Not quite the furious beatdown we laid on Friday but still pretty darn good! Saturday featured a 2* winner on the Chicago Bulls, as they got their sweet revenge on the Boston Celtics, and we rode that to profit! We lost a tiny play on the Pacers (which I tried to label as clearly as possible that it was not to be played for more than half a unit, preferably less), so another nice profitable day!
Promo Weekly Section:
Last week we featured the Monthly Flex Package, and a few people took advantage of that great deal -- a smart call, since you get every play I release for the price of about 8 days' worth of picks.
This week, we'll rotate the feature spotlight to a Pregame SPECIAL -- the brass have brought back the DAN BEBE NBA SEASON PASS
... it was $495 for the season back in November, and if you missed the first third, you can STILL get a ridiculously tasty deal now, the rest of the season for $349, you're still looking at only about $3 per play!!!
And, as always, the daily stuff -- Another Top Play winner last night on Chicago rolls right into an Evening NBA play on Sunday -- we're rolling along with only one real significant blip coming on Wednesday. This is a great, great time to cash in the NBA -- As I like to say, DON'T FORGET THE NBA!ADD 2* SUNDAY WEEK-ENDING WINNA to CART!
And below, I'll SHRINK the Friday blog, so no one gets confused...
Sports Wagering: NBA
New Jersey Nets @ Washington Wizards (-5.5) with a total of 189;
Washington just really does not enjoy playing on the road. I thought they had a nice shot to steal one against a Philadelphia team in a letdown spot, but they managed to throw that one away with some poor 4th quarter defense. New Jersey had been playing just horrid basketball, home and road, but inexplicably came up with a big home win over the Chicago Bulls in their last game. So, from a momentum standpoint, the Nets seemed to play with a solid level of energy, and if they bring that same defensive tenacity to this one, they could really force some big turnover numbers. Of course, Washington remains a relatively decent home team, so we can't write them off, and they lost to Jersey in mid-December, so revenge could be sneaking into the equation, but they still would have to cover 5.5. This one is a close call for me, but I do give a tiny nod to WASHINGTON and the UNDER.
San Antonio Spurs (-6) @ Indiana Pacers with a total of 200.5;
This game confuses me a little, I will admit. The Spurs are coming off back-to-back losses, so they're in sort of uncharted waters this year, in terms of how well they've been playing. Indiana has seemed to slip into a more O'Brien-y style of game, relying ultra-heavily on small lineups, sacrificing defense for offense, and sacrificing consistency for the potential to explode on any given night. If Roy Hibbert could get his act back together, maybe he would force his Coach to play a bigger lineup, but his recent struggles have given O'Brien every opening he could want to go to small-ball. I don't trust Indiana right now, though catching 6 points at home is pretty solid for a middle-tier team. I believe San Antonio is definitely overvalued, so they're not necessarily a team I'd want to back, but I don't really feel all that excited about Indy, either. PASSEROO on the side, with a slight totals lean to the OVER.
Chicago Bulls @ Philadelphia 76ers (Pk) with a total of 191;
This is, classically, a spot where I'd like to back Philadelphia, though it's not as strong an angle as some of the others we discuss. Philadelphia is in their 2nd game back home off an 8-game road trip, and though they did, in fact, shoot the ball extremely well in their first game home, the second game is usually where a team finds its footing. Chicago, meanwhile, had its 5-game win streak snapped with an ugly performance in Jersey, and looking at Chicago's season, after the Circus Road Trip, they've played a very home-heavy schedule, and I think people aren't really seeing that. Chicago has played 11 home games in their last 16 before this current road trip, and they won most of 'em, but Chicago hasn't actually been that impressive on the road, at least lately. They're just 2-5 ATS on the road in December and January, and Philadelphia got beat by Chicago by 45 points the last time these teams met. Revenge much? Lean to PHILADELPHIA and the UNDER.
Toronto Raptors @ Boston Celtics (-9.5) with a total of 199;
This spread feels pretty low, given that Boston was laying 6 on the road in Toronto just 5 days ago. Yes, Bargnani is back for Toronto, so that makes them stronger, but 2.5 points stronger? I don't know. Regardless, if Boston cares, this is a team they can lock down and hold to 85-90 points. But, does Boston care? They play in Chicago tomorrow, so Toronto might be the team more interested in showing up, and they're coming off a nice offensive game against the pathetic Cavs. Boston is playing the sandwich game between San Antonio and the aforementioned Chicago, too. This line feels low to me, but I happen to think there are a few reasons the line is hovering where it is. Slight lean to TORONTO and the OVER.
Houston Rockets @ Orlando Magic (-10) with a total of 207;
Don't look now, but Houston has stopped playing defense, entirely! The team is 4-1 to the Over the last 5 games, and the only reason they're not pitching a perfecto in that stretch is because they clanked their way to only 85 points up in Portland. They've given up 100 points in each of those 5, and over 110 in 2 of the 5. Houston just can't stop anyone, and Orlando's monster size advantage with Howard, and suddenly impressive offense would seem to be a pretty strong test for Houston. The way I see this one, if Houston shoots 55% from 3-point land, they cover, but probably still lose, since they just give up too many points, but if they struggle to shoot from the perimeter, this has the potential to get ugly. I hate to lay the chalk, so I'm most likely just going to toss this one aside and keep moving, but with a gun to my head, I'd actually lean ORLANDO, and the OVER.
Utah Jazz @ Memphis Grizzlies (-1) with a total of 195;
Did the loss to Atlanta wake up the Jazz? That, to me, is the only question we need answered in this game, because outside of that, this is Memphis's game to lose. I wonder if the betting public has completely caught on, or if we might be sneaking in 1 game ahead of the curve. Heaven knows we watch enough basketball to know who's playing well, and we're probably already a game late on the real value, since Memphis is now favored by a point, but with Utah beating Memphis by 6 in Salt Lake City (failing to cover), and Memphis really playing its best basketball of the season this very week, I think you just have to go with the warm team and go against the cool one. If Utah jumps up and turns things around overnight, more power to them, but they look tired and listless without Millsap giving them energy points, and I wonder if Deron Williams might be putting too much on his own plate. Lean to MEMPHIS and the UNDER.
Portland Trailblazers (-3) @ Minnesota Timberwolves with a total of 200;
This game is interesting, mostly because Portland is finding ways to get it done, even without Brandon Roy, and I think we have to give a ton of credit to Patty Mills and of course, LaMarcus Aldridge. Portland is in a weird spot, playing a team they beat at home by only a handful, now on the road, right before a home date with the Miami Heat. Minnesota has shown an ability to get off to quick starts and rebound well, and one of Portland's strongest attributes is getting on that offensive glass. This line is extremely low, but again, I can't help but think that Portland is not in the best of spots. My greatest concern with backing Minnesota is that they seem to be finding ways to lose close games, dropping a heartbreaker at home to Denver, a heartbreaker on the road in Boston, and with a win sandwiched in, also losing in OT to Charlotte. If this one comes down to it, won't Minnesota lose by 3 or more? Despite all that, I still have to favor the WOLVES by a shade, and the OVER.
Miami Heat (-6.5) @ Milwaukee Bucks with a total of 183;
This is a bit of a revenge spot for the Bucks, as they lost by a dozen to the Heat in Miami just a couple days back. This is also the start of a 5-game road trip for the red-hot Heat, and really, for as badly as I want to back Milwaukee, the darn Heat just aren't showing any signs of slowing down. The lines are slowly inflating more and more, and after laying just 9.5 at home, laying 6.5 on the road is is an awful lot of points. That either tells us that the line at home was eerily low, or this one is eerily high. Either way, Milwaukee is a team that is strong of will, and if John Salmons can keep up his nice pace, and actually get some help from other guys now that the Bucks are back home, they might just jump up and surprise someone. Lean to the BUCKS and the UNDER.
New York Knicks @ Phoenix Suns (-1.5) with a total of 218.5;
I have almost no faith in Phoenix these days, and this line looks almost too easy to me, but then, maybe I'm giving the rest of the World too much credit? Maybe not. Who knows? Either way, the Knicks have what the Suns don't, and I am really curious to see how Amar'e plays against his old team, and maybe moreso, how his old teams plays against the man that spurned them and went to the Big Apple. That emotional angle is huge, no doubt about it, and I'm not 100% certain how it plays out. You have to think Amar'e is going to get whatever he wants, and no one understands Steve Nash better than Mike D'Antoni, so with those intangibles in our back pocket, we're just weighing if we think Phoenix has anyone on its roster that can overcome Amar'e. I don't think so, and I lean KNICKS and UNDER.
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Golden State Warriors (-9.5) with a total of 209;
Normally I would look to fade a team in the first game home off a 5-game road trip, but normally they wouldn't be playing a team that actually had to travel farther, and are in nearly as bad a spot. The Warriors are returning from a 5-game set that took them through the Southeast, and ended in New Orleans. So, by all accounts, they should be tired, but then, they throttled the Hornets in the 4th quarter of their last game on the trip, and that right there is completely bonkers. The Cavs, meanwhile, should have had an edge in this one, but they're actually coming from Toronto, one of the most distant locales in the league from California teams. This game has sluggishness written all over it, and my first look would be to the UNDER though even that is tainted by Cleveland's terrible defense. As far as the side goes, I suppose I'd still have to take the points against a team with minimal defense and lean CAVS, but that's a stretch.
New Orleans Hornets @ Los Angeles Lakers (-7.5) with a total of 190;
The question here is how much revenge is a factor. The Lakers stomped on the Hornets on the road, getting what felt like a pretty rare win for a slumping championship team from LA. The Lakers have, however, won 4 of 5 SU, even though they continue to struggle with covering spreads. This game might not be too different. The Hornets are a defensive-minded team that tends to have issues putting the ball in the hoop. Lately, the Lakers are a hyper-talented team that has had issues with energy. If you're not playing with a ton of fire, it's going to be hard to cover 7.5 points against a team on revenge. Think about this line for a moment. The Lakers were laying 3 in New Orleans on the second night of a back-to-back. By that token, they should be laying more like 10-11 at home, but we're not even in the vicinity! Does that mean this line is a monster value on LA, or ultra-low because the Hornets are going to win the game outright? Ah, good old line analysis. I tend to lean towards the HORNETS bringing the noise (and maybe the funk), and the total squeaking UNDER.