With Rajon Rondo renting space in the heads of former teammates, the Chicago Bulls appear to be a solid play to continue winning against the Boston Celtics on Friday.
The Bulls are listed at 1.5-point favorites against the Celtics with a 207.5-point total for their Game 3 matchup, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
And those odds might flatter the top-seeded Celtics, who are down 2-0 in the best-of-seven series. After all, Chicago is 8-2 straight-up and 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 home games against the Celtics, according to the Oddshark NBA Database.
The Bulls were racked by internal discord during the season, but they seem locked in now, with Rondo and forwards Jimmy Butler and Robin Lopez making excellent defensive rotations to keep the Celtics from any semblance of rhythm. Both PG Isaiah Thomas and SG Avery Bradley will have to have individually brilliant shooting efforts – which isn’t the forte of either player – if Boston is to get back into the series.
The series’ first two games went OVER, but overall six of the Celtics’ last 10 playoff games on the road have gone UNDER. The total has gone UNDER in seven of the Bulls’ last 10 home games where they were a favorite of three or fewer points.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are listed as 2.5-point favorites against the Houston Rockets with a 224-point total for their Game 3 matchup on Friday, with Houston up 2-0 in the series. For all of Russell Westbrook’s brilliance, the Thunder are just 5-5 SU and 5-5 ATS in their last 10 home games where they were favored by three or fewer points.
However, James Harden hasn’t heated up yet for Houston (20-of-45 from the floor) and it shouldn’t be overlooked that the Rockets are a dismal 1-9 SU and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 road games against Oklahoma City
The total has gone UNDER in five of the Rockets’ last six playoff games on the road. The total has gone UNDER in eight of the Thunder’s last 10 home games against the Rockets.
And in Friday’s other Game 3 matchup, the Los Angeles Clippers are favored by 1.5 points on the road against the Utah Jazz with a 197-point total. The head-to-head trend would appear to favor Chris Paul and the Clippers, who are 9-1 SU and 4-4-2 ATS in their last 10 road games against the Jazz.
Los Angeles has also limited Jazz forward Gordon Hayward to 36 per cent shooting (12 of 33) through the first two games.
Los Angeles comes in with an 0-6 SU skein in its last six road games in the playoffs (they are 5-5 ATS in their last 10, to be fair). The total has gone UNDER in eight of the Jazz’s last 10 playoff games where they were an underdog at home.