Tonight’s playoff match ups see Spurs on the road at Oklahoma City, with the series tied at 1-1, and the Cavaliers visiting the Hawks in Atlanta up two games to none. King James & Company look to squander the Hawks’ comeback aspirations by going up 3-0, a deficit no team in the NBA has been able to come back from. As for the Thunder, they look to build off Monday’s controversial win and take the series lead. Here are my predictions, as well as sports betting advice, for tonight’s playoff games.
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Atlanta Hawks
The Cavs are coming off a red hot shooting performance in Game 2. In just 45 attempts, they recorded an NBA record 25 three pointers made (55.6%) as they cruised past the Hawks 123-98. For the series, the Cavaliers are 40 for 76 downtown (52.6%). The scary part is that they are doing this against the Hawks, who ranked second in defensive efficiency this season, behind the Spurs. Down 2-0 with memories of last year’s conference final, the Hawks can’t be feeling too good about how this series is playing out. Not to mention Cleveland has now won nine straight against them. Opening as the 2.5 point favorites, I like the Cavaliers in this game. They have all the momentum against what seems to be a defeated Hawks team. According to Odds Shark, the Cavs are 3-0 SU (straight up) and ATS (against the spread) in their last three road games against the Hawks. In addition, they are 13-1 SU with one day off in between games. Take Cleveland with the spread as I expect them to continue their dominance in Atlanta tonight.
Prediction: Cleveland (-2.5, -110)
San Antonio Spurs @ Oklahoma City Thunder
After a hectic finish to Monday night’s game, the Thunder find themselves in a good place heading back to their home court. However, they have yet to find an answer for LaMarcus Aldridge this series, who has put on an offensive clinic. In Game 2, he finished with 41 points and went 10-10 from the charity stripe. There’s no doubt that the Spurs could have stole that game, but going into Game 3 I like the Thunder. San Antonio has historically struggled in OKC; the Thunder are 5-1 at home against the Spurs in two postseason series and have won 11 out 13 home games against Spurs (including playoffs). Good news for the Thunder, Aldridge too struggled in Oklahoma City last time he visited, being held to 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting. As the 2 point underdogs, I like the Thunder to not only cover the spread, but win the game. This is why I suggest taking OKC on the money line (+112). Odds Shark reports that the Spurs at 0-4 ATS in their last four games as a favorite of 2.0 or less. Looking specifically at their past 13 road against at Oklahoma City, the Spurs have gone 2-11 ATS and SU. The Thunder will defend their home court tonight with the help of their dynamic scoring duo of Durant and Westbrook.