Celtics (+3) @ Pacers (205)
Pick: Pacers First Half -2.5
The Action Network had a great piece up Thursday about NBA teams down 0-2 coming home for Game 3. Since 2008, blindly betting teams in that spot against the first half number would have resulted in a 67% hit rate. Their ATS record is 75-36-1. We’re seeing sportsbooks adjust accordingly as the first half line here is almost identical to the full game spread. The house is looking for recreational bettors to grab the Celtics here and they do seem to be a trendy dog with 60% of the tickets on Boston as of this writing. But, the Pacers are going to come with the appropriate desperation and get out hot as a result. Another nugget that makes the Pacers side intriguing here is while the Game 2 closing line ended up pushing as the Celtics won by eight, Boston was outside the number for a total of four seconds. Indiana probably should have won outright and absolutely should have covered. That’s the kind of phony result we’re betting against here in expecting the Pacers to start hot.
Trail Blazers (+7.5) @ Thunder (222)
Pick: Thunder First Quarter -3.5
Our handicap on Oklahoma City here is very similar to Indiana. However, the spread is a rich here with the Thunder laying 7.5 and in a series that will probably have lots of close games, that’s too many to feel good about laying, especially since Damian Lillard has gotten the better of Russell Westbrook so far after two games. However, this should still be at least a six-game series and the Thunder are going to win here. We’re just not totally confident they’ll cover the full-game spread, so we’ll take the shortest number of the three game periods you can wager on and lay it to back Oklahoma City to come out strong.