FoxDen Hall of Famer
Registered: Sep 2011
Inside the Paint - Tuesday
By Chris David
Even though the NBA playoffs are still two months away, you can argue that the 14 of the 16 playoff spots are locked up.
In the Eastern Conference, Milwaukee currently holds a 4½-game lead over Philadelphia for the eighth and final playoff spot. When you consider the Bucks already own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the 76ers, you might want to pencil in Milwaukee already.
The Western Conference should have a little more drama and that’s expected when you have the Los Angeles Lakers looking to make a move. The “Purple and Gold” trail the Rockets by 3½-games for the 8th seed in the West. Houston has already defeated Los Angeles in two of their three matchups this season. The final meeting takes place at the Staples Center on Apr. 17, which is the last regular season game for both teams.
We’re still going to get teams jockeying for playoff seeds but barring any key injuries, you can already forecast possible conference semifinal and championship matchups.
Sportsbook.ag still has Miami listed as the favorite (3/2) to win the NBA Finals and based on their numbers, Oklahoma City (9/2), the Los Angeles Clippers (7/1) and San Antonio (8/1) are the only legit contenders to unseat the defending champions.
In case you’re wondering, the Heat are 4-1 against those Western Conference clubs with a battle at San Antonio looming on Mar. 31.
Below is a quick handicap for tonight’s slate.
Toronto at Washington: The Raptors have won five of seven and four straight games since they acquired Rudy Gay from Memphis. Two of those wins came on the road, which included a 92-88 victory over New York on Feb. 13. Washington closed the first-half of the season with an 11-point (85-96) loss at Detroit. Prior to that setback, the Wizards had won four and covered four straight games. This will be the first meeting between the pair this season. Make a note that the home team has won nine in a row in this series.
Charlotte at Orlando: This contest has “Pass” written all over it. Charlotte has gone 2-8 SU and 3-7 ATS in its last 10 while Orlando closed the first-half with a 1-9 SU and 2-8 ATS record. This will be the third meeting of the season between the pair and for what it’s worth, the visitor has won and covered each of the first two affairs. The ‘over’ went 2-0 in those games.
Milwaukee at Brooklyn: Bettors have another tough game to gauge here. The Bucks have failed to cover in eight straight games (2-6 SU) yet they’ve been a solid investment on the road (14-11 ATS) this season. Brooklyn is a tad banged up but it did win and cover its last two games of the first-half and the wins came against quality opponents in Indiana (89-84) and Denver (119-108). Milwaukee has already defeated Brooklyn twice this season and these teams will conclude the series on Wednesday when they finish up a home-and-home at the Bradley Center.
Memphis at Detroit: You could play the emotional angle here as Tayshuan Prince will face his former team at The Palace. Since the Grizzlies acquired Prince and Austin Daye from Detroit, they’ve gone 4-2 with them in the lineup. The Pistons received Toronto point guard Jose Calderon as part of the three-way trade. With the Spanish product in the lineup, Detroit has gone 3-3 and if you watch the team, you can tell that the chemistry is off and it’s hard to see Calderon in the long-term picture. Total players could be scratching their heads here too. Memphis, who likes to grind, has watched the ‘over’ go 8-2 in its last 10. Meanwhile, Detroit’s fast-paced tempo hasn’t been flourishing lately, which has produced a 6-1 record to the ‘under’ in the last seven games. The Grizzlies have won and covered six straight games against the Pistons, which includes a 90-78 home win on Nov. 30 this season.
Chicago at New Orleans: The Bulls are listed as short road favorites (-2) and they could be in trouble here. The Hornets closed the first-half by winning and covering four of their last five games and all of the victories came by nine points or more. Even though New Orleans has played better, its home record (9-15) isn’t impressive at all. Meanwhile, Chicago has gone 15-10 on the road and it will be looking to avenge an 89-82 home loss to the Hornets on Nov. 3. Prior to this setback, the Bulls had won eight straight (6-2 ATS) against the Hornets. Chicago will meet Miami on Thursday in a nationally televised battle, which could set up the look-ahead angle.
Boston at Denver: Quick rematch here as the Nuggets look to avenge a 118-114 triple-overtime loss to the Celtics at TD Garden on Feb. 10. Boston kept forcing the extra sessions and eventually pulled away for the home win and miraculous cover as a two-point favorite thanks to Jason Terry’s meaningless layup as the game ended. Prior to this loss, Denver had won nine straight (8-1 ATS) games but it closed the first-half with three losses in a row. The Nuggets didn’t have Dainilo Gallinari or Andre Iguodala in the lineup the last two setbacks but both are expected to play Tuesday. At home, Denver has produced an eye opening 22-3 SU and 17-8 ATS mark. Boston has dealt with the injury bug too, in particular the loss of point guard Rajon Rondo. However, the team has rallied to an 8-1 record (7-2 ATS) without the All-Star. Including the aforementioned outcome between the two, the home team has now won and covered six consecutive games in this series.
Golden State at Utah: The Warriors were the biggest surprise of the first-half but they’ll start the second-half with a five-game losing streak intact. The defense has been awful during this stretch, along 118 points per game. Golden State beat Utah 94-83 in Salt Lake City on Dec. 26 as a 4½-point underdog. Despite that loss, the Jazz have been a great team to back at home (20-6 SU, 16-10 ATS). High total (203) for this game but bettors should be aware that the ‘under’ has cashed in nine of the last 10 encounters between these teams.
Phoenix at Portland: Similar to the Bobcats-Magic matchup above, this game could go either way. The Suns are 2-8 in their last 10 while the Trail Blazers are 3-7. Normally, I would fade Portland in its first game at home after the long road trip but the All-Star break has to be taken into play. If you base your bet on numbers, the Blazers are the look at home (17-8) and the Suns haven’t been good on the road (5-23). The home team has won six straight and eight of nine in this series.
San Antonio at Sacramento: It’s definitely tempting to back the Kings at home (14-12 SU) tonight, considering they’re rested and they start a five-game road trip after this matchup. However, it’s hard to bet against the team with the best record in the NBA. San Antonio has gone 42-12 and that includes a league-best 20-10 road record. Plus this is a team that has sat out starters often and most would believe that a couple regulars might sit here, especially with road games versus the Clippers and Warriors on deck. The best look in this matchup could be the total. The Kings have seen the ‘over’ go 17-8 (68%) at home this season and San Antonio has watched the ‘over’ go 17-12 in its road games.
02-19-13 05:51 PM
FoxDen Hall of Famer
Registered: Sep 2011
NBA Betting Review: Best and Worst Wagers at the Break
With the NBA on the four-day hiatus in Houston, now seems like a great time to review the best and worst in NBA betting from the first half of the season.
Overall: Washington Wizards (31-18-2 ATS) – At 15-36 SU, the Wizards have played well enough to meet the oddmakers’ expectations and losing games by an average of just under four points a night.
Home: Denver Nuggets (17-8 ATS) – There is something to be said for the thin air at the Pepsi Center. Denver covered in four straight and six of its last seven at home before the break.
Road: New Orleans Hornets (19-10 ATS) – The soon-to-be Pelicans are a different team on the road, scoring an average of 96.6 points as visitors compared to a league-low 91 point per home game.
Overall: Charlotte Bobcats (19-32-1 ATS) – The Bobcats are still at the bottom, losing games by an average of almost nine points. Combined with last season, Charlotte is 42-75-1 ATS in its last 118 games.
Home: Chicago Bulls (7-20 ATS) – Chicago has gone 15-12 SU inside the United Center but is averaging just under 92 points a night at home – second lowest home average in the league. No rush Derrick Rose.
Away: Boston Celtics (7-15-1 ATS) – The Celtics have stunk it up on the road, going just 8-15 SU including an embarrassing road loss at Charlotte Monday. Boston’s backcourt is getting dangerously thin.
Overall: Golden State Warriors (33-18-1 over/under) – The Warriors were one of the first-half surprises, thanks in part to their potent offense. Golden State can top the total in a hurry with a league-best 39.3 percent 3-point shooting.
Home: Dallas Mavericks (17-7-1 over/under) – The Mavs went into the break going 3-1 over/under for a four-game home stand and play three of four at home after the break.
Away: Golden State Warriors (19-10-0 over/under) – The Warriors defense – or lack thereof – has a much to do with these over paydays. Golden State is giving up 101.2 points per game on the year.
Overall: Indiana Pacers (21-31-1 over/under) – The Pacers finished under in both games before the break but looked to be pulling a 180 with a stretch of six overs in eight days, thanks to a brief uptick in offense.
Home: Phoenix Suns (7-18 over/under) – It seems bettors still think the Suns are a good over play, moving those home totals up just enough for the under to come crashing through.
Away: Washington Wizards (6-20-0 over/under) – Washington’s offense has a tough time getting off in opposing gyms, scoring just 86.8 points per road game compared to 96 points per home game.
02-19-13 05:53 PM
FoxDen Hall of Famer
Registered: Sep 2011
By Marc Lawrence
With the NBA taking a time out for the All-Star break, there is no better time than the present to examine the condition of each team in the league at this stage of the season. From the surprise teams to the disappointments, the run to the 2013 playoffs is about to take off.
Here’s a quick look at the very best and the very worst pointspread records to date this season on every team in games played this season through the All-Star break. In addition, I also present a noteworthy most recent trend on each team.
All results are SU (Straight Up), ATS (Against the Spread) or O/U (Over Under in exact sequence), unless stated otherwise.
Best: 3-0 ATS dogs 7 or more
Worst: 0-8 ATS off ATS win 13 or more
Trending: Hawks struggling with good teams off a spread loss, going 0-7 SU/ATS
Best: 4-0-1 ATS in double no rest games
Worst: 0-7 SU/ATS off loss 13 or more points
Trending: Celtics playing down to the level of opponents, going 1-7 ATS versus sub .250 opposition
Best: 7-1-1 ATS as favorites off back-to-back wins
Worst: 0-5 ATS home versus foe off double-digit win
Trending: Nets having trouble in games off one loss-exact, going 2-9 ATS
Best: 3-0 ATS off SU favorite loss
Worst: 1-9 ATS away versus foe off SU/ATS loss
Trending: Bobcats have played UNDER in all 10 games as dogs of 11 or more points
Best: 5-1 ATS away in division games
Worst: 0-11 ATS with no rest off a SU/ATS win
Trending: Bulls have struggled laying more than 8 points, going 0-7 ATS
Best: 5-0 ATS as dogs of more than 10 points
Worst: 0-5 ATS as favorites versus non-rested opponents
Trending: Cavs struggle at home off road games, going 4-12 SU/ATS, including 0-5 SU/ATS as favorites
Best: 5-0 ATS versus conference opponent off a SU dog win
Worst: 0-4 ATS off back-to-back losses, the last as a favorite
Trending: Mavs 17-8 ATS since return of Dirk Nowitzki to the lineup, including 14-3 ATS the last 17 games
Best: 6-0 ATS home off back-to-back wins
Worst: 0-4 ATS with revenge versus non-conference opponents
Trending: Nuggets have struck gold at home against conference foes, going 14-1 SU and 13-2 ATS
Best: 8-1 ATS off back-to-back SU/ATS losses
Worst: 1-5 ATS home off a win versus an opponent off a loss
Trending: Pistons misfiring as dogs of more then 8 points, going 1-6 ATS
Best: 4-0 SU/ATS home versus opponent off double-digit loss
Worst: 0-6 ATS away off back-to-back SU/ATS wins
Trending: Warriors cleaning up against foes off SU dog wins, going 4-0 ATS as dogs and 4-0 ATS away
Best: 13-1 ATS home versus opponent off loss
Worst: 1-10 ATS off loss versus opponent off SU/ATS win
Trending: After hitting a 1-8 SU and 0-9 ATS wall in mid-January, Rockets closed 7-4 SU and 9-2 ATS in last 11 games into the break
Best: 7-0 ATS home off a division game
Worst: 0-4 ATS away versus greater than .666 opponents
Trending: Indiana has trouble keeping pace as dogs in games off back-to-back wins, going 1-7 ATS
Best: 5-1 ATS off a SU dog win
Worst: 0-5 ATS as favorites of 13 or more points
Trending: One is not enough for the Clippers, who are 7-1 SU/ATS in games off one win-exact
Best: 5-1 ATS as favorites in games off a double-digit loss
Worst: 0-5 ATS off back-to-back SU/ATS wins
Trending: Once great Lakers dog log is howling at 0-9 SU and 1-8 ATS when taking points in games off a loss
Best: 5-0-1 ATS off SU dog win
Worst: 0-3 SU/ATS off ATS loss 20 or more points
Trending: Sleepy Grizzles are dangerous, going 6-1-1 ATS with no rest
Best: 5-0 ATS off back-to- back SU/ATS wins versus foe off back-to-back SU/ATS losses
Worst: 1-7 ATS off division game
Trending: The defending champs shine at home, going 8-1 SU/ATS as favorites of less than 7 points and 7-1 SU/ATS versus greater than .667 opponents
Best: 4-0 ATS favorites off a loss of 15 or more points
Worst: 0-9 ATS versus conference opponent off a win
Trending: Bucks are gracious hosts, going 1-8-1 ATS versus foes off a win
Best: 5-0 ATS versus opponent off back-to-back SU/ATS losses
Worst: 2-11 SU and 1-12 ATS home versus opponent off a win
Trending: Wolves waltz in games with O/U total 196 or more, going 3-13 UNDER, including 0-6 UNDER if total 201 or more
Best: 5-0 ATS off back-to-back SU/ATS losses
Worst: 0-3 ATS home versus opponent off SU favorite loss
Trending: Hornets stirred things up in final 21 games, going 12-9 SU and 15-6 ATS
Best: 4-0 ATS as conference dogs
Worst: 1-5-1 ATS as road favorites versus opponent off SU/ATS loss
Trending: Knicks raise level of play depending on opposition, going 6-1 SU/ATS versus .750 or greater foes, including 4-0 ATS at home
Best: 9-1 ATS off a non-division loss
Worst: 1-6 ATS versus .333 or less opponent off back-to-back losses
Trending: Thunder playing up and down to the level of opposition, going 4-1-1 ATS versus greater than .750 foes and 0-6 ATS versus less than .285 opponents
Best: 6-1 ATS as double-digits dogs
Worst: 1-9 ATS as favorites
Trending: Magic act disappeared after 12-13 start, going 3-24 SU and 9-18 ATS last 27 games
Best: 4-0 ATS away with 3 or more days of rest
Worst: 0-6 ATS with no rest versus opponent off SU/ATS loss
Trending: Sixers play according to level of opposition, going 8-3 SU/ATS versus sub .333 opponents and 1-7 SU and 2-6 ATS versus greater than .666 foes
Best: 3-0-1 ATS off back-to-back SU/ATS wins
Worst: 0-9 SU and 1-8 ATS versus opponent off double-digit loss
Trending: Suns set against non-conference foes off a SU/ATS loss, going 1-8 ATS, including 0-6 ATS at home
Best: 6-1 ATS versus opponent off SU favorite loss
Worst: 0-6 ATS off back-to-back SU/ATS wins
Trending: Over/Under total dictates Blazers success, going 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS in games in which the total is less than 192, and 2-6 SU and 2-5-1 ATS in games in which the total is 202 or higher
Best: 4-0 ATS off division game versus opponent off a win
Worst: 1-7 ATS versus opponent off a SU favorite loss
Trending: Kings get crowned in matchups of both teams playing off SU/ATS losses, going 0-6 ATS at home
Best: 5-0 ATS versus opponent off loss of 20 or more points
Worst: 1-6 ATS versus opponent off double-digit win
Trending: Spurs have struggled at both ends of the spectrum, going 1-5-1 ATS versus .250 or less opponents and 1-6 ATS versus greater than .666 opponents
Best: 8-1 ATS off a division game
Worst: 0-3 ATS home off a SU favorite loss
Trending: Raptors run well without rest, going 11-2 ATS, including 4-0 ATS at home
Best: 5-0 ATS as home dogs
Worst: 1-7-1 ATS away off back-to-back wins
Trending: Flip sides to Jazz records, going 5-1 ATS off back-to-back SU/ATS losses and 0-6 ATS versus foe off back-to-back SU/ATS losses
Best: 8-1-1 ATS off a win versus opponent off a win
Worst: 1-4 ATS home versus non-division opponent off a double-digit loss
Trending: Wizards work magic in games against foes off an ATS win, going 14-4-1 ATS, including 11-0 ATS the last eleven.
FYI: Teams that have responded exceptionally well in same season revenge affairs this season include the Thunder (5-1 SU/ATS) and the Heat (5-2 SU/ATS, including 4-1 ATS home), while the teams that have struggled mightily in these same payback situations include the Timberwolves (3-9 SU and 3-8-1 ATS, including 0-7 ATS versus an opponent off a win), the Magic (2-15 SU and 5-12 ATS).
02-19-13 05:56 PM