Cavs vs Raptors Game 2 Betting

cavs-raptors-game-2-bettingThe Cleveland Cavaliers are heavily favored in their series with the Toronto Raptors, but few expected the obliteration that occurred in the first game. Cleveland built a 66-44 lead by halftime and never looked threatened en route to a 115-84 victory over Toronto.

Part of the problem was the Raptors’ inability to keep Cleveland out of the lane. A perfect example of this included LeBron James making his first nine shots – all of which were within a couple feet of the rim.

Of course, some of this lethargy might be explained by Toronto having just a day off in between their 7-game series with Miami and playing the Cavs. Now that they’re settled into Cleveland and both teams are coming off last night’s game, can we expect a better performance from the Raptors? Moreover, can they at least beat the spread? Find out as we analyze Game 2 of this series below. line for Game 2 (May 19 at 8:30pm EST)
Toronto (-110)
Cleveland -12 (-110)

Why the Raptors will cover the Spread

Based on the first contest, nobody’s opinion that Toronto is a massive underdog has changed. However, that certainly doesn’t mean this team won’t improve, especially when it comes to their shooting.

cavs-raptors-bettingAs a team, Toronto made just 42.1% of their shots, including a horrendous 5-for-24 (20.8%) from the three-point line. Kyle Lowry was a big part of this poor shooting effort as he made only 4-of-14 shots, including 0-of-7 from downtown. DeMarre Carroll (1-for-5), Terrence Ross (1-for-5) and Cory Joseph (1-for-6) didn’t shoot well either.

Cleveland is already the more-talented team, so hitting more shots will be key for Toronto. And DeMar DeRozan was at least up to the task, making 9-of-17 attempts for 18 points. If he and Lowry can both be on at the same time, then Toronto not only has a chance to cover the spread, but also win the game.

Another key for the Raptors will be getting to the free throw line. They did shoot 20 free throws, however, only four of these attempts came from the starting unit. What’s more troubling is that neither DeRozan nor Lowry made it to the line once. This has to change for Toronto, and these two must be more aggressive in driving to the hoop while not settling for jump shots.

One more area where the Raptors can improve is rebounding since they collected just 23 boards to Cleveland’s 45 last game. Expect Bismack Biyombo (4 rebounds) and Patrick Patterson (2 rebounds) to be far more active on the boards this time around. Assuming the Raptors can better control the glass and shoot well, then they have a good chance to cover the spread.

Why the Cavs will cover the Spread

12 points is a lot to cover no matter how heavily you’re favored. But you can justify the -12 spread when considering that Cleveland was fully in command of the first contest.

cavs-raptors-betting-game-2The Cavs, who earned the billing of a three-point-shooting team in their series with Atlanta, made their mark in the paint this time. Kyrie Irving (11-for-17) and LeBron (11-for-13) had no trouble getting to the hoop against a Toronto team that’s normally solid defensively. Even with off-nights from important players like JR Smith (1-for-5) and Tristan Thompson (1-for-4), Cleveland shot 55.4% from the floor.

Given how many points they scored inside, expect the Raptors to pack the paint this time around, allowing the Cavs’ three-point shooters to get more wide-open looks. This should allow Kevin Love, Channing Frye and Smith to get some clean three-pointers.

Another thing going in Cleveland’s favor is that they just seem to be the deeper team at this point. They have no major injuries and their bench rotation of Iman Shumpert, Richard Jefferson, Matthew Dellavedova and Frye outplayed Ross, Joseph and James Johnson. There really doesn’t seem to be one area where the Raptors have an advantage at this point.

Prediction for Cavs vs Raptors Game 2

Cleveland has the home floor again and the same lineup going that obliterated Toronto in the first contest. However, the Cavs also don’t have much to improve upon from the first game, which could hurt them a little in Game 2. Meanwhile, the Raptors have all sorts of improvement to make, including rebounding, shooting and driving inside. We don’t think Toronto will win, but they may at least keep the game within 10 points or less.

Final Score: Cleveland 107 – Toronto 99
Betting Prediction:
Bet on the Raptors to cover their +12 spread

Blazers vs Warriors Betting Game 5

warriors-blazers-bettingIt wasn’t hard finding the big story in Game 4 between the Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors…Steph Curry returning from injury to score 40 points, including 17 in overtime, and help his team win 132-125 (OT) to take a 3-1 series lead.

This was a crushing defeat for the Trail Blazers, who were hoping to even up the series on their home floor. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 60 points to try and make this happen. But in the end, they just didn’t have enough to get the job done.

Now the series shifts back to Golden State, where the Warriors have won both games so far. Do the Blazers have enough left in them to win at Oracle Arena, or at least beat the spread? Or will the Warriors and a rejuvenated Curry quickly put this game away? You can see what we think below, as we cover Game 5 of the Warriors vs Blazers. line for Game 5 (May 11 at 10:30pm EST)
Portland (-110)
Golden State -12.5 (-110)

Why Portland will cover the Spread

It might seem like the Blazers gave Golden State their best punch, only to lose a heart-breaker at home. However, the truth is that Portland didn’t really play their best game. Lillard was only 9-for-30 shooting (36 points) while McCollum wasn’t a whole lot better at 9-for-23 (24 points).

warriors-blazers-betting-game-4Obviously you don’t want your stars shooting poorly, but this at least shows that Portland has room to improve. This team could also cut down on their turnovers since they committed 18 last time out.

As for what doesn’t need improved upon, some of the role players really stepped up and helped this team out. Mason Plumlee was 6-for-11 with 12 points and 15 rebounds, Al-Farouq Aminu scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, while Allen Crabbe added 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting.

Another positive takeaway is that Portland made 15 out of their 39 three-point attempts (38.5%). This may not keep pace with the Warriors, but if they do everything else right, it could be enough to win the next game.

Why Golden State will cover the Spread

Most people expect the Warriors to win this close-out game at home, so we’ll just skip ahead to if they can cover the large -12.5 spread.

warriors-blazers-game-4-betting-1Without Curry back from his knee sprain, this would have been an easy ‘no.’ But, after point guard Shaun Livingston was ejected for arguing a no-call, Curry was forced to play the majority of the game, which turned out to be a good thing since he showed he’s over the knee injury.

The good news for the Warriors is that their team is so deep that they don’t even need Curry to score 40. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green scored 23 and 21 points respectively, while Harrison Barnes (10) and Marreese Spreights (11) both scored in double figures. In all, 11 different players scored for the Warriors in a close-knit contest, showing that coach Steve Kerr has no shortage of options.

As usual, Golden State played great team defense too, blocking 10 shots and collecting 13 steals. Considering that they’re probably be a little fresher than Portland, due to their deeper bench, we expect the same type of defensive effort from the Warriors this time around.

Prediction on Warriors vs Blazers Game 5

Covering a -12.5 spread is far from easy to do, even if you’re the Golden State Warriors at home. But the Warriors did manage to win their first two home games in this series by an average of 11.5 PPG, and Curry didn’t play much in these contests. On the other side, Portland is facing elimination, and they have two very capable stars in Lillard and McCollum. But can they keep their spirits up facing a 3-1 deficit, with the Oracle Arena crowd against them the entire time? We have to say no, especially with a rested Curry back.

Final Score: Golden State 115 – Portland 101
Betting Advice:
The Warriors appear at full strength and they’re at home. So we think that they’ll cover the -12.5 spread, even though this is a lot against a desperate Portland squad.

Heat vs Raptors Betting Game 5

heat-miami-game-5-betting-1Following Game 3, the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors both got bad news after discovering that their starting centers would miss the next contest. And for the Heat, the news that Hassan Whiteside would miss Game 4 seemed especially damaging, given that Chris Bosh is already missing the playoffs due to a blood clot.

Nevertheless, Dwyane Wade turned back time with an outstanding performance, scoring 30 points on 13-of-24 shooting as the Heat won 94-87 in overtime.

Meanwhile, the Raptors, who lost center Jonas Valanciunas (ankle) for the entire postseason, failed to capitalize on a fourth-quarter lead.

With the series now tied at 2 games a piece, action shifts to the Air Canada Centre, where the Raptors hope to regain control. Can they take advantage of home-court advantage? Which team will cover the spread? Find out as we cover Game 5 of the Heat vs Raptors and discuss who you should bet on. line for Game 5 (May 11 at 8:00pm EST)
Miami (-110)
Toronto -4.5 (-110)

Why the Raptors will cover the Spread

Toronto’s stars, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, have played about as badly as one could imagine. Lowry is shooting 23-for-65 (35.8%) through four games while DeRozan is even worse at 28-for-80 (35.0%).

heat-miami-game-5-bettingGame 4 was a nightmare, with Lowry hitting just 2-of-11 shots and DeRozan only making 4-of-17. But the encouraging thing here: the Raptors still took the game into overtime. We can’t see both players turning out such a bad performance again in Game 5, which will boost the Raptors’ firepower.

Another encouraging sign is that DeMarre Carroll is making significant contributions at the right time of year. Given that Carroll missed 58 games this season following knee surgery, the 13 points that he scored on 6-of-11 shooting was a blessing. He also scored 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting in a Game 2 victory over the Heat.

One more point worth making here is that while Toronto won’t have the services of Valanciunas, they are at least equipped to handle this, given that they have one of the league’s best backup centers in Bismack Biyombo. He showed this last game by scoring 13 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and blocking two shots.

The main thing that the Raptors need to beat Miami is a complete effort. As long as either DeRozan or Lowry get going, which is very likely, they can win and cover the -4.5 spread.

Why the Heat will cover the Spread

While Toronto did not shoot well overall (39%), they at least made 6-of-20 three-pointers (30%) for a subpar performance. What the Heat did from three-point land, though, was disastrous to say the least as they hit just 1-of-15 (6.7%). So, like the Raptors, Miami definitely has room to improve in Game 5.

goran-dragic-heatMoving along, the Heat couldn’t have asked for a better performance from the 34-year-old Wade. At an age when even superstars like himself are close to retiring, he carried the team’s offensive load. This was especially important since Joe Johnson (5-for-13) and Goran Dragic (5-for-16) weren’t on target. Luol Deng also wasn’t much of a factor, scoring just 7 points.

Miami got good bench support from Justise Winslow, who scored 9 points on 4-of-5 shooting and played good defense. Assuming they get Josh Richardson to step up more, both can provide support for the starters.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the Heat will have Whiteside back for Game 5 because he has a grade 1 MCL sprain. He’s currently wearing a special brace and they don’t know when exactly he’ll return to action. This means Amar’e Stoudemire and Udonis Haslem will again man the middle. If they can come close to matching Biyombo’s effort, their team has a much better chance of winning.

We see Dragic stepping up more for sure in Game 5, and Deng might offer more production too. If this happens, combined with Wade’s incredible performances, then the Heat have a definite chance to win.

Prediction on Heat vs Raptors Game 5

kyle-lowry-playoffsThe intensity has stepped up, and Lowry and DeRozan aren’t shooting quite like they did during the regular season. But we expect one of them to have a breakout performance in Game 5, playing on their home floor. This, combined with the fact that Toronto is a deeper team should carry them to victory. For the Heat, they may not get another performance from Wade like this, so others have to step up and/or Whiteside needs to return soon.

Score Prediction: Toronto 105 – Miami 97
Betting Advice:
Toronto should cover the -4.5 spread on their home floor, especially with their bench and a good game from Lowry and/or DeRozan.

Spurs vs Thunder Betting Game 4

spurs-thunder-game-4-bettingFor the second straight game, the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder played a very close contest. The Spurs remained in control at halftime with a 47-42 lead, however, the Thunder would battle back and eventually take a 81-77 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

But San Antonio made some key plays down the stretch to take a 100-96 victory. They now lead the series 2-1 and will look to increase their lead with another road win. We can be sure the Thunder will be doing everything in their power to stop this, though.

As you can see below, the spread is very close in this game. So who should you lay your money on? And who will walk out of this contest a winner? Find out below as we discuss Game 4 of the San Antonio vs OKC series. line for Game 4 (May 8 at 8:00pm EST)
San Antonio -1 (-110)
Oklahoma City (-110)

Why the Spurs will win

In Game 2, San Antonio’s starters were largely outplayed by OKC’s starters as the latter pulled out a 98-97 victory. However, the Spurs flipped the script last time out, with Kawhi Leonard (+5), LaMarcus Aldrige (+1), Tim Duncan (+4) and Danny Green (+5) all posting positive ratings.

spurs-thunder-game-4-betting-2Leonard was particularly effective scoring 31 points on 9-of-17 shooting. He also hit three out of four of his three-pointers and added 11 rebounds.

Aldridge wasn’t as dominant as in the first two games, where he averaged 38.5 PPG on 75% shooting. However, he still added 24 points on 8-of-21 shooting, including 8 out of 10 makes at the free-throw line. Tony Parker was also effective, scoring 14 points on 7-of-14 shooting.

If San Antonio’s starting lineup can outplay the Thunder’s starters again, then they can definitely grab another road win. After all, the Spurs’ bench rotation of Boris Diaw, Manu Ginobili, Patty Mills and David West has been far more effective than what OKC brings off the bench.

This team also did a good job of eliminating their turnovers, committing just 8 in the game. Combined with their 10-for-19 shooting (53%) from three-point range, the Spurs hit shots at the right time and took care of the ball. As long as San Antonio plays their efficient style of basketball again, they can grab another victory.

Why the Thunder will win

This time, the Thunder were on the wrong side of a close game. And a big reason why is because they shot mediocre from three-point range (10-for-30) and committed 14 turnovers, six more than the Spurs.

spurs-thunder-game-4-betting-1Both of these stats somewhat reflect Russell Westbrook’s play since he was 10-for-31 from the floor, 3-for-10 on three’s and committed 5 turnovers. Of course, this isn’t to pin the loss on Westbrook because the triple-double machine nearly had another one in this contest with 31 points, 9 rebounds (4 offensive) and 8 assists. But if he shoots more efficiently and has less turnovers in Game 4, OKC has a great chance of winning.

As for Kevin Durant, he just needs to repeat his Game 3 performance, which included 26 points on 10-for-18 shooting. But if there’s one complaint here, Durant also had 5 turnovers, which, if reduced, gives the Thunder a good chance of winning.

Beyond this, Oklahoma City needs a couple more players to step up. Serge Ibaka had a pretty good game with 15 points, but Enes Kanter was the next-highest scorer with 8 points off the bench.

If Durant and Westbrook continue scoring, which seems very likely, and another 2-3 players step up, it’s very easy to see the Thunder winning in front of their home crowd.

Prediction on Spurs vs Thunder Game 4

spurs-thunder-game-4-betting-3Including the loss that OKC gave them in Game 2, the Spurs have only lost twice at the AT&T Center in 43 contests. So the Thunder have to know that they can’t win this series if they drop Game 4 at home too. Expect a valiant effort from this talented OKC team as they face what’s the next-closest thing to an elimination game on their home floor. San Antonio should still win the series, but we don’t see them taking this game.

Final Score: Thunder 101 – Spurs 96
Betting Advice: Spurs won’t beat the -1 spread, so bet on OKC.

Spurs vs Thunder Game 2 Betting

thunder-vs-spurs-bettingThe San Antonio Spurs lost only one game at home the entire season, going 40-1 in the AT&T Center. So it wasn’t a tremendous surprise when they dominated the Oklahoma City Thunder by a score of 124-92 in Game 1. However, OKC turned things around in Game 2 and gave San Antonio just their second home loss by a score of 98-97.

It wasn’t always pretty, and the NBA admits to 5 missed calls in the final 13 seconds, but the Thunder have evened up the series and look to take a lead at home.

So can OKC win at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, where they were 32-9 in the regular season? Or can the Spurs, who were 27-14 on the road, reclaim control of this series? We’ll discuss this below and offer some advice on who you should bet on in Game 2. line for Game 2 (May 6 at 9:30pm EST)
San Antonio -2 (-110)
Oklahoma City (-110)

Why the Spurs will beat the Spread

San Antonio played as badly as they could have in the first quarter of Game 2. Not only did they miss four layups in the opening minutes, but they also committed some careless turnovers that made it look as if they were still in preseason mode.

thunder-vs-spurs-betting-1Despite all of this, which left them trailing 29-21 after the first quarter, San Antonio came back thanks to two solid quarters, which left them trailing by one point heading into the fourth. Both teams battled to a stalemate in the fourth, leaving OKC with a one-point victory. But you have to think that the Spurs could’ve pulled this one out if they didn’t have such a horrendous first quarter.

The one constant for San Antonio has been LaMarcus Aldridge, who’s averaging 39.5 PPG in the series. His dominant performance has been marked by efficiency since he’s shooting 75% and knocking down just about every turnaround jumper he takes. Oklahoma City hasn’t found an answer for Aldridge so far, and it’s unclear if they will any time soon.

The key will be getting the rest of the team playing solid again. Kawhi Leonard was 10-for-13 with 20 points in the first contest, but he sunk to a 7-for-18, 14-point performance last game. Other key Spurs shot even worse, including Danny Green (3-for-11), Tim Duncan (1-for-8), Tony Parker (3-for-9) and Patty Mills (2-for-9).

We don’t think there’s a chance in the world that all of these players will combine for such bad shooting again with the Spurs’ efficiency. So we see a big bounce-back game for San Antonio this time out.

Why the Thunder will beat the Spread

Beyond their home-court advantage, Oklahoma City has had a big edge in terms of starters so far. Russell Westbrook (+10), Steven Adams (+12), Andre Robertson (+17) and Serge Ibaka (+18) were a dominant group together.

thunder-vs-spurs-betting-2Kevin Durant only ended up with a +3 rating, despite shooting 11-for-19 with 28 points. But we can chalk this up to him playing more minutes with the second unit than anybody else. Aside from Aldridge, the starters on San Antonio were completely outclassed in Game 2.

The one problem for OKC, though, is the bench, which has been their Achilles’ heel all season long. Enes Kanter had a solid offensive performance off the bench with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting. But Dion Waiters (1-for-5), Anthony Morrow (1-for-3) and Cameron Payne (0-for-3) allowed the Spurs to work their way back into the game.

All the Thunder need is for 2-3 players to step up on their bench, and they can put together a complete effort that’s capable of beating the Spurs on any given night. This is easier said than done against the methodical Spurs, but if it happens, then expect another Thunder victory.

Prediction for Spurs vs Thunder Game 2

We expect Oklahoma City’s starting five to again get the better of San Antonio’s starting five. However, we also see the Spurs getting enough from Aldrige, Leonard and the bench to take a lead in the series. Don’t be surprised to see Green, Duncan and/or Parker get back on track as well.

Score Prediction: Spurs 101 – Thunder 97
Spread Result:
Spurs cover -2 spread

Cavs vs Hawks Game 2 Betting

cavs-hawks-bettingThrough two and a half quarters, the Cleveland Cavaliers seemed in command of the series opener with the Atlanta Hawks. However, Atlanta stormed back towards the end of the third and pulled within 4 points. By the fourth quarter, they’d taken a lead against a Cavs team that seemed on cruise control the entire time.

This is when Cleveland woke up and made some key plays down the stretch to grab the lead back and win by double digits. Perhaps the most-important play during this run was LeBron James’ three-point play with 2:09 left. The Cavs never looked back and ended up with a 104-93 victory.

This win gives Cleveland 9 straight postseason victories over the Hawks. So can Atlanta finally put together a great performance against the Cavs and end this streak? If not, can they at least beat the spread? Let’s answer these questions below by discussing Game 2 of this series. line for Game 2 (May 4 at 8:00pm EST)
Atlanta (-110)
Cleveland -7 (-110)

Why the Hawks will beat the Spread

Last year, Atlanta was primarily known for their four All-Stars, Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, Al Horford and Paul Millsap. This season, only Millsap and Horford ended up on the All-Star team, but the Hawks seem deeper since other players are emerging.

paul-millsapAside from Millsap, who had 17 points and 13 rebounds, Atlanta’s two most-effective players were Kent Bazemore (16 pts on 6-of-14 shooting) and Dennis Schroder (27 pts on 10-of-20 shooting). Mike Scott also made important contributions by scoring 7 points on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting.

We don’t expect this trio to carry the Hawks throughout the series; however, if Bazemore, Schroder and/or Scott keep stepping up, then the Cavaliers will have more to contend with than just the four high-profile players.

One more point worth mentioning is that Atlanta got open three-pointers – they just didn’t knock them down (11-for-34). If this changes in Game 2, then the Hawks could get the extra push they need to win in Cleveland.

Why Cleveland will beat the Spread

Coming off eight days’ rest, the Cavs didn’t look too rusty as they bolted out to a large lead early on. The Hawks would continue cutting this lead to between 8 and 12 points, however, they never seemed like a real threat throughout most of the contest. It was only until Cleveland was losing in the fourth that they truly seemed to step up and play their best basketball.

kevin-love-cavsThis second gear should worry Atlanta since the Cavs can improve their performance at any moment. This especially seems to be the case for James, who came up with big baskets when his team needed them most.

Another thing worth adding is that Cleveland won by 11 points despite an off-night from Kevin Love, who was just 4-of-17 with 17 points. It’s unclear how healthy Love will be for Game 2 after banging his shoulder against Bazemore on a three-point attempt. But if he can play 100% and play well, then Cleveland has even more reason to expect a dominating win.

We can’t forget the Cavs’ three-point shooting, of course, which has been near Golden-State-Warriors level over the last few months. Cleveland was 15-of-31 overall from three-point range, with Kyrie Irving (3-for-5) and Jr Smith (4-for-7) leading the way. If the Cavs’ hot shooting continues, combined with James’ dominating drives, this series may not last past four games.

Prediction for Cavs vs Hawks Game 2

kyrie-irving-cavsHawks stars Millsap (6-for-19), Horford (4-for-13), Teague (2-for-9) and Korver (0-for-1) did not shoot their best last game. We certainly don’t expect all four players to have such bad-shooting performances in Game 2, meaning the contest will be closer throughout. However, the key thing to remember here is that Cleveland is still the better team, and they’re playing at home. So while we expect a more-entertaining game, the Cavs will still win by a decent margin.

Score Prediction: Cavs 105 – Atlanta 97
Spread Result:
Cavs cover -7 spread.