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Thread: Cnotes 2017 NBA Best Bets-Trends-News Thru Playoffs !

  1. #1726  
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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
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  2. #1727  
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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.
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  3. #1728  
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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
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  4. #1729  
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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.
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  5. #1730  
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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.
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  6. #1731  
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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%)
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  7. #1732  
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    SATURDAY, MAY 19
    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS



    BOS at CLE 08:30 PM

    BOS +6.5


    U 205.5
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  8. #1733  
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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.
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  9. #1734  
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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
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    Cavs confident they can bounce back
    May 18, 2018



    INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) They've survived amid turmoil for months, their season morphing into the NBA's most compelling reality show - or, as some have called it, spectacle.


    The must-watch Cleveland Cavaliers have been hardened by the nonstop drama around them. So it's not a surprise they're calm despite trailing the Boston Celtics 2-0 in the Eastern Conference finals.


    ''We know what it takes,'' coach Tyronn Lue said. ''We're down 0-2. No need to panic.''


    ''We know what we've got to do,'' added All-Star forward Kevin Love on the eve of Saturday's Game 3.


    The Cavs have been in dire straits before in the postseason.


    Just two years ago, Cleveland trailed 2-0 and then 3-1 in the NBA Finals to Golden State before coming back to win in seven games and end the city's 52-year championship drought. And back in the 2007 playoffs, LeBron James rallied the Cavs from a 2-0 deficit against Detroit, the hardwood king commencing his legacy by scoring Cleveland's final 25 points during a Game 5 road win.


    But while Cleveland has some comeback history on its side, Boston has momentum and the Celtics intend to keep it.


    ''We're just gonna try to use it,'' said forward Marcus Morris, ''and ride it.''


    As expected, James responded from a sub-par performance in Game 1 by scoring 42 points with 12 assists and 10 rebounds in Game 2. Still, the Cavs lost and the lack of production from several teammates, most notably guards J.R. Smith and George Hill. They have been totally outplayed by Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier so far, and that could be deflating.


    Not to the Celtics, who gained confidence in shrugging off James' haymaker.


    ''That's a game-changer in itself,'' said Morris, one of the many defenders Celtics coach Brad Stevens is using on James. ''LeBron came out and did everything he could. To his guys, they see that and they still came up short. That's a feeling going back up, it kind of puts you in a mood you don't want to be in.''


    Speaking of moods. James, who hasn't spoken to the media since Tuesday's game, screamed an obscenity in frustration while working on his jump shot following practice. He made 12 straight before a miss, but James, who is seeking his eighth straight Finals, knows he's going to need to be near perfect from here on out.


    James, Love, Smith and Tristan Thompson are the only holdovers from Cleveland's 2016 title team, which mounted its historic comeback in the Finals and now must rally again.


    ''I was talking to some of the guys in the training room and I was telling people it was already the Eastern Conference finals,'' Smith said. ''Being in this situation repetitively for the past couple years, I don't want to say you get numb to it because you don't want to take it for granted because obviously guys don't have this opportunity too many times, but this season alone has been an extremely weird year and we just got to figure it out.''


    To the outside world, Cleveland appears in trouble. They're facing a younger, more physical team that has been written off several times already.


    To the Cavs, this is just another bump in the road. They've already staved off elimination against Indiana.


    ''We played a Game 7,'' Lue said. ''The danger's not like we come out and don't play well tomorrow and lose, it's over. We still have games to play. It's not like it's a Game 7. They did a good job taking care of their home court. They played well. Now we're back at home.''

    ROAD WORK AHEAD:
    The Celtics haven't traveled well in these playoffs.


    They're just 1-4 outside Boston and their shooting percentages have dipped on trips to Milwaukee and Philadelphia. But after losing three road games to the Bucks in the first round, the young Celtics showed poise in stealing a Game 3 win in Philadelphia that has convinced them they can win in Cleveland.


    ''We're pretty confident,'' Brown said. ''Just as confident as we are at home. It's different between being on the road and at home, just the energy disparity. At home, it's for you, away it's against you. But if you do what you're supposed to do and you are who you are, it'll show home or away.''

    NEED FOR SPEED:
    The Cavs know they need to play faster. On too many occasions in Games 1 and 2, Cleveland was slow bringing the ball up the floor, which allowed the Celtics to get back and set up their defense.


    Lue has been harping on his players to quicken the pace.


    ''We have to come out with a sense of urgency to attack early, don't ease into the game or let this team off the hook,'' Lue said after practice Friday. ''We know they play well at home and they had two good games, so now it's our turn.''
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    Cavaliers face 0-2 hole
    May 17, 2018
    by Kyle Markus



    Game 3 - No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. No. 2 Boston Celtics


    LeBron James has made it to the NBA Finals eight years in a row, but that’s in peril now. James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are down 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals and facing a must-win game next time out against the Boston Celtics. Cleveland was the favorite to win this series when it began but Boston has looked like the superior team in every way thus far.


    The Cavaliers are solid favorites in Game 3 as they aim to claw back into this series with a win. James is still playing at an obscenely high level but the Celtics have been the much more balanced team in the early stages of this series.


    James always seems to play his best when his back is against the wall, but he needs his teammates to step up in order for Cleveland to pick up this home win in NBA basketball gambling.


    Game 3 of this NBA Playoff Series is on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 8:30 p.m. ET at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The contest will be nationally televised on ESPN.


    We'll have NBA odds at BookMaker.eu available for every game of the 2018 NBA Playoffs.


    Odds Analysis


    The spread has moved up a half-point as the Cavaliers are now listed as seven-point favorites to win Game 3 and pull within one game of the Celtics. The majority of the money is on Boston to cover, and this is definitely an enticing line to roll with the Celtics.


    The scoring total is listed at 205 points, which is up a half-point from the initial release. The “over” is the more popular choice by the betting public. Cleveland is the -310 favorite on the moneyline while the Celtics are the +252 underdogs. Boston is once again getting most of the action, as more than 85 percent of the wagers are on the Celtics to pull off the upset, which would pay off nicely.


    Last Time Out


    The Cavaliers thought they had something cooking in Game 2 as they took a seven-point lead into halftime. The Celtics flipped the script quickly in the third quarter, outscoring the Cavs by 14 points, and cruised to the 107-94 win.


    Jaylen Brown led the way for Boston with 23 points and seven rebounds, although it was a balanced affair as all five starters scored in double figures. The bench was good, too, led by Marcus Smart’s 11 points and nine assists.


    James had a huge night, finishing with 42 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in the loss. He had 21 points in the first quarter to help stake the Cavaliers to a lead but only Kevin Love helped him out. Love had 22 points but contributions elsewhere were few and far between.


    Key Stat


    Three. That’s the number of combined points the Cavaliers got out of their backcourt in Game 2, which is going to make it tough to win any game, let alone against a formidable foe. George Hill scored just three points on 1-of-4 shooting and didn’t do much else, with only two rebounds and one assist. J.R. Smith was even worse, missing all seven of his shots and finishing the game with zero points.


    Hill and Smith aren’t going to be confused with All-Stars any time soon, but there is no excuse for a starting backcourt to struggle this badly. Don’t be surprised if the Cavaliers give some others a chance at guard if this duo starts slowly in Game 3.


    Free NBA ATS Picks


    While all the focus is on James, this result will ultimately come down to how well the role players handle all the pressure of a must-win game. Look for the complementary cast to have a better performance at home, which will give the Cavaliers a chance at capturing this game. However, the Celtics are the easy pick against the spread in NBA basketball gambling.


    Best Bet: Cavaliers 107, Celtics 103
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    Cavs pound Celtics early in Game 3 rout
    May 19, 2018



    CLEVELAND (AP) Before taking the floor, LeBron James stood in the hallway with his teammates outside Cleveland's locker room and pounded his chest with both hands.


    The Celtics got thumped next.


    James had 27 points and 12 assists, Kevin Love added 14 rebounds and the Cavaliers looked like a different team on their home court, tightening the Eastern Conference finals with a 116-86 victory in Game 3 over Boston on Saturday night.


    Outplayed during two losses in Boston, the Cavs used a three-day break in the series to regroup and re-grip this series. With James leading the way, they built a 19-point lead in the first quarter, pushed it to 30 in the second half and overpowered the Celtics, who fell to 1-5 on the road in the postseason.


    Any discussion of Cleveland's demise is premature. Kyle Korver made four of the Cavs' 17 3-pointers and Cleveland had six players in double figures.


    ''I also have to inspire my teammates to be better,'' James said. ''They answered the call tonight and they need to answer the phone another time on Monday.''


    Game 4 is Monday night before the series returns to Boston.


    Jaylen Brown was in foul trouble all night and scored just 10 for the Celtics after averaging 23 in the first two games. Jayson Tatum scored 18 and Terry Rozier 13 for Boston, which couldn't match Cleveland in any aspect.


    ''They took it to us,'' Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. ''Point blank: They just outplayed us.''


    Only 19 of a possible 300 teams have ever overcome a 2-0 deficit in the playoffs. James and the Cavs, who previously did it in 2007 and again in 2016 while winning the NBA title, took the first step toward a third comeback.


    To return to the NBA Finals for the fourth straight year, the Cavs have to win four of five and re-write Boston's illustrious history. The Celtics are 37-0 when they win the first two games in a series.


    ''That doesn't bother me,'' Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said before Game 3. ''The games have to be played. They won two games on their home court, which we know they've been playing well the whole playoffs, but we're not discouraged.


    ''So, 0-2 doesn't really mean anything.''


    Apparently not. The Cavs came in wanting to play faster and be more physical with the younger Celtics, who were the aggressors in Games 1 and 2.


    Lue also needed more from point guard George Hill after two poor performances (8 points, 1 assist) in Boston. Hill responded with a driving layup to start the game and drained three 3-pointers in the first quarter as Cleveland wasted no time taking control.


    Hill finished with 13, J.R. Smith 11 - they were outscored 41-3 in Game 2 - and Cleveland's supporting cast played so well that James was only on the floor for 37 minutes.


    Stevens was confident his team would play better on the road than earlier in these playoffs, but the Celtics were shaky early, committing four turnovers and shooting 2 of 10 while the Cavs opened a 27-11 lead.


    James arrived at 5:45 p.m., greeted by the usual phalanx of cameras waiting to record his walk from the security entrance at Quicken Loans Arena to Cleveland's locker room.


    Earlier in the day, James said the fact he has twice rallied from 2-0 deficits in the postseason offered no relief.


    ''There's nothing about the playoffs that's comfortable until you either win it all or you lose and go into the summer,'' he said.


    Summer might not be as close as it once seemed.


    TIP-INS


    Celtics: Seeking to become the sixth No. 2 seed to win the East in eight years. Boston was a No. 4 seed when it advanced to the finals in 2010. ... Fell to 3-8 in playoff games in Cleveland, the most by a Cavs opponent at the Q. ... Stevens was relieved to learn that Boston legend Bill Russell was recovering after a hospital stay brought on by dehydration. Russell won 11 NBA titles with the Celtics. ''He's the ultimate basketball winner,'' Stevens said. ''The way he impacted winning, the unselfishness of a teammate, what he stood for off the floor - everything about him.''


    Cavaliers: James needs six field goals to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2,356) for the most in postseason history. ... Cleveland has won six straight playoff games at home. ... Improved to 14-6 vs. Boston in the playoffs.


    ROAD KILL


    Before the game, Stevens downplayed his team's road issues, saying there was a ''small sample size.''


    It got a little bigger, and a little more troubling. Still, he won't focus on Boston's road woes.


    ''In my 11 years as a head coach, I probably haven't talked about road and home five times with our team,'' he said. ''It's about how you play between the lines. Because I think if you start talking about that, then you find excuses in both places. We can't play like we played tonight no matter where we played. If we would have played in Boston like that, we would have gotten beat.''


    FAMILY TIES


    Stevens has deep Cleveland roots, but he's slowly converting family members to pull for Boston's teams.


    His parents are from Northeast Ohio and his wife, Tracy, is from suburban Rocky River. Before the game, Stevens was asked what happens to all the Cavs, Browns and Cavaliers gear he gets as gifts.


    ''My 7 1/2-year-old nephew was offered 10 extra-credit points (in school) if he wore anything regarding Cleveland yesterday, and he went all green,'' Stevens said. ''And three years ago, I think he was all Cleveland stuff. So we're making strides with him. But yeah, we have a large contingent. Maybe they'll get some of those (Game 3 giveaway) yellow shirts and pass them around to some people who haven't completely converted to rooting for the Celtics yet.''

    UP NEXT



    Game 4 is Monday night.
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    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


    SCHEDULE FOR THURSDAY MAY 24, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    9:00 PM Golden State Warriors Houston Rockets Toyota Center


    SCHEDULE FOR FRIDAY MAY 25, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    8:30 PM Boston Celtics Cleveland Cavaliers Quicken Loans Arena


    SCHEDULE FOR SATURDAY MAY 26, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    9:00 PM Houston Rockets Golden State Warriors ORACLE Arena




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




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


    05/19/2018 1-1-0 50.00% -0.50
    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...............6-12-0.........33.33%.....-47.00




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


    05/19/2018...............0 - 1..................-5.50....................1 - 0..............+5.00.............-0.50
    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 - 7..................-23.50.................3 - 7...............-23.50...............-47.00
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    Armadillo: Sunday's six-pack


    Odds to win the AFC this coming season:


    3-1: New England Patriots


    4-1: Pittsburgh Steelers


    7-1: Los Angeles Chargers


    9-1: Jacksonville Jaguars


    10-1: Texans, Chiefs, Raiders


    12-1: Tennessee Titans


    **********


    Armadillo: May 17, 1979: Phillies 23, Cubs 22….a recap


    On May 17, 1979, Phillies beat the Cubs 23-22 in 10 innings, in one of the strangest games ever:


    13) Phillies were 24-10 at the time; Chicago was 16-16. Cubs had 26 hits in the game, Phils had 24.


    12) The game was 7-6 Phillies, after the first inning. Somewhere, someone bet the under in this game.


    11) Phillies starting pitcher Randy Lerch homered in the top of the first inning, never finished the bottom of the first. Both starting pitchers got only one out before being removed.


    10) Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt hit 3rd/4th in Phillies’ order; they combined to score seven runs and knock in eight. Light-hitting Larry Bowa was 5 for 8 in the game.


    9) Bob Boone was 3-4 with five RBI’s; his son Aaron is now the manager in the Bronx. Boone and Schmidt were both walked intentionally twice.


    8) Reliever Tug McGraw faced 10 batters; seven of them scored. McGraw is the father of the great singer Tim McGraw.


    7) 22 of the first 53 Cubs who came to bat scored, but Rawly Eastwick slammed the door shut in the last two innings, retiring all six Cubs he faced.


    6) Donnie Moore faced 14 batters and seven of them scored, but he did hit a triple, one of his two career three-baggers.


    5) Phillies led this game 21-9 in the 5th inning but Cubs tied the game off of Ron Reed in the 8th inning; Reed pitched 19 years in the major leagues and also played 119 games for the NBA’s Detroit Pistons from 1965-67.


    4) Dave Kingman hit three homers for the Cubs; Bill Buckner knocked in seven runs, seven years before his infamous error in the ’86 World Series.


    3) Phillies went home the next day and got swept in a 3-game series by the Expos. Chicago lost its next four games after this one.


    2) 1979 turned out to be the only year in a six-year stretch where the Phillies missed the playoffs; they finished 84-78, the Cubs 80-82.


    Phillies fired manager Danny Ozark late in 1979, hired Dallas Green and won the ’80 World Series.


    1) Naysayers like to criticize baseball now but attendance that day was 14,952; when was last time the Cubs drew less than 15,000 for a home game?
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    NBA Western Conference Final Game 3 betting preview and odds: Rockets at Warriors


    Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors (-7, 226.5)


    Series tied 1-1


    The Golden State Warriors seized homecourt advantage from the Houston Rockets in their best-of-seven Western Conference finals, and that's proven to be a pretty significant edge for the defending champs. The Warriors put a 15-game home winning streak in the playoffs - tied for the NBA record - on the line when they host the Rockets in a critical Game 3 on Sunday night. Oddsmakers have the Dubs set as 7-point home favorities with the total at 226.5 points.


    To keep its run alive and set a new league standard, Golden State needs to recover from a 22-point loss in Game 2 that saw guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson struggle to shoot a combined 10-for-30 from the floor. Golden State failed to cover as a 1.5-point road underdog.


    "I've gone 0-for-11 before shooting 3s and 1-for-8, whatever the case is," Curry told reporters Friday. "I always shoot that next shot with the optimism and confidence that it's going in. So, you can work on stuff between practices and games to get your rhythm, just seeing the ball going in and working on your mechanics, but [I'll] never lose confidence in myself. That'll never change."


    Houston sees an opportunity to take back control of the series and insists it is unfazed as it enters two straight games in Oakland.


    "The challenge is you're playing Golden State," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni told reporters. "That's why they've won 15 in a row, not because of the building, but because they're good. I mean, everybody, all these players are used to playing in hostile environments or loud or whatever. I mean, it helps a little bit. Sometimes you feed off the energy also from the other crowd. So you try to take them out as soon as you can and take out the crowd, but they're a good basketball team."


    TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT


    SERIES PRICE: Warriors -300, Rockets +250 (GTBets.eu)


    LINE HISTORY: Golden State opened a 7-point home favorite for Game 3 and moved to -7.5 briefly before buyback on Houston brought the spread back to -7. The total opened 226.5 and has stayed relatively still heading into Sunday.


    WHAT SHARPS SAY: "The Rockets travel to Golden State looking to regain a home-court advantage they lost in the series opener in Houston, knowing they have dropped 21 of the last 26 game in this series, including 11 of the last 13 games on this floor. It should be noted, though, that No. 1 seeds are 19-9 ATS as road dogs of more than six points since 1997." -- Marc Lawrence


    INJURY REPORT: Warriors - SG P. McCaw (Out, Back), SF C. Boucher (Out, Ankle)


    MATCHUP CHART:





    ABOUT THE ROCKETS (74-20 SU, 48-45-1 ATS, 39-54-1 O/U): Point guard Chris Paul had 16 points, six assists and three steals in the Game 2 win while fighting through a calf issue that he says will not hold him back for Sunday's tilt. "His foot was bothering him a little bit," D'Antoni told the media of Paul, who returned to practice Friday. "It shouldn't be a problem. Just normal. Nothing that would sideline him or anything. He's good." Eric Gordon scored 27 points while making 6-of-9 3-pointers in Game 2 after averaging 9.7 points and hitting 5-of-18 from beyond the arc over his previous three contests.


    ABOUT THE WARRIORS (67-27 SU, 40-53-1 ATS, 44-49-1 O/U): Coach Steve Kerr is one of many on the Golden State side hoping that a change of venue will help his team rediscover its mental edge. "Game 2 everything changed," Kerr told KNBR's Tolbert and Lund. "We gave up easy hoops. PJ Tucker got two wide open 3s in the corners in the second quarter. That got him going. Everything that Houston needed to get going, they got it. Some of it was their doing, some of it was lack of intensity and focus, and we've got to be better with that." Kevin Durant has carried the load offensively by averaging 37.5 points on 55.1 percent shooting.


    TRENDS:


    - Rockets are just 2-5 ATS as underdogs this season.
    - Rockets are 6-1 in the "Race to 20 Points" prop the past seven games.
    - Warriors are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 home games.
    - Under is 21-10 in Rockets' last 31 overall.
    - Under is 19-7-1 in Warriors last 27 after allowing 100+ points in previous game.


    CONSENSUS: 51 percent of spread bets are on Houston while 72 percent of totals bets are on the Over.
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    NBA
    Dunkel


    Sunday, May 20




    Houston @ Golden State


    Game 503-504
    May 20, 2018 @ 8:05 pm


    Dunkel Rating:
    Houston
    122.705
    Golden State
    133.296
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Golden State
    by 10 1/2
    220
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Golden State
    by 7
    227
    Dunkel Pick:
    Golden State
    (-7); Under









    NBA
    Long Sheet


    Sunday, May 20



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


    HOUSTON (74 - 20) at GOLDEN STATE (67 - 27) - 5/20/2018, 8:05 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    GOLDEN STATE is 64-39 ATS (+21.1 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game - 2nd half of the season since 1996.
    HOUSTON is 27-17 ATS (+8.3 Units) in road games this season.
    HOUSTON is 11-3 ATS (+7.7 Units) in road games after scoring 115 points or more this season.
    HOUSTON is 24-14 ATS (+8.6 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season this season.
    HOUSTON is 27-14 ATS (+11.6 Units) in road games versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game over the last 3 seasons.
    GOLDEN STATE is 39-52 ATS (-18.2 Units) in all games this season.
    GOLDEN STATE is 37-46 ATS (-13.6 Units) as a favorite this season.
    GOLDEN STATE is 18-27 ATS (-11.7 Units) in home games this season.
    GOLDEN STATE is 20-33 ATS (-16.3 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
    GOLDEN STATE is 10-22 ATS (-14.2 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season this season.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    GOLDEN STATE is 10-6 against the spread versus HOUSTON over the last 3 seasons
    GOLDEN STATE is 12-5 straight up against HOUSTON 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


    Sunday, May 20



    Houston @ Golden State (1-1)
    Rockets were 16-42 on arc in Game 2 win, 29-46 inside arc; Warriors were 9-30 on arc. Houston’s best chance to win is to run like hell, with Curry less than 100%; Tucker/Ariza were combined 15-18 in Game 2, after going 3-11 in Game 1. Gordon scored 27 off bench, was +29 in 32:38 on court. Golden State won its last four home games, but covered only one of them. Under is 4-1 in their last five games. Road team won six of last nine games between these two. Golden State is 25-4 in playoff games since they signed Durant. Under is 8-4 in last 12 series games.








    NBA


    Sunday, May 20



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    Trend Report
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    Houston Rockets
    Houston is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games
    Houston is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 15 of Houston's last 23 games
    Houston is 18-4 SU in its last 22 games on the road
    The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Houston's last 7 games on the road
    Houston is 6-11-1 ATS in its last 18 games when playing Golden State
    Houston is 6-19 SU in its last 25 games when playing Golden State
    The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Houston's last 12 games when playing Golden State
    Houston is 2-3-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Golden State
    Houston is 2-11 SU in its last 13 games when playing on the road against Golden State
    Golden State Warriors
    Golden State is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
    Golden State is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Golden State's last 5 games
    Golden State is 3-8 ATS in its last 11 games at home
    Golden State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
    The total has gone OVER in 6 of Golden State's last 9 games at home
    Golden State is 2-3-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Houston
    Golden State is 19-6 SU in its last 25 games when playing Houston
    The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Golden State's last 12 games when playing Houston
    Golden State is 11-2 SU in its last 13 games when playing at home against Houston
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  17. #1742  
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    Sunday's Playoff Essentials
    May 20, 2018



    Western Conference Finals - Game 3 - Series tied 1-1
    Houston at Golden State (-7, 226.5), TNT, 8:05 ET



    After watching his team’s flat start and subsequent blowout loss, Boston head coach Brad Stevens is going to have a much easier time getting his Celtics focused for Game 4 in Cleveland.


    Expect it to help Golden State’s Steve Kerr and Houston’s Mike D’Antoni get through to their teams as well since the tone for the first two games of the Western Conference finals was also set in the early going.


    The Rockets need to withstand the first punch that a rested Warriors team will inevitably be packing after coming out looking satisfied with themselves at the beginning of Wednesday’s 127-105 setback in Houston. Those weren’t the defending champs we’ve grown accustomed to seeing.


    After pulling away for a 119-106 on Monday night, talk about how the playoffs were already over began. Get the brooms ready. The Rockets and whoever got out of the Eastern Conference were sure to be swept. There’s no proof that the Warriors came out in an awful frame of mind due to overconfidence or boredom, but there’s no doubt they came out with a lack of focus and intensity regardless of the reason why.


    When Draymond Green threw a pass out of bounds just 4:24 into Game 2, he left Klay Thompson alone as the only Golden State starter not to turn the ball over. Chris Paul ripped Green on the Warriors’ next possession to make it five miscues inside five minutes. The Rockets actually didn’t take the lead they wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the way until Eric Gordon drained his second straight 3-pointer at the 3:01 mark of the opening quarter, but the sloppy start was an ominous sign of things to come for the Dubs. They committed seven of their 15 turnovers in the first quarter, fell behind and gave Houston a chance to gain its footing in the series.


    The Rockets were an excellent defensive team all season and felt their effort was lacking in the series opener but finally up to par on Wednesday. P.J. Tucker is of the opinion that Houston’s small lineup is the best in basketball, superior to even the “Hampton’s Five” look that Kerr started in the first two games and is likely to trot out here.


    Clint Capela was again rendered ineffective, finishing with five points and no blocks while missing four of five free throws. The Rockets were concerned that he’d be taken out of the series, so the fact they won a game in which that came to fruition by 22 points could be considered a great sign.


    Capela’s struggles double as a green light on my favorite play for Sunday night’s contest, which is to lay three points in the first quarter at Sportsbook.ag on the blind faith that Kerr having his team ready to play. He immediately noted their lack of effort, questioning their sense of urgency in the post-Game 2 press conference.


    Green came out noticeably lacking the fire that he packed to open the series. He looked like he was going to maim James Harden within the first few possessions, picking up a technical foul 1:07 in. Golden State trailed 12-4, Green calmed himself down and then was fantastic the rest of the way, setting the tone on defense while doing all the little things on offense that make the Warriors tick like a Rolex.


    Combined with the fact that the Rockets will have to get used to Oracle right out of the gate, calm themselves enough to execute and will have Capela start once again, all variables point to a strong first quarter from Golden State as it attempts to yank back momentum in the series.


    The Warriors won the first quarter of the playoffs 28-17, taking San Antonio out immediately. It won a 35-34 shootout of a quarter in Game 1 against the Pelicans and took the first 12 minutes of the series clincher 32-26 in their last action in Oakland. Look for a strong start to give them the lead entering the second quarter for the first time in the Western Conference finals.


    It remains to be seen what happens when the next 36 minutes unfold, especially since the Rockets were the NBA’s top road team and are 3-1 in away from Toyota Center in the playoffs. They’ve captured their last three games in Minnesota and Utah by double-digits, doing so by a combined 53 points.


    Houston knows what it wants to accomplish in Game 3, having run an almost identical number of isolations in each of the first two games. According to Second Spectrum, the Rockets finished with 46 isos in Game 2 after 45 in Game 1 but shot the ball extremely well and got more players involved, leading to better rhythm. D’Antoni encouraged more movement, which paid off in Eric Gordon and Tucker combining to shoot 11-for-15 from beyond the arc to bail out Chris Paul and Harden, who shot a combined 4-for-20 on 3-pointers.


    It’s no mystery that the Rockets’ primary objective is to wear down Stephen Curry, who isn’t 100 percent after suffering a Grade 2 MCL sprain in March. He’s not a liability, but in putting him in 43 plays as the primary defender, nearly double the workload he had to undergo in the first two rounds, Houston is ensuring that he doesn’t rest when he’s out there.


    The fact that he’s 2-for-13 from 3-point range (15 percent) and went 1-for-8 on Wednesday suggests it’s working. It’s now on Kerr and his staff to adjust accordingly. That’s the name of the game in the playoffs, especially when two elite teams get together.


    Chris David of VegasInsider.com wasn’t surprised that Houston rebounded in Game 2 since we’ve seen the Rockets post great numbers off a loss recently. The same can be said for the Warriors and CD filled us in on the eye-opening numbers.


    “Similar to other championship squads in the NBA, Golden State’s success over the last three seasons can be attributed to its ability to avoid back-to-back losses. That was evident this season, especially with a full squad,” David explained. “If you throw out the team’s 7-10 record down the stretch when Curry was out and other players were rested, the Warriors went 13-1 in the regular season after a loss. Bettors should note that Golden State didn’t turn a profit (7-7 ATS) due to inflated lines but the offense showed up in a big way. In those 14 games, the club averaged 124.7 PPG and that helped the ‘over’ go 10-4.


    “In this year’s playoffs, Golden State is 2-0 off a loss with a 99-91 win over San Antonio in Game 5 of the first round and a 118-92 victory in Game 4 over New Orleans in the second round. Make a note that Curry didn’t play against the Spurs. Including those results, the Warriors are 11-5 after a loss in the playoffs, which includes the infamous three straight losses to Cleveland in the ‘16 Finals,” added David.


    Kevin Durant has been the best player in the series, the only one who has shown up with the same intensity level and delivered consistent results. He’s averaging 37.5 points and shooting 55 percent but has been in attack mode to a point where he’s dished out just one assist over two games. Klay Thompson followed up a 28-point Game 1 by scoring just eight points, shooting 3-for-11 and missing seven of his eight 3-point shots. Green, Iguodala and Curry all slumped too, while the bench, outside of Nick Young, wasn’t terribly productive.


    Golden State has to prove that it hasn’t slipped in Game 3, which should provide excellent motivation to show out at home. What remains to be seen is how difficult the Rockets will make it on them. Houston is deeper and has been built specifically for this challenge. It hasn’t been this heavy an underdog since opening the season in Oakland as a 9.5-point underdog. The Rockets won that game 122-121. They won another game during the regular season as a ‘dog too. If nothing else, they won’t be scared. I just don’t expect them to be within a possession after the opening quarter.


    Four of the five meetings between these two juggernauts have surpassed the posted total, including the first two games in the series. The number in those games closed around 225, while Game 3 features a slightly larger figure.


    David doesn’t have an opinion on the total for Game 3 but if you’re leaning to Houston with the points, then you might want to press your luck with the ‘over’ or even back it up with the Rockets Team Total Over (109).


    “Expecting Houston to win outright in Game 3 might be a reach, especially when you know the club is 6-16 in last 22 encounters against Golden State. While that alone might keep you off the sidelines, the angle that sticks out for me is the Rockets’ offense in those victories, which averaged 119.3 PPG. There was one anomaly (97-94) in that span. Even when Houston can’t connect, it still puts up triple digits these days and even the backups chuck non-stop from distance. If you’re leaning to the ‘dog come Sunday, I would definitely tie in the high side and certainly play the ‘over’ 109 on the team total too.”


    All five conference finals games to date have been decided by double-digits. Game 4 will take place in Oakland on Tuesday.
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  18. #1743  
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    Warriors seek 2-1 series lead
    May 18, 2018



    Game 3 - Houston Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors


    The Golden State Warriors are favored at home on Sunday night on TNT, as they host the Houston Rockets in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final.


    The teams split their two games in Houston and neither game was that competitive, as the Warriors controlled Game 1, while the Rockets dominated in Game 2. The series now shifts to Oakland for the next two games. Let’s look at Game 3 on Sunday night and NBA picks.


    Houston Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors
    Date and Time: Sunday, May 20, 2018, 8:00 p.m. Eastern
    Location: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
    NBA Odds: Warriors -7.5, O/U 226.5
    TV Coverage: TNT


    The Rockets finally looked like a very good team in Game 2, as they routed the Warriors by a score of 127-105. James Harden and Eric Gordon had 27 points each and the Rockets had five players who scored 16 points or more. Houston head coach Mike D’Antonio didn’t change anything after the Game 1 loss and his team responded with a lot of offense. "We can beat anybody, anywhere at any time playing the way we play," D'Antoni said.


    Kevin Durant had 38 points in Game 2 but the Warriors didn’t get much from Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson, as they combined to score just 24 points. The duo combined for 46 points in Game 1. The Rockets know they can’t stop Durant but they were able to contain Golden State’s other stars in Game 2.


    Golden State head coach Steve Kerr said his team was outplayed the entire game. "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."


    Key Player


    The Warriors didn’t get much from Curry in Game 2 offensively and the bigger problem for Golden State is Curry’s poor defense. The Rockets are going right at Curry every chance they get. According to ESPN, the Rockets targeted Curry on 23 possessions in Game 2 and when Curry was one-on-one against James Harden it was a complete mismatch. The Warriors need Curry to at least play some defense as this series shifts to Oakland and they also need him to start heating up on offense. Some people are questioning whether Curry is fully recovered from his injury, as he has looked a step slow at times.


    Key Stats


    The Rockets are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games playing with three or more days of rest. The Warriors are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games playing with three or more days of rest. The Warriors are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 home games.


    Looking at the total, the Under is 4-0 in the Rockets last 4 games playing with three or more days of rest. The Under is 5-2 in the Rockets last 7 road games. The Under is 3-1-1 in the Warriors last 5 games playing with three or more days of rest. The Over is 6-2-1 in the Warriors last 9 home games.


    Free Picks


    The Rockets did what they had to do to have any chance in this series by winning Game 2, but now they have to find a way to win at Golden State. The Rockets were a good road team during the regular season, going 31-10 SU and they were 24-17 ATS. Golden State went 29-12 SU at home in the regular season, but they were just 16-24-1 ATS.


    Golden State is the better team and I think they are going to win this series, but this number on Saturday is really high and the value is definitely on Houston. I will take the big points and go with the Rockets. I also will come right back and take this game under the total, as the value is definitely on the under with the total getting close to 230.


    Rockets vs. Warriors ATS Pick: Rockets and Under the total
    Rockets vs. Warriors Score Prediction: Warriors 114, Rockets 109
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  19. #1744  
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    Rockets, Warriors head west
    May 18, 2018



    Game 3 - No. 1 Houston Rockets vs. No. 2 Golden State Warriors


    The Golden State Warriors aren’t invincible, as the Houston Rockets had no trouble knotting up the Western Conference Finals at one game apiece with a dominant showing last time out. Despite the speed bump, the Warriors will head home with the chance to take a big lead in this best-of-seven series if they can protect home court.


    One of these teams will re-take the series lead next time out in Game 3. Golden State is the favorite and hopes to feed off the energy of the home crowd. It’s rare for the Warriors to start a series on the road, but the Rockets finished the regular season with the best record in the NBA.


    Houston proved it won’t go down easily in this series and it can really stoke the flames by pulling off an upset next time out in NBA basketball betting lines.


    Game 3 of this NBA Playoff Series is on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 8 p.m. ET at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. The contest will be nationally televised on TNT.


    We'll have NBA odds at BookMaker.eu available for every game of the 2018 NBA Playoffs.


    Odds Analysis


    The Warriors are listed as 7.5-point favorites for Game 3. The first two games had very small spreads in Houston but it’s larger now that favored Golden State is at home. More than 57 percent of the action is on the Warriors to cover the spread, which would mean a relatively easy victory.


    The scoring total is listed at 226.5 points, which is a bit higher than in Game 2, when the “over” was the correct choice. These were the two highest-scoring teams in the NBA during the regular season and it is no surprise that. The “under” is the more popular choice as more than 62 percent of the action is headed that way.


    Golden State is a -360 favorite on the moneyline, while the Rockets are listed as +289 underdogs. The Rockets are getting nearly 85 percent of the action as the payoff is lucrative and they have the firepower to pull the upset.


    Last Time Out


    There wasn’t much doubt in Game 2 as the Rockets jumped out to a comfortable halftime lead and remained on the gas, gradually pulling away and turning the game into a laugher by the fourth quarter. Houston won the game 127-105 to knot the series at 1. James Harden led the way with 27 points but the key to the Rockets’ success was balance in this one as the complementary pieces fared much better than in the Game 1 loss.


    Eric Gordon poured in 27 points off the bench on 8-of-15 shooting, as his three-point barrage was a big key. P.J. Tucker added 22 points after a quiet Game 1 and Trevor Ariza added 19 points and six assists.


    Kevin Durant showed up for the Warriors with 38 points, but the other members of the team’s dominant quartet all struggled. Steph Curry shot just 7-of-19 from the floor and 1-of-8 from three-point range, finishing with 16 points. Klay Thompson shot even worse and had only eight points while Draymond Green finished with six points, six rebounds and six assists. It’s rare for three of the Warriors’ Big Four to all struggle and they should bounce back with a vengeance next time out.


    Injury Report


    Rockets standout point guard Chris Paul suffered a leg injury in Game 2, as he was limping on it in the second half and had it wrapped while sitting on the bench of the fourth quarter of the blowout. Houston says it is nothing serious, and that is a sigh of relief for the team if true. While Harden is the team’s best player, Paul is an important cog and the team needs him healthy to have a shot at winning this series.


    Keep an eye on his status in the days leading up to this game. If the injury is a problem, Paul will benefit for several days of rest. He should be fine but any lingering effect could change the spread and moneyline odds.


    Free NBA ATS Picks


    The Warriors may be the better team, but not by this much. Golden State is the right pick to win Game 3, as Thompson, Green and Curry should have better performances. However, the Rockets are one of the best teams Golden State has seen during its recent dominant run, and this game could come down to the wire.


    The Warriors will take a 2-1 series lead, but it won’t be easy. Take Houston to cover in NBA basketball gambling.


    Best Bet: Warriors 116, Rockets 111
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  20. #1745  
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    Rockets head into Game 3 confident
    May 18, 2018



    HOUSTON (AP) The Rockets have reason to feel good, tied with Golden State after winning Game 2 in a rout in the Western Conference finals.


    But a big challenge awaits Sunday at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors have won an NBA-record tying 15 straight playoff games.


    Houston coach Mike D'Antoni knows all about Golden State's success in Oakland, but thinks it has less to do with being at home than the fact that the Warriors are a great team.


    ''The challenge is you're playing Golden State. That's why they've won 15 in a row. Not because of the building, but because they're good,'' he said. ''All these players are used to playing in hostile environments ... it helps a little bit (but) sometimes you feed off the energy also from the other crowd. So you try to take them out as soon as you can and take out the crowd.''


    The Rockets aren't daunted by Golden State's winning streak there and are looking forward to the challenge.


    ''It's definitely a great place to play,'' Trevor Ariza said. ''Their fans are great. They bring a lot of energy to the game. At this point there's nothing like playing in that type of environment and trying to silence them.''


    Ariza was one of the keys to Houston's 127-105 win in Game 2 that helped erase the memory of Houston's tough home loss in the series opener. Ariza had 19 points as one of five Rockets who scored more than 16 points to rebound after an ineffective performance in Game 1 because of foul trouble.


    While the Rockets know what happened in Game 2 won't matter if they don't take care of business on Sunday night, they do believe it gives them a bit of momentum.


    ''Yeah, just because we know we're more than capable of it,'' James Harden said. ''We've just got to go out there and do it every possession.''


    Houston's 127 points were the most the team has scored this postseason. But they're quick to point out that their success on offense was the product of solid defense. That, they say, is the reason it won't be difficult to recreate what they did in Game 2 on Sunday night.


    ''It wasn't anything special that we did,'' Harden said. ''We just created more opportunities with our defense.''


    Sunday will be just Houston's second game at Golden State this season and first since the Rockets got a 122-121 win on Oct. 17 in the opener for both teams on the night the Warriors received their championship rings.


    ''A lot has been going on since then,'' Harden said. ''But as long as we take those same principles and that mindset that we have, no matter where we play, we'll be pretty good.''


    Kevin Durant has scored 75 points combined in the first two games to lead the Warriors, but Stephen Curry hasn't really gotten going yet as he rounds into form after missing almost two months with a knee injury. The Rockets know the 2015 and 2016 Most Valuable Player is capable of having a huge game at any time and they must account for him at all times, just as they do with Durant and Klay Thompson.


    ''I just think everybody on their team can shoot,'' Ariza said. ''When they're in a scoring position, you just have to give some sort of resistance. Try to make them think about doing other things.''


    The Warriors have much more experience at this level of the postseason with this being their franchise-record fourth straight trip to the conference finals. But Houston has plenty of veteran leadership led by nine-time All-Star Chris Paul, who said it's easy to look forward regardless of how the last game went.


    ''It feels like Game 2 was a week ago now,'' he said. ''That's how it is in the playoffs ... we've done a great job all year staying even-keeled. We tried not to get too high or too low.''
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  21. #1746  
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    Stephen Curry, Warriors unconcerned
    May 18, 2018



    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Stephen Curry has absolutely no concerns about his 3-point touch, so he's counting on the first one he takes going in.


    ''I have confidence in myself and my teammates have confidence in me to do what I need to do,'' the two-time MVP said Friday. ''Never worry about it because I know how hard I work at it. It's not a false sense of confidence. I know how hard I work at what I do.''


    His teammates and coach also say enough with the panic about Curry already. Kevin Durant doesn't even want to hear about any shooting struggles: he considers Curry the best shooter on the planet, and so be it if he shows he's human, too, once in a while. This is after all the same sweet shooter who broke his own NBA record for 3s in a single season by hitting 402 in 2015-16.


    ''When Steph misses a shot everybody gets up in arms about it. That's how great he is. So many people expect him to make every single shot. Sometimes it doesn't happen,'' Durant said. ''I knew the next couple days was going to be about Steph struggling to shoot the ball but that's the last thing I worry about with Steph. I've just got so much confidence in him on the offensive side of the basketball.''


    Still, Curry has just one 3-pointer in each of the first two games of the Warriors' Western Conference finals series with the Rockets as the best-of-seven showdown shifts to Oracle Arena for Game 3 on Sunday night notched at 1 game apiece.


    He is shooting 15 for 34 overall from the floor, missing 11 of his 13 3-point tries.


    ''I've gone 0 for 11 before shooting 3s, 1 for 8. Whatever the case is, you're always shooting that next shot with the optimism and the confidence that it's going in,'' Curry said. ''So you can work on stuff in between practices and games and get your rhythm, just seeing the ball go in, work on your mechanics, but never lose confidence in myself ever. And that'll never change.''


    During his extensive shooting work Friday, Curry yelled out ''Ahhh!'' in frustration a few times. He hollered ''Oh my goodness!'' and ''Crazier things have happened!''


    Durant just shook his head and noted, ''If you worry about missed 3s with Steph Curry ...'' then carried on about the Houston defense and how impressed he is that Curry has improvised and taken opportunities to drive to the rim when the Rockets switch out on him in an effort to protect the 3-point line.


    Curry referred to his personal shooting coach, Bruce Fraser, as ''sensei,'' or teacher. They talk in depth about what kind of workout Curry needs on any given day to feel right with his shot .


    Curry understands the scrutiny. Golden State took a 127-105 beating from Chris Paul, James Harden and the Rockets on Wednesday night in Houston.


    ''It's something to talk about and we obviously lost so you can try to pinpoint stuff or reasons,'' Curry said. ''And obviously I didn't have to talk to any of y'all to wake up and know I didn't play well in Game 2. That doesn't change my outlook on the series or what I need to do. If I don't shoot the ball well in Game 3 it won't change a thing about the way I approach the next one. You come to the game with the right intentions, the right approach and more times than not it will work out in your favor.''


    Curry feels great physically. He missed nearly six weeks with a sprained left knee he injured March 23 before he came back for Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals against New Orleans. Coach Steve Kerr believes it's far tougher to return from an injury during the pressure-packed playoffs, with no time to ease in with games that don't matter or have near the same magnitude.


    ''I think Steph's healthy, he's moving fine,'' Kerr said. ''But this is more rhythm than anything. You come back from six weeks in the regular season, chances are you're going to have a game where nobody's focused and the other team's playing their fourth in five nights and the defense isn't that tough and you make a bunch of 3s and you just feel good.''


    The playoffs, Kerr said, are like facing the best pitcher in the World Series night after night.


    Curry is up for the challenge.


    ''Just waking up every day with optimism and confidence in myself and where I'm at. That's all I can really kind of speak on,'' Curry said. ''There isn't time to kind of coast or ease your way into it, especially with the intensity and pressure and all that stuff, so you've got to be ready.''
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  22. #1747  
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    Sunday's Best Bets
    May 19, 2018



    NBA Western Conference Finals Best Bet


    Houston vs. Golden State – Game 3



    After way too many days off for these two teams to travel out to Oakland for Games 3 and 4, the Western Conference Finals resume on Sunday and everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, is expecting the defending champs to roll on their home floor.


    As impressive as Houston's blowout win in Game 2 was, many bettors out there are simply chalking it up to a very good team playing well and doing what they had to do, but in the same breath mentioning how this series is basically over and the Rockets better be prepared to be back at home for Game 5 down 3-1 in this series.


    So will that be the case, or will Houston be able to build off that great Game 3 performance and shock about 99% of NBA fans out there?


    Golden State (-7); Total set at 226.5


    While the main argument of those who have been on Golden State from the start is to not over-react to one blowout loss on the road, I just don't see it that way. Yes, I know Golden State went through this last round against the Pelicans when they were blown out in Game 3, but the Rockets are exponentially better than New Orleans and won't be overmatched in Golden State as nearly the entire betting population would have you believe.


    I mean it was a long time ago now, but Houston did make a statement on opening day of this season when they came into Oakland and left with an opening night victory. The Rockets are a veteran bunch that won't coward in hostile territory like the Pelicans did against these Warriors, and I expect a lot of the great things Houston did in Game 2 to bleed over into Game 3.


    Now, without question there are strong arguments in favor of the defending champs, because after all they are the defending champs. The Warriors have won 15 straight home playoff games dating back to last year's title run, and this year their average margin of victory at home (6-0 SU and 3-3 ATS) has been 13.3 points per game. But I don't know anyone in their right mind who can legitimately compare what the Spurs and Pelicans brought to the table to what Houston will bring in terms of sheer talent, and if you just look at their three ATS home losses against those teams, their average margin of victory is just 7.3 points. Right where this number for Game 3 with Houston sits and likely a number all those Golden State backers believe to be a little low.


    Knocking off the defending champions was never going to be an easy task, and even though everyone was proclaiming this series as 'over' after Houston dropped Game 1 at home, it really was just another minor hurdle the Rockets have to get over to get to their ultimate goal.


    Heading to Game 3 in Oakland tied at a game apiece against a team that's been to three straight NBA Finals and has won the title twice in that span is not a horrible result, especially when you are a team like the Rockets who can not only match the Warriors firepower, but often times have no problems surpassing it when everything is clicking.


    Everything was clicking in Game 2, and while that's unlikely to be the case in Game 3, this Houston team somewhat near their best is still fully capable of beating Golden State in any arena.


    And while I know some of you will reach this point and think to yourselves, “wow, this writer has completely over-reacted to Game 2,” know this for full disclosure. I have had series futures wagers in my pocket on Houston to win this series prior to the series (a play I was waiting all year to make), as well as taking a bit more on the same wager after Game 1. Take that for what you will in terms of this Game 3 play, but this Rockets team has not hid the fact that they built themselves to dethrone the Warriors, and what I saw in Game 2 is proof that this Finals run for Golden State about a week away from ending.


    Houston will not waste this opportunity to build upon what they did in Game 2, so let the “masses” keep spouting all of Golden State's virtues and writing off Houston as just another challenger that came close but was still nowhere near close enough. Being against the majority is nothing new for me, and the seeds of doubt that have begun to surface regarding Curry's health and play will be THE excuse Warriors backers cling to when Golden State does eventually go down. Those seeds will continue to grow after a Game 3 SU loss by the Warriors.


    The Rockets took a minor page out of Boston's playbook when dealing with LeBron, as they seem willing to give Durant all the stats he wants as long as they shutdown everyone else, and if there are indeed injury concerns for Curry, that task only gets easier for Houston the rest of the way. Houston is the better team (this year) with more overall depth, and I fully expect them not to squander this opportunity in Game 3. The Rockets will steal back home court advantage with a SU win with similar play to what we saw from them in Game 2, and put all the pressure on the Warriors not wanting to be the ones to head back to Houston down 3-1 in the series.


    Give me the points and a piece of the ML here.


    Best Bets:


    Houston +7


    Houston ML +275
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    Warriors eager to respond from loss
    May 19, 2018



    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) One good beating per series is plenty for Draymond Green and Golden State.


    The Warriors got it in Game 2 at Houston, and now the defending champions plan to do what they seem to do best: bounce back with brilliance.


    As the Western Conference finals showdown shifts to Oracle Arena for Sunday's Game 3, tied at one game apiece, the Warriors have spent the past few days discussing their Game 2 troubles and what they're striving to do in order not to be dominated again.


    It's time to play.


    ''I think we're at our best when we feel threatened,'' Green said Saturday. ''Game 1 we felt threatened, we came out with a sense of urgency. Game 2 we maybe didn't feel as threatened and the sense of urgency wasn't there. I think you're allowed one of those a series. We've had our one, now it's time to lock in for the remainder of the series.''


    And for the Warriors that starts on the defensive end against Chris Paul, James Harden and Co., because when they get stops it allows Golden State to get going in transition and find open looks from 3-point range that weren't there during a 127-105 Game 2 defeat Wednesday night at Houston. That was largely because the Rockets had ample time to set their defense following made baskets.


    Houston is making sure not to get too high from its impressive result. The Rockets lost Game 1, 119-106.


    ''Feels like Game 2 was a week ago now. That's how it is in the playoffs,'' Paul said. ''I heard somebody say when you lose a game in the playoffs, you feel like you're never going to win again, and when you win, you feel like you're never going to lose again. We've done a great job all year staying even-keeled.''


    The task gets tougher for the Rockets at one of the league's most imposing venues.


    Golden State has won an NBA record-tying 15 straight postseason home games, matching the Chicago Bulls' mark from April 27, 1990-May 21, 1991.


    ''The Warriors at Oracle are a different story for sure,'' Stephen Curry said.


    Coach Steve Kerr spoke last week to former Warriors coach Mark Jackson about Golden State's resiliency over years now.


    Just as they did in losing once in each of the first two rounds, the Warriors hardly looked strong in Game 2. Kerr insists that rebounding from a bad loss is hardly about coaching, patting his chest to note that his players take it upon themselves based on their passion to respond from defeat.


    ''It's a series. We're not going to knock them out in one game,'' Kevin Durant said. ''Bad games happen throughout playoff series, throughout a season, throughout a career. So just move on, keep getting better and see what happens next game.''


    And the Warriors aren't worried about Curry rediscovering his shooting rhythm after making only two 3-pointers - one in each game - so far this series.


    It might just take one to fall for the two-time MVP to start feeling it again. Or not even one.


    ''I only need one, that's all I need,'' Curry said. ''Actually I might not need any because hopefully that first one that I shoot in Game 3 goes in, so I don't really need any.''


    Golden State, which realized it wouldn't go a record 16-1 like last postseason's remarkable run to a second title in three years, responded from defeats in the first round to San Antonio and then against the Pelicans in the Western Conference semifinals.


    ''It's not just this year it's the last four years,'' Kerr said. ''It shows you the resilience of our team. I was talking to Mark Jackson last week and I said, `When I knew how tough this team was, I think it was 2013 when Mark was coaching and they lost at the buzzer to Denver on the road in Game 1, Andre Miller hit a shot. The Warriors came back and won Game 2. They lost a heartbreaker in the next round to San Antonio at San Antonio, they had an 18-point lead with about five minutes left. A devastating loss, came back and won Game 2 on the road. I remember as a broadcaster watching those two games that showed what kind of guts these guys have. Mark agreed. We've both been blessed to coach the group. It's not something that you coach, it's just something that's in them. Steph, Draymond, Andre (Iguodala) and Klay (Thompson), those are guys who have been here for a while, so then you add KD to that, a guy who's seen everything in the playoffs. We've got a pretty resilient group.''


    Mike D'Antoni knows what his Rockets are up against now that the series shifts to the Warriors' imposing home court.


    ''We always talk about having a short memory, especially in bad times, but you have to have a short memory also in good times. Play with the same desperation. Play with the same force that we played offensively and defensively, knowing that they'll have more of a force on their side,'' D'Antoni said. ''But we have to control what we can control, and make sure we're aggressive.''
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  24. #1749  
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    SUNDAY, MAY 20
    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS

    HOU at GS 08:00 PM


    HOU +7.5


    U 225.5
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  25. #1750  
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    Curry, Warriors rout Rockets, 126-85
    May 20, 2018



    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Stephen Curry got his groove back to score 35 points with five 3-pointers, shooting over James Harden and driving past the Houston star as the Golden State Warriors made a second-half statement to beat the Rockets 126-85 on Sunday night for a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference finals.


    Kevin Durant added 25 points, six rebounds and six assists, while Draymond Green grabbed 17 rebounds to go with 10 points and six assists. The Warriors won an NBA-record 16th consecutive home postseason game, surpassing the Chicago Bulls' mark of 15 in a row from April 27, 1990-May 21, 1991.


    The defending champions got defensive - and maybe a little mad - after a 127-105 Game 2 defeat Wednesday night at Houston, determined to make stops to ignite the transition game and open up 3-point shooters.


    And they eventually got Curry going with 18 points on 7-for-7 shooting in the third quarter.


    Harden had 20 points and nine assists, while Chris Paul added 13 points and 10 rebounds as they combined to shoot just 12 for 32.


    Game 4 is Tuesday night at Oracle Arena.


    Curry and Durant each scored five quick points as Golden State opened the third quarter with a 10-0 burst to go ahead 64-43.


    Under pressure from Paul, Curry swished a 3 from way back with 5:06 left in the third. He struggled with his long-range shot again early but drove through the paint at every chance.


    Curry hit a baseline 3-pointer at the 9:02 mark of the first but missed his next five 3s before going 4 for 5 in the second half. He is now 7 of 25 from long range - he made one in each of the first two games.


    The Warriors' five starters all scored in double figures, the first time they've done so this postseason.


    Trevor Ariza and Green received a double-technical with 6:49 to play when Ariza shoved Green as they traded words.


    Both potent offenses were slow getting rolling as the teams played strong defense.


    Harden and Paul began 3 for 14 with Paul missing six shots before getting his first basket on goaltending against Andre Iguodala 2:39 before halftime.


    Golden State began getting the looks it liked after halftime. The Warriors faced more stingy, in-the-face pressure from Houston, making it hard to get any early flow shooting. Durant hit his first 3 6:27 before halftime then missed from the deep the next time down.


    A moment of silence was held before the national anthem for victims of the Houston school shooting.


    TIP-INS


    Rockets: The Rockets surrendered 10 fast-break points in the first period while getting none of their own. ... They were outrebounded 49-41 and shot 32 for 80 from the floor.


    Warriors: Kevon Looney had two key blocks off the bench in the first. ... Durant notched his 20th straight postseason game with 20 or more points. ... Golden State is 36-5 at home in the playoffs since the 2015 postseason. ... Thompson (1,786) moved past Rick Barry (1,776) for second place on the Warriors' career postseason scoring list. ... Curry (712) moved past Barry (699) into sole possession for most postseason baskets in franchise history. ... The ''Run TMC'' trio of Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin were honored with a standing ovation during a first-quarter timeout. On Monday, Richmond will introduce Hardaway as he goes into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame of which Richmond and Mullin are already members.


    PAUL'S HEALTH


    Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni made the point once again about Paul being healthy: ''There's nothing wrong at all.''


    ''We're not going to win without him,'' D'Antoni said. ''So if he's got to limp and drag his leg to the finish line, so be it. And he's ready to do that.''


    ORACLE AURA


    That deafening, bright yellow sellout crowd was imposing once again.


    ''Somebody asked me, `Is Oracle tough to play?' Yeah, because the Warriors play here,'' D'Antoni said. ''There's a certain energy that their fans will give them and moments they hit two or three 3s you can get a buzz going that helps the home team. You just have to try to keep that crowd out as much as you can.''
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