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Back-to-Back Losses Rare for Spurs

After a controversial 98-97 loss in Game 2 of their second round series against the Thunder, the Spurs will look to gain the upper hand in the series tonight in OKC. San Antonio isn’t an easy team to beat twice in a row, as evidenced by their 13-2 SU record following a loss, which includes a 10-0 SU record after losing as the favorite. The Thunder, meanwhile, haven’t been great at stringing wins together, posting a 2-6 record in their last eight games following a l.

Digging even deeper into the after a loss/after a win trend, the Spurs are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games after losing as the favorite, while OKC is 0-4 ATS in their last four games after winning as the underdog.

All of this sounds pretty good for the Spurs so far, but quite simply, they haven’t been good in OKC. In their last 13 road games against the Thunder, they’ve gone 2-11 SU and ATS.

Analyzing tonight’s total, which opened the day at an even 200, the teams have gone UNDER in four of their last five games against each other. Hitting the UNDER on the road has become the norm for the Spurs, as they’re 4-11 O/U in their last 15 road games.

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Cavs Continue to Own Hawks in Playoffs

LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers Atlanta Hawks NBA Playoffs

Even though the Golden State Warriors are getting things done without the services of all-world Stephen Curry, perhaps no team has looked as impressive in the 2016 NBA Playoffs as the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron James and Co. will look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead as their Eastern Conference semifinal matchup with the Atlanta Hawks continues with Game 3 in Georgia Friday night.

Shark Bites
  • The Cavs are 3-0 SU and ATS in their last three road games versus the Hawks.
  • The Cavs are 13-1 SU in their last 14 games with one day off between games.
  • The Hawks are 0-5 SU and ATS in their last five games as dogs of 3.0 or more.

Online book Bovada is presently offering the Cavs as 3.5-point road favorites while the total is tabbed at 199 with both sides currently priced at -110.

Calling the Cavs’ shooting in Game 2 “hot” would be an understatement of epic proportions. Cleveland was ruthless in Game 2, hitting an NBA-record 25 three pointers on just 45 attempts (55.6 percent) as they crushed the Hawks 123-98 and moved to 2-0 both straight up and against the spread in the series. In fact, so good from downtown are the Cavs that they are now 40 of 76 from beyond the arc through the opening two games.

But this type of dominance is nothing foreign when the Cavs and Hawks tangle in the postseason. The two Eastern Conference foes have met for three series in their history and the Cavs have won all 10 contests.

That control translates to the betting window as well as Cleveland has gone an amazing 8-1-1 against the spread in those previous 10 playoff games versus Atlanta.

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Big Favorites are Dominating NBA Playoffs

LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers

The first-round of the 2016 NBA playoffs has mercifully come to an end. Let’s never speak of it again.

Hoops fans were treated to a lot of one-sided affairs in the opening round, and I’d be lying to you if I said the majority of the action had a true postseason feel. As of May 5, 15 playoff games have been decided by 20 or more points so far.

To put that into perspective, here’s a look at the number of playoff contests that finished in that 20-point margin since 2011:


Raptors Need to Bounce Back in Game 2

Luol Deng Cory Joseph NBA

If Game 1 of the Toronto-Miami second-round series is any indication of how it’s going to play out, we’re in for a wild ride. Thanks to a miraculous halfcourt heave from Kyle Lowry, the game saw overtime but the Heat ran away with things in the extra frame and came out on top 102-96. Game 2 gets underway north of the border on Thursday.

Shark Bites
  • The Heat are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games as underdogs.
  • The Raptors are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games as a favorite of 4.5 or less.
  • The total has gone UNDER in five of the Heat' last six games with one day off between games.

Despite the amazing shot, Lowry’s struggles in the postseason continue to worsen. The point guard is shooting 30.6 percent in the playoffs while continuing to pass up open looks. Lowry’s issues are at an all-time low – he currently has the worst field goal percentage of anyone in a single postseason in the last 50 years.

The Heat, meanwhile, have officially cleared the air regarding superstar power forward Chris Bosh. Bosh, who has not played since the All-Star break due to recurring blood clot issues, will not return in the playoffs, the team announced Wednesday.

Toronto has been doing an excellent job of bouncing back after a loss, going 7-0 SU and 5-2 ATS in that spot.

Here’s a trend that will appeal to Raptors backers: Teams with home court advantage that have dropped Game 1 have come back to win the series 11 times in the last decade. You can read our full piece here.

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Game 1 NBA Home Losers Roaring Back

Kyle Lowry DeMar DeRozan Toronto Raptors

When examining NBA Conference Semifinal trends, one in particular stands out. Teams without home court advantage that win Game 1 on the road in the second-round have gone on to win the series 26 of 37 times in the history of the league. However, each of those 11 victories have come in the last decade.

Teams have also won the series after suffering a setback in the opening contest six times in the last seven years. That’s certainly going to appeal to fans and bettors of the Toronto Raptors in the wake of Miami’s series-opening road win at the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday.


Hawks Have Never Beaten Cavs in Playoffs

Kyle Korver LeBron James

The Cleveland Cavaliers have had the Atlanta Hawks’ number in the postseason, and it really hasn’t been close in recent years. The Cavs improved to 9-0 all-time against the Hawks in the playoffs in Game 1, and they’ll have an opportunity to reach double-digits when Game 2 tips off in Ohio on Wednesday.

Shark Bites
  • The Cavaliers are 12-1 SU in their last 13 games with one day off between games.
  • The Hawks are 0-4 SU and ATS in their last four games as an underdog of 7.5 or less.
  • The total has gone UNDER in the Hawks' last five games with one day off between games.

Sweet-shooting big man Kevin Love’s status has been up in the air for the wine and gold, as the power forward banged his right shoulder when he got Kent Bazemore off his feet with a pump fake while drawing a hard foul in a three-point attempt. Love has not spotted at the team’s facility since, but head coach Ty Lue said he was “fine.”

Hawks’ sharpshooter Kyle Korver went ice-cold in the opening game, attempting just one shot – a missed three-pointer – in nearly 37 minutes thanks to some stellar defense by J.R. Smith.

LeBron James has not been getting to the free throw line, which means the Hawks have to take advantage of that. James attempted just one three throw in Game 1.

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Raptors Have Had Heat's Number Lately

Hassan Whiteside Kyle Lowry

Fresh off a pair of Game 7s, the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat will not have much time to catch their collective breath as their second-round playoff series gets underway north of the border on Tuesday. The series is starting a mere two days after both squads beat prevailed in the final game of their opening round series.

Shark Bites
  • The Heat are 1-3 SU and ATS in their last four games as an underdog of 4.5 or less.
  • The favored team is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 games in this matchup.
  • The Heat are 0-6 SU in their last six games after consecutive wins.

Toronto ended its 15-year postseason series drought after topping the Indiana Pacers, while the Heat took care of the Charlotte Hornets after letting them back into the series. Miami does not have former Raptor Chris Bosh, however, they’ve been playing their best basketball of the season since he was sidelined with blood clot issues after the all-star break.

The Raptors have won five of the last six meetings between the clubs, holding Miami to 47 percent shooting or less in each of those games. This is the first time they’ve collided in the playoffs.

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Warriors are an ATS Gold Mine vs Blazers

CJ McCollum Klay Thompson

Many experts around the NBA thought the Golden State Warriors would struggle in the absence of Stephen Curry. The Warriors obviously had something to say about that. Without their superstar point guard, the Warriors dispatched the Houston Rockets in the first-round and hammered Portland 118-106 in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinals series.

Shark Bites
  • The Trail Blazers are 1-8 ATS in their last nine games against the Warriors.
  • The Warriors are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games as a favorite of 10 or less.
  • The Trail Blazers are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games as an underdog of 10 points or more.

Game 2, which gets underway tonight in Oakland, presents Portland with another opportunity to step up against the Curry-less Warriors. The Blazers will need a better performance from their backcourt, as Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined to shoot 13 for 43 in the loss.

Another area where Portland will have to improve is on the glass. The Blazers got outrebounded 55-40 in the tilt and gave up 16 offensive boards. It’s a classic case of experience vs. inexperience, and the Dubs capitalized.

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UNDER Hot When Cavs and Hawks Collide

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks know each other very well, but last year’s Eastern Conference Finals series was far from a competitive one. LeBron James and company completely dominated the Hawks en route to a four-game sweep to advance to the NBA Finals. They’ll clash once again tonight when the second-round gets underway out East.

Shark Bites
  • The Hawks are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 games after a win.
  • The total has gone UNDER in five of the Cavaliers' last seven games after an ATS loss.
  • The Cavaliers are 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in their last five games as a favorite of 7.5 or more.

James overwhelmed the Hawks in that series, averaging nearly a triple-double (30.3 points, 11 rebounds and 9.3 assists) in the four games, the highest statistical line in postseason history. Cleveland will be well-rested, coming off a weeklong break following a first-round sweep of the Detroit Pistons.

If there’s one big change about the Hawks this season, it’s been on defense. Atlanta held opponents to a league-low 43 percent field goal percentage and 99.2 points per game.

Cleveland’s dominance of Atlanta goes back much further, though. The Cavs have won seven straight against the Hawks. The UNDER is a hot bet when these teams collide, evidenced by seven of the last eight matchups between the sides going UNDER the closing total.

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Bettors Beware: OKC are Awful as Dogs

The San Antonio Spurs rolled the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of their second-round series to the tune of a 124-92 beat down, but the Thunder will be looking to even things up tonight in the Lone Star State. That loss saw a recurring trend resurface, as the Thunder are now 0-9 SU in their last nine games as underdogs.

Shark Bites
  • The Spurs are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games after an ATS win.
  • The Thunder are 2-11-1 ATS in their last 14 games as an underdog of 8.0 or less.
  • The total has gone UNDER in three of the Spurs' last four games with one day off between games.

In fact, the three worst playoff losses of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook’s time together in OKC have all happened against San Antonio. LaMarcus Aldridge dominated the opposition in Game 1, scoring 38 points in less than 30 minutes of time on the floor.

San Antonio did a great job sharing the ball in the series opener, finishing with 39 assists while all but one of their players who received minutes had at least one (Andre Miller was the lone exception). The Spurs are 43-1 at home this saeason and 34-0 SU when Tim Duncan is in the lineup.

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