That's right, ladies and germs, the blog is back for another 5-day NBA breakdown. In terms of the weekend gone by, let's just break down the news, from least to most awesome.
Least awesome -- still treading water in the NFL, for some reason, and that's not good enough. We won our 2* GOW on the Denver Broncos, but dropped 1* plays on the Panthers and Niners. A foolish late play add turned a profitable day into a "break even" day (dropped 0.20 juice), so I have only myself to blame, and to my clients, I apologize for that stupid move. Bad Dan; lesson learned.
Plain old awesome -- it says a great deal that the MEDIUM level of awesomeness is occupied by yet another Saturday CFB sweep! We hit our 2* CFB Big play on the Trojans of USC, and also picked up a Free winner on Purdue for a nice 2-0 sweep. That's 8 consecutive winning Saturdays, and 9 consecutive CFB "Big" Paid winners. Dating back to mid-freaking-September, we haven't had a losing Saturday. I like that very much.
Most awesome -- I suppose you could switch this one with the middle note, but with 2 more NBA winners on Saturday (albeit close ones), we have now hit THIRTEEN consecutive NBA plays. 13-0 on all NBA, paid or Free. Our sport is in full swing, and we're delivering a Gap Band-style "Oops Upside Ya Head" slap to NBA lines.
Today: This section will change on a weekly basis, for the most part, with a couple interesting things profiled, a Pro note or two, and then the daily package information. So, like last week, we'll give a few more days of promo space to Pregamepodcasts.com - home of all things podcast!
I'm going to take the season pass down for a week, and instead feature the weekly pass! A great deal in itself, since you get all THREE sports!
And, of course, the daily package - it's a rare TWO-SPORT TWO-for-ONE (Monday Night Football Top Play and NBA Best Bet!)
Sports Wagering: NBA
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Charlotte Bobcats (-9.5) with a total of 196.5;
I would absolutely argue that now is a decent time to back BOTH of these teams...just not when they're playing each other. The Wolves are starting to play some half-decent basketball, led by Michael Beasley and Kevin Love who have suddenly formed a scoring/rebounding duo. The team, overall, is still pretty miserable, but they're starting to compete on a nightly basis, and a little confidence can go a long way. Here, they play the second half of a back-to-back against Charlotte, after covering last night in Atlanta in a losing effort. The Bobcats, meanwhile, seem to be finding a little defensive rhythm, at long last. Though they lost their last game to Utah on a last-second shot, the Bobcats had won 2 straight prior, and are starting to hold teams to low/mid-90's scores. They're still getting pulled in by the opponent's tempo to a certain degree, so I'd be a little cautious, and given that both teams are starting to play better basketball, that makes this one a toughie. Charlotte's style of play doesn't really lend itself to a monster blowout, so with that in mind, slight lean to the WOLVES, and slight lean to the UNDER.
Memphis Grizzlies @ Orlando Magic (-9) with a total of 200.5;
I feel like we can really chalk this game up to the Magic, and their complete inability to cover spreads right now. The Magic are a decent 6-3 straight up, but a miserable 2-7 ATS. They're beating bad teams by small margins, and they've taken a few losses that they shouldn't have. Of course, we know how explosive they can be, and the Magic could wake up any day and beat someone by 25. Will it be this one? The Grizzlies are coming off a tough OT loss to the Celtics after fighting back to tie that game in regulation, and thus ended their short 3-game homestand with a rather pedestrian 1-2 record. I don't like what I've seen from the Grizzlies this year. Their defense has been bad, and while they have the talent to compete with most teams in a nightly basis, their lack of effort on that side of the court is eventually going to hurt them. Between Memphis playing terrible defense, and Orlando not really showing much heart in the regular season so far, this one is a coin flip. It's either going to be decided by 3 points, or 17. PASS on the side, and slight totals lean to the OVER.
New Orleans Hornets @ Dallas Mavericks with a total of N/A;
Ah, this is our first truly interesting game of the day. The undefeated New Orleans Hornets, off a beatdown of the suddenly vulnerable Trailblazers, take their unblemished record into Dallas, and the ATS-nightmare that is the Mavericks' at home. Making this matchup even more interesting, beyond Dallas's issues at home and the Hornets' record, is the fact that this game marks the first of two straight meetings between these two teams. The rematch comes on Wednesday in New Orleans. So, in many cases, this is a spot where I'd offer two alternative methods of play, each with some positives, and each with some negatives. The first is the conservative play - watch this game, and play the home-and-home rematch according to how this one ends and the lines of the two games. This is what we'd do in most of these repeat battles, but to me, there are some factors that make even this first game worth considering. That's method number two - fade the Mavs at home again, since the line is likely going to be pretty fair, and the Hornets continue to outplay fair lines. Thus, feeling saucy, I offer leans on the HORNETS and the UNDER.
Denver Nuggets @ Phoenix Suns (-1.5) with a total of 218;
I desperately want to find some tremendous angles in this game, since it seems like there should be a few. Phoenix is playing the second half of a back-to-back that began with the late game in Los Angeles (against the Lakers) last night, a game the Suns won with some outrageous 3-point shooting. Phoenix made 22 of 40 3-balls in that game with LA, and, simply, when you score 66 points that quickly, even the great teams are going to have a tough time, and that's just what happened. But, on the other side, Denver is coming off a nice home win over the Lakers, too! So, the two teams that have given the Lakers losses this year now do battle in Phoenix. The only real discrepancy between the two teams is the fatigue factor. Phoenix loses an hour (thanks to Arizona ignoring Daylight Saving time), and has not looked that strong on back-to-back games so far this year, most notably on offense, as they scored just 99 in Memphis in their most recent fatigue game. On top of that, Phoenix starts a 4-game road trip in Miami on Wednesday, so one could argue that despite Denver being the high-profile team they are, Phoenix might be thinking about taking something to LeBron. The Suns might very well keep the hot shooting going for 2 nights, but the law of averages and a few situational notes make me lean to DENVER on the side, and the UNDER on the total.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Utah Jazz with a total of N/A;
The Thunder had a pretty predictable letdown yesterday against the Spurs, after posting that heroic win over the Blazers on Friday. Also, we should point out that, in retrospect, the Spurs have actually played the Thunder very, very well. That veteran savvy of the Spurs still can show the youngsters a thing or two. So, now, how does Oklahoma City respond to an ugly effort, at home, against the Spurs? Well, for one, they get to go after a division rival, and Oklahoma City is a nice 2-1 within the division so far this year. Who did they lose to? These Utah Jazz, at home, in a blowout. If you want to talk about a game where the Thunder have every reason to bring their top effort, you'd think it would be this one. The Thunder are coming off an ugly home loss, in a revenge spot, so they should be a nice team. What about Utah? Well, no team has been more impressive in the last week, flat out. The Jazz fell behind by double digits in EACH of 4 road games in Miami, Orlando, Atlanta and Charlotte, and came back to win all 4. Just flat out amazing. Of course, we managed to steal a cover with the Bobcats in that last game, and this one marks Utah's return home for the first time in a while. Can this Jazz team really kick it into high gear yet again? Something tells me we'll have a close game on our hands, and the back-to-back spot for Oklahoma City, to me, is actually an edge for them (ATS-wise), since they'll be catching 2 extra point. Lean to the THUNDER and the OVER.
Detroit Pistons @ Golden State Warriors (-7) with a total of 206;
I desperately want to back someone in this game, but sometimes, you just have to bow to the competition of strong situational angles. See, with Detroit, they're playing the final game of a 4-game west coast road trip, that, to this point, has actually gone pretty darn well. They lost the opener in Portland, but responded with wins in LA (against the Clips) and in Sacramento, yesterday. I'm torn, here. Normally, a team on the final game of a road trip would start to look towards getting home, where the Pistons will be hosting the Lakers. I'm not sure if that's the case in this particular game, as Detroit is playing well, and I would hope that they'll take some sort of pride/pleasure in actually winning games. Still, I'm also not sure that we can fight such a strong situational angle. So, we bet Golden State? Not so fast. The Warriors are set to play their first home game off a 5-game road trip. They haven't been home since November 5th, and are still without the services of David Lee while he deals with his infected elbow. This is one of those rare games where we have two teams that we'd normally love to fade, but they happen to be playing one another. My advice is to watch this game and learn. If the Warriors lay an egg, betting them in their 2nd game home might be a nice move. If the Pistons lay an egg, betting them to play better at home might make sense. Tough call, but gun to my head, I lean PISTONS and the UNDER.
New Jersey Nets @ Los Angeles Clippers (-2) with a total of 189;
From a pure situational angle, I think you have to like the Clippers, at least at a glance. I know they're all kinds of banged up and are a truly stellar 1-9 SU on the year (and that's not good, considering they're the listed favorite here), but this is their 2nd game back home off a long road trip, and they're playing a team that they know they can beat. That has to be hovering in the minds of the Clippers. Injuries definitely make backing the Clippers a tough move, but the Nets are coming off a painful loss, at home, to the Orlando Magic, a game that New Jersey led with 4 seconds remaining before having the win snatched away by Jameer Nelson. So, Jersey heads on the road in a bit of a letdown spot, and has to start with a game against the Clippers, a team that doesn't really inspire anyone to get up. Neither team really runs and guns, and we know Jersey is perfectly content playing a game that's slow as hell, but something just tells me the Clippers play a decent game. It's hovering more in the hunch neighborhood than anything else, since the Nets are probably the more talented team, but their long travels and the Clippers' desperate need for a win weigh heavily for me. Lean to the CLIPPERS and the UNDER.