Spurs vs Warriors Playoffs Odds & Betting Advice

kawhi-leonard-vs-curryGolden State vs. San Antonio…this is the Western Conference Finals matchup that everybody envisioned in 2016. But the Oklahoma City Thunder ruined that last year by beating San Antonio in the semifinals.

Kevin Durant left the Thunder for the Warriors in the offseason, creating a super team in Golden State.

The question now is whether or not the Spurs can compete against this elite squad.

Let’s discuss whether this is possible below and look at which team you should bet on in Game 1 and beyond.

Western Conference Finals Playoff Series
No. 2 Spurs vs. No. 1 Warriors
Game 1 Betting Line: San Antonio +10, Golden State -10
Over/Under: 211 (-110)
Other Betting Lines: Check GTBets.eu

Series Schedule:
Game 1 @GSW: Sunday, May 14 at 3:30 pm on ABC
Game 2 @GSW: Tuesday, May 16 at 9 pm on ESPN
Game 3 @SAN: Saturday, May 20 at 9 pm on ESPN
Game 4 @SAN: Monday, May 22 at 9 pm on ESPN
Game 5 @GSW: Wednesday, May 24 at 9 pm on ESPN
Game 6 @SAN: Friday, May 26 at 9 pm on ESPN
Game 7 @GSW: Sunday, May 28 at 9 pm on ESPN

Golden State Warriors Conference Finals Preview

The story for the Warriors is that there is no story.

They breezed through the first two rounds, sweeping both the Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz.

Golden State won against the Trail Blazers by an average of 18 PPG, and against Utah by 15 PPG.

Are these Warriors invincible? It sure seems so right now. But there are concerns.

First off, Steve Kerr won’t coach again in the playoffs due to back surgery complications. He may not even coach in the NBA again. This leaves assistant Mike Brown replacing him as interim coach.

Brown has a solid head coaching record, going 347-216 in the regular season and 47-36 in the playoffs. But blending superstar talent with bench specialists is a job that Kerr excelled at. Will there be any drop-off with Brown coaching?

Another question mark is how well Golden State will handle clutch situations that arise. While the’re still favored big time in this series, Golden State’s opponent isn’t a guard-heavy Portland team or young Jazz squad. It’s the San Antonio Spurs, who’ve been a dynasty since the late 1990s.

klay-thompson-vs-spursThis means that some games will be close. And the Warriors have had difficulty figuring out if Steph Curry, Draymond Green, or Durant should handle the ball in these situations. Furthermore, Durant’s style of shooting over defenders in clutch situations clashes with what the Warriors do – running sets and getting the best-possible shot.

Beyond these concerns, Golden State has everything else going in their favor.

Their stars have obliterated the competition. Curry is playing as well as ever, averaging 27.1 PPG and 6.0 APG in the playoffs. Durant is a more-than-capable sidekick, scoring 23.3 PPG on 52.3% shooting. Green is playing a great all-around game, with 14.9 PPG, 9.1 RPG, and 8.5 APG in the postseason.

Klay Thompson has struggled in the playoffs, scoring 16.1 PPG on 40.7% shooting. His teammate and friend, Zaza Pachulia, even ribbed Thompson about it after outscoring him in a playoff game. But the All-Star guard has shown in the past that he’s more than capable of heating up.

The cast of role players is adequate, with Andre Igoudala (7.6 PPG), JaVale McGee (7.4 PPG), Ian Clark (7.3 PPG), and Pachulia (5.8 PPG) leading the way. This bench isn’t as strong as what the team featured in 2015 and ’16. But then again, Golden State has more star power too.

Until proven otherwise, these Warriors are still the favorite to win the title.

Warriors ATS Record: Golden State is 5-3 against the spread in the playoffs, including 1-3 at home. Considering that the Warriors again have to cover a big home spread (-10), we’re leery to bet on them in Game 1.

San Antonio Spurs Conference Finals Preview

kawhi-vs-warriorsThe semifinals series between the Houston Rockets and Spurs was competitive up until Game 6. This is when San Antonio unleashed hell on the Rockets and won the deciding game by 39 points.

And what’s amazing is that this was without Kawhi Leonard, who’s nursing an ankle injury.

The blowout victory showed just how devastating San Antonio can be when you don’t bring your A-game. But the concern now is Leonard’s health for the Golden State series.

He’s supposed to play in Game 1. And Leonard needs to play and be 100% for San Antonio to have any chance against the Warriors. The MVP candidate has done it all for the Spurs, averaging 27.8 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 4.7 APG, and 1.73 SGP in the playoffs.

One thing that’ll be interesting is how San Antonio uses their size advantage. They feature Pau Gasol (7.1. PPG, 7.1 RPG) at center, and LaMarcus Aldridge (16.8 PPG, 8.0 RPG) at power forward. While these two are normally assets on the floor together, they struggled defensively against Houston’s three-point heavy attack.

spurs-warriors-oddsGolden State will employ a similar style. They also have an amazing small ball unit, using Green (6’7″) at center. If Aldridge and Gasol do play heavy minutes together, they need to punish the Warriors’ small ball lineup inside.

Another thing to look for is if PG Patty Mills, SG Danny Green, and SG/SF Jonathan Simmons can keep up their strong play. They all stepped up against Houston, especially Simmons and his defense on James Harden. Are they up to a tougher challenge in guarding Curry, Thompson, and Durant?

One thing that’s decidedly in San Antonio’s favor is the coaching advantage. Gregg Popovich, winner of 5 championships, is one of the greatest coaches of all time. His adjustments were masterful for Game 6 against Houston. Popovich’s edge will be even bigger, with interim coach Mike Brown trying to run Kerr’s system.

Spurs ATS Record: San Antonio is 7-5 against the spread in the postseason, including 3-3 on the road. Given that the Spurs are a poised team with a .500 ATS record in the playoffs, we like them to cover +10.

Final Thoughts on Spurs vs Warriors Playoffs Betting

Many are surprised to see the spread size for Game 1. After all, San Antonio has a long history of success, and they won just 6 fewer games than Golden State in the regular season.

But then again, the Warriors are a perfect 8-0 in the postseason, with seven of these victories being by double digits. So it’s little wonder why bookmakers have the Dubs at -630 on the moneyline, and +10 on the spread.

However, as covered in the Warriors’ ATS section, they’ve only gone 1-3 ATS at Oracle Arena. And while we definitely see them winning this series, we can’t see Golden State covering in Game 1.

Series Prediction: Golden State wins series 4-2

Jaylen Brown: Key to Boston’s 2017 Playoffs Success?

jaylen-brown-celticsThe Boston Celtics are having a very successful 2017 campaign, currently tied with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the East’s top spot. And with +600 odds of winning the Eastern Conference right now, they’re a betting bargain.

When it comes to acknowledgements for Boston’s success, All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas (29.2 PPG), center Al Horford (14.0 PPG), and forward Jae Crowder (13.9 PPG) are often given much praise. Avery Bradley (16.4 PPG), Marcus Smart (10.6 PPG), and Kelly Olynyk (9.0 PPG) have also provided significant contributions.

But when it comes to the 2017 NBA Playoffs, rookie Jaylen Brown could be their secret weapon. Let’s discuss why below along with how Brown has improved greatly as the season has progressed.

Pushing through the Rookie Wall

Much has been made about what the Boston Celtics will do with the treasure trove of draft picks that they possess (via Brooklyn Nets). Last June, they used the No. 3 overall pick on Brown, rather than trading it away.

jaylen-brown-bostonFew expected the then-teenager to provide immediate contributions because he was considered an offensive project and athlete. Furthermore, he only had 34 games at Cal to prep for joining an upper-tier NBA team.

Averaging over 17 minutes per game and appearing in 76 contests, Brown has had his ups and downs this season. But he’s powered through and is now set to play a significant role during the playoffs.

“I’ve hit that rookie wall a few times but it’s all mental,” Brown explained. “I’ve got to be locked in everyday and be prepared to help this team… Scoring the ball, guarding different positions, I’m ready to do whatever is needed of me.”

Considering how versatile of a defender Brown is, he gives the Celtics somebody who can defend multiple positions, and play excellent pick-and-roll defense.

Standout in the 2016 Draft Class

When compared to the 2016 draft class, Brown has justified his lofty selection. After all, No. 1 pick Ben Simmons hasn’t even appeared in a game for the Philadelphia 76ers. The other top-5 players are on teams with a combined .332 winning percentage, including Minnesota (Kris Dunn), Phoenix (Dragan Bender), and Los Angeles (Brandon Ingram).

jaylen-brown-dunkBrown is actually the first top-5 selection to be headed towards the NBA playoffs since 2012.

Phoenix guard Devin Booker acknowledged this after scoring 70 points against the Celtics. “I told [Brown] he’s here in Boston,” said Booker. “You’re winning, so you should be more happy than me.”

Boston has indeed done very well, winning 50 games for the first time since 2011 – back when Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen led the team. Interestingly enough, it was the Brooklyn deal for Pierce and Garnett that resulted in the draft pick that brought Brown here.

From Struggling Rookie to Important Contributor

The rookie had a limited role to start the season, which is no surprise with veterans Crowder and Gerald Green manning the small forward position. When he did see minutes, it wasn’t great since the team only averaged 98 points per 100 possessions (would rank last in NBA) with Brown on the floor.

Nobody questioned Brown’s defensive effort, nor his ability to get to the rim. It’s the latter that helped him average 14.6 points at Cal. But the big limitation has remained Brown’s ability to consistently knock down open jumpers. He shot 29.4% from three-point range in college, and only shot slightly better than this at 30.4% during his first four months of the NBA season.

jalen-brown-celticsBut there are signs that Brown has improved rapidly over the last few weeks. He shot 45.5% from beyond the arc in March, and the team’s offensive rating was 111.0 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor – 13 points better than before the All-Star break. Currently, Brown is shooting 34.6% from outside, which is right around the league average.

“Jaylen keeps growing every game,” said coach Brad Stevens. “Where we really want to see growth from him is defensively. He’s a long guy who can do a lot for us, but we want to see him consistently give us quality minutes of the defensive end heading into the playoffs.”

A Turning Point

The point where Brown really started turning things around came in a late February contest with Detroit. The Pistons were trailing 98-96 with 30 seconds remaining, with Boston needing a big basket to hold off the challengers. Horford drove in, drew the defense, then kicked the ball out to Brown for a three-pointer. The rookie not only nailed the shot, but got fouled and made the free throw to put the game away.

“My shooting has always been something people critiqued me on,” Brown stated. “But ever since coming [to Boston] people told me to keep shooting and keep my confidence up. I’ve been shooting it a lot better of late, so I hope to keep that going the rest of the year.”

Moving into the Playoffs

Over the past few years, Boston has been satisfied making the playoffs. But they want more than just a first-round exit this season, given that they signed Horford and drafted Brown in the offseason. And Brown will no doubt play a role in helping the Celtics make a deep playoff run.

“Jaylen’s been able to fill in for us pretty much every night,” said Smart. “He adds another body for us and he’s a unique guy. We can play him anywhere on the floor and expect him to give us good minutes.”

As it stands now, Boston would face the Indiana Pacers in the first round. And they’ll hold home-court advantage until at least the Eastern Conference Finals if they keep winning. Of course, with the last two years featuring first-round postseason exits, nothing will be guaranteed for this team, even with home court.

Brown has entered the 8-player rotation that’s expected to propel this Celtics team to its biggest heights since the turn of the decade.

It seems that he’s more up to the task than ever before since he’s averaging 9.4 PPG over the past six contests. Assuming Brown can keep putting up this kind of offensive production, it’ll make him a huge asset when combined with his athleticism and defense.

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.

GTBets.eu 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.

GTBets News for May 6, 2016

This week’s edition of GTBets news covers Kentucky Derby betting, another round of the NBA Playoffs, Stanley Cup Playoffs betting, and the Premier League’s Everton and Leicester City facing off.

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Kentucky Derby Betting

It’s time again for the Kentucky Derby! This Saturday, May 7th, be a part of the action for the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby. This most anticipated and exciting race will have a guaranteed purse of $2 million.

Log into your account to claim your Free $5 Win Bet valid today through Saturday.

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NBA Playoffs Betting

The NBA Conference Semi-Finals continue with tonight’s game, Miami Heat @ Toronto Raptors. Tune in at 8:00pm ET to see who will take Game 2.

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Stanley Cup Playoffs Betting

Keep up to date with the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Tonight at 8:00pm ET watch Round 2, Game 4 of the Dallas Stars @ St. Louis Blues. Then at 9:00pm ET, the Sharks will head to Nashville to take on the Predators in Game 4!

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Premier League Betting: Everton vs. Leicester City

This Saturday, May 7th, watch featured game Everton  vs Leicester City as they go head to head at King Power Stadium. This game starts at 12:30 pm ET, so don’t miss your chance to get in on the action.

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GTBets Newsletter April 29, 2016

In this week’s edition of GTBets.eu news, we discuss a series between the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox, another round of NBA Playoffs betting, the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the $10k Lucky Cats slots tournament.

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MLB: Braves vs. Red Sox Betting

Tune in for our MLB game of the day tonight at 7:10pm ET. The Braves (173) will be taking on the Red Sox (-193) in a game that is not to be missed.

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NBA Playoffs Betting

And the playoffs continue… Warriors MVP Steph Curry will likely be out for 2 weeks but the team is still holding up strong. However, Clippers players Paul and Griffin are both dealing with injuries of their own, which could be bad news for their team. In the East, the Cavs seem to be unstoppable, but the Hawks and the Heat could give them some trouble.

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Stanley Cup Playoffs

Today’s featured NHL Stanley Cup Playoff game is the Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals. Join us for live action betting throughout the entire game!

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$10k Lucky Cats Slots Tournament

It’s your lucky week! Enter into the $10,000 Lucky Cats Tournament for a chance at big cash prizes. The Week 4 tournament game is 4 Seasons and it runs until Sunday, May 1st. Don’t miss out!

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What will the Pacers do with Lance Stephenson?

lance-stephenson-lebron-ear-blowGoing into the 2014 NBA Playoffs, Lance Stephenson was already getting questionable looks from Indiana Pacers management. After all, he did get into a fist fight with teammate Evan Turner. Now, after Stephenson’s antics in the Miami Heat series, Indiana is likely to wonder even more if they should think about bringing the pending free agent back for another season.

Anybody who paid minimal attention to the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals matchup saw headlines about Stephenson blowing in LeBron James’ ear during a play like they were long-lost lovers. He also touched LeBron’s face during an inbounds play and “inadvertently” smacked Norris Cole in the face. Referees didn’t see the latter as an accident, though, and called Stephenson for a flagrant foul.

Of course, the idea behind all of this – at least in the 23-year-old’s mind – was to get in James’ head. But all of these antics just served as the extra motivation that Miami needed to finish Indiana off in six games, with the final contest being a 117-92 blowout. And as for Stephenson’s effect, well, King James responded by scoring 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting in Game 6 – most of which came against his antagonist in just 31 minutes.

Following his aggravating maneuvers, Team President Larry Bird didn’t exactly approve of the ear-blowing. And Indiana’s leading scorer, Paul George, was less than enthusiastic about Stephenson’s future with the team. “I mean, I don’t know,” George said. “That’s for Larry (Bird), (GM) Kevin (Pritchard), for them to decide. You know, it’d be great. We came in this league together. It’d be great for us to continue our journey together.”

lance-stephenson-lebron-1One more thing worth mentioning here is that popular speculation and rumors pointed to Stephenson as a player who hurt the team’s chemistry during their terrible spring regular-season run. For instance, Roy Hibbert said “there’s some selfish dudes” in the locker room, with “dudes” thought to mean Stephenson.

From all of this talk, you’d think that there was no chance he’d be back in a Pacers uniform next year. But that might not necessarily be the case because there’s some definite upside to the four-year veteran.

Welcome Back

While Stephenson’s antics may be getting all of the attention right now, he’s certainly a very talented player. The 6’5″ shooting guard posted regular-season averages of 13.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG and 4.6 APG. He also led the NBA with six triple-doubles, something that many NBA fans may not realize.

Even with the intense pressure of the NBA Playoffs, Stephenson held steady by averaging 13.8 PPG, 7.1 RPG and 4.4 APG. So you can see why both Bird and coach Frank Vogel recently said that they’d like to have Stephenson back if they can afford the guard. Here’s a look at what AP writer Michael Marot wrote about the matter:

 lance-stephenson-lebron-2Larry Bird wants Lance Stephenson back with the Indiana Pacers at the right price. After spending the last week hearing Stephenson roundly criticized for his over-the-top antics with LeBron James in the Eastern Conference finals, Bird said Monday he hopes Stephenson stays with the team, headaches and all.

“I think his ceiling is what he wants it to be,” said Bird, the Pacers’ president of basketball operations. “I always want him back. You just don’t let talent like that walk away if you can help it.”

[cont’d later] “Clearly, he’s a free agent, and I’m certainly hoping that he’s back,” Vogel said, later acknowledging he played the role of team psychologist more this year than any previous year.

Up in the Air

Despite Stephenson wearing thin on teammates and top brass at times, it appears that he’s wanted back. However, the murkiest part of this situation is how much Stephenson will command in the free agent market.

On the right team, Stephenson has the talent to average upwards of 20 PPG. He’s also an exceptional rebounder for his size and position – even if teammates sometimes see him as a rebound-stealer. With the Pacers expected to be $8 million to $12 million under the luxury tax threshold, it’s unclear how much money they can offer the former Cincinnati product. Assuming he commands a much larger contract from another team, it’s hard to see him coming back to Indiana.

But based on the way this season’s playoffs went, the Pacers won’t give up hope if they can’t bring Stephenson back.