NBA fans get three more playoff games to bet on this Thursday night, as the Warriors shoot for a 3-0 edge over the Rockets and series between the Raptors/Pacers and Thunder/Mavs look to break 1-1 ties. It could be a very interesting night for pro basketball, so let’s dive into all three matchups and see where we should be leaning:
Thunder (3) @ Mavs (6)
Line: Thunder -8.5 Total: 196.5
Dallas magically stole game two thanks to Kevin Durant missing an amazing 26 shots and a tip-in game-winner by Steve Adams coming after the horn. That doesn’t take away from a gritty game two performance, but it’s still very possible we just witnessed the Mavs’ only win in this series. KD is unlikely to be that bad again in game three – or ever again at any point in this series. We can also bank on another big game from Russell Westbrook, while Dallas is just not very healthy right now. Deron Williams, J.J. Barea and Dirk Nowitzki are all banged up and even though they’re at home, it’s very tough to see them going up 2-1 on the Thunder.
Dirk on the bone bruise in his right knee: “I could barely walk off the plane. I had some pain, but it was a lot better already yesterday.”
— Dwain Price (@DwainPrice) April 20, 2016
A healthy Dallas squad could be a problem at home, but they’re not in great shape and OKC will be out for blood after dropping one on their home floor. Look for this one to be a little closer to the game one result.
Pick: Thunder 108, Mavs 96
Raptors (2) @ Pacers (7)
Line: Raptors -1.5 Total: 193
Toronto evaded disaster with a big game two win and now they’re on the road to try to turn the series back in their favor. That could prove difficult, as the Raptors aren’t amazing on the road and Indy understandably tends to play their best ball at home. Toronto is the better team and if they can just defend like they did in game two and spread their offense out, they should come out on top. That being said, Vegas has this as a virtual pick’em and it’s in Indy. The Pacers play well at home and already proved they’re a worthy opponent with a game one win. If the Raptors don’t take over early, Paul George could shoot the Pacers to a 2-1 series lead.
Pick: Pacers 101, Raptors 98
Warriors (1) @ Rockets (8)
Line: Warriors -5.5 Total: 214.5
It’s somewhat surprising that the spread is available so early today, as we still can’t be sure if Stephen Curry will even play. Golden State took care of Houston without him in game two, though, so it’s entirely plausible to expect them to do the same in game three if he’s out.
Curry: Probably not ready to play yet: https://t.co/pbxrrWhhRM
— Diamond Leung (@diamond83) April 21, 2016
The Rockets have enough talent to win a game in this series, and if they’re going to do it, it’s got to be at home. James Harden is bound to explode, too, so considering Curry’s potential absence, we have to give the Rockets a chance here. I still like the Dubs to take the 3-0 series lead, but if Curry sits, I expect a second straight close game.
Pick: Warriors 107, Rockets 104