Memphis Grizzlies 2.30 – Oklahoma City Thunder 1.63 (Grizzlies lead series 2-1)
With the Western Conference’s seventh seed stealing a march in what was always going to be the most bruising of the first round series in the NBA Playoffs, the Thunder need an urgent response on Saturday in Game 4.
With homecourt advantage, and the obduracy shown in successive overtime wins, Memphis will be confident it will all be OK for them.
The Grizzlies held Oklahoma City to an average of 92 in regulation over Games 2 and 3 and while Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook keep scoring, it’s been an inefficient clip with their team-mates – Serge Ibaka apart - not offering enough offensive support.
Memphis, who went to the Conference Finals in 2013, are 3.60 for a 4-2 series result and 2.15 to complete the upset. Unless the Thunder can share the load, the Griz will turn up the heat and they’re 2.30 for the win.
Dallas Mavericks 2.40 – San Antonio Spurs 1.58 (series tied 1-1)
It’s hard to doubt that Game 3 in the Texan two-step is going to be pivotal. Dallas, surprisingly, found a way to confound the Spurs in Game 2 with Devan Harris emerging as their unlikely fulcrum, and they now get two encounters at home to heap more pressure on their rivals.
San Antonio have started both games so far well and they’re 1.77 for the first quarter lead but it’s their offense which has spluttered, averaging 91 so far – 14 below their season average.
Surely, that will change. And if it does, the points line of 207.5 at 2.50 could represent easy pickings with the Spurs still 3.20 to take the series 4-1.
Atlanta Hawks 2.08 – Indiana Pacers 1.75 (Hawks lead series 2-1)
The Pacers are on the ropes and almost asking for a knockout punch. Atlanta’s 98-85 win in Game 3 summed up Indiana’s failing of late – sloppy defence, a lack of swagger and Roy Hibbert moping in a funk.
That could lead to the All Star dropping out of the starting line-up for Game 4 in an attempt to halt Indiana’s slide but unless they inject extra passion and smarts, the hosts at -2.5 on the handicap at 2.40 could come good.
Charlotte Bobcats 2.95 – Miami Heat 1.42 (Heat lead series 2-0)
With no team ever coming back in the NBA playoffs from a 3-0 deficit, it’s do or die time for the Cats, who lost the opening two games in Miami by 11 and four points.
There was enough, however, to hint they could steal at last one from the champions, especially back on their own floor. Having Al Jefferson hobbled won’t help but even at a handicap of +4.5, Charlotte are good value at 2.08.
Best bet: Go over 193.5 total points in Memphis – Oklahoma City at 2.50