Recap: A super way to begin the mid-week!
After a small NFL setback on Sunday, we came roaring back on Monday with a pair of NBA winners, cashing with the Warriors +1 as the Free Play, and with the Suns/Grizzlies Under as the 2* Best Bet! Fear the Bebe Unders!
Today: It's a new week, and we're over 10 days into the NBA season, so I'll go ahead and remove the Season Preview Podcast from these daily threads. If you want to check out that bad boy, or any of the other shows, visit PregamePodcasts.com.
I am not, however, eliminating the link to my season pass:
And, as usual, a single game package -- tonight's is the 3* Game of the Week, and a spot I've had my eye on for a few days:
If all that hasn't inundated you, here's a blog:
Sports Wagering: NBA
Denver Nuggets @ Indiana Pacers (-1) with a total of 209;
I wrote most of what I felt was important on this game in yesterday's blog, believe it or not, because Denver's schedule is the absolute pinnacle of importance. How fitting, too, that their opponent is the hometown team of our very own Schedule-Master (where you at, Jeff)! I'll go over it again, quickly, for those that missed the Monday blog. Denver is playing their 4th game in 5 nights here in Indiana. That started with a home win over the Clippers, followed up the next night with an outright underdog win in Dallas, continued last night in Chicago (we'll learn the results of that game soon), and concludes here in Indiana. Denver has a night off after this game, but then hosts the LA Lakers on Thursday. What a schedule! Terrible spot for Denver, in that regard. Indiana is coming off a home loss to the Bucks, and then 3 days of rest. That's a nice thing for a team that likes to run and shoot quickly. Pretty standard situational spot for Indy. Clearly, Denver's results in Chicago are going to weigh heavily on this game, but without knowing them, lean to INDIANA and the OVER.
Cleveland Cavaliers @ New Jersey Nets (-2.5) with a total of 196;
This line is interesting, if only because it seems like the Cavaliers are generally being regarded as a bottom 3 team in the NBA. Yeah, they're going to be pretty bad, but as I've stated numerous times, as they get healthy and learn Byron Scott's system, they're going to compete, and they'll surprise some teams. Here's my concern with playing this game. These same two teams play again TOMORROW back in Cleveland. To the Cavs' credit, they've won back-to-back road games over some lackluster competition (Philadelphia and Washington), so we know they can compete with the bad teams, home or road, and catching 2.5 yet again seems like a bit of a gift, but some inside me is nagging just a tad. New Jersey has lost 4 in a row, to Miami, Charlotte, Orlando, and then Miami again, so they're not really in any position to be getting overvalued, yet this line has the Cavs ranked only a half-point higher. The safe play would be to watch this game and then play the opposite in the rematch tomorrow, but why be safe, when it feels so good to be dangerous. I don't trust the Nets to quite keep up offensively - lean to CLEVELAND and the OVER.
Utah Jazz @ Miami Heat (-10) with a total of 192.5;
Wow. Just wow. The Heat are a double digit favorite to the Jazz? We're talking about a team that lost to the Lakers in the Playoffs last year in the tough-as-nails Western Conference, and they're catching 10 points? You've got to think that the Miami lines are just going to be colossal all season long, but considering Utah just got done laying double digits at home to the Clippers, to then go on the road and catch double digits is just incredible. Here's the thing - I'd love to come in here and tell you I'm fully aware of how to deal with a situation like we're having with the Heat, but this is pretty new to everyone. Miami has been living in such an insane hype that the lines are going to be crazy, and it's up to use to figure out exactly when fading those lines is going to be the most profitable. This is the start of a brutal road trip for Utah, which travels from Miami to Orlando tomorrow, then through Atlanta and Charlotte, all in 4 nights. This could potentially get ugly. NO LEAN on the side, and totals lean to the UNDER.
New York Knicks @ Milwaukee Bucks (-4.5) with a total of 195.5;
I still think the Knicks are supremely overrated in the early going. I know they won in Toronto, and shot the lights out during a road win in Chicago, but this team is flawed. They rely way, way too much on the 3-point shot, and I've personally seen them fire repeatedly from a solid 3-feet beyond the line. Yes, they made a few in a row, and shot a solid percentage in a few straight games, but if New York goes cold, they could be in real trouble. On top of that, Amar'e Stoudemire seems bent on trying to do too much in the paint. Simply looking at the box scores doesn't tell the whole story, as his turnovers are too high, and a good team-defense-oriented team like Milwaukee will have a gameplan. I also like that John Salmons is getting healthy, as he's a huge piece to the Bucks' puzzle, and I can't imagine anyone on the Knicks truly big enough to stop Bogut down low. The Bucks' problems come against good defensive teams, and the Knicks aren't that. And as we saw in their last game, New York shot poorly from the perimeter, and lost, at home, to a pathetic Philly team. Lean to MILWAUKEE and the UNDER.
Los Angeles Clippers @ New Orleans Hornets with a total of N/A;
Wouldn't it be fitting for the Hornets to lose their first game to the lowly Clippers? I don't think it's going to happen, but it could. LA has quietly played pretty well in their last 3 games, beating the Thunder at home before blowing leads in Denver and Utah, but covering both spreads. They're not terrible, and though they don't seem to pose a threat that they'll actually win games, they're hanging tough against teams now, which makes them a very intriguing play when catching nearly 10 on the road against most of the Western Conference. They do play San Antonio tomorrow, though, a team that has just owned the Clippers as far back as I can remember. This is a decent spot for New Orleans, though, as they haven't played in 3 days, and won't play again for a few more. They're rested and rolling, and Chris Paul is back to playing at MVP level. However, one key note on New Orleans is that every game they've played has been decided by fewer than 10 points. They just seem to get locked into close games, and then Chris Paul does something amazing to make sure they win. Considering LA will probably catch a solid 8-9 points here, or more, lean to CLIPPERS and the UNDER.
Detroit Pistons @ Portland Trailblazers (-10.5) with a total of 188;
This game has the potential to be pretty ugly. The Blazers come home off an embarrassing loss to the Lakers, and take on the walk-it-up-the-floor aging Pistons in a game that we probably won't want to watch. This is the start of a 4-game road trip for the Pistons that takes them through LA (to play the Clippers), then Sacramento and Golden State. Needless to say, it's not going to be easy. Detroit is far from home, and while the first game of a road trip usually is a "bonding" time for teams, this Pistons team is going to really need to dig deep to overcome what's sure to be a pretty irritated Blazers club. I'd say the Blazers might have a slight look-ahead, but they don't play until Friday, even though it's a revenge game against the Thunder. This line, to me, is pretty close to where it should be. Portland is a very good club that just had a bad game against a superior opponent in LA, and they'll find a way to get it done at home. Will they win by 11? Tough to say. Something tells me Detroit loses by 9. Thus, teeny lean to the PISTONS, and the OVER, since two terribly slow-paced teams always seem to surprise and score some points.
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Los Angeles Lakers (-17) with a total of 217;
Oh good lord. I'm already sick of capping Wolves games, because we're going to be seeing a lot of lines hovering in this neighborhood. I will give the Lakers credit...they are blowing the crap out of the weak teams, so far. They beat the Warriors by 27, Memphis by 19, even Portland, a good team, got waxed by 25. So, the general thought process has to be, "Okay, if the Lakers can beat all those teams by more than 17, why not the pathetic Wolves?" And honestly, I don't have a great answer. You could argue the Lakers are feeling too good about themselves after pummeling the rival Blazers, so maybe they don't quite step on Minnesota's throat, but that's tough. You might also argue that the Lakers are going to be more likely to get those subs in there at the first sign of a 25-point lead, and maybe Minnesota will back-door it. Is any number really inflated enough on a Wolves game? This one is getting close, but man... tiniest of leans to MINNESOTA and the OVER.