NBA playoffs: Away sides Hawks and Bulls fancied to advance
It will be a Saturday packed with NBA playoff betting action at Coral, with four games on the schedule, starting in Brooklyn, where bottom seeds the Nets will hit the hardwood as 2.5-point underdogs in Game 3 of their series with leaders Atlanta Hawks.
Brooklyn struggled to reach post-season, clinching the final place in the Eastern Conference with a 101-88 win over Orlando Magic on the final day of the regular season. But that win is one of the few highlights of late for the Nets, who are 3-6 SU in their past nine contests.
A silver lining for loyal punters is Brooklyn’s current three-game ATS win streak, and a solid 7-2 ATS record in their last nine Coral make them an NBA betting underdog of 5.5 or more points.
The Nets have also been strong home performers down the stretch, going 8-2 SU in their last 10 at Barclays Center, 6-2-2 ATS.
Atlanta enter Game 3 on Saturday buoyed by a 2-0 series lead, but have been a betting disappointment, going 0-4-1 ATS since seeing a late season four-game win streak ended two weeks ago.
The Hawks are also now unbeaten in seven against the Nets, 4-3 ATS, and are heavy 1/200 favourites to eliminate Brooklyn from the playoffs by winning their series.
Also in action on Saturday features are third seeds Chicago Bulls, who take on Milwaukee in Game 4 as five-point road favourites.
The Bulls own a commanding 3-0 series lead over sixth seeds the Bucks, including a marathon 113-106 double-overtime win in Game 3. Chicago have now won seven straight SU, 5-2 ATS, and is a lopsided 9-1 SU in their last 10 against Milwaukee, 7-3 ATS.
League leaders Golden State Warriors will also be looking for the sweep when they meet New Orleans Pelicans as heavy seven-point favourites in Game 4 of their opening round playoff series.
Led by NBA MVP candidate Stephen Curry, who drained seven three-pointers in a 40-point performance, the Warriors erased the Pelicans’ 20-point, fourth-quarter lead in Game 3, forcing overtime and eventually stealing a 123-119 win.
While Golden State failed to cover as five-point favourites, their stunning comeback victory could be a dagger in the heart for New Orleans, who now drop to 1-13 SU, 6-7-1 ATS, in their last 14 against the Warriors.
Portland Trail Blazers will be searching for an end to their current six-game SU and ATS losing streak when they tip off in Game 4 against fifth seeds the Grizzlies as surprising three-point favourites.
Rip City dropped their sixth straight decision to Memphis in Game 2 on Wednesday night, falling 97-82 while pegged as 8.5-point underdogs. The loss also dropped the Blazers to 1-7 SU in their last eight post-season contests, and has sent their odds of claiming this year’s NBA title tumbling to a distant 400/1.
Conversely, the Grizzlies are on the rise in Coral’s NBA championship odds, entering Saturday night’s action at 16/1 after closing out their regular season well back of the favourites at 28/1.