Just the wrong call with Golden State. I felt strongly they'd bounce back from that ugly game in LA by running a bit, but that team was just completely out of gas. Wrong side, wrong result.
Staying with the theme of podcasts, this week's feature is the College Football Weekly Show
(with guest Pro, Sac Lawson) -- the College Football season is starting to wind down, and folks not taking a listen for late-season strategies are missing out. Monday through Wednesday I'll be featuring last week's show as a teaser, then we'll switch it up for this coming weekend on Thursday.
Pro Features: The Weekly Package got the spotlight last week, but this week I want to point everyone's attention to the ultra-cheap FLEX ACCESS PACKAGE -- just $195 for a full month of all sports. And don't tell, but you can actually switch Pros 3 times!
And, of course, the daily package -- Not my favorite little NBA 3-game losing skid, but I eyeballed plays I liked VERY quickly on tonight's card -- Two-for-One package, and probably a Free play to go alongside!
Now, read the damn blog...
Sports Wagering: NBA
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Indiana Pacers (-5.5) with a total of 201;
If any game has letdown written on it on today's card, you'd have to think it's this one. The Pacers play the Heat in Miami on Monday night (which will be starting about 3 hours from the time I compose this paragraph), and, barring the Pacers getting completely blown out, coming home to host the "restructured" Cavaliers just doesn't have that same ring as heading on the road to tackle LeBron and his gang of kingly sorts. The Pacers are a team on the rise, there's zero question about that, and last night's game was serving as something of a proving ground -- how will they play against some of the best? And now, to go from playing LeBron's new team to his old, it has all the makings of a game where the Pacers are lackadaisical on defense and just try to outshoot their opponent. This, of course, plays right into Byron Scott's offensive-minded team. And when teams just trade buckets for 48 minutes, the one catching 5.5 points usually covers. Add to that the notes that the Cavs are coming off 2 days of rest and the Pacers could be rather tuckered and that Indiana walloped the Cavs in Cleveland a week ago, by 14 points, and you've got yourself a nice little blend of scheduling, situational, and energy angles. Lean to CAVALIERS and OVER.
Atlanta Hawks (-2.5) @ New Jersey Nets with a total of a 191.5;
Some might look at this game with the same sentiment as the game above, but I'm not so sure the angles in this one don't balance a tad more. Yes, the Hawks have a big game with Boston on their Monday night schedule, but Atlanta's real "beef" is with Orlando. Boston is a solid opponent, but Atlanta has shown that they can out-athletic the Celtics when they have had to. Heck, the Hawks actually swept the 4-game series from Boston last year. The Celtics were significantly more banged up then than they are this year, though here we are again, Boston without Rajon Rondo (most likely)...in any case, we'll see how that game turns out, but my main point is that I don't believe Atlanta is "getting up" for Boston like they have in the past. Atlanta is confident they can beat the Celtics, and when you approach a game like any other, it minimizes that potential letdown. On the Jersey side, they return home off a marginally successful road trip, marked by being competitive in most games and nabbing a win against the worst team in the NBA (Clippers). So, first game home against arguable letdown - which side do we prefer? To be perfectly honest, New Jersey's slow tempo and all pick-and-roll offense might not work that well against the Hawks. Atlanta can switch just about everything because of sheer athleticism, and the Hawks are a good rebounding team. It happens from time to time, but I like the square HAWKS and the UNDER.
Philadelphia 76ers @ Washington Wizards with a total of N/A;
On John Wall, we wait. In the meantime, Gilbert Arenas is destroying. Unfortunately, the Wizards still don't play any defense, so they count on knocking down more shots than their opponent to win, and that's a tough way to take games against anyone better than you. Lucky for Washington, Philadelphia stinks. The Sixers do have reason for optimism, though, in that Andre Iguodala is slated to return from his Achilles injury in this one, and they have desperately needed their playmaker. We've seen nice things from Evan Turner so far this year, and Jrue Holiday is slowly improving, but Spencer Hawes has been terrible. Though, really, when I look at this team, they should win a few games. Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young make for a rather potent scoring duo off the bench, and Elton Brand is playing his best basketball in years. At some point, something is going to click, and Philly is going to rattle off a few wins, but it's tough to pinpoint precisely when that's going to be. Playing some defense might help. But I digress - without John Wall - or, even with him - Washington is going to be frightfully inconsistent this year, and are going to be a tough, tough team to 'cap outside of the obvious scheduling or situational spots. NO LEAN on the side, UNDER lean on total.
Charlotte Bobcats @ New York Knicks (-3) with a total of 205.5;
It's home-and-home time, which means we're in line for at least one bet. These are some of the best value spots of the entire season, so let's just keep our microscopes at the ready. And, with this one, it's on back-to-back days, as well, so that should only make our jobs a tiny bit easier. As far as betting the opener, you guys know my normally conservative stance on the first game of the two - watch and learn. However, if you're feeling spicy, there are a few angles that might point to the road teams doing damage in this home-and-home. First, the Bobcats are coming off a nice respite, not having played since Saturday, and I'm not sure that game should even count as playing. Charlotte clubbed the defenseless Suns, and this team is quietly starting to play better. I'm tempted to just start backing them indiscriminately, so we don't miss the value. It's there, and it's going to start dwindling at some point. New York, additionally, is coming off a wildly successful swing out west, picking up a hard-fought loss in Denver before punching the Kings, Warriors and Clippers in their respective guts. But, coming home off a bonding road trip is even harder than coming home off a poor trip. This is a cross-country travel lag-game, with a team they know they're going to be playing again tomorrow, and I rather doubt the Knicks get to shoot 50+ free throws again. Look at passing on this one, but if you must, CHARLOTTE and UNDER.
Detroit Pistons @ Dallas Mavericks (-10) with a total of 192;
What more can I say? Dallas just continues to find ways to lose ATS at home and win on the road. It just gets sillier with every few games. The last time we talked about Dallas, they were about to host the Chicago Bulls, and promptly lost that game outright. Then, over the weekend, the Mavericks rolled into Atlanta and picked up another tough road win. So, now, back home and laying big points to a slightly-better-than-people-think Pistons team, what could possibly move us off the underdog? The Mavericks play tomorrow in Oklahoma City, a much more compelling game than this one. The Pistons don't really have look-aheads or letdowns, since they're not at odds with any particular team since they, well, got bad. Detroit does play again tomorrow, too, but in Memphis, and the results of this game will play a nice roll in preparing us for that one. Look for Detroit to continue to do just enough, and look for Dallas to continue taking their foot off the gas at just the right times. Lean to DETROIT and the UNDER.
Chicago Bulls @ Los Angeles Lakers (-9) with a total of 203.5;
I know I should be excited about this game, but I'm not, really. Fact is, no one can stop the Lakers offense. They score over 100 almost without fail, and they do it without having to run all that much. It's pretty amazing. So, as a Laker fan, I have no issues. As a man who is hunting for value, I'd like to point to the rather large line and say that Chicago is in business, but the Lakers are on one of those ATS rolls right now, and I'd be a little cautious, even with the line at this extremely large number. The Lakers have covered 4 straight, including demolishing the Warriors on Sunday night, and when LA gets going (and plays defense), they can beat any team in the League by 15 on any night. So, it is with some reticence that I offer the alternative - just watch the Lakers, and as soon as it looks like they're going back to just "playing B+ basketball," fade away. It tends to happen in waves with LA, too. They failed to cover opening night due a clear lack of focus, then rattled off 4 straight covers. Then, they started to relax and went 1-4 ATS. Since Phoenix dropped 22 treys on LA, they've pounded 4 teams. So, just keep an eye on LA, and when they start letting teams creep back into games, that's when we pounce. This could very well be that night, so don't let me completely talk you out of betting Chicago, but I've watched this Lakers team long enough to know that it's best to ride streaks and not try to jump in front of them. NO LEAN on side, total lean OVER.