|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|05-07-13||Memphis Grizzlies v. Oklahoma City Thunder -2.5||Top||99-93||Loss||-109||33 h 15 m||Show|
I'm playing on OKLAHOMA CITY. The Grizzlies covered in the opener. However, they squandered a golden opportunity to steal the outright victory. I believe this situation favors the Thunder.
Many will look at Game 1 and see that the Grizzlies easily could have won. That will cause them to back them here.
However, it often doesn't work that way. Second chances don't always come around. The Grizzlies had their chance to win the opener and they didn't take advantage of the opportunity.
Now, the Thunder have had their "wake up call." I expect them to be better than they were in the opener.
Despite failing to cover on Sunday, the Thunder are still a profitable 12-3 ATS (13-2 SU) the last 15 times that they faced a team which allows 91 or fewer points per game.
The Thunder have beaten the Grizzlies six of the last eight here at OKC. Prior to Sunday, the previous five of those victories all came by at least seven points.
The Grizzlies did manage to steal Game 1 when these teams met in the 2011 playoffs. However, the Thunder came back a solid 111-102 victory in Game 2. I expect another win and cover here. 10* Main Event
|05-06-13||Golden State Warriors v. San Antonio Spurs -8.5||Top||127-129||Loss||-110||13 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN ANTONIO. Both teams played well in the opening round. The Warriors upset the Nuggets. The Spurs dismantled the Lakers. I expect the Spurs to be the team which keeps on rolling this evening.
A look at the season series reveals that the home team won all four games. The Warriors won both at Golden State but the Spurs won both at San Antonio, most recently a 104-93 win on 3/20.
Speaking of double-digit victories, all four of the Spurs' victories in the first round came by double-digits.
The Spurs have long dominated the Warriors here. In fact, the Warriors haven't won here in well over a decade - since Duncan was still in college.
While Curry is obviously an outstanding shooter, I believe the Spurs simply have more weapons. In addition to the "Big 3," Kawhi Leonard has developed into a star.
The Spurs are 25-14-2 ATS the last 41 times that they were listed as home favorites in the 6.5 to 9 range, going 10-4-1 ATS their last 15 in that role.
Note that the extremely well-coached Spurs are 5-2 ATS (6-1 SU) when playing with three or more day's rest in between games. They outscored teams by greater than 10 points per game this season.
While the Warriors are in unchartered waters, the Spurs have been here plenty of times. They swept their second round matchup (vs. the Clippers) last year, covering three of those games. That sweep began with a 108-92 victory in Game 1 and was followed by a 105-88 blowout in Game 2. I expect them to start things off with another double-digit win tonight. 10* personal favorite
|04-30-13||Golden State Warriors v. Denver Nuggets -7.5||Top||100-107||Loss||-105||11 h 43 m||Show|
I'm playing on DENVER. The Nuggets have their backs against the wall and find themselves in a "must win" situation. I expect them to respond with their very best game of the series.
Mark Jackson said this of the Nuggets: "They have a great coach. George Karl is going to have them prepared too, so we're anticipating the biggest fight of the season we've had all year on our hands.''
True, they failed to cover in Game 1, when the O/U line was 211.5. (It dipped to 208.5 in Game 2.) However, even with that ATS loss, the Nuggets are still an outstanding 12-2 ATS when playing a home game with an O/U line of 210 or greater, going a perfect 14-0 SU in those games.
The Nuggets have lost three games in a row, failing to cover in four in a row. They haven't lost four in a row all season and they also haven't failed to cover five in a row all season. The only previous time that they failed to cover four in a row, they responded with an outright win (as an underdog) at Indiana in their next game.
Lets keep in mind that the Warriors were 19-22 on the road this season and that prior to this series, they were 3-18 their previous 21 games without David Lee in the lineup. Lets also remember that the Nuggets were 38-3 at home. I expect them to force a Game 6, earning the cover along the way. 10* main event
|04-29-13||Indiana Pacers +2 v. Atlanta Hawks||Top||91-102||Loss||-108||29 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on INDIANA. I successfully backed the Hawks in Game 3. As you likely know, Atlanta won that game in blowout fashion. I never did state that I thought the Hawks were a better team though. Rather, I just didn't think that they were going to get swept and felt that they might be a little more hungry. After getting embarrassed last time out, I expect the Pacers to bring their "A Game" and for that to be enough to result in a win/cover.
As I acknowledged in my Game 3 analysis, the Pacers have struggled here at Atlanta. However, this is arguably the best Indiana team in a long time, a stronger and more complete team than the one which lost many games here. I feel that they're ready to break through with a win here.
Admittedly, the Pacers were pretty bad in Game 3. However, lets not get carried away by one Game 3 loss. The Pacers know all about that. Last year, they crushed the Miami Heat (94-75) in Game 3. However, the Heat responded by dominating every game the rest of the way.
I believe that the well-coached Pacers are also very capable at responding to a poor Game 3, as they're usually at their best off a bad loss. They were 10-4 SU/ATS off a double-digit defeat.
On the other hand, the Hawks were 7-12 ATS off a double-digit win, falling to 24-35 ATS in that situation the past few seasons. Note that they were also 1-5 ATS off a game in which they allowed 85 or fewer points.
I expect the Pacers to exorcise their "Atlanta demons," taking a stranglehold on the series. 10*
|04-27-13||INDIANA GM3 v. ATLANTA GM3 -2||Top||69-90||Win||100||11 h 31 m||Show|
I'm playing on ATLANTA. I won with the Pacers in Game 1 of this series. As you're likely aware, they followed it up with another convincing win in Game 2. However, with the series shifting to Atlanta for Game 3, I expect the "desperate" Hawks to respond with a victory of their own.
Coach Larry Drew had this to say: "It's about adjustments. We've done some good things in the first couple of games, but there are some things we need to do better. Some changes may push us over the edge in that respect."
Admittedly, the Hawks had trouble covering large pointspreads here this season. However, they did still manage a 25-16 SU record here. Note that record is considerably better than Indiana's 19-21 mark on the road.
When the pointspread was smaller, as it is today, the Hawks had much better success. In fact, they were 3-1 ATS when listed as home favorites of three or fewer points.
On the other hand, some might be surprised to learn that the Pacers are a dismal 1-8 ATS the last nine times that they were listed as road underdogs of three or fewer points, going just 5-13-1 ATS in that role the past few seasons.
Back in their own building, the Hawks should have plenty of confidence, as they have dominated the Pacers here. In fact, they've beaten Indiana 11 straight times here. A closer look reveals that every single one of those wins came by a minimum of three points. I expect more of the same here. 10* personal favorite
|04-23-13||Golden State Warriors v. Denver Nuggets -8||Top||131-117||Loss||-104||16 h 25 m||Show|
I'm playing on DENVER. The fact that the Warriors "kept it close" in Game 1, nearly pulling off the upset, will have many looking to grab the points here. I'm not one of them.
While there are obviously examples on both sides, its been my experience that road teams which squander an opportunity to "steal" Game 1 often don't perform as well in Game 2.
Making matters worse for the Warriors is the loss of David Lee. After recording yet another "double-double," Lee went down in the fourth quarter of Game 1.
Think that's not a blow? Consider that Lee led the NBA in "double-doubles" with 56 this season. He averaged 18.5 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
Golden State coach Mark Jackson noted: "We can't replace him, and we know that. And that's the thing we have to know right away. He's an All-Star power forward who's had an incredible year ... "
While the Warriors are now without Lee, the Nuggets are expecting to have Kenneth Faried back in the lineup. The player nicknamed ''Manimal'' provides an "energy boost."
Andrew Bogut said this of Faried: "He's an all-effort guy. It's not like they're going to throw the ball into the post and let him get a one-on-one. That's not his strength. His strength is offensive rebounds, hustle points, loose balls. He's one of the best in the league in doing that."
While the Warriors are 19-24 on the road, the Nuggets are now 39-3 at home. That includes a 28-14 mark at the betting window.
Despite failing to cover in Game 1, the Nuggets are 19-9 ATS against teams which average 99 or more points per game. They got their "wake up call" in Game 1 and I expect them to "bounce back" with a double-digit win tonight. 9* personal favorite
|04-21-13||Atlanta Hawks v. Indiana Pacers -6.5||Top||90-107||Win||100||69 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on INDIANA. Neither of these teams played particularly well down the stretch. Atlanta lost its final two regular season games and five of its last seven. The Hawks are only 2-8 ATS their last 10. Indiana hasn't been any better. The Pacers lost their last three games and five of their last six. They were 0-6 ATS during that stretch. Playing at home, I believe that the Pacers will be the team which is able to bounce back and return to form.
Homecourt is important to almost every team and that's certainly the case for both of these clubs.
The Hawks were 25-16 at home but only 19-22 on the road this season. On the other hand, the Pacers were 30-11 at home, going 19-21 on the road. They outscored teams by a 97.6 to 89.9 margin here. Visiting teams shot just 41.2% here.
Not surprisingly, given the above stats, the home team won all four meetings during the regular season. The Pacers won the two games here by an average of 8.5 points.
Despite the late season struggles, I believe that the well-coached Pacers will be ready to go. Indiana coach Vogel had this to say: ''The guys are really dialed in. Everything out of your mouth, they're nodding their heads and they're coaching themselves.''
The Pacers have only lost three in a row one previous time in 2013. After dropping three straight in late January, they responded with a 98-79 victory. I expect this well-coached team to again bounce back, picking up the cover along the way. 10* personal favorite
|04-20-13||Chicago Bulls +5 v. Brooklyn Nets||Top||89-106||Loss||-110||52 h 3 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. These teams faced each other four times during the regular season, most recently about three weeks ago. The Bulls won that 4/4 meeting, which was played here at Brooklyn, by a score of 92-90. The Bulls also won both meetings at Chicago, while losing the first game at Brooklyn by four points.
Including those results, the Bulls are 13-8 ATS the last 21 times that they were road underdogs in the 3.5 to 6 range, going 7-4 ATS their last 11 in that situation.
Meanwhile, the Nets are 8-15 ATS their last 23 as home favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range, going 6-9 ATS their last 15 in that role.
Overall, the Nets were 16-23-2 ATS here while the Bulls are 23-17-1 ATS on the road.
While the Bulls sometimes struggled against lower tier competition, they were typically tough against better teams. They finished the season at 24-21 ATS (25-20 SU) against teams with a winning record, going 70-52-1 ATS (72-51 SU) against winning teams the past few seasons.
On the other hand, the Nets often had their way against weak teams but were only 14-24-1 ATS (15-24 SU) against teams with a winning record.
While Deron Williams may (arguably) be the best player on the floor, I believe that the Bulls have more depth and a more complete team. Perhaps more importantly, I also believe that they've got an edge in the coaching department.
The Nets weren't able to beat the Bulls by more than four points in any of this season's meetings, three of those being decided by four or less. I won't be surprised if this one also comes down to the wire and am grabbing all the points I can get. 10* best bet
|04-17-13||Cleveland Cavaliers v. Charlotte Bobcats -2.5||Top||98-105||Win||100||12 h 59 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHARLOTTE. Although this is technically a "meaningless" game, I expect both teams to want to win it. That said, I believe the Bobcats will want it a little more. Throw in the fact that they're also currently playing much better and I believe this low line is very fair.
Note that Charlotte's overall home record (14-26) is four games better than Cleveland's 10-30 mark on the road.
The Cavaliers would like to close out their season with a victory. There's a chance that Byron Scott won't be around next season and the players would likely want to send him out as a winner.
I believe the Bobcats have more to play for though. With a victory here, the Bobcats can win three in a row. A win here will also give them a chance to pass Orlando (teams are currently tied) and to avoid having the worst record in the league.
Charlotte guard Gerald Henderson had this to say about avoiding last place:"We want to take care of that. It's not been one of our goals to start the season, obviously, but it's become a smaller goal for us as we've come down the stretch."
The fact that the Cavs have won both this season's meetings should provide the Bobcats with a little extra incentive too, as they look to avoid the series sweep.
Motivation aside, the Bobcats are simply playing much better than the Cavs right now. While Cleveland had lost five straight and 15 of its last 17, Charlotte has quietly won seven of its last nine at home. I expect the Bobcats to "keep on rolling," as they close out the season with another victory, providing the home fans with some hope that next season may finally be different. 10* personal favorite
|04-15-13||New York Knicks v. Charlotte Bobcats +8||Top||95-106||Win||100||23 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHARLOTTE. Its been another difficult season for the Bobcats. However, they've played well at home in recent weeks and I feel this will prove to be a good spot for them.
The Bobcats last game resulted in a 10-point win over the Bucks, on Saturday. They had yesterday off. Including Saturday's victory, they're 3-1 SU/ATS their last four home games and 6-2 SU/ATS their last eight here.
The Knicks have fared quite when playing the second of back-to-back games. However, I believe that this is worse than a "typical" back-to-back spot.
Not only are the Knicks off a big game vs. the Pacers yesterday, they're also their fourth game in the past five days. This will also now be their ninth game in the past 14 days.
Given that grueling schedule and with their home finale (vs. Atlanta) on deck and throw in the fact that they've now locked up the #2 seed in the East, I feel that they're going to have trouble remaining fully focused on the lowly Bobcats.
I would feel that was going to be true, regardless of who was in the lineup. However, the already banged-up Knicks are also likely going to rest a number of regulars.
After yesterday's win, Carmello Anthony was quoted saying: "It was a big game for us so now guys can get their rest, I can get my rest and come back full speed ready for the playoffs."
I expect the Bobcats to be the far more motivated team here and look for them to come away with the cash. 10* best bet
|04-12-13||New York Knicks v. Cleveland Cavaliers +4.5||Top||101-91||Loss||-105||9 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on CLEVELAND. The Knicks saw their winning streak come to an end last night, falling in OT at Chicago. While many will expect them to immediately bounce back, I won't be surprised to see them lose two in a row.
While they've been solid when playing the second of back-to-back games, an OT loss on national TV is a little harder to bounce back from than a "regular" loss. Thats particularly true with a number of players still banged-up.
Note that the Knicks haven't fared too well as small-medium sized road favorites.
The Cavs, who got Dion Waiters back last game, have covered three of their last four and four of their last six. Despite an 0-2 SU mark, they've played the Knicks tough in both this season's meetings. Those games were decided by only six combined points.
Even with a loss here last month, the Cavs are still 4-1 ATS the last five times that they were a host in this series. They're also 4-1 ATS when playing a home game with an O/U line in the 200 to 204.5 range. I expect AT LEAST another cover tonight. 10* best bet
|04-12-13||Brooklyn Nets v. Indiana Pacers -5.5||Top||117-109||Loss||-103||19 h 5 m||Show|
I'm playing on INDIANA. The Pacers are in one of their better roles here. They're 20-11 ATS (23-8 SU) the past few seasons when listed as home favorites in the -3.5 to -6 range. That includes a 7-2 ATS (8-1 SU) mark their last nine in that situation. I expect them to improve on those stats tonight.
While the Nets are a respectable 22-17 on the road, the Pacers are a very strong 30-9 at home. A victory tonight will officially clinch the third seed.
The Pacers play with "double-revenge" here, as the Nets have defeated them in both previous meetings. That should provide some added incentive. Note that the Pacers are 7-4 ATS when attempting to avenge an earlier home loss.
Even with the earlier victories over the Pacers and a win vs. Boston on Wednesday, the Nets are still a poor 13-24-1 ATS (14-24 SU) against teams with a winning record this season. That includes a 5-11 ATS mark their last 16 against winning teams.
After dropping two straight, the Pacers got back on track with a win vs. Cleveland on Tuesday. The fact that they didn't cover in that game has helped to keep this line slight lower than it potentially could have been.
Note that that Pacers, who also get tomorrow off, are 9-6 ATS (10-5 SU) when playing with two day's rest in between games. Looking to lock up the third seed and looking to avenge the earlier losses, I expect another win and cover tonight. 10* personal favorite
|04-10-13||New Orleans Hornets v. Sacramento Kings -5.5||Top||110-121||Win||100||13 h 58 m||Show|
I'm playing on SACRAMENTO. The Hornets have won both meetings this season. However, I believe this one sets up nicely for the Kings to exact some revenge. Note that both of the first two meetings were played at New Orleans.
While the Kings have had the past two nights off, the Hornets are off a hard-fought game vs. the Lakers, a contest where they really left it all on the floor.
Off that "meaningful" game, one which they were leading with seven minutes remaining only to fall short, I feel it will be tough for them to get up for this "meaningless" one. Note that the Hornets may be without Eric Gordon and/or Grevis Vasquez.
For the Kings, I don't expect it to be meaningless though. For starters, the Kings haven't been swept by the Hornets this entire millennium. I believe that avoiding that "feat" will provide them with some added motivation here.
Additionally, the Kings hit the road for three games after this, before playing their last game vs. the Clippers. In other words, this is their best chance to give the fans one last victory.
A win here can bring the Kings to .500 (20-20) at home and would put them in a position to potentially finish with a winning record here. (The Hornets are 11-28 on the road.)
The Kings, who nearly beat Memphis in their most recent game here, are 17-4-1 ATS (17-5 SU) the last 22 times that they were a host in this series. I expect them to be both the "fresher" and the "hungrier" team here and for that to lead to another win and cover. 10* personal favorite
|04-09-13||Philadelphia 76ers +7.5 v. Brooklyn Nets||Top||83-104||Loss||-105||11 h 24 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. The Nets have failed to cover in two straight games and are now 1-4 ATS their last five. I expect them to have their hands full again tonight.
Some of you may recall that we backed the 76'ers when they beat up on the Nets at Philadelphia last month. Despite being listed as an underdog, Philly won that game by a score of 106-97.
The 76'er also played the Nets tough here in the lone meeting at Brooklyn, losing 95-92, back in late December.
Its true that the 76'ers are now officially playing out the string. However, they've known that the playoffs weren't in the future for some time (long before getting mathematically eliminated) and they've still been playing hard.
Coach Collins said this of his team: "I'm incredibly proud at how hard they've played every single night. We've competed and we've had some really tough losses but we can only grow from that.''
While they did get blown out at Miami on Saturday, tote that the 76'ers have won four of their last six game outright. The other loss came by only five points. In other words, they'd be 5-1 ATS their last six, if they were getting as many points as they are this evening.
Note that the 76'ers are 14-7 ATS when off a double-digit loss.
Its true that the Nets are trying to secure fourth place in the East, which makes every game important. However, with a big game at Boston on deck tomorrow night, I believe that Brooklyn may not be fully focused on the "lowly" 76'ers. Note that the Nets are a dismal 4-12-1 ATS the last 17 times that they played the front end of back-to-back games.
Its also worth noting that the Nets are only 5-14 ATS when facing an opponent which defeated them in the previous meeting. So, "revenge" hasn't been much of a motivating factor for them.
The Nets are 4-6-1 ATS as home favorites in the 6.5 to 9 range. They're also 4-8-1 ATS when playing a home game with an O/U line in the 190 to 194.5 range.
The 76'ers are 11-4 ATS the last 15 times that they were a guest in this series, including a perfect 5-0 ATS the last five. I expect their best effort, en route to at least another cover. 10* best bet
|04-07-13||New Orleans Hornets v. Phoenix Suns +4||Top||95-92||Win||100||29 h 54 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHOENIX. The Suns have opened as underdogs here. I'll happily take whatever points are being offered. However, I expect them to win this one outright.
I successfully backed the Suns in their last game. While they ultimately lost the game, they easily covered the spread. They're stepping down in class here and I feel a similar effort will result in a SU victory.
While the Suns 16-23 home record isn't overly impressive, its considerably better than the Hornets' 10-27 mark away from New Orleans.
Not surprisingly, the home team has won both meetings this season. The Hornets won by nine when the teams met at New Orleans in February. Earlier in the season, the Suns won by three points here at Phoenix. Note that it was the Suns who were favored for the previous game here - they were laying 5.5 points.
While the Suns are off a cover, the Hornets are off back-to-back double-digit losses. They're now 1-4 SU/ATS their last five. Going back further finds them at 0-8 SU/ATS their last eight road games.
Obviously, neither team is going to make the playoffs. In cases like this these, motivation often plays a pivotal role in determining which team will cover. In this case, playing at home and looking to snap an extended losing streak, I believe that the Suns will be the "hungrier" team.
Why do I expect the Suns to be more hungry? A closer look at the schedule reveals that this is their second last home game of the season. After this, four of their final five games come on the road. Their lone remaining home game, after this one, comes vs. Houston. Needless to say, the Rockets are a better team than the Hornets. In other words, this game offers the Suns their best chance to give the home fans a victory. They're aware of this and I believe it will prove to be a motivating factor.
The Suns have beaten the Hornets twice in a row here and are 5-2 SU their last seven as a host in the series. 10*
|04-07-13||Dallas Mavericks v. Portland Trail Blazers +3.5||Top||96-91||Loss||-104||13 h 34 m||Show|
I'm playing on PORTLAND. In terms of making the playoffs, the Mavericks certainly have more to play for. They're desperately trying to catch up and get into the 8th spot. The Blazers, on the other hand, are already eliminated from postseason contention. That will likely have many wanting to back the Mavs here. I feel the Blazers are going to be very hungry though and that we're going to get their best effort tonight.
Admittedly, the Blazers haven't played too well in recent days. However, lets not forget that their 24-15 home record is far superior to the Mavs' 15-24 mark on the road.
While the Mavs won both meetings at Dallas, the Blazers defeated them in the lone meeting here at Portland.
After a poor performance on Friday, Portland coach Terry Stotts said this of his team: "It's definitely a downer. To have a losing streak at this time of the year and playing against playoff teams, it's a difficult task. In general, I've found that most players bounce back pretty well and we'll bounce back Sunday."
The Blazers have LaMarcus Aldridge back and that's a big plus for this team. Aldridge was excellent in his first game back, scoring 32 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Now the team has had a game with him in the lineup, which should help them here.
Wesley Matthews said this of the team's motivation level: "It's not even about the playoffs. We've got to play like this is the blessing it is."
The Mavs are just 7-12 ATS the past few seasons as road favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range, including a 1-3 ATS mark in that role this season. Meanwhile, the Blazers are 2-1 ATS as home underdogs in the 3.5 to 6 range.
While they fought hard, the reality is that the Mavs aren't likely going to make the playoffs. This is the Blazers' chance to really put the nail in their coffin. They've won five of the last seven series meetings here and I expect them to step up and score the upset tonight. 10* best bet
|04-06-13||Atlanta Hawks +7.5 v. San Antonio Spurs||Top||97-99||Win||100||11 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on ATLANTA. I'm well aware that the Spurs have dominated the Hawks over the years here. I also know that they've been very tough here all season and that they're still trying to lock up the #1 seed. That said, I expect the Hawks to give them all they can handle tonight and feel that they've got an excellent shot at scoring an upset.
As of this writing, it appears likely that Parker won't be able to go for the Spurs. Even if he does play, he's likely not going to be 100%. Last time out, Parker went just 1 of 6 for two points, before leaving with a shin injury. Already without Ginobili, the Spurs lost by double-digits. They've now dropped three of four.
Coach Popovich had this to say about Parker's performance and injury: "It looked like he had no energy to start the game and then as he went, he looked to me like he was limping. We saw him coming across halfcourt actually limping one time, and that's when we pulled him and I said to him, 'Tony, you got to stop.'"
Parker averages 20.6 points and 7.5 assists, both team highs. He's one of just three players averaging at least 20.0 and 7.0 per game.
Tim Duncan had this to say: "Obviously, Tony's down, Manu's down, so it's a concern, especially in this part of the season ... "
The Hawks are off a poor effort last night and that had Coach Drew steaming. I expect him to demand a much better effort tonight and for his team to respond accordingly.
Drew had this to say: "How you can come out and play like that when the game has that type of meaning is beyond me."
The Hawks beat Orlando by nine the last time that they played the second of back-to-back games and are a respectable 11-9 SU/ATS in that situation on the season. Note that four of those nine losses came by eight points or less - including a 5-point setback vs. these same Spurs.
The fact that they lost that game vs. San Antonio is noteworthy, as the Hawks are 23-14-1 ATS the last 38 times that they attempted to avenge an earlier home loss.
The Hawks are also 12-6 ATS (14-4 SU!) the last 18 times that they were off a double-digit loss. I expect them to rise to the occasion, earning AT LEAST a cover and improving to 5-2 ATS as road underdogs in the 6.5 to 9 range. *non-conf. goy
|04-06-13||Indiana Pacers v. Washington Wizards +4||Top||85-104||Win||100||11 h 47 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. The Pacers are having a great season and they've got a much better overall record than the Wizards. However, many might be surprised to learn that the Wizards' home record is actually better than Indiana's road record. That said, I believe the home underdog is providing us with excellent value here.
Even after a recent successful road trip, the Pacers are still only 19-19 away from Indiana.
Meanwhile, the Wizards are 21-17 at home, going a lucrative 25-13 at the betting window. They've outscored opposing teams by a 98 to 95 margin here. In fact, they've won eight straight at home, covering in each of the last seven.
Going back further finds the Wizards at 17-4 since Wall returned to the lineup. Two of those four losses came by two points. The other two both came by eight. In other words, they haven't been blown out here in months and they'd be 18-2 ATS their last 20 here if the line was what it is today.
A closer look at the recent 8-game winning streak reveals that the Wizards have won those games by an average of 12.2 points, shooting a sizzling 50.4 percent from 3-point range. Wall has averaged an impressive 23.8 points and 8.6 assists.
While the Wizards, who lost at Toronto on Wednesday, have had the past couple of day's off, the Pacers got blown out by the Thunder last night.
While they have yet to beat the Pacers, the Wizards have been at their best against quality teams. They're 11-5 ATS their last 16 against teams with a winning record, going a lucrative 24-11-1 ATS against winning teams on the season.
Wall wasn't in the lineup for any of the Wizards' three losses vs. Indiana. (All three losses came by eight or fewer points.) As noted, he's back and playing very well right now though. The Wizards are 9-4 ATS off a double-digit loss and 29-18 ATS when playing with revenge. I expect them to continue their excellent play here, earning AT LEAST a cover and improving to 6-3 ATS as home underdogs in the 3.5 to 6 range. 10* Eastern Conf. best bet
|04-05-13||Golden State Warriors v. Phoenix Suns +8||Top||111-107||Win||100||14 h 16 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHOENIX. The Warriors have had a very solid season and enter tonight's game with a much better record than the Suns. That said, I don't feel that they're ready to be laying this many points on the road.
While they've been tough at home, the Warriors are only 17-21 on the road. That's almost identical to the Suns' 16-22 home record. (If the Suns win tonight, the records will be equal.)
The Warriors did win this season's previous meeting - but that victory came by only two points. For the season, the Warriors are being outscored by an average of 102.8 to 99.9 away from home.
The Warriors just won four of five games on a recent home-stand. Four of those five games were decided by 10 or less though. (Most recently, they beat the Hornets by 10.) With an arguably bigger game vs. Utah on deck, I feel they may not be fully focused on the lowly Suns. Note that they Warriors are only 13-23 their last 36 off a double-digit win, 7-9 ATS in that situation this season.
The Suns have certainly struggled on the defensive side of the ball lately. They've scored more than 100 points in three straight games though, making it four times in five games that they've hit triple-digits.
While they (obviously) aren't going to make the playoffs, I don't believe the Suns are ready to throw in the towel. At least not when playing with triple-revenge, against a divisional opponent.
Phoenix point guard Goran Dragic had this to say: "We're not going to make the playoffs, so we'll just try to compete until the end of the season."
Even including the loss earlier, the Suns are 16-4 the last 20 times that they were a host in this series. The four losses came by an average of less than six points. I expect their best effort tonight. 10* best bet
|04-03-13||New York Knicks v. Atlanta Hawks -2.5||Top||95-82||Loss||-105||8 h 30 m||Show|
I'm playing on ATLANTA. The Hawks may claim that they don't care about positioning. However, I don't believe that to be the case. There's a big difference between finishing fourth and finishing fifth and they should be well aware of that fact. They've got the schedule in their favor and I expect them to step up with a win and cover.
The Knicks may have the better overall record but the Hawks' 24-13 mark at home is superior than the Knicks' 20-16 record away from MSG.
The Knicks have certainly been rolling and they're off an impressive win over the Heat last night. That said, I believe that this is a tough spot for them.
The Heat may have been without their stars last night but they still put up a fight. As a result, the Knicks starters were forced to log relatively heavy minutes.
In addition to playing the second of back-to-back games, the Knicks will also be playing their third game in the past four days and their sixth game in the past nine. That's a pretty grueling stretch and I expect it to catch up with them here.
Playing with revenge from a 2-point loss at New York, I expect the Hawks to be both the "fresher" and "hungrier" team and for that to ultimately translate to victory. 10* main event
|03-27-13||Indiana Pacers v. Houston Rockets -4.5||Top||100-91||Loss||-107||9 h 36 m||Show|
I'm playing on HOUSTON. The Rockets are playing some of their best basketball of the season right now. The Pacers are getting healthier but are still at less than 100%. Playing with "revenge" from an earlier loss at Indiana, I expect the Rockets to take care of business and to defend their homecourt.
The Rockets are averaging 109.7 points per game at home this season, hitting 47.5 % of their field goals here. On their current homestand, they've cranked up the defensive intensity, allowing an average of only 92.5 points. That's a dangerous combination.
Note that Houston is 24-5 when limiting teams to 101 or fewer points and that the Pacers average only 90.7 ppg on the road.
Losers of three of their last four road games, the Pacers are only 15-19 away from Indiana. On the other hand, the Rockets are 25-10 at home.
While they did lose at Indiana earlier, the Rockets are still 19-9 ATS (20-8 SU) against Eastern Conference opponents. (The Pacers are 14-11 against the West.)
The Rockets get tomorrow off and they've had two day's worth of rest coming in. They're 7-4 ATS (8-3 SU) when playing with two day's rest. The Pacers had yesterday off but are still playing their fourth game in the past six days - and they've got a game at Dallas tomorrow.
The Pacers have a comfortable lead over the Bulls in their division. While they'd still like to improve their positioning, assuming they hold off the Bulls, they'll get homecourt advantage in the first round.
I would argue this game is bigger for the Rockets. If the playoffs started today, the Rockets would be up against the Thunder. They've still got a very real chance of moving up to 6th though which would mean facing the Nuggets, Clippers or potentially the Grizzlies. I expect a highly motivated effort en route to a win and cover. 10* personal favorite
|03-24-13||San Antonio Spurs v. Houston Rockets +1.5||Top||95-96||Win||100||10 h 55 m||Show|
I'm playing on HOUSTON. Off four straight wins, the always well-coached Spurs are on a roll. However, a closer look shows that all four of those victories came at home and that 10 of their last 11 games have been played at San Antonio. (They're also only 1-4 ATS their last five overall.) The Spurs' last road game resulted in a 107-83 loss at Minnesota. They'll be playing at a much more difficult venue here and I expect their win streak to come to an end.
While the Spurs have a far superior overall record, some might be surprised to learn that the Rockets 24-10 home record is actually better than San Antonio's 23-12 mark on the road. The Rockets average 110.1 ppg on this floor, best in the entire league. They've won 10 of their last 12 here.
The Spurs have won all three meetings in the season series, including the lone game here at Houston. It should be noted that Harden, who averaged 31 points in the two games at San Antonio, didn't play in the previous meeting here. Needless to say, he's a very important part of this team.
While they shouldn't need any added incentive, the three previous losses should be an excellent motivator for the Rockets. They haven't been swept in four games by their instate rivals since the 2005-2006 season.
The Rockets, 10-4 ATS their last 14 against teams with a winning record, are 8-5 SU/ATS the last 13 times that they were listed as home underdogs of three or fewer points, including 2-0 ATS their last two. They're off a dominant defensive effort (allowed only 78) and have quietly won four of five. Playing with "triple revenge," I say its "payback time." 10* Revenge GOM
|03-23-13||Indiana Pacers v. Chicago Bulls -3||Top||84-87||Push||0||15 h 41 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. The Pacers have won all three of this season's meetings. The schedule favors the Bulls here though and I expect them to step up and avoid the season sweep.
While the Bulls had yesterday off, the Pacers were busy beating up on the Bucks. Admittedly, they've been solid when playing the second of back-to-back games. However, I'd still rather have the rested team. Also, with West expected to be out again - that may make the b2b spot that much harder to deal with.
True, the Pacers are now 3-0 SU/ATS their last three games. However, they were on a 2-5 ATS streak over their previous seven games, losing four of those outright. Also, note that they're only 4-7 ATS when off three or more consecutive victories.
The Bulls got Gibson and Hinrich back from injury on Thursday. While it can sometimes be difficult the first game a player (or players) return from injury, those guys now have a game under their belts and should provide a boost to the team going forward.
The Bulls should be extremely motivated here. Not only are they playing with "triple revenge," they're also off back-to-back losses - a 1-point heartbreaker vs. Denver was followed by a disappointing 10-point loss vs. Portland. The fact that they play on the road next time out - and then vs. Miami after that, should provide even further incentive.
Gibson had this to say: "Every game counts, and we need everybody. We've got to keep pushing. It doesn't get easy at all if you look at our schedule. We've got a lot of tough teams coming up. We've got to keep fighting."
The Bulls have been at their best off an upset loss in recent seasons, going 31-12-1 ATS and 36-8 SU. I expect them to bounce back with a much needed win and cover here. 10* Main Event
|03-23-13||Toronto Raptors +6 v. New York Knicks||Top||84-110||Loss||-110||14 h 5 m||Show|
I'm playing on TORONTO. These teams met yesterday, at the Air Canada Centre. The Knicks earned a 5-point win, which was enough for the cover. I expect the Raptors to be highly motivated for the second end of this home and home series and look for them to earn at least a cover.
While I'm aware that Rudy Gay went down last night, I believe that the Raptors will be in better shape to handle the second of back-to-back games.
I was in attendance for Toronto's first win this season, a 105-86 blowout of Minnesota back in early November. Knowing what I do for a living, naturally, the people that I attended that game with wanted to know who I thought was going to win. I told them that I had a big play on the Raptors.
A few of them knew my NBA history and didn't question my pick. However, a couple of the others told me that they didn't think that the Raptors, who had played the previous night, would be able to handle playing their second game in as many days. I told them that I wasn't worried about that - as the Raptors were among a group of teams that actually often plays better in that situation. That's remained true, too.
In fact, including that early blowout of the T-Wolves, the Raptors are an impressive 14-5 ATS the last 19 times that they played the second of b2b games.
To be fair, the Knicks have also performed well when playing the second of b2b games. That said, they're severely depleted right now. Last night, they got a huge effort from Kenyon Martin - however, I feel it will be hard for the 35-year old (who played 36 mins last night) to match that performance two nights in a row. Note that Chandler Stoudemire, Thomas and Wallace all remain out.
Obviously, both teams played yesterday. However, the Knicks will also be playing their fifth game in the past seven days. The Raptors are playing their fourth game in the past seven, having played one less game during that stretch.
All three of this year's games have been decided by five or less, Toronto winning the first two.
With last night's win, the Knicks clinched a playoff berth. That could be cause for a minor letdown. Whether or not that proves to be the case, I expect them to have their hands full the entire way, with the Raptors earning AT LEAST a cover. 10* best bet
|03-22-13||Boston Celtics v. Dallas Mavericks -4.5||Top||94-104||Win||100||13 h 19 m||Show|
I'm playing on DALLAS. The Celtics eked out a win in double-OT when these teams met at Boston earlier in the season, a game that Dirk Nowitzki didn't play in. With this evening's game being played at Dallas, I'm expecting a much different result.
For starters, note that the Celtics are 12-21 (2-10 vs. Western teams!) on the road. The Mavericks are 18-14 at home.
Needless to say Dallas is a different team with Dirk in the lineup. Note that Notwizki averages 26.9 points (in 26 games) vs the Celtics. That's his highest average against any team.
Sure, Terry would love to have a big game against his former team. However, I'd still argue that the Mavs need this game more and that they'll be the "hungrier" team. The Celtics are battling for a better seed. However, the Mavs are desperately just trying to make the playoffs.
Both teams were upset last time out. The Mavs were blown out by Brooklyn, the Celtics blew a double-digit second half lead vs. New Orleans and lost a 1-point heart-breaker. I feel that the Mavs' blowout loss will be easier to recover from than the Celtics' heartrbreaker.
Note that Boston is only 5-8 ATS off an upset loss while Dallas is 9-5 ATS off a double-digit loss.
With the Mavs also 17-8-1 ATS after allowing 105 or more points, I'm expecting a win and cover for the "desperate" home team. 10* personal favorite
|03-20-13||Toronto Raptors v. Charlotte Bobcats +6||Top||101-107||Win||100||19 h 44 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHARLOTTE. I've successfully backed the Bobcats in each of their last two games here. They were getting a lot of points in both games. Yet, they won outright by 26 and five points. I feel that they're again providing us with value and that they again have an excellent shot at an outright upset.
While the Raptors do have a far superior overall record, a closer look reveals that their road record (9-24) is identical to the Bobcats' home record. While the Bobcats have won back-to-back home games, the Raptors have lost back-to-back road games. Their most recent road game resulted in a 24-point loss. Yet, not only are the Raptors being asked to win - they're being asked to win by a handful of points.
The Bobcats haven't had much to feel good about this season - but they are feeling good right now - and I believe that they'll be motivated to keep on "rolling" tonight.
Kemba Walker said this after Monday's win: "...I think we took a huge step. Being down five points and sticking with each other and being able to win."
Gerald Henderson added: "We've got a lot of fight. We had a little bit of a lull in the fourth quarter, but we pulled it back and came together. We got sharp on offense and defense and got it done tonight. We've kept working and played hard. It feels good."
True, the Raptors are fairly well-rested, having had the past two days off. That hasn't helped them much though. Indeed, they're 1-7 SU (3-5 ATS) the last eight times that they played with two day's of rest in between games, going a dismal 4-19 SU in that situation the past few seasons.
Both the Bobcats recent home wins have come against teams (Boston and Washington) which they had beaten at least once already this season. The Raptors are another team which the Bobcats have already beaten this season. (Raptors won both meetings at Toronto but Charlotte won 98-97 the lone meeting here.) In fact, they're 4-0 SU the last four times that they hosted the Raptors and 6-1 the last seven. I'll take the generous points but won't be surprised by another "upset." 10* best bet
|03-19-13||Portland Trail Blazers v. Milwaukee Bucks -4||Top||95-102||Win||100||15 h 36 m||Show|
I'm playing on MILWAUKEE. The Bucks have failed to cover four games in a row. However, they snapped their 3-game SU losing streak last time out - a 6-point win - and I expect them to follow it up with a win and cover this evening.
While the Bucks had yesterday off, the Blazers are off a hard-fought and potentially demoralizing 1-point loss at Philadelphia. They'll be playing their third game in the past four nights now.
The Blazers are also in one of their worst roles here. They're 2-7 ATS as road underdogs in the 3.5 to 6 range, going an ugly 8-20 ATS their last 28 in that role.
Milwaukee's coach (Boylan) is demanding more from his team. He had this to say: "First of all, we are not in the playoffs. ... We need to turn it up and we need to be a serious team. Right now, we are not playing like a serious team."
The Bucks already won by six at Portland at January. Last year's two meetings against the Blazers resulted in victories of 22 and 29 points. With the schedule in their favor, I expect Boylan's crew to "get serious" and another double-digit win won't surprise. 10* personal favorite
|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