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Warriors, Bulls and Cavs narrow favourites in NBA playoffs

| 23.04.2015

Golden State Warriors can take a commanding 3-0 series lead over New Orleans on Thursday night, when they hit the hard court against the Pelicans as five-point favourites in Coral’s NBA playoff betting.

No. 1 Golden State finished atop the standings during the regular season, winning 67 games to run away with the top seed in the Western Conference by a stunning 11-game margin.

However, it was the Warriors who were playing catch-up in Game 2 of their first-round NBA Playoff series against No. 8 New Orleans, overcoming the Pelicans’ fast start and a 13-point first-half deficit to capture a 97-87 win, but failing to cover the 13-point spread in NBA online betting at Coral.

That win extends Golden State’s current SU win streak to six games, however the Warriors continue to be a sports betting disappointment, posting their fifth straight ATS loss, and eighth in their last 10 outings. The club has particularly struggled when pegged as double-digit favourites, covering in just five of their last 15.

Game 2 marked the Pelicans’ fifth SU loss of the season to Golden State, against just one win, a 103-100 home victory earlier this month. But New Orleans has consistently rewarded loyal punters, going 4-2 ATS against the Warriors this season.

New Orleans also enters Thursday night’s Game 3 match-up at Smoothie King Center, riding a five-game SU and ATS winning streak on home hardwood, with the point total playing UNDER in five of their last seven.

The scene will shift to Milwaukee’s Bradley Center on Thursday night where Chicago Bulls will also be looking to grab a 3-0 lead in their NBA Playoff series against the Bucks, sitting as 2.5-point favourites.

Ranked third, the Bulls dominated in the first two games of the series at United Center, posting 12- and nine-point victories while favoured by eight points in each meeting. Chicago have now won six straight SU, 5-1 ATS, and are a strong 8-1 SU in their last nine against the No. 6 Bucks, 7-2 ATS.

Undoubtedly, Milwaukee will be relieved to return home. Their 91-82 Game 2 defeat in Chicago marked their 15th loss in their last 16 road games. But the Bucks have been far from a sure thing when playing as hosts, going 4-4 SU in their last eight, and just 4-3-1 ATS.

Cleveland Cavaliers, who are 21/10 market leaders for the NBA Championship, will try to push the upstart Boston Celtics to the brink of elimination when the two clubs meet in Game 3 of their series on Thursday night, with the Cavs pegged as 4.5-point favourites.

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving put on a show in Game 2 on Tuesday night, combining to score all 24 of the Cavaliers’ 24 fourth-quarter points to lead No. 2 Cleveland to a 99-91 win over the pesky Celtics.

But despite the Cavaliers’ entertaining performance, they failed to cover as 9.5-point favourites against a Boston club that has proven to be one of the best bets in the NBA this season.

The No. 7 Celtics are now 9-2 ATS in their last 11 overall, 12-5 ATS in their last 17 in the friendly confines of TD Garden, and an impressive 50-34 ATS on the season.

Conversely, Cleveland has struggled at times on the road, going 7-6 SU and 6-7 ATS in their last 13 road dates, and are 1-1 SU and 0-2 ATS in two previous visits to Boston this season.



Daniel Coyle