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NBA: Three NBA Playoff teams look to make magic

Over the next two nfl football betting Online Bingo Play Slots Online in US Bicimotos days, the NBA playoff series’ switch to new. A couple of the teams playing on Thursday night are in desperate straits and need to make something happen or they can start thinking of summer vacation plans. One other squad doesn’t have its best player, however can take the series lead with a victory before its loud and proud fans. Let’s take a look at all three of Thursday’s games from a betting perspective. Head over to the LIVE ODDS and GAME MATCHUPS pages on for more key info.

Cleveland at Chicago 7:00E TNT

The Bulls played the Cavaliers even for three quarters, unfortunately professional basketball is a four quarters contest.

Chicago was tied after three quarters but was outscored 35-25 in the final 12 minutes, thanks to LeBron James doing his best Mariano Rivera impression as the closer. James scored 15 of his 40 points in the final stanza, ruining the Bulls upset bid.

“They call me the closer every time I come in the fourth quarter,” James said. “It’s my time to put the game away or do what I do best and that’s try to close the game the right way.” Cleveland is 14-4 ATS off a home win by 10 points or more this season.

Chicago will receive the energy from its home fans and the Bulls better start a rampage from the opening tip, since nobody expects the Bulls to win four of the next five games. One Chi-Town player enduring himself to the locals is Joakim Noah, who has been a force on both ends of the floor while talking a little trash about Cleveland. He’s more than ready for next assignment.

We can't get discouraged," Noah said. "They did what they were supposed to do. We'll have our fans ready to go for the next game and we'll be ready to go on Thursday."

The Bulls are a four-point underdog, with total of 193 and are 13-4 ATS off two or more consecutive road losses. Chicago is 13-4 UNDER playing with two days rest this season.

L.A. Lakers at Oklahoma City 9:30E  TNT

This is all fun and new for the Thunder, being in the postseason for the first time as members from the Sooner State. Oklahoma City lost both games to the defending champion L. A. Lakers, but they are far from discouraged.

"I think that our offense was phenomenal," Kevin Durant said. "Our energy on the defensive end was phenomenal. Of course you cannot play perfect defense an entire game. We got a lot of offensive, rebounds and we played hard.

Of course the next step in the progression is actually winning a game and the Thunder gives the impression they are well-equipped to do so. OKC is 14-5 ATS off a road loss and has installed them as 3.5-point favorites.

Thunder fans have enjoyed this young team’s rise all year and view this as the beginning of something much bigger and can hardly be disappointed no matter the outcome.

The Lakers were pushed to the end in Game 2, winning 95-92 as 5.5-point favorites, held to 37.5 percent shooting. Kobe Bryant returned to his usual self scoring 39 points, making 13 of 15 from the charity stripe. It’s a rare sight to see Los Angeles as an underdog, especially in a 1 vs 8 matchup and they are 33-18 ATS as a pooch and 10-2 UNDER in this role.

"We're going home to our crowd, which is gonna give us a lot of energy and we're gonna be ready to play," Jeff Green said Tuesday night. His team is 14-2 ATS after a contest with 15 or less assists this season.

Keep an eye on the total of 191.5 with Oklahoma City 12-2 UNDER at the Ford Center off a cover where they lost the game SU as an underdog.

Phoenix at Portland 10:00E  NBA TV

Portland looked every bit like the underdog they were supposed to be, being man-handled by Phoenix 119-90 in Game 2 as 8.5-point underdogs. The news however is good on two fronts, a loss is still a loss whether it’s by one point or 29 and the Trailblazers are returning home.

We got a win," Portland guard Andre Miller said. "You don't want to lose like that any time, but we still are motivated. This is a seven-game series. (The Suns) did their job tonight, but we got a game, and it's a series. Now we have to go and try to protect our home court." Portland is 13-5 ATS after allowing 105 points or more this season.

Phoenix can take pride in understanding and doing what it takes to win as they showed in the last outing. They ran the floor for easy transition buckets, forced Portland into missing shots with greater defensive intensity (38.2 percent) and spread the ball around with Jason Richardson and Grant Hill being key figures in the victory.

“We were just more aggressive getting the ball up the floor and moving bodies around so they weren’t set,” Steve Nash said, “and they weren’t able to zone it up as well.” That raised the Suns record to 14-4 ATS playing against a team with a 60-70 winning percentage this campaign.

Game 3 opened as a Pick em’ and Portland has moved to a one-point underdog with its 7-19 ATS record at the Rose Garden after a loss by 10 points or more.

NBA: Boston at Portland (10:30 PM ET, ESPN)

The night cap on ESPN finds the Boston Celtics playing 2,500 miles from home in Portland. That distance hasn’t proven a problem of late though, as the Celtics have won four of their L5 games there. Oddsmakers at see that turning tonight though, with the Blazers playing as the 2-point favorites.

Boston (34-18, 20-31-3 ATS) got away with another subpar offensive game, beating the Los Angeles Lakers 87-86 on Thursday night. Ray Allen scored 12 of his 24 points in the third quarter against a Lakers team that was without injured star Kobe Bryant.

The Celtics, who were held under 90 points for the third time in four games, are hoping their new guard, Nate Robinson, can provide a boost. Boston received Robinson and Marcus Landry in a trade with New York on Wednesday, giving up Eddie House, J.R. Giddens, Bill Walker and a future conditional second-round pick. Bean-Town backers wouldn’t mind if Robinson helped them cover a few more pointspreads, since they are 1-7 ATS off a cover.

With Marcus Camby now in town, Portland (32-24, 31-24-1 ATS) has one of the league’s top defenders. Camby is expected to make his Blazers debut Friday, giving them a much-needed post presence. Looking to fill the void left by Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla - who are both out for the season due to knee injuries - Portland acquired Camby from the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday in exchange for Steve Blake and Travis Outlaw. He joins a team that is 2-5 ATS at home against clubs with a winning road record.

Camby was the defensive player of the year for the 2006-07 season and is a two-time member of the NBA all-defensive team. He’s looking forward to playing again with Portland point guard Andre Miller, his teammate on three playoff teams with Denver from 2003-05. “I love to play with Andre Miller because he is so unselfish,” Camby said.

Miller, though, may be without his backcourt mate, Brandon Roy, who is probable for this game because of a hamstring injury. After missing 15 of the previous 16 games, Roy tried to play against the Clippers on Tuesday night, but he ended up sitting out the second half of the Blazers’ 109-87 victory.

Roy is averaging a team-high 22.6 points. His injury caused him to miss Portland’s 98-95 overtime loss to Boston on Jan. 22. Allen hit a 3-pointer with 42 seconds left in OT, giving the Celtics eight wins in their last nine matchups with the Blazers.

Oddsmakers have made Portland a two-point favorite with total of 186.5. Boston is .500 playing with no rest this season and 3-7 ATS (1-4 ATS last five). With the Celtics lack of offense, they are 7-1 UNDER in last eight contests, including five in a row. Portland has been surprisingly undistinguished at home with a 19-11 record (.500 ATS). The Blazers are however 20-8 ATS on Friday’s and 6-1 OVER.

Boston is 8-2 SU and ATS against Portland with 4-1 ATS (3-2 SU) mark at the Rose Garden. The StatFox Power Line shows a potential under-pricing, Portland by 6