time.

    Repeating as NBA champion has proven difficult in the past - and it's even harder when defending champs face the team they beat in the Finals the year before.

    Entering Thursday's opening game between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers (which is the first time two teams have met in the final for three straight years), there have been eight NBA Finals rematches since 1970 - and only once has the team that won the first encounter gone on to prevail a second time. This strangely runs counter to the six instances prior to 1970 in which teams met in an NBA Finals rematch. In those cases, the defending champion went 5-1.

    With the Warriors are near -300 favorites to avenge their loss to the Cavaliers in last years finals, here’s a look at the previous eight NBA Finals rematches, and how both teams fared:

    1973 NBA Finals: Los Angeles Lakers vs. New York Knicks

    1972 result: Lakers win in five games
    1973 result: Knicks win in five games

    This series was an exact flip of the previous year's result. In 1972, the Knicks won the opener but lost the next four games. A year later, it was the Lakers prevailing in Game 1 but proceeding to drop four in a row. None of the games were decided by more than nine points, with four of them won by five points or fewer. Only twice did a team reach 100 points over the final four games following the Lakers' 115-112 victory in Game 1.

    1979 NBA Finals: Washington Bullets vs. Seattle SuperSonics

    1978 result: Bullets win in seven games
    1979 result: SuperSonics win in five games

    Weirdly, this series followed the same pattern as the first one on this list. The Bullets captured Game 1 at home, but didn't win another game the rest of the finals. Seattle took Games 2 and 3 by double digits before outlasting Washington in overtime in Game 4 and wrapping things up in enemy territory three days later. The schedule might have taken its toll on the Bullets, who needed seven games to win both of their earlier playoff series.

    While sharps wager on Warriors, public bets pull for Cavaliers in NBA Finals: Live From Las Vegas
    Early sharp money jumped on the Warriors odds to win the NBA Finals, but public money is siding with LeBron and the Cavs, keeping ticket count very close. We talk NBA Finals betting and Game 1 odds with Jeff Stoneback of The Mirage sportsbook in Las Vegas.

    1983 NBA Finals: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers

    1982 result: Lakers win in six games
    1983 result: 76ers win in four games

    The league-best 76ers gleefully exacted their revenge on a stacked Lakers team that had rolled past them a year earlier, sweeping the purple and gold en route to their third championship. That Moses Malone-led Philadelphia team crushed the opposition in the playoffs, running a 12-1 record while averaging better than 110 points per game in the four-game rout of Los Angeles. It was the first time in NBA history that a finals rematch resulted in a sweep.

    1985 NBA Finals: Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers

    1984 result: Celtics win in seven games
    1985 result: Lakers win in six games

    The Lakers were on the good end of an NBA Finals rematch this time around, bouncing back from a heart-breaking seven-game finals defeat a year earlier to prevail in one of the most entertaining and high-scoring championship series in league history. The teams combined to average 114.5 points per game in the Finals, with the winning team averaging nearly 122 points per victory. It marked the first time in history the Lakers had beaten the Celtics to win the title.

    1989 NBA Finals: Detroit Pistons vs. Los Angeles Lakers

    1988 result: Lakers win in seven games
    1989 result: Pistons win in four games

    After squandering a 3-2 series lead against the Lakers in the 1988 Finals - and losing the final two games by combined four points - the “Bad Boy” Pistons weren't about to make the same mistake in the rematch. Detroit scored between 105 and 110 points in all four games, capturing the first two at home before capping the sweep with a pair of victories in L.A. The sweep capped an incredible run for the Pistons, who went 15-2 in the postseason. The Lakers were 11-0 entering the Finals.

    In a NBA Championship loaded with star power, who will win NBA Finals MVP?
    There's a surplus of star power on the court when the Cavaliers and Warriors mix it up in the NBA Finals. That means plenty of potential betting value when it comes to NBA Finals MVP odds. We look at the faves and live long shots on the board.

    1998 NBA Finals: Chicago Bulls vs. Utah Jazz

    1997 result: Bulls win in six games
    1998 result: Bulls win in six games

    A handful of teams challenged the Bulls in the NBA Finals, but the Jazz were the only opponents to do so in consecutive seasons. And both times, the Hall of Fame tandem of John Stockton and Karl Malone came up just short in defeating the Michael Jordan-led Bulls. The 1998 title series was one of the lowest-scoring Finals in the modern era: Only twice did a team exceed 90 points, while the Jazz here held to a laughable 54 points in a Game 3 blowout loss. Every single game finished Under the total, with the deciding Game 6 boasting a low number of 177.5 points. The Bulls also covered in four of six games, including all three in Utah.

    2014 NBA Finals: San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat

    2013 result: Heat win in seven games
    2014 result: Spurs win in five games

    San Antonio didn't take kindly to suffering the first finals defeat in franchise history a year earlier, putting together a 62-win regular season before defeating Dallas, Portland and Oklahoma City in their first three playoff rounds en route to a hotly anticipated finals rematch. The Spurs then proceeded to crush the defending champions, boasting the highest average point differential (+14) in the history of the Finals. All four of their victories were by 15 or more points. San Antonio finished 4-1 ATS while making quick work of “The Big Three”.

    2016 NBA Finals: Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

    2015 result: Warriors win in six games
    2016 result: Cavaliers win in seven games

    After seeing LeBron James carry Cleveland to a pair of finals victories almost completely by himself in 2015, Cavaliers fans had to be pleased with seeing a much healthier version of their team head into a championship rematch with the Warriors. But things didn't start out so well, as Golden State jumped out to a... well, I'm sure you know what that series lead was. Cleveland became the first team to rally from 3-1 down to win a NBA Finals, and was the first team since 1978 to win a finals Game 7 away from home. The Cavs covered in four of the seven games and were +175 underdogs to win the series.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Basketball bettors need to know these refs are blowing the whistles in the NBA Finals

    Referee John Goble posted the ninth-lowest O/U rate of any official to work 30 or more games this season, and his scoring average also sat in the bottom quadrant.

    The NBA has named the 12 referees that will officiate the 2017 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers that gets underway Thursday night in California.

    Here are some regular-season statistical betting nuggets associated with each official (ATS records listed are for home team):

    Tony Brothers

    ATS record: 37-32-2
    O/U record: 36-35
    Points per game: 211.9

    Brothers was pretty much down the middle in both ATS and O/U trends during the regular season, and has a similar track record in the playoffs. Home teams are 5-5 with Brothers on the floor during the postseason.

    Mike Callahan

    ATS record: 31-39-3
    O/U record: 39-34
    Points per game: 209.5

    Home teams covered at a lower-than-average rate with Callahan toting the whistle. That has been even more pronounced during the postseason, with the host side winning just 40 percent of the games in which Callahan has worked as a main official with a scoring differential of -1.7 points per game.

    James Capers

    ATS record: 42-30-0
    O/U record: 40-32
    Points per game: 211.9

    The Warriors will be thrilled to see Capers on the floor for the majority of the season, as his games provided a significant advantage to home-side ATS bettors. Road teams have earned 52.4 percent of the foul calls with Capers on the floor in the playoffs.

    Danny Crawford

    ATS record: 32-40-0
    O/U record: 39-32
    Points per game: 209.9

    Like Callahan, Crawford has been less kind to the home team, a trend that has continued in the playoffs. Of the eight games he has worked as a main official, the home team has won just two of them and is carrying a -4 points per game differential to date.
    In a NBA Championship loaded with star power, who will win NBA Finals MVP?
    There's a surplus of star power on the court when the Cavaliers and Warriors mix it up in the NBA Finals. That means plenty of potential betting value when it comes to NBA Finals MVP odds. We look at the faves and live long shots on the board.

    Marc Davis

    ATS record: 25-49-1
    O/U record: 40-33
    Points per game: 213.45

    Two things were apparent when Davis was on assignment this season: The home team almost certainly didn't cover, and fans were treated to high-scoring games. Strangely, however, the trend has reversed in the playoffs, with home teams winning Davis-worked games at a 70-percent clip while drawing just 46.9 percent of the foul calls.

    Scott Foster

    ATS record: 38-41-1
    O/U record: 41-39
    Points per game: 213.62

    Foster comes closest to the breakeven point of any official working the NBA Finals, with no discernible ATS or O/U betting edge either way. Not surprisingly, home teams are 5-6 in his games so far in the postseason.

    John Goble

    ATS record: 39-39-1
    O/U record: 34-42
    Points per game: 207.61

    Goble posted the ninth-lowest O/U rate of any official to work 30 or more games this season, and his scoring average also sat in the bottom quadrant. Teams are averaging a pedestrian 204.6 points in the nine playoff games he has worked.

    Ed Malloy

    ATS record: 38-28-1
    O/U record: 36-29
    Points per game: 212.52

    Malloy was the eighth-friendliest referee to the home side - at least from an ATS perspective - during the regular season, with host teams enjoying a +4.37 point differential in his games. Teams are averaging better than 215 points in his playoff assignments.

    While sharps wager on Warriors, public bets pull for Cavaliers in NBA Finals: Live From Las Vegas
    Early sharp money jumped on the Warriors odds to win the NBA Finals, but public money is siding with LeBron and the Cavs, keeping ticket count very close. We talk NBA Finals betting and Game 1 odds with Jeff Stoneback of The Mirage sportsbook in Las Vegas.

    Ken Mauer

    ATS record: 33-38-1
    O/U record: 35-36
    Points per game: 212.26

    Home teams didn't see much of a boost with Mauer in the fold, and that has been equally true so far in the postseason; they're just 3-5 S-U with him on the court, with an ugly -5.1 point differential in those eight games.

    Monty McCutchen

    ATS record: 39-36-1
    O/U record: 36-40
    Points per game: 213.00

    McCutchen has been letting them play in seven games as a main official, calling just 37.9 fouls per game; home teams are 5-2 in those contests. In five games as part of another official's crew, nearly 48 foul calls per contest are being made.

    Derrick Stafford

    ATS record: 31-39-2
    O/U record: 40-31
    Points per game: 209.64

    It might seem surprising given his regular-season ATS track record, but Stafford has been a home team's dream so far in the playoffs. The host side is a combined 8-1 SU in the nine games he has worked either as a main official or as part of a crew.

    Zach Zarba

    ATS record: 30-40-1
    O/U record: 34-37
    Points per game: 212.44

    No official working the NBA Finals has been harder on host-team infractions than Zarba, who is calling 52 percent of his fouls in the postseason on the home side. That hasn't affected the home-team win rate, which sits at 70 percent through Zarba's 10 games.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NBA
    Dunkel

    Thursday, June 1



    Cleveland @ Golden State

    Game 701-702
    June 1, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Cleveland
    127.934
    Golden State
    140.845
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Golden State
    by 13
    233
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Golden State
    by 7
    225 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    Golden State
    (-7); Over





    NBA
    Long Sheet

    Thursday, June 1


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    CLEVELAND (63 - 32) at GOLDEN STATE (79 - 15) - 6/1/2017, 9:00 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    CLEVELAND is 3-12 ATS (-10.2 Units) in road games in non-conference games this season.
    GOLDEN STATE is 106-88 ATS (+9.2 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
    GOLDEN STATE is 99-84 ATS (+6.6 Units) as a favorite over the last 2 seasons.
    GOLDEN STATE is 85-64 ATS (+14.6 Units) in home games over the last 3 seasons.
    GOLDEN STATE is 53-33 ATS (+16.7 Units) in all playoff games since 1996.
    GOLDEN STATE is 32-23 ATS (+6.7 Units) after a win by 10 points or more this season.
    GOLDEN STATE is 63-48 ATS (+10.2 Units) after 3 or more consecutive wins over the last 2 seasons.
    GOLDEN STATE is 26-15 ATS (+9.5 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
    GOLDEN STATE is 17-8 ATS (+8.2 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season this season.
    GOLDEN STATE is 23-13 ATS (+8.7 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game this season.
    GOLDEN STATE is 24-11 ATS (+11.9 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game - 2nd half of the season over the last 3 seasons.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    GOLDEN STATE is 10-9 against the spread versus CLEVELAND over the last 3 seasons
    GOLDEN STATE is 11-8 straight up against CLEVELAND over the last 3 seasons
    12 of 17 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    NBA
    Armadillo's Write-Up

    Thursday, June 1


    Golden State is 12-0 in playoffs, Cleveland 12-1. Teams meet in NBA Finals for third straight year; Cavaliers rallied from down 3-1 LY to win title. Cleveland is 5-2 in last seven series games; they won two of last three games in Oakland, but lost 126-91 here in January. Under is 6-2-1 in last nine series games. Cleveland is 7-0 on road in playoffs; they led by 21 in only playoff game they’ve lost this spring. Over is 6-3 in last nine Cavalier games, Golden State covered five of its last six games; they’re 2-4 vs spread at home in playoffs. Warriors’ last five games all went over the total.




    NBA

    Thursday, June 1


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trend Report
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    9:00 PM
    CLEVELAND vs. GOLDEN STATE
    The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Cleveland's last 6 games when playing on the road against Golden State
    Cleveland is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Golden State
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Golden State's last 6 games at home
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Golden State's last 5 games
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Ten need-to-know basketball betting notes for the NBA Finals

    Open up the beer fridge, pass the Pringles and turn up the “Roundball Rock”: the NBA Finals tipoff on Thursday when the Golden State Warriors host the Cleveland Cavaliers. Before you place your finals wagers, take a look at these 10 need-to-know betting notes:

    • Twitter trolls are having all sorts of fun reminding the world that ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith is 0-6 in his last six NBA Finals predictions. NBA oddsmakers have done better, but not as well as you might guess. The series underdog is batting .500 in the last 10 Finals. The 2006 Heat, 2008 Celtics, 2011 Mavericks, 2012 Heat and 2016 Cavaliers all won despite wearing the dog tag.

    • LeBron James-led teams are 18-5 straight up against Kevin Durant-led squads since KD entered the league in 2007. That includes the 2012 Finals when the two squared off and LeBron got the best of Durant in five games. As far as ATS, James’ sides are 15-8 ATS against Durant’s teams.

    • There’s a reason the sweep always pays the best. There have been only eight sweeps in the 70-year history of the NBA Finals. That works out to an 11.4 percent chance. There have been 17 five-game series (24.4%), 25 six-gamers (35.7%) and 20 series that went to Game 7 (28.6%).

    • James was the best player in five of the last six NBA Finals. Oddsmakers list him as the favorite for most points and assists in the series and have him as the third fave for most rebounds. He has four career finals MVP awards and the only other player in this series with one on his resume is Andre Igoudala – and his really should have been given to James. With all this said, James is still listed as the third favorite (+240) to win the finals MVP behind Durant (+200) and Stephen Curry (+210).

    • If you like to play first-half bets, Golden State is probably your best option. The Warriors are the best first quarter team in the postseason in terms of net rating (+32.1 points per 100 possessions) and are +112 in point differential in first halves. The Cavs, on the other hand, are the best third quarter team in the playoffs with a +25.8 net rating. Cleveland has trailed in three games by double digits but came back to win each one.

    • A lot has been written already about the Game 1 total but just a reminder: the number at 225.5 is the largest total in recorded betting history of the NBA Finals. It’s a 14.5-point jump from the Game 1 total in last year’s Finals. Golden State’s offense is in better shape with a healthy Curry and Durant taking Harrison Barnes’ spot. Cleveland’s offense is much improved compared to last year’s edition. All that being said, the increase in stakes, competition and rivalry should equal lower-scoring games. The Under is a combined 7-4-2 in the last two finals matchups between these two sides.

    • The Game 1 spread (7 points) is the largest in the NBA Finals since 2007 when the LeBron-led Cavs were getting 7.5 points against the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs won and covered in that game and swept the Cavs in the Finals.

    • Heading into Thursday’s championship series opener, the favorite is 17-9 ATS in Game 1 since 1991 (65 percent) – including red-hot runs of 14-4 ATS since 1999 (78 percent) and 11-1 ATS since 2005 (92 percent). But Game 2 favorites are only 9-16-1 ATS (36 percent) the previous 26 postseasons, including a 2-7 ATS mark since 2008.

    • Going back to the 1990-91 season, NBA Finals games have a 54-80-5 Over/Under record (59.7 percent Unders). And since 2000, the NBA Finals has pumped out a 36-48-5 O/U count (57 percent Unders). Focusing specifically on Game 1 of the NBA Finals over the past 26 years, the Under has been a profitable 9-15-1 O/U since 1991. That Game 1 trend is 3-9-1 O/U since the 2004 finals.

    • Golden State was 25-5 SU versus Eastern Conference opponents this season, but just 14-14-2 ATS. The Warriors were a great Under bet in non-conference contests, with a 9-21 Over/Under mark. Cleveland stumbled against the Western Conference, with a 16-14 SU and 11-18-1 ATS mark, going 16-14 Over/Under in those games.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Favorites dominate Game 1 of the NBA Finals, betting underdogs bite back in Game 2

    The NBA Playoffs have been about as predictable as an episode of Scooby-Doo, with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors meeting in the finals for the third straight year. And it would seem betting the NBA Finals is just as easy to foresee, given the ATS results for Games 1 and 2 over the past 26 years of postseason basketball.

    Heading into Thursday’s championship series opener, the favorite is 17-9 ATS in Game 1 since 1991 (65 percent) – including red-hot runs of 14-4 ATS since 1999 (78 percent) and 11-1 ATS since 2005 (92 percent).

    The Warriors, who are 7-point home chalk for Game 1 Thursday, have covered in each of the last two Game 1 meetings with the Cavs in the NBA Finals: winning 108-100 as 6-point Game 1 favorites in 2015 and 104-89 as 6-point Game 1 favorites in 2016.

    NBA Finals Game 1 favorites have given their opponents an average of -6.25 points per game since 1991, which is pretty much on par with the Warriors’ Game 1 line. Those faves have edged their finals foes by an average score of 97-88.8 in that 26-year stretch, covering by 1.95 points per game.

    The predictability doesn’t stop with Game 1. The second installment of the NBA Finals series has seen that above Game 1 betting trend flipped on its ear, with underdogs bouncing back with a stronger performance in Game 2. That’s left Game 2 favorites to go just 9-16-1 ATS (36 percent) the previous 26 postseasons, including a 2-7 ATS mark since 2008.

    While spreads haven’t varied too much between Games 1 and 2 - -6 in Game 2 since 1991 – favorites are only winning by an average score of 98.11-92.92, an edge of just 5.19 points per game. Shrinking that down over the past nine postseasons, that final score tightens to 98.67-95.11 with an average spread of -5.39. Perhaps even more shocking is the fact the underdog has won Game 2 outright a dozen times in the past 26 seasons.

    Now, the Warriors did manage to cover the 6.5-point spread in Game 2 versus the Cavaliers last season, winning a 110-77 rout, but fell ATS in Game 2 of the 2015 finals, losing 95-93 to LeBron James & Co. as 7.5-point home chalk. Game 2 of the 2017 NBA Finals is scheduled for Sunday, June 4.

    As for Games 3 and 4, which we know will happen regardless of results, betting favorites are 10-14-1 ATS (with one pick’em in 2004 finals) and 12-12-1 ATS in Game 4 (with one pick’em in 2004 finals). As you can see, these trends start to balance out as the series goes on.

    Looking past the given four games, Game 5 chalk is 11-11 ATS since 1991 postseason, Game 6 faves are 6-10 ATS, and Game 7 favorites are 3-2 ATS in those deciding contests the past 26 seasons.

    The 2017 Warriors and Cavaliers have been cash cows for basketball bettors riding them through the postseason. Cleveland enters the finals with an 8-4-1 ATS mark while Golden State is 8-4 ATS – a combined 67 percent win rate against the spread during the NBA Playoffs.
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