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Thread: The Bum's 2017 NBA Best Bets-Trends-News Thru Playoffs !

  1. #1681
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    Rockets look to rebound in G2
    May 16, 2018


    By Tom Wilkinson

    Game 2 - Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets

    The Golden State Warriors showed the Houston Rockets who was boss in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Monday night and now Golden State will look to bury the Rockets on Wednesday night in Game 2.

    You can already make a case that Game 2 is simply a must-win game for the Rockets if they are to have any chance of making this series competitive.

    Let’s look at Game 2 on Wednesday and NBA picks.

    Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets
    Date and Time: Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 9:00 p.m. Eastern
    Location: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
    NBA Odds : Rockets -1.5, O/U 224.5
    Warriors vs. Rockets TV Coverage: TNT


    It was only one game, but the Warriors 119-106 win on Monday night showed that this series is really already over, as Golden State now has home court advantage. I said before Game 1 that the Rockets simply don’t have enough weapons to match Golden State and that proved true in Game 1. The Rockets have James Harden and Chris Paul, but Golden State has Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. In Game 1 it was Durant scoring 37 points, the fourth time this postseason that Durant has scored 30 points or more. Head coach Steve Kerr said that Durant can’t be stopped. “I don't know what you do to guard him," Kerr said. "He can get any shot he wants." Durant got help from Thompson who hit a number of big shots to thwart any hopes Houston had of making a comeback.

    Harden had 41 points, while Paul added 23, but Houston still lost. Houston head coach Mike D’Antoni said that his team simply wasn’t tough mentally. "There were too many times where we had mental lapses. We didn't switch properly, turned the ball over and missed too many layups. We need to do a better job of staying up mentally."

    Curry had 18 points for the Warriors. Kerr said that he expects Curry to play better as the series progresses. "I think he's going to get even better as the series goes on, which is good for us."

    Key Stats

    The Warriors are 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings in Houston. The Warriors are 5-15 ATS in their last 20 games following a straight up win. The Warriors are 4-14 ATS in their last 18 games playing on one day of rest. The Rockets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games playing on one day of rest.

    Looking at the total, the Under is 4-0 in the Warriors last 4 road games. The Under is 11-0 in the Rockets last 11 games vs. the Pacific Division. The Under is 15-6 in the Rockets last 21 home games. The Under is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings in Houston.

    Warriors vs. Rockets Free Picks

    I said before Game 1 that the Warriors were the better team and that Houston didn’t have enough to stop them. That is still the case, and if Houston doesn’t win this game it should be a sweep for Golden State.

    The value in Game 2 is still with Golden State, but the situation does favor Houston. I still lean toward the Warriors but picking a side is difficult because of the situation, so I will avoid a side and look at the total. I had the under in Game 1 and it was a winner. The only reason it was close was because Houston chose to continue to foul late in the game.

    There is no question that Golden State and Houston are potent offensive teams, but the trends are heavily in favor of this game going under. The Rockets have gone under the total in 15 of their last 21 home games and their last 11 against Pacific Division teams have gone under.

    Golden State has also gone under in their last four road games. I think there is value on the total once again for Game 2, so I will go under the total.

    Warriors vs. Rockets ATS Pick: Under the total
    Warriors vs. Rockets Score Prediction: Warriors 110, Rockets 109
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  2. #1682
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    G2 - Warriors at Rockets
    May 16, 2018


    Golden State (67-26 straight up, 40-52-1 against the spread) will be looking to take a commanding 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference finals when it faces Houston tonight in Game 2 at Toyota Center. As of early this morning, most betting shops had the Rockets installed as 1.5-point home favorites with a total of 125. Houston (73-20 SU, 47-45-1 ATS) was -125 on the money line, leaving the Warriors at +105 to win outright.

    Steve Kerr’s team won the series opener Monday by capturing a 119-106 victory as a two-point underdog. The 225 combined points dipped ‘under’ the closing total of 225.5 points. However, the total was 224 on Sunday and early Monday morning. It moved to 224.5 late Monday morning, was adjusted to 225 a couple of hours before tip and then went to 225.5 in the last hour before the game started.

    Therefore, the game’s final minutes were excruciating ones for gamblers on the total. When Andre Iguodala grabbed a defensive rebound with 2:18 remaining, Golden State was ahead 108-98 for 206 combined points. Chris Paul fouled him three seconds later and Iguodala, a 63.2 percent free-throw shooter during the regular season, made a pair at the charity stripe. Eight seconds later, James Harden was fouled shooting a 3-pointer.

    Harden made 2-of-3 FTs to cut the deficit to 110-100 with 2:07 remaining. Steph Curry got free for a layup with 1:51 left, bringing the combined score to 212 points. After a Warriors’ stop, Kevin Durant hit a pair of FTs with 1:24 remaining. Paul answered with a layup seven ticks later and it was 114-102. Then with 1:10 left, Draymond Green was fouled and drained a pair at the stripe.

    At this point, bettors on the ‘under’ are getting that really bad feeling in their stomachs, while those on the ‘over’ are believing they have life. Ten seconds later with 1:00 remaining, Paul scored on another layup to make it 116-104 for 220 combined points. The scoring temporarily subsided when Klay Thompson missed a trey and then Houston’s Eric Gordon was also off from downtown.

    Durant gathered the rebound with 39.8 ticks left with a 12-point advantage. In the regular season, this scenario wouldn’t warrant fouling and the same can be said for a lot of postseason games as well. But Paul opted to foul Green with 32.1 seconds remaining. Green missed the first FT but made the second.

    Next, Paul darted in for a layup, his third during what we can call ‘garbage time’ since the outcome was well in hand. Paul’s bucket came with 21.4 seconds left, trimming the deficit to 117-106. The shot clock was off and Houston was down 11 points. In other words, the game was over.

    On the day the Supreme Court ruled that each state in America could join Nevada and make sports gambling legal, Harden decided he wouldn’t mind getting another possession to pad his stats that he deems so precious. Therefore, he fouled Iguodala with 12.1 ticks remaining and the combined scoring sitting at 223. Remember, for NBA standards, Iguodala is a poor FT shooter who has shot about 70 percent at the stripe just once in his last eight regular seasons.

    So naturally, he made both to make the final score hit at 225 combined points, determining a win or loss for gamblers who had bet the total when it was at 224, 224.5 or 225 for nearly all of Monday.

    Anyway, moving beyond the wild finish on the total, the Warriors turned a game tied at halftime into a lopsided victory thanks to Durant. The perennial All-Star scored a team-best 37 points, doing most of his work off the dribble before burying mid-range jumpers. He made 14-of-27 field-goal attempts, 3-of-6 attempts from 3-point land and all six of his FTAs.

    Thompson drained 6-of-15 launches from long distance and finished with 28 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Curry added 18 points, six rebounds, two steals, one block and eight assists compared to just one turnover. Iguodala was also in double figures with 11 points on 7-of-8 makes from the FT line. Green scored only five points, but he had his team’s best plus/minus (+19) and filled the box score with nine rebounds, two steals, a pair of blocked shots and nine assists compared to three turnovers.

    Harden, who by the way did get another shot attempt to pad his stats after fouling Iguodala with 12.1 seconds left (but he missed, HA!), scored a game-high 41 points. He hit 14-of-24 FGAs, 5-of-9 shots from long distance and 8-of-10 FTAs. Harden also had seven assists and four rebounds.

    Paul had 23 points but as previously noted, six came on layups when the game was already decided. Paul had a game-high 11 rebounds, but he dished out only three assists. Gordon scored 15 points, while Clint Capela finished with 12 points, six boards, two blocked shots and three assists without a turnover.

    Houston had a 42-37 rebounding advantage, but Golden State had a 24/9 assist-to-turnover ratio. Meanwhile, the Rockets had 18 assists compared to 13 turnovers.

    Golden State is 32-14 SU and 21-25 ATS in its road assignments this season. The Warriors have been road underdogs five times this year, compiling a 2-3 record both SU and ATS. However, we should note that Curry was ‘out’ with a knee injury in all three of those defeats, and one of them came in the regular-season finale when multiple starters were rested.

    Mike D’Antoni’s squad is 39-9 SU and 20-27-1 ATS in its home games this year. Houston is 5-2 SU and 3-4 ATS at home in these playoffs, failing to cover the number in three straight outings at Toyota Center.

    Sportsbook.ag has the updated series price, with the Warriors as -525 ‘chalk.’ This leaves the Rockets as +400 underdogs (risk $100 to win $400).

    Chris David of VegasInsider.com was surprised that Houston opened as a favorite for Game 2 and while he believes the Warriors will the series, supporting the Rockets off a loss has been a good investment recently.

    He said, “In the second-half of the season, Houston finished with a 35-6 record and they never suffered back-to-back losses. In the games following the six defeats in the regular season, the Rockets won their next game by an average of 12.8 PPG. That trend has carried over to this year’s playoffs in each of the first two series. A first round loss to Minnesota in Game 3 was followed up with a 19-point win and a six-point setback to Utah in Game 2 of the conference semifinals was answered with a 21-point victory.”

    “Knowing Golden State has only lost three playoff games since Kevin Durant joined the team could have you hesitant to back Houston but make a note that all three setbacks for the Warriors did come on the road, two of them in this year’s postseason,” David added.

    The ‘under’ is on an 8-3 run in the past 11 head-to-head meetings between these clubs. Also, the ‘under’ has cashed at a 6-1 clip in the last seven games of this rivalry that have been played at Houston. In four encounters this year, totals have been a wash. The ‘over’ hit in the first two regular-season meetings with the combined scores netting 243 and 238 points, but the ‘under’ has cashed in back-to-back games of this rivalry.

    The ‘under’ is on a 4-0 run for the Warriors to improve to 49-43-1 overall. They’ve watched the ‘under’ cash at a 26-20 clip in their road assignments. The ‘under’ is 6-4-1 for Golden State in its 11 postseason games to date, going 4-1 in its road games.

    The ‘under’ is 54-38-1 overall for the Rockets, 26-22 in their home outings. They’ve seen the ‘under’ go 4-2 in their past six contests.

    Tip-off for tonight’s Game 2 on TNT is scheduled for 9:05 p.m. Eastern.

    **B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

    -- Golden State is 5-1 ATS in its past six games played at Houston.

    -- If I’m D’Antoni, I get Ryan Anderson some early minutes off the bench tonight. We’re talking about a guy who has averaged 16.1 PPG or better in four different regular seasons. Anderson has averaged in double figures in seven of his 10 seasons in The Association, and he knocked down 40.3 percent of his treys for the Rockets last year, 38.6 percent this year. Anderson is a guy that can get hot at any time and provide a needed offensive spark off the bench. He only played five minutes in Game 1 and went scoreless with merely one shot attempt.

    -- Boston took a 2-0 series lead over Cleveland in the Eastern Conference finals by winning a 107-94 decision in a pick ‘em affair last night at TD Garden. The 201 combined points dropped ‘under’ the closing 205.5-point total. Unlike the end of the WCF’s series opener, Boston and Cleveland both dribbled out the clock in their last two possessions. This was important because the Game 2 total was 203 on Monday and early yesterday morning. It moved up to 204 late Tuesday morning before getting to 205 and eventually 205.5 early in the evening.

    -- The updated series price for the ECF: Boston -250, Cleveland +210 (risk $100 to win $210).

    -- Al Horford dominated on both ends of the floor at crunch time last night. He finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, two steals, two blocked shots and four assists without a turnover. Marcus Smart had Boston’s best plus-minus ratio (+21) and contributed 11 points, five rebounds, four steals and nine assists without a turnover. Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier scored 23 and 18 points, respectively.

    -- LeBron James was absolutely sensational in the losing effort, producing 42 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. It was the third triple-double in a 40-point effort for James in this year’s postseason. From 1964-2017 in the NBA Playoffs, there were only three 40-point triple doubles recorded. Those belonged to Jerry West, Charles Barkley and Russell Westbrook. Even with that effort from James, including a 19-point first quarter in which he buried five 3-pointers (channeling his inner Michael Jordan circa 1992 against the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA Finals), the Celtics still won Game 2 by a double-digit margin.

    -- The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas opened the Cavaliers as six-point home favorites for Saturday’s Game 3 back at Quicken Loans Center. The betting shop run by Jay Kornegay and his crew moved the Cavs to 6.5 in less than an hour late last night. The total was sent out at 205 points, while the Celtics are +245 on the money line (risk $100 to win $245).

    -- J.R. Smith’s shove of Horford after he had elevated to the rim last night was some low-rent BS! In the playoffs four years ago, Horford was ejected from Game 3 of the East finals at Cleveland (with the Hawks leading late in the second quarter) when Matthew Dellavedova took his legs out while he was in mid-air. While in the air as he realized he was falling for a split second, Horford momentarily appeared poised to unleash a nice forearm on Dellavedova when he landed on him. Horford relented at the last second, however, but his large frame still came down hard on ‘Delly.’ Lest we forget, ‘Delly’ had dove hard at Kyle Korver’s knees in a loose-ball scramble in Game 2 of that series, injuring Korver and rendering him out for the rest of the season. Nevertheless, it was Horford – one of the league’s classiest players – who was ejected on that night. Yet Smith wasn’t ejected last night on a dirty play that could’ve easily injured Horford (and would’ve altered the projection of this series immensely). That, folks, makes ZERO sense.

    -- Just in case you were wondering, the odds for Boston to sweep Cleveland going into the East finals were 35/1.

    -- Phoenix won the 2018 NBA Draft lottery last night. The Suns will choose first, followed by Sacramento, Atlanta, Memphis, Dallas and Orlando.

    -- While Toronto and Milwaukee are reportedly in hot pursuit of former Atlanta head coach and General Manager Mike Budenholzer, we thought it would be a good time to offer fans of the Raptors and Bucks this friendly reminder: After Atlanta GM Danny Ferry was fired and Budenholzer was serving as HC and GM of the Hawks, he made it a priority to ink Dwight Howard and Kent Bazemore for $140 million in long-term contracts three years ago before even entering into negotiations with franchise stalwart Al Horford, who had just become an unrestricted free agent and was more than willing to re-up with the team that drafted him third overall (presuming that was the organization’s offseason priority, as it SHOULD HAVE BEEN CLEARLY!). After the Hawks had missed the playoffs for eight consecutive seasons, Horford led them to the postseason nine years in a row. Sensing that he might not be a good fit with Howard (what team player that simply wants to win championships does fit in with Howard?!), Horford understandably took less money (but plenty of it, to be sure) to join the Celtics. And we all see how that’s going for Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  3. #1683
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    Bet Golden State To Sweep
    May 15, 2018


    We waited all year…for that?

    The Houston Rockets are still picking themselves up from their own floor after Golden State mopped the Toyota Center with their withered corpses. What looked to be like a genuinely interesting dogfight in the first half turned out to be a 119-106 squash. I blinked and said, “Wow this game is close…oh wait…the Warriors are up by 10…oh god it’s over.” That game was dusted in the last six minutes of the fourth, and strangely it never really felt like Houston had a chance.

    I’ve been harping on coaching throughout the playoffs because we’ve had a lot of really bad coaching getting pancaked by great play calling and team management skill sets. And I’d be more willing to give Mike d’Antoni a break if the whole Houston franchise hadn’t been screaming from the hilltops that they can’t stop dreaming about playing the Warriors in these playoffs. From Darryl Morey down to the guy who runs the water, it’s been the club’s mantra.

    Harden was his usual brilliant self, and I mean that in a good way and a bad way. He scored 41 points and chipped in 7 assists. At one point in the game, he had been involved in 23 straight points for his team. But you could feel him coming unglued. The Rockets supporting cast grew stagnant, almost nervous. Even Harden himself seemed to run out of gas, a narrative that has become all too familiar in the playoffs.

    My preview about this whole series essentially boiled down to Klay Thompson’s defence and who Kerr would dispatch him on. I made it clear then (and it’s worth repeating) that Thompson was never intended to lock down neither Harden nor Chris Paul. At times in Game 1, he seemed completely outmatched by CP3, the guy he was assigned for most of the game. Paul scored 21 points and added 11 rebounds but only 3 assists, a weird but not unexpected stat line.

    It wasn’t even Thompson’s defence that was the standout component of what reduced Houston. It was Houston’s own game plan! It was just iso after iso after iso. They ran out of time on the shot clock multiple times, which is embarrassing in its own right. How does that even happen with a team like this?

    Houston took 85 field goals and the combination of James Harden and a suddenly trigger happy Eric Gordon accounted for 37 of them. The crazy part? Houston didn’t even have that bad of a game statistically. Their 45.9 shooting percentage and 35.1 three point percentage are around their regular season marks. They were even 3.4 points of their 112.4 point scoring average.

    When Harden couldn’t find a shot, he was coughing up bad passes or putting his teammates in impossibly, low percentage opportunities with zero time left on the clock. In other words, it was a bloody mess.

    For their part, Kevin Durant and the Warriors were their calm, collected, “been here, done that, won rings” selves. Durant had 37 points off of 14-of-27 shooting, while Klay was a force with 28 points of his own. The Warriors also didn’t seem to miss early on with an absurd clip of 52.5 percent from the field and 39.4 from long range.

    Perhaps the best way to describe it the old boxing analogy. They took some big hits, never wavered in the face of adversity and were fully prepared to go the distance when their opponent could only last 10 rounds. Houston was dogging it halfway through the fourth quarter, and Golden State didn’t even need critical knockout blows to keel their opponents to a knee. They just chipped away as they usually did.

    Saying that the Rockets petered is also reductive in a sense, because they had their mental edge wiped out when they saw Golden State’s defensive sets. Igoudala (who is now sentient apparently), Thompson and Green were always stretching out to block passing lanes while the rest of the Warriors waited to see what Harden was going to do. Beyond that, it’s like they knew what he was trying to create and just took it away from him.

    I can’t analogize that shot clock running out any better than by calling it the football equivalent of a coverage sack. The Warriors stuffed big bodies in the lanes to deter Harden, and then eliminated his other viable options. It was unreal, defensive brilliance.

    They showed up prepared, executed and that was that. This gives the Warriors all the credit they deserve, but what in the flaming hell is Houston’s excuse? The Warriors ran familiar sets, hit familiar shots and did what they always do. The Rockets had no defensive answer, which is fine because they’re not that kind of team, but they had absolutely no clue how to penetrate their defence. It’s like they just thought that whatever they’ve been doing against everyone else would work. Or that they haven’t been watching the Warriors roll through the playoffs these past two years.

    No excuse is good enough. It’s crazy to even say this, but I gave the Rockets too much credit. Golden State winning in 6 at +300 was my optimal choice, but now I’m trying to get in on the sweep.

    It’s not too late. If you’re looking to make a daring bet on the NBA playoffs, that has an absurd probability of actually happening, the Golden State Warriors sweeping the Rockets is sitting right there at +350 odds.

    What in Mike D’Antoni’s entire career as a coach suggests that he has the tactical genius or the sheer motivational capabilities to get his team over the hump. In the last ten seasons, he’s won three rounds in the playoffs… and two of those have come this year!

    You can’t get rid of these Warriors. You’re aware that they can stretch out a lead before you even realize it, or eat up a deficit like they just stumbled upon a tin of Pringles you had stashed away for a rainy day. It’s too easy for these guys. We just expected Houston to be the one team that could potentially give the defending champs a real run for their money. That’s what they had promised us by thriving during the regular season as the best team around, while seemingly shedding ghosts of playoff pasts in earlier rounds.

    Nope. This is partly why Golden State is amongst the greatest teams ever assembled. But there’s a lot of blame on Houston being so unprepared for a war that they knew was going to be uphill in the first place. Hopefully they show up and make this a series, and I have to walk back a lot of these strong comments. Just in case, I’m doubling down on the Warriors cracking out those brooms.

    Next Game: Golden State +1.5 over Houston (Wed, May 16th)
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Rockets must improve in Game 2
    May 15, 2018


    HOUSTON (AP) The Houston Rockets have plenty of things to fix after squandering their coveted home-court advantage in the Western Conference finals.

    Tops on their list: limiting turnovers, eliminating open 3s and making things tougher on the Golden State Warriors - particularly Kevin Durant.

    ''Kevin Durant and (Stephen) Curry, they're good. So they're going to make'' shots, Houston coach Mike D'Antoni said. ''Our head can't explode that they go one-on-one and make shots ... you have to be able to absorb some of their greatness; at the same time, don't make the mental errors that we did. That would accumulate for 15, 20 points, and that's the difference in the game.''

    Some almost sounds like the Rockets will have to play almost perfect beat the Warriors. They wouldn't go as far as to say that, but James Harden, who scored 41 in Game 1, did say that at this level the margin for error gets razor thin.

    ''It's the (conference) finals,'' he said. ''There's four teams here for a reason. Obviously these four teams have done great things all year. You can't make the same mental mistakes like you're in a regular season.''

    There were plenty of Rockets miscues in Game 1.

    They coughed up the ball 13 times on Monday and the Warriors outscored the Rockets 18-3 on fast break points en route to a 119-106 victory. Klay Thompson scored 28 points and made 6 of 15 3-point attempts on a night Harden lamented that about 10 of those looks were wide-open. Thompson's performance came on top of Durant scoring 37 points, mostly by knocking down long 2's when he was matched up against smaller defenders.

    That said, what the Rockets won't do in Game 2 on Wednesday night is change what they've done all year and what led to them winning a franchise-record 65 games in the regular season to earn the top-seed.

    ''We are who we are, and we're pretty good at it,'' D'Antoni said. ''We can't get off who we are. Embrace it. Just be a better (version) of who we are and don't worry if somebody else solves the puzzle a different way ... we've got to play at our strengths.''

    For the defending champion Warriors, they masterfully answered the challenge of opening a playoff series on the road for the first time since 2014. After falling behind by nine points early in front of a raucous Houston crowd, they settled down and led for most of the second half en route to the victory.

    But playing in a franchise-record fourth straight conference finals, the Warriors know that they can't let up after wrestling homecourt advantage away from the Rockets.

    ''That was a big win. We're not going to downplay it,'' Thompson said. ''But we're not satisfied. We have a golden opportunity tomorrow to take a good lead. You have to have a short memory in the playoffs, because the next game will come at you fast, and it might feel good to win, but it's a seven-game series for a reason.''

    Now they believe they're up for an even bigger test in Game 2, with the Rockets desperate not to head to Oakland in a 0-2 hole. But they insist they won't approach this game any differently than they did the opener.

    ''I think the game really came down to staying solid and allowing our talent to shine through,'' coach Steve Kerr said. ''We have so many gifted players, that as long as we're solid with the ball, we don't make mistakes, defend with intensity, then our talent's going to take over.''

    To counteract all of that talent, the Rockets must find a way to get more players involved offensively to provide support for Harden. Chris Paul scored 23 points on Monday, but P.J. Tucker and Trevor Ariza, who combined to average almost 18 points in Houston's first 10 postseason games, managed just nine points combined in Game 1.

    Part of the struggles came from Ariza getting into foul trouble early, picking up his fifth foul with about 10 minutes left in the third quarter. While the Rockets still expect Durant to get his points, they hope Ariza will be able to stay on the floor more on Wednesday to try and make him work harder for them.

    The Rockets insist that they aren't going to let the disappointment of their loss in the opener bleed into Game 2. Harden took it upon himself to check in with his teammates after Game 1, calling them up to see if they had their heads in the right place and remind them that there's a lot more to play for.

    ''I wanted to make sure that they're good and they're in a good place,'' he said. ''All the guys seem happy and motivated. So we watch film, we can correct some things, and (Wednesday) we should be better.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    WEDNESDAY, MAY 16
    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS


    GS at HOU 09:00 PM

    GS +2.0

    U 224.5
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Rockets rout Warriors to tie West Finals
    May 16, 2018


    HOUSTON (AP) James Harden and Eric Gordon each scored 27 points to lead a balanced attack and the Houston Rockets routed the Golden State Warriors 127-105 on Wednesday night to even the Western Conference finals at one game apiece.

    The Rockets didn't trail after the first quarter and led by double digits for most of the night. They head to Oakland, California for Game 3 on Sunday night feeling much better after rebounding from a deflating 119-106 loss in the series opener.

    ''We can beat anybody, anywhere at any time playing the way we play,'' coach Mike D'Antoni said.

    P.J. Tucker added a playoff career-high 22 and Trevor Ariza had 19 as both bounced back after struggling in Game 1. Tucker had just one point in that game and Ariza scored eight, but was limited on defense after collecting his fifth foul early in the third quarter.

    Kevin Durant had 38 points after scoring 37 in the opener, but Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for just 24 points after the pair went for 46 in Game 1.

    Houston wasn't able to slow down Durant, but did a much better job of limiting open 3-pointers by Thompson and Curry, and the two made just 3 of 12 attempts.

    ''They were desperate tonight and played like it, and we weren't and it showed,'' Golden State coach Steve Kerr said.

    The Warriors made three free throws to get within 11 early in the fourth quarter before the Rockets scored the next 11 points, with 3s from Gordon, Tucker and Harden to make it 111-89 with about 6 1/2 minutes to play.

    Durant made a basket after that, but Houston scored the next eight points to extend the lead to 119-91 with about five minutes left.

    The Warriors got frustrated in that stretch, with Durant getting a technical for shoving Harden in the back and Draymond Green pushing Ariza out of bounds seconds later. It was then that Kerr sent all of his starters to the bench for good.

    Gordon came off the bench to make six 3-pointers, Tucker tied a playoff best with five and Harden added three.

    Houston avoided losing consecutive games for the first time this postseason and the Warriors lost in the second game of a playoff series for the first time since the 2015 NBA Finals, snapping a 10-game winning streak in such games.

    ''We got outplayed the whole game ... we got it handed to us,'' Kerr said. ''You can look at it any way you want ... and parcel it out, but it didn't matter who we had out there tonight we got beat.''

    Houston led by as many as 19 in the first half and was up 64-50 at halftime. The Warriors cut it to 74-64 with five quick points from Durant, but the Rockets opened it back up to 89-72 when Gordon made an off-balance layup before crashing to the court while being fouled and made the free throw.

    The Rockets were up by 16 to start the fourth quarter but Golden State got within 98-86 with about 10 minutes left. Curry had five points in that span, including his first 3 after missing his first six attempts of the night.

    Curry finished with 16 points and Thompson was 3 for 11 for his eight points.

    TIP-INS

    Warriors: It was Durant's 19th straight playoff game with at least 20 points. ... Curry made one 3-pointer to extend his NBA playoff record of 81 straight playoff games with at least one 3-pointer. ... Durant and Curry were Golden State's only players with more than 10 points.

    Rockets: Houston improved to 8-0 this postseason when leading after three quarters. ... Houston made 16 of 42 3-point attempts. ... Paul finished with 16 points.

    UP NEXT

    After Game 3, the teams will play Game 4 on Tuesday night in Oakland before returning to Houston for Game 5 on Thursday.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  7. #1687
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    SCHEDULE FOR SATURDAY MAY 19, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    8:30 PM Boston Celtics Cleveland Cavaliers Quicken Loans Arena

    SCHEDULE FOR SUNDAY MAY 20, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    8:00 PM Houston Rockets Golden State Warriors ORACLE Arena

    SCHEDULE FOR MONDAY MAY 21, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    8:30 PM Boston Celtics Cleveland Cavaliers Quicken Loans Arena

    SCHEDULE FOR TUESDAY MAY 22, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    9:00 PM Houston Rockets Golden State Warriors ORACLE Arena

    SCHEDULE FOR WEDNESDAY MAY 23, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    8:30 PM Cleveland Cavaliers Boston Celtics TD Garden


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


    MAY'S NBA BEST BET RECORD: ( BASED ON 5 UNITS )

    05/16/2018 0-2-0 0.00% -11.00
    05/15/2018 0-2-0 0.00% -11.00
    05/14/2018 1-1-0 50.00% -0.50
    05/13/2018 1-1-0 50.00% -0,50
    05/03/2018 0-4-0 0.00% -22.00
    05/02/2018 2-0-0 100.00% +10.00
    05/01/2018 1-3-0 25.00% -11.50

    Totals...............5-11-0.........31.25%.....-46.50


    BEST BETS................ATS....................UNITS.. ................O/U..............UNITS..............TOTAL

    05/16/2018...............0 - 1..................-5.50....................0- 1...............-5.50..............-11.00
    05/15/2018...............0 - 1..................-5.50....................0 - 1..............-5.50..............-11.00
    05/14/2018...............1 - 0..................+5.00...................0 - 1..............-5.50..............-0.50
    05/13/2018...............0 - 1..................-5.50....................1 - 0..............+5.00..............-0.50
    05/03/2018...............0 - 2..................-11.00..................0 - 2..............-11.00............-22.00
    05/02/2018...............1 - 0..................+5.00...................1 - 0.............+5.00.............+10.00
    05/01/2018...............1 - 1..................- 0.50...................0 - 2.............-11.00.............-11.50

    Totals........................3 - 6..................-18.00.................2 - 7...............-28.50...............-46.50
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  8. #1688
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    Armadillo: Thursday's six-pack

    — Rockets 127, Warriors 105— Houston evens Western final at one game apiece.

    — Golden Knights 4, Jets 2— Las Vegas grabs a 2-1 series lead.

    — Yoenis Cespedes, Carlos Gomez, Luke Gregerson all went on the DL Wednesday.

    — Cleveland Indians are 3-11 in games where GW run scores after the 6th inning.

    — Milwaukee Bucks will hire Mike Budenholzer as its new coach.

    — Sidney Bouvier Gilstrap-Portley, a 25-year-old who graduated from North Mesquite HS in Texas, was recently arrested and booked into Dallas County Jail after police realized he had enrolled at Hillcrest HS in North Dallas as a 17-year-old, so he could play high school basketball.

    **********

    Armadillo: Thursday's List of 13: NFC trends for 2018……

    Arizona— Cardinals won four of their last five post-bye games.

    Atlanta— Falcons are 12-2 vs spread in last 14 home openers; under is 10-3 in their last 13 road openers.

    Carolina— Panthers open at home for only 2nd time in last seven years; they’re 0-5 last five times they started season at home. Carolina’s last Week 1 home win was in 2003.

    Chicago— Bears open on road for only 2nd time in last nine years; they’re 2-5 in last seven road openers. Under is 12-2 in their last 14 road openers.

    Dallas— Cowboys played Giants in Week 1 five of last six years; they host Big Blue in Week 2 this year. Dallas covered nine of last 11 road openers. Under is 5-2 in their last seven home openers.

    Detroit— Lions won five of their last seven home openers; over is 6-2 in their last eight. Detroit started season 1-0 six of last seven years.

    Green Bay— Packers won 10 of their last 11 home openers. Over is 10-2 in their last 12 road openers. Green Bay is 0-5 vs spread in last five pre-bye games.

    LA Rams— Rams won five of their last six home openers; they’re 2-14 in last 16 road openers, 3-15 vs spread in last 18. LA is 8-2-1 vs spread in last 11 post-bye games.

    Minnesota— Vikings won eight of their last nine pre-bye games (9-0 vs spread); they’re 2-7 vs spread in last nine post-bye road games. Minnesota won/covered its last three home openers. Under is 10-4 in their last 14 road openers.

    NJ Giants— Giants lost five of their last six home openers (0-6 vs spread); five of those six games stayed under. This will be first time in six years Big Blue opens the season at home; they open against Tom Coughlin’s Jaguars.

    New Orleans— Saints lost their last three home openers, six of last seven road openers- they started last four seasons 0-1. Saints are 7-1-1 vs spread in last nine post-bye games.

    Philadelphia— Eagles won eight of their last nine road openers, three of last four home openers. Under is 7-3-1 in their last 11 home openers. Philly is 7-3 vs spread in its last 10 pre-bye games.

    San Francisco— 49ers won six of last nine home openers (7-2 vs spread), last four of which stayed under. Niners are 0-5-1 SU, 0-6 vs spread in last six post-bye games; they won/covered six of last eight pre-bye games.

    Seattle— Seahawks open on road for 6th time in last eight years; they lost their first road game 10 of last 11 years; they’re 1-12 vs spread in last 13 road openers. Seahawks won last nine home openers (7-2 vs spread). Seattle won its last seven pre-bye games (6-1 vs spread).

    Tampa Bay— Bucs lost four of last five home openers; they didn’t play in Week 1 LY because of a hurricane. Over is 7-3 in their last ten home openers. Tampa Bay is 8-4 vs spread in last dozen post-bye games.

    Washington— Redskins lost five of their last six home openers; they’re 2-6 vs spread last eight times they were favored in a home opener. Redskins are 3-6-1 vs spread in last 10 pre-bye games, 2-7 vs spread in last nine post-bye games.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  9. #1689
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    NBA break time. Big win for the Rockets last night. No more hoops until Saturday.

    Here are NBA playoffs betting stats thus far:

    Home Teams:
    49-19 Straight Up
    38-29-1 ATS (55.38%)

    Favorites:
    51-17 Straight Up
    39-28-1 ATS (58.46%)

    Over-Under: 33-35
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  10. #1690
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    LeBron James-led teams have trailed 0-2 in playoff series six times before Saturday's Gm 3 vs. Boston, going 4-2 SU/ATS in Gm 3 with LBJ averaging 28.3 pts, 8 assists, 9 rebs in those contests. LeBron has brought his team back to win those 0-2 series twice and forced Gm 7 three times.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  11. #1691
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    Armadillo: Saturday's six-pack

    Odds to win the Super Bowl this coming season:

    100-1: Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals

    80-1: Bengals, Browns, Bills, Jets, Dolphins, Bucs, Seahawks

    60-1: Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears

    50-1: New Jersey Giants, Baltimore Ravens

    40-1: Denver Broncos

    30-1: Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers

    **********

    Armadillo: Saturday's List of 13: Random stuff with weekend here…….

    13) Solid food recommendation here in Las Vegas: Villa Pizzeria on Durango Drive. Really good pizza, and not expensive at all. Nice people work there and they had four TV’s in there showing the Golden Knights’ game. One of best pizzas I’ve ever had.

    12) National League hasn’t won the season series from the AL since 2003; they’re off to a 37-16 lead so far this season.

    11) Talk about how fragile life is: Texas governor Green Abbott uses a wheelchair. Why?

    Back in the 80’s, when Abbott was a law student, he went out jogging one day and a tree fell on him, severely injuring his spine, which is why he has used a wheelchair ever since. What are the odds that someone goes out jogging and gets hit by a damn falling tree?

    10) Major league record for most one-hitter thrown by one team in same season?

    The 2015 Cleveland Indians threw six one-hitters.

    9) Former Louisville AD Tom Jurich gets $4.5M from the school to take a hike. I mean, the guy got fired and still gets $4.5M.

    8) Texas center Mo Bamba has a wingspan of 7-feet, 10 inches, the longest wingspan ever recorded at the NBA Combine.

    7) Orioles won 7-4 in Boston Friday, snapping a 13-game road losing streak. Boston is 13-13 since starting the season 17-2.

    6) QB Blake Barnett will be eligible to play ball at South Florida this year, after going to Alabama and Arizona State; he started the first game of Alabama’s 2016 season but was benched before halftime of their opener with USC and never got his job back.

    5) In their history, NHL’s Washington Capitals are 3-5 in series when they grabbed a 2-0 series lead. By way of comparison, Montreal is 51-5 in series that they led 2-0.

    4) Ohio State graduate transfer quarterback Joe Burrow has committed to finishing out his collegiate career at LSU; he’ll have two years to play in Baton Rouge. LSU beat out Cincinnati for the young man’s services.

    3) NFL star JJ Watt is going to pay for all ten funerals of the people who were murdered in Texas Friday. Watt is a great football player but a way better person.

    2) I’d be remiss if I didn’t say something else about the shooting in Texas Friday; as Americans, it is our duty to speak our minds, while we still have the right to do so.

    It makes me want to puke to hear a politician invoke religion, or God, or “Sorry for your loss” after the 22nd school shooting this year. It is May 19, so in 138 days, we’ve had 22 shootings in a school. If you’re bad at Math, thats one every 6.27 days.

    Hanging flags at half-staff means jack; tightening the gun laws would mean a whole lot more. Other countries have virtually eliminated these types of murders. Why can’t we?

    1) Our politicians are so damn corrupt that even though ONE OF THEIR OWN SENATORS GOT SHOT last year, they are still in the NRA’s pocket. They should all be ashamed of themselves.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  12. #1692
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    NBA
    Dunkel

    Saturday, May 19



    Boston @ Cleveland

    Game 703-704
    May 19, 2018 @ 8:35 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Boston
    117.389
    Cleveland
    125.791
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Cleveland
    by 8 1/2
    202
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Cleveland
    by 6
    205
    Dunkel Pick:
    Cleveland
    (-6); Under





    NBA
    Long Sheet

    Saturday, May 19


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

    BOSTON (65 - 31) at CLEVELAND (58 - 37) - 5/19/2018, 8:35 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    BOSTON is 59-33 ATS (+22.7 Units) in all games this season.
    BOSTON is 23-8 ATS (+14.2 Units) as an underdog this season.
    BOSTON is 29-16 ATS (+11.4 Units) in road games this season.
    BOSTON is 11-2 ATS (+8.8 Units) on Saturday games this season.
    BOSTON is 34-20 ATS (+12.0 Units) against Central division opponents over the last 2 seasons.
    BOSTON is 11-3 ATS (+7.7 Units) in all playoff games this season.
    BOSTON is 19-9 ATS (+9.1 Units) after a win by 10 points or more this season.
    BOSTON is 20-10 ATS (+9.0 Units) after 3 or more consecutive wins this season.
    BOSTON is 35-17 ATS (+16.3 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
    BOSTON is 22-12 ATS (+8.8 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season this season.
    BOSTON is 31-18 ATS (+11.2 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing 106+ points/game this season.
    BOSTON is 38-18 ATS (+18.2 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game this season.
    BOSTON is 24-13 ATS (+9.7 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game - 2nd half of the season this season.
    CLEVELAND is 36-57 ATS (-26.7 Units) in all games this season.
    CLEVELAND is 21-48 ATS (-31.8 Units) as a favorite this season.
    CLEVELAND is 14-32 ATS (-21.2 Units) in home games this season.
    CLEVELAND is 2-11 ATS (-10.1 Units) on Saturday games this season.
    CLEVELAND is 5-18 ATS (-14.8 Units) after a loss by 10 points or more this season.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    BOSTON is 9-7 against the spread versus CLEVELAND over the last 3 seasons
    CLEVELAND is 11-6 straight up against BOSTON over the last 3 seasons
    10 of 17 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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




    NBA
    Armadillo's Write-Up

    Saturday, May 19


    Boston (2-0) @ Cleveland
    All five Boston starters took between 12-18 shots in Game 2; Thompson-Hill-Smith shot a combined 5-17 for Cleveland. Celtics outscored Cleveland 59-39 in 2nd half in Game 2, so they’ve had a +20 half in both games of series so far. Lebron took a wicked shot to his jaw and may/may not have gotten a concussion just before halftime in Game 2. Cavs won their last five home games; under is 4-2 in their home playoff games this spring. Boston lost four of its five road playoff games this spring, with only win in Game 3 at Philly. Under is 8-4 in last dozen series games.

    Conference finals
    Cavaliers-Celtics
    Bos 108-83, +1, U204.5
    Bos 107-94, +1, U205.5

    Warriors-Rockets
    GState 119-106, -1.5, U225.5
    Hst 127-105, -1.5, O225




    NBA

    Saturday, May 19


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

    Boston Celtics
    Boston is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games
    Boston is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games
    The total has gone OVER in 12 of Boston's last 18 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Boston's last 5 games
    Boston is 16-8 ATS in its last 24 games on the road
    Boston is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games on the road
    Boston is 1-7 SU in its last 8 games on the road
    Boston is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Cleveland
    Boston is 6-15 SU in its last 21 games when playing Cleveland
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Boston's last 5 games when playing Cleveland
    Boston is 4-0-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Cleveland
    Boston is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Cleveland
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Boston's last 6 games when playing on the road against Cleveland
    Cleveland Cavaliers
    Cleveland is 4-10 ATS in its last 14 games
    Cleveland is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
    Cleveland is 1-7 ATS in its last 8 games at home
    Cleveland is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
    The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Cleveland's last 12 games at home
    Cleveland is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Boston
    Cleveland is 15-6 SU in its last 21 games when playing Boston
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Cleveland's last 5 games when playing Boston
    Cleveland is 0-4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing at home against Boston
    Cleveland is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Boston
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Cleveland's last 6 games when playing at home against Boston


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    NBA Eastern Confernce Finals Game 3 betting preview: Celtics at Cavaliers

    Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers (-6.5, 205)

    Celtics lead series 2-0

    The Cleveland Cavaliers have little margin for error as they attempt to begin digging out of a hole when they host the Boston Celtics on Saturday in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals. Boston won the first two games to improve to 9-0 at home in the postseason but the Celtics are just 1-4 on the road.

    Cleveland dropped the first two games by an average of 19 points and even a monster Game 2 effort by LeBron James (42 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds) on Tuesday couldn't prevent a 13-point loss. "We've got to be tougher, mentally and physically," Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue told reporters. "We've got to come out swinging. We've got to be aggressive. I think we've got to be physical, and we've got to have a physical mindset, you know, that they're coming in, playing tough. They're aggressive, and we've got to match that." Boston doesn't want to provide a glimmer of hope and is looking to move one step closer to its first NBA Finals berth since 2010. "We're going to have to be really focused, really locked in, really consistent," Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters. "It's even harder to communicate on the road. You've got to be great communicating."

    TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

    SERIES PRICE:



    LINE HISTORY: Despite the Celtics continued dominance in this postseason (11-3 ATS) oddsmakers seem to still be undervaluing them a bit, opening them as a 6 or 6.5-point road dogs. That's where the number sits as of Saturday morning. The total hit the board at 205 and is up to 205.5 at some spots.

    CONSENSUS: The public is jumping on the Celtics bandwagon though, with 64 percent of wagers taking the points with the C's. When it comes to the total bettors are all about the Over, which is seeing 67 percent of the wagers as of Saturday morning.

    INJURY REPORT:

    Celtics - PG Marcus Smart (Probable, finger), PG Shane Larkin (Out, shoulder), PG Kyrie Irving (Out, knee), SF Gordon Hayward (Out, ankle), PF Daniel Thies (Out, knee).

    Cavaliers - No injuries to report.

    MATCHUP CHART:



    ABOUT THE CELTICS (65-31, 61-33-2 ATS, 51-44-1): Backup guard Marcus Smart is averaging 10 points, 7.5 assists, four rebounds and 2.5 steals in the series but is just 7-of-21 shooting as part of a struggling Boston bench. "We haven't played well. We understand that," Smart told reporters. "We understand that other teams see that and are going to try to exploit it, but that's the beauty about this game. Just take one game. You never know. Things change. Our confidence is high." Starting shooting guard Jaylen Brown has been solid with back-to-back 23-point outings while center Al Horford is averaging 17.5 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots over the first two games.

    ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (58-37, 36-58-1 ATS, 44-49-2): James was bothered by a strained neck after Game 2 but the extra days of rest figure to leave him near full strength. Someone not operating at a high level is shooting guard JR Smith, who is averaging two points on 2-of-16 shooting (0-of-7 from 3-point range) and committed a controversial flagrant 1 foul on a defenseless Horford in Game 2. "It was a good call," Smith told reporters. "I blatantly pushed him. It wasn't like I was trying to low-bridge him or something to make sure he didn't get it. It was a good, hard foul. I can understand why they gave me a flagrant."

    TRENDS:

    * Celtics are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games playing on three or more days rest.
    * Cavaliers are 0-6 ATS in their last six games playing on three or more days rest.
    * Over is 10-2 in Celtics last 12 games following a SU win of more than 10 points.
    * Under is 6-0 in Cavaliers last six games playing on three or more days rest.
    * Celtics are 4-0-1 ATS in the last five meetings in Cleveland.

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



    LeBron James-led teams have trailed 0-2 in playoff series six times before Saturday's Gm 3 vs. Boston, going 4-2 SU/ATS in Gm 3 with LBJ averaging 28.3 pts, 8 assists, 9 rebs in those contests. LeBron has brought his team back to win those 0-2 series twice and forced Gm 7 three times.



    Here are NBA playoffs betting stats thus far:

    Home Teams:
    49-19 Straight Up
    38-29-1 ATS (55.38%)

    Favorites:
    51-17 Straight Up
    39-28-1 ATS (58.46%)
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  13. #1693
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    SATURDAY, MAY 19
    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS


    BOS at CLE 08:30 PM

    BOS +6.5

    U 205.5
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  14. #1694
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    Game 3 - Celtics at Cavaliers
    May 18, 2018


    The remarkable run of seven consecutive trips to the NBA Finals by LeBron James is in jeopardy of ending as the Cavaliers trail the Celtics, 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals. This series isn’t over by any stretch, but Cleveland needs to take care of its home-court advantage the next two games, while taking advantage of Boston’s road woes in the playoffs.

    After the Celtics destroyed the Cavaliers from the tip-off in Game 1 by 25 points, Cleveland must have felt good about evening up the series through 24 minutes in Game 2. The Cavaliers led at halftime, 55-48, but the Celtics blitzed Cleveland in the third quarter, 36-22 to pull away for a 107-94 victory. For the second straight time in this series, the game finished UNDER the total (205 ˝), while Boston improved to 9-0 SU and 7-2 ATS at TD Garden in the playoffs.

    James carried the Cavaliers again by producing a triple-double with 42 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists. Unfortunately, only two other Cavs registered in double-figures as Kevin Love (22 points) and Kyle Korver (11 points) were the only other main providers to Cleveland’s offensive attack. The starting backcourt of J.R. Smith and George Hill combined to score three points on 1-of-11 shooting, as the only positive is Cleveland knocked down 10 three-pointer in Game 2 compared to only four in the opener.

    All five Celtics’ starters finished in double-figures in Game 2, led by guard Jaylen Brown’s 23 points. Al Horford produced his sixth double-double of the playoffs by scoring 15 points and pulling down 10 rebounds, while Terry Rozier continued his strong postseason with 18 points, bouncing back from an eight-point performance in Game 1.

    Now that the Celtics have taken care of their business at home, the task the next two games for Brad Stevens’ club is to fix their 1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS record away from TD Garden in the playoffs. Boston lost all three road games at Milwaukee in the first round, while scoring less than 92 points in two of those defeats. The lone away victory came at Philadelphia in Game 3 of the conference semifinals, 101-98 in overtime. Boston scored only 89 points in regulation in that win, while following it up with a 92-point effort in a Game 4 loss.

    The Cavaliers have been a questionable wager at home during the playoffs by posting an ugly 1-5 ATS mark. Tyronn Lue’s squad has won five straight games at Quicken Loans Arena since a 98-80 drubbing at the hands of Indiana to open up the playoffs, while limiting opponents to less than 100 points in four of six home contests. However, four of the victories came by four points or fewer, while the Cavs own an 0-3 ATS record as a home favorite of six points or more in the playoffs.

    In James’ career, he has never trailed an Eastern Conference opponent 3-0 in a playoff series, but has been down 2-0 to an Eastern foe three times. All three instances came in his first go-around with Cleveland, as the Cavs beat the Pistons in 2006 and 2007 when trailing 2-0. In 2006, Cleveland lost to Detroit in seven games, while knocking out the Pistons in six games in ’07. In 2008, the Cavs routed the Celtics at home, 108-84, but eventually lost the series in seven games.

    The Celtics haven’t visited Cleveland since that fateful opening night on October 17 when newly acquired Gordon Hayward suffered a gruesome leg injury five minutes into his Boston tenure. The Cavaliers won that game, 102-99, but failed to cash as 4 ˝-point favorites. In last season’s conference finals, the Celtics covered in both visits to Cleveland, albeit as 15-point underdogs each time, including an upset in Game 3 by a 111-108 score after overcoming a 16-point halftime deficit.

    Chris David of VegasInsider.com talked about a popular playoff betting trend that focuses on the first-half and it’s turned out to be a good look. He filled us in on the details.

    “Even though social media and betting forums don’t bring out the best in people, it’s become a solid resource for information,” said David. “According to numbers from different sources and industry folks, teams down 0-2 in a playoff series while playing Game 3 at home have gone 31-4 ATS (88%) in the last four postseasons.”

    David added, “The system makes sense and the results aren’t surprising when you consider that the home team is facing a deficit and the sense of urgency will be high at home, at least for the first 24 minutes. Backing the investment blindly this year has produced a profitable 4-2 mark with the Wizards, Timberwolves, Bucks and Pelicans earning Game 3 wins at home after being down 2-0. The two losses came by the Spurs in the first round and the 76ers in the second round.”

    “While San Antonio couldn’t muster up a quality effort at home (52-46) to Golden State in Game 3, Philadelphia actually held a 51-48 lead over Boston in Game 3 at halftime. However, the oddsmakers had the club listed as a 7 ˝-point favorite and that line was inflated. Fast forward to Saturday’s matchup and the oddsmakers have juiced up Cleveland’s first-half number to -5 ˝.”

    Even though the ‘under’ cashed in each of the first two games, the total for Game 3 stayed in the same neighborhood for Game 3. David offered up his handicap on the Saturday’s number.

    He said, “While the ‘under’ in Game 1 was the right side, the same can’t be said for Game 2. If it wasn’t for a 40-point fourth quarter on Tuesday, the high side connects and bettors who lost can clearly point to Cleveland’s inept offense.”

    “The one tendency that continues to stick out in this year’s playoffs is Boston’s offense, which has been held to 94.6 PPG in five away games. If you look at the Celtics under Stevens, these results aren’t surprising. Since he took over, the club hasn’t performed well out of TD Garden and are only averaging 98.2 PPG and that’s helped the ‘under’ go 13-5. As much criticism as Cleveland takes, deservingly, the unit has been much better at home. In this year’s playoffs, they’re surrendering 97.8 PPG. All those numbers have me leaning ‘under’ in the game but the better investment for me is on the Celtics Team Total Under (99 ˝).”

    The Celtics head into Game 3 as a -225 series favorite at Sportsbook.ag, while the Cavaliers sit at +190 to capture the series.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  15. #1695
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    Saturday's Best Bet
    May 18, 2018


    NBA Best Bet – Game 3
    Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers


    The Boston Celtics did what they had to do in terms of protecting home court to start this series, as the Celtics now head to Cleveland looking for a commanding 3-0 series lead. Boston has epitimized the notion of “team basketball” through two games – through the entire playoffs really – as their next man up mentality has been a pleasure to watch so far.

    But going into Cleveland and trying to dethrone King James isn't going to be easy, especially when LeBron has his back up against the wall now. LeBron is only one man though and as great as he is, he needs some help if Cleveland is going to climb back into this series. Oddsmakers expect the Cavs to do so as significant favorites in Game 3, so will Cleveland get it done?

    Cleveland (-6.5); Total set at 205

    While LeBron was rightfully criticized for being rather passive in Game 1, the same couldn't be said for at least the first 20+ minutes in Game 2. James did everything he could to take over that game early and break the Celtics will, but he still found little help outside of Kevin Love the rest of the way.

    James finished with a triple-double on 42 points, and after Love poured in 22 points, there really was nothing else from the Cavs. Kyle Korver was the only other player on Cleveland to finish with double-digit points (11), and I don't care if you've got the best player in the world on your team, that's not going to get it done.

    Conversely, all five of Boston's starters finished with at least 11 points and 6th man Marcus Smart was able to reach that total as well. The Celtics clamped down on defense in the second half to climb back into, and ultimately break open the game during the 3rd quarter. That's going to be much harder to accomplish on the road and this Celtics team knows that, but if they want to take a commanding 3-0 series lead, shaking off that inconsistent road play is a must.

    Boston may be a perfect 9-0 SU at home in these playoffs, but their 1-4 SU record away from home leaves much to be desired.

    Boston does own a 2-3 ATS record in those five contests as both ATS wins have come in one possession games, but they can't rely on Cleveland's supporting cast to remain non-existent in their own building and it's going to be the play of guys like Korver, JR Smith, Tristan Thompson, George Hill and others that could end up flipping the momentum of this series in Cleveland's favor going forward.

    I know that's a lot easier said then done, but role/bench players almost always perform better at home during the NBA playoffs and I fully expect those guys on Cleveland to step up their production levels in Game 3.

    Yet, expecting the Cavs role players to increase their production at home at least on offense is one thing, trusting them to all of a sudden fix all the defensive flaws we've seen from them in this series is another. Cleveland's defense has slowly reverted back to resembling that brutal unit we saw for most of the year from this team – with and without the current guys on the roster – and that's quite problematic when considering to lay those points.

    Cleveland's offense could easily mask those issues and cover this number if they are clicking on all cylinders, but Boston's defense is one of the best units in the league, so we probably shouldn't expect Cleveland to bit hitting everything. That's why I'm not looking at the side – for either team – in Game 3.

    Instead it's the total I'm going after and after the first two games in Boston cashed 'under' tickets – Game 2 being somewhat of a 'bad beat' for 'over' bettors – Game 3 should be a victory for those 'over' bettors out there that are staying true to the process.

    Cleveland’s defense could easily give up 100+ like they have in the first two games, regardless of how well or not they are shooting the ball, and Boston's defense isn't likely to be as effective in shutting down LeBron's supporting cast back in comfortable surroundings.

    James will do his thing and get 30+ rather easily, but having three or four of guys like Love, Hill, Smith, Korver, Thompson, Clarkson, Nance etc reach double-digits is a must for the Cavs if they want to get the W. I'm confident that at least three of those guys will pull their weight offensively in this game, and as Boston looks to push the Cavs the entire way, this total should get surpassed rather easily.

    Best Bet: Over 205 points
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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