Previews of Two of Four NBA Playoff Games on Sunday

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The NBA playoffs continue on Sunday with the possibility of the broom coming out as three teams look to sweep their series. Three of the four games played on Sunday could end with sweeps and in the other. San Antonio took a 2-1 lead on Friday over the Clippers. Here is a look at two of the four games.
Cavaliers vs. Celtics

Cleveland leads the series 3-0. The current line has Cleveland favored by 7.5 points with the point total sitting on 203. Even though the Celtics do not have any wins so far for their effort, the team has played well in this series.

Cleveland wants to win to get additional rest before the next series begins.

If Cleveland is able to bottle up guard Isaiah Thomas in this game as they did in Game 3, the Cavaliers will likely win and cover the 7.5-point spread. Thomas only hit 2 of his 9 shots in the game and scored only 5 points. After Thomas shot 18 times from the free throw in Games 1 and 2, he only attempted two free throws in Game 3.

After a game that was high scoring in Game 1, the past two games have cashed on the UNDER, with both games staying under 200.

Despite the Celtics being all but eliminated, Boston will continue fighting to the end. The line opened at Cleveland -5 and is up to -7.5 making it a tough call. However, the play here is the UNDER.

Clippers vs. San Antonio

The Spurs lead the series 2-1. The current line has San Antonio favored by 6.5 points with the point total on 200.

The best series thus far in the first round has been this one between the Spurs and Clippers. On Friday, the Spurs behind Kawhi Leonard routed the Clippers 100-73. Leonard scored 32 points on the night.

The Clippers scored their fewest points for the entire season and a record low for the franchise in the postseason. The series has cashed on the UNDER in 2 of 3 games. The OVER was in Game 2, which went to overtime.

The 6.5-point chalk for San Antonio is the biggest spread of this series. Los Angeles on the season was 22-19 against the spread on the road, but is now 0-1 in the postseason.

With a win, San Antonio would be on the verge of elimination the Clippers. However, the Clippers are a very talented team under the leadership of Doc Rivers.

The play her is Clippers +6.5. Off course, my thought is San Antonio will win straight up.

In the other two games, Washington can close out its series against Toronto. The Wizards lead the series 3-0. In the fourth game of the day, the Houston Rockets can eliminate the Dallas Mavericks.

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Updated NBA Championship Futures as Playoffs Get Underway

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The NBA playoffs are underway as 16 teams are playing in the conference quarterfinals. That means odds makers are constantly updating their NBA Championship futures and releasing their futures each Monday.

This week after just one game played in the division series, odds makes made some adjustments to the championship odds.

The Los Angeles Clippers were underdogs against the San Antonio Spurs when their series opened this past weekend, despite holding the home court advantage.

However, the Clippers had their odds shortened to 8 to 1 from 14 to 1 to win the NBA title after they defeated San Antonio in Game 1 of the series Sunday night.

At the same time, the futures price for the Spurs moved the other way doubling to 8 to 1 from 4 to 1.

Memphis another Western Conference team on Sunday routed the Portland Trail Blazers and their futures price was subsequently shortened to 20 to 1 from their previous 25 to 1, while the Trail Blazers price went to 100 to 1 from 50 to 1.

The Golden State Warriors have now passed the Cleveland Cavaliers as the odds on favorite to win the NBA title. The Warriors have a 2-0 series lead over the New Orleans Pelicans after defeating the Pelicans in Game 2 on Monday night.

The Warriors showed they could play defense in the first two games of the series by holding the Pelicans on Monday night with high scoring Anthony Davis to just 87 points thanks to Draymond Green. Golden State is now 7 to 4 to win the NBA title moving from last week’s 5 to 2.

The Cavaliers lead their series with the Boston Celtics 1-0 and will play Game 2 on Tuesday. Cleveland’s odds to win the title are now 12 to 5 after being 9 to 4 last week. Atlanta was victorious in its Game 1 against Brooklyn and moved from 12 to 1 to 10 to 1.

2014-2015 NBA CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS
WARRIORS 7 to 4
CAVALIERS 12 to 5
SPURS 8 to 1
CLIPPERS 8 to 1
HAWKS 10 to 1
BULLS 14 to 1
ROCKETS 14 to 1
GRIZZLIES 20 to 1
WIZARDS 60 to 1
RAPTORS 80 to 1
BLAZERS 100 to 1
MAVERICKS 100 to 1
PELICANS 300 to 1
NETS 500 to 1
CELTICS 500 to 1
BUCKS 500 to 1

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Monday Night NBA Card Has Two Games

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Monday night the NBA playoffs continue with a pair of Game 2s on the calendar. The first game features the Milwaukee Bucks versus the Chicago Bulls, while the late game out west pits the Golden State Warriors at home versus the New Orleans Pelicans.

Chicago is at -7.5 for this game while the point total sits at 188. Milwaukee plays very good defense but the Bucks gave up 103 points to Chicago in Game 1. Chicago was able to hand out 30 assists in its 38 baskets.

Each of the four meetings during the regular season ended UNDER, but Game 1 on Saturday cashed over.

The Bulls were able to cover as 8-point favorites winning by 12 points.

Chicago played superb as Derrick Rose played his first playoff game in three seasons and scored 26 points. Jimmy Butler added 25 and the two combined for 13 assists. Up front, Pau Gasol hit just 5 of his 17 shots but he, Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah each grabbed double digits rebounds.

Both teams were weak from the foul line with both shooting less than 70%. Milwaukee should improve upon its poor 39% shooting from the floor, in Game 2. The Bulls rolled in Game 1 despite turning the ball over 19 times.

Chicago owned the boards with an 11-rebound advantage.

The play here is UNDER and Chicago.

For Game 2 of the series between the Pelicans and Warriors, Golden State is favored by 11.5 points, with the point total sitting at 205.

When often times, is just as important as what. Two free throws that were completely meaningless in the final second of Game 1 pushed the point total to 205 from 203. The total prior to the game was between 203 and 207 so there were bettors who won or lost on the two shots that meant next to nothing in the game’s outcome.

New Orleans entered Game 1 as a 13-point road dog but easily covered losing by just 7 points. However, early on the Pelicans were behind and by the third quarter trailed by 25 points. The Warriors defense kept Anthony Davis neutralized until the fourth when he scored 20 points to end the game with 35.

The game on Monday will determine the rest of the series as Golden State is a better team that showed its ability to dominate, but will they be able to close games out for bettors that take them as favs by double digits.

Despite a Game 1 loss, New Orleans will have momentum entering Game 2 and could cover another spread of double digits. They were down big in Game 1 and rallied, never really threatening, but putting a scare into the Warriors fans.

The play here is New Orleans and the points.

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Tips, Trends and Plays for Saturday Late Starts in NBA …

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Day one of the NBA Playoffs ends with two evening matchups as the Milwaukee Bucks visit the Chicago Bulls and the Dallas Mavericks take on intrastate rival the Houston Rockets.

Bucks vs. Bulls

Milwaukee this season was 41-41 SU straight up and 45-35-2 against the spread. Chicago was 50-32 SU and 39-43 ATS.

The line on the series has Chicago -700 and the Bucks +525.

The Game 1 line has Chicago -7.5 with the point total at 185.5.

Chicago has a number of players on its injury report, but all of them are expected to play. Milwaukee is one of the league’s best teams against the spread on the road. The Bucks are 26-14-1 against the number as a visitor and a solid 29-20-1 ATS when an underdog.

Chicago was 3-1 SU as well as ATS against Milwaukee this season. All four games cashed UNDER. The Bucks on the season were 45-37 on the UNDER.

While the point total is making an adjustment downward thanks to four straight UNDERs from the two teams head to head, if it stays at 180 or higher there is good value going UNDER. The play is Bulls and UNDER here.

Mavericks vs. Rockets

This season Dallas was 50-32 SU and 35-44-3 ATS and Houston was 56-26 SU and 48-43 ATS.

The odds for the series have Houston -270 and Dallas +230.

The line for Game 1 is Houston -5.5 and the point total 209.5.

Houston was a one of the top three teams against the number this season. As a favorite the Rockets were 34-22 ATS and at home 26-15 ATS. Dallas was just 8-16 ATS as a dog and on the road 15-23-3 ATS. Chandler Parsons is questionable for Dallas due to a knee injury that has sidelined him for six straight games.

This season Houston was 3-1 SU as well as ATS versus Dallas and each of the four games cashed to the UNDER.

However, do not count the Mavs out just yet, as they have played well all season against talented competition.

Houston covered 11 of its final 17 games of the season. The Rockets have not played that well of late. Dwight Howard has returned and is now in playing shape and that should help Houston defensively.

Each of the four head-to-head games between the two cashed UNDER, but that is against the trend for both teams. Houston will set the pace of the game and Dallas does not have the talent on defense to stop them. The Rockets and the OVER are the way to play.

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NBA Second Season Begins on Saturday

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The playoff seedings in the NBA were not decided until the final day of the regular season. As three of the four teams that took part in the conference finals last season, did not even reach the postseason this season. Those teams included the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder.

There are plenty of new faces in the playoffs this season with the Bucks, Cavaliers, Pelicans and Celtics all taking part in the NBA’s second season, after not participating last season in the playoffs.

Golden State and Atlanta were able to lock up the No. 1 seeds in each of their conferences early in the final month of the season, while Houston leapfrogged San Antonio on the last night of the season to take the No. 2 seed out West.

The Spurs, the defending champions, were on a tear to end the season winning 14 of their last 16 regular season games, but dropped down to sixth in the conference and must face a tough opening series against the LA Clippers, after losing the last game of the season to New Orleans.

Cleveland returns to the playoff scene for the first time in five seasons, as superstar LeBron James is attempting to reach the NBA Finals for the fifth consecutive season. He and his teammates were the strongest team in the Eastern Conference since the All Star break. The Cavaliers enter the postseason as the No. 2 seed in the East. The Cavaliers open their postseason against feisty Boston Celtics team.

The Western Conference is by far the deeper conference with any of the top six teams having a legitimate chance to win the conference title.

Golden State with its 67-15 record has played much better than the rest of the conference but with the Clippers, Rockets, Grizzlies, Trail Blazers and Spurs in the top six, anything could happen during a seven game series. The Mavericks are the seventh seed and the Pelicans sneaked in the eighth spot.

In the East, it looks like a two-horse race between Atlanta and Cleveland, but Chicago could have a say in the matter. The Hawks are tough to stop on offense and Cleveland has gelled into one of the best teams in the league during the second half. Chicago has as close to a full healthy lineup it has had since October. The Bulls should have everyone healthy or at least able to play when they open their series against Milwaukee as the No. 3 seed in the East.

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Favorites to Win NBA Eastern Conference Title

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The NBA postseason has arrived. After 82 regular season games, eight teams remain in each conference to battle for their conference title and represent their conference in the NBA Finals.

Reaching to the finals is no easy task. San Antonio the defending NBA Champions needed seven games to defeat the Dallas Mavericks in just the first round last season.

Two seasons ago, Miami went seven games with Indiana to reach the NBA finals, and then pulled off a miracle to win the finals over San Antonio.

Three seasons ago, San Antonio the top seed in the NBA was 2-0 in front of Oklahoma City. The Thunder then won 4 straight to eliminate the Spurs and went up 1-0 on Miami in the finals. Miami turned around and won 4 straight to win the title.

Here is a look at the top three Eastern Conference contenders as we head to the postseason.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavaliers started their season slow with so many new pieces to put together. However, with the talent of LeBron James the team came together and has played better than any team in the East since the All-Star break. With their trio of superstars – James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love – the Cavaliers might not be the No. 1 seed, but are the odds on favorite to win the conference title.

Atlanta Hawks

Just last season the Hawks were 38-44. The backcourt is the leader with Kyle Korver and Jeff Teague. Add to the mix Paul Milsap and Al Horford and you have four players averaging between 15 and 17 points per game.

The team has remained healthy up front during the season, which has helped, as Horford was out injured most of last season. The bench has also been outstanding. Prior to the All-Star break, they were 36-5 but have not played near that since.

Chicago Bulls

The Bulls are a tough team to figure out. If they could all get healthy at the same time, they would be a big force in the East. With newcomers Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic, the Bulls offense has improved this season. However, their defense remains their biggest strength and the team’s heart and soul.

With Derrick Rose back and Joakim Noah and the rest of the frontcourt playing physical, the Bulls could go deep in the postseason because defense is so important.

2015 Eastern Conference Odds

 

Cleveland Cavaliers 1 to 3

Atlanta Hawks 7 to 2

Chicago Bulls 8 to 1

Toronto Raptors 30 to 1

Washington Wizards 30 to 1

Indiana Pacers 50 to 1

Boston Celtics 75 to 1

Brooklyn Nets 100 to 1

Milwaukee Bucks 100 to 1

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Updated and Final Regular Season NBA Championship Futures

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The NBA has just two days left on its regular season schedule and odds makers have released an updated NBA Championship Futures board, the last one before the postseason begins.

In both the Eastern and Western Conference, two teams are battling for the eighth and final playoff berth. In the East, the Brooklyn Nets are battling in the Indiana Pacers and out West, the Oklahoma City Thunder are battling the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Nets own the tiebreaker if they tie with the Pacers, while the Pelicans own the tiebreaker if they were to end the season tied with the Thunder.

On the latest NBA Championships futures board, the Cleveland Cavaliers are at the top with the shortest odds at 2 to 1, while the Golden State Warriors are sitting at 5 to 2 to win the title. San Antonio now has the third shortest odds to win the NBA championship at 3 to 1.

San Antonio has been ripping up the league having won 11 straight games and climbing from a playoff seed of No. 6 all the way to No. 2.

The Los Angeles Clippers are also playing well of late winning 12 of their last 13 games and lowering their odds to win the title to 16 to 1.

In the Eastern Conference, two teams are battling to earn the eighth and final playoff spot. The Indiana Pacers own a half-game lead over the Brooklyn Nets. The Pacers have two games left on the schedule and the Nets have just one. If the season were to end with the Pacers and Nets tied, Brooklyn would win the tiebreaker having won the season head-to-head series.

Out west, the New Orleans Pelicans are battling with the Oklahoma City Thunder for that conference’s eighth and final playoff spot. The teams have identical records of 44-37 with one game left on the schedule. However, if they both win or both lose, New Orleans owns the tiebreaker and will advance. The Thunder must defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Pelicans must lose to the San Antonio Spurs for the Thunder to advance.

San Antonio moved from No. 6 to No. 2 in the West during its current 11-game winning streak and will open the playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks if they hold the No. 2 spot, with a win on Wednesday versus New Orleans.

2014-2015 NBA CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS

Cleveland Cavaliers 2 to 1
Golden State Warriors 5 to 2
San Antonio Spurs 3 to 1
Atlanta Hawks 14 to 1
Los Angeles Clippers 16 to 1
Houston Rockets 18 to 1
Chicago Bulls 20 to 1
Memphis Grizzlies 30 to 1
Portland Trail Blazers 50 to 1
Toronto Raptors 50 to 1

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