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Colossal Spread One of Biggest In Decade

When the best team and the worst team meet you can expect the spread to be fairly big, but when the Philadelphia 76ers travel to Golden State Sunday it is set to be the biggest of the NBA season. As of Sunday morning, the Warriors opened as astronomical -20.5 point favorites.

The largest closing chalk of the NBA season so far is -19, which Golden State faced when they hosted the lowly Milwaukee Bucks back in December. In fact, the Warriors have faced eight of the nine biggest closing spreads this year, but have only covered in three of those games.


Offense A Rarity When UNC, ND Clash

Ever since Notre Dame joined the ACC their clashes against UNC have been low-scoring, close affairs. The UNDER is 5-1 in the six meetings between the two squads since the Fighting Irish joined the conference, with both meetings this season failing to top the closing total.

The last time the Irish and the Tar Heels met was in the ACC semifinals and it was a beating. UNC topped Notre Dame 78-47 in that affair with the Irish being held to a season-low in points and shooting percentage.

Notre Dame scored seven points in the final 20 seconds and picked up a key turnover in the closing seconds to beat Wisconsin in the Sweet 16. That game saw Zach Auguste record his third consecutive double-double of the NCAA Tournament, his eighth in the past nine games, as the senior has averaged 13 points and 13 rebounds during March Madness.

UNC steamrolled past Indiana in the Sweet 16 as the Tar Heels scored a ridiculous 101 points while shooting over 50 percent from the field. The starting five for the Tar Heels combined for 84 points and 10 threes in that victory over the Hoosiers. Brice Johnson recorded his second straight double-double against Indy with the senior notching a combined 41 points and 20 rebounds in the past two games.

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Rockets Have Owned the Pacers Recently

The Houston Rockets will take on a foe they have had great success against then the visit the Indiana Pacers Sunday. The Rockets are 4-0 SU and ATS in their past four meeting against the Pacers with an average scoring margin of +14.8, though that number is exaggerated by a 112-86 beatdown in 2014.

Houston will need to play better on the road if they want to lockup a playoff spot, as the Rockets have dropped three consecutive games while travelling. Those three contests saw the Rockets allow an average of 115 points per game.

The Pacers enter Sunday coming off back-to-back home wins, while holding opponents to 79.5 points per game. Paul George had a massive game when these two teams met earlier this season, as the Fresno State-alum had 20 points, seven steals and six rebounds.

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Penguins Bring Red-Hot Offense To MSG

The Pittsburgh Penguin offense has been staggering good lately, which has led the Pens to seven victories in their past eight games. Sidney Crosby and company have been averaging 3.8 goals per game in their last eight outings, with the team scoring five or more on three occasions. The streaking Penguins look to continue their roll when they visit the New York Rangers Sunday.

This offensive onslaught from the Penguins has come despite the absence of Evgeni Malkin, who has been placed on the IR with an arm injury. Most recently it was Phil Kessel and Nick Bonino who stepped their games up, as the duo both had five points in the Penguins last game against the Detroit Red Wings.  

The Penguins will likely need to solve Henrik Lundqvist though, a proposition they have struggled with in the past. Lundqvist has a 1.95 goals against average in his past seven games against the Penguins while picking up the win in five of those contests.

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Chalk is a Great Option in Bulls-Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls are trending in different directions ahead of Monday night’s tilt in the Windy City. Atlanta can punch their playoff ticket with a win tonight, and the trends are working in their favor to do so. The favoured team is 10-0 SU and ATS in the last 10 matchups between the Eastern Conference clubs.

Shark Bites
  • The Hawks are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games.
  • The Bulls are 4-11 SU in their last 15 games after losing the previous game in a matchup.
  • ​​The total has gone UNDER in nine of the Hawks' last 12 games with one day off between games.

As of February 26, these teams were separated by just 4.5 games in the standings. Since then, the Hawks have gone 13-3 SU to move into the conference’s third seed while the Bulls have lost 10 of 16 to fall into the ninth spot, outside of the playoff picture.

Chicago has allowed 108.5 points per 100 possessions over the last 16 games. The Bulls’ mins-7.0 net rating during that stretch is better than cellar dwellers New Orleans, Phoenix and Philadelphia.

In what’s very likely a direct correlation to a faltering offense, the UNDER has been a great play in Chicago’s matchups. The UNDER is 4-1 in the Bulls’ last five games.

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Travelling Team Cruising Between SJ, LA

Sure the trip up the coast of California is not a very long one, but it has meant a lot when the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings play. The two teams have played each other four times this season with the road team winning each of those meetings while outscoring their hosting adversaries 17-7.

The Sharks are still searching to clinch a playoff spot and a win Monday will do so. San Jose is currently on a three-game losing streak, all at the SAP Center, which has seen them be outscored 11-5. Joe Pavelski has paced the Sharks against the Kings this season with the captain notching four goals and four assists in the previous four meetings between the teams.

Defense needs to improve for the Kings as the team has allowed 15 goals in their past four games, three of which were losses. The D has not been much better against the San Jose this season with LA allowing 13 goals in four contests. The newly assembled line of Tyler Toffoli, Milan Lucic and Jeff Carter amassed four goals and 10 points in their last game.

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Syracuse Enters Elite 8 Red-Hot ATS

The Syracuse Orange, this year's Cinderella team, will face a tough task in the Elite 8 when they face the No.1 seeded Virginia Cavaliers Sunday. The Orange have been great for bettors recently, as the team has gone 6-1 ATS in their past seven games while going 3-1 ATS as underdogs in that span.

These two ACC schools met once earlier this season in a game that saw Virginia come up victorious by a score of 73-65. However, the normally stringent defense of the Cavaliers allowed Michael Gbinije and Malachi Richardson to combine for 47 points while shooting 11-of-19 from beyond the arc.

Syracuse went down to the wire with Gonzaga in the Sweet 16, with the Gbinije netting the game-winning layup with just 22 seconds left. Though Syracuse has made it this far in the tourney, this will be the first time they face a team seeded higher than seventh when they played Dayton in the first round.

Virginia continues to make it look relatively easy during March Madness with an average scoring margin of +19.0 points. Anthony Gill continues to quietly put up a case for Most Outstanding Player as the senior has averaged 20.3 points and 7.7 rebounds while shooting over 70 percent during the tournament.

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Clippers Imploding both SU and ATS

It is safe to say that the Los Angeles Clippers have a playoff spot all sewn up, but the team is finding a bad time of year to collapse. The Clippers are just 3-6 SU in their past nine games and an even worse 1-8 ATS in that span. The Clip Show will try and straighten themselves out when they host the inconsistent Denver Nuggets Sunday.

Nobody was going to confuse the Clippers for a great defensive team, but it has gone off the rails recently. LA has allowed an average of 108 points per game in their past nine outings while getting lit up by teams like the Memphis Grizzlies. The Clippers have screamed ‘stay away’ for bettors at the Staples Center, as the team has not covered at home since February 22.

The Nuggets enter Sunday’s clash with three wins in their past four outings, with the lone loss coming to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Denver, who has been middling offensively this season, has averaged 107 points in their past three victories.

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Raptors are a Fantastic Bet vs Thunder

A pair of clubs who are simply going through the motions to end the regular season collide Monday when the Oklahoma City Thunder travel north of the border to take on the Toronto Raptors. The Raps have dominated this series at the betting window as of late, going 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings between the sides.

Shark Bites
  • The Thunder are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games.
  • The Raptors are 5-1 SU in their last six games against teams with winning records.
  • The Raptors are 4-1 SU and ATS in their last five games as an underdog of 2.5 or less.

Oklahoma City pushed its winning streak to seven in light of Saturday’s 111-92 home win over San Antonio, matching their longest mark of the season. The Thunder have shot 52 percent over the course of the streak, averaging 117 points during that span. Kevin Durant is shooting a sizzling 58 percent in his last five, while Russell Westbrook is averaging a triple-double in the last few weeks.

Totals bettors, take note. The UNDER is a fantastic 8-1 in the previous nine matchups between OKC and Toronto. The total for the affair opened at 211 at most shops.

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NBA Betting: Finals Matchup Odds

Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry

There’s less than a month left in the NBA’s regular season, and the playoffs are on everyone’s minds. Well, you can exclude bottom feeders like the Lakers, Nets and 76ers from that equation, but you get my point. With the crown jewel of the professional hoops year presenting a ton of betting opportunities, don’t overlook NBA Finals matchup odds.



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