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Behind the lines

Considering spread, Spurs hardly a lock

May 03, 2008|Lonnie White | Times Staff Writer

The San Antonio Spurs are a team that can drive an NBA bettor crazy.

During the regular season, the Spurs matched New Orleans for the best record in the Southwest Division at 56-26.

But against the point spread, San Antonio finished under .500 at 38-44.

In the playoffs, it's a similar story for the Spurs, who defeated Phoenix, 4-1, in the first round. Despite dominating the Suns for chunks at a time, San Antonio was only 2-2-1 against the point spread.

That sets the stage for the Spurs' second-round matchup against the Hornets, who split four games (2-2) with San Antonio this season.

Behind the stellar play of guard Chris Paul, New Orleans made it look easy in defeating Dallas, 4-1, in the first round. But the Hornets were only 3-2 against the point spread.

So despite having home-court advantage over San Antonio in the series, New Orleans is listed as the underdog at +120, according to Sportsbook.com.

The Spurs are listed as the favorite at -150.

Yet for tonight's Game 1, Las Vegas oddsmakers have pegged the Hornets as a three-point home favorite.

New Orleans has several positive betting trends working in its favor heading into the series.

The Hornets are 5-0 against the point spread in their last five games as a home favorite between 0.5 and 4.5 points and they are 6-0 against the point spread in their last six home games versus a team with a winning road record.

Unlike New Orleans, San Antonio has a few negative betting trends to overcome.

The Spurs are 1-5 against the point spread in their last six road games, 4-9 against the point spread in their last 13 games as an underdog, and 5-13 against the point spread in their last 18 games as a road underdog.

Pro hockey

In the NHL Eastern Conference semifinals, the Philadelphia Flyers have the Montreal Canadiens on the brink of elimination.

After defeating the Flyers in overtime to start the series, the Canadiens have lost three games in a row to the Flyers heading into tonight's Game 5 at the Bell Centre.

But despite their recent slide, the Canadiens are favored to win tonight on the money line at -165, according to Sportsbetting.com. The Flyers are listed at +145.

At wagerline.com, Montreal has received 63.3% of the picks for tonight's game.

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lonnie.white@latimes.com

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