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Hornets Have Lost 16 of 18 in Miami

The first-round series between the Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat has been a true battle of veteran experience with upstart youth, and it will be decided Sunday in Game 7. The UNDER continues to be be the best bet in this matchup, as each of the last four meetings between the squads have gone below the closing total.

Shark Bites
  • The Hornets are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Sunday games.
  • The OVER is 10-1 in the last 11 meetings in Miami.
  • The OVER is 5-1 in the Hornets last 6 road games.

The Heat franchise has played in eight all-time Game 7’s, going 5-3 SU in those contests. Dwayne Wade has played in six of those, with the last win coming in 2013 when they beat San Antonio in the NBA Finals.

Miami, who went up 2-0 before letting the Hornets win three in a row, has been a tough club to figure out all year. The absence of Chris Bosh (blood clots) has been obvious at times for this bunch, but they’ve done better than expected without the dominant power forward.

Luol Deng has really turned it up a notch in the postseason, and he should factor into this game once again. Dang is averaging 19.7 points in this series - 7.4 more than in the regular season.

Game ID: 
728531
League: 

Trends Pointing to UNDER in TOR-TB

The Toronto Blue Jays haven’t had the best start to the 2016 MLB campaign, but they’ll send their ace Marcus Stroman to the mound against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday in an effort to right the ship. Tampa Bay is expected to counter with Jake Odorizzi.

Shark Bites
  • The Blue Jays are 5-0 in Stroman's last 5 road starts.
  • The UNDER is 13-2-1 in Blue Jays last 16 road games.
  • The UNDER is 12-3-2 in Rays last 17 home games.

Stroman (3-0, 4.37 ERA) allowed four runs in just over six innings of a no-decision versus the White Sox last Monday, while Odorizzi (0-1, 3.58) remains in search of his first victory of the season despite yielding two or fewer runs in three of his five outings.

Toronto catcher Russell Martin is dealing with lingering issues with neck spasms and has missed the last two games. Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar has turned it on as of late, going 10-for-255 with four RBI and four runs scored in his last seven contests.

Game ID: 
721891
League: 

Curry-Less Dubs Host Blazers in Game 1

The Golden State Warriors survived without Stephen Curry in their first-round series with the Houston Rockets, but things are about to get a lot tougher in round two. Game 1 of the Dubs’ second-round playoff series with the Portland Trail Blazers kicks off this afternoon in California.

Shark Bites
  • The Trail Blazers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Sunday games.
  • The UNDER is 6-2 in the Trail Blazers last 8 overall.
  • The favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings.

The Blazers handed Golden State their worst loss of the regular season (a 137-105 pounding on February 19). The Warriors committed 13 turnovers in the third quarter in the setback.

Golden State outscored Houston by 60 points in six quarters without Curry after the superstar suffered a knee injury in Game 4, so sports bettors shouldn’t assume the sky is falling in Oakland just yet.

The dynamic backcourt combo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum will be key for Portland in challenging the Warriors. The two combined for 45.9 points per game in the regular season, and both can shoot from long-range with ease and make every other player on the court better with their excellent passing.

Game ID: 
729477
League: 

Dallas Continuing to Cash at Home

The Dallas Stars squeezed out a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series and will be looking to take a 2-0 stranglehold with a win Sunday at American Airlines Center. Dallas is 8-0-1 in their last nine home games.

Shark Bites
  • The Blues are 0-7 in their last 7 Conference Semifinals games.
  • The UNDER is 4-1 in the Stars last 5 home games.
  • The Blues are 6-2 in the last 8 meetings.

The Blues, however, have won four of the last five meetings with Dallas in the regular season, with three of those games going to overtime. St. Louis finished two points behind Dalls for the best record in the Western Conference.

St. Louis struggled to match the speed of Dallas in the series opener. These teams clearly do not like each other, as Stars captain Jamie Benn said “They hate us, and we hate them” prior to Game 1.

Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen has stopped 31-of-32 shots to improve to 7-1-0 in his last eight stars.

Game ID: 
729394
League: 

History of NBA 1st Round Playoff Sweepers

By completing sweeps of their first round opponents, the Spurs and Cavaliers have bought themselves a few extra days of rest as they wait for their second round series’ to begin. Watching two of the top playoff contenders easily dispose of their first round opponents made me wonder how teams who sweep in the first round have performed historically and if the extra time off gives them an edge.

League: 

Tampa is Great at Bouncing Back

The New York Islanders grabbed a 1-0 lead in their Eastern Conference second-round series with the Tampa Bay Lightning, but the Bolts have been in this spot before. Tampa proved they could come back after losing the first contest of a series twice during last season’s playoffs and will have to do it again in 2016.

Shark Bites
  • The Lightning are 0-4 in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
  • The OVER is 5-2-1 in Islanders last 8 road games.
  • The OVER is 5-2-3 in the Lightning's last 10 overall.

Extra rest has been kind to Tampa Bay as of late. When playing on two days rest, the Lightning are 8-3 SU. Their struggles with the Isles date back much further, however, as they’ve dropped five of their last six against New York.

Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss has been an absolute wall in the postseason, and he could be the biggest key to New York’s success. Greiss stopped 121 of 126 shots he faced —30 of 36 on Wednesday - in the last three games.

Game ID: 
729392
League: 

Raptors Seek First Series Win Since 2001

Kyle Lowry Soloman Hill

The Toronto Raptors find themselves in unfamiliar territory ahead of Friday night’s Game 6 matchup with the Indiana Pacers. The Raps, who have only one playoff series win in franchise history (2001), hold a 3-2 series lead and can close out Indy with a victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Shark Bites
  • The Pacers are 0-5 SU in their last five games on Friday.
  • The Raptors are 9-3 SU in their last 12 games with a closing total of 195.0 or less.
  • The Raptors are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games after an ATS loss.

Indiana led by 15 late in the third quarter of Game 5 but got outscored 25-9 in the fourth to lose a heartbreaker north of the border. The nine point output is the worst quarter in playoff history for the team. Toronto’s strong finish came with three reserves on the court, as Bismack Biyombo, Cory Joseph and Norman Powell all played a large part in the surprising victory.

Favored teams continue to be a poor bet when these squads collide. In the last six meetings between the Eastern Conference foes, faves are a measly 1-5 ATS. Indiana, who opened as 2-point faves, have been much better in this spot. The Pacers are 4-1 SU and ATS in their last five as chalk of two points or less.

Pacers superstar Paul George said he would be willing to play 48 minutes in the tilt, but he won’t lobby head coach Frank Vogel to do so. Vogel received a ton of criticism for taking George out crucial times in Game 5, allowing the Raps to thrive with the forward on the bench.

Game ID: 
728524
League: 

Hornets Have the Heat on the Ropes

The Charlotte Hornets have not won a playoff series in 14 years, but they have the opportunity to do so tonight against the Miami Heat. The Hornets are fresh off exorcising some demons in Miami, as the franchise won just its second game in its last 16 visits to South Beach in Game 5, a 90-88 triumph.

Shark Bites
  • The Heat are 11-3 SU in their last 14 games with one day off between games.
  • The Hornets are 0-7 SU in their last seven games on Friday.
  • The Hornets are 2-6 SU and 1-7 ATS in their last eight games after consecutive wins.

A strong defense has been the biggest reasons for the Hornets’ resurgence. Charlotte went down 0-2 out of the gate but has since been shutting down Miami, allowing the Heat to average 84.3 points per game on 38.6 percent shooting. Miami averaged 119 points on 57.8 percent shooting in the opening two games of the series.

Including this series, Charlotte has won five of its last six over Miami at Time Warner Cable Arena. Since star Dwayne Wade entered the league in 2003-04, Miami is 8-7 SU when facing elimination.

Miami has shot just 33.3 percent from beyond the arc in the last three after going 18 of 34 from downtown in the first two games.

The total, which opened at 191, has progressively gotten lower as the series has gone on. The UNDER is 9-3 in the Heat’s last 12 with a closing total of 191 or less.

Game ID: 
728523
League: 

Clips are Massive Underdogs in Game 6

Damian Lillard Portland Trail Blazers

The injury-plagued Los Angeles Clippers’ postseason hopes are fading at a rapid clip, and it’s going to take a small miracle for them to get back in their first-round series with the Portland Trail Blazers. Portland, which owns a 3-2 series lead, can send the Clips to the golf course with a win in Oregon tonight.

Shark Bites
  • The Clippers are 1-29 SU in their last 30 games as an underdog of 10.0 or more.
  • The total has gone UNDER in five of the Clippers' last six games against the Trail Blazers.
  • The Clippers are 1-3 SU and ATS in their last four games on Friday.

Chris Paul and Blake Griffin suffered crushing injuries last week that knocked them both out of the playoffs, and the Clippers simply aren’t the same team without the duo on the floor. L.A. has shot 39.5 percent in their three losses in the series, including a 25.4 mark from three-point range. The Clippers connected at 49.7 percent and 36.8 percent from beyond the arc in their pair of wins.

Totals bettors would be wise to keep an eye on the number tonight. Sports books opened the OVER/UNDER in the 198 ballpark, which will greatly appeal to OVER bettors. Portland has gone OVER in 10 of its last 14 with a closing total of 198 or less.

Los Angeles has been bounced in the opening round just once in its last five trips to the playoffs. That came in 2013 against Memphis, when they blew a 2-0 series lead. Coincidentally, L.A. opened their series with Portland by collecting two-straight wins.

Game ID: 
728526
League: 

Hernandez Far From The King Vs Royals

Felix Hernandez will take to the mound for the Seattle Mariners to kick off a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals Friday. King Felix has not exactly been royalty when facing Kansas City in his career with a .444 winning percentage and a 3.01 ERA. Hernandez has dropped his past two outings against the Royals while allowing a combined 15 hits and seven earned runs in those games.

Kris Medlen will have the task of limiting Mariners batters for the Royals Friday. Medlen, who has a 6.00 ERA so far this season, is coming off a poor outing in which he allowed nine hits and seven earned runs over 3.2 innings.

Hernandez has started just once at Safeco Field this season, but held the Oakland A’s scoreless across seven complete innings while registering 10 strikeouts.

Game ID: 
721874
League: 

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