NBA playoffs: Bulls and Clippers are game 3 favourites

Chicago Bulls will be looking to avoid back-to-back playoff losses on home court when they meet Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semi-final series as slim 1.5-point favourites in NBA betting at Coral.

The Bulls return home to United Center after suffering a 106-91 Game 2 loss in Cleveland, which evened the series at one game apiece.

That loss also halted the shortening of Chicago’s NBA Championship outright odds. The Bulls had risen to a strong 5/1, close on the heels of the Cavaliers, who had faded to 4/1 after opening the post-season as championship favourites alongside Golden State Warriors, at 11/2.

Entering Friday’s crucial Game 3 match-up, the Bulls have slipped to 15/2, joined by the Los Angeles Clippers. The Cavaliers have improved to 7/2, but still trail the Warriors, who remain 6/5 favourites.

Chicago was shocked in their last home contest, a 94-88 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5 of their first-round series which ended a nine-game SU home winning streak. Indeed, the Bulls have not lost back-to-back games at home since mid-January, going 17-5 SU in their last 22, 15-8 ATS.

The Cavaliers travel to Chicago looking for just their third SU win in their last 12 visits, but picked up a SU win in one of two games at United Center during the regular season.

Cleveland is 5-3 SU in their last eight on the road, and are also 5-3 ATS in their last eight overall, following a four-game ATS losing streak.

Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Clippers (-4.5)
In other NBA playoff action on Friday night, it remains questionable whether LA Clippers will have the services of star point guard Chris Paul when they meet Houston Rockets in Game 3 of their Western Conference semi-final as strong 4.5-point favourites.

Paul missed the first two games of the series with a hamstring injury after draining a buzzer-beating layup that game the Clippers a thrilling Game 7 win over defending champions San Antonio Spurs in round one.

Blake Griffin has been carrying the mail for Los Angeles, averaging 30 points per game against Houston, but Paul was sorely missed in the Clippers’ 115-109 loss in Game 2.

Los Angeles are just 1-2 SU in three home playoff games this season, 0-3 ATS. Conversely, Houston have looked good on the road, going 8-3 SU in their last 11, including a crucial Game 3 win over the Mavericks in Dallas in the first round.

However, the Rockets have been a betting disappointment, failing to cover in each of their last four road contests, and just two of their last seven.

The Rockets currently sit as intriguing 5/4 long shots to knock off the Clippers in their series betting, while LA are pegged as strong 8/13 favourites to advance to the Western Conference Finals.