Saturday's Early Action
April 25, 2014
By Brian Edwards
**Pacers at Hawks**
-- Atlanta (40-45 straight up, 40-44-1 against the spread) took a 2-1 series lead over Indiana with Thursday's 98-85 win as a two-point home underdog. Jeff Teague was the catalyst, scoring a game-high 22 points while also dishing out 10 assists. With the exception of the second half of Game 2, the Wake Forest product has dominated this series by getting into the lane off of dribble penetration whenever he feels like it. Kyle Korver added 20 points in the Game 3 triumph, knocking down 4-of-7 attempts from 3-point range. Paul Millsap made just 3-of-11 shots from the floor, but he found a way to produce 14 points, 14 rebounds and four assists.
-- Paul George's lockdown defense on Teague in the second half of Game 2 was pivotal. However, when he got his second personal foul very early in the first quarter of Game 3, that strategy went out the window for Frank Vogel. George never got into a rhythm offensively and scored only 12 points on 3-of-11 shooting from the field. He did pull down 14 boards and handed out four helpers. If there was a bright side to Game 3 for Indiana, it was the inspired play of Lance Stephenson, who tallied 21 points, 13 boards, four assists and three steals.
-- Atlanta only shot 38.4 percent from the field and got out-rebounded by a 51-41 margin in Game 3. Nevertheless, it got into the win column in large measure thanks to converting 30-of-37 attempts from the free-throw line.
-- These long-time Eastern Conference adversaries have now faced each other seven times this year, and the Hawks have prevailed in four of those meetings.
-- For Game 4, most books have installed Indiana (57-28 SU, 39-45-1 ATS) as a two-favorite with a total of 186.5. Bettors can take the Hawks to win outright for a +115 return (risk $100 to win $115).
-- The updated series price at Sportsbook.ag has the Pacers as -140 favorites, while the Hawks are +120 underdogs.
-- In its last eight games as an underdog, Atlanta owns a 7-1 spread record with six outright victories.
-- The Hawks are 26-16 SU and 22-20 ATS at home this season. Meanwhile, the Pacers are 21-21 SU and 17-25 ATS on the road.
-- The 'over' is 45-39-1 overall for Atlanta, but the 'under' is 22-20 in its home games.
-- The 'under' is 46-36-3 overall for Indiana, 20-19-3 in its road assignments.
-- The 'under' is 2-1 in this series so far, cashing in back-to-back contests. The combined scoring outputs have been 194, 186 and 183.
-- Tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Eastern on TNT.
**Spurs at Mavericks**
-- Dallas (50-34 SU, 46-38 ATS) pulled even in this best-of-seven series by cruising to a 113-92 win in Wednesday's Game 2 at San Antonio. The Mavs won outright as 7.5-point underdogs, hooking up money-line supporters with a tasty +340 payout (paid $340 on $100 wagers). They shot 48.9 percent from the field, won the rebounding battle (35-32) and forced 22 turnovers while committing just seven.
-- Monta Ellis scored a team-high 21 points in the Game 2 victory. Shawn Marion added 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field. He also had five rebounds, three steals and a pair of assists. Devin Harris, who had 19 points and five assists in Game 1, had another stellar performance in Game 2, finishing with 18 points, five assists and four rebounds. Harris made 7-of-9 shots from the field.
-- In the losing effort, Manu Ginobili scored a game-high 27 points in just 22 minutes of playing time off the bench. Ginobili made 9-of-12 attempts from the field and drained 5-of-6 shots from beyond the arc. He was terrific in Game 1, too, scoring 17 points and pulling down six rebounds.
-- Tony Parker scored just 12 points in Game 2 and perhaps more disconcerting for Gregg Popovich, he had as many assists (three) as turnovers (three). After producing 27 points and seven rebounds in Game 1, Tim Duncan finished with only 11 points and seven boards in the Game 2 loss.
-- For Game 3 back in Dallas, most spots have made San Antonio (63-21 SU, 45-39 ATS) a 3.5-point 'chalk' with a total of 202.5. Gamblers can take the Mavs on the money line for a +145 return (risk $10 to win 145).
-- The updated series price at Sportsbook.ag: San Antonio -420, Dallas +330.
-- Dallas has been a home underdog seven times this season, going 2-5 both SU and ATS. The Mavs are 26-15 SU and 17-24 ATS at home.
-- San Antonio has been dynamite on the road all year, going 30-11 SU and 25-16 versus the number. The Spurs have seen the 'over' hit at a 23-18 clip in their road assignments.
-- The 'over' has gone 24-17 for Dallas in its home games.
-- Dallas has failed to cover the number in five consecutive home games. In addition, the Spurs have won four straight at Dallas both SU and ATS.
-- These teams have now faced each other six times this season, with San Antonio going 5-1 SU and 3-3 ATS. The 'over' is 4-2 in those encounters, cashing in three of the last four meetings.
-- Despite losing homecourt advantage against the eighth-seeded Mavs, San Antonio maintains the second-shortest future odds (behind the Heat's +160 price) at Sportsbook.ag (+340). The Mavs are 60/1 longshots.
-- TNT will have the telecast at 4:35 p.m. Eastern.
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7-2 L9, 19-9 L28 NBA Totals
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