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Posted By Topic: SBOBET: Latest NBA News       - Views: 443 Change Timezone:
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23-Mar 2018 Friday @ 7:08 PM (150 days ago)               #1
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The Tight Playoff Race Promises Exciting Live Betting!

The battle for playoff qualification reaches a new high as the NBA season is about to come to a close. Betting odds will be especially tight for the Western Conference as the teams from third to tenth are separated by only five wins.

We should expect some fun sports betting action from these competitive teams in the West as well as the rest of the league's top dogs!

LA Clippers vs Indiana Pacers (March 24, 8:00 GMT +8)

Victor Oladipo's production may have slowed down a bit, but that doesn't erase the fact that he has led Indiana to a good spot in the playoffs. While winning against Lou Williams and the Clippers may be tough opponents to face, but Indiana's better defensive rating should help them get the W. Indiana -2.50 @ 1.96 is a good punt to make.

Denver Nuggets @ Washington Wizards (March 24, 8:00 GMT +8)

The Nuggets are sitting right out of the playoff picture, two wins behind Utah and Minnesota. They need to win this tough road game at the Capitol One Arena against the Wizards. Washington are still without John Wall and are solely relying on Bradley Beal for production. They should make things tough for the visitors, but Nikola Jokic and Gary Harris should be able to force a win for Denver.

The most sensible punt to take is Denver +1.50 @ 1.95.

Phoenix Suns @ Cleveland Cavaliers (March 24, 8:30 GMT +8)

The Suns lost the last time they hosted the Cavaliers, so there shouldn't be any doubt that they will also lose on their visit to the Quicken Loans Arena. Even if they do put up a fight, LeBron James is there to sweep the shattered remains of their squad off the floor.

Minnesota Timberwolves @ New York Knicks (March 24, 8:30 GMT +8)

Should the season end now, Minnesota will be squaring off against the Golden State Warriors. Tom Thibodeau and his young Wolves definitely don't want the Dubs as their first opponent, so they need to win against New York. With Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins playing great basketball, it's hard not to go for Minnesota -6.50 @ 1.94.

Brooklyn Nets @ Toronto Raptors (March 24, 8:30 GMT +8)

Brooklyn are among the league's worst teams in defensive efficiency, while the Raptors are the third best in the league when it comes to offensive efficiency. There should be no doubts that Toronto will devour the Nets and boot them out of Air Canada Centre without so much as a goodbye. There's no other way to go than Toronto -12.00 @ 1.95.

Milwaukee Bucks @ Chicago Bulls (March 24, 9:00 GMT +8)

The Bucks still aren't sure if they can have Giannis Antentokounmpo ready in time for their trip to Chicago, but I don't think they should have any concerns in this match. Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe and Jabari Parker have been playing well and will not let the Bulls easily have their way.

I see this ending in a double-digit victory for Milwaukee, so putting money on their -5.50 @ 1.96 Asian Handicap will result in decent returns.

Miami Heat @ Oklahoma City Thunder (March 24, 9:00 GMT +8)

The Heat are currently seventh in the Eastern Conference standings, but a string of losses would see them sink to the bottom seed. They need to win against an Oklahoma City team running on top form if they wish to keep fighting for better seeding. However, I don't see Goran Dragic being able to trade buckets with Russell Westbrook, so OKC -6.00 @ 1.90 is a good pick to make.

Utah Jazz @ San Antonio Spurs (March 24, 9:30 GMT +8)

This is probably the most important clash to watch for the avid NBA fan.

Both teams are far from securing their playoff spots and need the wins in order to put some distance between them and the chasing pack. Utah especially need the W as the Nuggets are only two games away. This game could go either way, but I see Donovan Mitchell forcing a win here. Utah +3.00 @ 2.00 is a risky bet I'm recommending.

Boston Celtics @ Portland Trail Blazers (March 24, 11:00 GMT +8)

The Celtics are a well-oiled machine that are only losing games due to their key cogs being out of duty. Since almost their entire backcourt is basically injured, I don't think they can defeat the Blazers on their home floor. However, they should be able to keep the score close. Boston +6.00 @ 2.16 is a good bet to make.

Atlanta Hawks @ Golden State Warriors (March 24, 11:30 GMT +8)

The Hawks weren't able to beat the lowly Sacramento Kings, but they have a good chance at winning against the injury-ridden Dubs. However, the Warriors should be able to win easily if Stephen Curry gets to cleared to play in front of the adoring Oracle Arena crowd.

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 23-Mar-2018 @ 7:08 PM


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25-Mar 2018 Sunday @ 9:00 PM (148 days ago)            #2
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Prepare for More Exciting Sports Betting Action

There are many NBA games that will provide top-notch betting odds for you!

The Cavaliers, the Warriors, the Celtics and the Rockets will be suiting up to play tomorrow, so there will be a lot of live betting fun to be had!

Don't you dare miss out on all of the fun and see what's in store for today!

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Brooklyn Nets (March 26, 2:00 GMT +8)

LeBron James is having one unforgettable month as he is averaging an almost triple-double throughout March. There should be no way D'Angelo Russell and the hapless Nets would have any chance of toppling the King's Cavaliers. Cleveland -7.00 @ 1.92 is the way to go.

San Antonio Spurs @ Milwaukee Bucks (March 26, 4:30 GMT +8)

The Spurs have been winning left and right without Kawhi Leonard, but no such certainty can be made when they square off against the Bucks. If Giannis plays, there's a good shot for the Bucks to win it. If he's not cleared to play, however, LaMarcus Aldridge could bully his way to a W.

Miami Heat @ Indiana Pacers (March 26, 6:00 GMT +8)

Miami need the victory to climb the Eastern ladder and avoid a potential confrontation with the Cavaliers. However, Indiana won't likely give them the satisfaction and will play to win in front of the Bankers Life Fieldhouse crowd. Given their form at home, betting on the hosts' -4.00 handicap for 1.96 is not a bad deal.

LA Clippers @ Toronto Raptors (March 26, 7:00 GMT +8)

The Clippers are a subpar team when it comes on the road, while the Raptors rarely concede in front of their rabid fanbase up north. I think the Canadian cold will continue to freeze Lou Williams' shooting form, so choosing Toronto -8.50 @ 2.04 is more of a steal in my book.

New York Knicks @ Washington Wizards (March 26, 7:00 GMT +8)

Tim Hardaway Jr. is doing everything he can to salvage another forgettable season for the Knicks, but the absence of Kristaps Porzingis is too much for him to handle on his own. There should be no doubt that the Wizards would easily take care of things at home. I believe betting on Washington -9.50 @ 1.92 is a wise move.

Boston Celtics @ Sacramento Kings (March 26, 7:00 GMT +8)

The Celtics haven't been the same without Kyrie Irving, but they managed to win close games against Portland and Oklahoma City. Brad Stevens and his battle-hardened C's should have no problem sending off the struggling Kings. Punting on Boston -6.00 @ 2.00 should get you some nice returns.

Portland Trail Blazers @ Oklahoma City Thunder (March 26, 8:00 GMT +8)

This match will be a battle of the guards. Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook are two of the most exciting guards to catch in the NBA, and the sight of the two of them trading blows will be one many of the Chesapeake Energy Arena will be talking about long after the game is over.

The Thunder rarely lose at home, so OKC -3.50 @ 2.04 is the best punt to make.

Atlanta Hawks @ Houston Rockets (March 26, 9:00 GMT +8)

The Rockets will be playing without Chris Paul due to his hamstring injury, but the Hawks have almost half of their entire roster suffering from ankle problems. Moreover, James Harden has been unstoppable over the past 11 games he's played. It would be idiotic to think the Hawks have a chance in this one.

Utah Jazz @ Golden State Warriors (March 26, 9:30 GMT +8)

The Dubs will be playing without most of their starting five after Stephen Curry injured his knee on his return to the hardwood. The Jazz have a real shot at winning this as Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson will be sitting out of this game. Betting on Utah -3.50 @ 1.82 is the most sensible punt to make.

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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

This message was edited by SBOBET on 25-Mar-2018 @ 9:00 PM


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29-Mar 2018 Thursday @ 7:20 PM (144 days ago)            #3
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Close Wins and Blowouts Star in Today’s Live Betting Fiesta

If you woke up early to catch today's great NBA games, you probably know that you were treated to an exciting dose of NBA action!

There were a variety results that satisfied online betting fans of all ages. There were close games probably upset some betting odds. There were also blowouts that just went out of proportion.

There is a bit of something for everyone after today's games!

Cleveland Cavaliers 118-105 Charlotte Hornets

Kemba Walker may be tired of missing out on the playoffs, but his team cannot hope to make the postseason if they can't keep up with teams like the Cavaliers. LeBron James was simply unstoppable with his 41-point outing at the Spectrum Center.

Brooklyn Nets 111-104 Orlando Magic

The Magic are so terrible that even the lowly Nets are finding ways to outplay them. D'Angelo Russell led the way with a double-double performance while the rest of the roster provided ample support. Meanwhile, Nikola Vucevic and Mario Hezonja had to lead the struggling Magic for 48 minutes.

New York Knicks  101-118 Philadelphia 76ers

Joel Embiid had to leave early due to an accidental headbutt, but the Sixers easily manhandled the struggling Knicks. Dario Saric took over Embiid's scoring load while Ben Simmons quietly had a double-double night. Marco Belinelli and Richaun Holmes also played great off the bench.

Portland Trail Blazers 103-108 Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies pulled off a much-needed win against the Lillard-less Blazers. CJ McCollum tried his best to force his team back in the conversation, but the Grizzlies showed some great team basketball that eventually got them the W. MarShon Brooks was impressive off the bench, scoring 21 points on 58% shooting.

Atlanta Hawks 114-126 Minnesota Timberwolves

The Wolves erased whatever embarrassment they incurred in their loss against the Grizzlies with a dominating win over the Hawks. Karl Anthony Towns single-handedly brought the Wolves the W: he scored 56 points and grabbed 15 boards in 41 minutes of play.

Boston Celtics 97-94 Utah Jazz

The Jazz almost got away with a win against the Celtics after Donovan Mitchell and Ricky Rubio played some fantastic basketball. However, Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum willed a strong comeback that helped the C's leave the Vivint Smart Home Arena in smiles.

LA Clippers 111-99 Phoenix Suns

Tyler Ulis's 23-point outing was the only bright spot in an otherwise disappointing performance by the entire Phoenix squad. Tobias Harris got off to a hot shooting streak, ending the night with 27 points. DeAndre Jordan, Austin Rivers and Tyrone Wallace made up for Lou Williams' poor shooting night.

Dallas Mavericks 93-103 Los Angeles Lakers

If you're questioning whether Mark Cuban is looking beyond this season, this game provides all the answers.

There wasn't any reliable shooting from the Mavericks tonight, and Harrison Barnes just hasn't played out well as a consistent scoring option for the Mavericks. All the Dallas supporters can hope for is that they land a certain European star named Luka Doncic.

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 29-Mar-2018 @ 7:20 PM


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30-Mar 2018 Friday @ 6:50 PM (143 days ago)            #4
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Start the Weekend with Fun Handicap Betting

The NBA is the perfect sporting league for the online betting aficionado.

While there is an established hierarchy among teams, every now and again an upset occurs. The weakest team in the league can topple insane betting odds if one player catches fire. The overwhelming favourites can simply collapse at the drop of a hat.

These things are what makes the NBA a great league to follow and bet on. You just don't know what will happen next! This weekend's games promise more of the same basketball action!

Chicago Bulls @ Orlando Magic (March 31, 8:00 GMT +8)

The Bulls don't have Zach LaVine ready to play, making their upcoming game against the Magic a rather tough one. While the Magic also have Terrence Ross and Evan Fournier out with an injury, they still have Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon ready to play. Betting on Orlando -7.00 @ 2.07 is a sure win.

Philadelphia 76ers @ Atlanta Hawks (March 31, 8:30 GMT +8)

Ben Simmons once told Karl-Anthony Towns on stream that the Atlanta Hawks are no big deal, and their upcoming tussle at the Philips Arena is the perfect opportunity for him to back his words. Atlanta don't have a lot of players in full health, so the Sixers should easily win this one.

New Orleans Pelicans @ Cleveland Cavaliers (March 31, 9:00 GMT +8)

The Pelicans are doing quite well under Anthony Davis' outrageous play, but LeBron James is always a tough cookie to deal with. I'm not sure that Davis has the same gravitas as Cleveland's No 23, and the Cavs are hard to beat when they're in the Land.

Phoenix Suns @ Houston Rockets (March 31, 9:00 GMT +8)

You don't have to look at the stat sheets to even predict that the Rockets will overwhelm the Suns. Devin Booker and TJ Warren are the only bright spots on the team, but both of them are dubious to appear in this game. I don't think the Suns (or any team) can handle the firepower of James Harden.

Denver Nuggets @ Oklahoma City Thunder (March 31, 9:00 GMT +8)

The Nuggets are somewhat thriving with their own brand of basketball, but they are still two games away from playoff qualification. Things don't get any easier when they play Russell Westbrook at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. However, the Thunder have been prone to late collapses, and a close game is in order here.

I think the Thunder will win by four points, making Oklahoma City -3.50 @ 1.94 the best punt to make.

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Dallas Mavericks (March 31, 9:30 GMT +8)

The Mavericks can't win be it home or away, so this game should be a sure lock for the Timberwolves. Given how well the Wolves' young stars have been playing as of late, it's not bad to put your money in Minnesota -6.00 @ 2.03.

Memphis Grizzlies @ Utah Jazz (March 31, 10:00 GMT +8)

MarShon Brooks is the unexpected scoring presence the Grizzlies desperately needed, but their shoddy team play doesn't encourage much optimism. The least they could hope for is for Donovan Mitchell to have an off night and continuously shoot brick after brick.

Milwaukee Bucks @ Los Angeles Lakers (March 31, 10:30 GMT +8)

The Bucks had a relatively easy time in dealing with a depleted Golden State Warriors team, so they should have plenty of energy left for the Lakers. Giannis Antetokounmpo should easily play around the young frontcourt of the Lakers and cruise through them for the W.

LA Clippers @ Portland Trail Blazers (March 31, 11:30 GMT +8)

Lou Williams and Tobias Harris have performed well for the Clippers, but the lack of a true superstar might be the Clippers' undoing against the Blazers. Damian Lillard has been lighting up scoreboards left and right, and he should have no problem overwhelming this hodgepodge Clippers squad. Portland -6.50 @ 2.50 is a steal in my opinion.

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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

This message was edited by SBOBET on 30-Mar-2018 @ 6:52 PM


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07-Apr 2018 Saturday @ 5:29 PM (135 days ago)            #5
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The Wild West Makes for Fun Live Betting!

The Eastern Conference has finally chosen their best eight teams, but the West is still a lawless area where teams ranked four through ten can still compete for playoff contention!

Betting odds for tomorrow's games are sure to be tight as some of the teams vying for better playoff positions are playing. The Denver Nuggets-LA Clippers game is especially noteworthy as a loss here could doom the other LA team to irrelevance.

Which teams are worthy of your free bets?

Denver Nuggets @ LA Clippers (April 8, 4:30 GMT +8)

The first match of the day is probably the most intriguing one!

The Nuggets and the Clippers clash to secure their hopes of making the playoffs. The Clippers cannot afford to lose here and will need outstanding play from Tobias Harris, Austin Rivers and Lou Williams. DeAndre Jordan also needs to step up defensively and secure the paint.

However, the Clippers will have a rough time in trying to contain the Nuggets. Nikola Jokic is on a mission, switching gears and scoring 27 points over the last three games. Jamal Murray, Paul Millsap and Will Barton have also played impressively over the same stretch.

I don't think the Clippers can keep up with the Nuggets, so you should bet big on Denver +1.00 @ 1.95.

Milwaukee Bucks @ New York Knicks (April 8, 8:30 GMT +8)

The Bucks can now focus on making the most out of their time after making it to the playoffs, but a loss against Brooklyn is not the way to go.

They need to make sure that their upcoming road game against the Nets' neighbour goes well. While the Knicks overwhelmed the Heat, I don't see them easily stopping Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe altogether. They even have to worry about Jabari Parker's outrageous scoring off the bench.

Brooklyn Nets @ Chicago Bulls (April 8, 9:00 GMT +8)

The Bulls seemed to be hopeless as they have many of their young core end their seasons early. However, Lauri Markkanen, Sean Kilpatrick and Bobby Portis are doing a fantastic job for the Bulls. They will be an interesting matchup for the equally young and disorganised Nets squad.

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Houston Rockets (April 8, 9:30 GMT +8)

The Thunder are still struggling to find any shred of consistency even after their stars took a year of adjusting. Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony badly need a win here if they want to gain any confidence ahead of the postseason.

However, I don't think James Harden and Chris Paul will allow the Thunder to do whatever they want. They will surely impose their will and dominate over this motley Thunder crew, so betting on Houston -6.50 @ 2.00 is not a bad deal.

New Orleans Pelicans @ Golden State Warriors (April 8, 9:30 GMT +8)

Anthony Davis is playing some fantastic basketball to end the regular season, posting a double-double over the past two games. They also have a better shot at victory as the Warriors' locker room is unusually disorganised. However, Kevin Durant might prove Steve Kerr wrong and power his way through the Pelicans.

Portland Trail Blazers @ San Antonio Spurs (April 8, 10:00 GMT +8)

Portland's fans heads might not go down to the ground despite consecutive losses to Dallas and Houston due to Damian Lillard's incredible showings. He will surely bring Dame Time to a struggling San Antonio side that lost to both LA teams on their road trip. I'm not sure if Gregg Popovich can salvage their horrible end to the season.

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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

This message was edited by SBOBET on 07-Apr-2018 @ 5:30 PM


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10-Apr 2018 Tuesday @ 5:57 PM (132 days ago)            #6
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Playoff Seeding is All That Matters Now!

While there are six games slated in the NBA this Wednesday, the focus of sports betting fans will only be on two matches.

Utah are already secured of a postseason berth, but they can still finish inside the top four of the tough Western Conference if they beat online gambling heavyweights Golden State Warriors.

In the Eastern Conference, all eyes will be on the Philadelphia 76ers as they try to defy betting odds and end the season as the No.3 seed—an incredible jump for a team that finished with the fourth worst record in the NBA last year!

Charlotte Hornets @ Indiana Pacers (April 11, 07:00 GMT+8)

Domantas Sabonis exploded for 30 points against the Hornets yesterday, and he'll likely want to follow that up with another big performance as they gear up for the playoffs.

Charlotte have the tools to stay competitive in this game. However, it's clear they are no longer playing to win, but rather trying to develop their younger guys and giving them as much experience as possible.

Philadelphia 76ers @ Atlanta Hawks (April 11, 07:30 GMT+8)

Winners of 14 straight games, the Philadelphia 76ers have finally seen the result of the process. Now, they are in contention to finish ahead of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Fortunately for the Sixers, their streak is likely to continue as they play the lowly Hawks who would welcome defeat with open arms. Also, it's not like Atlanta have an answer for Ben Simmons who recently recorded 27 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists in a win against the Cavs! Go for Philly -9.00 @ 1.87.

Boston Celtics @ Washington Wizards (April 11, 08:00 GMT+8)

The Celtics have stumbled as of late, so it's not farfetched for Washington to upset the second-seeded team. Nonetheless, the Wizards have been in a slump as well, losing four of their last five games since John Wall's return.

Moreover, there might be more problems brewing inside the Wizards' locker room especially after successive defeats to Cleveland—during which they blew a 16-point lead—and Atlanta. That being said, choosing Boston +6.50 @ 1.96 might be the best move.

Phoenix Suns @ Dallas Mavericks (April 11, 08:30 GMT+8)

With the Phoenix Suns sure to end the season with the worst record, they can now go all out and close the year in style. The Mavericks can put up a fight from time to time, but they can't seem to solve the Suns who have torched them twice this season.

Golden State Warriors @ Utah Jazz (April 11, 09:00 GMT+8)

It has been an incredible season for the Jazz after almost everyone counted them out this year in the wake of Gordon Hayward's departure. Now, they are on the cusp of finishing in the top-half of the West.

The Warriors might not be favourable opponents at first look, but the Jazz have already taken down the defending champions twice this 2018, a 129-99 demolition in January and 110-91 thrashing last month.

Defence has been the key to the Jazz' rise, and they could well use it to their advantage to upset the Warriors who aren't the usual threat they are without Steph Curry. If you're punting, Utah -7.00 @ 2.00 is a worthwhile proposition.

Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Lakers (April 11, 10:30 GMT+8)

The Rockets have been the best team in the league this season, there's no doubt about that. However, with the team already assured of the top spot, Houston coach Mike D'Antoni might opt to limit the minutes of his stars as they aim to stay healthy heading into the playoffs.

Although that's still uncertain, the Lakers undoubtedly have a fighting chance considering their last two meetings with the Rockets ended close.

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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

This message was edited by SBOBET on 10-Apr-2018 @ 5:57 PM


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11-Apr 2018 Wednesday @ 8:35 PM (131 days ago)            #7
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Are You Ready for a Thrilling Finale?

The final day of regular season action promises a lot of interesting live betting options for the game's biggest fans!

Twelve action-packed games will be vying for your free bets, but there's one game that we should all pay particular attention to. There's still one ticket to the big postseason dance, and two teams are squaring off to get on the train!

Will you bet online for the Joker or the KAT?

Brooklyn Nets @ Boston Celtics (April 12, 9:00 GMT +8)

It's unfortunate that the Celtics would have to compete in the playoffs without either of the marquee players they got in the summer, but they can at least hope for a good end to their season. Jaylen Brown and company might find themselves in a tough yet winnable game against a streaky Brooklyn team.

New York Knicks @ Cleveland Cavaliers (April 12, 9:00 GMT +8)

Tristan Thompson has his own off-court problems, but his extracurricular activities should not have any impact on the Cavaliers' chances against the poor Knicks. I don't think LeBron James will want to end season number 15 on a low.

Toronto Raptors @ Miami Heat (April 12, 9:00 GMT +8)

The Heat are teetering off after enduring unacceptable losses against Brooklyn and New York, and their upcoming test against Toronto might leave Goran Dragic in tears. DeMar DeRozan should have no problems outplaying their hosts.

Washington Wizards @ Orlando Magic (April 12, 9:00 GMT +8)

Mario Hezonja is getting a lot of playing time as another disappointing season ends in Orlando, and he is showing flashes of brilliance. However, his minute brilliance may have little to no effect against John Wall and the Wizards.

Milwaukee Bucks @ Philadelphia 76ers (April 12, 9:00 GMT +8)

The Sixers are enjoying a fantastic winning streak, including a thrilling winner against the Cavs. Ben Simmons will want to end his rookie season with a win, but Giannis Antetokounmpo and the visiting Bucks will do everything to spoil the party.

Detroit Pistons @ Chicago Bulls (April 12, 9:00 GMT +8)

This is not the ideal end to the season for Blake Griffin, but his team winning against the Chicago Bulls should at least give him a positive end to an already terrible season. The Bulls barely have people to field on the floor due to injuries, but Lauri Markkanen is doing wonders for the Bulls. Betting on Chicago +2.00 @ 1.88 is not a bad idea.

Denver Nuggets @ Minnesota Timberwolves (April 12, 9:00 GMT +8)

This battle is one that will draw in the big guns.

Both the Nuggets and the Wolves have a 46-35 record, but their season series put the Wolves at the final playoff spot. Nikola Jokic and Karl-Anthony Towns are already putting up some amazing performances for their respective teams, and this game could have the intensity of a playoff match.

The Wolves have the definite home-court advantage working for them, but the Nuggets did beat them earlier this month. They also contained strong teams like Milwaukee, Indiana and Portland in their last five contests. Choosing Denver +3.00 @ 2.00 is a steal in my book.

San Antonio Spurs @ New Orleans Pelicans (April 12, 9:00 GMT +8)

The Smoothie King Center will bear witness to a thrilling battle of big men as LaMarcus Aldridge and Anthony Davis do battle.

Both bigs enjoyed a successful season that saw them lead their respective teams to the playoffs. The Spurs will surely mount a fight, but Nikola Mirotic and E'Twaun Moore will probably help AD secure the final W of the season. It's recommended for punters to take New Orleans -4.00 @ 2.02.

Memphis Grizzlies @ Oklahoma City Thunder (April 12, 9:00 GMT +8)

MarShon Brooks is something of a revelation to the Grindhouse, but his 21.8ppg in April won't be able to do enough against the Thunder. Westbrook will most likely pad his rebounds to end the season with another triple-double, but that won't take away from the fact that they are the better team.

Los Angeles Lakers @ Los Angeles Clippers (April 12, 11:30 GMT +8)

I don't think there's any better way to end the NBA season in Tinseltown than through this matchup. The Clippers are better-ranked than their Purple and Gold neighbours, but the Lakers have the brighter future. It will be up to the young Lakers team (with a 32-year-old rookie) to prove the hype surrounding them.

Utah Jazz @ Portland Trail Blazers (April 12, 11:30 GMT +8)

Donovan Mitchell's supreme confidence and skill is a breath of fresh air that helped the Jazz compete for the third seed in a turbulent Western Conference. Damian Lillard and the Blazers also want the seat and will battle them hard for it.

This has the makings of a classic that will showcase both Lillard and Mitchell. Given this fact, I see the Blazers winning by only a slim margin. Utah +2.50 @ 2.13 is a fine punt to make in my opinion.

Houston Rockets @ Sacramento Kings (April 12, 11:30 GMT +8)

The Rockets are shooting towards the stars with their outstanding basketball, and their main guys can take a well-deserved break before the outset of the playoff race. They shouldn't have that much trouble battling a Sacramento team that is again destined for another season without seeing postseason ball.

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12-Apr 2018 Thursday @ 7:54 PM (130 days ago)            #8
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East Playoffs Preview: It’s Time to Know Who’s the Best!

Eastern Conference Playoffs - First Round

The first-round matchups of the Eastern Conference are set, and it's time to take a pick and bet online on the top contenders in the opening series.

Top-seeded Toronto play Washington in a series that could well go either way. There's also Cleveland who will look to defy betting odds and prove their doubters wrong.

On the other side of the bracket, the up-and-coming Sixers draw the Heat for a big live betting affair between a young team and an experienced playoff squad. Meanwhile, Boston will try to overcome the injury bug when they play Milwaukee in the seven-game opener.

Toronto Raptors (No.1) vs Washington Wizards (No.8)

This one is a tough draw for a Toronto team that needs every rest they can get in preparation for a possible second-round meeting with the Cavaliers.

There's no doubt this year is the best chance for the Raps to win a championship. They changed their offence and made it one of the league's best, improved to a top-five defensive team and developed one of the best reserve units in the league en route to the top seed in the East.

Despite all these, however, they face the Wizards who have John Wall back healthy. Sure, their record won't scare anyone at first look, but it should be noted that Washington split their regular season series with the Raps—the last two ending by a seven-point margin or less.

Prediction: Toronto in six games

Boston Celtics (No.2) vs Milwaukee Bucks (No.7)

The last few weeks of the regular season haven't been good for the Celtics as they limped off to the playoffs, literally. Daniel Theis got injured, Kyrie Irving hurt his knee and Marcus Smart broke his thumb and the Celtics found themselves in an up-and-down stretch.

Sure enough, Milwaukee will take that opportunity to topple the Celts. They know they have what it takes after beating them two weeks ago and will be high in confidence when they meet again. After all, their stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker are both healthy.

The difference in this game, though, is the coaches. Brad Stevens and the Celts know how to play and what it takes to win at this stage, and that may prove pivotal against the Bucks that haven't found a replacement yet for Jason Kidd.

Prediction: Boston in seven games

Philadelphia 76ers (No.3) vs Miami Heat (No.6)

The big question in this matchup is: when will Joel Embiid return?

Embiid could miss a large chunk of the first round against the Heat, and that would be a bummer as it would be exciting to see him match up with Hassan Whiteside once again.

Philadelphia also need Embiid as soon as possible considering that they'll play Miami who have tons of playoffs experience. The Sixers, in contrast, have missed the past five postseasons.

If there's one silver lining for the Sixers, it's that they have the momentum after a 16-game winning streak. Oh, and who could forget about Ben Simmons—the do-it-all rookie who Julius Erving even described as someone who could evolve to a "one-in-a-lifetime-type" of player?

Prediction: Philadelphia in six games

Cleveland Cavaliers (No.4) vs Indiana Pacers (No.5)

Are you all ready for playoff LeBron?

Despite all their struggles this season, it's never a good thing to write off LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. In fact, LeBron has never lost a first-round playoff series—he's 12-0 overall which is a testament to his dominance.

Not to mention that a LeBron-led team hasn't lost a single first-round game since 2012!

Indiana's resurgence with Victor Oladipo has been nothing short spectacular, and they will find some confidence from their 3-1 record against the Cavs this year. However, experience might just be the deciding factor in this series.

Prediction: Cleveland in five games

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12-Apr 2018 Thursday @ 7:55 PM (130 days ago)            #9
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The West Promises the Most Exciting Live Betting!

Western Conference Playoffs - First Round

The NBA regular season has drawn back its curtains, and the postseason is about to make some noise!

This fact is especially true in the Western Conference! Every series in the first round has the potential of becoming an instant classic with equally fantastic betting odds! While it may be too easy to put your free bets on the Houston Rockets winning this thing, Golden State, Portland, Utah and the rest of the chasing pack have just as much of a chance at coming out of the West.

A great rumble awaits basketball fans, and postseason can't start any sooner!

Houston Rockets (No.1) vs Minnesota Timberwolves (No.8)

Houston's first opponents offer an interesting challenge.

The last time the Timberwolves were in the playoffs was the year Kevin Garnett was still donning a member of the franchise. Now, the Wolves will be fighting with Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins at the front.

However, I think their lack of playoff experience will hurt them in the long haul. Chris Paul and James Harden have plenty of postseason experiences between them and should be able to lead their team where it counts the most. I think the Wolves can get a W, but the Rockets should win the series without any hiccups.

Prediction: Houston in five games

Golden State Warriors (No.2) vs San Antonio Spurs (No.7)

The Warriors haven't been their usual selves this season. Not one Warriors starter managed to play in all 82 games, costing them several easy victories. Their embarrassing loss to the Utah Jazz in their final regular-season game also builds some frustration among the coaching staff and fans.

However, it is undeniable that the Dubs are still the same Dubs that overwhelmed the Western Conference playoffs last season. As long as they flipped their postseason switch on, Gregg Popovich and the Spurs shouldn't be able to touch the Warriors.

Kevin Durant will have to do a bit of heavy lifting, but they should be able to cruise past the struggling Spurs.

Prediction: Golden State in five games

Utah Jazz (No.3) vs Oklahoma City Thunder (No.6)

The Jazz are on a high after Donovan Mitchell carried a team that was supposed to enter the lottery into the third seed. Salt Lake City's high times, however, will be put to the test when they square off against Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

While Utah have the home court edge, Mitchell will have a tough time trying to overcome the cumulative playoff experience of OKC's three big stars with just energy and hustle alone. Without any supporting man beside Rudy Gobert to give him a hand, it's inevitable for Utah to see this as a mere learning experience for the future.

Prediction: Oklahoma City in five games

Portland Trail Blazers (No.4) vs New Orleans Pelicans (No.5)

This matchup is tough to call as both squads have outstanding players that can turn the tides of the game in a snap of a finger.

Anthony Davis has been playing unbelievable basketball for the Pelicans ever since DeMarcus Cousins bowed out of the season. Fans can expect him to assert his presence on the court as he will be facing an uphill battle with the Blazers.

I see this going to Game 6, but I don't think Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum will choke at this point of the season. They will do everything they can to outrun Davis and advance to the next round.

Prediction: Portland in six games

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15-Apr 2018 Sunday @ 8:27 PM (127 days ago)            #10
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It’s Game On in the Big NBA Playoffs!

The NBA Playoffs is off to a great start as Golden State, Toronto and Philadelphia delighted the online gambling faithful with convincing wins in the opener.

And in a big live betting twist, sixth-seeded New Orleans staged the ultimate upset of the day as they defied betting odds and took down high-flying Portland in a game that featured an intense fourth-quarter battle.

San Antonio Spurs 92-113 Golden State Warriors

Draymond Green has every right to say that they are a "championship ball club" after the Warriors rout the Spurs in Game 1 at Oracle Arena.

With Steph Curry still out due to injury, Golden State showed they have what it takes by dominating on both ends of the floor. Steve Kerr fielded a lineup composed of Green, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and JaVale McGee—a group which has not started together during the regular season—and it paid off big time as they outscored the Spurs 40-26 in 16 minutes with that starting core.

Oh, that group also didn't allow an offensive rebound and outscored San Antonio 16-6 in the paint.

Thompson was particularly sensational for the Dubs as he bagged five three-pointers (out of six attempts) en route to 27 points.

Washington Wizards 106-114 Toronto Raptors

The Raptors have an ugly history when it comes to Game 1—they are 0-5 at home in Game 1's under Dwane Casey and 1-12 overall in Game 1's played outside Air Canada Center—but they proved they are a different team now.

Relying on a deep rotation, Toronto survived a scare and fended off the Wizards in the fourth quarter, thanks to super-sub Delon Wright who scored 12 of his 18 points in the final frame.

Serge Ibaka, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry led the way for the East top seed, but it was undoubtedly their bench that made the difference as they outscored the Wizards' reserves, 42-21.

Miami Heat 103-130 Philadelphia 76ers

We thought the Sixers, without their All-Star Joel Embiid, would have a tough time against the hard-working Heat, but we couldn't be more wrong.

Miami had a hot start and dropped 60 points on the young Sixers at halftime. However, Erik Spoelstra's men weren't able to maintain that for long as Philadelphia responded with 74 second-half points, including a 40-point explosion in the fourth quarter.

Rookie sensation Ben Simmons tallied a near triple-double of 17 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds to spark the Sixers and further solidify his case for the Rookie of the Year award. Philly also registered a team playoff record 18 three-pointers in 28 attempts, which is considered one of their most efficient performances.

New Orleans Pelicans 97-95 Portland Trail Blazers

Portland had a hard time against New Orleans in the regular season, and that proved to be the case once again in their first-round meeting.

The Pels led by as much as 19 points in the game and held on despite a late fightback from Damian Lillard and Co.

Sure enough, the Blazers managed to cut the lead down to just a point in the second half. However, Anthony Davis proved to be too much for Portland, providing New Orleans with a much-needed superstar production and finishing the match with 35 points and 14 rebounds.

Credit should also be given to Rajon Rondo who switched to playoff mode and dished out 17 dimes in the process.

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15-Apr 2018 Sunday @ 8:28 PM (127 days ago)            #11
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Get Ready to See More Fantastic NBA Games

The postseason is well underway, and the games in store are sure to get some interesting betting odds!

The Cavaliers and the Rockets enter the fray as well as very interesting matches. Meanwhile, the Sixers and the Warriors will be looking to double their series advantage and make live betting fans jump on the bandwagon.

Which team deserves your free bets? Let's find out!

Milwaukee Bucks @ Boston Celtics (April 16, 02:00 GMT +8)

If the Celtics had a healthy roster, this series would have been overwhelmingly in their favour. While the current C's can put up a strong resistance under Brad Stevens' tutelage, I don't see them overcoming the amazing athlete that is Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Since I see a Milwaukee win here, choosing Milwaukee +3.50 @ 2.07 is a good punt to make.

Indiana Pacers @ Cleveland Cavaliers (April 16, 04:30 GMT +8)

Victor Oladipo has been nothing short of a revelation for the Pacers. His sudden jump from being an option player to the leading role definitely puts him in front of the Most Improved Player race.

However, LeBron James is also playing some amazing basketball. The King's overall greatness as a player will definitely negate Oladipo's presence. While the Pacers won the regular-season series, the Cavs are a completely different team come the playoffs.

The Cavs will win, but I see this ending in a close-enough margin. A good punt, in my opinion, is one towards Indiana +6.00 @ 2.11.

Utah Jazz @ Oklahoma City Thunder (April 16, 07:30 GMT +8)

This series is bound to be an interesting one as Russell Westbrook will be looking to trade blows with Utah's Donovan Mitchell.

The Jazz are badly outgunned when it comes to individual talent. Ricky Rubio and Rudy Gobert are good players, but they cannot just be compared side-by-side against Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. Fortunately for them, Quin Snyder has established a fantastic system that plays around Utah's strengths.

Despite all of the positives I said, I still believe that star power and home-court advantage will pull the Thunder through. Oklahoma City -4.00 @ 2.04 is the best pick to make.

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Houston Rockets (April 16, 10:00 GMT +8)

The Wolves are just happy to make it to the big dance, but I don't think they can hold a candle to the Houston Rockets. The hosts outgun their young visitors in almost every category, and their record during the regular season doesn't do them any favours.

Not choosing the Rockets for this round is a stupid thing to do. Pick Houston -11.00 @ 1.95 to get nice returns.

Miami Heat @ Philadelphia 76ers (April 17, 09:00 GMT +8)

Ben Simmons played a key role in an outstanding rout of the Miami Heat by the Sixers during Game 1. What's more impressive is that they did this without Joel Embiid.

Erik Spoelstra should have done the necessary adjustments to combat Simmons, but I'm not sure if there's anyone on the Heat roster that can contain the big Aussie. Philadelphia -7.00 @ 1.97 is the obvious choice.

San Antonio Spurs @ Golden State Warriors (April 17, 11:30 GMT +8)

The Golden State Warriors have gone into playoff mode as they easily dismantled the Leonard-less Spurs. Gregg Popovich could try to defy the inevitable by getting an upset win at the Oracle Arena, but I'm not sure he can pull off such a feat with the quality of players he currently has.

Durant and Friends should easily cruise past the Spurs for another easy win, making Golden State -9.50 @ 1.85 the no-nonsense option.

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18-Apr 2018 Wednesday @ 7:10 PM (124 days ago)            #12
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Will the Indiana Killmonger Shock Live Betting Fans Again?

LeBron James may be King, but Victor Oladipo is the Killmonger that threatens the Land.

Sports betting fans were rattled out of their boots after Victor Oladipo and the Indiana Pacers convincingly won against the Cleveland Cavaliers. While there are two other games to bet online on, the second Cavaliers-Pacers game will determine the King's future.

Will Cleveland bounce back? Or will the power of King James be stripped away?

Indiana Pacers @ Cleveland Cavaliers (April 19, 08:00 GMT +8)

LeBron James showed us why he is king with a great triple-double. However, Kevin Love and the rest of the Cavaliers forgot to show up as the Pacers swept the rug under their feet and killed off their home-court advantage in this series.

We can be sure that LeBron will be playing a lot harder to even the score, but it is now up to Tyronn Lue and the rest of the Cavs roster to limit Oladipo's impact and make life easier for James.

I think Cleveland will even the series after LeBron makes a statement game at home. While betting on betting on Cleveland -8.00 @ 1.96 is a tempting option, I wouldn't be so surprised if Oladipo keeps the game close.

Utah Jazz @ Oklahoma City Thunder (April 19, 09:00 GMT +8)

Playoff experience trumped rookie talent as Paul George took over for the Thunder in Game 1. Russell Westbrook did well in providing support with his double-double performance. The Thunder will want to ensure that they secure their home games in order to gain a definite advantage when they visit Salt Lake City.

The Jazz have a lot of adjustments to make in order to bounce back. Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert would have to do a lot of scoring and defending. Ricky Rubio also needs to up his scoring and Joe Ingles needs to keep on threatening the Thunder from deep.

With Mitchell questionable for the coming game, I am not sure if they can mount an upset here. Oklahoma City -4.00 @ 1.96 is the best punt to make for this game.

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Houston Rockets (April 19, 10:30 GMT +8)

The Wolves weren't able to do anything against Rockets as their three stars combined for a shocking 39 points. Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler need to up their scoring game if they want a chance at cracking these Rockets.

However, I'm not sure they can even hold a candle to these Rockets anymore. James Harden scored 44 outrageous points in Game 1, while Chris Paul and Clint Capela were equally amazing on the floor. I find it hard not to see -10.50 @ 2.00 as a steal of a bet.

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27-Apr 2018 Friday @ 5:23 PM (115 days ago)            #13
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Is a Thunderous Upset on Your Live Betting Cards?

It is understandable if you are shocked by the current playoff picture. After all, several pre-series betting tips saw certain teams easily containing their opponents. The Rockets are sure to progress, while the Cavaliers are in a tricky deadlock.

Meanwhile, betting odds are now tipping in favour of the Utah Jazz, and the Oklahoma City Thunder are looking first-round elimination in the eye.

Will we see a shocking first-round exit for the Brodie and his team? Or will the Thunder rouse themselves and set up a dramatic Game 7?

Washington Wizards @ Toronto Raptors (April 26, 8:00 GMT +8)

The Raptors seemingly left their fluid passing game at the Air Canada Centre when they played the Washington Wizards. Dwane Casey needs to sort his team's regression to iso-ball if he wants to end the series in six games.

Meanwhile, all John Wall and the Wizards have to do is to clog Toronto's passing lanes. However, I don't think DeMar DeRozan would stand being upstaged at home. The Raptors will win, but the Wizards should be able to keep it close, making Washington +7.00 @ 1.92 an interesting prospect.

Indiana Pacers @ Cleveland Cavaliers (April 26, 8:00 GMT +8)

LeBron James is simply playing incredible basketball to cover the Cavaliers' weaknesses. While it may be impossible for James to keep this level of play the entire postseason, he should be able to push for a 3-2 advantage.

Victor Oladipo will definitely try to push the issue here, but I don't see him making a dent in LeBron's performance for the Cavs in any shape or form. The Cavs should be able to win, albeit another tight one. It could all end in a one-possession game, so Indiana +6.00 @ 2.05 is the better punt to make.

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Houston Rockets (April 26, 10:30 GMT +8)

The Wolves made an admirable run to the playoffs, even going so far as to steal a game against the Rockets. However, I see this as nothing more than a gentleman's sweep for the loaded Houston squad.

James Harden, Chris Paul and the rest of the Rockets made quick work of Minnesota in Game 4 and will not likely let up on the return leg. Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns got some much-needed playoff experience under their belts at the very least.

Houston -12.50 @ 2.02 is a no-brainer of a pick.

Utah Jazz @ Oklahoma City Thunder (April 26, 10:30 GMT +8)

Russell Westbrook is staring elimination straight in the face, and it is not a pretty sight.

While he, alongside Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, have played superbly, the Utah Jazz have been nothing but a delightful surprise. Donovan Mitchell's 27.5ppg is the shining star in a well-oiled machine that features a lot of passing and great defence. Heck, even Joe Ingles is talking smack to George!

I don't like the thought that this is the end for OKC, but Utah are just too good. I still think they have a chance at winning this, but the stars would have to align and pigs would need to grow wings.

If you're watching this game, Utah +4.00 @ 1.93 is the most appealing odds.

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27-Apr 2018 Friday @ 5:26 PM (115 days ago)            #14
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Fear the Deer: Are You Ready for a Thrilling Finale?

Boston Celtics 86-97 Milwaukee Bucks

The Boston Celtics, despite missing their key players to injury, were slight live betting favourites coming into Game 6 of their back-and-forth series against the Milwaukee Bucks. Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown have done brilliantly in carrying the team in the absence of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward to make things entertaining.

However, it's been proven time and time again that a bet online against an NBA superstar is the same as playing tag with a raging stag. Betting odds were once again shattered after Giannis Antetokounmpo carried the Bucks and forced a Game 7 in Boston.

The Greek Freak was unstoppable during his 41 minutes of game time at the Bradley Center. He scored 31 points, snagged 14 boards, made 4 dishes and swiped the ball off the opposition twice. While Al Horford and the rest of the Boston frontcourt did a marvellous job defending him, his will to score was too much for them to contain.

Giannis also got some help from his team-mates. Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon were also playing impressive basketball. While they didn't take as many shots as the franchise star, they made sure that every shot of theirs count.

While the Bucks won the game, credit must also be given to Boston for keeping the game close until the game's final minutes. Whenever Milwaukee would build a nice lead, a Tatum layup, a long-range bomb from Rozier or a finesse move by Horford would always spark a run that would bring them back to the game. Brad Stevens' coaching should be praised as well as his leadership helped the team compete in such a hostile environment.

Fans can expect a bombastic ending at Boston. Boston will definitely try to build a case for the future by proving that they can compete with the best of them without their star players. Antetokounmpo will try to cement his legacy as a legitimate superstar by making it to the next round.

Whatever happens in this series, one thing is for certain: a tough series against a strong Philadelphia squad awaits them.

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29-Apr 2018 Sunday @ 8:51 PM (113 days ago)            #15
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Time to Show Who is the Real MVP!

LeBron James and James Harden are this year's frontrunners for the MVP honour, and they are ready to show the reason for that when they continue their playoff runs this week.

Harden and the Rockets are through to the West semi-finals and will face online betting underdogs Utah Jazz. Meanwhile, LeBron and his Cavs are set to play a do-or-die Game 7  against Indiana Pacers who have surprised betting odds with their performance this series.

Indeed, with how things are shaping up, the Monday playoffs slate is something sports betting fans can't afford to miss!

Western Conference Semi-finals Game 1

Utah Jazz @ Houston Rockets (April 30, 03:30 GMT+8)

This game is a battle of contrasting philosophies: Houston and their high-octane offence versus Utah and their top-of-the-line defence.

The Jazz's defence was no match for the Rockets' three-happy attack during the regular season, with Mike D'Antoni's team sweeping the season series. In fact, Harden averaged 34 points in their four meetings this year.

However, the Jazz have transformed into a different beast in the playoffs -- something which the Oklahoma City Thunder learned the hard way.

Utah played with a faster pace in the playoffs and unleashed Donovan Mitchell who is undoubtedly a superstar in the making. While the Rockets have the better offence behind the trident of Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela, they will have to be cautious of the threat the Jazz brings.

Fortunately for Houston, Utah will be shorthanded when they meet after Jazz starting point guard Ricky Rubio picked up a hamstring injury.

Harden and Houston would likely want to make a statement here, so betting on the Rockets -10.50 @ 1.81 seems the best move to make.

Eastern Conference First Round Game 7

Indiana Pacers @ Cleveland Cavaliers (April 30, 01:00 GMT+8)

LeBron has never lost in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. That's the only stat you need to know heading into this crucial Game 7.

The King is no longer the same player he once was, and the effects of the proverbial switch might be fading. Not to mention that his current Cavaliers team is probably the worst he ever had in his career.

However, it shouldn't be forgotten that LeBron James has been in situations like this before, and he delivered countless times for his team. Most recently is the 2016 NBA Finals when LeBron helped Cleveland force a Game 7 and win the title after going down 3-1 against the Golden State Warriors.

Victor Oladipo is a legitimate All-Star, surprising everyone by doing what Paul George wasn't able to do for Indiana. Nonetheless, it remains to be seen if he can deliver under such immense pressure.

With all these considered, Cleveland -5.50 @ 1.92 is the way to go for me.

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01-May 2018 Tuesday @ 4:59 PM (111 days ago)            #16
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Can Anyone Stop the Best of the West?

Western Conference Semi-finals Game 2

The Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors are the best teams in the NBA, and that was made clear in Game 1 of the Western Conference semi-finals.

Houston and Golden State are simply a cut above the rest. Utah had the second-best defensive rating in the regular season and playoffs, but they still ended up losing by double-digits against the Rockets.

New Orleans, despite surprising betting websites with their first-round sweep of online gambling favourites Portland, were basically outclassed by the star-studded Warriors.

Indeed, betting odds favour the two juggernauts to win again; and their opponents undoubtedly need lady luck to smile on them if they want a shot at beating the league's true heavyweights.

New Orleans Pelicans @ Golden State Warriors (May 02, 10:30 GMT+8)

Defence has been the key for the Warriors in winning Game 1. Stopping Anthony Davis wasn't easy—Portland failed in that aspect—but Golden State managed to limit The Brow to just 21 points on 20 shot attempts.

Also, it wasn't only Davis who had a hard time scoring against the Warriors. First-round sensation Jrue Holiday made only 11 points on 4-of-16 shooting, this after averaging 27.8 points per game against the Blazers.

With the way the Warriors are playing on both ends of the floor, it looks impossible for the Pels to beat them. Not to mention that Steph Curry is reportedly ready to play after missing the last five weeks due to injury.

And sure enough, I don't need to mention how scary the Warriors' offence is when Curry is on the floor. Who needs defence when you can drop 120-plus points on your opponents, right?

Choose Golden State -11.00 @ 2.02.

Utah Jazz @ Houston Rockets (May 03, 08:00 GMT+8)

There are a few things we learned in Game 1 of the Utah-Houston matchup: (1) the Rockets are scary when they are hitting their shots; (2) they are not that scary when they are not hitting their sots; and (3) the Jazz are no fluke.

Houston led by as much as 27 early in the game after showing the marksmanship and defence that rolled them to a 65-win season. However, it was a different story in the second half as the Jazz slowly cut the deficit all the way down to 11 in the fourth quarter.

The Rockets are still the better team, and they have more tools with Chris Paul, Clint Capela, Trevor Ariza, Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker at their disposal. Nonetheless, if the Jazz locked in on defence right from the start, it could be a more thrilling game.

I don't think the Rockets will lose at home, though I expect more rugged defending that would lead to a low-scoring affair. With that said, go for Under 206.00 @ 2.06.

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02-May 2018 Wednesday @ 7:11 PM (110 days ago)            #17
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Their Dire Straits is Our Live Betting Delight

Eastern Conference Semi-finals Game 2

To be honest, it's confounding many an online betting veteran how the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors find themselves in this ditch.

Betting odds were supposed to be in their favour, after all. Both the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers came off seven-game series against their respective opponents, giving them the advantage in terms of rest and preparation.

Still, they came up short and lost. While they still have a chance to force the ground even, Game 2 is a harder proposition. Can they pull off such a tough feat? Are they even worth your bets?

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Toronto Raptors (May 04, 7:00 GMT +8)

The Raptors were supposed to win against the Cavaliers this year. Kyle Lowry knew it. DeMar DeRozan knew it. Dwane Casey knew it. However, LeBron James just reminded Toronto who the real King of the North is with his triple-double. The narrow 113-112 overtime loss caused emotions to flare high at the Raptors' locker room.

What the Raptors did not anticipate was the rest of the team coming back to life. JR Smith and Kyle Korver were deadly from beyond the arc, and Tristan Thompson was extremely effective off the bench.

Dwane Casey needs to up their defence against the rest of the role players and leave LeBron to force his way to score. Moreover, the usually effective Toronto bench need to up their ante in order to match the production of the role players.

I think we're bound to see another close game that could end in a single-possession lead. Go for Cleveland +6.00 @ 2.04.

Philadelphia 76ers @ Boston Celtics (May 04, 09:30 GMT +8)

The young Sixers also have problems dealing with another basketball star, but that man doesn't even hold the basketball on the court.

Brad Stevens has done a marvellous job in turning a young team without their usual firepower into a bonafide playoff team. He turned Terry Rozier into a legitimate option for these Celtics while motivating Hayson Tatum and Al Horford to create problems.

Brett Brown has a lot of defensive adjustments to make since there's little left to be desired on the offensive front. The young Sixer core of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons must lead the team on defence, showing energy and hustle on every possession.

I still believe the Sixers are outgunned in this duel as Stevens continues to exhibit his Shuri-like genius. However, the Sixers should be able to somewhat keep the game closer than what happened in Game 1.

Boston +1.50 @ 1.78 is the only way to go in my humble opinion.

 

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03-May 2018 Thursday @ 5:04 PM (109 days ago)            #18
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Gold Rush: Bet Online on the Mighty Warriors!

Western Conference Semi-finals Game 3

Steph Curry is back and the Warriors are scary again.

Betting websites favour Golden State to advance to the West finals, and basketball fans all over the world witnessed the reason for that after the Dubs beat the New Orleans Pelicans in Curry's return.

With the Warriors complete and ready to wreak havoc, betting odds on a Pelicans' comeback are getting slimmer day by day.

Golden State Warriors @ New Orleans Pelicans (May 05, 08:00 GMT+8)

Twenty-eight points on 53.3 percent shooting in 27 minutes of play. If this stat is not enough to prove that Curry is the most important player in Golden State's roster, I don't know what will.

On a night that saw the Warriors struggle offensively in the first three quarters, Curry came off the bench and sparked the offence with his lights-out shooting. He never even looked like a player that missed 22 of the Warriors past 23 games due to a knee injury.

The Pelicans showed up in Game 2, but so does Curry. And in reality, the Pels are simply no match for the so-called "Death Lineup."

Heading to Game 3, New Orleans now have the tough task of guarding not only Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson but also Curry.

Sure enough, the Pelicans will like their chances to win. After all, they'll be playing at home where they recently scored 119 and 131 points in a sweep of the Trail Blazers. However, it should be remembered that the Dubs won their two regular season games at the Big Easy.

Also, are we really betting against the complete Warriors that won the NBA title two times in the past three years? I think New Orleans can keep the game close, but the smart money is on Golden State -4.00 @ 1.99.

Houston Rockets @ Utah Jazz (May 05, 10:30 GMT+8)

Utah are back in the ball game!

The Jazz's series-tying win in Game 2 was a much-needed confidence boost after losing their first five meetings with Houston this season, and they will surely look to build on the momentum as they head home for Game 3.

Of course, there's no reason for the Rockets to panic. It's just another off night for them, having just made 10 of their 37 three-point attempts. We all know what Houston can do when their treys start falling.

Nevertheless, it doesn't look like things will get easier for Houston this time around. The Jazz are not only shooting the ball well in the postseason, but they have also been terrific getting boards and snatching the ball—ranking third in rebounds and fifth in steals.

Their match-up at Salt Lake City could go either way, though choosing Utah +4.00 @ 1.88 seems the ideal move to make.

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05-May 2018 Saturday @ 6:16 PM (107 days ago)            #19
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Stop the Kings: Will You Place Your Free Bets on Big Upsets?

Eastern Conference Semi-finals Game 3

There are currently two kings in the Eastern Conference. One of the kings is hard to ignore, making play after spectacular play. The other is a genius strategist who made a seemingly lacklustre team into a dangerous playoff contender that can fight with the best of them.

Some sports betting fans are already anticipating a clash between these two teams in the Eastern Conference Finals, but we should know better than to write off their two seemingly harmless opponents. Pre-match betting odds are meant to be guides as upsets tend to happen every now and then.

Boston Celtics @ Philadelphia 76ers (May 6, 06:00 GMT +8)

The Celtics have a two-game cushion as they head to Philadelphia, and their confidence is only bound to soar with every passing minute. Brad Stevens, the architect behind Boston's on-court brilliance, found a way to make Ben Simmons ineffective at the point, leaving Joel Embiid and Robert Covington to carry the scoring load on their own.

Brett Brown and the rest of Philly hope that things will change when the Celtics visit their backyard. Simmons better forget what happened in Game 2 if he wants a shot at victory in Game 3. They also need to find a way to contain Terry Rozier who has been red-hot for the Celtics as of late.

As much as I'd like to think that they can pull off a win, I don't think Brown is the man that can help them get past the Celtics. Stevens has simply outgunned his counterpart in almost every department of the game.

Toronto Raptors @ Cleveland Cavaliers (May 6, 09:30 GMT +8)

I am honestly baffled by the way LeBron James is playing at the moment.

The 33-year-old Akron, OH native is in his 15th season as a professional basketball player, but he still manages to put up insane video game-like numbers. His 43-point, 8-rebound, 14-assist performance in Game 2 defies logic that it may seem to LeBron that he is simply playing a video game.

I am at a loss as to how the Raptors will respond to James' rampage. Things are especially harder for Dwane Casey, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry as they will be playing in front of a rabid crowd at the Q. We're not even talking about Kevin Love's equally impressive 35-point, 11-rebound stat line.

It's hard not to pick Cleveland -4.50 @ 1.97. It's illogical to battle the King of this Conference.

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09-May 2018 Wednesday @ 10:07 AM (103 days ago)            #20
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Can the Sixers Continue Their March to History?

Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics

No team has come back from a 0-3 deficit in the NBA Playoffs. EVER. But the Philadelphia 76ers are looking to be the first out of more than 100 that tried.

After losing the first three games to the Boston Celtics and facing a do-or-die situation, the Sixers woke up from their slumber, played a highly-physical game and repelled their tormentors to live and fight for another day.

At 1-3, the Sixers have a lot of work to do to keep themselves on the good side of the basketball betting gods. And there's no doubt they have a tough task at hand as they head to Boston for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semi-finals.

Talking Points

T.J. McConnell's insertion to the starting lineup worked wonders for the Sixers as the 26-year-old guard scored a career-high—both in the regular season and playoffs—19 points on 9-of-12 shooting. Philly were also more active offensively as Ben Simmons, Dario Saric and Joel Embiid all scored in double figures.

Defence, however, has been the key to their rise in Game 4 that prevented what seemed an unavoidable sweep last weekend. They limited the Celts to just 41.3 percent shooting, this after allowing them to shoot above 45 percent in their previous three games.

Though, it should be noted that there are plenty of officiating errors in the game, with Boston called for 12 fouls in the second quarter alone to just one for Philadelphia.

Heading into Game 5 at TD Garden, the Sixers will undoubtedly look to repeat the same strategy to further chip away at the Celtics' series advantage.

However, while Game 4 showed that the Sixers have a fighting chance, fans and pundits alike shouldn't forget the man that catapulted the Celts to where they are now: Brad Stevens.

Brad Stevens keen to bounce back after the 76ers snatch a live betting win

As Al Horford said after Boston's win in Philadelphia last Sunday, Stevens is a genius. And how can we refute that after the former Butler coach led his undermanned and injury-riddled squad to playoff contention?

They lost Gordon Hayward in the first game of the campaign while Kyrie Irving was ruled out for the remainder of the season after knee surgery last month. Despite missing his best players, Stevens used his sideline wizardry to get over the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round.

Sure enough, it's difficult to make a bet online against Stevens. He solved the "Sixers" problem in the first three games, and while Brett Brown out-coached him in their latest matchup, it's hard to imagine Stevens not retaliating.

Not to mention that they will be playing at home where they can close the series and secure their second straight Eastern Finals appearance in the Stevens era.

History

History is against the Sixers in their match with the Celtics. As records suggest, what they are doing now is merely delaying the inevitable.

There's just no going back from a 0-3 hole. Kudos to their Game 4 effort, but out of the 129 teams that went down to the same deficit, none made it through—Yes, ZERO, O or whatever you want to call it.

The Celts-Sixers head-to-head season record also shows how difficult it is for Philly to mount the historic comeback. Including the playoffs and their recent win, the Sixers are 2-6 against the Greenies this year.

They won one regular-season game last January, though the die-hard fan would argue that Irving was with Boston when they won their first three season match-ups. However, the first three games of this series throw that argument out of the window.

Also, it shouldn't be forgotten that the Celtics are 27-14 at home in the regular season.

What are the odds?

Joel Embiid delighted that his side still in the NBA betting websites following the 76ers win

As expected, the Celtics are the underdogs in Game 5. They have always been since the start of the series, no thanks to injuries. However, our NBA betting lines point to a tight affair at the TD Garden.

The Celtics are given a +2.00 start that pays at 1.89, while the Sixers are at 1.99 with the handicap.

While the Sixers will be motivated by the fact that the top betting sites back them to extend the series, the match could still go either way especially if we factor in Philly's inexperience. After all, this is the first time that the team made the playoffs since 2012.

Besides Asian Handicap betting odds, it is interesting to note that Over 204.50 pays at 1.99. In two games at the Celtics' home turf, the two averaged a total score of 214.5 points.

Other notable match-ups

Western Conference Finals Game 5:

  • New Orleans Pelicans vs Golden State Warriors: The Pelicans are also at 3-1 and will look to come back from the deficit, but are we really betting against the Warriors?
 

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10-May 2018 Thursday @ 1:53 PM (102 days ago)            #21
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The West Now Has Something Interesting to Watch!

New Orleans Pelicans 104-113 Golden State Warriors

The Western Conference semi-final between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Golden State Warriors was practically a done deal the moment the Pelicans had to return to the Bay Area with a 3-1 series deficit.

Everyone and their mother knew that pulling off an upset against the Warriors at the Oracle Arena was a difficult prospect, so not even the most daring betting sites advised a bet towards the Pelicans. The Dubs dominated the floor and didn't allow the Pelicans to sweep another game from under their noses.

Now that the Big Easy will take a hard trek into the offseason, fans can now look forward to the matchup that's been talked about since the regular season!

Highlights of the Game

The game was considerably close during the first half. The Pelicans were able to keep up with the high-tempo offence the Warriors implemented, with Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday doing most of the power-hitting for the Big Easy.

However, the best bookmakers know that the game doesn't really start for the Dubs until the third quarter. The Warriors outscored their visitors 36-19 in the third frame, and the Oracle Arena roared in delight as the lead inflated to 26 points.

Warriors online betting fans cheered loud and proud for their squad as they defeat the Pelicans
Stephen Curry attempts a layup in front of Anthony Davis during Game 5 of their West semi-final matchup

The third quarter saw many uncharacteristic turnovers from the Pelicans, which allowed Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant get some of the easiest baskets. The Dubs had the Pelicans' number on offence. Durant used his unique threat as a supreme scorer to creat some space and sink easy midrange shots. Curry also played around, scoring floaters from way outside the paint.

Key Statistics

While the game seemed to end what appears to be an uninteresting series, statistics suggest that the Pelicans were actually a tougher opponent than what the final scores were saying.

Anthony Davis is in the Top Ten for field goals, field goal attempts, free throws, total rebounds, blocks, steals, and points. Davis had an incredible run, and Alvin Gentry even compared him to one of the greatest big men in history. Many expect him to come back stronger next year.

However, the revelation of the playoffs has to be Rajon Rondo. He was an important cog to the Pelicans' playoff run to the point that this humble writer considered his gravitas before making a recommendation. He led the playoffs in assists and assists per game, so I won't be surprised to see him getting big money wherever he goes in the offseason.

The more intriguing fact in these playoffs is the shockingly subpar shooting of the Warriors from beyond the arc. The Dubs are 13th-worst in the playoffs with 34% shooting from beyond the arc. Superb defensive coverage from the Pelicans and the San Antonio Spurs forced the Dubs to take a lot of bad shots. However, stopping the Dubs at the three-line also opened lanes for Durant and Curry to dash to the inside and make closer shots.

Lastly, it is simply impressive that Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry haven't missed at the charity stripe in these playoffs. Curry made all 14 of his free-throw attempts while Thompson converted his own 15 shots. It will be interesting to see if both players will be able to maintain their perfect strokes at the line for the rest of the playoffs.

What's Next?

The New Orleans Pelicans are in an interesting pickle this coming offseason, and they have a lot of questions to answer.

The first big question is the DeMarcus Cousins situation. Boogie will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer and can literally go anywhere he wanted. He won't likely be getting max money unless Solomon Hill and Nikola Mirotic are shipped off. How will the front office convince him to take less money to stay when they have such a big roadblock out West in the Warriors?

Gambling websites are counting on the Pelicans to come back stronger next season
Anthony Davis congratulates Stephen Curry at the end of Game 5 of the Western Conference Semi-finals

Rondo is the other major question mark that needs to be addressed. The man showed that he can thrive in the system, but he will definitely demand considerable amounts of money in the summer. Will they keep him in the Big Easy? Or will they shop around and let Rondo leave?

Meanwhile, two of the West's best teams will square up in the Western Conference Finals. This is Chris Paul's first foray into the Western Conference Finals, and he will do anything to make it to the biggest dance in professional basketball. James Harden is equally hungry to get in on the action, too.

We will surely see an exchange of physical plays, dirty looks and seething words come out of both sides as the Larry O'Brien trophy looks closer than ever. Many a sportsbook will keep one eye on this series because we will likely witness a classic!

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10-May 2018 Thursday @ 1:58 PM (102 days ago)            #22
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NBA: Despite All Odds, Boston are Back to the East Finals

Philadelphia 76ers 112-114 Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics are heading to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Yes, you read that right. Brad Stevens' team, missing key summer signings Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving, beat the highly favoured Philadelphia 76ers in five semi-final games.

Top betting sites back the Sixers to easily win the series against the injury-plagued Celtics. After all, how can a team without their superstars take down a young and rising squad that has been dubbed as a future powerhouse all season long?

As it turns out, all it takes is one coaching genius, an unselfish team and players who are hungry for victory. Well, playoff experience also played a huge role as Boston fended off the Sixers who tried to become the first team to come back from a 0-3 deficit.

Highlights of the game

The game was close up until the final minutes of the second quarter when Boston staged a huge 10-2 run to take a nine-point lead and close the half. The Celts even led by as much as 12 points before the Sixers started to chip away at the lead in the third frame.

Philadelphia, determined to make it 2-3 and bring the series back to Wells Fargo Center, came roaring back at the start of the second half behind All-Star Joel Embiid who scored 11 points in the quarter—all after making just 12 in the first half.

J.J. Redick was also pivotal, with his three-pointer with 21.3 seconds left in the third quarter allowing the Sixers to cut the lead to just one heading to the do-or-die fourth.

It was a see-saw affair in the decider as both teams failed to get a comfortable lead against the other. Boston went up by six midway through the payoff period, but Philly responded with a 9-2 run to give them the lead.

Betting sites favourites Sixers failed to seal their Eastern Conference final slot after being beaten by Celtics, 112-114
Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown talks with Ben Simmons during Game 5 of their NBA playoff series against Boston Celtics

In the end, however, Philadelphia's late-game struggles showed up once again. They had a shot at sending the game to overtime after Boston took a two-point advantage, but Ben Simmons' desperation heave was stolen by Marcus Smart, which effectively sealed the win for the Beantown team.

Key Statistics

Balanced scoring was the key for Boston in the hard-fought victory. Six players scored in double figures for the Celts, with rookie sensation Jayson Tatum scoring 25 and showing Simmons—his co-rookie—who is better.

Simmons, for his part, produced a brilliant all-around effort with 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Sixers. However, his four turnovers proved costly.

Al Horford had a near double-double for Boston with 15 points and eight boards as he provided much-needed stability on the paint. Starting centre Aron Baynes was impressive as well with 13 points and nine rebounds.

Smart, perhaps, had the biggest contribution to the team—at least defensively—as he finished with a box plus-minus 10, the highest out of all players in the team. The 24-year-old guard had 14 points, six assists, six rebounds and three steals.

While the stats don't show it, Smart also did well defending Redick who can be deadly when given space. Redick ended with just 14 points and converted just two of his seven attempts from three-point territory.

Embiid and Dario Saric combined for 54 points and 22 rebounds in a losing effort for the Sixers.

While Philly dominated the glass and had a better ball distribution, their turnovers doomed them. They turned the ball over 16 times as Boston finished with 12 steals—not really the best way to play a high-stakes basketball game.

What's next?

With the win, Boston secured their ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals. They are now set to play LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers who recently surprised basketball betting with their sweep of the Toronto Raptors.

Betting sites anticipate exciting Eastern Conference Final as Celtics and Cavaliers meet for the second time around
LeBron James celebrates after scoring the game-winning shot for Cleveland Cavaliers against Indiana Pacers in Game 5

It's Boston's second straight Eastern Conference Finals appearance, having reached the conference finals last year. They also played Cleveland back then but was no match with the LeBron-led squad who finished them in five games.

For Philly, they can hold their heads high for giving Boston a good fight. Playoff inexperience has always been the issue for them as this is the first time they made the postseason with their young core.  In fact, the last time they made it to the playoffs, Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday were still with them.

Now, the team can continue "The Process" and learn from this experience. Basketball betting tips project them to be the next best team in the East, and that is not far-fetched considering what they have shown this year.

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13-May 2018 Sunday @ 8:50 PM (99 days ago)            #23
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The Rivalry Begins: An Unexpected Battle in the East!

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Boston Celtics

The Eastern Conference playoffs look a lot different than what was previously predicted. Plenty of betting sites were imagining a different kind of picture for the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Boston Celtics weren't supposed to make it this far out without Gordon Hayward or Kyrie Irving. The Cleveland Cavaliers looked ready for the offseason when the Indiana Pacers got the 2-1 series lead in the first round. The Celtics were supposed to struggle against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Toronto Raptors were meant to put an end to LeBron James' rampage with their team basketball.

But none of that happened. We're in the Eastern Conference Finals, and what we have is a rematch.

Brad Stevens versus Tyronn Lue. LeBron James versus Boston's entire youth movement. The Celtics versus the Cavaliers.

You cannot make this up. These kinds of storylines are what makes online bookies giggle like crazy.

Talking Points

There wouldn't be anything to talk about in this series if we don't discuss the tyrant of the East. King James has been terrorizing the Eastern Conference for a good chunk of the 2010s and he will definitely be the one to watch among the Wine and Gold.

James has had an incredible performance in the playoffs. He scored 34.3 points, grabbed 9.4 rebounds and provided 9.0 assists in 11 playoff games. No 23 also gave fans moments to remember when he scored buzzer-beaters against the Pacers and the Raptors. There's no doubt that he is the most dangerous man in the league right now.

However, you will not find the Celtics shaking in their sneakers. The Celtics have been heavy underdogs the entire playoffs since Kyrie Irving was ruled out with an injury. The Milwaukee Bucks and the Sixers were favoured to win as their opponents didn't have any stars.

However, Brad Stevens needed none of that. His brilliant coaching has inspired Terry Rozier and Jayson Tatum to step up and make big-boy numbers for the C's. The two are scoring close to 20 points per game, effectively replacing Hayward and Irving for this year. They're playing with so much confidence that Scottie Pippen thinks Boston can take the game to the Cavs.

One more interesting storyline to see from this series matchup is the familiar relationship shared by Tatum and Lue. The coach said that he has known the former Duke standout ever since he was a kid and ever once doubted his talent.

"Seeing the player he’s become – we knew he was gonna be good, but now he’s at a whole new level," the Cavs head coach said. "Just seeing him coming to Mexico and just coming to my barbecues and all that stuff. Now he’s an NBA player and playing at a high level. It’s just good to see."

History

Basketball betting underdogs Celtics rely on Kyrie Irving

This is not the first time the Celtics and the Cavaliers have squared off in the playoffs, and this rivalry has built a lot of interesting stories over the years.

The Boston's Big Three era of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen stopped LeBron from getting into the finals during his first stint in Cleveland. One can say that the Celtics were the ones at fault for James' decision to take his talents to South Beach.

In James' return to Cleveland, the Celtics have long lost their core and were in the middle of a rebuild under Brad Stevens. It took the former Butler coach some time before the then Isaiah Thomas-led Celtics made the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals, only to bow out against the Cavs in five.

The summer following their exit was a big one: they traded star guards as Kyrie Irving looked to escape Bron's shadow. Isaiah Thomas, who played through his sister's death for the Celtics, was then sent to the Cavs. The refurbished teams met on the first day of the NBA season, and the world saw Gordon Hayward end his debut season for the C's with a horrific injury.

Cleveland went on to win the regular season series 2-1, but everyone knows that the season does not matter at this point.

What are the odds?

LeBron James will definitely make noise, and it will be up to the Celtics to trap the Akron, OH native and force his team-mates to take the shot. While Kevin Love and the rest of the Cavaliers have seemingly found their stride against the Raptors, they still need LeBron to close out games for them.

Meanwhile, it is important for the Cavaliers that they interrupt the magic that is going on in Celtic Land. They need to force both Tatum and Rozier to make terrible decisions on the court. They also need to be wary of Al Horford as the Dominican can easily score on any given night.

If you like the Celtics' chances, you'd be delighted to see Boston +1.00 @ 2.03 as a terrific betting option. Meanwhile, Cleveland -1.50 @ 1.92 is the way to go if you believe James can get the job done.

Other notable match-ups

Golden State Warriors @ Houston Rockets: This is probably the most anticipated matchup of the playoffs. The Houston Rockets won their regular season series against the Golden State Warriors, but the Dubs are slowly getting into their championship form. Can James Harden and Chris Paul stop the basketball madness that is Golden State?

GSW wants to defy NBA betting odds and win against Houston Rockets

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13-May 2018 Sunday @ 8:53 PM (99 days ago)            #24
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NBA: The Best of the West are Here!

Golden State Warriors vs Houston Rockets

Golden State play Houston in the Western Conference Finals, and we might as well consider it the "real NBA Finals."

There's a reason why this match-up is the most highly-anticipated series of the year. Since Chris Paul paired up with James Harden in Houston, top betting sites pegged them as challengers for the Warriors' west dominance.

And the Rockets did more than just that, getting the conference's top seed and the home-court advantage over the Warriors in the playoffs. Heck, they are even considered as the best team in the NBA—record-wise.

Now, as the two head to Toyota Center for Game 1, we take a closer look at the key talking points for the series and the NBA betting lines for the opener.

Talking Points

Houston and Golden State boast the league's two best offences this season—well, two of the best ever. Houston registered an offensive rating of 112.3 in the regular season, while Golden State are just a little bit behind at 112.2.

While both of their offences have an obvious reliance on the three ball, the way they get points are still different. The Rockets' attack is centred on the pick-and-roll and one-on-one, thanks to James Harden and Chris Paul, while the Warriors emphasise ball movement.

It remains to be seen how they plan to stop each other from racking up points, though it would be interesting to see how the Warriors' ultimate small-ball lineup—AKA the Hamptons Five which the Dubs used for the first time against New Orleans—will fare against the Rockets.

Another thing to watch out for in this game is the battle between Harden and Steph Curry, who are both members of the 2009 NBA Draft. Harden was selected third by the Oklahoma City Thunder, while Curry was taken seventh by the Warriors.

Remarkably, the two star guards have near identical regular-season averages. Harden has averaged 23.0 points, 6.1 assists and 5.1 rebounds through nine years in the NBA, while Curry has a career average of 23.1 points, 6.8 assists and 4.4 rebounds.

Best betting websites believe Chris Paul will play a crucial role in the Rockets' series against the Warriors
Chris Paul launches a two-point shot during the first half of Houston's second-round playoff series against Utah

Oh, and who could forget about Paul who will be playing in his first-ever conference final after 13 years in the league?

CP3 will surely be motivated to reach his first NBA Finals, and he will look back at history as he tries to lead Houston against the Warriors. Back in 2014, Paul and his LA Clippers eliminated the Bay Area team in seven games in the first round of the NBA Playoffs—that was the last time Golden State lost to a West opponent in the postseason.

History

Houston GM Daryl Morey said it clearly back in December 2017: "We're basically obsessed with 'How do we beat the Warriors?'"

Indeed, that was apparent as Houston won the season series against the Warriors, 2-1. It could have been a sweep too had the Rockets been with James Harden when the Warriors beat them 124-114 in January.

However, Golden State are different beasts in the postseason and the Rockets, more than anyone else, would know that.

This playoff series is the third postseason meeting between Golden State and Houston in the last four years. The Warriors needed only five games to send the Rockets packing in the 2015 West Finals, and they repeated that when they crushed the eighth-seeded Houston 4-1 in the first round in 2016.

Under a new coach and backed with better players, Harden, Morey and Houston will have their hopes up this time. However, the Warriors will undoubtedly want to remind their West rivals their history against each other.

What are the odds?

The Rockets are favoured to win, though they are given a -2.00 handicap that pays at 2.05—a clear proof that even the top online bookies expect a tightly-contested affair. Golden State, on the other hand, are given a +2.00 start at odds of 1.85.

Top betting sites hope Kevin Durant will go all out as the Warriors face the Rockets in the Western Conference Finals
Forward Kevin Durant reacts to a call as time runs out in the second half of the Warriors' game over the Nuggets

While most basketball betting tips point to a close game, a high-scoring affair might also be on the books. It is worthy to note though that Over 225.00 pays at 2.06 while Under 225.00 is only at measly odds of 1.82.

Out of the three regular-season matches between the two, only one game ended at under 225. That happened in their final meeting in the season when Houston and Golden State combined for just 224 points.

Meanwhile, their first two meetings ended with more than 235 points, including their opening night game that saw them combine for 243 points. The Rockets came from 17 points behind to beat the Warriors in that wild contest.

Other notable match-ups

Eastern Conference Finals Game 1

  • Cleveland Cavaliers vs Boston Celtics: Check out our Game 1 preview for the unexpected finals meeting between the injury-plagued Celtics and the LeBron James-led Cavaliers, who weren't expected to make it to the conference finals.

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 16-May-2018 @ 2:56 PM


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16-May 2018 Wednesday @ 2:58 PM (96 days ago)            #25
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NBA: How Do the Cavs Solve a Problem Like Boston?

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics are not the Toronto Barneys—err Raptors—and LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers learned that the hard way in Game 1.

One can say that the Cavs' 25-point blowout loss was merely an effect of the team not shooting well. There's also the fact that LeBron didn't play like he usually does, with some basketball betting fans even saying he might be trying to get a feel of how Boston play before unleashing the monster that we saw against Indiana and Toronto.

However, the Celtics have turned into different beasts this postseason—with Brad Stevens emphasising defence and ball movement in the absence of his stars—and the Cavs might find themselves in deep trouble if they allow Boston to have it their way.

After all, the Beantown team is not as inexperienced in the playoffs as the young Pacers and don't have the mental disadvantage against Cleveland like the Raptors.

Heading into Game 2 of the Eastern Conference, we dissect their Game 1 performances, highlight the key talking points and analyse the NBA betting lines for the match-up.

Talking Points

In case anyone has forgotten, the Celtics are the best defensive team in the NBA. They registered a league-leading 101.5 defensive rating in the regular season, ahead of the Utah Jazz (101.6) who boast the Defensive Player of the Year frontrunner in Rudy Gobert.

That league-best defence was on full display in Game 1 at TD Garden where the Celts limited the Cavs to just 36 percent shooting.

Sure, that can also be attributed to the fact that the Cavs were horrendous from the three-point territory. In fact, Cleveland were 1-of-12 from uncontested three-pointers in the game.

Nonetheless, pointing to that discredits the team from the great job they did on stopping Cleveland and the LeBron freight train. James, who averaged 34 points a game in their sweep of the Raptors, was held to just 15 points.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Marcus Morris guarded James on 24 plays and limited The King to only five points on 2-of-6 shooting—an impressive performance from Morris after boldly declaring himself as one of the best LeBron defenders.

Of course, James won't be missing 70 percent of his shots in every game, but this result shows how poor the Cavs are when James is not playing well.

Besides their defence, Boston also deserve recognition for their offensive outburst that left the Cavs trailing all game long.

Offence was supposed to be the Cavs' bread and butter—it was supposed to be their main weapon considering their poor defence. But Boston stole Cleveland's thunder with a first-quarter explosion that saw them end the half with a 26-point lead.

Boston used a 14-0 run early in the first quarter to pull away and never looked back as they led by as much as 29 points in the game. Three Celtics players scored 20-plus points, headed by Jaylen Brown who had 23.

Sure enough, the Celts aren't expected to keep that offensive production throughout the whole series. In a game of averages, their 18th-ranked offence in the regular season will eventually show.

Nevertheless, Boston don't need all seven games to be that balanced on both ends of the floor. All they need is four, and the challenge is on the Cavs to find a solution to counter the Celts whether they are clicking offensively or not.

History

After Boston's huge Game 1 victory, it's hard to blame their fans for dreaming of a return to the NBA Finals. They haven't made it to the big dance since 2010, the same year they defeated the Cavs in the Eastern Conference semi-finals to end LeBron's first stint in Cleveland.

However, it's still too early to celebrate. Although the Celts made a statement in the opener, they haven't won the conference title yet. As LeBron said after the Cavs' defeat: "I have zero level of concern at this stage...I've been down 0-1, I've been down 0-2, I've been down before in the postseason."

True enough, it's just the first game and the Cavs will find some motivation from the fact that everybody also counted them out when they fell to Indiana last month.

Not to mention that the Wine and Gold won the season series against Boston, including a 121-99 victory at TD Garden just three days after overhauling their roster at the trade deadline.

What are the odds?

Compared to the odds offered in Game 1 which backed the Cavs to win, NBA betting odds this time are swinging towards the Celtics' favour.

The Cavs are considered underdogs, with Asian handicap betting odds giving them +1.50 @ 1.88. Meanwhile, Boston are at -1.50 that pays at 2.02.

LeBron James desperately eyes to turn basketball betting odds around and claim the victory against Celtics at Game 2 
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James looks frustrated after suffering a 108-83 defeat against Boston Celtics in Game 1

Cleveland will undoubtedly aim to tie the series at 1-1 before taking the game to Quicken Loans Arena, but it's worth noting that the Celtics are yet to lose a home game this postseason.

Boston won all four home matches in their seven-game series against Milwaukee. Furthermore, three of their four victories against Philadelphia came at home, including the series-clinching Game 5.

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 16-May-2018 @ 2:58 PM


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19-May 2018 Saturday @ 6:33 PM (93 days ago)            #26
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NBA: It’s on Houston to Reverse the Golden Tide!

Golden State Warriors vs Houston Rockets

Houston, TX bore witness to one of the most entertaining playoff games so far in the tournament when their hometown Rockets fell short to the Golden State Warriors.

Kevin Durant proved too much for Houston as his presence on the court allowed the rest of the already-fantastic Dubs to get more shots on the floor. Stephen Curry also stepped up, allowing the Warriors to run away with the game by the third quarter's end.

Basketball betting circles will definitely look at the Dubs for another win here, but James Harden and company will not make things easy for their visitors. What the Rockets need right now is defensive adjustments. The thing now is this: I'm not sure if Mike D'Antoni is the perfect man for the job.

Talking Points

Kevin Durant has completely thrilled basketball betting after dominating Houston Rockets to lead the Warriors at Game 1
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant in action against Houston Rockets guard James Harden during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals

The biggest point of conversation here is the Warriors' sheer dominance on the basketball floor. While the Rockets played fantastic basketball in the first half, things took a turn in the second. Like clockwork, the Warriors exploded in the third frame, outscoring Houston 31-24 in the quarter.

Kevin Durant did a lot of the power-hitting for the Warriors after ending the night with a masterful 37-point outing. He was also unstoppable from all over the floor, shooting 51.9% for the night. He used the entire floor to score: the Rockets weren't able to stop him on the three-point line, the paint and the midrange.

D'Antoni is more than aware of the danger Durant poses when he gets free rein on the court, but he is confident that they can handle Durant's damage and focus on what they do best.

"He is 7 feet and falling away. He's one of the best scorers ever, right? So I thought he was extremely good. But we can withstand that," D'Antoni said. "We can't withstand turning the ball over, missing layups, them getting out. Klay Thompson got up 15 [3-pointers]. We can't give him 15 3s. We're switching everything and staying off for that reason, so we have to clean up some stuff and see if we can do it on Wednesday."

What the Rockets need to do is improve their defence and shot selection. They shot 45.9% compared to Golden State's 52.5%. While Harden was red-hot the entire night, it's a must for him to include the other Rockets in the offence. The drop in defensive effort was also noticeable when the Dubs started to pull away in the third.

History

These two clubs are the best in the West, and their clashes in the regular season gave fans and many a betsite reasons to be excited about this series. While the Dubs did take first blood, Houston fans should be more than aware that their team won the season series against the Dubs.

While the first one was a rather tight contest that saw the game go to the wire, their last one was a considerably comfortable win for the Rockets. Chris Paul took charge during their January 20 meeting and laid down the law against a Golden State team that didn't see any action production outside Durant, Curry, and Draymond Green.

The Rockets had also played historically well against Golden State. Harden, Paul, and Eric Gordon scored well against the Dubs, and they showed their masterful scoring in Game 1 as well. Should PJ Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute finally find their scoring groove, the Warriors will have a difficult task in their hands.

However, the Warriors front office is far from worried when it comes to the team responding to challenges.

Warriors GM Bob Myers admitted that he initially got worried about the Warriors' run of form during the tail-end of the season. "Was I worried? My first thought was, 'Yes.' But my second thought was, 'Have they let us down yet?'"

What are the odds?

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni eyes to thrash basketball betting favourites Warriors at Game 2
Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni looks frustrated during the first half of the Eastern Conference Finals Game 1 against Warriors

The Warriors are huge threats to upset Houston's home-court advantage, but betting sites are giving out interesting odds. The Rockets are still looked upon to win Game 2 with -2.00 @ 2.04. Meanwhile, the Warriors have 2.02 odds for a +1.00 Asian Handicap.

The Beard needs to show why he is the favourite to win the MVP with his play. However, he also needs to involve his team-mates in the scoring and not just throw easy lobs to Capela. He needs to help Trevor Ariza get hot from the corners and involve PJ Tucker in the offence as well.

A big priority for the Rockets is to get the opposing stars out of their game. They have to push Curry to do defence a lot more. While Curry is more than ready to meet Houston's defensive demands, pushing him to the limit is something they must do. They should also get Draymond Green in trouble with the refs with another technical. They should also keep a close guard on Klay Thompson.

It does seem like Houston have a huge list of things to do by the time Game 2 comes rolling around, but I'm sure Harden and Paul would have figured something out. We have a series in our hands if they know how to prevent another third-quarter meltdown.

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 19-May-2018 @ 6:33 PM


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19-May 2018 Saturday @ 6:36 PM (93 days ago)            #27
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NBA Playoffs: Can King James Pull Off a Miracle?

Boston Celtics vs Cleveland Cavaliers

Close your eyes and picture the Boston Celtics, without two of their premier stars, heading to the Quicken Loans Arena with a 2-0 series lead. Now, imagine LeBron James, angry at the team for letting him down again.

Now, consider your basketball betting options. It's easy to say the Boston Celtics will steamroll over the Cleveland Cavaliers, but that couldn't be further away from the truth.

As long as LeBron James is in the court, nothing is certain for Brad Stevens' men. As long as LeBron James still breathes, betting sites will still give his squads a lot of consideration. As long as LeBron James still bleeds Wine and Gold, the Cleveland Cavaliers will always be contenders.

The fact that we're not yet counting out the Cavaliers is a testament to LeBron's greatness as an NBA player.

Talking Points

To be honest, no one expected things to end up this way. While no one was certain how things would go in the lead-up to the series, nobody in their right minds thought that the Cavs would disintegrate this way at the TD Garden.

Tyronn Lue was clueless as the Cavaliers weren't able to find an answer to the attacks Boston mounted upon them. Jaylen Brown was unstoppable from all over the court. Jayson Tatum had a rather quiet night but made important contributions to the C's defensive rotations. "Scary" Terry Rozier was also seeing his shots fall, while Al Horford's silent but solid contributions down low proved to be too much for Cavs.

Meanwhile, The Land is going through all kinds of trouble. LeBron is the only bright spot in a Cleveland team that seemingly went back to their ways during the first round of the playoffs. Kyle Korver, Jordan Clarkson and the rest of the Cavaliers weren't doing so hot on offence and defence.

Betting websites are now skeptical if the Cavs can mount a comeback
LeBron James and Kevin Love on the bench during their East finals match against the Celtics

Even Tyronn Lue admitted to making mistakes when it came to the Game 2 roster he fielded. While he refused to tell why he started the second quarter without either LeBron James or Kevin Love, he admitted that he shouldn't have done that. "Something happened but we'll be better at it next time," Lue said.

Of course, any talk about the Cavaliers will be moot if LeBron James isn't brought up once. He is the only that is stopping the Cavaliers from being the Phoenix Suns, and he is doing a wonderful job of it. He bounced back from his atrocious performance at Game 1 to end the night with 42 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists.

I don't think he'll allow Beantown to run rampant in his court, so we should expect more eager defending from the Cavs after James whips them back to shape.

History

The problems for the Cavaliers are obvious with just a simple peek at the stat sheet. They cannot find a way to stop any of Boston starters while also struggling to find their own shots. And they are struggling to get things together against a Boston team that is without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.

King James has always been carrying the Cavaliers in the playoffs, but we're not sure if he can actually will the Cavaliers past the C's this time around. Lue is obviously outplayed by Brad Stevens, and Jaylen Brown is killing them from the corner and the inside.

Bet online on the Cavs if you believe that they can prevent going down 3 games to none
LeBron James celebrates with his teammates after hitting the game winner against the Raptors

What the Cavs need to do is look into film and remember how dominant they were against the Toronto Raptors. They managed to put a dangerous Toronto team to sleep with effective shooting and team play. I am not sure how they will manage to pull that off, but they need to find solutions now if they hope to even the series.

What are the odds?

It's hard to figure out the best odds among the multitude of offerings, but Asian Handicap offers an interesting picture. Bookies put James and the Cavaliers to win, with a -7.00 handicap going for 2.11. Meanwhile, the Celtics have 1.98 odds for a +6.00 boost.

Honestly, I am not comfortable with the way the odds are set up, but we have to remember that LeBron can pull off the impossible. He is one-third of what helped the Cavaliers pull off the impossible 2016 upset against the Golden State Warriors. He will not let the series go 3-0 without his say in it. Even the Celtics are aware that things will be much harder at the Q.

The Cavs can capitalise on Boston's terrible road record, but whether they turn the series around will be up to the rest of the team. We know King James won't let the Land down; it's on his knights to step up and help him win.

Other notable match-ups

Western Conference Finals Game 3

Houston Rockets vs Golden State Warriors: The Oracle Arena will be loud and proud as they cheer on the Dubs against a strong Houston Rockets team. Steve Kerr should have made the necessary adjustments to stop James Harden, Chris Paul and Eric Gordon, and it is up to the team to execute.

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24-May 2018 Thursday @ 12:00 PM (88 days ago)            #28
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NBA Playoffs: Warriors Wounded But Not Dead

Houston Rockets vs Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors got a wake-up call last week as the Houston Rockets even the series at 1-1. Now, it's time for the basketball giants to retaliate.

As the Western Conference finals series shifts to Oracle Arena for Game 3, all eyes are on the Warriors and what they will do to bounce back from their 22-point blowout loss to Houston last week.

Draymond Green said they are at their best when they "feel threatened." Now, it's time for them to prove that and show the Dubs faithful and the top betting sites why they should still be considered as the team to beat.

Talking Points

Steph Curry's performance will be vital for the Warriors if they are to make a huge statement win at home. The two-time MVP has been struggling on both ends of the floor and needs to find his rhythm to keep the Warriors' engine running.

In the first two games, Curry has only made a total of 15 shots out of his 34 attempts from the field.  While that doesn't look bad at first, closer analysis suggests otherwise.

The 30-year-old guard, who became a cultural phenomenon with his insane long-range shooting, is 2-of-13 from three-point territory against the Rockets so far. In fact, he only made one out of eight shots from three in Game 2 and had to wait until the fourth quarter to make it—when the game was all but out of reach.

His defence tells a more horrifying story. Curry, no thanks to his frame and stature (6-3, 190 pounds), was targeted by the Rockets with their signature pick-and-roll play. No.30 is actually not a defensive liability, but the Warriors need him to be locked in at all times especially now that Houston are dead set to target him to create spaces for wide-open shots.

Top betting sites back Stephen Curry to find his impressive form again when the Warriors face the Rockets at Oracle Arena
Stephen Curry looks frustrated during Game 2 of their Western Conference Finals against Houston Rockets

It's not just Curry who needs to step up for the Warriors though. His Splash Bro., Klay Thompson, was abysmal in Game 2 and shot 3-of-11 from the field while Draymond Green tallied six points alongside six boards and six assists.

Both players finished with a minus-24, the second-worst rating on the team behind Kevin Durant.

The Rockets used a balanced offence to tie the series, and they will hope for a similar result when they visit Oracle Arena.

Sure enough, they won't be making 16 three-pointers every time, but the Warriors cannot afford to give them easy shots with James Harden and Chris Paul running the Houston offence.

History

The Warriors are difficult to beat at home in the regular season. And they are more difficult to beat at home in the playoffs.

Certainly, the job gets harder for the Rockets in one of the league's most imposing and commanding venues—it's called "Roaracle Arena" for a reason.

Also, who would ever want to play against the Warriors at Oracle Arena after they were voted for the Best Home Court Advantage award last year?

Golden State's 29-12 home record is only the fifth-best mark in the NBA—third in the Western Conference in the 2017-18 campaign. However, it should be noted that they are yet to lose a home game in the playoffs this year.

They won all six of their home matches against the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans and will look to extend that when they play the Rockets.

More amazingly, the Warriors are currently tied for the NBA record for most consecutive postseason home wins with 15, dating back to the playoffs last year. They equalled the Chicago Bulls' mark set in the 1990 and 1991 playoffs.

James Harden looks to defy top betting sites suggestions by leading Houston Rockets in dominating Oracle Arena at Game 3
Houston Rockets guard James Harden celebrates after his team beat the Golden State Warriors at Game 2

Houston boast the league's best record on the road (31-10), and it's worth mentioning that they beat the Warriors at the Oracle in the first game of the year.

What are the odds?

The first two games between Golden State and Houston both ended with double-digit leads, so it's no wonder why online bookmakers expect the same thing this time.

Thanks to their home-court advantage, the Warriors are tipped as favourites with Asian Handicap odds. They are at -7.00 that pays at 1.92, while Houston are at 1.98 for the +7.00 start.

While the Dubs are considered as a third-quarter team, our odds also favour them to be at the lead by halftime. First Half Asian Handicap -4.00 on the Warriors give 1.82 odds, while the Rockets are at 2.06 with +4.00.

Interestingly, despite their last game ending by a combined 232 points, our NBA betting lines still give odds of 1.90 for Over 225.50.

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 24-May-2018 @ 12:00 PM


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24-May 2018 Thursday @ 12:03 PM (88 days ago)            #29
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NBA Playoffs: Watch Out For the Rise of the Cavs!

Boston Celtics vs Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers showed up in Game 3. Now, they just have to do it again as they try to even the series in Game 4 at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Cavs are indeed unpredictable. They are that "hit-or-miss" team that keeps basketball betting fans on the edge of their seats in every match.

However, the Cavs we saw last Sunday are the Cavs at their best. And if they can keep the momentum swinging in their direction, there's no doubt they can give Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics a good run for their money.

Talking Points

There are two things we learned in Game 3: (1) there's no way LeBron would be swept in the playoffs, and (2) the Cavs are unbeatable when the rest of the team—or at least the starters—shows up.

Sure, James scored 27 points and had only five rebounds, not even close to the "King" playoff standards that we have seen so far, but it was the effective version of LeBron as his teammates were finally able to hit their shots...particularly from deep. James finished with 12 assists.

Their defence was also pivotal in the victory. Everybody knows that Cleveland are capable of exploding offensively, but it was on their ability to stop shots and make the scorers struggle that most of their fans worry.

For 48 minutes on Sunday, however, the Cavs showed what desperation can do. Facing the possibility of a 0-3 deficit, they transformed into a defensive beast and limited the Celtics to 86 points—this after allowing them to score 108 and 107 in the first two contests.

Jaylen Brown, who is a dangerous first-quarter scorer, had only two points in the opening frame before finishing with 10 points. Terry Rozier was limited to 13 points, while Marcus Morris ended with a measly nine points on 25 percent shooting.

It didn't help the Celts that they made just 16 assists, far from their usual numbers in Game 1 and Game 2 that saw them tally at least 24 dimes.

Now, both teams will undoubtedly go all out in the fourth installment of their budding rivalry with only winning in mind. After all, whoever wins the match would be the favourites to advance.

A win by Cleveland will not only allow them to tie the series, but it will also give them a tremendous boost as they head back to TD Garden. It seems impossible to think that LeBron won't get a W in Boston especially if the series ends up in seven games, right?

Meanwhile, a Celtics' win would give Stevens' men a 3-1 advantage and a clear path to the big dance. They are a strong team at home and are sure to win at least one match at TD Garden where they are yet to lose this postseason.

History

The Celtics' 30-point defeat to the Cavs revealed a glaring trend: they are a poor team on the road.

While that may sound odd for a squad that boasts a 28-13 record on away games in the regular season—which ranks as the best in the Eastern Conference—their poor form on the road in the postseason can't be denied.

After losing Game 3, Boston are now 1-5 in six road fixtures in this year's playoffs. More surprisingly, they have been outscored by 75 points in those six games, losing by an average of 12.5 points.

Expect basketball betting to intensify as Brad Stevens and the Celtics play the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena
Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens gives directions to his players during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals

Of course, if that trend continues, they still have the home-court advantage, right?

Well, it should be noted that the Cavs have won at least two times in their opponents' home court this postseason. They took down the Indiana Pacers twice at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and won the opening matches at Air Canada Centre in their sweep of the Toronto Raptors in the semi-finals.

Moreover, the Wine and Gold have LeBron, which means they have history on their side. James has won at least one playoff road game in 31 of his last 32 playoff series.

With that said, Boston know they need to win in Cleveland if they want some security that they will move on to the NBA Finals.

What are the odds?

Following their devastating loss, Boston are tipped as heavy underdogs with Asian Handicap odds. The Beantown team is given a +7.00 start at odds of 1.91 to even the playing field, while the Cavs are tipped with a -7.00 handicap at 1.99. These odds on most online bookies suggest that Cleveland are likely to win comfortably.

Meanwhile, Under 206.50 pays at 1.94. While there is a possibility for both teams to explode offensively, these odds still look surprising given that both teams haven't combined for more than 203 points in a game so far in this series.

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 24-May-2018 @ 12:03 PM


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24-May 2018 Thursday @ 12:07 PM (88 days ago)            #30
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Home is Where the Win is for Golden State

Houston Rockets vs Golden State Warriors

Leading 2-1 against the Houston Rockets, the Golden State Warriors will try to defend home court once again and make it a two-series lead in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals.

A lot, if not all online sports betting fans expected the Warriors to win Game 3 at Oracle Arena. However, you’ll have a difficult time finding someone who predicted the Dubs to take the W in such historic fashion against the NBA’s best regular-season team this 2017/18 campaign.

Stephen Curry had a breakout performance, and the Warriors will certainly hope that he’ll be at his best again when they play their second at Oracle Arena.

Talking Points

Winning is one thing, but winning by a ridiculous 41 points in a postseason game is another. And the Warriors did just that against a team that ranked sixth in defensive rating in the regular season.

Golden State’s 126-85 victory in Game 3 is the franchise’s biggest winning margin in the postseason, surpassing the 39-point mark set by the then Philadelphia Warriors in 1948—that’s 70 years ago! Meanwhile, for the Rockets, that was their largest playoff defeat in history.

While it could be said the Rockets merely had an off night, it can’t be denied that there are a lot of things that went well for Golden State, particularly Curry and their third-quarter offence.

Curry, who was plain terrible in the first two games, finally woke up and put the Rockets to sleep with his long-range shooting. The two-time NBA MVP shot 5-of-12 from deep and finished with a game-high 35 points.

For what it’s worth, Curry’s total in the match is two points more than James Harden and Chris Paul’s tally combined—a real bad night for the Rockets, huh?

Moreover, Golden State showed why they are considered the best third-quarter team in the league. They outscored the Rockets 34-24 in the penultimate frame and carried the momentum to cap off the night with 38-18 fourth quarter.

Curry, for his part, scored 18 points on 7-for-7 shooting in the third quarter alone to spark the Warriors’ run. Durant chipped in 10 in the period as he and Curry scored five points each to give the team a 10-0 burst.

Indeed, if Golden State want to make it 3-1, they need to continue that third-quarter trend.

It will be interesting to see what adjustments Houston will make in Game 4. They are the only team who can keep up with the Dubs’ scoring pace, thanks to Harden, Paul and Trevor Ariza. However, it’s hard to erase the fact that they seem to be a team that relies heavily on their three-point shooting.

In their two losses to the Bay Area team, they shot 35 percent and below from deep. That number increased to 38 percent in their Game 2 win.

The Warriors have the tough task of limiting Harden and Paul and stopping the Rocket from getting wide-open shots, but they will surely be confident after doing that the last time out.

History

Oracle Arena. Need we say more?

The Warriors now hold the NBA record for the most consecutive home wins (16) in the playoffs, breaking the Chicago Bulls’ mark set in 1990 to 1991. The last time the Warriors lost a postseason home affair was in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, during which the Cleveland Cavaliers staged the biggest upset in league history.

Golden State have been undefeated since then, starting in their first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2017 playoffs.

NBA betting lines are on the side of the Dub Nation after Steth scored a career high of 35 points
Golden State Warriors fans react after Stephen Curry scored against Houston Rockets in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals

The deafening and bright yellow crowd in the so-called “Roaracle” Arena was imposing in Game 3, and Houston can’t expect a more welcoming crowd when they return.

Clutch City coach Mike D’Antoni has the best words to describe the Warriors’ home-court advantage: "There's a certain energy that their fans will give them and moments they hit two or three 3s you can get a buzz going that helps the home team. You just have to try to keep that crowd out as much as you can.”

What are the odds?

There's a growing trend in this year's conference finals: blowouts.

Through seven games (four in the East and three in the West), the lowest margin of victory is nine points, in the Cavs' latest win over Boston. Before that, it was 13—in Boston's Game 2 win and Golden State's Game 1 victory over the Rockets.

In the West alone, the average margin of victory is 25 points through three games! Considering this, it's not surprising that Asian Handicap odds on the Warriors are at -8.00 @ 1.91. The Rockets are at +8.00 @ 1.99.

While NBA betting lines on most sports betting sites suggest another one-sided affair, it's interesting to look at Over-Under odds. Over 223.00 pays at 1.88 while Under 223.00 is at 2.05. Both the Warriors and Rockets boast remarkable offence, though it should be noted that they have the tendency to go cold at times.

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 24-May-2018 @ 12:07 PM


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24-May 2018 Thursday @ 12:11 PM (88 days ago)            #31
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Beantown on Fire: Can The Celtics Stop King James?

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Boston Celtics

The Eastern Conference Finals is back on neutral territory, and Boston are bracing themselves for what is bound to be a tense game at the TD Garden.

LeBron James took what is supposed to be a dire situation for the Cavs into a series where we don't know who will make it out of the Eastern Conference. Basketball betting will surely get interesting as the series head back to Beantown.

If things go the way they did in the previous matches, then Boston should be able to pull off the impressive streak of beating LeBron. However, I don't think the King and his Cavaliers will let that happen.

Will we hear joy or despair ring in New England?

Talking Points

Tristan Thompson has completely thrilled basketball betting after helping the Cavaliers clinch a win during Game 4
Tristan Thompson shoots the ball against Boston Celtic's Al Horford in the first half of Eastern Conference Final Game 4

We cannot ignore the fact that LeBron bullied his way back to the conversation. His sheer presence in the floor immediately makes the Cavaliers an instant contender that can duke it out with the best of them. His stat line for this year's postseason leaves nothing to be desired.

He leads the Cavaliers in almost every significant statistic, making play after play to keep the Wine and Gold afloat. He has proven himself to be the only consistent bright spot in a Cavalier team that would struggle to win without him.

It's going to be unbelievable to hear these words being said in this order, but LeBron James' 44-point outing was a little disappointment. Of course, every single point was vital in the Cavaliers' victory, but the fans got used to James doing everything on his own. The fact that he didn't at least flirt with a double-double by trusting his team-mates was an odd sight to behold for casual fans and betting sites.

Speaking of which, I think it is also important to talk about the rest of the Cleveland team playing up to LeBron's expectations the same way they did in Game 3. Tristan Thompson, George Hill and Kyle Korver were instrumental in the Cavaliers' Game 4 triumph. While Kevin Love had a relatively quiet game, he brought rebounding and defence to help LeBron and the Cavs secure the victory.

The Cavaliers executed their game plan well, and there was nothing the Celtics could do about it. While Brad Stevens and company tried everything they could to get back in the game, and his young core tried to respond to his calls. However, Tyronn Lue's game-planning kept Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier struggling in check.

The Celtics also need to address their aggression in Game 5. Stevens probably hurt when he saw the C's get slapped with 26 personal fouls, way above their postseason average. With players like Brown, Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart dealing with foul trouble, the Celtics found it hard to keep James and Thompson from bullying their way inside.

History

While the Cavaliers will still have a tough time at the TD, the pressure is on the C's. They weren't able to do anything against LeBron at home, and the amount of momentum the Wine and Gold are riding will be hard to interrupt.

Boston fans that are obsessed with statistics are probably shaking in their boots now that the series is all tied up. Of course, the reason for their fears is James the Bogeyman: LeBron James has never lost an Eastern Conference playoff series where his team was trailing from a 2-1 deficit.

The Celtics also have to be careful with letting the Cavaliers run loose on their home turf. The last time the King's supporting staff came to play, they used the rags that were once the Toronto Raptors to clean the Q.

However, the series is still in favour of the Boston Green. If we look at the results of the last four games, the home team always win. The Celtics are also dominant from home, never losing a home game this offseason. If Stevens and the rest of the C's manage to keep this trend running, then the series is Boston's to lose.

However, it is important to remember that it is almost impossible to just hope and contain the monster that is LeBron James. The 15-year-old veteran, who just surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabar in all-time postseason field goals made, claims that he is not a scorer despite dropping 44 on the C's.

LeBron James, the man who averages 34 points in 15 playoff games, is not a scorer. It's hard to wrap your head around that.

What are the odds?

The casual fan would think that the advantage has shifted back to Boston, but many a sportsbook do not doubt LeBron. The Cavaliers get a nice 2.44 from a -1.50 Asian Handicap, with the bookies respecting the steam the Cavs are currently riding on. However, the Celtics are not far behind in the books: Beantown gets 1.97 for +1.00.

Given their last four meetings, I don't doubt the potential of this game to be another high-scoring affair. Over 206.50 @ 1.94 is not a punt that fans should shy away from, in my opinion.

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 24-May-2018 @ 12:11 PM


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24-May 2018 Thursday @ 7:33 PM (88 days ago)            #32
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The Rockets Prepare to Launch for the Finals

Golden State Warriors vs Houston Rockets

The battle out in the West look to be as formidable and interesting as the one happening in the East. The two squads, arguably the best in the NBA, are duking it out, giving fans and neutrals a lot of reasons to pay good money and watch. This battle has also attracted many punters to visit their favourite betting sites and make a bet on either ball club.

The eyes of fans and basketball betting pundits are now on Houston. The Rockets managed to turn the series back on even footing by stealing a game against the Dubs on their home turf. They will now be heading to Houston with the chance to get a game up.

Of course, the Dubs will do everything they can to not end up in a ditch. However, Game 4 was a clear must-win for the Dubs, and they failed to deliver. If they don't manage to contain James Harden and Chris Paul here, they will find their return to the Finals a lot more difficult than it should be.

Talking Points

The elephant in the room is the Golden State comeback in Game 4 that came up short. The Dubs were their usual selves, exploding for 34 points in the third frame of the game. Their scoring run, led by Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, helped the Dubs wrestle the lead back in their favour.

However, James Harden and Chris Paul led the Rockets well; they buckled up to stop things from getting worse. The Beard, who finished the game with 30 points on 42% shooting, did well enough to just keep the game out of reach for the Warriors and return to Houston with a very comfortable 2-2 lead. CP3 was also brilliant throughout the game, scoring eight of his 27 in the fourth to help seal the W.

This loss brought about light doubts as to whether the Dubs can close off games when Harden and Paul come alive on the offensive end. They seemed lost in the second quarter as the Rockets powered their way into a lead as large as ten points. They will definitely need their veterans in Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston to step up when the stars take a quick respite.

Speaking of which, the Dubs badly missed the presence of Iguodala. Iggy, alongside Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson, are both marked questionable for Game 5 due to knocks on their knees. The Dubs looked lost without Iguodala on the floor, and they now may lose a sure source of 20 points if Thompson does not make it back in time. The biggest priority for Kerr and the Warriors medical staff is to get the Hamptons 5 back together and get these two out of the injury list.

History

Harden and Paul have never failed to impress Rockets GM Daryl Morley after wowing the crowd in Game 3. They will likely be looked upon to bring the team back up in Houston when the Dubs look to take control of the series again. The two have been unstoppable in the postseason, and their individual talent will surely help the Rockets come closer to the NBA Finals.

The Beard will especially be looked upon to carry the team when the Warriors impose their will at the Toyota Center. He has the second-highest player efficiency rating, the fourth-most steal average, and the fourth-highest points-per-game numbers in the playoffs.

However, they need to make sure that the Warriors don't find their shooting stroke. While the Dubs are uncharacteristically struggling from deep, they have the highest shooting percentage out of the four remaining teams in the tournament. It's been proven at Game 1 that they can suffer a huge defeat at their own floor.

Curry and Durant and obvious defensive priorities for Mike D'Antoni's squad, but they should also game plan for all-around forward Draymond Green. The very expressive forward is having a monster playoff run, finding himself at the Top Ten lists for rebounds per game, assists per game, and steals per game. Sure, the Dubs will certainly struggle without Iggy and Klay, but Draymond is a very loud glue that can will the Dubs to a series-altering win.

What are the odds?

Kevin Durant hopes that the basketball betting tips are still on the side of Warriors to prevail in Game 5
Warriors forward Kevin Durant shoots against Rockets center Clint Capela during the first half of Game 4

Like the most recent Cavaliers-Celtics game, betting odds on online bookmakers are tight. These two teams are evenly matched, and even the slightest of circumstances can greatly affect the result of the game.

Punters confident that the Rockets will win a big one at home will be thrilled to see Houston with a -1.50 Asian Handicap for 1.99 odds. Meanwhile, the Warriors have 1.91 for a boost of the same amount.

Given the fact that the Warriors will want to win away, it's very plausible for Curry and Company to go on a big scoring run at the half. Golden State +0.50 @ 1.96 is a possibility. Houston have 1.92 odds for a negative handicap of the same value.

Finally, both teams seem to have hunkered down on defence. While we may see another high-scoring classic, it's also likely for the game to be as low-scoring as Game 4. Under 219.00 offers a tempting 1.97, while over 219.00 rewards punters with 1.91.

 

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31-May 2018 Thursday @ 3:09 PM (81 days ago)            #33
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Dire Straits: Cleveland Face NBA Playoff Elimination

Boston Celtics vs Cleveland Cavaliers

There were some who predicted the Boston Celtics would win over the Cleveland Cavaliers when the Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas switch happened in the postseason. However, nobody -- not even the most avid basketball betting fan -- would have ever imagined things to end up like this.

Both teams have neither of the star guards they traded: IT is spending an early summer at Hollywood while LeBron James' former Robin is out with an injury. However, the absence of these two players led to a revelation that will rattle many betting sites: Boston will become a tough dynasty to beat in the Eastern Conference.

LeBron looks gassed after carrying the team through sixteen games. Will we see the Cavaliers finally miss out on their first NBA Finals since 2015? The Q will reveal to us in time.

Talking Points

The biggest topic of discussion for Cleveland fans is the struggling display the Cavaliers showed at the TD Garden. It's been mentioned that winning Game 5 is the utmost priority for LeBron and friends, but it seems that the Celtics are just too tough to stop on their home court.

Beantown is a fortress for these Celtics as they now enjoy an incredible 10-0 home record in the playoffs. What makes the feat all the most impressive is that their wins average an 11.5-point gap. This feat only exemplifies the brilliant coaching done by Brad Stevens over the course of the long NBA season.

Leading these young Celtics is Jayson Tatum. The 20-year-old wing has left a big impression on casual fans and experts with his basketball skills and mentality. In fact, he is playing so well that even current greats and NBA legends weren't hesitant in singing him praises.

Boston sports betting fans believe that Jayson Tatum will be a problem for the whole NBA in the future
Jayson Tatum lays it up past LeBron James during their Eastern Conference Finals clash

LeBron James acknowledged that Boston's No 0 is playing well above his years. Paul Pierce also believes that Tatum has the potential to become one of the legends Celtics fans will be talking about for years and years.

“He’s mature beyond his years," Pierce said. "He doesn’t look rattled by the moment. Sometimes you see rookies have problems when they get to this point. I don’t see that in Jayson Tatum. And if he didn’t have a team full of guys who are really good players and with two All-Stars, he could easily have won Rookie of the Year.”

On the other side of the coin, the Cleveland Cavaliers' languish reached a new low as the rest of the squad left their better selves at the Q. Only James and Kevin Love were the players scoring in double digits as the rest of the squad failed to score. The only bright spot outside the two were Kyle Korver's two three-pointers.

If the Cavaliers cannot find a way to stymie the C's on their home floor, then there's a huge chance for LeBron to sit out of the Finals and mull on his future a lot earlier than expected.

History

LeBron James has just been named into the All-NBA First Team for the 2017-18 season, and his performance in the postseason leaves little to no doubts for the honour.

Fans who saw James' look at the end of Game 5 may be a sign of what's to come for the franchise, but the King did well. He leads the league in points per game, player efficiency rating, win shares and box plus/minus. I am not sure if James can do keep on carrying the Cavs for much longer if his team-mates don't step up.

LeBron James will definitely do his best to align the betting odds in the Cavs' favour
LeBron James looking tired and frustrated during the Cavs' NBA Playoffs clash against the Celtics

Moreover, a bit of a history lesson will worry Cleveland fans all the more. The last time Cleveland were down 3-2 to the Boston Celtics was during the 2010 Eastern Conference semi-finals, where a younger LeBron failed to match up against Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. Everyone and their mother knew that he soon took his talents to South Beach after the playoffs.

The Cavaliers have always played well on their home floor, and their performances in their last two series prove that. It is now up to the rest of the group to help James and Love force an improbable Game 7 at Beantown.

What are the odds?

The series has been determined by the home team, so it's no wonder that online bookies like SBOBET have the Cavaliers on the advantage. You can bet on the Cavs with a -7.50 Asian Handicap for 2.08 if you are confident that LeBron's supporting cast will be making their return to the court.

Meanwhile, choose Boston +7.00 @ 1.92 if you believe Brad Stevens, Tatum, Jaylen Brown and the rest of the Celtics will become the first Eastern Conference Champions in seven years that don't star the kid from Akron.

This game should become a high-scoring affair, so gunning for over 202.00 will increase your stake by 1.91.

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 31-May-2018 @ 3:17 PM


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31-May 2018 Thursday @ 5:44 PM (81 days ago)            #34
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The Lonely Beard: Can James Harden Win On His Own?

Houston Rockets vs Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors are in a territory they haven't experienced in the longest time: they are now at the brink of elimination against the Houston Rockets.

The 3-2 series ditch the Dubs find themselves in was something not a lot of online bookies were anticipating to really happen, but great plays from James Harden, Chris Paul and the entire Houston team roster made this situation a reality.

However, it's been confirmed that James Harden will be facing the Dubs on their home floor without his trusted floor general. Basketball betting experts are probably tipping the game in favour of the Warriors as it seems like the Warriors are too much for Harden to handle alone.

Will the Beard be able to pull off the impossible and defeat the Warriors on his own? Or will the Dubs follow the Cleveland Cavaliers and force a Game 7?

Talking Points

Online bookies believes that Houston Rockets will have a tough game with Chris Paul missing in action
Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul sits on the floor after being hurt during the second half in Game 5

One of the most interesting topics of conversation to see here is the fact that neither of the usually high-scoring outfits scored more than 100 points on the last two games. Game 4 was won by Houston in a game that could have been extended by a three-point make by Stephen Curry. Game 5, on the other hand, was iced by Eric Gordon's free throws before the buzzer ended the 94-98 contest.

The fact that the Dubs and the Rockets, teams that have scored more than 105 points per outing in these playoffs, scored low in the last two games is a testament to the physical defence employed by both teams. It's unbelievable to admit, but Houston's defensive planning has put them close to a Finals appearance.

Fans that have been following the NBA for the longest time know just how allergic Mike D'Antoni is to defence. His usual approach to the game was to let their attacks make up for the shortcomings of their guards. However, he made the wise decision to turn to a switch-heavy defence to counter the Warriors' very fluid lineups.

However, there are concerns on the Houston end as Chris Paul will be sitting out of Game 6 due to hamstring problems. The most bitter part of this is the fact that the injury occurred during the game's final moments. It remains to be seen if CP3 will be available to the Rockets should the series head back to Houston for a decisive Game 7. Fans will be hoping that Harden will be able to end the series at the Oracle.

Meanwhile, the Warriors saw their two main stars misfiring left and right. Curry and Durant had respectable scoring performances (29 for KD and 22 for Steph) in Game 5, but their scoring efficiency leaves a lot to be desired. This is especially true for Curry's case after making only two of his eight three-point attempts.

Andre Iguodala's absence is also doing a number on the Warriors. They're still not sure as to whether the versatile winger will be able to return on time for Game 6, and that's definitely bad news for them. Iggy's contributions to Golden State's 'Hamptons Five' lineup is sorely missed, and fans will be hoping for his quick return to action.

History

Steve Kerr and Ken Durant both want to win the critical live betting match in Game 6
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant is congratulated by head coach Steve Kerr following their win over the Houston Rockets in Game 1

The past two games have been determined by defence, and Houston's defensive planning will also determine whether they make the NBA Finals for the first time since 1995.

Harden, Gordon, Clint Capela, Trevor Ariza and PJ Tucker need to exert their utmost on defence to force the Warriors to take hard shot attempts. They also need to clog the passing lanes and force the Dubs to make as many turnovers as they did in Game 5.

The Beard also needs to take it upon himself to carry the Warriors and end the series on their home floor. He is among the top playoff performers in points, assists, steals, and player efficiency. However, his performance in Game 5, headlined by his atrocious 0-for-11 from deep, is not going to win them the conference. He needs to step up, and the time to do so is now.

Curry and Durant only need to maximise their efficiency on shooting if they want to force a Game 7. Draymond Green also needs to be more careful with the ball as his turnovers late in Game 5 added to the ditch they are currently in. Klay Thompson should continue bothering Harden with his defence.

What are the odds?

Betting sites see this game heading to Game 7 and favour the Warriors to win big time. Golden State -12.00 @ 1.98 is the way to go if you believe Dub Nation will be able to force a do-or-die match in Houston. Rockets +11.50 @ 2.02 is the way to go if you think James Harden will be able to at least keep the score close.

Over-Under odds also offer interesting options: Over 213 give 1.94 while Under 213.00 rewards punters with 1.94 odds.

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31-May 2018 Thursday @ 5:48 PM (81 days ago)            #35
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Beasts of the East: It’s Do or Die Now for Cavs, Celtics

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Boston Celtics

And then there was one.

After a gruelling six matches, the Eastern Conference Finals is now headed to a decisive Game 7. Both Boston and Cleveland gave it their all to make it this far; but in the end, only one will get the right to represent the East in the NBA Finals.

The Celtics, often dubbed as the powerhouse team of tomorrow, will look to show basketball betting fans that the future is today. However, the Cavs will hope for another ticket to the big dance as LeBron James tries to cement his status as the greatest player of all time.

Talking Points

LeBron James. Is there any other player worth talking about at this stage of the series?

The King has single-handedly willed the Cavs to Game 7, and it's almost laughable that his doubters thought he wouldn't be able to push the Celtics to the limit with his current teammates.

Facing elimination at home, LeBron drew a masterpiece and carried his team to the decider. He scored 46 points on top of 11 boards and nine assists to power the Cavs, who lost Kevin Love five minutes into Game 6 after suffering a concussion.

Sure enough, the Cavs got some unexpected production from their role players. George Hill scored 20 points while Jeff Green chipped in 14, but it was James' undeniable brilliance that led them to the victory.

The Cavs need another similar performance from LeBron if they are to make it a record four straight finals appearances, and James knows it too.

Following their Game 6 win, LeBron said: "As soon as I leave here, I’ll start to prepare. I’m going to get in the car and head back to Akron. As soon as I get home, I’ll start my treatment [on my injured right leg]."

Basketball betting fans of Cavaliers believe that LeBron James will drive the team to victory at Game 7
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James celebrates after making a 3-point shot against Boston Celtics at Game 6

Meanwhile, for Boston, it's all about using their home-court advantage and staying consistent on both ends of the floor.

They are without their two superstars, but Brad Stevens found a way to keep his team in title contention, beating both Milwaukee and Philadelphia in the first two rounds. Now, they need to find that mojo back as they aim for their first finals appearance since 2010.

The Celtics are still undefeated at TD Garden this postseason, but as we noted in our Game 4 preview, LeBron has won at least one road game in 31 of his last 32 playoff series.

Boston need to rediscover their league-leading defence to have any chance of stopping LeBron and the Cavs. They registered a defensive rating of 101.5 in the regular season, but it dropped to 104.9 in the playoffs, which is only good for fifth.

History

As mentioned earlier, Boston are undefeated in the playoffs with a 10-0 record. And sure enough, they will rely on their home-court dominance and the support of the crowd to get the job done in what could be described as the most important Game 7 in the franchise's new era.

Nonetheless, while the Celts have a spectacular history at home, they shouldn't forget "Game 7 LeBron"—who is undoubtedly a far different beast from the "Playoff LeBron" we all know.

James is 5-2 in Game 7 of the NBA Playoffs, and if that's not scary enough, he averages almost 35 points per game in such situations! The latest example is his 45-point outburst in the do-or-die finale of their first-round series against the Indiana Pacers last month. He even recorded eight rebounds and seven assists in that match for a near triple-double performance!

There's also his 2016 display in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors! After trailing 1-3, LeBron led the charge for the Cavs to complete a historic turnaround. He tallied 27 points, 11 boards and 11 assists in their title-clinching win.

The last time LeBron lost in a Game 7 was in 2008, ironically against the Celtics in the East semi-finals. That's another history too!

What are the odds?

As expected, NBA betting odds are tight between the two teams. Boston, thanks to their home-court advantage, are slightly favoured to win at Asian Handicap odds.

The Beantown team is at -2.00 @ 1.91, while the Cavs are given a +2.00 start at odds of 1.99.

Basketball betting is set to intensify as Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals starts tomorrow
Marcus Smart celebrates after Boston Celtics beat Cleveland Cavaliers, 96-83, at Beantown in Game 5

SBOBET odds, however, not only point to a tight affair but also to a low-scoring game. Their last match at TD Garden ended with only a combined 179 points, and our NBA betting lines on Over-Under point to a repeat of that as Under 200.50 pays only at 1.82. For odds comparison, Over 200.50 is at 2.06.

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31-May 2018 Thursday @ 5:59 PM (81 days ago)            #36
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LeBron and the Cavs are Back to the NBA Finals!

Cleveland Cavaliers 87-79 Boston Celtics

Death, taxes and LeBron James making the NBA Finals.

It's hard to argue with that after the King willed the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Boston Celtics in a thrilling Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Celtics were aiming for their first Finals appearance since 2010, back when their "Big Three" of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen was wreaking havoc in the NBA. However, LeBron proved to be too much for this star-less version of the Celtics that relied on the sideline genius of Brad Stevens to make things work in the absence of the injured Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.

Here's the full Cleveland vs Boston Game 7 results, as well as more LeBron highlights:

Highlights of the game

Pre-match NBA betting odds pointed to a tight win by the Celtics, and for a good reason: they have never been defeated at home this postseason.

Nonetheless, LeBron's talent and overall basketball brilliance defy logic and mere stats, and the son of Cleveland showed that as he put up a memorable performance that even Stevens and his Beantown team couldn't prepare for.

The four-time league MVP recorded another near triple-double performance with 35 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists—the kind of gaudy numbers that he has spoiled us with all season long. He kept the Wine and Gold afloat in the first half and paved the way back for the team after trailing by as much as 12 points.

He had a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds at halftime before leading a third-quarter surge that saw them reverse the game and get a three-point lead.

The fourth-quarter was a see-saw affair as the Celtics, boasting their championship pedigree, didn't get intimidated. Rookie sensation Jayson Tatum—who LeBron said was bound for greatness—led the charge for the C's, posterizing James before banking a huge three-pointer to restore their lead, 72-71.

However, the Celts failed to build on the momentum and went scoreless for more than five minutes as the Cavs buckled up defensively.

Cleveland then made the most out of the C's slump and responded with a 15-2 run to pull away for good and make no sense of the Eastern Conference Finals betting tips that back Boston to get the victory on their home court.

Key statistics

LeBron played all 48 minutes in what was his 100th game of the season. And while he's obviously exhausted, he was still able to finish with a 50 percent shooting clip.

Coach Stevens said that their plan was to wear James out, but it's clear that plan didn't work. After all, LeBron is a tireless cyborg built for moments like this.

"Our goal going into the series was to make him exert as much energy as humanly possible and try to be as good as we can on everybody else," Stevens said after the game. "For the most part, I thought we were pretty good at that...but he still scored 35. It's a joke."

James, nonetheless, got some much-needed help from his teammates. Jeff Green, who started in place of the injured Kevin Love, stepped up and tallied 19 points and eight boards on 7-of-14 shooting. Tristan Thompson was also pivotal, finishing with 10 points and nine rebounds while making all his shots.

J.R. Smith, after a forgettable display in Game 6, found his stroke and made 12 points—nine of which came from beyond the arc.

On the other hand, Boston received a huge boost from Tatum with his 24 points, while Horford was also aggressive throughout and dominated the low post en route to 17 points. Yet, the efforts of the two were not enough.

Jaylen Brown was largely ineffective, making only 13 points on 5-of-18 shooting. The same goes for Terry Rozier (four points on 14.3 percent shooting) who didn't live up to his "Scary Terry" nickname.

What's next?

The victory gave the Cavs their fourth straight NBA Finals appearance, joining the likes of Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat (also with LeBron) as the only teams to reach the incredible feat.

LeBron James and Co. headlines the Cleveland vs Boston Game 7 results in the NBA
Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James soars to dunk during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals

LeBron, for his part, is only the sixth player to reach eight straight NBA Finals—four with Miami and four with Cleveland. He joins an elite company that includes Bill Russell (10), Tom Heinsohn (9), Sam Jones (9), K.C. Jones (8) and Frank Ramsey (8), all of whom were part of the Celtics' dynasty in the 1960s.

For what it's worth, James is the only player to do it after that era.

The Cavs will now wait for the Western Conference Finals results between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets. The two are set to play Game 7 at Toyota Center, with the Warriors aiming to join Cleveland for a fourth straight final and the Rockets seeking their first appearance in the big dance since 1995.

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31-May 2018 Thursday @ 6:02 PM (81 days ago)            #37
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NBA West Finals: It’s a Battle for Supremacy!

Golden State Warriors vs Houston Rockets

It all comes down to this: Game 7, a winner-takes-all finale between unarguably the best teams in the NBA this 2017-18 season.

Everybody, even the casual basketball fans expected a thrilling series between the two; and blowouts aside, their match-up has lived up to expectations. No team led by two games and it was a see-saw affair through and through, with both powerhouses splitting their home and away games in the opening four matches.

Houston will be happy with their home-court advantage in the final game of the Western Conference Finals. However, make no mistake, SBOBET odds point to a closely-contested affair as the Warriors try to show that they know how to win when it matters.

Talking Points

We can't move on to the finale without discussing the latest match-up between the two, and man what a spectacular Game 6 that was!

The Warriors didn't look like themselves in the first half and appeared on their way to an early summer (by Golden State standards). However, trailing by ten at halftime, the Bay Area team pulled off a turnaround of epic proportions and outscored the Rockets 64-25 in the second half—even limiting Houston's high-octane offence to just nine points in the fourth quarter. NINE POINTS!

Klay Thompson was at the heart of the Warriors' comeback, banking nine-three pointers en route to 35 points. It was the "Game 6 Klay" we all know, the same man who made an NBA playoff-record 11 three-pointers in Game 6 of the 2016 West Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Thompson was pivotal, and the Dubs will certainly need him at his best once again when they play the decider at Houston. Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant remain the main act, but Thompson is equally important to keep the Golden State engine running.

The same goes for Draymond Green who was overshadowed by Thompson's raging display from deep. Green quietly made history as he became the first-ever player in NBA history to finish a postseason game with at least nine assists, five blocks and four steals.

With Golden State's other utility man Andre Iguodala still doubtful to play, Green's contributions will be highlighted even more.

On the other hand, for the Rockets, the more pressing issue is the status of All-Star point guard Chris Paul who is nursing a right hamstring injury. In the absence of CP3, Houston blew a 17-point lead and lost to the Warriors by 29 points.

The Clutch City team had 26 assists in the match, but it was clear they missed Paul's contribution on the offensive end. After all, the nine-time NBA All-Star has averaged 19.8 points through five games in the series, even scoring 27 and 20 points as they won back-to-back games in Oracle Arena and Toyota Center.

According to reports, Paul is "less likely than likely" to play. And if those reports are true, James Harden and Co. will undoubtedly have a hard time even if they are playing at home—we have all seen how they struggled in the closing stages of Game 6 despite a hot start.

History

The Warriors have been in this situation before. In fact, it was worse for them in 2016 when they had to battle back from 3-1 down to defeat the Thunder and book a ticket to the NBA Finals.

Not to mention that the Oklahoma team back then featured Russell Westbrook and 2014 Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant—who eventually moved to California to join Golden State the following summer.

Put simply, Golden State know what it takes to win in such clutch situations, and that mentality could prove crucial in Game 7.

Houston, in contrast, raise doubts about their mindset. They had the Finals ticket in front of them, but they let adversity and discouragement get the better of them.

As SBOBET odds predicted, Chris Paul remains as game-time decision for the Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul sustains hamstring injury during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals

Harden said they remain confident of sealing the series, emphasising that they know what they have to do with or without Paul. Nonetheless, the Warriors are the same, with Thompson saying: "If we take the same focus and execute the game plan [in Game 7] like we should, I have all the confidence in the world in this team."

What are the odds?

Despite finishing at the top of the West and getting home-court advantage over the Warriors, the Rockets are still labelled as the underdogs at SBOBET.com.

Mike D'Antoni's men are tipped at Asian Handicap odds +5.50 @ 2.00 while the Warriors—as it has been throughout the series—are the favourites to advance at odds of -5.50 @ 1.90.

Such NBA betting odds are expected though considering that the Dubs are the defending champions that boast four All-Stars and two former MVPs. On the other hand, the Rockets are facing the possibility of playing with only Harden as their legitimate All-Star calibre player.

Nonetheless, it is interesting to note that the final match between the two teams is predicted to end up a low-scoring affair. Under 209.00 pays at 1.90, which suggests that it's highly likely that the two would end up scoring less than 100 points each.

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31-May 2018 Thursday @ 6:11 PM (81 days ago)            #38
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Golden Dynasty Continues for the Warriors

Golden State Warriors 101-92 Houston Rockets

It was hard work. It was SEVEN GAMES. However, after all the careless plays and frequent showboating of their immense talent, the Golden State Warriors came out on top of the West, again.

The Western Conference Finals results won't be forgotten any time soon. The Houston Rockets fought hard and almost stole the series away from the defending champions; but as what we have seen in the decisive Game 7, experience goes a long way.

It helped the Warriors that they have four All-Stars in their fold, though that's just trivial for the Rockets who can't use Chris Paul's absence as an excuse after finishing as the best team in the NBA and getting home-court advantage over the Bay Area team.

Highlights of the game

Golden State are the best third-quarter team in the league, and as if the Rockets needed any reminder of that, the Dubs exploded big time at the start of the second half to pull away for good.

Trailing by 11 points at halftime, the Warriors turned the game around by outscoring the Rockets by 18 points in the third canto.

Stephen Curry sparked the turnaround and scored 14 points. He hit four of his five shots from deep in the quarter, including the dagger with 3:58 left that gave them the lead (for good), 64-61.

Houston, in contrast, went ice cold as the Warriors roll. They failed to convert any of their 14 attempts from the three-point land in the penultimate period—an ugly stretch that formed part of 27 straight misses from the said area.  The Rockets ended up making only seven out of 44 three-pointers.

James Harden, in the absence of Paul, tried to rescue the Rockets from their demise. Nonetheless, his 32 points were not enough to counter Golden State's firepower—it was mission impossible with Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson clicking offensively.

Curry finished with a near triple-double of 29 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. He also had four steals to highlight his all-around performance in the crucial game.

Durant had 34 markers while Thompson chipped in 19 points on 61.5 percent shooting—the highest shooting clip among all Warriors. Draymond Green was also pivotal, thanks to his 10 points, 13 boards and five assists.

On the other hand, Eric Gordon, Clint Capela and PJ Tucker combined for 57 points, but they were only the other bright spots for a Houston team that largely disappointed. Trevor Ariza was held scoreless throughout the 41 minutes he was on the court.

"This is a situation we've never been in before: to win a game seven on the road and keep our composure for the whole series," Curry said after securing the West championship. "All those hurdles and obstacles, we got over them, so it's an unbelievable feeling. Winning a championship is hard, so this is a testament to that."

Key statistics

The Warriors fell behind by as much as 15 points in the first half, something that Warriors coach Steve Kerr described as "bizarre." In Kerr's defence, the manner the Dubs' fell to the huge hole was weird as well: they committed four fouls in the opening 55 seconds with Thompson drawing two, leading to his early benching.

"I saw one of the worst quarters of basketball we've ever played and we're down five points," Kerr said after the first half. "So if we can get our act together, we'll be fine."

However, the Dubs made up for it with an excellent third quarter showing. Despite Thompson playing only three minutes in the quarter, they scored 35 points while shooting 53 percent overall and 55 percent from distance.

Durant also played a key role in the Dubs' comeback victory, scoring 21 of his 34 points in the second half—all after struggling for the most part of the series.

What's next?

Golden State Warriors versus Cleveland Cavaliers: Chapter IV. Need we say more?

The Warriors join the Cavs as two of only five teams to reach four straight NBA Finals. They will now renew their rivalry that has really developed over the years.

Golden State won the title in 2015 and 2017, while Cleveland stopped what could have been a Warriors' three-peat by lifting the Larry O'Brien Trophy in 2016—doing so against the record-breaking 72-9 California squad.

With the Western Conference Finals results finally in, basketball fans await the Kevin Durant vs LeBron James matchup
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James drives on Golden State's Kevin Durant during an NBA regular season game in Oracle Arena

NBA Finals betting odds point to the Warriors as the overwhelming favourites, but LeBron James—who has single-handedly carried the Cavs to the ultimate party—will be keen to prove otherwise.

The NBA Finals begins this June, with the Warriors getting the home-court advantage after finishing with a better record than the Cavs.

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31-May 2018 Thursday @ 6:16 PM (81 days ago)            #39
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Cavs vs Warriors: Who Will Draw First Blood in NBA Finals?

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors

The Warriors and Cavaliers will meet again in the NBA Finals; and despite talks about how "boring" it is to see the two juggernauts battle for the title for the fourth straight year, no one can deny how dominant they have been in the regular season and in the playoffs.

Now, as we head to Game 1 of The Finals, the more serious question that needs to be asked is: who will win?

The basketball purists—and our NBA Finals betting odds—will tell you that it's impossible to beat a Golden State team that boasts what could be described as the best collection of individual talent that the league has ever seen. However, LeBron James, unarguably the best basketball player on the planet right now, is more than determined to prove that he can lead his Cavaliers to the promised land once again.

Talking Points

No matter how you look at it, the biggest and most intriguing storyline in the fourth chapter of the Golden State-Cleveland rivalry is "Four versus One."

The Dubs' death lineup is for real and you can ask the Houston Rockets, the West and the NBA's top team, about that. Put simply, the Warriors is unlike any other squad in the history of the league.

They have two former MVPs in Kevin Durant and Steph Curry, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in Draymond Green, and a four-time NBA All-Star and three-point contest champ in Klay Thompson. Add there the injured Andre Iguodala—perhaps one of the best utility men in the league—and we could say that it's "Five vs One."

Nonetheless, much like the Warriors, LeBron James is unlike any other player that the league has ever seen (sorry Michael Jordan).

LeBron James rallied for the Cavaliers to reach the NBA Finals Betting Odds
Cavaliers forward LeBron James drives through the defense of Boston Celtics guards in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals

The King is a one-man wrecking crew, a tireless cyborg, a freak of nature. He has carried the Cavs to this stage all by himself; and if there's one thing we learned in the 2017/18 playoffs, it's to never bet against LeBron. NEVER.

He helped the Wine and Gold survive the Indiana Pacers in the first round, led them in the sweep of the Toronto Raptors in the semi-finals, and used his out-of-this-world talent and athleticism to beat the genius of Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.

LeBron is LeBron and despite all the hate he receives, he always gives that sense of assurance that his team can win every game with him on the floor.

Moreover, if his teammates play like their lives depend on it—much like in Game 7 against Boston—there's no doubt they can give the Warriors problems.

Shared talent and experience goes a long way, and both teams have that.

History

As mentioned, this will be the fourth time that they will meet. The Golden State Warriors won the title in 2015 and 2017 against the Cavaliers, the first one ending in six games and the second in just five.

However, it should be noted that the Cavs beat the best version of the Warriors in 2016. Golden State (72-9)broke the Chicago Bulls' record for most wins in a season during that campaign, but LeBron and his crew spoiled their historic run by stealing the O'Brien Trophy.

Oh, and they made history while doing that, becoming the first team to win the NBA title after going down 3-1 in the finals.

This season, the Warriors totally dominated the Cavs. They met only two times and the Bay Area team won both matches with Durant leading the way.

For what it's worth though, LeBron averaged 26 points, seven rebounds and six assists in those two games—he's averaging a near triple-double of 34.0 points, 9.2 boards and 8.8 dimes this postseason.

What are the odds?

Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry are both happy to be on the top of NBA betting tips
Warriors forward Kevin Durant hugs teammate Stephen Curry after they beat the Rockets in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals

NBA betting tips have the Warriors winning Game 1...by a huge margin! But that is expected as many fans believe that the Dubs already passed their biggest test when they defeated Mike D'Antoni's Rockets.

SBOBET Asian Handicap sports betting, in fact, have Golden State at -12.00 that pays at odds of 1.93. Meanwhile, the Cavs are given a +12.00 start at 1.97.

While that sure looks blasphemous for Cavs fans, it's worth noting that the Warriors won by an average of 23 points in their four wins against the Rockets. Cleveland, on the other hand, registered a margin of 14.25 points in their wins against the Celtics, though that's thanks in large part to their 30-point demolition of the Beantown team in Game 3 of the East Finals.

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13-Jul 2018 Friday @ 5:20 PM (38 days ago)            #40
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NBA Finals: Can LeBron Beat This Odd Ditch?

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors

Don't worry if you are still puzzled by what JR Smith did at the end of Game 1. LeBron James probably is scratching his head at that, too.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are once again behind in the NBA Finals after a bizarre series of events erased what was supposed to be a statement game from the King of the East. The Golden State Warriors escaped a scary loss and are now poised to put a familiar 2-0 cushion between them and the Cavaliers.

SBOBET tips also favour the Warriors to win at home. After all, they are the loaded team in this series. I don't think the Cavaliers can overcome the amount of talent the Dubs have to repeat what they did in 2016.

However, the question that needs to be asked is this: do you really want to bet against LeBron James this time around? Are you sure that a comfortable Asian Handicap can even stop this LeBron James from winning Game 2?

Talking Points

Bet online on Cavs as Tristan Thompson's flagrant foul 2 was downgraded to a flagrant 1
Cavs' Tristan Thompson confronts Warriors forward Draymond Green during overtime of the NBA Finals Game 1

Any Cavaliers vs Warriors predictions made by pundits will always have to take one man into account before they make their stand.

LeBron James always stood out whenever he squares against the Dubs in the Finals, but Game 1 of the 2018 edition was something else entirely. His 51 points easily clock in as one of the most impressive offensive performances he has ever displayed. We're not even counting his eight boards and eight dimes or the fact that he is still performing at the highest quality in his fifteenth professional year.

Unfortunately for the King, he was brought down to the ground by things he cannot control. JR Smith's blunder is a given, but a lack of scoring from George Hill, Jordan Clarkson and the rest of the Cavalier roster placed the team in a really bad spot. They shoot poorly from three but forced 37 shot attempts. Tyronn Lue obviously does not have an inkling of a clue with what to do with this decomposing dumpster fire of a roster.

Then there were the scares of Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love. Late in Game 1, Thompson got himself a silly Flagrant 2 foul against Shaun Livingston. Draymond Green then did what he did best: he taunted. He effectively hooked Thompson into getting into a fight with him. The fight was tense to the point that Kevin Love got off the bench and walked into the altercation. Just in case you didn't know, that's a big no-no.

Fortunately for them, Thompson escaped suspension and will be fighting for rebounds in Game 2. Love was also spared for his violation and will be playing as well. Fans can only hope that his scoring does not disappear this time around.

Meanwhile, everything is going swimmingly well for the Warriors. With this lead, they can now focus on putting more pressure on James and head to Ohio with a 2-0 lead. However, Green will be under the radar as some of his violations weren't called by the referees.

However, as long as Durant and Curry keep on sinking threes and Klay Thompson is ready to catch and shoot, the Warriors will always be considered the favourites.

History

The Cavaliers haven't won a Game 1 against the Warriors in the Finals, and the latest game holds true to that tradition. Though the Cavaliers were this close to winning for the first time, it cannot be denied that the Cavs still lost. This might be the final series James will be playing for the Cavs, so the least they could do is help him prevent a 3-9 Finals record from tainting his legacy as the greatest.

After all, his 51 points is tied for second-highest playoff performance among active players; former Cavalier team-mate Isaiah Thomas' 53 points last season is at the top of the current players list.

Speaking of records, he now has the second-most 2-pt career field goals in NBA playoff history. He has already surpassed Tim Duncan in most playoff minutes played and is also the holder of most career playoff points.

Ray Allen's 385 career playoff 3-point field goal record is also at risk to three men. LeBron is leading with 367 and Curry is close by with 361. Klay Thompson is a distant fourth among active players with 297, and JR Smith is not far behind with 281.

What are the odds?

Cavs online betting fans delighted after the NBA announced that they will not suspend Kevin Love
Cavs' Kevin Love avoids suspension for leaving bench

It's hard to believe that LeBron will be able to do what he did in Game 1 again, so it's safe to assume that Game 2 will be a blowout. The safer option is choosing Golden State's -11.50 Asian Handicap for 1.96 in odds. If you feel like being a little risky, Cleveland +11.00 is available for 2.01.

However, I do think that the Cavaliers will be leading in the first half before they run out of gas. The lead will still be small, but Cleveland +6.00 First Half Asian Handicap will reward punters with 1.99. These two teams also score lots of points, so Over 216.00 for 1.98 is a no-brainer of a pick.

It will be interesting to see if LeBron James will be able to carry the Cavaliers through this. He has been carrying an entire state for most of the playoffs, so it's only a matter of time before he gives out and collapses under the weight.

After all, even superhuman athletes get tired.

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13-Jul 2018 Friday @ 5:24 PM (38 days ago)            #41
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NBA Finals: It’s Time for LeBron to Defend The Land

Golden State Warriors vs Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James has been here before—being down 0-2 is nothing new to him. This time, however, the NBA Finals betting odds are way stacked against him and his Cleveland Cavaliers.

Stopping the Golden State Warriors is a job easier said than done. After all, this Bay Area team we're talking about is the same team that won two titles in the last three years and that boasts not one, not two but four All-Stars!

However, if the Cavaliers are determined to turn things around, their best and only chance is Game 3 at Quicken Loans Arena where they have won eight straight games these playoffs.

Talking Points

Although the Warriors vs Cavaliers Game 3 betting tips have Golden State winning, Cavs fans have a valid reason to believe: there's just no way that The King would fall to a 0-3 hole in what could be described as his career-defining postseason.

No team in league history has ever come back after going down three-to-nothing in the NBA Finals, so it's just blasphemous to think that it will happen to 2018 LeBron—of all players!

Not to mention that the Cavs are stronger at home this year. They are 29-12 in the regular season and improved on those numbers as they tallied an 8-1 home record in this year's playoffs.

The Cavs' only defeat came from the Indiana Pacers in the opening game, though they have since made up for that with an unbeaten run at The Q.

It remains to be seen if they can maintain that streak. However, the Wine and Gold's postseason averages at home should give them added confidence. They are shooting 48 percent from the field and 37 percent from three when playing in their turf.

For comparison, they shot 43 percent from the field and 30 percent from beyond the arc in the first two games at Oracle Arena.

Shots will soon start falling for the Cavs, and all signs suggest that it would be at home this Game 3. Even Warriors marksman Klay Thompson acknowledged the difficulty of playing at Cleveland, saying: "They’re a team that’s great at home."

For the Warriors, they head into this game with smiles plastered on their faces. They can afford to lose one game, though they certainly aren't thinking of that especially with how Steph Curry is playing.

A few days ago, Curry pointed out that he's not thinking about getting the elusive Finals MVP award and emphasised that winning the title is more important. But after saying that, he scored a combined 62 points in the first two games to lead the Warriors to a 2-0 lead.

Oh, and he did that while also breaking the record for most three-pointers made in a single NBA Finals game!

LeBron has been a monster for the Cavs, but so is Curry; and it will be interesting to see how they will fare against each other this time around.

History

Besides the change of scenery, it's safe to say that the Cavs have history on their side.

In 2016, the Cavaliers also found themselves in a 0-2 hole; and against all odds, LeBron willed his team to a huge turnaround. They joined the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers as the only teams in league history to overcome a two-and-o deficit in the NBA Finals.

Moreover, that historic feat made them the only team to ever come back and win the title after trailing 3-1.

It's also worth noting that the Cavs have won two out of the three Game 3s they played in the past three finals series.

NBA Finals Betting Odds: LeBron James and Kevin Love hope to turn the odds around their favour at Game 3
Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue talks with LeBron James and Kevin Love during NBA Finals Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors

What are the odds?

As usual, the Warriors are the favourites to win. Unlike in the previous SBOBET odds, though,  the game is expected to go down the wire. The Dubs are at a -4.00 handicap that pays at odds of 1.85, while the Cavs are given a +4.00 start at 2.05.

Moreover, with the Cavs likely to benefit from their home-court advantage, they are expected to keep the game close at halftime. In fact, their +0.50 First half Asian Handicap that gives 1.86 odds suggest that they are likely to be tied with the Dubs after 24 minutes of play.

Golden State, in contrast, are at First Half Asian Handicap -0.50 @ 2.02.

On the other hand, despite Game 1 and 2 finishing by more than 220 points each, our odds imply that the match could go either way at Cleveland. Over 217.00 pays at 1.94, while Under 217.00 have the same odds.

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13-Jul 2018 Friday @ 5:27 PM (38 days ago)            #42
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NBA Finals: Can the Warriors Finally Sweep the Cavs?

Golden State Warriors vs Cleveland Cavaliers

Golden State are now up 3-0 against Cleveland, and they have a chance to complete a sweep in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

The league hasn't seen a sweep in the finals since 2007 when a LeBron James-led Cavaliers lost to the San Antonio Spurs in four games.

However, with how things are shaping up, it's not impossible for the Dubs to achieve the elusive feat and pile more misery on LeBron. After all, it's not often that a team can boast beating The King at the peak of his powers.

While most fans hope the Warriors would give the Cavs the W in Game 4 before finishing them off via a gentleman's sweep, NBA Finals betting tips suggest that it's unlikely to happen. The Bay Area team certainly don't want any reminder of that 3-1 horror story.

Talking Points

Cleveland fans had their hopes up heading to Game 3. The Cavs have only lost once at the Quicken Loans Arena this postseason and were riding an eight-game winning streak prior to the match-up.

However, as it turns out, home-court advantage was not enough for the Cavs to defeat the Warriors. Golden State are simply in another level.

Having four All-Stars showed its benefit in their latest match-up. With Steph Curry and Klay Thompson playing poorly and combining for just three makes from beyond the arc, Kevin Durant stepped up and denied the Cavs a victory with his 43 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists.

Durant's career-high overshadowed another brilliant performance from LeBron James who finished with a triple-double of 33 points, 10 boards and 11 dimes.

It also put a damper on Rodney Hood's coming-of-age performance that saw the former Utah Jazz guard shoot 63.6 percent from the field in 25 minutes of play.

Another matter worthy of discussion is Andre Iguodala's return to the Warriors lineup. The former Philadelphia 76ers star and 2015 NBA Finals MVP had a solid outing for the Dubs in his first game since picking up a knee injury in the Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets.

Iguodala, who completes Golden State's famed "Hamptons 5" lineup, finished with eight points and two rebounds. Nonetheless, it's worth noting that the Warriors outscored the Cavs by 14 points in the 22 minutes that he played on the court. Iguodala was a plus-14 after the game,  second to Kevin Durant in terms of effectiveness.

Indeed, if the Cavs can't beat the Warriors who weren't even at their best, then there's no way they'll be able to take down the defending champions in this series.

As usual, the Cavs need everything to go their way in Game 4. Besides making their shots, they need the Curry, Thompson, Durant and Draymond Green to have a bad day at the same time—I won't talk about the probability of that happening!

The Warriors have their sights on a third title in four years, and it's doubtful if the Cavs have enough gas and fighting spirit left to at least delay the inevitable.

History

The Warriors are looking for the first NBA Finals sweep in 11 years, something which they failed to do in the past two years.

In 2016, Golden State were up 2-0 against the Cavs, but they choked big time and eventually gave up a 3-1 lead to allow Cleveland to win their first Larry O'Brien Trophy. Meanwhile, in 2017, the Warriors lost in their third game after getting a two-to-nothing lead, though they managed to close out the series in just five games for their second title.

On the other hand, the Cavs will be looking to become the first team in league history to reverse a 0-3 deficit. It has never been done before in the playoffs and seems an impossible task for them given their current roster.

LeBron and Co., though, will find some silver lining from the fact that there are a few teams who have forced a Game 7 after losing the first three games of a postseason series. The New York Knicks did it in the NBA Finals in 1951 against the Rochester Royals (now Sacramento Kings), while the Denver Nuggets also forced the decider against the Utah Jazz in their 1994 conference semi-finals matchup.

Furthermore, the Portland Trail Blazers were the last team to do it, pushing the third-seeded Dallas Mavericks to a do-or-die affair in their first-round meeting in 2003.

LeBron James and company were overshadowed in the NBA Finals betting tips following their another defeat
LeBron James looks up at the scoreboard during the first half against the Golden State Warriors in Game 3

What are the odds?

Just like in Game 3, SBOBET odds on the Warriors vs Cavs Game 4 have Golden State winning by a low margin again.

In fact, SBOBET Asian Handicap sports betting put the Warriors at -6.00 @ 1.99, while the Cavs are at +6.00 @ 1.91.

On the other hand, our odds suggest a repeat of their latest match that ended with just a combined 212 points. Over 215.50 pays at 1.91, while Under 215.50 is at 1.97.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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13-Jul 2018 Friday @ 5:30 PM (38 days ago)            #43
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Golden in the Buckeye State: Warriors Sweep the Cavaliers!

Cleveland Cavaliers 85 - 108 Golden State Warriors

It was like seeing Avengers: Infinity War all over again.

We all wanted to see a different NBA Finals, to make the NBA fun and exciting again. When the final matchup was slated to be a rematch of the past three NBA Finals, we hoped to see something different.

We hoped that previous Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors results would matter little and that LeBron James would be able to do the impossible. We hoped to see something different, something more memorable, to come out of this seemingly one-sided massacre.

However, everyone knew how the Avengers fared against Thanos. All of the planning done by these heroes were undone once Thanos got all the stones he needed.

In the case of the Warriors, the Infinity Stones were the Hamptons Five and Steve Kerr's genius coaching. There was simply nothing James, Cleveland and the rest of the league could do but shudder at the sight of a dynasty being built at the Bay.

They sit on the throne as it was prophesised, and it seems like there's nothing we can do but pray the monotony of the league does not extend its stay.

Highlights of the Game

Basketball betting tips knew that Stephen Curry will be one of the leading scorer
Stephen Curry shoots in front of Cleveland Cavaliers' Jeff Green during the second half of Game 4

You don't need to check any Golden State Warriors highlights to know at which quarter did the Cavs see their hopes of an upset crumble. The Dubs have always been a third-quarter team, and this game didn't make any difference.

Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant led a charge at the start of the second half that doomed the Cavs into another summer of disappointment. Curry had 25 points by the time the third frame was past the half-way point, and the rest of the Dubs played beautiful, unselfish basketball while keeping the rest of the Cavaliers on a low shooting night.

The Dubs entered the last quarter of the NBA season with an eye-popping lead, and the quiet Quicken Loans Arena crowd was slowly coming to terms with the idea of the Warriors celebrating their third championship in four games on their home floor.

The Warriors started giving out celebratory embraces when the Hamptons Five were taken off the court with a 25-point lead and 2:47 remaining on the clock. Every single player on the Golden State bench was smiling and preparing for a long night of high fives and champagne fizzing everywhere. Meanwhile, LeBron looked sullen as he spent the last four minutes of the 2017/18 season on the bench, mulling over his future.

Key Statistics

Durant was named Finals MVP for two straight years. He joins an elite company of players that have done the feat: among those in the club are James, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan.

This is also the first time a team has won back-to-back NBA championships. The last ball club to do so was LeBron's Miami Heat in 2012-2013. The last Western Conference team to win back-to-back titles was Kobe's Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010.

This is also the first NBA title for veteran journeyman Nick Young. The 33-year-old, also known by his "Swaggy P" monicker, has bounced around from Washington, Toronto, Philadelphia and Los Angeles before finally getting crowned as NBA Champion at the Bay.

What's Next?

LeBron James was sad to see how the Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors Results ended
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James wipes his face during a conference

The future is far from the minds of the Golden State Warriors as they just want to celebrate their victory after a testing season of basketball. However, it's not bad to consider things moving forward.

Kevin Durant has an upcoming player option in the summer. It's obvious that he wants to stay with Golden State, but going with the option means that one of the team's key role men would have to go. Young, David West, JaVale McGee and Zaza Pachulia are at the end of their contracts, and Durant may take a pay cut to keep them.

There have also been reports of Klay Thompson being willing to take a pay cut to keep the roster. After all, their toughest challenge in the playoffs came from the West where a tough Houston Rockets squad took them to seven games.

The future is up in the air for James and Cleveland. We can be certain that James will want to keep his streak of eight consecutive Finals appearances going, and the Cavaliers don't look the least bit ready to help him make it back.

There are plenty of teams that want LeBron's signature. After all, his mere presence on the court instantly turns any team into instant contenders. It will be interesting to see where LeBron heads from here. After all, he has fulfilled his promise and brought a championship to the Land. Fans all over the league will be looking up LeBron James updates in order to find out where he will take his talents next.

Should LeBron leave, there are plenty of options the Cavs could take. They could unload Love to get some draft picks. They could also look for young players in the draft. However, they should definitely not keep Tyronn Lue in the bench for one more season.

Even if LeBron does decide to stay in Ohio, there's nothing Lue could do except being a yes man to one of the greatest players to ever play the game.

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13-Jul 2018 Friday @ 5:32 PM (38 days ago)            #44
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2018 NBA Free Agency: Ranking the Best Signings So Far

The NBA Free Agency has nothing been short of surprising, to say the least.

While the whole world was engulfed with the football World Cup in Russia, the NBA took a share of the spotlight thanks to some of its biggest stars who made some surprising moves that either left fans in disbelief or in utter euphoria.

Indeed, free agency has always been the opportunity for NBA franchises to build their teams and elevate themselves from pretenders to contenders. And today, we take a look and rank five best free agent acquisitions in the league so far.

5. DeAndre Jordan (Dallas Mavericks)

Contract: One year, $22.9 million

Jordan is a Maverick and he's not backing out of his commitment this time.

The Dallas Mavericks finally got the centre they oh so covet after years of missing out on big-name free agents. Jordan is unarguably one of the best big men in the league and though his defence has regressed over the past year, he remains an elite rebounder and pick-and-roll player.

In fact, Jordan finished second in rebounding (15.2) and in field goal percentage (64.5) last season. Now, he's set to par up with Dirk Nowitzki in the frontcourt and play alongside the Mavs' new backcourt duo Dennis Smith Jr. and Luka Doncic.

4. Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors)

Contract: Two years, $61.5 million

NBA Betting odds: Dub Nation are still the team to beat as Kevin Durant decides to stay
Kevin Durant addresses the press after the Golden State Warriors 2018 NBA finals win

Durant, unsurprisingly, chose to stay with the Warriors which makes it a no-brainer one of the best moves in free agency. After all, how can retaining the second-best basketball player on the planet not be a great move?

There were rumours that Durant could opt out and find a new home as he has nothing left to prove after winning two titles and back-to-back NBA Finals MVP awards. However, the allure of playing with arguably the best basketball team ever assembled and winning more rings is hard to pass by.

Golden State are still the team to beat, and it doesn't help that Durant continues to take a pay cut just to play for them.

3. Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)

Contract: Five years, $148 million

Denver secured their future by retaining one of the brightest young talents in the NBA.

Jokic is, by far, the best passing big man of his generation. And at just 23 years old, he has every opportunity to grow and become one of the top players in the league. Put simply, the sky is the limit for the former 41st pick from Serbia.

For the second year running, Denver barely missed the playoffs in the ultra-tough Western Conference. Hence, it's difficult not to applaud this signing that almost guarantees they can compete in the years to come.

2. DeMarcus Cousins (Golden State Warriors)

Contract: One year, $5.3 million

The Warriors' "super-duper death lineup" is complete. As if they need another All-Star, the reigning champions acquired DeMarcus Cousins who is unarguably the best big man in the NBA.

Sure enough, there are concerns about Cousins' health and fitness considering that he's still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered last season. However, getting him for the taxpayer mid-level exception of $5.3 million is certainly worth it.

NBA News: The strongest got stronger as Warriors acquire DeMarcus Cousins in free agency
DeMarcus Cousins, still with New Orleans then, get past Charlotte's Marvin Williams for the dunk

His acquisition gives the Warriors five All-Stars, which is undoubtedly a scary team to face come playoffs. Even Cousins himself acknowledged the potential of the Bay Area team now that he's on board.

"The potential is scary, that's obvious," Cousins said via ESPN. "But, of course, it's going to take a lot of hard work and dedication, and also a lot of sacrifice from not only myself, but other guys on the team as well. I think that's something we're aware of, and it's something we've accepted already. I think that's why these guys also wanted me to be a part of this team. The potential is scary."

1. LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers)

Contract: Four years, $154 million

LeBron James is a Laker. Let that sink in for a moment.

In one could be said as the biggest and most eye-popping NBA news of the past week, the greatest player of all time decided to take his talents to Hollywood.

LeBron is a transcendent player who has proven over the years that he can take any team to the Finals. Just look at his miracle work for the hapless Cleveland Cavaliers last season, helping them beat the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics en route to a fourth straight finals berth.

James is a player who can alter the NBA betting odds, and upon his move to LA, most betting lines gave the Purple and Gold the second-best chance of winning the title...only behind Golden State.

Los Angeles is a free-agent destination once again and props to Magic Johnson for hitting a home run this time.

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13-Jul 2018 Friday @ 5:35 PM (38 days ago)            #45
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NBA: Who Will Be the Next King of the East?

LeBron James has gone too Hollywood. Now, the search for a new ruler in the Eastern Conference is set to begin.

LeBron has basically dominated the East for the better part of his career. He made eight straight trips to the NBA Finals—four with the Miami Heat and four with the Cleveland Cavaliers—and hoisted the Larry O'Brien Trophy three times.

However, with the King opting to move to the Western Conference and play for the Los Angeles Lakers, the door opened for the next generation of stars to take over the Southeast, Atlantic and Central divisions.

Today, we take a look at five potential contenders who can alter the NBA betting odds and replace LeBron as the King of the East.

Joel Embiid

2017-18 Season stats: 22.9 points, 11.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.8 blocks per game

A double-double machine with ridiculous defensive instincts and great footwork, Embiid undeniably has the talent and tools to be the East's best player.

He is yet to scratch the surface of his potential as he prepares to enter his third season in the league. Despite that, however, he was already named to the All-Star team and was even one of the finalists for the Defensive Player of the Year award last campaign.

Health and conditioning, though, remain an issue for Embiid after missing 19 games in the 2017-18 season.

Ben Simmons

2017-18 Season stats: 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 8.2 assists, 1.7 blocks per game

Oft-compared to LeBron (and Magic Johnson), Simmons is unarguably on his way to greatness. His vision is said to be right on par with the younger Magic, while his overall play and ability to do everything drew him comparisons to the King.

Simmons also earned the nickname the "New Fresh Prince," a nod to being the heir apparent to LeBron.

He won the Rookie of the Year honour after being red-shirted for a year; and while the young Australian is often overshadowed by Embiid in Philadelphia, he is undoubtedly capable of being the main act.

NBA News: Ben Simmons won Rookie of the Year and could also dominate the East Conference
Ben Simmons of the 76ers getting some advice from his coach Brett Brown during game with Celtics

In a recent NBA news, Sixers legend Julius "Dr. J" Erving even described Simmons as a "once-in-a-decade player" who can become a "once-in-a-generation" type of athlete.

All that is left missing in his repertoire is that long-range shooting that continues to be his biggest flaw.

Kyrie Irving

2017-18 Season stats:24.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.1 steals per game

Irving once played Robin to LeBron's Batman, and now that the King's gone, most fans believe the 26-year-old is the rightful one to take over the throne in the Eastern Conference.

A lethal scorer and crafty point guard with sick handles, Irving has all what it takes to rule over the East.  Also, considering that he's currently playing for the Boston Celtics, his path to utter dominance might just be easier.

Irving's injuries over the years are quite frustrating to see, and it remains to be seen if he can lead a team to the NBA Finals in a relatively weak bracket—something which he has failed to do over and over again during his time with the pre-Lebron Cleveland Cavaliers.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

2017-18 Season stats: 26.9 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.4 blocks per game

He's called the Greek Freak for a reason.

Antetokounmpo can play multiple positions, and given his 6-foot-11 height and 7-foot-2 wingspan, he's easily one of the tallest and longest point guards in the league—though he usually plays as a small forward.

It's also worth noting that Giannis has shown the desire to improve year after year. He averaged just 6.8 points in his rookie season, but he has grown tremendously over the past five years, earning him two All-Star berths and the Most Improved Player of the Year in 2017.

A two-time All-NBA second team member, Giannis needs to become a game-changer for the Bucks and lead them to a deep playoff run if he wants to become the best. Fortunately, the 23-year-old is hungrier than ever to improve and do just that.

DeMar DeRozan

2017-18 Season stats:23.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.1 steals

DeRozan was the best player of the Toronto Raptors team that won the top seed in the East last season. So by default, that makes him the best player in the conference, right?

Well, their choke job against LeBron and the Cavs in the recent playoffs doesn't help that case, and he is perhaps the long shot pick to contend for the "King of the East" title.

NBA Betting odds for DeMar Derozan and Raptors making NBA Finals better now with Lebron gone in the East?
Toronto Raptors' DeMar Derozan tries to get past defender during playoff game vs Wizards

Only his performance in the upcoming NBA season can change the narrative. But with Dwane Casey gone, the future is still uncertain for the University of Southern California standout.

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13-Jul 2018 Friday @ 5:38 PM (38 days ago)            #46
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Should the Lakers Spend a Pretty Penny on the Klaw Machine?

It's not a stretch to claim that the Los Angeles Lakers are feeling like a kid that's really good at playing the claw machine at the local arcade.

They just got the best piece every single team in the association wanted out of the impressive pool of players in the machine. This Kingly piece named LeBron James quickly became the headline of many NBA news sites. After all, who wouldn't be shocked to see such a fantastic player such as him make the switch and make the already-difficult Western Conference even more stacked?

However, it seems like Magic Johnson is far from walking away from the claw game. There is still one piece they believe can help them make the NBA Finals and add another championship banner to the already-impressive gallery at Staples Center.

The man they want is Kawhi Leonard, the biggest claw in today's NBA. It's pretty obvious that the Lakers are more than willing to spend a pretty penny to get the man they want. However, the question that begs to be asked is this: should they shoot their shot this year or wait for the time they can freely court their man?

Kawhi to Hollywood? Yeah!

It's no secret that the man wants to leave the Lone Star State after spending a bizarre season of the lineup for the Spurs. There's no question that the franchise has been frustrated with their star's outright refusal to play despite the Spurs' medical team clearing the kid from Compton to return to the team.

His unwillingness to return to the roster greatly affected the Spurs season. Head coach Gregg Popovich quickly assumed that the star wasn't going to be returning to the squad, and some of the Spurs players had they say about the bizarre situation. It quickly became clear after San Antonio's poor series against the Golden State Warriors that they might have to ship him off elsewhere.

NBA News: Kawhi Leonard's option is to stay with Spurs or team up with LeBron James at Lakers
Lakers are looking to recruit Kawhi Leonard away from Gregg Popovich's Spurs and pair him with LeBron James

Now that it's been made clear that he will not be playing the rest of his career in a Spurs jersey, Pop and Sons are looking to unload Kawhi into a situation where he will be headed to a team of his choice and the Spurs would get quality picks in return.

Kawhi's desire to return and play in Los Angeles is a poorly kept secret among many basketball fans, and there's no question that the Lakers is the most ideal destination for the 27-year-old.

The move is plausible for every party involved. Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka are more than interested to bring Kawhi over. They also have exciting young talent that San Antonio can groom to become the successors to the keys of the Spurs Kingdom. Reports have also stated that Popovich wants Kawhi to be happy and will look for the best option for him.

Of course, the prospect of playing with the best player of his generation, who he ironically defeated to get his first championship ring, is definitely an intriguing idea for him.

The Clippers could also be a destination for Kawhi, but every Laker fan that keeps on refreshing Kawhi Leonard updates are hoping with every fibre of their being that they will see the Klaw donning the Purple and Gold.

Is It Worth the Risk?

NBA News: Magic Johnson believes that Kawhi Leonard is one of the major steps in Lakers' renovation
Magic Johnson is planning to build Los Angeles Lakers superteam with LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard

Sure, the Lakers can pull the trigger and make an offer the Spurs just cannot refuse. However, should Magic really make the move now?

Sure, they are under pressure to win now, but LeBron James' contract secures his services for the Lakers until 2021. This kind of commitment from LeBron gives the Lakers front office this offseason and the 2019 summer to craft a superb deal for Kawhi should trade talks fall through.

Moreover, they also have a few issues with their payroll that they have to address. They have to find a way to unload Luol Deng's ridiculous $18,000,000 contract, and there's no way the Spurs would take on such a contract in exchange for Kawhi.

They can also involve one of their three young stars -- Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball -- in a package in order to acquire Kawhi. While they will likely get their man in doing so, they will likely miss out on the long-term stability the three lads can provide when they reach their full potential.

Should the Lakers Play Now?

As much as acquiring Kawhi through trade will vastly improve their outright odds at SBOBET, I don't think the Lakers should trade with Spurs this offseason and see how the season plays out.

I don't think sacrificing one of their three future stars for instant gratification is worth the risk. I think they've had enough experience with trying to force super teams to happen.

Moreover, if Kawhi really wants to move to LA, then he will leverage a move to the Lakers. I think the better thing for them is to talk to Kawhi and make him verbally commit to signing with the Lakers in the offseason.

However, I will be the last man to complain if Magic orchestrates a masterstroke to acquire Kawhi. After all, LeBron needs all the help he can get against the ridiculously strong Warriors.

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13-Jul 2018 Friday @ 5:41 PM (38 days ago)            #47
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DeMarcus Cousins is a Warrior and It’s So Wrong But Right

DeMarcus Cousins joining the Golden State Warriors is downright unfair at first look, but closer inspection suggests that it is a smart decision and makes a lot of sense.

While LeBron James' move to the Los Angeles Lakers was a bit surprising, Cousins' decision to join Golden State was an even more shocking NBA news and was met with a chorus of disapproval from fans and players alike—well, except for diehard fans and players of the Bay Area team.

The former Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans big man is a four-time NBA All-Star, and as if the Warriors need another superstar, they managed to lure Cousins for the cheap midlevel exception worth $5.3 million (again, unfair!).

However, Cousins has every right to decide where he wants to play; and while his choice raised calls to review the current Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NBA, its franchises and players, it can't be denied the 27-year-old Alabama native actually put himself in the best position for next year when he is set to become an unrestricted free agent once again.

More time, less pressure to recover

It's easy to judge the Warriors for "ruining" the NBA with the Cousins signing. After all, there's no need for the reigning NBA Champions to add another All-Star to their "Death Lineup" that already boasts Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green.

Nevertheless, it's difficult to blame them given that they are only one of few teams—or perhaps the only team—that can be patient with Cousins who, if you have forgotten, ruptured an Achilles tendon last January.

At Golden State, there's no pressure for Cousins to rush his recovery from an injury of such gravity. The Warriors' don't need to install the centre into their lineup right away, giving him more time to focus on regaining his fitness.

NBA News: DeMarcus Cousins leaves Anthony Davies for Warriors
DeMarcus Cousins chat with ex New Orleans teammate Anthony Davies when he was sidelined by injury

Sure enough, it is a gamble for the Warriors. Recovering from a torn Achilles is a difficult process and more often than not, athletes who suffered from the said injury never returned to their old, explosive selves.

However, for a paltry one-year-deal at $5.3 million, it's certainly worth the risk. As Cousins said recently, the Warriors' potential is scary; and indeed, if he returns to at least borderline All-Star form, the Dubs will be unstoppable.

"The potential is scary. That’s obvious," Cousins said. "Of course that’s going to take a lot of hard work. A lot of hard work and dedication and obviously a lot of sacrifice from not only myself, but other guys on the team as well. I think that’s something we all are aware of and that’s something we accepted already. That’s why these guys wanted me to be a part of this team."

Changing the narrative of the "Boogie" man

Although Cousins is known as an emotional player with poor work ethics, it's worth noting that he has never been with a winning team.

In Sacramento, Cousins was bigger than the Kings. In New Orleans, he had a share of the spotlight with Anthony Davis. But now that he's with Golden State, he will need to learn to work with a team and adjust to Steve Kerr's system.

There's no better place for Cousins to change the ugly reputation that has long haunted him than with the Golden State Warriors. Even JaVale McGee, oft-ridiculed for his basketball IQ, was able to transform his narrative with the Dubs!

He can prove with the Warriors he's not just about gaudy stat lines; that he can also make sacrifices to win; and that he has what it takes to make a difference and not just whine.

"I don't have to be the guy every night. I've always wanted a team where everything doesn't rely on me and now I'm in that position," Cousins furthered.

Of course, the ring!

NBA Betting odds still say it will be Warriors lifting the trophy in 2019
Golden State Warriors celebrate 2018 Finals win in front of fans during parade

Well, this is a big reason, isn't it?

Perhaps, Cousins could have chosen to sign with the Boston Celtics and move to the Eastern Conference. That way, he could have had written a better story and legend for himself: an injured All-Star big man joining the Celtics and helping them reach the Finals—or even win the title.

Nonetheless, if winning a ring is the priority, there's really no better choice than the Warriors. Just look at the latest NBA betting odds at SBOBET.

...or ask Kevin Durant about that.

Put simply, Cousins can take all the time he wants to recover, become a better player and learn the Warriors' system, get paid millions of dollars and ultimately win the Larry O'Brien trophy.

Also, if Cousins recovers well and recaptures his form, he could be off to a big payday in the summer next year!

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16-Jul 2018 Monday @ 10:09 PM (35 days ago)            #48
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Making a Bigger Rocket: How Will Houston Beat Golden State?

If you kept an eye on the latest NBA news, you know that the offseason has been one of the craziest yet. Plenty of shocking free agency moves were made and the rookies have announced their arrival in the Summer League. However, the Golden State Warriors are still king of the basketball world, and that fact won't likely change any time soon.

The Houston Rockets were once the biggest team to come out of the West and actually give the Dubs a proper challenge. However, Chris Paul went down with an injury and missed the important two games, which the Warriors easily won on the way to a third NBA title in four years.

H-Town could still add a third banner to their haul with the help of Paul and James Harden, but the West just got a lot tougher. I'm not saying that the Rockets won't make it back to the Promised Land, but they got to have some things go their way.

Rivals got a boost

Many of the teams surrounding them went through a lot of offseason changes that has an immediate effect on their rosters. However, it would be criminal not to talk about the elephant in the room.

DeMarcus Cousins is a Warrior.

The league's best center is only getting paid $5,337,000 to be able to play for the Dubs. The man who averaged 25 points and 11 rebounds per game in only 48 appearances is getting less dough than Shaun Livingston.

Let that sink in for a minute. All done? Good. Now let's talk about the Dubs again.

Cousins claimed that only one other team gave him an offer sheet before he decided to chase a ring with the Warriors. Sure, an Achilles injury ended many a great career, but this is Boogie Cousins we're talking about. It's a foolish play for everyone (the Rockets included) to not even give him a one-year loan spell.

Everyone will rue letting a beast like Cousins go to the Warriors. However, the Dubs aren't the only ones the Rockets should worry about.

The Los Angeles Lakers are suddenly back to contention status after getting the best player on the planet in LeBron James to leave the Eastern Conference and settle in Hollywood. The mere presence of James quickly halted the rebuilding process of the Lakers and put them in the championship conversation.

They are reportedly chasing after Kawhi Leonard, but it is still unsure if the Spurs would even want to send their franchise star to a conference rival. LeBron is not rushing things, so it's highly possible that they will not get their co-star until the next offseason.

Then there's the Dallas Mavericks. Not only did they finally get their big man in DeAndre Jordan, they also have a future star. Luka Doncic is a supreme player who could take them to the Finals in the next ten years or so. The Rockets don't have that much time with their star duo.

Houston, we have a roster problem

Aside from the opposition around them retooling and upgrading, the Rockets experienced a talent drain of their own.

Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, two important pieces to the Rockets' defensive schemes and three-point shooting, have blasted off Toyota Center for Phoenix and Los Angeles, respectively. With two three-and-D players gone, Mike D'Antoni needs to find suitable replacements quick.

Another issue would is the center position. Houston fans are browsing through many basketball portals, hoping to see one positive Clint Capela news story. The man they drafted with the 25th pick in the 2014 Draft developed into an important cog of their machine and is a constant part of Houston Rockets highlights with his athletic dunks. He is now demanding a fat pay raise from his employers or he will pack up and leave.

Of course, many are confident that he will re-sign with the team that drafted him. However, the inability of the Rockets to seal the deal with their center has become a huge source of frustration for die-hard Rockets fans. The lack of progress in their negotiations give teams like the Lakers, the Spurs and the Pelicans opportunities to poach him away.

What should the Rockets do?

If the Rockets want to finally get over the hurdle that is the Golden State Warriors, they need to look beyond scoring. The Lakers believe that they should not fight fire with fire, and that's something the Rockets should look into.


It may sound blasphemous to D'Antoni, but he really needs to improve their defensive efficiency for the coming season. While he is slowly getting better at organizing defensive plans, he needs to become able to guard the very fluid basketball of the Warriors. This is especially true today that they finally got a big that can stretch the floor.

Of course, they need to find replacements for Ariza and Mbah a Moute. They need to find superb wing defenders to stop Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson from scoring. They have something good going for them if they can grab Marcus Smart and Rodney Hood from the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers. Yogi Ferrell is also a solid option.

They need to clamp down Capela with a long-term contract. I don't care if they have to shell out big bucks as long as they tie him down. He is an important piece for their campaign, and losing him would derail their plans, probably for good.

They can also get another cannon to join their ranks. There have been talks of Anthony coming over from Oklahoma City, and that is a viable option to take.

Finally, they need to have both of their stars healthy and ready to play for most of the playoffs. They were on their way to the Finals if it weren't for Paul's hamstring issues. If they can manage to keep their stars fit, then they have a great shot at the championship.

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21-Jul 2018 Saturday @ 12:06 PM (30 days ago)            #49
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Why Ending One-and-done is Good for the NBA and the Players

The NBA is on the verge of abandoning the one-and-done rule, and we say it's about time.

For those who didn't know, the NBA instituted a rule in 2006 that prevents high school players from directly jumping to the league. It requires prospects to be at least 19 years old and one year out of high school to be draft eligible.

The policy effectively ended the prep-to-pro concept and paved the way for the so-called "one and done",  a phenomenon which saw NBA prospects play one year in college before declaring for the annual draft.

The rule received plenty of criticisms from players who argued that it stops them from earning immediately. It didn't help that the NCAA—USA's governing body for the top collegiate basketball competition—and some of its member schools were recently involved in a bribery scandal, further increasing calls for the NBA to provide another route to pro basketball besides college.

And sure enough, the league responded and suggested they are already looking to put an end to the one-and-done era. In the latest NBA News, commissioner Adam Silver said they are "ready to make that change."

"It won’t come immediately, but…when I weighed the pros and cons – (and) given that (former Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice and her (NCAA) commission has recommended to the NBA that those one-and-done players now come directly into the league and, in essence, the college community is saying ‘We do not want those players anymore,’ I mean that sort of tips the scale in my mind that we should be taking a serious look at lowering our age to 18."

It remains to be seen how the league plans to move forward about it, but there’s no doubt that it’s welcome news to everyone involved.

Today, SBOBET takes a look at why the end of one-and-done is good for the NBA, the players and even for college basketball.

What does it mean for NBA?

LeBron James came straight from high school and became one of the stars in NBA
NBA News: LeBron James is one of the best prep-to-pro players in the league

The NBA and its franchises are, of course, the main beneficiaries of the possible rule change. After all, teams can start training players and get them ready for the gruelling 82-game season as early as 18 years old.

In a star-driven league like the NBA, developing players and ensuring that they reach their full potential is top priority. It could help in stabilising the balance of power and the NBA betting odds as having better players would result in a more competitive league—though distribution is another matter.

Furthermore, the league can finally use to its development league, now called G League. There had been calls for the NBA to develop a farm system similar to the minor league in baseball and to the youth academy in football/soccer.

With the G League growing in popularity and the NBA thinking of other ways to expose players without immediately pitting them against the pros, the developmental competition could be an excellent replacement.

Also, it could be another source of income for the league and a better way to acclimate young players to the demands of the pros.

How about for the players?

Some of the best basketball players we have seen are prep-to-pro. Five-time champion and Oscar winner Kobe Bryant and new Los Angeles Laker LeBron James came straight from high school (before the rule change) and became stars in the league.

Of course, there are the likes of Kwame Brown and Sebastian Telfair who never really panned out after playing directly to the NBA; however, teams today have drastically improved in developing athletes and high school players could benefit from such high standard of training and conditioning.

The NBA is also growing faster than ever, which means more money for athletes. As mentioned above, most players argued that it prevents them from earning money after high school, so removing the rule and allowing aspiring ballers to turn professional immediately will solve that.

What now for College basketball?

NBA News: college basketball will have a long-term benefit in change 12-year rule
NBA News: Ben Simmons is one of the players that is undergoing one-and-done

Truth be told, one-and-done isn't bad for college basketball. It's bad for players. After all, the NCAA benefits from the star power that the top recruits bring.

Nonetheless, having the NBA change its 12-year rule will have a long-term benefit to college basketball, particularly the NCAA.

Of course, an NBA policy amendment will not completely end the one-and-done as players could still opt to play one year in college before declaring for the pros. Nevertheless, it would limit such instances and instead give colleges sustainability in their programs.

Imagine building your team around one player only to see that athlete leave the next year?

The level of competition will likely be an issue at first, but it's a small price they have to pay. Besides, they can increase the competition in no time given the established schools that continue to produce top talents.

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21-Jul 2018 Saturday @ 12:08 PM (30 days ago)            #50
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Analysis: Where did Carmelo Anthony’s Career Go?

If you told a basketball fan in New York City three years ago that their star man, Carmelo Anthony, would be struggling to find a career after a disappointing season in Oklahoma City, you would be likely punched in the face and be told to get out of his face in true New Yorker fashion.

However, that is exactly what has become of the former Syracuse star to fall so far from grace? He used to be one of the game's leading stars, always making the NBA news circles for his feats of athleticism.

He is a part of the legendary 2003 Draft class that saw talented players like LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade drafted into the league with him. He used to wow crowds with his impeccable shooting and his killer instincts. Fans can still remember the havoc he caused while playing for those New York and Denver teams.

However, the 34-year-old New York native hasn't been in the conversation of the league's best scorer for quite some time now. While LeBron and D-Wade have still found ways to make themselves relevant, Anthony has failed to adjust his game when the hops started to go away and he began to put on a few extra pounds.

For the long-time basketball fan, it's painful to see Anthony fall from the game's good graces. The man has always been the poster boy of what a scorer is and is arguably the most gifted volume scorer the game has ever seen.

Is there is still a chance for Melo to make a return? Or is this it for the former Knicks star? SBOBET checks what happened to his career with this piece.

Father Time caught up

It's unavoidable that time catches up to everyone. Not even a once-in-a-generation talent like LeBron can carry the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Golden State Warriors during the recently concluded NBA Finals the same way he did when he played his peak years for the Miami Heat.

The same way rings true for Carmelo and the rest of the players in the 2003 Draft or older who are still playing in the league. However, fans expected Melo to age gracefully the same way LeBron and Wade did. After all, all teams need a superb scorer, and Anthony has got that in spades.

However, it's hard to deny that Father Time has finally caught up with the powerhouse scorer, and the statistics are showing that he is far from the dominant player that he once was.

NBA News: Melo's scoring averages during his stint with the OKC Thunder are the lowest of his sixteen-year career so far
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony against the Utah Jazz during Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series

In his soon-to-be-only season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Melo averaged 16.2 points per game on 15.0 field goal attempts in his 78 starts. Those scoring averages are the lowest of his sixteen-year career so far.

The biggest noticeable dip in his performance is his conversion rate within the three-point line. He has always averaged above 44% for his two-point percentages throughout his career. The fact that he struggled with finding his stroke only means that defenders have limited him from doing whatever he wants on the floor and are forcing him to make a lot of uncomfortable shots inside.

His three-point didn't take a much of a hit (he shot a decent 44% from deep) and could have been considered a terrific spot-up man off the bench for the Thunder. However, everyone knew that Melo wouldn't be the type of player to just sit on a corner and wait for a dime his way. He guffawed at the idea of sitting on the bench, instantly killing off any possibility of him making an extended run with Russell Westbrook and Paul George at OKC.

He and Wade have fallen off greatly when it comes to offensive prowess. However, Wade accepted his limits, took the hit and started off the bench for Cleveland and Miami the past season, and is still considered an instant lock in the Hall of Fame discussions. He also showed flashes throughout the season to remind fans who he is.

Melo doesn't have the same legacy as his Banana Boat buddy.

The game isn't for him

The game of basketball has evolved from the time he entered the league too. When he entered the league in 2003, the game was all about hero ball and isolation. Jordan made a final farewell tour with the Washington Wizards. Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant and Tracey McGrady were the poster boys of what offence in the NBA should look, sound and feel like.

Nowadays, the game is almost unrecognisable. Valuable big men in the league are those who can keep up with the opposition and stretch the floor with their long-range shooting. The ball is thriving off of ball movement and three-point shots being taken on the regular.

Moreover, the Golden State Warriors just got reinforced, making the NBA an optional sporting league to watch in the coming season. Melo cannot hope to chase a ring with the Thunder with Westbrook running the show. He needs the ball in his hands to be effective and he won't get that while running with the Brodie.

Both the OKC front office and Melo realized that this experiment won't cut it and have decided to part ways with him. He will be sent to Atlanta in a three-team trade, and the Hawks will reportedly buy out the remaining $28,000,000 he is owed for the 2018/19 season.

His career's twilight is in his destiny. What he does with it, alongside his legacy as a player, will be affected by what he does next.

What's next for Melo?

There is huge interest coming from the Houston Rockets. They just lost valuable three-and-D defenders in the free agency and could use a serviceable scorer.  While his 16.2 points an outing for OKC is a far cry from his usual numbers, he would be a great addition to Houston's high-octane offence.

Houston Rockets Updates: The Rockets are the favourite to sign Melo
Rockets center Clint Capela, center, is fouled by GSW guard Stephen Curry, right, as he tries to score during the Western Conference finals

Rockets fans will surely be looking for the latest Houston Rockets updates to see if they acquired Anthony, but there is also something that Melo needs to realize for himself.

He needs to accept that he will not be the face of an NBA franchise any longer. He must learn to realize that coming off the bench is good for his career the same way Dwyane Wade did. He needs to become a positive contributor to his team or he will spend another year of frustration with fellow Banana Boat rider Chris Paul and Houston.

The question now is this: Can Melo actually take the hit in his ego in his quest to get a ring?

 

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24-Jul 2018 Tuesday @ 1:18 PM (27 days ago)            #51
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Analysis: Who Won the Kawhi-DeMar Trade?

Unless you're not a fan of the NBA and are simply a devoted football fan, you may have heard of another gargantuan piece of NBA news to hit the mainstream media.

In a shocking move, the San Antonio Spurs shipped off two-way-superstar-turned-prodigal-son Kawhi Leonard alongside Danny Green to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a heavily protected 2019 first-round pick.

The trade greatly affected the outright odds of the two teams in leading betting websites such as SBOBET. However, it's hard to discuss trades and not speculate on which side won and which side took the L.

It would be unfair to say that one side clearly won the trade as there are huge repercussions that come with the trades that were made by both teams. You can say that the immediate winners of the trade will eventually turn out to be the biggest losers come next summer.

We will take a look at the trade that took place and judge which parties for now won and lost the trade.

Winner: San Antonio Spurs

It's hard to see someone who had to part with the franchise centrepiece that they groomed into the man that he is as winners of a mega-trade, but seeing them as anything other than winners after snagging this trade.

The season has been an odd one for the Spurs to the point that barbs have been exchanged between Gregg Popovich and Kawhi's camp through the media. After failing to sort out their differences, the Spurs accepted the inevitable and looked to trade away their star piece.

The Lakers immediately came knocking and looked for a way to bring the Compton native back to his home city. However, there was no way that the Spurs would allow their star man to make their future playoff forays more difficult by joining the Lakers.

Having him join Toronto is the best decision basketball-wise. Not only do they get an already-great baller in DeRozan who will definitely buy into the system, they also acquire a talented project in Poeltl and a first-round pick in next year's draft.

I think Spurs fans should be excited with the prospect of having DeRozan pair up with LaMarcus Aldridge and form a dominant duo in Spurs Land.

Gregg Popovich is ready to move forward talks of Leonard-DeMar NBA News
Gregg Popovich looks forward to Spurs' future with DeMar DeRozan

Loser: Kawhi Leonard

I am still confused as to how Kawhi Leonard ended up a Raptor.

He used to be one of the best players to watch in the NBA. He didn't make much fuss with the media. He was a multi-millionaire who still drove a '97 Chevrolet Tahoe. He used coupons to get free wings. He was the perfect prototype of what a Spurs player is.

Then things went weird. He didn't play all but nine regular season games for the Spurs, frustrating many of his team-mates and coaches. Some whisper that the people around him caused this irreparable discord between him and the franchise.

If he ever regretted what he did, it's too late for him to turn back now. He is still a superb player who averaged 26-6-4 during his best year as a Spur. There's no question that he will perform for the Raptors.

However, everyone knows that it is not his dream destination. Will he keep his head down and toil in his final guaranteed year? Or will he pull off a similar stunt to last year's?

Winner: DeMar DeRozan

There's a certain set of Laker fans that also called for DeMar DeRozan to come home and play for the Purple and Gold. However, he chose to display his loyalty to the team that drafted him and decided to build his future with the Toronto Raptors.

The Raptors faithful -- broken by the departures of Chris Bosh, Vince Carter and Tracey McGrady -- were understandably elated with his commitment. However, it seems like Kawhi's allure was too much for Masai Ujiri to resist and pulled the plug on DeRozan's career as a Raptor.

He was understandably hurt by the franchise's betrayal, going to Instagram Stories to exhale the frustration out of his lungs. However, this trade is definitely good for his career moving forward.

He will be playing with a chip on his shoulder. Sure, he will be playing in the same conference as his basketball bogeyman again, but he will be playing with one of the best coaches in the game. I fully expect his 23 ppg average last season to increase under Popovich's system.

Loser: Toronto Raptors

NBA News: Toronto Raptors GM Masai Ujiri knows he took a risk in trading DeMar to Spurs for Kawhi
Masai Ujiri is hoping that his gamble will pay off in a championship for the Raptors

Sure, losing year after year to James' Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs can break any man. However, I never thought the Raptors could just easily trade their LA man for another Compton kid who reportedly doesn't even want to be there.

DeRozan has been a part of many of Toronto Raptors highlights for the better half of the decade, and it was a poor move for them to poorly communicate their intention to send their franchise star away in a blockbuster trade.

Of course, the trade was a great basketball move. Kawhi is a force that can affect both ends of the floor with a swipe of his abnormally large hands. GM Ujiri is confident that the Raptors are now a championship-caliber team with the Leonard acquisition.

However, the task for the entire Raptors franchise is to convince Kawhi that the East and the North is a better place for him to play winning basketball. They have to convince him that the great city of Toronto, ON is a place where he can grow roots and thrive as a man and a basketball player.

If Kawhi will be as mum as he was during his last year in the Lone Star State, then the franchise will be taken for a long, painful and confusing ride this season.

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24-Jul 2018 Tuesday @ 1:25 PM (27 days ago)            #52
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NBA: The Curious Case of Clint Capela

Remember Clint Capela?

Three weeks ago, the Houston Rockets centre was one of the hottest commodities in the free agency market. He is the prime example of the modern day NBA big man that can protect the rim and is effective in the pick and roll.

As a restricted free agent, Capela wasn't expected to last in the market. The Los Angeles Lakers have shown interest on the Swiss international while Houston were reportedly ready to match any offer that their 24-year-old centre will receive.

Three weeks later, however, Capela is still without a contract. Basketball junkies waiting for the latest NBA news have been left frustrated as well, no thanks to the lack of #WojBomb involving the Geneva, Switzerland native. Contract talks with the Lakers didn't get far and the Rockets now appear to be haggling for a better and more team-friendly deal.

So what exactly happened to Capela and what once seemed to be a summer of wealth? SBOBET takes a look.

Clint wants the money

Capela is a really good basketball player and has shown the desire to improve his game. In his four seasons in the league, he has consistently increased his numbers every year and eventually became a key part of the Houston offence that featured James Harden and Chris Paul.

The trio of Harden, Paul and Capela were deadly in the pick and roll; and with Paul and Harden drawing most of the defence, Capela often takes advantage to dominate inside the paint. Last season, the Swiss averaged 13.9 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.

Not to mention his defence. He's undoubtedly one of the best rim protectors in the NBA, averaging almost two blocks in 74 starts last season. According to NBA stats, opponents shot 5.1 percentage points below when he is within six feet of the rim.

Capela's presence helped Houston surprise the NBA betting odds, reaching the Western Conference finals before losing only to Golden State in seven games.

NBA News: James Harden-Clint Capela tandem plays might not be seen anymore next season
James Harden tried to set up Clint Capela in a pick and roll in NBA game versus Denver Nuggets

Sure enough, given his importance to the Rockets and what he has shown so far, Capela expected to hit a big payday this summer. He was reportedly seeking a max contract, with some NBA updates even pointing that he prefers the same deal that Steven Adams got with Oklahoma—a four-year, $100 million contract.

And in a time that Ian Mahinmi is getting $65 million over four years, Mason Plumlee with $41 million over three years and even the injury-prone Zach Lavine and Jabari Parker getting almost $20 million a season over the life of their contracts, Capela's demand seems to be reasonable.

In a surprising turn of events, however, he hasn't got any deal near his perceived worth.

No one has the cap space

Capela wants $25 million a year and simply put, no one has the cap space to pay him such a hefty price.

In fact, based on Spotrac, only four teams (Sacramento, Phoenix, Dallas and Philadelphia) are below the cap. Out of those teams, though, the Kings have the highest space remaining at around $2 million.

With that said, it's unlikely that Capela will get what he wanted. It's also worth noting that he doesn't have much leverage in negotiating with other teams. He's a restricted free agent and it's common knowledge in the league that the Rockets will match any offer given to their starter.

What's up with Houston?

As what we have discussed before, Houston need Capela. Nonetheless, with no genuine competitors for his services, they are driving a hard bargain.

Houston reportedly offered Capela a five-year contract worth $85 million, a deal that could potentially reach the $90-million mark with incentives. Nonetheless, that's tens of millions away from Capela's asking price.

The Rockets could also argue that they can get at least 50 to 70 percent of what Capela does from other bigs—and for way less the price. Heck, even four-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins signed with the Warriors for a measly midlevel exception worth $5.3 million!

Possible scenarios

NBA Updates: Houston Rockets coach Mike d'Antonio on a crossroad for Clint Capela case
Houston Rockets coach Mike d'Antoni shouts instructions to team during NBA Western Conference finals game

Of course, there's still a team that can opt to break the bank and offer Capela the max. That would also be a good move for it can pose problems for Houston who would have ended up paying more than $300 million on three players alone in the next few years.

Another option is for Capela to accept the latest contract from Houston. He's not sure about his current and future value so accepting the contract will at least give him security.

The general consensus, though, is for Capela to bet on himself and to sign the qualifying offer that would make him an unrestricted free agent next season. He would lose a lot this year, though that's a little price he has to pay should he succeed next season and drive up his stock even more.

Houston wouldn't want that. After all, they did well picking Capela 25th overall in the 2014 draft and developing him into one of the best big men in the league.

Nevertheless, as Houston and Capela know, money talks in sports.

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26-Jul 2018 Thursday @ 12:13 PM (25 days ago)            #53
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Why the Knicks are Worth Watching Now

There have been a lot of movements that happened in the NBA offseason so far. The draft has added a new crop of talents to the ever-growing circle of elite athletes known as NBA players. The free agency has also transformed teams for better or for worse.

 However, we don't often discuss how these NBA updates change the franchises that add to the ever-growing popularity of the NBA. Some teams have made giant moves in the offseason while a lot of others made their business in relative silence.

The New York Knicks are a superb example of the latter. Despite being one of the most established big-market teams of the association in terms of history and media coverage, the Knickerbockers haven't been relevant in the NBA landscape for quite some time.

The last time the Knicks reached the Eastern Conference Finals was during the turn of the century and Patrick Ewing was still donning a Knicks jersey. They haven't made the playoffs since 2013, and their last four seasons have been nothing but disappointing.

However, there's enough reason to believe that the latest dark age Knicks fans are going through is coming to a halt from the 2018/19 season onwards.

Doubtful of that bold declaration? Let me point out reasons as to why the New York Knicks are a worthy team to follow this season?

A Grizzly Coach Arrives in the Big Apple

The first wind of change comes from the top brass. They have kept Jeff Hornacek to give him a chance to keep his job on the court. However, a 29-53 record over the course of last season was an abysmal performance for many proud Knicks fans, and the former Utah Jazz found himself out of a job.

NBA Updates: New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale has to guide his team according to his philosophy and style
David Fizdale welcomes the rookies Mitchell Robinson and Kevin Knox

David Fizdale is given the reigns to turn over the fortunes of a poor team in the hopes of making the team successful again. While his coaching career only comprises of 101 games with the Memphis Grizzlies, he has extensive experience handling the pressure of big-media markets through his long stint with the Miami Heat during their Big Three era.

The new head coach has already made his move during the offseason in order to orient the team in the right direction. He made the long trip to Latvia to talk it out with franchise man Kristaps Porzingis, who has had notable clashes with New York hierarchy.

If he is able to get the Unicorn to buy into his philosophy, then the Knicks and their fans have something to look forward to.

Electrifying Youth to Knock Your Socks Off

The Knicks have lost a lot of their attacking power ever since they let Carmelo Anthony walk from the team in 2017. However, that decision has turned out swimmingly for the franchise: New York's own son is struggling to find his identity without the ball while the Knicks have an array of young talent ready to blossom. Leading the youth movement of New York are Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox.

While Ntilikina didn't feature in a lot of New York Knicks news, we must remember that young Frenchman was expected to struggle in a volatile environment. Despite the chaos surrounding him, however, he managed to average close to six points, three assists and a steal in the 78 games of his rookie campaign.

Knox will be looked upon to help lessen the offensive burden placed upon the 2017 first-round selection. His superior wingspan and physical tools give him the potential to become a premier offensive and defensive option for the franchise. His 15.6 PPG in his lone season at Kentucky shows great promise for his future.

If there are questions about his mental fitness for the game, you shouldn't waste your breath: he wasn't afraid to speak his mind about Melo.

Mario Hezonja, Emmanuel Mudiay, Trey Burke, Enes Kanter and Tim Hardaway Jr. make up the rest of the young core that might become the foundations of the franchise for the next five years.

The Unicorn Rises

NBA Updates: Kristaps Porzingis' comeback can boost the morale of the team to make it to the playoffs
Kristaps Porzingis ready to slam the ball

Kristaps Porzingis, the leading man of the Knicks, pretty much represents what the city is all about. He is a foreigner. He was rejected by the city at first. He zeroed in, forcing his way into people's hearts and is now an irreplaceable presence that is now synonymous with the city he represents on his chest.

The Unicorn played half a season in his third year of NBA action, and his production was greatly missed by the slumping Knicks. He made 22.7 points, grabbed 6.6 rebounds, and rejected 2.4 shots in 48 appearances.

 Those who watched him play last season might have seen the Latvian star come out of his shell and exude confidence with every game. He will definitely be able to spread his wings amidst a gallery of impressive superstars that SBOBET thinks will replace LeBron as King of the East.

If you are not considering Porzingis or his Knicks to be ready for playoff contention, you might be sleeping on a big winner. After all, hunger can make the tamest animal go feral.

And the lack for postseason action has starved the Knicks just enough.

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 26-Jul-2018 @ 12:13 PM


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