Ben Burns NBA Top Sides Picks
|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|03-18-13||Minnesota Timberwolves v. Memphis Grizzlies -14.5||Top||77-92||Win||100||18 h 23 m||Show|
I'm playing on MEMPHIS. I believe that the T-Wolves are in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
I played against the Grizzlies in their last game. That was a very tough spot for them though. They were off a "heart-breaking" loss in the high altitude of Denver the previous night and were playing their fourth game in the past five days. They were also playing at a difficult venue against a rested Utah team.
Tonight's game sets up much differently. This time, the Grizzlies are playing at home and had yesterday off. This time, they're taking a big step down in class to face a banged-up Minnesota team which rarely wins on the road and which played last night.
While they did eke out a victory last night, the T-Wolves were at home and they were facing New Orleans. Needless to say, a road game at Memphis is an entirely different story. Throw in the fact that they'll be playing their fifth game in the last seven days and last night's win figures to take a toll.
While they lost their last road game by "only" eight points, the T-Wolves previous recent road games had resulted in losses of 16, 23, 15 and 22 points. (They lost by 16 and 23 points the only previous two times that they played the second of b2b games this month.)
On the season, the T-Wolves are 7-25 on the road, compared to Memphis' 25-8 mark at home. Even with the recent cover at Houston, the T-Wolves are still 1-5 ATS as road underdogs of greater than a dozen points.
The Grizzlies know they can't afford to mess around with these type of games. They appear likely to face Denver in the playoffs and they'd much rather have homecourt advantage, knowing that the Nuggets are a much better team when playing in their own building.
The Grizzlies have dominated Minnesota here. They're 4-1 ATS (5-0 SU) the last five meetings here, most recently a 17 point win last month. Don't be surprised if this one results in an even bigger blowout. 10* personal favorite
|03-17-13||Atlanta Hawks +4.5 v. Brooklyn Nets||Top||105-93||Win||100||12 h 44 m||Show|
I'm playing on ATLANTA. After suffering three straight losses, one of them coming against these same Nets, the Hawks have gotten back on track. Friday's double-digit win over Phoenix was on the heels of a victory against the Lakers on Wednesday. Playing with recent revenge, I expect a highly motivated effort and look for them to keep on rolling for another day.
The Nets have have the past four days off. They're only 1-3 ATS when playing with three or more day's worth of rest.
With today's O/U line in the high 180s, note that the Nets are also an ugly 6-13-2 ATS the last 21 times that they played a home game with an O/U line in the 185 to 189.5 range.
During that stretch, the Nets are also a poor 7-12-1 ATS when listed as home favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range.
The Hawks are 22-14-1 ATS the past few seasons, when attempting to avenge an earlier home loss. I expect them to improve on those stats with AT LEAST a cover here. 10* best bet
|03-16-13||Memphis Grizzlies v. Utah Jazz -2||Top||84-90||Win||100||18 h 53 m||Show|
I'm playing on UTAH. These teams have met twice so far this season. Both those meetings were back in 2012. The Grizzlies won each of them. Tonight, things set up nicely for the Jazz to avenge those losses.
While the Jazz have had the past couple of day's off, the Grizzlies are in a very difficult scheduling situation. Last night, playing in the high altitude of Denver, the Grizzlies coughed up a fourth quarter lead, en route to a hard-fought and disappointing 87-80 loss. That type of loss can be difficult to immediately bounce back from.
This is much worse than a "typical" back-to-back situation though. That's because the Grizzlies will also be playing their fourth game in the past five days AND their sixth game in the past nine. That's a very grueling stretch and this is not an easy venue to play at.
While the Grizzlies are still a solid 19-12 on the road, the Jazz are an outstanding 23-8 here at Utah.
While their last two home games both resulted in double-digit wins, the Jazz did get blown out at OKC last time out. That should provide them with some added motivation here.
Utah's Gordon Hayward noted: "We're trying to get in the playoffs we can't have games like this. We were down by 20-plus points and that's just stupid. We gotta execute our offense better."
The Jazz are 10-7 (11-6 SU) off a double-digit loss. Even with the loss here at December, they've won 24 of their last 31 as a host in this series. With the schedule in their favor, I expect them to bounce back with an important win and cover. 10* personal favorite
|03-15-13||Cleveland Cavaliers +7.5 v. Dallas Mavericks||Top||86-96||Loss||-110||15 h 42 m||Show|
I'm playing on CLEVELAND. The Cavs may be banged-up and they may be playing out the strong. However, they're still fighting hard. They've got the schedule in their favor and I expect another big effort.
Last time out, despite playing without Irving (and Varejao) the Cavs beat Washington by five points. That was their second straight cover. They're now a profitable 9-3 ATS their last 12 games, winning six of those games outright. The six losses came by 1, 4, 16, 5, 9 and 4 points. In other words, only two of their last 12 games has resulted in a loss of greater than five points.
The Cavs, 6-6 SU when playing with two day's rest, are well-rested. They last played on Tuesday.
On the other hand, the Mavericks are off a hard-fought 1-point loss at rival San Antonio last night. That's the type of "heart-breaker" which can often be difficult to immediately bounce back from. That may be particularly true here, due to that loss really hurting their playoff chances.
In addition to playing the second of back-to-back games, the Mavs will also be playing their third game in the past four days and their fourth game in the past six. Throw in the fact that they've got a big game vs. Oklahoma City on deck, a team which blew them out last month, and I feel that this will prove to be a very difficult scheduling spot.
While they did win at Cleveland back in November, the Mavs are still a money-burning 6-16 ATS against teams from the Central the past few seasons. I expect them to have their hands full the entire way here, as the Cavs earn AT LEAST the cover, improving to 6-2 ATS when playing a road game with an O/U line of 200 to 204.5. 10*
|03-15-13||Minnesota Timberwolves v. Houston Rockets -14||Top||100-108||Loss||-110||14 h 8 m||Show|
I'm playing on HOUSTON. I played against the T-Wolves last time out. They hung around for awhile but eventually lost by 16. It was the third time in their last four games that the T-Wolves lost by a minimum of 16 points. The other two losses, during that stretch, both came by 23 points. I expect them to get blown out again here.
The Rockets have been excellent at home all season. They're 21-9 here, going 20-10 SU. Their last two games here have resulted in victories of 30 and 33 points. Note that they're 13-7 ATS off a double-digit win.
Dealing with major injury issues, the T-Wolves are now 2-9 their last 11 games, going 4-7 against the number. That includes a 0-6 mark on the road. Five of those road losses, including each of the last four, came by a minimum of 15 points.
On the season, the T-Wolves are now 0-5 ATS as road underdogs of greater than a dozen points. They're also 2-8-1 ATS (1-10 SU) their last 11 against teams with a winning record.
The fact that the T-Wolves humiliated them at Minnesota in the last month should have ensure that the Rockets are fully focused here. Of course, having the Lakers and Jazz (and Mavs and Blazers) nipping at their heels should be more than enough motivation. The Rockets are much healthier, playing with revenge, playing at home and have much more to play for. I expect them to take care of business, picking up the cover along the way. 10* personal favorite
|03-14-13||New York Knicks v. Portland Trail Blazers -3.5||Top||90-105||Win||100||17 h 19 m||Show|
I'm playing on PORTLAND. The Knicks are normally a pretty "popular" team. Off back-to-back blowout losses, many might be tempted to grab the points with them here. The Blazers have a number of advantages though and I expect another big loss for NY.
While I certainly don't ignore them, I sometimes don't give as much weight to injuries as many handicapper probably do. Players are in this league for a reason and many back-ups are capable of rising to the occasion, when injuries to starters provide them with an opportunity. That said, the Knicks' current injury issues can't be ignored.
Like him or not, Carmelo Anthony remains one of the most talented players in the game. He'll be back in New York by the time that the Knicks play tonight's game. Normally, that might provide a chance for Stoudemire to step up and be the man. However, he's out too. Perhaps worse, Tyson Chandler got hurt last night. I'm currently seeing him listed as doubtful. However, even if he is able to go, he may not be 100%.
Add it all up and the Knicks have a seriously depleted front court. That should allow the Blazers a solid edge in the paint. Note that they already out-rebounded the Knicks by a 45-35 margin at NY, winning 105-100.
Sure, the Knicks would love to get back on track and to avenge that loss. They're only 10-14 ATS in the "revenge" role though. So, that's generally not a huge motivator for them.
Getting blown out in their previous game doesn't necessarily provide the Knicks with much extra incentive either. In fact, they're now only 16-23-2 (14-27 SU!) the past few seasons, off a double-digit loss.
True, the Knicks have been OK when playing the second of back-to-back games. This is worse than a typical b2b spot though. First, there are the injuries to consider. Second, last night's game was in the high altitude of Denver. Third, this will also be NY's third game in four days. Going back a bit further finds that the Knicks will be playing their sixth game in the last nine days, a span that has seen them fly all over the country. Going back still further shows that this is their eight game in the past 12 days and ninth through the first 14 days of March.
Meanwhile, the Blazers had yesterday off and will be playing just their seventh game in March.
The Blazers aren't currently in the top eight. However, they're not that far off. Seeing the Lakers lose (and Kobe go down) last night should have them feeling hopeful again. They also should be playing with some "desperation."
As LaMarcus Aldridge noted: "Definitely that door is closing. We're going to have to string together some wins fast or that door is going to close on us.''
The Blazers have won seven of their last 10 here at the Rose Garden and the three losses came by only 11 combined points. With the schedule in their favor, I expect them to earn a much needed victory, picking up the cover along the way. *10 TNT GOM
|03-13-13||Minnesota Timberwolves v. Indiana Pacers -13.5||Top||91-107||Win||100||14 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on INDIANA. This one sets up nicely for a big win for the home team.
The Pacers had the past two days off. In addition to being well-rested, they should be in a foul mood, after getting blown out by the Heat in their last game. Note that the Pacers are 8-1 ATS off a double-digit loss.
Adding to their "anger" and likelihood that they'll keep the pedal to the metal the entire way, the Pacers haven't forgotten that they lost at Minnesota earlier. They've still dominated the T-Wolves in recent seasons though, including a 23-point victory the last time that the teams played here at Indiana.
While the Pacers come in with fresh legs, the same cannot be said for the T-Wolves. They left everything on the floor in upsetting San Antonio last night. Now, in addition to playing the second of back-to-back games, this banged-up team will also be playing its fourth game in the past five days.
Even with last night's win, the T-Wolves are still only 2-7-1 ATS (1-9 SU) their last 10 against teams with a winning record. (They're now 4-40 SU the past few years, when facing a team with a winning record, during the second half of the season.) Meanwhile, during the same stretch, the Pacers are 7-1 SU/ATS when facing a team with a losing record.
For the season, the Pacers are a dominating 26-14 (32-8 SU) when laying points. With everything in their favor, I expect them to improve on those stats this evening. 10* personal favorite
|03-13-13||Miami Heat v. Philadelphia 76ers +9||Top||98-94||Win||100||14 h 56 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. I won with the 76'ers in their last game, an upset win over Brooklyn. I feel that this will be another good spot to back them.
While the 76'ers had yesterday off, the Heat were busy beating up on Atlanta. Tonight, in addition to playing the second of back-to-back games, they'll be playing their third game in the past four days. This will also mark their 7th game in the last 11 days.
Even with a cover last night, the Heat are still only 4-5 ATS their last nine games, one of the those ATS losses coming vs. the 76ers on 3/8.
The 76'ers lost that game but only by nine points, enough to earn the cover. Playing at home and with the schedule in their favor, I expect them to play the Heat even tougher tonight. In fact, while I'll happily grab all those generous points, I won't even be "shocked" if they step up and score the outright win. *10 best bet
|03-12-13||Boston Celtics v. Charlotte Bobcats +10.5||Top||74-100||Win||100||10 h 4 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHARLOTTE. I'm well aware of how poorly the Bobcats have been playing. In fact, I successfully played against them in their very last game, while also cashing on the over in the same contest. While I've avoided them during their skid, I feel that they're ready to give their best effort tonight and feel that they're providing us with very value this evening.
As you are likely aware, the Bobcats haven't won too many games this season. They did beat the Celtics the last time that they faced them though, a 94-91 win almost exactly one month ago. Taking a look at that line and we find that Charlotte was only a 4.5 point underdog. We're getting significantly more points to work with here. In fact, this line is as high as it was when the Bobcats played at Boston, in January.
The Celtics have won five of their last seven. However, NONE of those victories came by more than eight points. Having played a number of "big games," most recently against OKC on national TV, they may not be fully focused on the lowly Bobcats. Note that the Celtics are only 6-10 ATS (7-9 SU) off a double-digit loss. They're also 5-7 ATS the last dozen times that they were listed as road favorites in the 9.5 to 12 range.
These same two teams will face each other at Boston again on 3/16. I feel that will work in our favor. The Celtics will think that they can easily blow out the Bobcats in that one; the Bobcats will also know that getting blown out there is a distinct possibility and that if they want to be competitive that tonight's likely their best chance. It should also be noted that Boston plays tomorrow while Charlotte has the next two days off.
Note that the Celts are 3-3 the last six times that they played the front end of b2b games and that NONE of the three victories came by more than eight points. They're 4-7 SU in that situation since the beginning of December, only one win coming by more than eight.
Overall, the Celts remain a poor 12-19 (12-17-2 ATS) on the road. Add it all up and I don't feel that they're ready to be laying double-digits here, not even against the Bobcats. 10* NBA Shocker GOM
|03-10-13||Milwaukee Bucks v. Sacramento Kings -1||Top||115-113||Loss||-108||14 h 57 m||Show|
I'm playing on SACRAMENTO. Daylight savings snuck up on me and has me running a bit short on time today. As a result, my writeups may be a little more brief than usual. Rest assured. the same amount of time was spent researching the plays, as always.
This one sets up nicely for the Kings. While Sacramento has last night off, the Bucks are off a late game at Oakland.
While some teams are OK when playing the second of back-to-back games, the Bucks typically aren't one of them. They're 4-10-1 ATS their last 15 in that situation and 25-34-1 (23-37 SU) their last 60.
The Kings won big last time out, scoring 121 points and hitting a whopping 54.9% of their field goals. They've now covered three of their past four and five of their past seven. Going back a little further finds them at 10-5 ATS their last 15. (Even with last night's win, the Bucks are 5-12 ATS since the end of January.)
The Kings lost at Milwaukee back in December but they've had some success against the Bucks here at Sacramento over the years. They were three point underdogs for last year's meeting here. Down by 19 at halftime, they rallied for a 103-100 victory.
Hopefully they won't have to dig themselves out of such a big hole here. Either way. I expect the end result to be the same. 10* nba personal favorite
|03-10-13||Boston Celtics v. Oklahoma City Thunder -9.5||Top||79-91||Win||100||22 h 54 m||Show|
I'm playing on OKLAHOMA CITY. Off five straight victories, the Celtics are rolling. None of those games have come against the Thunder though. I expect the Celts win streak to come to an end here.
The Thunder are also playing well. They're 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS their last eight games. Their last home game resulted in a 17-point rout of the Lakers. Their previous three games here saw them win by 45, 30 and 16 points.
Including those blowout victories, the Thunder are 27-4 at home. On the other hand, even with a few recent wins, the Celts remain a poor 12-18 away from Boston.
While the Celts are still hoping to finish in the top four in the East, the Thunder now believe they have a real shot at first in the West.
The Thunder play with "revenge," as they were beaten at Boston back in November. That doesn't mean much to a lot of teams. However, the Thunder tend to thrive in the revenge role. With the recent beat-down of the Lakers, they're 12-6 ATS the last 18 times that they attempted to avenge an earlier loss, going 51-30 ATS (54-27 SU) in that role the past few seasons and a lucrative 100-63-1 ATS their last 164.
Last year's meeting here saw the Thunder win by 15 points, a 119-104 blowout. I'm expecting another double-digit win here. 10* main event
|03-06-13||Boston Celtics v. Indiana Pacers -9||Top||83-81||Loss||-105||9 h 5 m||Show|
I'm playing on INDIANA. The Celtics beat me yesterday. That won't prevent me from going against them again today though.
Even with last night's win, the Celtics are still a poor 11-18 on the road. On the other hand, the Pacers are a very impressive 25-6 here at Indiana. That includes a 21-3 mark their last 24 here.
The Pacers are also playing some of their best basketball of the season. They've won 11 of 14 in the second half, going 10-4 ATS. That includes a 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS mark their last eight games.
While the Celtics are playing the second of back-to-back games, the Pacers had the past two days off. Note that Indiana is 7-4 ATS in that situation this season. Meanwhile, the Celtics are 6-7-2 ATS when playing the second of b2b games, going a money-burning 19-34-2 ATS in that situation the past few seasons.
The Pacers should have payback on their minds, as the Celtics pounded them earlier, at Boston. Knowing that they could see the Celts in the playoffs, the Pacers should be motivated to "make a statement" and to deliver a message that they can beat Boston. (That's particularly true given that the Celts have now beaten them three straight and eight of 11.)
The Pacers are 25-13 ATS (31-7 SU) when laying points and they're 10-1 ATS off a divisional game. With the schedule and venue in their favor, I'm expecting a "blowout." 10* personal favorite
|03-05-13||Boston Celtics v. Philadelphia 76ers +2||Top||109-101||Loss||-110||13 h 45 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. The Celtics seem to be a popular pick in this one. I don't see it.
The "streaky" 76'ers have their "mojo" back. After winning three straight and four of five in early February, the 76'ers went into free-fall, getting killed (going winless) during the second half of the month.
They began March with a win though, knocking off a solid Golden State squad. I backed them in that game. In part of my analysis I mentioned the following: " ... I expect the 76ers to come away with the win. Admittedly, the 76'ers have certainly struggled of late. However, lets not forget that their home record is still superior to the Warriors' road record. While the playoffs are looking less and less likely - the 76'ers are still in contention - they're six games behind 8th place Milwaukee. So, there's still plenty of incentive to play hard ..."
As I acknowledged when they beat the Warriors, the playoffs aren't looking very likely. (Milwaukee's OT win last night made their job even harder.) However, as I also mentioned - the 76'ers aren't out of contention yet. They've had some success against the Celtics, a team I feel that they match up well against. I expect them to be both hungry and confident here, a dangerous combination.
While they've had a few days off, the Celtics are still mired in a stretch where they play nine of 11 on the road. Lets not forget that this team is only 10-18 on the road, not nearly as good at Philadelphia's 17-15 home record.
The Celts are 5-8 ATS the past few seasons as road favorites of three or fewer points. During that stretch, they're 7-12 ATS when playing a road game with an O/U line in the 180 to 184.5 range.
The 76'ers are 4-1 SU/ATS the last five times that they were listed as home underdogs of three or fewer points, going 12-5 SU/ATS in that role the past few seasons. They're 7-1 ATS (6-2 SU) as a host in this series, including a 95-94 win earlier this season. I'll grab the points being offered but am expecting another "upset." 10* best bet
|03-04-13||Atlanta Hawks v. Denver Nuggets -9.5||Top||88-104||Win||100||16 h 6 m||Show|
I'm playing on DENVER. I really like how this one sets up for the home team. The Hawks are in a very difficult scheduling spot and the Nuggets, who are a commanding 25-3 here at Denver, should be poised to take advantage.
Last time out, the Nuggets beat Oklahoma City - one of the best teams in the league. That was their fourth straight win. The Nuggets, who should be filled with confidence from that big win, have since had two day's off. They come in well-rested. Their previous home game resulted in a double-digit victory against a talented Laker team which has been starting to find its groove.
Speaking of the Lakers, the Hawks just lost a 1-point heartbreaker at LA last night. Those are the type of losses that often can be difficult to recover from. Playing in the altitude against a dangerous opponent doesn't help.
Not only are the Hawks playing the second of back-to-back games, they're also playing the final leg of a 6-game road trip. This will be their 7th game in the last 11 days - every one of those games came in a different city - a journey that began in Atlanta and has seen the Hawks travel all over the country. Fatigue may well be a factor - and the Nuggets should look to push the pace every chance they get.
That's one of the reasons why we've got such a high O/U line here; as I write this the number is sitting at 211 with some shops still at 211.5. That's noteworthy as the Nuggets tend to excel in games that are expected to be high-scoring, like this one.
In fact, they're 38-20-2 ATS (46-14 SU) the past 60 times that they played a game which had an O/U line of 2010 or greater, including a lucrative 11-1 ATS (12-0 SU) mark their last 12 in that situation. When playing here at Denver, they're a perfect 7-0 SU/ATS when the O/U line was at least 210.
Given the fact that the Hawks beat them earlier at Atlanta, the Nuggets should be fully focused on exacting some revenge. I expect them to keep the pedal to the metal the entire way, en route to a double-digit win. 10* personal favorite
|03-03-13||Dallas Mavericks v. Houston Rockets -5||Top||103-136||Win||100||15 h 18 m||Show|
I'm playing on HOUSTON. The Mavericks have taken the first two games of the season series. However, the Rockets still have the superior record overall. I expect them to be highly motivated this evening and for them to get a small measure of revenge.
Both teams like to push the pace and both are very capable offensively. I expect that tempo to work in the Rockets' favor. Note that Houston is 5-2 ATS its last seven against team which score 99 or more points per game. During that time, Dallas is only 2-3 ATS (1-4 SU) against teams which average 99 or more points per game.
This is a very big game for Dallas as the Mavs are trying to catch the Rockets in the standings. However, I would argue that its every bit as big for Houston. Note that these teams will face each other again in a few days, at Dallas. Obviously, the Rockets are well aware of this fact. Knowing that will likely be a harder game to win, they should be doing everything possible to defend their home floor this evening.
The Rockets are 19-9 at home. The Mavs are 10-20 on the road. The Rockets are outscoring teams by a 110.6 to 104.3 margin at home. The Mavs are getting outscored by a 103.6 to 97.9 average on the road.
Ultimately, I expect homecourt to be the difference as the Rockets bring their "A Game" and improve to 16-12 ATS when in the "revenge" role. 10* personal favorite
|03-02-13||Golden State Warriors v. Philadelphia 76ers -1||Top||97-104||Win||100||17 h 31 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. My "Personal Favorite" selections are generally reserved for "favorites." However, I'll occasionally use them for a "pick'em" game or on a very slight underdog,
|03-01-13||Atlanta Hawks v. Phoenix Suns +4.5||Top||87-92||Win||100||14 h 6 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHOENIX. I believe we're getting excellent value with the home team here.
The Suns are quietly starting to play well. After eking out a 1-point win over the T-Wolves on 2/26, they followed it up with an outright (comeback) win at San Antonio. Needless to say, that's not an easy thing to do - for any team. (The Spurs had won 18 straight at home.) I expect their confidence to be sky high here.
Note that the Suns don't play again until 3/6 after this. So, there's nothing to "look ahead" to and no reason to try and "save themselves."
Off the win vs. the Spurs, Jermaine O'Neal, who had a "double-double" (22/13) in that game had this to say: "For us, we're obviously not in the playoff run, but it's about trying to be a better team. Games like these are what build character and put us in the right direction. That's what we're trying to do."
Admittedly, the Hawks have been playing very well on their current road trip. In fact, they're 3-0 through the first three games on the trip and are now 4-0 SU/ATS their last four overall.
That said, I feel that they may be ripe for a letdown. They jut scored an upset at Utah last time out and they face the Lakers, followed by Denver, in their next two games. Off that big win and with the two "bigger name" opponents on deck, I feel that it will be easy to overlook the lowly Suns.
Note that the Hawks are only 2-5 ATS off an upset win.
The Suns played the Hawks very tough last season, including an outright win at Atlanta. Last year's game here at Phoenix was decided by only two points, the Hawks rallying for a 101-99 comeback victory. I expect the Suns to give them all they can handle once again, en route to AT LEAST a cover. 10* best bet
|02-28-13||Minnesota Timberwolves v. Los Angeles Lakers -10||Top||94-116||Win||100||12 h 9 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA LAKERS. Everyone's pretty down on the Lakers these days. This is still a very talented team though, one which is more than capable of blowing out the league's weaker teams.
Tonight, they'll face a banged-up Minnesota squad which has dropped three straight and which is only 3-14 its last 17.
The Lakers, who were blown out at Denver last time out, are 7-5 ATS the last dozen times that that were off a double-digt loss. They're also 2-1 ATS (3-0 SU) the last three times that they were listed as home favorites in the 9.5 to 12 range.
The Lakers already beat the T-Wolves by double-digits to begin the month, a 111-100 win at Minnesota on 2/1. That continued a long-standing streak of dominance in the series. I expect them to close out the month with another double-digt win. *10 personal favorite
|02-23-13||Atlanta Hawks v. Milwaukee Bucks -4||Top||103-102||Loss||-110||24 h 57 m||Show|
I'm playing on MILWAUKEE. The Bucks have struggled a bit lately. With the venue and schedule in their favor, I expect them to bounce back with a big win and cover this evening.
While the Bucks had the last two night offs, the Hawks were busy disposing of Sacramento yesterday. They'll be playing their third game in the past four days here.
While they won big last night, note that the Hawks are only 4-7 ATS off a double-digit victory, 21-30 ATS the last couple of seasons. During that stretch, they're also a money- burning 7-13 ATS (5-15 SU) when listed as a road underdog in the 3.5 to 6 range.
The Bucks, 6-4 SU/ATS the last 10 times that they were off an "upset" loss, beat the Hawks by seven the last time that they were a host in this series.
While they didn't get Josh Smith, as they thought they might have, the Bucks did add a dangerous 3-point shooting threat in J.J. Redick, who should make his debut tonight.
I expect the Bucks to be the hungrier team and for them to also have the fresher legs. Ultimately, I expect that to lead them to a win and cover. *10 main event
|02-20-13||Boston Celtics v. Los Angeles Lakers -7||Top||99-113||Win||100||18 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on LA. I believe that the All Star Break will have benefitted the Lakers more than Boston. The Celtics entered the break on a roll. The Lakers, on the other hand, were off a blowout loss vs. the Clippers, the third time in their last five games that they lost by double-digits.
The first of those double-digit losses came at Boston, vs. these very same Celtics. I expect a much different result here at LA.
Lets keep in mind that the Celtics are only 8-16 away from Boston. (The Lakers are 16-11 when listed as the home team.) The Celts are only only 5-10 ATS (4-11 SU) the last 15 times that they were listed as road underdogs in the 6.5 to 9 range.
In addition to needing all the wins that they can get, the Lakers, who are currently 10th in the West, should have some added motivation to avenge the recent loss at Boston. Additionally, I believe that they'll want to give their best effort in honor of Jerry Buss, the team owner who recently died.
Kobe had this to say about the Lakers' beloved former owner. "Think about the impact that he's had on the game and the decisions he's made, and the brand of basketball he brought here with Showtime and the impact that had on the sport as a whole. Those vibrations were felt to a kid all the way in Italy who was 6 years old, before basketball was even global. His impact is felt worldwide."
Don't count out the Lakers yet. I'm expecting a double-digit win. 10* main event
|02-14-13||Los Angeles Clippers v. Los Angeles Lakers +3||Top||125-101||Loss||-105||12 h 37 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA LAKERS. The Clippers come in as the favorites. With the schedule in their favor, I expect the Lakers to score the "upset" there though.
The Lakers didn't cover last time out. However, they did win by a score of 91-85, holding the Suns to 41.2% from the field. Note that the Lakers, who have quietly gone 8-3 (4-0 at home) their last 11 games, are 4-2 ATS after allowing 85 or fewer points in their previous game.
While the Lakers had last night off, the Clippers were busy beating up on the Houston Rockets. Note that they're only 6-7 ATS when playing the second of back-to-back games. This is worse than a typical b2b situation though. The Clippers are also playing their third game in four days. Considering that the first two of those games came in the Eastern Time Zone (NY and Philly) thats quite a grueling stretch. The Clippers are already playing their 9th game through the first 14 days of February. The Lakers have played one less during that time. I believe it'll make a difference.
While they shouldn't need any added incentive, the fact that the Lakers are playing with "double-revenge" should ensure we see an extremely motivated Laker team. I expect them to be at their best. *10 best bet
|02-14-13||Miami Heat v. Oklahoma City Thunder -4.5||Top||110-100||Loss||-110||10 h 49 m||Show|
I'm playing on OKC. Obviously these are both excellent. Both are capable of winning anywhere, at any time. That said, with this game being played at OKC and with the Heat having already held serve at Miami , I expect the Thunder to have the advantage.
For starters, the Heat are 12-11 (10-23 ATS) on the road. The Thunder are 23-3 (18-8 ATS) at home. Big difference there.
The Heat won (at Miami) on Christmas. Throw in the fact that the Heat knocked them out of the playoffs last year and its safe to say that the Thunder will be extremely motivated.
Note that OKC is an excellent 50-28-5 ATS the past few seasons, when attempting to avenge an earlier loss - 11-4 SU/ATS their last 15 in that situation.
I successfully played against the Thunder at Salt Lake City on Tuesday. Laying six points, they lost 109-94. That doesn't mean that we should expect another loss here though. In fact, the Thunder are 9-1 SU/ATS the last 10 times that they were off a SU loss as a favorite, going a profitable 32-12-1 (38-7 SU) their last 45 in that situation. The Thunder are also 12-5 ATS (13-4 SU) their last 17
Even including the win on Christmas, The Heat are still only 10-13 ATS against teams with a winning record. On the other hand, the Thunder are 16-7-1 ATS against winning teams. Add it all up and its payback time Thursday. *10 Personal Favorite
|02-12-13||Houston Rockets v. Golden State Warriors -4.5||Top||116-107||Loss||-110||17 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on GOLDEN STATE. I successfully played against the Rockets in their last game. Favored by a handful of points, they lost outright at Sacramento. Playing at a more difficult venue and now facing a better team than the one that just beat them, I expect the Rockets to stumble once again.
These teams just faced each other last week at Houston. The Warriors came in riding high but they were run right out of the building, losing 140-109. That was the beginning of an ugly 0-4 SU/ATS road trip. Needless to say, the Warriors happy to be back home.
Golden State checks in with 14-15 record on the road but a stellar 16-6 record here at home. Meanwhile, the Rockets are an impressive 18-8 at Houston but an ugly 10-17 on the road.
While the Warriors allow about eight points less per game at home than they do on the road, the Rockets score about eight points per game less on the road than they do at home.
The Warriors are in one of their better roles here too, as we find them at 4-1 ATS (5-0 SU) as home favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range. Note that the Warriors are also 7-4-1 ATS after allowing 105 or more points. With last week's embarrassing loss still fresh in their memories, I'm expecting them to respond with another win and cover here. *10 personal favorite
|02-12-13||Oklahoma City Thunder v. Utah Jazz +6||Top||94-109||Win||100||14 h 28 m||Show|
I'm playing on UTAH. The Thunder have the second best record in basketball and are tied for the fewest losses. They enter tonight's game on quite the roll. That record and recent win streak has them laying quite a few points. At this difficult venue, I feel that it will prove to be too many.
While the Thunder do have a much better overall record, some may be surprised to learn that Utah's 19-6 home record is actually superior to OKC's 16-9 mark on the road.
Although they lost their last game here, the Jazz have still won 10 of their last 12 home games. The recent loss came by four points. Going back further finds the Jazz at 65-36 here the past 2+ seasons. (OKC is 69-48 on the road during that time.)
With their strong home record, its not that surprising that the Jazz are 5-3 ATS the past couple of seasons, when listed as home underdogs in the 3.5 to 6 range.
The Thunder were 9-11-1 ATS during that stretch, when listed as road favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range.
Although they have tomorrow off, its still worth noting that the Thunder have a big Thursday game vs. Miami on deck.
The last meeting here at Salt Lake City saw the (+3) Jazz upset the Thunder by a score of 97-90. Looking to avenge a November loss at OKC, looking to bounce back from consecutive losses and to prove they can play with the best in their division, I expect a highly motivated effort from the Jazz, en route to at least a cover. *10 best bet
|02-11-13||Washington Wizards v. Milwaukee Bucks -4||Top||102-90||Loss||-107||11 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on MILWAUKEE. The Wizards come in as the hotter team. That's kept this line very low and likely has many backing the underdog. I feel the low line is providing us excellent value on what I expect to be a highly motivated home favorite.
Before getting too caught up in the recent winning streak, lets not forget that the Wizards are only 3-21 on the road, 15-83 the past few seasons. That includes a 5-14 ATS (4-15 SU) record as road underdogs in the 3.5 to 6 range.
During that stretch, the Bucks were 52-46 at home, going 11-9 ATS (13-7 SU) as home favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range. That includes a 3-1 ATS mark in that role this season.
The Bucks are 6-2 ATS the last eight times that they were off an upset loss and 16-6 ATS the last couple of seasons, after losing three or more consecutive games. They've dominated the Wizards and I look for them to bounce back with a much needed win and cover. *10 Personal Favorite
|02-11-13||Boston Celtics v. Charlotte Bobcats +4.5||Top||91-94||Win||100||10 h 3 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHARLOTTE. The Bobcats have been going through another tough stretch. The schedule-makers have helped them out a bit here though and I feel that they're in a good spot to take advantage.
The Celtics, who are only 7-13-2 ATS (8-14 SU) on the road, aren't in a very good situation here. For starters, they're just 11-19 ATS the last 30 times that they were listed as road favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range, 1-3 ATS this season. They're also only 18-32-2 ATS the last couple of seasons, after playing the previous day.
This is worse than a typical back-to-back spot though. That's because last night's game went to triple-OT. Pierce played more than 54 minutes. Garnett topped the 47 minute mark while Bradley played nearly 46. Both Green and Terry also played more than 40 minutes while Bass contributed 32+.
While the Celts have certainly been impressive since Rondo went down, off last night's marathon, I expect them to finally miss him tonight. I look for the revenge-minded Bobcats to have the fresher legs and better focus, en route to at least a cover. *10 Eastern Conf Best Bet
|02-11-13||Los Angeles Clippers v. Philadelphia 76ers +5.5||Top||107-90||Loss||-105||10 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. The Clippers are obviously a much different team with Chris Paul back in the lineup. That said, I feel that they're in a tough spot and laying too many points here.
For starters, lets establish that the Clippers' 16-12 road record is no better than the 76'ers 16-12 home record. Yet, despite those identical records, the 76ers are getting a solid handful of points to work with.
In addition to having homecourt advantage, the 76'ers have a solid scheduling edge. They had last night off and are also playing their 8th straight home game. They didn't play a single set of back-to-back games during that entire homestand and they had two games off in between a couple of the games. Off a double-digit win Saturday and now 4-1 SU/AS their last five, they should be fresh.
On the other hand, the Clippers played at MSG last night and are now playing the final leg of a season-long 8-game road trip. Note that they're only 5-7 ATS when playing the second of back-to-back games. Obviously, they'd like to close out the trip with a victory. However, after so many days on the road, thoughts of the return home could cause them to lose a little focus.
While they lost by a single point against the Clippers here last season, the 76'ers are still 12-3 (9-5-1 ATS) the last 15 times that they were a host in this series. Playing some of their best basketball of the season and with the schedule in their favor, I expect at least another cover here. *10 non-conf. best bet
|02-09-13||Detroit Pistons v. Milwaukee Bucks -6.5||Top||105-100||Loss||-109||15 h 41 m||Show|
I'm playing on MILWAUKEE. The Pistons have taken two of three meetings this season. Playing at home and with the schedule in their favor, I expect the Bucks to even the season series tonight.
The Bucks have lost two straight. However, those games came at Utah and Denver. Their last home game resulted in a 9-point win.
Since being upset by the Pistons here in early January, the Bucks have played only four home games. They won three of them, all three victories coming by a minimum of seven points.
As for the Pistons, they're just 1-4 on the road, since that 1/11 victory here. The four losses came by 59 combined points, three of them by at least a dozen. For the season, they're a dismal 5-19 away from Detroit.
While the Bucks have had the last two days off, the Pistons are off an upset win vs. the Spurs last night. Give them credit for winning that game. However, keep in mind that they're only 2-6 ATS when off an upset win and just 5-7 ATS (3-9 SU) when playing the second of back-to-back games.
The Bucks, 7-4 when off two day's rest in between games, are 8-5-1 ATS (10-4 SU) when off a double-digit loss. I expect them to take care of business here. *10 personal favorite
|02-08-13||New York Knicks v. Minnesota Timberwolves +6||Top||100-94||Push||0||7 h 28 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. Playing the final game of a homestand, I expect a highly motivated effort from the revenge-minded T-Wolves tonight.
The T-Wolves played the Knicks very tough at MSG earlier, losing by just three points. That 94-91 game should give them some confidence here.
Now, in addition to playing at Minnesota, they catch the Knicks off a 10-point loss at Washington.
While its true that T-Wolves are still dealing with some injury issues, their point guard (Rubio) has a number of games under his belt and is heating up. Over his last two games alone, Rubio has 25 assists.
Center Greg Stiemsma said this of Rubio: "He's been playing really well lately. His pace of the game, his playcalling, everything is elevated. It's fun to see, fun to be a part of."
The Knicks have played only five road games in 2013 and they've won just two of them. Those two victories came by an average of only 5.5 points too, a 3-point and an 11-point win.
The T-Wolves are 8-4 ATS when off a double-digit loss. In addition to the 3-point loss at MSG earlier, the T-Wolves lost by two by the Knicks in last season's game here, a 100-98 affair last February. I won't be surprised to see this one also come down to the wire and am grabbing all those generous points. *10 best bet
|02-07-13||Los Angeles Lakers +2.5 v. Boston Celtics||Top||95-116||Loss||-107||9 h 20 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA LAKERS. My "Personal Favorite" plays are typically reserved for plays on teams which are favored. However, when I strongly believe an underdog is poised to win outright, I'll occasionally use one on an underdog. That's the case here.
The Lakers, who had yesterday off, have been a much better team of late. They've won three straight and six of seven. Last time out, they limited Brooklyn to 83 points. Thats noteworthy as we find them at 29-5 SU the last 34 times that they held their previous opponent to 85 or fewer points, 4-1 SU/ATS their last five in that situation.
While the Celtics won last night, the absence of Rondo - and perhaps the Garnett trade-talk - figures to catch up with them in this back-to-back spot. Note that the Celtics are an ugly 17-32-2 ATS the past couple of seasons, when off a game the previous day.
Listed as small underdogs, the Lakers scored a minor upset here almost exactly (2/9/12) a year ago. With the schedule in their favor and playing arguably their best basketball of the season, I look for history to repeat itself here. *10 personal favorite
|02-06-13||Indiana Pacers v. Philadelphia 76ers -2.5||Top||88-69||Loss||-105||11 h 40 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. The 76'ers are suddenly catching fire. They're 4-1 SU/ATS their last five and 3-0 SU/ATS their last three. Its true that none of those recent wins have come against elite teams. However, tonight's schedule provides them with an excellent opportunity to extend their winning streak while beating a quality opponent at the same time.
Its true that the 76'ers will be without Thaddaeus Young here. Admittedly, he's an important player for them. However, we often see teams play their best the first game after one of their top players goes down. I expect the 76'ers to come together and play their hardest to help make up for the loss of Young - and feel that the venue and schedule advantages will more than compensate.
After a dominating 78-61 victory over Orlando on Monday, the third straight time that they allowed less than 85 points, the 76'ers had last night off. This is the sixth day of February and this will be only their third game.
By comparison, the Pacers will be playing their third game in the last three days alone. A tough scheduling spot, indeed. In fact, this is the only set of back-to-back-to-back games in the NBA this season, only made possible due to a December 26th blizzard that caused a game at Indiana to be postponed.
After last night's game, the Pacers were already admitting they felt fatigue creeping in. After scoring 29 last night, Paul George noted: "You definitely feel it. I felt it tonight, really ... "
Regardless of the schedule, the Pacers typically haven't fared too well as small road underdogs. In fact, they're 4-11-1 ATS (4-12 SU) the last 16 times that they were listed as road underdogs of three or fewer points, going 0-6 ATS their last six in that role. Overall, they're only 10-16 on the road.
The 76'ers recent winning streak has come here at Philadelphia, as this will mark the sixth game of an 8-game homestand. Now 14-8 ATS the last 22 times that they played their previous three at home, I expect the 76'ers to be the fresher team and expect a win and cover. *10 Personal Favorite
|02-06-13||Boston Celtics v. Toronto Raptors -3||Top||99-95||Loss||-110||7 h 43 m||Show|
I'm playing on TORONTO. Some might be surprised to see the Raptors favored against the Celtics. Indeed, its not something you see every day. I feel that the home team is laying points for good reason though.
The Raptors, who may see Bargnani return tonight, have been playing hard for many weeks. Now, they've got a legit star in Rudy Gay in the fold - and he's got a couple of games with the team under his belt. The team and the city are buzzing - really, this is arguably as good as this team has "felt" in quite some time.
On the other hand, already without Rondo, the Celtics may be distracted by all the recent trade talk surrounding Garnett. While the team does have a few recent covers, clearly these aren't the happiest of days.
A look at the schedule shows that both teams had the past two nights off. The Raptors will also have tomorrow off. On the other hand, the Celtics will host the Lakers, a long-time rival, tomorrow. I feel it may be easy for them to look past Toronto.
Note that the Celtics are a rather surprising 2-5 SU/ATS when playing with two day's rest in between games. Perhaps more importantly, they're also an ugly 1-5 SU/ATS the last six times that they played the front-end of back-to-back games.
The Raptors lost big at Boston back in November. They've had recent success against the Celtics here at Toronto recently though, winning three of the last four meetings including each of the last two. They won those games by scores of 86-74 and 84-79. More of the same here. *10 Atlantic DIV GOW
|02-04-13||Portland Trail Blazers v. Minnesota Timberwolves -2.5||Top||100-98||Loss||-113||13 h 26 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. The T-Wolves come in playing with "double-revenge." Not only did the Blazers beat them at Portland back in November, the Blazers also knocked off the T-Wolves here at Minnesota last month.
When these teams mets last month, the Blazers were playing arguably their best basketball of the season, as they were in the middle of a stretch which saw them win four straight six of seven. They've since cooled off a little though, winning just four of 12 games.
Admittedly, the T-Wolves haven't been too good. I believe that they may have turned the corner a little in their last game though, a 115-86 blowout win over the Hornets, a team which had quietly been playing quite well.
Luke Ridnour had this to say about the big win: "To have a blowout win is something that our team needed at this point. Hopefully we can build on it.''
Overall, the T-Wolves are 12-9 at home while the Blazers are 7-15 on the road, 0-4 their last four.
Even factoring in last months upset against Portland here, the T-Wolves are 9-6 ATS (11-4 SU) when laying points this season. That includes a 4-0 ATS mark when favored at home by three or fewer points. I expect a highly motivated effort to lead to another win and cover tonight. *10 Personal Favorite
|02-04-13||Charlotte Bobcats +13.5 v. Miami Heat||Top||94-99||Win||100||13 h 4 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHARLOTTE. Obviously, I can't claim that the Bobcats are as good as the Heat. However, I can say that they're getting a large handful of points and that I feel this is a good spot for them.
The Bobcats had last night off. They're playing the second last leg of a 5-game road trip, one which hasn't gone particularly well. They're beyond the point of trying to have a winning record on road trips - but the Bobcats generally do try and salvage something from each of their excursions away from Charlotte. Going into Miami and playing the champs tough would accomplish that goal.
Note that the Bobcats are 26-16 ATS the last 42 times that they were listed as road underdogs in the 12.5 to 15 point range, going a lucrative 13-5 ATS their last 18 in that situation.
It should be mentioned that Charlotte appears likely to be without Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who left last game with a concussion. The Bobcats didn't fare well after he went down but they know he's going to be OK now though and have had a chance to prepare for his potential or probable absence.
The Heat are off a game in Canada last night. A look at the last nine times that they played the second of back to back games, dating back to last season, reveals that the Heat went a respectable 5-4 ATS and 8-1 SU.
However, an even closer look shows that NONE of those nine games resulted in a victory of greater than 13 points. The Heat did lose by 19 but their victories came by 9, 13, 5, 3, 3, 9, 11, and 3 points. (That's an average of seven per game.)
Even off a cover last night, the Heat are still only 7-11 ATS their last 18. They've lost two of three and only two of their last six games has resulted in a double-digit win. I look for them to receive a tougher test than most will be expecting. *10 best bet
|02-02-13||Oklahoma City Thunder v. Cleveland Cavaliers +10.5||Top||110-115||Win||100||5 h 21 m||Show|
I'm playing on CLEVELAND. Obviously the Thunder are an excellent team. However, that doesn't mean that they can't over-valued. In this case, I feel they're laying a little too large a number.
While the Cavs are off a loss vs. the Pistons last night, note that they're a solid 8-3 ATS when off a divisional game. They're also 4-1 ATS the last five times that they played the second of back-to-back games, most recently an outright win at Toronto.
The Thunder are just 8-15-2 ATS (10-15 SU) the last 25 times that they played a road game with an O/U line in the 200 to 204.5 range. I expect them to have their hands full here. *10 best bet
|02-01-13||Dallas Mavericks v. Phoenix Suns -2.5||Top||109-99||Loss||-110||14 h 55 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHOENIX. The Suns come in with double-revenge, having lost to these same Mavericks twice already this season. Although they haven't typically been too good in the "revenge role" in recent years, I feel that this will be prove to be an excellent spot for the Suns to get some payback.
While Phoenix had last night off, the Mavs are off a hard-fought "emotional" loss at Golden State. Playing their third game in four nights, they'll be without Kaman and it appears likely that they'll also be without Nowitzki.
Note that the Mavs have won just three of 10 games, when playing the second of back-to-back games. Note that ALL seven losses came by at least four points, six of them by eight or more.
The Suns have quietly played well at home recently. Their last two games here have seen them beat the Lakers and the Clippers, both wins coming by a minimum of five points. With the schedule in their favor, I expect them to step up with another big effort, en route to a win and cover. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-31-13||Memphis Grizzlies v. Oklahoma City Thunder -8.5||Top||89-106||Win||100||13 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on OKLAHOMA CITY. I successfully played against the Thunder in their last game. They got blown out by the Lakers. The Thunder were playing the final game of a long road trip and a grueling stretch to start the year. They were also facing a revenge-minded Laker team which was in "desperation mode." Things set up much differently here.
For starters, the Thunder are back home, where they're a dominating 19-3 SU and 14-8 ATS. They're also now well-rested. Fatigue will no longer be a factor.
Russell Westbrook noted: "It's a great feeling to get back in front of your home fans. We have to take advantage of it."
Note that the Thunder are an outstanding 30-12-1 ATS (36-7 SU) the last 43 times that they were off an upset loss, going 7-1 SU/ATS their last eight.
Instead of facing a desperate Laker team, the Thunder will now take on a Memphis team which is somewhat comfortable in its spot in the standings and which may be a little distracted from yesterday's big trade.
While they had talked of trading him for some time and while they do get a couple of solid players in return, Gay was a top tier player. He was the team's leading scorer and he just hit the go-ahead shot, scoring 26 overall, in Monday's win. Facing an elite team like OKC, I expect him to be missed.
Instead of facing a "revenge" minded Laker team, this time the Thunder are the ones playing with payback on their minds. That's because Memphis beat them here back in November. Lack of motivation should not be an issue.
Note that the Thunder are an excellent 18-9 ATS the last few seasons, when attempting to avenge an earlier home loss, including 4-1 SU/ATS their last five in that situation. Overall, they're 48-28 ATS (51-25 SU) the last 76 times that they attempted to avenge an earlier loss. I expect them to improve on those stats with a double-digit win. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-30-13||Los Angeles Clippers v. Minnesota Timberwolves +5||Top||96-90||Loss||-110||8 h 9 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. The Clippers did manage to get back on track with a win last time out. However, I still don't believe they currently deserve to be laying this many points on the road. Not without their leader.
The Clippers are still just 1-4 their last five, 0-3 on the road.
The T-Wolves are playing with "double-revenge," having lost both previous meetings. Lack of motivation should not be an issue.
When these teams met here a little less than two weeks ago, Rubio was playing his first game of the season and the T-Wolves were also playing without their head coach - that can be tough for a team and the T-Wolves struggled.
Rubio's got some games under his belt now though and Minnesota's coach (Adelman) is back tonight, the first time since Jan 5th.
I expect the well-rested and revenge-minded T-Wolves to give their best effort, en route to earning at least a cover. *10 Western Conf Best Bet
|01-30-13||Toronto Raptors +7 v. Atlanta Hawks||Top||92-93||Win||100||7 h 35 m||Show|
I'm playing on TORONTO. The Raptors have lost a couple lately. However, they've still been excellent at the betting window in recent weeks. They're 9-6-1 ATS their last 16.
While they've lost two in a row, the first of those came by a single point. The second loss came Monday, a 114-102 defeat vs. Golden State. Note that the Raptors are 6-4-1 ATS off a double-digit loss.
The Hawks are off a tough 2-point loss vs. New York. Prior to that, they'd won three straight. However, they'd lost eight of 10 before that. A closer look shows that only three of the Hawks' last 14 games have resulted in an Atlanta victory of greater than eight points. While they haven't played since Sunday, which would normally be a good thing, note that the Hawks are 0-5 ATS when playing with two day's rest.
Listed as 9.5 point underdogs the last time that they played here, the Raptors won by 16 points. While another blowout win is probably unlikely, another upset wouldn't shock me. Either way, I expect a competitive game with the visitors earning at least a cover. *10 Eastern Conf. Best Bet
|01-29-13||Dallas Mavericks v. Portland Trail Blazers -2||Top||104-106||Push||0||13 h 59 m||Show|
I'm playing on PORTLAND. The Mavericks pounded Portland when these teams met earlier in the season. However, that was at Dallas. The Blazers are a different team here at the Rose Garden. Although one could argue that the Mavs, who are further out of the race, need the game more, the Blazers also desperately need all the wins they can get. I expect homecourt to prove significant.
While the Mavs are 7-16 on the road, the Blazers are 15-8 here at home. That includes a 6-2-1 ATS (7-2 SU) record when listed as home favorites of three or fewer points.
While his team has played well recently, Dallas coach Rick Carlisle knows tonight's game won't be easy. He was quoted as saying:
|01-29-13||Golden State Warriors v. Cleveland Cavaliers +1.5||Top||108-95||Loss||-110||9 h 51 m||Show|
I'm playing on CLEVELAND. With Curry having left last night's game, the Cavaliers have gone from being slight underdogs to slight favorites. I don't expect the pointspread to come into play though.
The Cavs, who had the last two nights off, are playing their best basketball of the season. They're 3-0 SU/ATS their last three games and 4-1 SU/ATS their last five. Note that they're also 5-3 SU/ATS when playing with two day's rest in between games.
They should be fresh and they also know that they get some time off after this game. Playing with revenge from an earlier loss at Oakland, I expect them to be at their best.
Unlike their guests, the Warriors are not well-rested. They played at Canada yesterday. They're thousands of miles away from home and playing the final leg of a road trip.
While Curry's status remains uncertain at this point, I like the Cavs even if he does play and regardless of who the Warriors have in the lineup. It should be noted that the Warriors finally got Bogut in the lineup last night but that he's not expected to play tonight either.
While last night's win was impressive, note that the Warriors are a dismal 9-19 ATS the last 28 times that they were off a double-digit win, 3-5 ATS their last eight in that situation.
Behind another big game from Irving, the current Player Of The Week, I expect the Cavs to win their fourth straight for the first time in the "post Lebron" era. *10 best bet
|01-28-13||Indiana Pacers +5.5 v. Denver Nuggets||Top||101-102||Win||100||12 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on INDIANA. The Nuggets are off three straight wins while the Pacers are off back to back losses. I expect that to lead to a very determined effort from the visiting Pacers, who will look to wrap up their road trip with a victory. Note that they're 3-1 ATS after playing their previous three (or more) on the road.
Even with a 4-point loss at Utah last time out, the Pacers are still an impressive 16-7 SU their last 23 games.
The last time that the Pacers lost back-to-back games was back in early December, when they were beaten by the Thunder and by these same Nuggets. (Indiana would immediately respond to that 2-game slide with a 15-point victory.)
Speaking of the earlier meeting, the Nuggets won that one by three points, winning at Indiana. The Pacers haven't forgotten that loss and will be looking for some payback here.
Prior to the 2-game slide in early December, the Pacers' previous 2-game losing streak was in mid-November when they lost games on 11/13 and 11/14. They responded to that 2-game skid by winning their next game by 20 points.
Even with the earlier cover at Indiana, the Nuggets are still only 5-9 ATS against Eastern Conference opponents. Their last two games against the Pacers have each been decided by four points or less. I expect them to have their hands full the entire way once again. *10 non-conf best bet
|01-28-13||Orlando Magic +9.5 v. Brooklyn Nets||Top||77-97||Loss||-110||11 h 46 m||Show|
I'm playing on ORLANDO. The Magic have certainly had trouble winning games. Many will see that their poor overall record and be quick to go against them here, particularly after realizing that the Magic played yesterday. I expect Orlando's best effort tonight though and feel that the line is generously high.
Many would likely be surprised to learn that the Magic are actually among the most profitable road teams in the entire league. They're 13-6 ATS away from Orlando.
True, the Magic did play yesterday, a 2-point loss vs. the Pistons. Before getting too concerned about the back-to-back spot, keep in mind that the Magic had two day's off, prior to yesterday's game. So, its not like they are playing three games in four days (or 4 in 5) or anything like that. In fact, this is the first time that the Magic have played b2b games in all of 2013. So, their schedule has been very manageable of late. I don't expect fatigue to be an issue.
It should also be noted that the Magic are 3-0 ATS the last three times that they played a road game, after having played the previous day. They beat Charlotte and Golden State outright and covered at Atlanta.
This is the first game of a road trip for the Magic. Given their recent woes at home (and Orlando's strong ATS stats on the road) I believe the trip is coming at a good time.
JJ Redick said. "The way we're losing is tough. But we can control our mindset, our attitude, our perspective over these last nine games before the All-Star break. We have a chance to use this road trip to get better, and we will."
I believe this may prove a tough spot for the Nets. At the very least, its not a good spot to be laying such a large number. They're off back-to-back losses and they're not playing good defense right now.
As coach Carlesimo said, "... we're just getting annihilated on points in the paint."
For the reason, the Nets rank 28th in the league in terms of their field goal defense, opposing teams hitting 46.3% against them.
Playing their first game back off a trip, with games against the Heat, Lakers and Bulls to follow, I believe the Nets may have trouble getting fully focused for a struggling Magic team which they already defeated three times back in November.
The Nets have struggled as home favorites in this range and they're only 3-6 ATS when off a double-digit loss.
I expect the revenge-minded Magic, who have been excellent as road underdogs in this range, to be a little more hungry tonight and for that to lead to at least another cover. *10 main event
|01-27-13||Oklahoma City Thunder v. Los Angeles Lakers +4||Top||96-105||Win||100||6 h 56 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA LAKERS. The Lakers got the monkey off their backs with a big win last time out. While the Thunder obviously represent a significant step up in class, I expect Kobe and co. to build some momentum and for them to be at their very best this afternoon.
The Lakers had a player's only meeting after losing against Memphis. I believe it will help them moving forward.
Dwight Howard noted: "After the Memphis game, we put the past behind us. We've got to sustain it for the rest of the season. We have to play together and play for each other."
Kobe, who is averaging better than 35 points per game his last five meetings with the Thunder, had this to say: "We're bonding together and we're communicating with each other very well. You can't just sweep things under the rug all the time. It's not about showing we've turned the corner. It's about doing it."
The Thunder are very good - but they're not unbeatable. They've already lost twice on the current trip and seven times on the road on the season. Note that they're playing the final game of a fairly long trip. Although they had yesterday off, its been quite a grueling schedule for the Thunder for some time. Also, note that they're 0-3 ATS when playing a road game with an O/U line in the 205 to 209.5 range.
One of the best things about Friday's win was that the Lakers allowed only 84 points, holding the Jazz to 42% shooting. That's the type of defense they need to play to compete with top tier teams like the Thunder. They're 3-1 ATS the last four times that they allowed 85 or less in their previous game.
I expect to see a very hungry Laker team that builds off Friday's win and follows it up with AT LEAST another cover here. *10 best bet
|01-26-13||New York Knicks v. Philadelphia 76ers +3.5||Top||80-97||Win||100||9 h 28 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. The Knicks eked out a win at Boston on Thursday, their second straight game decided by three points.
The 76'ers, who are 6-3 ATS the last nine times that they were underdogs of four or fewer points, are in a good scheduling spot. They had the last few nights off and they don't play tomorrow. They should be fresh and fully focused on avenging a pair of earlier losses suffered against these same Knicks. Note that they're 5-2 SU/ATS the last seven times that they played with three or more day's rest in between games.
On the other hand, with Atlanta on deck tomorrow night, note that the Knicks are just 1-3 the last four times that they played the front end of back to back games. The only victory came against Charlotte. That was back in early December and the win came by only two points.
The Knicks may get Felton back tonight and that should eventually make them stronger. However, he's been gone a dozen games now and working him into the lineup may not initially pay dividends.
Even with Thursday's victory, note that the Knicks are only 3-6 ATS the last nine times that they were listed as favorites of four or fewer points.
Philadelphia forward Thaddeus Young had this to say of the 76ers current mindset: "Somehow we have to figure it out, come together and stay together as a team. We know what the problem is. We've been in every game so far and fought back."
I'll grab the points but I expect Young, Holliday and co. to rise to the occasion and to score the upset. *10 Atlantic Div. GOM
|01-25-13||Utah Jazz v. Los Angeles Lakers -5||Top||84-102||Win||100||11 h 23 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA LAKERS. The Lakers struggles have continued recently and things are getting desperate. Playing with "double-revenge" against a Jazz team which is never as good away from Utah, I expect Kobe and co. to respond with their best effort.
The Jazz have been playing well lately and they did beat Miami not long ago. However, their last three wins have come at home and the most recent two came against the likes of Cleveland and Washington. So, they fact that they've been winning was somewhat expected. Note that the Jazz are just 6-11 ATS the last 17 times that they played their previous three at home. (They're 63-83-3 ATS their past 100+ in that situation.)
While they did score an upset here earlier, the Jazz are only 9-15 (9-14-1 ATS) on the road. When playing away from Salt Lake City, they get outscored by a 101 to 96.2 margin, allowing opposing teams to hit more than 48% of their shots.
As for the Lakers, their last three games all came on the road, most recently at Memphis and Chicago. Those aren't easy venues to win at. Their last home game came against Miami - obviously another tough opponent. Their previous two home games both resulted in double-digit victories though.
Note that every Laker victory since Christmas has come by at least six points. All but one of those wins came by double-digits.
Enough is enough. LA rises to the occasion and gets it done. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-25-13||Oklahoma City Thunder v. Sacramento Kings +9.5||Top||105-95||Loss||-110||12 h 33 m||Show|
I'm playing on SACRAMENTO. I successfully played against the Thunder when they lost against the Warriors a couple of nights ago. At the time I noted that the Thunder had been going through quite a grueling schedule recently and that I thought they may not be all that fresh.
Here's an excerpt from Wednesday's writeup which includes what I said about OKC's recent schedule: "Tough spot for the Thunder. Not only did they play a late game vs. the Clippers last night, they also played an OT game in the high altitude of Denver on Sunday night. This will be their 7th game in the last 11 nights and their 11th game since January 6th. By comparison, the Warriors will be playing just their eighth game since January 5th..."
The Thunder have since had a night off and they've admittedly been great at bouncing back from a loss. However, I'm still not sure that they're ready to be laying nearly double-digits on the road. Note that they're 0-3 ATS when playing a road game with an O/U line in the 205 to 209.5 range.
It should also be noted that the Thunder have a date with the Lakers on deck. LA may be struggling at the moment but a game vs. Kobe and co. remains something to potentially get caught looking ahead to.
The Kings do indeed struggle on the road. They're actually above .500 here at Sacramento though and have won two of three here.
The Kings have played the Thunder relatively tough of late, as each of the last three meetings were decided by 11 or less. They covered at OKC in this season's only previous meeting and they're 5-2 ATS when off a game against a division opponent. Knowing they've got an extended road trip on deck, I expect the Kings to go all out with their best effort tonight and for that to lead to at least a cover. *10 best bet
|01-25-13||Milwaukee Bucks v. Cleveland Cavaliers +4.5||Top||108-113||Win||100||10 h 5 m||Show|
I'm playing on CLEVELAND. It would be easy to make a case for the Bucks. They've got a better overall record, they've had success in this series and they're 6-2 since making a coaching change. All that's been factored into the line though. I believe that the Cavs are better than their record suggests. I expect their best effort tonight and feel that the line is providing us with excellent value.
When Kyrie Irving is on top of his game, the Cavs are a different team. Indeed, they're 4-2 when the reigning Rookie of the Year tops the 30 point mark.
As Byron Scott noted: "When he's aggressive, everyone picks up on that ... That's the type of player that we need out there. He's obviously capable of doing that every single night. When he's aggressive, he makes us a better basketball team."
Irving had 40 last time out. The Cavs won outright vs. Boston.
The Bucks have won three straight. They're an awful 46-74-7 ATS (54-73 SU) the last 127 times that they were off three straight victories though.
Also just 4-6 SU/ATS the last 10 times that they were listed as road favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range, I expect the Bucks to have their hands full the entire way here. *10 Central GOM
|01-24-13||Los Angeles Clippers v. Phoenix Suns +6.5||Top||88-93||Win||100||11 h 20 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHOENIX. I know the Clippers are a very good team. I'm aware that the Suns have had some trouble winning games this season. I'm also aware that the Suns played last night. Even taking those three factors into consideration, I believe that the Suns are providing us with excellent value here.
Lets start by taking a look at the three factors I mentioned.
1. Yes, when healthy, the Clippers are a very good team. However, they're not the same club without Chris Paul running the show. He's expected to be out of the lineup again tonight.
2. True, the Suns have had trouble earning victories. They won one last night though, a 106-96 win at Sacramento. They've now won two of their last four.
3. The Suns are indeed playing the second of back-to-back games. However, its also true that they had an extended layoff before last night's game. So, this is actually only their third game in the past 10 nights. So, its definitely not the most grueling of b2b spots.
The Clippers are off back-to-back losses. They're 0-3 ATS their last three games. They're also 1-3 ATS when off a double-digit defeat.
The Suns should have plenty of motivation. Not only have the Clippers beaten them soundly twice already this season but this is a rare home game on TNT. They're 7-3 ATS the last 10 times that they played a home game with an O/U line in the 190 to 194.5 range. I expect them to step up and improve on those stats tonight. *10 best bet
|01-23-13||Oklahoma City Thunder v. Golden State Warriors +2||Top||99-104||Win||100||15 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on GOLDEN STATE. Tough spot for the Thunder. Not only did they play a late game vs. the Clippers last night, they also played an OT game in the high altitude of Denver on Sunday night. This will be their 7th game in the last 11 nights and their 11th game since January 6th. By comparison, the Warriors will be playing just their eighth game since January 5th.
While the Thunder have the superior overall record, the Warriors' home record (13-6) is nearly identical to OKC's 14-6 road record.
While last night's game did result in a double-digit win, Durant and Collison both still saw more than 40 minutes while Westbrook and Ibaka averaged greater than 38 minutes, each playing more than 37. Even for an athletic team like the Thunder, I believe fatigue may well prove to be a factor this evening.
Even with last night's victory, note that the Thunder are still 2-3 SU/ATS as road favorites of three or fewer points. The Warriors are 13-9 ATS as underdogs.
The Warriors did lose a couple of games last week, when they were without Curry in the lineup. He's back now though and has scored 48 points his last two games, both of them Golden State victories.
The Warriors very nearly beat the Thunder in the last meeting here, losing a 119-116 thriller last February. With the schedule in their favor, I feel that they're in good position to take the next step and score the outright win. *10 best bet
|01-23-13||Denver Nuggets v. Houston Rockets -2||Top||105-95||Loss||-105||15 h 23 m||Show|
I'm playing on HOUSTON. I successfully played against the Rockets on Martin Luther King Day. The Rockets were mired in a losing streak and I didn't feel that they deserved to laying such a large number on the road. They did up battling back and winning by six but that wasn't enough to cover.
The Rockets did get a win though, which was all that mattered to them. Now, they've got some much-needed confidence back. They're also back on their home floor and are now laying a much smaller number than they were on Monday. Granted, they're stepping up considerably in class, as the Nuggets are tough. However, I still feel that they're in a good spot and I expect homecourt advantage to prove significant.
The Nuggets already upset the Rockets here back in early November. The Rockets have been very good as small home favorites ever since though; they're 4-1 ATS as home favorites of three or fewer points. Overall, they're 13-8 ATS (14-7 SU) here at Houston.
On the other hand, even with their earlier win here, the Nuggets are still a poor 9-15 away from Denver.
Knowing that they'll have to play a rematch at Denver before January is over, I expect the revenge-minded Rockets to build off Monday's win and to protect their homecourt with a win and cover. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-22-13||Orlando Magic v. Detroit Pistons -5||Top||90-105||Win||100||15 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. These teams have met twice already this season. They'll also play each other again on January 27, less than a week away. Knowing that they loss both of the first two meetings and knowing that the upcoming game is at Orlando, I expect the Pistons to be very determined to take care of business on their homecourt this evening.
The Pistons will face a struggling Orlando squad. The Magic are off back to back losses, one of those coming vs. lowly Charlotte. Going back further finds them with only two wins in their last 15 games.
The Pistons are off a 15-point win over Boston last time out. They've now won eight of their past 12 games.
Even with the earlier loss here, the Pistons have still beaten the Magic 28 of the last 39 times that the teams faced each other here. I expect them to improve on those stats, picking up the cover along the way. *10 personal favorite
|01-21-13||San Antonio Spurs v. Philadelphia 76ers +6.5||Top||90-85||Win||100||10 h 39 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. The 76'ers come in with some momentum. .They have won two of three including a big comeback OT win over Toronto last time out. The Raptors have been playing well and they had a 19-point lead in the second half. So, coming back showed a lot of character. While that comeback was likely fairly taxing, the 76'ers have had the last two nights to recover. This will be the fourth time in a row that they've had two days off in between games. They should be fresh and rejuvenated with some new found confidence.
Holliday is playing great basketball for this time recently, averaging 30.7 points and 11.3 assists over the 76'ers last three games.
Thaddeus Young, who had 27 points and 14 rebounds of his own said this of Holliday's game agains Toronto. "Jrue was incredible and carried us in overtime. It was a gut-check type of performance and he was there for us when we needed it in overtime.''
The Spurs won on the road last time out. However, they won by only five points and they're still just 3-7 their last 10 away from San Antonio. Only one of those three wins came by more than seven. Note that they're currently without Ginobili.
Playing their fourth straight here at Philadelphia, note that the 76'ers are, 13-7 ATS the last 20 times that they played three or more consecutive at home. Looking back further finds that they're 75-51-4 ATS their last 130 in that situation.
The 76'ers, who are playing with revenge from a 1/5 loss at San Antonio, are 11-5 ATS the last 16 times that they were a host in this series. I expect at least another cover here. *10 best bet
|01-21-13||Minnesota Timberwolves v. Atlanta Hawks -7.5||Top||96-104||Win||100||6 h 53 m||Show|
I'm playing on ATLANTA. Since a New Year's Day victory, the Hawks have only won two games. Laying five points, they can beat Utah by eight on 1/11. Their next win came vs. Brooklyn on 1/16. Laying three points, they won by 14. I backed them in both of those games while avoiding them i their losses. I feel that this will be another good spot for them to break out with a big win.
While the Hawks have won 13 of 20 home games, the T-Wolves are only 6-14 on the road. When playing away from Minnesota, they allow opposing teams to hit 48% of their shots.
The Hawks, who have won nine straight home meetings in this series and 11 of 12 in the series overall, are playing with "revenge" from a loss at Minnesota.
While the Hawks are banged-up themselves, they've catching the T-Wolves with an even longer list of injured players including big men Kevin love and center Nikola Pekovic. Note that Pekovic.25 points and 18 rebounds in the previous game. Alexey Shved is another key player out. In addition to all the injuries, the T-Wolves are also without their coach.
The T-Wolves are an ugly 39-65-2 ATS the last 100+ times that they played a road game with an O/U line in the 185 to 189.5 range. During that same stretch, the Hawks are 84-69-1 ATS when playing at home with a line in the same range. I expect the Hawks to improve on those stats with a big win and cover this afternoon. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-18-13||Toronto Raptors v. Philadelphia 76ers -4||Top||101-108||Win||100||11 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. The Raptors have been fighting hard and have been quite a profitable team in recent weeks. Their "competitiveness" combined with Philadelphia's recent struggles has helped in keeping this line quite low. While I respect the Raptors, I believe that the low line is providing us with excellent value on what should be a very hungry home team.
The Raptors did have yesterday off. However, they lost a heart-breaker on Wednesday and I feel that the may not yet be fully recovered. Down significantly against Chicago, they battled all the way, only to ultimately lose in OT.
Off that heartbreaker, the Raptors are back on the road where they've won just four of 20 games. While the 76'ers have struggled, they're still above .500 here at home.
Not surprisingly, homecourt has been significant in two of this season's previous three meetings. The teams split the two games at Toronto. However, the 76'ers won by eight in the lone meeting here at Philadelphia. Note that the 76'ers were laying 5.5 points for that game and that we're getting a better number on them here.
Including that result, the 76ers are 3-2 ATS (4-1 SU) as home favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range while the Raptors are only 1-4 SU/ATS as road underdogs in the same range.
While the Raptors may be still hurting a bit from Wednesday, the 76'ers should be very fresh. They had the last two days off and have actually had two day's off after each of their last three games. The Raptors have been outworking and out-hustling some teams but I don't expect that to happen here. *10 Atlantic GOM
|01-17-13||Miami Heat v. Los Angeles Lakers -2.5||Top||99-90||Loss||-103||15 h 5 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA LAKERS. After avoiding them during their skid, I've successfully backed the Lakers each of their last two games. Both of those resulted in blowout victories. Those were against lesser teams, so obviously the Heat represent a significant step up in class. I believe that the Lakers will be up for the challenge though and I expect them to continue their current "winning streak" for another day.
While the Lakers had last night off, the Heat were busy beating up on the Warriors. True, that game wasn't that taxing, as the Heat were in cruise control by the fourth quarter and the starters got some added rest. However, they still had to play. Wade, Chalmers, Bosh and Allen still played at least 26 minutes while Lebron played more than 30.
While the Heat are certainly capable of winning in a back-to-back spot, I do think the fact the Lebron "made history" last night (youngest player to reach 20,000) could be cause for a potential letdown, if only a very slight one.
In addition to playing the second of back-to-back games, the Heat will be playing their third game in four nights and they're playing the final game of a 6-game road trip.
Note that Miami is a surprisingly poor 4-10-1 ATS the past 15 times that it was listed as a road underdog of three or fewer points.
Lebron always plays with a chip on his shoulder and will surely want to try and get the better of Kobe on national TV. However, the same can be said of Kobe and its the Lakers who need this game more.
The Lakers had recently stumbled against some "elite" competition and they're still trying to get themselves back in the playoff race. A victory over the defending champs on national TV would make a statement that they're officially "back," capable of beating top tier teams and that the "new era" is now really underway. Of course, the "W" is the standings is also important, particularly with the Lakers' next three games coming on the road.
Kobe had this to say: "It's a good measuring stick for us to see how much we've improved since last week, when we played against several top teams and they all beat us. This is a big test with the defending champs coming to town."
While Nash and Howard are settling in nicely, Gasol is also expected to return tonight.
For all their struggles, lets keep in mind that the Lakers still have a better record at home (12-9) than the Heat do on the road. (Miami is now 9-9 away from home.)
I expect Kobe and co. to "pass the test," covering the small number along the way. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-16-13||Brooklyn Nets v. Atlanta Hawks -4||Top||95-109||Win||100||15 h 34 m||Show|
I'm playing on ATLANTA. After back-to-back road losses including an embarrassing 97-58 blowout at Chicago on Monday, I expect the Hawks to be in an extremely foul mood here. I said the same thing the last time that they played here (as they were also off b2b road losses) and the Hawks rewarded me with an 8-point victory over the Jazz. With the schedule in their favor, I expect the Hawks to again bounce back with a badly needed win and cover.
While the Hawks have had trouble on the road of late, they've still won four of their last five at home. All four wins came by a minimum of seven points. They've now won 11 of their last 15 here.
While the Hawks had last night off, the Nets were involved in a hard-fought game vs. pesky Toronto. They'll be playing their third game in four nights here. Note that the Nets are just 1-5 SU/ATS when playing a road game, after playing the previous night. Overall, they're just 3-8 ATS the last 11 times that they played the second of back to back games.
I like that this is the front-end of a home-and-home series. The Hawks are desperate and know they need to defend their home floor. The Nets are potentially a little weary and also potentially patting themselves on the back a bit. They know they'll get a chance to beat these same Hawks at Brooklyn on Friday and may not be quite as hungry here, as a result.
The Hawks are 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS the last six times that they were off a double-digit loss. They've dominated the Nets here at Atlanta and I expect that to continue for at least another night. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-15-13||Milwaukee Bucks v. Los Angeles Lakers -6.5||Top||88-104||Win||100||15 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA LAKERS. The Lakers snapped their skid in a big way on Sunday night, blowing out Cleveland. While the Bucks are having a better season than the Cavs, I feel that they're another team which the Lakers should be able to handle.
This season's Bucks, who are averaging 96.5 points per game, have had trouble keeping up with the league's better offensive teams. In fact, they're just 1-7 SU and 2-6 ATS when matched up against teams which score 99 or more points per game. The Lakers average 103.4 and have scored 99 or more in 15 straight games.
The Bucks have also long had trouble with the Western Conference. In fact, they're a dismal 19-40 SU/ATS against teams from the West the past few seasons, including a 2-9 ATS (3-8 SU) mark this season.
While Gasol remains out, the Lakers got Dwight Howard back last time out.
As Steve Nash noted: It's great to have Dwight back. He's obviously huge for our team. We need him down there anchoring the defense and drawing a crowd on offense."
Note that Howard averaged 27.3 points and 16.7 rebounds in his last three matchups against the Bucks, all with Orlando.
Kobe had this to say: "We obviously ran into a tough patch last week. We were struggling, were decimated by injuries and we just so happened to play some of the top teams in the league. Now here's an opportunity to really pick it up and get going."
When stuck in a losing streak, a big win can do wonders for a team. I expect the Lakers' confidence to be high here and for them to "pick it up and get going" en route to another win and cover. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-15-13||Toronto Raptors +7 v. Brooklyn Nets||Top||106-113||Push||0||13 h 37 m||Show|
I'm playing on TORONTO. These teams have faced each other twice already this season. The Nets managed to win those games. However, neither victory was easy; both were decided by seven or fewer points. I expect the revenge-minded Raptors to give their hosts all that they can handle again here.
The Raptors really felt that they let last month's meeting at the Air Canada Centre, a game they led by eight at halftime, get away from them. They believe that they can play with this team and I expect them to come in both confident and motivated.
Dating back to last month's meeting at Toronto, the Raptors have won 10 of 14 games. That includes a 3-1 SU/ATS record on the road, too. The lone loss came at San Antonio, the day after Christmas.
Granted, the Nets have been playing very well recently. However, they've also had a pretty favorable recent schedule. They did beat a good Indiana team last time out. However, they were playing with rest and the Pacers were in a back-to-back spot. Prior to that, the Nets previous four opponents had been Phoenix, Philadelphia, Sacramento and Washington. None of those four teams have played nearly as well as Toronto in recent weeks. (To their credit, they did beat OKC before that.)
Having already beaten the Raptors twice and perhaps patting themselves on the back a bit from the recent win streak, I feel the Nets may not be quite as focused as their guests here.
Note that the Nets play tomorrow, the first leg of a home and home series vs. Atlanta. The Raptors have tomorrow off. While the Raptors are a non-factor in the playoffs, the Nets and Hawks are currently #4 and #5 in the Eastern standings and have very similar records. So, that could be potential cause to be "looking ahead."
Furthermore, note that the Nets are 1-4 ATS the last five times that they played the front end of back-to-back games. The only one of those five games that resulted in a win of greater than two points came against Charlotte, the worst team in the league.
The Raptors did suffer a disappointing loss last time out. They're 33-27 ATS the past couple of seasons when off a double-digit loss though the Nets are 9-13 ATS off a double-digit win, during the same stretch. With the Nets also only 3-5 ATS as home favorites in the 6.5 to 9 range, I'm grabbing the points. *10 best bet
|01-13-13||Cleveland Cavaliers v. Los Angeles Lakers -7.5||Top||93-113||Win||100||13 h 24 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA LAKERS. Enough is enough. The Lakers have lost six straight, failing to cover in five of those games. A closer look shows that their last five games have come against the likes of OKC, San Antonio, Denver, Houston and the Clippers. Needless to say, the Cavaliers represent a significant step down in class.
True, the Lakers are still without Gasol and Howard. Defeating elite teams without those two bigs is going to be challenging. Beating a Cleveland team which is 9-29 (5-17 on road) and which is without its own big (Varaejo) should be an entirely different matter.
Coach D'Antoni knows that the time is now and this team needs to take advantage of this very winnable game. He was quoted as saying: "I told the team, the biggest thing is our season starts Sunday. We've got to make a run. We've got one shot at it, and everybody needs to get ready mentally and physically. We won't be mathematically out of it Tuesday if we don't do it Sunday, but it has got to turn around somewhere. And we have to make our stand and do it. I am an optimist and I think it can happen."
Both teams had Saturday off. While the Lakers also have tomorrow off, the Cavs will be playing at Sacramento. That's noteworthy as they're just 7-13 AT (5-15 U) the last 20 times that they played the front end of back-to-back games. That includes a 1-4 SU/ATS mark their last five in that situation, the lone victory coming by just two points vs. lowly Charlotte.
Playing with revenge from a loss at Cleveland last month and desperate to snap their skid, I expect the Lakers to step up and "make their stand" with a big win and cover. *10 Non-Conf GOM
|01-12-13||Houston Rockets v. Philadelphia 76ers +1||Top||100-107||Win||100||9 h 7 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. This should be an excellent spot for the 76'ers to break their losing streak. While Philadelphia had the last two nights off, the Rockets were busy getting blown out at Boston last night. Not only will they be playing their second game in two nights here, they'll also be playing their fourth game in the past five, all four of those games in different cities.
The Rockets, 7-10 away from Houston, are 4-6 ATS when playing the second of b2b games, most recently losing by nine at New Orleans. They're now 7-13 SU/ATS their last 20 in that situation.
These teams met at Houston about a week before Christmas. In that game, the Rockets were "fresh," as they had the previous night off. The 76ers came in off a game the previous night and got smoked. With the shoe now on the other foot, I expect the revenge-minded 76ers to bounce back with a badly needed victory. *10 best bet
|01-12-13||Utah Jazz v. Detroit Pistons -2||Top||90-87||Loss||-110||9 h 0 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. I successfully played against the Jazz last night. They played well most of the game but folded against a determined Atlanta team in the fourth quarter. That figures to be a rather deflating loss and I look for the Jazz to stumble again tonight.
The Pistons also played last night. However, the won big at Milwaukee. They've now quietly won five of six. The lone loss came here vs. Charlotte in their last game though. So, they should be hungry to atone for that setback tonight.
While its true that both teams are playing in a b2b spot, the Pistons have the schedule in their favor. Not only are they playing at home but they also had four nights off, prior to last night's game. Really, the schedule has been very manageable for the Pistons for some time as they haven't played back-to-back games since 12/21 and 12/22. (They were 2-0 SU/ATS in those games, winning by 41 combined points.) They should still be relatively fresh here.
On the other hand, the Jazz will be playing their third game in four nights. They're just 3-6 SU/ATS when playing the second of b2b games. This will be their sixth game in nine days. Fatigue may be a factor, particularly for a team dealing with injury issues in the backcourt. All things considered, this number seems more than fair. *9 personal favorite
|01-11-13||Portland Trail Blazers v. Golden State Warriors -7||Top||97-103||Loss||-109||14 h 22 m||Show|
I'm playing on GOLDEN STATE. I like how this one sets up for the home side. The Warriors, who had last night off, were beaten here on Wednesday, a rare home loss. On the other hand, the Blazers are off an "upset" win over Miami last night on TNT.
The Blazers did beat the T-Wolves when playing the second of b2b games recently and have admittedly been respectable in that situation overall this season. However, they still have just five wins their last 14 times in that situation, since last year. More importantly, a closer look reveals that they've been very fortunate to play poor or mediocre opponents when playing the second of b2b games. Prior to win vs. Minnesota, they were beaten 102-79 at Toronto, when playing the second of b2b games.
Additionally, note that Portland is just 2-7-1 ATS when off an "upset" win. Not only is a TV win over the defending champions cause for a potential, letdown but the Blazers figure to find their hosts in a foul mood.
The Warriors have been at their best when off an "upset" loss. They're 12-7 ATS their last 19 in that situation, going 3-0 SU/ATS their last three in that situation.
The Warriors are still 10-6 ATS (11-5 SU) on this floor. I expect them to bounce back with a big win. *10 Top West. Conf Report.
|01-11-13||Utah Jazz v. Atlanta Hawks -4||Top||95-103||Win||100||9 h 21 m||Show|
I'm playing on ATLANTA. The Hawks don't have a very good pointspread record at home this season and they're currently mired in a slump. However, they've still won 11 of 17 home games and they're not laying a very large number here. Facing a Utah team which is only 8-14 (8-13-1 ATS) on the road, I expect the Hawks to break through with a much needed win and cover.
Off four straight losses, including a double-digit blowout at Cleveland on Wednesday, the Hawks should be in a nasty mood. In fairness, three of those losses were on the road and the lone home game came against Boston, after they'd just played an exhausting game the previous night, losing by a point at Detroit.
Al Horford noted: "It's about energy, man, and we need to defend better.''
Josh Smith added: "We've got to get back to playing beautiful basketball.''
Tonight, the Hawks are playing with some rest, as they had last night off. They're 3-1 ATS (4-0 SU) off a double-digit loss this season. Only one of those four games came at home (12/22 vs. Chicago) and the Hawks won that one by 17 points, when laying four.
I expect the Hawks, who have taken five of six vs. the Jazz, to bounce back with another convincing win and cover here. *10 personal favorite
|01-09-13||Memphis Grizzlies v. Golden State Warriors -1.5||Top||94-87||Loss||-107||9 h 18 m||Show|
I'm playing on GOLDEN STATE. I quite like how this one sets up for the home team. Without question, the Grizzlies are a solid team. However, they're typically not quite as good away from Memphis. They're also dealing with some rumors surrounding Rudy Gay. That could prove a distraction, as trading him would likely be seen by the players and fans as a sign that management didn't believe the current roster could win the West. Either way, winning here at Oakland has not been easy this season as the Warriors are 11-4 on this floor. I expect the Grizzlies to find their hosts fully focused and ready to play. The Warriors lost last time out. However, they'd previously been playing very well, going 4-0 SU/ATS their previous four. Plus, the loss came on the road and against the Clippers, a team which they had just beaten. The Warriors have since had the past three day's off. Some teams don't fare well with extra rest in between games. The Warriors haven't been one of those teams though. They're 4-0 SU/ATS when playing with three or more day's rest in between games. The last time that the Warriors played with three day's rest was when they crushed the Clippers by 21 points here. They also won by 11 at Utah, which typically isn't an easy place to play, last time in that situation. Prior to that, they beat Denver. Before that, they beat Atlanta. So, that 4-0 SU/ATS record with extra rest has come against some tough opposition. Speaking of tough opposition, the Warriors are an impressive 10-2 ATS against teams with a winning record. They're also 4-1 ATS off a double-digit loss and 5-0-1 ATS After allowing 105 or more points. The Warriors are playing with "revenge," as the Grizzlies beat them here. As noted, that hasn't happened often. They're also catching the Grizzlies playing the third leg of a road trip and potentially looking ahead to San Antonio, who they host on Friday. Add it all up and I expect a win and cover for the home team. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-08-13||Brooklyn Nets v. Philadelphia 76ers -1||Top||109-89||Loss||-110||20 h 7 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. The 76er's have lost three straight. However, all those came on the road, including games at San Antonio and OKC. I expect them to bounce back with a much needed win here.
The recent 3-game slide came at the end of a long road trip. In fact, the 76ers haven't played at home since 12/21 - they won that game (vs. Atlanta) by 18 points. Needless to say, the 76ers, who have won eight of their last 12 here, should be happy to be home. They've had a couple of day's in between games to catch up on some rest, "chores," and to get adjusted to being back.
Note that the 76ers are 4-2 SU/ATS when playing with two day's rest in between games.
The Nets have also had a couple of day's off in between games - although they arguably didn't need the break as much. Either way, they're only 1-3 SU/ATS when playing with two day's rest in between games.
Admittedly, the Nets come in playing well, having won three straight and five of six. (Their winning streak combined with the 76ers' current skid are helping to keep this line the way it is.) One of those wins came at OKC. So, that was certainly impressive. Then again, the Thunder just lost vs. the Wizards last night - so, they certainly aren't unbeatable. A closer look shows that the Nets' other four victories came against Sacramento, Washington, Cleveland and Charlotte. Those four teams are a combined 34-90. So, give them credit for the recent wins - but lets not start calling them a "elite" team quite yet.
With an O/U line in the high 180s, note that the 76ers are 17-8 ATS (18-7 SU) the last 25 times that they played a home game where the O/U line ranged from 185 to 189.5 range.
These teams played a very close one at Brooklyn just before Christmas, the Nets eking out a 3-point win, the 76'ers covering. Finally playing on their home floor, I expect the revenge-minded 76ers to get some payback. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-05-13||Utah Jazz v. Denver Nuggets -9.5||Top||91-110||Win||100||10 h 29 m||Show|
I'm playing on DENVER. These teams have met twice so far this season. The home team won both games, the Nuggets covered each time. The Jazz eked out a 2-point win at Salt Lake City. However, the Nuggets blew them out here at Denver.
No real surprise there, as both these teams are MUCH better on their home floor.
The Jazz won on the road last night. However, they're still 7-13 on the road. On the other hand, even with a loss here last time out, the Nuggets, who had last night off, are 10-2 (9-3 ATS) here at Denver.
The Jazz are 1-4 SU/ATS the last five times that they played the second of b2b games. For the season, they're 3-5 SU/ATS in that situation. The three wins came against Orlando, Washington and a home game vs. Phoenix. None of those are good teams. The five losses came against Indiana, Memphis, Houston, Sacramento and San Antonio. All five defeats came by a minimum of eight points, four coming by double-digits.
Playing in the altitude of Denver against what figures to be an angry Nuggets team, I expect the Jazz to get blown out once again. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-02-13||San Antonio Spurs v. Milwaukee Bucks +5.5||Top||117-110||Loss||-110||9 h 19 m||Show|
I'm playing on MILWAUKEE. Its hard to make a case against the Spurs. They're a talented and well-coached team, one which is playing well. That said, the Bucks are also playing well. They've covered three straight games, winning both home games outright. One of those was a 19-point blowout of the defending world champion Heat. Going back further finds them at 6-2 their last eight on this floor. The Bucks upset the Spurs here last January. They're playing with 2-day's rest in between games and they have tomorrow off. On the other hand, the Spurs played New Year's Eve, which was their third game in four nights. They also play a TNT game at MSG tomorrow, a game to potentially get caught looking ahead to. While the Spurs were dominant defensively (allowed 76 pts!) on New Year's Eve, note that they're 1-3 ATS the last four times that they allowed 85 or fewer points. I'm taking the points with the revenge-minded home underdog. *9 best bet
|01-01-13||Los Angeles Clippers v. Denver Nuggets||Top||78-92||Win||100||9 h 26 m||Show|
I'm playing on DENVER. Its hard for teams to keep on winning forever. That's why it doesn't happen. While the Clippers closed out 2012 on an extremely impressive and extended winning streak, its an entirely new year now. I expect their run to come to an end.
The Clippers dominated the Nuggets on Christmas Day. That loss fresh in their memories, the Nuggets will be looking for some payback here.
A closer look shows that the 12/25 game was played at LA. That's noteworthy as the Nuggets are a poor 8-14 on the road but an outstanding 9-1 here at Denver - a much better winning percentage than LA has on the road.
Note that the Nuggets have had an extra day off. While the Clippers played on 12/30, the Nuggets last played 12/29 at Memphis. (I successfully played against them there as they were coming off a big road win at Dallas the night before.) Note that the Nuggets also have tomorrow off while LA faces Golden State.
The Nuggets are 7-3 the last 10 times that they attempted to avenge an earlier loss, going 45-35 their last 80 in that situation. I expect them to improve on those stats here, continuing their excellent play on this floor. *10 best bet
|12-29-12||Denver Nuggets v. Memphis Grizzlies -6.5||Top||72-81||Win||100||10 h 22 m||Show|
I'm playing on MEMPHIS. This one sets up very nicely for the home team. The Grizzlies, who are playing with "double-revenge" had the past two nights off. They should have fresh legs. Off back to back losses and looking for some payback from the earlier losses to Denver, they should also be very hungry.
On the other hand, the Nuggets played last night at Dallas. Its true that they've been good in that situation this year. However, not all b2b spots are the same. Not only will the Nuggets be playing the second of back to back games, they'll also now be playing their fourth game in five days. Throw in the fact that the first of those four games was on Christmas - a potentially extra busy, emotional and/or stressful time - and this has been a very grueling stretch. They don't play until New Year's Day and could already have their minds on returning to loved ones in time to ring out the year. The fact that they won big last night could add to the Nuggets' complacency.
Even with last night's win the Nuggets are still only 8-13 on the road. Even with a loss here last time out, the Grizzlies are still 12-3 at home.
The Grizzlies, 5-0 SU the last five times that they played with two day's rest in between games, are 50-34-2 ATS the last 86 times that they were in the revenge role. With the schedule and venue in their favor, I expect them to improve on those stats in convincing fashion here. *10 Personal Favorite
|12-28-12||Los Angeles Clippers v. Utah Jazz +3||Top||116-114||Win||100||8 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on UTAH. I'm not normally not in the habit of going against teams on 15-game winning streaks. However, I feel that the Clippers' run will come to an end here.
While LA was playing a big TNT game vs. Boston last night, the Jazz had the night off. LA is 2-3 ATS this season in the second of b2b games.
Let's not forget that the Jazz have been very tough here at Utah for ages. They're record here this season is just as good as LA's road record.
The Jazz are playing with "revenge," having lost a 1-point game here against the Clippers a few weeks ago. They're still 29-4 SU (22-10-1 ATS) the last 33 times they were a host in the series.
Don't be surprised when the streak comes to an end. *9 best bet
|12-25-12||Houston Rockets v. Chicago Bulls -4.5||Top||120-97||Loss||-105||13 h 44 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. These teams met last month at Houston. A close game saw the Rockets pull out a 93-89 victory. With today's rematch being played at Chicago, I expect the revenge-minded Bulls to return the favor.
While they didn't play well in their last game, the Bulls have gotten it together recently. A look at their last game, a loss at Atlanta, shows that the Bulls were playing the second of back to back road games and that they were coming off an upset of the Knicks the previous day. So, it was a difficult spot, scheduling-wise, for them.
The Bulls are well-rested now though, in addition to being back home. They're 27-12 SU the past couple of seasons, when playing with two day's rest in between games.
True, the Rockets have won three straight, all three in impressive fashion. However, two of those came at home; they're still 3-7 on the road. Also, the only time that they previously won three straight this season, they followed it up by losing 120-98. (They're 8-14 ATS the past couple of seasons, after having won their previous three.)
Even with the loss at Atlanta, the Bulls have still won seven of their last 10. They haven't lost two in a row since the loss at Houston.
In fact, after their lost five losses, they've responded by going a perfect 5-0 SU/ATS. They won those games by scores of 93-86, 101-78, 95-85, 96-89 and 100-89. I expect them to respond with another win and cover here. *10 Roast
|12-25-12||New York Knicks v. Los Angeles Lakers -3.5||Top||94-100||Win||100||7 h 45 m||Show|
I'm playing on LA. The Knicks come in with the much better record and they've already defeated the Lakers once this season. However, I believe that the Lakers are favored for good reason.
True, the Knicks won by nine at MSG. However, in addition to playing on the road, the Lakers were without Pau Gasol AND Steve Nash in that game. They also weren't playing well at the time.
Things are much different. Now playing at home, the Lakers are playing their best basketball of the season. They'll have both Gasol and Nash this time. Off a comeback victory against a Golden State, a team which had been playing well, the Lakers have now won four straight.
Nash's return went about as well as could be hoped. Nash helped key the comeback while scoring a dozen points and adding nine assists.
Coach D'Antoni said this of Nash: "The guy is a winner. I think that we're a completely different team with him out there. The floor opens up and it changes everything."
Of course, D'Antoni should be extremely motivated to win here. The last thing he wants to have happen is to let his former team sweep the season series against his new team, particularly not in front on the national audience.
The Knicks, 1-6 in Christmas Day road games, have been dominated by the Lakers here at LA. In fact, the Lakers have won five straight against the Knicks here, winning those games by an average of greater than a dozen points.
The Lakers are 6-1 SU the seven times that they played a home game with an O/U line of 210 or greater, going 72-20 SU their last 92 in that situation. I expect them to improve on those stats this afternoon, covering the small number along the way. *10 Personal Favorite
|12-23-12||Dallas Mavericks v. San Antonio Spurs -11||Top||91-129||Win||100||4 h 46 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN ANTONIO. While they've stumbled a bit recently, the Spurs have had a great start to the season. I recently played against them when they lost at Oklahoma City. However, I believe tonight's game sets up well for a blowout victory.
The Mavericks are 4-11 on the road and have lost five of six overall. The Spurs are 9-2 at home.
The Spurs are outscoring teams by 10 points per game here. The Mavs are being outscored by nearly eight on the road.
The Spurs have taken care of business vs. the league's weaker teams, going 11-1 SU and 9-3 ATS.
The Spurs are healthy. The Mavs are not. In addition to Dirk being out, Derek Fischer hasn't been playing while Collison and Brand are both banged-up.
The Spurs have dominated the Mavs here and they've also won 21 straight home games in the month of December. With a few days off after this and nothing to "save themselves for," I expect the Spurs to continue that streak in convincing fashion here. *9 Personal Favorite
|12-20-12||Oklahoma City Thunder v. Minnesota Timberwolves +4||Top||93-99||Win||100||8 h 15 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. I like how this one sets up for the home team. The T-Wolves had last night off while the Thunder played a fairly hard fought game at Atlanta.
Granted, the athletic Thunder aren't usually too bothered by playing the second of back to games. However, on an extended winning streak and playing the final game before Christmas, I feel that they could get potentially caught looking ahead to the break a little here.
While they're off back to back road losses, the T-Wolves have been playing very well here at Minnesota. In fact, they're a perfect 3-0 SU/ATS here this month.
For the season, the T-Wolves are 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS here. They allow just 91.4 points per game on this floor, while scoring 96.5 themselves.
It should be noted that the T-Wolves fought hard against the Heat and that losing (103-92) on the road against the defending champs is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, they outrebounded the Heat by 28 in that game.
Coach Rick Adelman noted: "I like the way our guys battled. We just have to respond.''
Adelman has been been excellent at getting his team to "respond" from a double-digit loss, as the T-Wolves are already a perfect 3-0 SU/ATS in that situation this season.
Off a double-digit loss at Toronto on 11/4, the T-Wolves won by double-digits (as 7.5 point underdogs) at Brooklyn the next night. Off a double-digit loss at Golden State, they won outright at Sacramento in their next game. Most recently, off a 10-point loss at Boston, the T-Wolves returned home and won by 18.
The T-Wolves have covered three straight home meetings in this series and five of the last six. I expect AT LEAST another cover here. *10 Best Bet
|12-18-12||Toronto Raptors v. Cleveland Cavaliers -4.5||Top||113-99||Loss||-105||13 h 39 m||Show|
I'm playing on CLEVELAND. The Raptors have earned a couple of wins recently and have actually covered the spread in three straight. Outworking teams can do that.
Its important not to confuse hard work with talent though. This is still a lower tier team that is missing arguably its two most talented players.
A closer look at the recent Toronto wins shows that they were both at the Air Canada Centre. They were also both against teams that were in difficult scheduling situations.
I played on the Raptors in the first win, partly as they were catching the Mavericks in a difficult situation. In hindsight, I probably should have also taken them in Sunday's win over Houston, given that Jeremy Lin and co. were playing at MSG the following night.
Either way, the Raptors aren't at home any longer. They're 1-14 on the road, getting outscored by an average of 104.2 to 92.6.
This time, I don't expect the Raptors, 11-18-2 ATS (7-24 SU) the last 31 times they were off an "upset win," to outwork and/or be more focused than their opponent.
This time, the Raptors will be facing a Cleveland team which is desperate to snap a losing skid and knows that, on paper, this is their most winnable game the rest of 2012. (A look at their schedule tells me that they won't be favored by this much again anytime in December.)
The Cavs, who now have their star (Irving) back, lost their last game here. However, they beat the Lakers by six here in their previous home game. So, this is a team capable of defending its home floor.
They're 1-0 ATS as home favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range this season (10 point win vs. Wizards) and I look for them to improve on those stats tonight. *9 Personal Favorite
|12-17-12||San Antonio Spurs v. Oklahoma City Thunder -4.5||Top||93-107||Win||100||14 h 37 m||Show|
I'm playing on OKLAHOMA CITY. The Spurs eked out a 2-point win when these teams met at San Antonio last month. With tonight's rematch being played at OKC, I expect the revenge-minded Thunder to return the favor.
While they haven't covered their last couple of games, the Thunder are still on a serious roll. In fact, they've won 10 straight and have vaulted to the top of the overall standings.
The Thunder haven't lost yet this entire month and they're averaging 109.6 points while shooting better than 50& during their current winning streak.
I feel that the Spurs, who are without Jackson and who may be without Manu Ginobili, will have some trouble keeping up. Even if he does play, Ginobili may be at less than 100%. Meanwhile, Duncan is off a game in which he scored just five points, while making just two of 13 shots.
The Thunder are typically at their best when attempting to avenge an earlier loss, going 44-26 ATS (47-23 SU) the last 70 times that they were in that situation, including 5-2 SU/ATS the last seven.
The Thunder are also a lucrative 12-7 ATS (13-6 SU) the last 19 times that they were listed as home favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range. They're 4-1 SU/ATS their last five home games against the Spurs, including 3-0 SU/ATS the last three. I expect them to keep on rolling for another day. *9 Personal Favorite
|12-12-12||Los Angeles Clippers v. Charlotte Bobcats +8.5||Top||100-94||Win||100||11 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHARLOTTE. The Clippers are on an extended winning streak and they beat me last night. That won't stop me from going against them here though.
Last night's victory was hard-fought, the Clippers had to battle the entire way to pull out the win.
Note that the Clippers are only 2-2 SU/ATS when playing the second of back to back games. Going back to last March, they're only 7-10 ATS and 6-11 SU when playing in that situation.
This is worse than just a regular back to back spot though. The Clippers are also playing their fourth game in the last five days. Throw in a trip from the West Coast mixed in the middle of that and its been a very busy stretch for them.
True, the Bobcats have been struggling, most recently losing by eight vs. Golden State. I liked the fight that they showed against the Warriors last game though, battling back from an early deficit instead of giving up.
After that loss Kemba Walker, who finished with 17 second half points, noted: "We've got to play that way from the start. That's it. We waited too long to play that way. I take full responsibility. I've got to set the tone early and I didn't do that.''
I expect Walker and co. to come out ready to play from the opening tip tonight.
Note that Michael Jordan joined Tuesday's practice, working with players and playing one-on-one vs. Kidd-Gilchrist. That could easily provide a spark and some inspiration.
The Bobcats are on the road tomorrow, before coming back home to face Orlando on 12/15. After that, its an extended trip out West. In other words, with the exception of that game against the Magic, "winnable" games aren't likely going to come around too often in the near future. With the schedule in their favor, I believe that this is indeed a winnable game. I expect the Bobcats to go all out and look for that to result in at least a cover. *10 best bet
|12-11-12||Los Angeles Clippers v. Chicago Bulls +3.5||Top||94-89||Loss||-105||14 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. Derrick Rose remains out. However, the Bulls have been coming around. They're 3-0 SU/ATS their last three games, most recently knocking off the Knicks by eight points on 12/8. I expect them to keep the momentum going for another at least another night. In addition to wanting to extend the winning streak and to protect their home floor, the Bulls have the added motivation of playing with revenge from an embarrassing 11/17 loss, at LA. That 21-point debacle (101-80) was by far their most lopsided defeat of the season and I expect it to provide the Bulls with some added incentive here. After that 11/17 loss, Joakim Noah noted: "We got outscrapped and we got out-competed..." I don't expect lack of "hustle" to be an issue for tonight's rematch. Note that the Bulls were slight underdogs for the game against the Knicks and that they're 9-4 ATS the last 13 times that they were off an "upset" win. Although their ATS record hasn't been that great in this situation, with no spread to cover this time, its also worth noting that the Bulls are 25-11 SU the past 36 times that they played with two day's rest in between games. During the recent winning streak, in addition to playing stout defense, the Bulls have been getting an average of more than 20 points (20.3) per game from Marco Belinelli, who has stepped up his game, making the most of the injuries to others. Belinelli noted: "This is not my first year in the league. This is my sixth year. I don't want to be just a 3-point shooter. I want to be a complete guy. Saturday we played offense and defense, rebound, ran. That's the way we have to play." While they've been very tough at home and are admittedly playing well (6 straight SU wins) right now, the Clippers are still 0-4 ATS (1-3 SU) their last four on the road. Three losses by at least seven points and a 1-point win. A closer look at the Clippers' current 6-game winning streak shows that five of the wins have been at home, none of them against elite teams. The lone road win came by a single point. Including the victory over the Knicks, the Bulls are a terrific 14-6 ATS the last 20 times that they were listed as underdogs of four or fewer points. (Thirteen of those resulted in SU victories.) Its also worth mentioning that they're 24-5 SU the last 29 times that they played a home game with an O/U line in the 185 to 189.5 range. I'll take the points that are being offered but expect them to step up and score the outright win. *10 Main Event
|12-10-12||Golden State Warriors v. Charlotte Bobcats +5||Top||104-96||Loss||-110||5 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHARLOTTE. I successfully played against the Warriors in their last game, at Washington on Saturday. They won but had their hands full the entire way, failing to cover. While I respect the Warriors, I feel that they're again a little-overvalued here. I like how this one sets up for the home team. The Bobcats got embarrassed in their last game and are on a losing skid. The Warriors are in the midst of a road trip, thousands of miles from home. They've already had plenty of success on the trip and could be patting themselves on the back a little, while potentially overlooking the lowly Bobcats. Speaking of patting themselves on the back, the Warriors haven't typically fared too well when they've been on a 3-game winning streak. In fact, they're just 1-8 SU and 3-6 ATS their last nine in that situation, most recently getting upset by Orlando one week ago. The Warriors also have a game at Miami on deck, another reason to potentially look past Charlotte. The Bobcats were 3.5 point underdogs when they hosted the Warriors last year and they won outright by 12 points. Hungry to get back on track and knowing that they're going to be facing these same Warriors at Oakland in a couple of weeks, I expect the Bobcats to go all out to defend their homecourt, earning at least a cover in the process. *10 Best Bet
|12-08-12||New Orleans Hornets v. Miami Heat -13.5||Top||90-106||Win||100||9 h 43 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. The Hornets are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Off back to back losses the Heat should be in a foul mood. They should be looking to take out their frustrations on someone. The Heat, who had last night off, catch the Hornets off a hard fought game vs. Memphis last night. New Orleans, still without Davis and Gordon, will now be play its third game in the last four nights. The Heat beat the Hornets by 14 last year. Given the setup, I expect this one to be even more lopsided. *10 Personal Favorite
|12-07-12||Orlando Magic v. Sacramento Kings -3||Top||82-91||Win||100||7 h 22 m||Show|
I'm playing on SACRAMENTO. This line has fallen a bit from its opener. Its small enough that a SU has a strong shot of also resulting in an ATS victory. I feel that's providing us with excellent value on the home team.
The Magic may have a decent ATS record on the road - but they're typically getting more points than this. They're still averaging less than 90 points in games away from Orlando, going 3-6. Last time out, they managed only 81 points, eking out a cover in an 87-81 loss.
Including that cover at Utah, the Magic are off three straight ATS victories, including upset wins at LA and Golden State. They've been on the road for all of December though and I feel that it will start to catch up with them here. Note that the only previous time that the Magic had covered the spread in three straight games, they were defeated by 15 points at Minnesota in the next game.
The Kings got back on track with a win last time out, Demarcus Cousins finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds, Tyreke Evans returned to score 23, including a couple of key 3-pointers late in the game. They've got some positive momentum and I look for them to keep it rolling tonight. *9 annihilator
|12-07-12||Los Angeles Lakers v. Oklahoma City Thunder -7.5||Top||108-114||Loss||-105||7 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on OKLAHOMA CITY. The Thunder enter tonight's game on a major roll, having gone an impressive 9-1 SU/ATS their 10 games, including a perfect 5-0 SU/ATS their last five.
Obviously, the Thunder aren't going to keep covering forever. Teams can't "bring it" the same way every single night and pointspreads eventually do catch up with extended ATS winning streaks. However, I don't expect any letdown for an ESPN game vs. Kobe Bryant and the fact that tonight's opponent is the "mighty" Lakers has kept this line fairly reasonable. Unfortunately for LA fans, their team is currently a shell of its former self.
Sure, the Lakers won big last time out. That was against the Hornets though, a team that doesn't have the type of talent that they'll be up against tonight. Keep in mind that this team banged-up team is still 3-5 SU/ATS its last eight.
The Thunder are 8-3 ATS (9-2 SU) here, outscoring opponents by an average margin of more than a dozen points per game. The Lakers are 2-5 SU/ATS on the road.
Note that the Thunder, who are playing only their their third game in December, are also 18-7 SU the last 25 times that they played with two day's rest in between games, 2-0 SU/ATS this season. The last time that they played with two day's rest was only three days ago, a 6-point win over Brooklyn The only previous time that they played with two day's rest in between games, they beat the Clippers by 16 points. Interestingly, both OKC scores were identical, the Thunder tallying 117 in each of those games.
This hasn't been a good role for the Lakers in recent seasons, when they're actually outmatched on the road. In fact, they're 1-5 ATS and 0-6 SU the last six times that they were listed as road underdogs in the 6.5 to 9 range.
I expect the well-rested Thunder, who beat the Lakers by 16 the last time that the teams met on this floor, to keep rolling for another night. *10 Main Event
|12-07-12||Charlotte Bobcats v. Milwaukee Bucks -7||Top||93-108||Win||100||6 h 46 m||Show|
I'm playing on MILWAUKEE. I've won with the Bobcats a few times this season, most recently when they covered against the Knicks a couple of nights ago. However, that was at home - and they were catching the Knicks looking ahead to last night's game at Miami. Tonight, the Bobcats are on the road and I expect them to have the full attention of their opponent.
The Bucks came to Charlotte on 11/19 and they were on quite a roll. I played on the Bobcats in that game and they rewarded me with an upset win. Off three straight victories and with a string of bigger games on deck, I felt the Bucks could overlook the Bobcats.
They've since played that tougher stretch of games, including Miami, Chicago (twice) New York, Boston and most recently at San Antonio. With a 2-7 record since the trip to Charlotte, needless to say, the Bucks are no longer "rolling."
Returning home and stepping down in class - while also getting a chance for some payback against the team that started the skid - I expect the Bucks to be all business here.
The Bucks have dominated the Bobcats here, going 13-1 all-time. Behind a highly motivated team effort, I look for them to get back on track with a convincing win. *10 Personal Favorite.
|12-06-12||Dallas Mavericks v. Phoenix Suns -3.5||Top||97-94||Loss||-105||7 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHOENIX. Its "Customer Satisfaction Night" at the US Airways center tonight. That's a promotion where the Suns are offering fans their money back, if they're not completely satisfied with tonight's game, regardless of whether they win or lose.
I'm not sure of the fine print, or how many fans will try and request a refund. However, I do like how this one sets up for the Suns.
Off a disappointing road trip, the Suns are surely very happy to get back home. They're 2-9 on the road but 5-3 here at home.
While the Suns have admittedly had some trouble covering larger spreads at home, with a low line set for tonight's game, it should be noted that four of their five victories here have come by at least three points.
Meanwhile, with last night's blowout loss at LA, the Mavs are now just 2-7 on the road. Note that they're also just 1-3 SU/ATS when playing the second of back to back games.
For the season, the Mavs are getting outscored by an average of 102.2 to 92.9 when playing away from Dallas.
With the venue and schedule in their favor, I expect the motivated Suns to "satisfy" their fans, en route to a win and cover. *10 Personal Favorite
|12-06-12||New York Knicks v. Miami Heat -7.5||Top||112-92||Loss||-108||5 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. When properly motivated, in my opinion, the Heat are still the best team in the league. The first part of that sentence is key, the "when properly motivated" part.
Facing a team which blew them out earlier, I don't expect motivation to be a problem this evening.
Sure, the Knicks beat up on the Heat earlier. That was at New York though. The Heat are a perfect 8-0 at home this season and they've beaten the Knicks five straight times here.
It should be noted that Carmelo Anthony hurt his finger late in last night's game. If he is even available tonight, he may be at less than 100%. Remember, Stoudemire is already out.
If Anthony can't go, of if he's limited, that means JR Smith would be expected to pick up a lot of the slack. He's hit less than 34% of his shots in eight games against the Heat since the start of last season though. So, that may not be a very reliable option.
On the other hand, James is averaging better than 30 points his last 18 regular season games against NY while Wade is averaging better than 30 his last 13 in the series.
While the Heat are still 13-8-1 ATS (20-2 SU!) in December the past few seasons, the Knicks are just 1-3 SU/ATS when playing the second of b2b games, most recently losing by 10 at Brookyln the last time that they were in that situation.
Add it all up and I'm expecting the revenge-minded champs to deliver a blowout. *9 roast
|12-05-12||Dallas Mavericks v. Los Angeles Clippers -8.5||Top||90-112||Win||100||8 h 42 m||Show|
I'm playing on LA. I like how this one sets up. The Clippers haven't been covering the spread too often lately, while the Mavs have gotten the money a few times. That's helped to keep the line in the single-digit range, which I feel is providing excellent value.
A closer look shows that the Clippers have actually won three straight and that their last home game resulted in a 35-point victory. Last time out, they rallied from a 14-point deficit, for a 1-point win at Utah. So, despite the recent struggles at the betting window, this talented team has shown some real signs of "coming around" recently.
Keep in mind that the Mavs are 2-6 SU and 3-5 ATS on the road while the Clippers are 7-3 and 6-4 SU at home. The Clippers are outscoring teams by an average of 9.5 ppg on this floor while the Mavs are being outscored by an average margin of 7.8 ppg on the road.
Sure, Kaman will want to have a big game in his first appearance against his former team. However, the Clippers should be equally motivated by the sight of some of their former teammates.
The Clippers took two of three from the Mavs in 2012, crushing them by 19 at Dallas in the last meeting. I expect another convincing win and cover here. *9 Personal Favorite
|12-05-12||New York Knicks v. Charlotte Bobcats +8||Top||100-98||Win||100||4 h 16 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHARLOTTE. After a stretch which saw them win six of eight, the Bobcats have now dropped four straight. That should provide them with a sense of urgency to get back on track here. Its also helped to provide us with some added line value, as we're getting a solid handful of points to work with here.
A closer look at the recent skid reveals that the last three losses have all been by six or fewer points. The Bobcats have still won five of 10 home games this season, the average score of games here being 98.1 to 99.1.
The Knicks have been very good at home but they're 5-4 road record isn't all that special. With a game at Miami on deck tomorrow night, followed by a game at Chicago on the weekend, I feel they could easily get caught looking past the Bobcats here. Grab the points. *9 Best Bet
|12-01-12||Brooklyn Nets v. Miami Heat -8||Top||89-102||Win||100||9 h 57 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. Lulled to sleep a little by the fact that the Spurs weren't playing their stars, the Heat coasted a bit in Thursday's win. I expect them to be fully focused here though. With the schedule and venue in their favor, I'm also expecting a blowout win.
Brooklyn comes in on a nice roll. However, this is an extremely difficult scheduling spot. Not only did the Nets, who are 10-34 SU the last 44 times they played the second of b2b games, play yesterday (win at Orlando) but they're also playing their eighth game in the past 12 days, the first few of those games occurring on the West Coast. That's quite a draining schedule.
On the other hand, the Heat are well-rested, as they had a long layoff before Thursday's game. While the Heat have eked out a few victories, they're still 7-0 at home. That includes a 30 point victory over the Nets here a few weeks back. I'm expecting another rout. *9 Personal Favorite
|11-29-12||Denver Nuggets v. Golden State Warriors +1.5||Top||105-106||Win||100||13 h 44 m||Show|
I'm playing on GOLDEN STATE. Having already lost both previous games in the season series, the revenge-minded Warriors should be highly motivated to get some revenge here. I feel that its a good spot for them.
The Nuggets saw their winning streak come to an end on Monday. They blew a 16-point lead en route to a 105-103 defeat. Those type of losses can have a lingering effect and be difficult to immediately bounce back from.
On the other hand, the Warriors are off a momentum-building 96-85 win, their their third victory in four games. Since the Nuggets beat them here on 11/10, in double-OT, the Warriors are now 5-2 their last seven. Both losses came on the road.
While this game means a great deal to the well-rested Warriors, who have tomorrow night off, the Nuggets could potentially get caught looking ahead to tomorrow night's game at LA, vs. the Lakers.
Even with the double-OT loss to the Nuggets, the Warriors are still 4-2 SU/ATS here on the season. Its payback time. *9 best bet
|11-29-12||San Antonio Spurs v. Miami Heat -5.5||Top||100-105||Loss||-111||16 h 55 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. The Spurs have been on a great run. However, they're stepping up in class to take on the champs tonight and they're in an extremely difficult scheduling spot.
The Spurs check in off a game at Orlando last night. They normally fare pretty well when playing the second of back to back games though and Orlando and Miami aren't too far apart. So, that's not the issue. Its worse than that though. Not only will the Spurs be playing the second of back to back games, they'll also be playing their fourth game in the past five days.
Making matters even worse, the first leg of that "4 games in 5 days" stretch was a double-OT game up in Canada, a game where three starters played well over 40 minutes. Throw in the fact that this is the final game of a 6-game road trip and the Spurs really may finally start to suffer from a bit of fatigue.
On the other hand, the Heat come in very well-rested. They last played back on 11/24. Note that they're 10-6 ATS (12-4 SU) the past 2+ seasons, when playing with three day's rest. They've won four straight overall, three of them by seven or more points.
Laying a touchdown, the Heat hammered the Spurs 120-98 here last season. The 2011 game here was even more lopsided, a 110-80 beatdown in favor of Miami. Playing in front of the national audience (those who aren't watching football) I believe the Heat will be motivated to bring the mighty Spurs back down to earth and that the schedule calls for another blowout. *10 Personal Favorite
|11-28-12||Dallas Mavericks v. Chicago Bulls -6||Top||78-101||Win||100||10 h 21 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. I lost by going against the Mavericks yesterday, part of an overall lousy Tuesday. That stunk, as I hate losing at least as much as anyone. However, whether or not I win or lose with a team, I don't let it cloud my judgement on how I view that team's next game. In this case, while they beat my yesterday, I'm fully ready to go against the Mavs again.
To their credit, the Mavs fought hard all the way last night. They still lost though, eking out a cover by less than a bucket. That hard-fought loss figures to drain their energy a bit here. (The Mavs are 1-2 SU/ATS this season when playing the second of b2b games, going 2-5 SU/ATS their last seven in that situation, since last season.)
Even if the Mavs are able to immediately shake off last night's loss and be fully ready to go here, I expect them to have their hands more than full with what figures to be a very angry "herd" of Bulls.
In what has been a frustrating start to the season, Chicago hit rock-bottom last time out. Out 27 points with the third quarter winding down, the Bulls managed to get outscored 42-14 over the final 15 minutes, en route to a devastating 93-92 loss.
Unlike the Mavs, the Bulls have had a day off to "recover." Also, while the Mavs can take solace in the fact that they fought hard - nobody's questioning their effort last night - the Bulls are furious about what happened to them. This season's early struggles and Rose's absence notwithstanding, I still view this as a talented and well-coached team. I expect them to come out "on a mission."
Having blown the big lead last time out, I expect the Bulls to be fully focused on keeping the pedal to the metal the entire 48 minutes. Note that Chicago is an outstanding 24-10 ATS (27-7 SU) the last 34 times that it was off an "uspet" (SU loss as a favorite) loss.
The Bulls have beaten the Mavs three straight times, limiting them to 81 points in those games, while out-rebounding them by a commanding 52-39 average per game. The Bulls covered the spread in all three of those games, with both games here at Chicago resulting in double-digit wins. Going back further finds the Bulls at 7-1 ATS the last eight meetings in the series. I expect them to improve on those stats tonight. *10 Personal Favorite
|11-27-12||Dallas Mavericks v. Philadelphia 76ers -3.5||Top||98-100||Loss||-102||9 h 23 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. This line is quite low. That means that a SU victory has a good chance in also resulting in a cover. I expect the 76ers to get it done.
The Mavericks are a mess. They did rise to the occasion to eke out a win against the Knicks on 11/21. However, they followed it up with a 26-point loss vs. the Lakers three nights later. (They're playing with two day's rest again here.)
The Mavs, who lost by 19 when coming off a game against the Lakers earlier, are now 2-8 ATS their last 10. For the season, they're 2-4 ATS away from Dallas, including 1-4 their last five. On the other hand, the 76ers have won four of five here at Philadelphia.
While they narrowly missed covering, the 76ers got back on track with a win in their last game. Jrue Holiday had a breakout game, serving up 33 points while also dishing out 13 assists. That snapped a 2-game skid and I look for the 76'ers to build some positive momentum from the victory.
Thaddeus Young commented: "We take a lot of pride in how we play and we didn't want to lose three straight. I think Jrue set the tone from the beginning with his aggressive play. He put us on his shoulders."
The entire city of Philadelphia is really down on the Eagles right now, more than ever after another loss last night. I look for the 76ers to step up and "restore some pride" to the city, with a solid win and cover. *9 Personal Favorite
|11-23-12||San Antonio Spurs v. Indiana Pacers +4.5||Top||104-97||Loss||-110||10 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on INDIANA. These teams met at San Antonio a few weeks ago. The Spurs were undefeated at the time while Indiana would end up going just 3-6 its first nine. Back on their home floor, I expect a much better effort from the Pacers in tonight's rematch.
The Spurs continue to play well. However, they're at least no longer undefeated, so other teams have at least proven that they can be beaten. They're off a solid win at Boston but are still just 2-2 SU/ATS their last four.
The Pacers have finally adjusted to life without Danny Granger. They're 2-0 SU/ATS their last two games (3-1 SU/ATS L4) and got a breakout performance from Paul George last time out, a player who's been asked to score in Granger's absence. George would finish with 37 points, including 33 in the second half. I expect the Pacers to carry the momentum from his hot shooting into this evening's game.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel noted: "We were waiting on a breakout game from him. With a player you're trying to develop, the biggest battle is confidence, and when you have a game like this, it shows what you can do.''
Meanwhile, Roy Hibbert is coming off his first career triple-double. The 7-foot-2 center will be hungry for a big game, after Duncan got the better of him at San Antonio.
The Pacers have won four of five games here this season and are 55-32 SU here the past 2+ seasons, slightly better than San Antonio's (56-34) road record, during the same period.
While the Spurs are a surprisingly poor 3-10-2 ATS (5-10 SU!) the last 15 times that they played a road game with an O/U line in the 185 to 189.5 range, the Pacers are 7-5 ATS the last couple of seasons as home underdogs in the 3.5 to 6 range. I expect a highly motivated effort and at least another cover. *10 Best Bet
|11-21-12||Brooklyn Nets v. Golden State Warriors -2||Top||93-102||Win||100||12 h 37 m||Show|
I'm playing on GOLDEN STATE. Situation favors the home team here. The Nets are off a hard-fought loss at LA last night. While they did cover, that loss snapped a 5-game winning streak.
While most teams have already been involved in at least one back-to-back spot, the Nets are in that situation for the first time this season. Thousands of miles away from home, off a battle against the "big name Lakers," a letdown wouldn't be surprising here. Note that the Nets are 6-14 SU and 7-12-1 ATS the last 20 times that they played the second of back to back games last season.
It should also be noted that the Nets were 1-4 SU/ATS as road underdogs of three or fewer points, the past couple of seasons, going just 20-57 on the road overall. The Warriors were above .500 at home during that stretch.
The Warriors won outright at Dallas last time out and they beat Atlanta in their last game on this floor. Including the win over the Hawks, they're 2-0 SU/ATS against teams from the East so far this season. With the schedule n their favor, I look for them to improve on those stats tonight. *9
|11-21-12||Philadelphia 76ers v. Cleveland Cavaliers +4||Top||83-92||Win||100||10 h 36 m||Show|
I'm playing on CLEVELAND. The Cavaliers have been struggling of late but I feel that this will be a good spot for them to break out with a win.
These teams just faced each other a few nights ago, at Philadelphia. The 76'ers took that 11/18 meeting by a score of 86-79, eking out the cover by a single point.
We're getting practically as many points with the Cavs tonight as we were for the game at Philly, due in part to the absence of Cleveland's Kyrie Irving. While Irving is certainly an important part of this Cleveland team, keep in mind that he only scored nine points, in shooting 4 of 14, in the 11/18 meeting. The Cavs still almost pulled it off. Teams often rally the first game that their star goes down and I won't be surprised to see that happen here.
Note that Cleveland did win four games without Irving last season. Coach Scott had this to say: "It's always one of those things where one of your best players goes down, it's an opportunity for other guys. The biggest thing is, we still know we can win. We've just got to play a little bit of a different style on the offensive end, but we still feel we've got enough guys in this room capable of winning.''
While the Cavs haven't played since, the 76'ers were involved in a hard-fought game vs. the Raptors last night. Philadelphia won and covered but Toronto gave the 76'ers all they could handle. Fatigue, mental and/or physical, could well be a factor here.
Philadelphia coach Doug Collins said. "That was a win to remember. It could've easily been an L. We finished the third quarter very poorly. We had a lot of fight in the fourth quarter. I was proud of them.''
While they're 1-1 ATS in that situation so far this season, the 76'ers are an ugly 3-10 ATS the last 13 times that they played the second of back to back games, dating back to last February. With the schedule in their favor, I'm grabbing the points with the revenge-minded home dog. *10 Best Bet
|11-20-12||New York Knicks v. New Orleans Hornets +7||Top||102-80||Loss||-110||10 h 8 m||Show|
I'm playing on NEW ORLEANS. The Knicks are clearly off to a great start. However, I believe that this will prove to be a tough spot for them and they're laying too many points.
Yes, NY had yesterday off. However, the Knicks are still right in the middle of a difficult stretch. Sunday's game vs. Indiana was their third game in four days. All were against "quality" teams. They also have a rematch vs. Dallas on deck tomorrow, a team they recently faced at MSG. I feel a letdown could easily be in order.
While the Knicks have been poor road favorites in this range, the Hornets have fared well as home underdogs in this range. They're getting roughly as many points here as they were when the hosted OKC a few days ago. Yet, I don't think a banged-up Knicks team is as good as the Thunder.
Last time out, the Hornets lost but covered vs. Milwaukee, a 117-113 effort. They've had two days off since, coming in well rested. Note that New Orleans is 11-4 ATS the past few seasons when playing with two day's rest in between games and 11-5-1 ATS after scoring 105 or more in its previous game.
The Hornets upset the Knicks in last year's lone meeting, an 89-85 victory at MSG in 2/17/2012. Playing at home, I expect the Hornets to again give the Knicks all they can handle, with another outright win a real possibility. *9 Best Bet
|11-19-12||Milwaukee Bucks v. Charlotte Bobcats +5||Top||98-102||Win||100||9 h 30 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHARLOTTE. Off three straight victories, the Bucks find themselves laying points on the road. While the Bucks are off to a good start, keep in mind that they're only 2-3 ATS as favorites. It should also be noted that Milwaukee is an awful 45-72-7 the last 100+ times that it was off three or more consecutive SU wins.
Looking at the Bucks' last win and we find that they were laying 8.5 points as a host of New Orleans. They won (117-113) but failed to cover. Even when hitting a season high 13 3-pointers and playing at home, they only won by four. (New Orleans would finish at better than 53% from the floor.)
I don't expect the Bucks to have nearly the success from beyond the arc here. Charlotte has held its last four opponents to 36.7 percent shooting and 25.3 percent from 3-point range.
Note that the Bucks have a game against the defending world champion Bucks on deck, followed by a home and home series vs. division rival Chicago. Off the three straight wins and with those "big games" on deck, it would be easy to look past lowly Charlotte.
The Bobcats lost last time out but the fact that they battled back in the fourth quarter was encouraging.
Kemba Walker, averaging 18.8 ppg thus far, had this to say of the new Bobcat attitude. "That's who we are and that's how we are going to be all season hopefully. When we are down, we are not going to put our heads down. We are going to try our best to close the game out and try to keep pushing. We don't want to give up."
While they came up a little short last time out, the Bobcats are also off to a solid start. They're 3-2 SU/ATS here at home, including 1-0 ATS as home underdogs in the 3.5 to 6 range. I expect them to give the Bucks all they can handle with an excellent shot at the outright victory. *9 Best Bet
|11-17-12||Dallas Mavericks v. Cleveland Cavaliers -2.5||Top||103-95||Loss||-109||8 h 47 m||Show|
I'm playing on CLEVELAND. I successfully played against the Mavericks last night. They lost 103-83 at Indiana. I feel this will be a good spot to go against them again.
Still without their best player, the Mavs are in a rebuilding phase. The players have now already accepted that fact. They're still being treated like they're a good team by bettors and oddsmakers though, which has led to an 0-6 ATS mark their last six.
The Mavs are in a tough spot. Not only is this the second of back to back games, it also marks their sixth game in nine nights. They'll be facing a young and rested Cleveland team which is happy to be back on its home floor.
In two previous b2b spots this season, the Mavs have gone 0-2 SU/ATS, losing 113-94 at Utah and 101-97 at Charlotte. I played against them there and am doing so again tonight. *9
|11-17-12||Memphis Grizzlies v. Charlotte Bobcats +6||Top||94-87||Loss||-105||8 h 45 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHARLOTTE. I won with the Grizzlies last night and am well aware that they're off to an excellent start. I feel that they're a bit over-valued tonight though and also that they're susceptible for a letdown.
The Grizzlies' last four games against Houston, a divisional opponent, Miami, the defending NBA champion, OKC, the defending Western Champs and New York, an undefeated team. Off all those big wins, it will likely be easy to look past lowly Charlotte.
Note that the Grizzlies are in one of their worst roles; they're 2-7 ATS as road favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range. They lost six of those outright, too.
While their streak isn't as impressive as the Grizzlies' current streak, the Bobcats have quietly gone 3-0 SU/ATS their last three games. They're 3-1 SU/ATS here on the season, outscoring teams by a 98.2 to 94.7 margin.
The Bobcats covered the spread against the Grizzlies here last season, losing by five. With the schedule in their favor, I expect at least another cover here. *10 Best Bet