Gary | Sat 06/05/2017 - 14:51 EDT

San Antonio has figured out Houston's run-and-gun offense

Raptors will be extinct without putting up a fight

By Eric Uribe

All odds courtesy of BetOnline.

Lines

Cleveland Cavaliers (-6) at Toronto Raptors    

The most impressive part of Cleveland's 115-94 victory in Game 3 was their defense down the stretch. At the start of the fourth quarter it was a two-point game. The Cavs then went on 20-3 run to seal the win. 

The Raptors crumbled under the Cavaliers pressure in the final frame, missing 12 of their first 13 shots. The defending champions held an opponent under 100 points for the first time this postseason — an encouraging sign for a team that's struggled on that end all year.

It's safe to say you can stick a fork in Toronto. They played without Kyle Lowry last game, and his status for Game 4 is up in the air. With or without him, they clearly don't belong in Cleveland's league.

Last series, LeBron James set the NBA record for most playoff sweeps at 10. Expect that number to increase to 11. It sounds insane to say, but James may be playing the best basketball of his life right now. This playoffs, he's averaging an eye-popping 34.3 points, nine rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game. 

Pick: Cleveland (-6) 

Over/under 216 points: Boston Celtics at Washington Wizards  

Tensions

Game 3 was an uncharacteristically bad game for the Celtics. They were routed 116-89 in a game that resulted in eight technical fouls and three ejections. Isaiah Thomas never got in a rhythm for once and finished with a mere 13 points. However, you can toss this game out and expect Game 4 to come back to the mean.

The first two games of the series, back-and-forth battles, hit the over with ease and we expect the same on Sunday. 

For all of Washington's success in Game 3, they didn't necessarily get big games from their go-to players John Wall and Bradley Beal. Like Thomas, both should fare a lot better in Game 4 with the tensions at an all-time high between these two teams.

Key reserve Kelly Oubre Jr. is suspended on Sunday for Washington after shoving Kelly Olynyk to the floor. That's a tough loss for an already shaky Wizards bench. However, the second unit is coming off their best performance of this series. They tallied 39 points, with Bojan Bogdanovic leading the way with 19. If Washington's bench can hover around that efficiency, this will be a sure-fire bet. 

Pick: Over 

San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets (-5.5) 

Just when you thought the Spurs were done, they came firing right back — a classic Gregg Popovich move. Playing without Tony Parker, San Antonio went on the road and took home-court advantage with a 103-92 win. 

Credit LaMarcus Aldridge for this victory. After scoring a combined 19 points in the first two games, he torched the Rockets for 26 last game. James Harden scored 43 points of his own, but it felt like San Antonio was more focused on not letting his teammates beat them. Harden finished with just five assists. 

All pressure is on Houston to tie this series in Game 4 and it feels like Popovich has figured them out. The Rockets seemingly don't know what a mid-range jump shot is. Anytime they drive to the rim, they're either finishing or kicking it out for a three-pointer.

In back-to-back games, that hasn't worked at all. San Antonio have held them under 100 points each time and the three-point shot is biting Houston. In Game 3, they shot 30.8 percent from downtown, a decrease from their 32.4 shooting in Game 2. 

This series has been wildly unpredictable, but the best bet on Sunday is San Antonio at the very least hangs tight, if not win. 

Pick: San Antonio (+5.5)

Results / FixturesNBA

Category : Sports Betting News

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