Get the best handicapping articles and gambling advice throughout the football, basketball and baseball seasons from the world's top sports handicappers, as well as from Bovada (Bodog) Sportsbook and Casino.
NBA Betting Roadmap, Week 6
by Al McMordie - 11/30/2015
The NBA's first month is in the books, and it's been one of the most fascinating starts to a season that I can remember. The Golden State Warriors (18-0) have been as scintillating, as the 76ers (0-18) have been dreadful. So much so that sportsbooks are offering a Prop bet on what will happen first: a Warriors loss (-160 odds) or a 76ers win (+130 odds). Of course, with LSU's Ben Simmons as a possible prize in next year's NBA Draft, I suspect Philly GM Sam Hinkie isn't minding his team's futility. Let's take a look at the week that was, and the week that will be.
The Golden State Warriors not only have an 18-game win streak ongoing, but they've also now covered six in a row (and nine of their last 11). But the next two weeks will provide the Dubs with their staunchest test of the season. Golden State will embark tonight on a 13-day, 7-game road trip, which will include stops at five current playoff teams: Utah, Charlotte, Toronto, Indiana and Boston. Tonight's game is surely a potential landmine for Luke Walton's men, as the Jazz have covered five straight (and seven of their last eight) as home underdogs. Even next Sunday's game at Brooklyn could offer a surprisingly tough test for Golden State, as the Warriors will have to play without rest. And the Nets, who have caught fire by covering nine of their last 10, took the Dubs to overtime in mid-November, in Oakland. Brooklyn's also 10-4 ATS its last 14 as home underdogs.
Two weeks ago, I highlighted the Miami Heat, which had (at that time) played its previous eight games 'under' the total. All the Heat have done since is go 5-1 'Under,' for an overall streak of 13 'Unders' and 1 'Over' since October 30. Miami is one of four teams giving up less than a point per possession on defense, and the other three (Spurs, Pacers, Celtics) have also played a majority of their games 'Under,' but not to the extreme of the Heat. This week, Miami will host Boston, Oklahoma City and Cleveland. But, even though both the Celtics and Thunder have played their last three 'Under' the total (and the Cavs, their last two), this week looks to be a great spot for Miami's 'Under' trend to reverse, as the Heat's Over/Under lines have been adjusted downward a bit too much. Based on my numbers, the value should now rest on the 'Over' in Miami's games.
Charlotte's center, Al Jefferson, suffered a left calf injury early in Sunday's game vs. Milwaukee. Jefferson is 3rd on the team in scoring, and 2nd in rebounding, so his status going forward bears watching. Jefferson also missed Charlotte's final seven games of last season, and the Hornets went 1-6 SU and 3-4 ATS in those games. The Hornets will welcome Golden State to The Hive on Wednesday. Last season, Jefferson played well vs. the Warriors, as he averaged 18.5 ppg. And the Hornets covered the spread as an 8.5-point home underdog in the most recent meeting.
The San Antonio Spurs have owned Memphis since their Playoffs series loss to the Grizz in 2011. GM RC Buford recognized the need for a defensive stopper, so he traded George Hill for the 15th pick in the 2011 draft, which turned into Kawhi Leonard. Prior to that event, Memphis was 10-0-1 ATS its previous 11 games vs. San Antone. But since then, the Spurs are 17-4 SU and 15-6 ATS in the series. But Thursday's game in Memphis will be difficult for the Spurs. San Antonio will not only be playing without rest, but it will also be playing its fifth game in seven nights. Since December 2012, the Spurs are 3-8 SU and 4-7 ATS on the road when playing their fifth game in seven nights, including 0-4 SU/ATS when the line was six points or less. Of course, one never knows whether coach Gregg Popovich will even play his aging veterans (Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili) in situations like this. Regardless, Memphis will be worth a look. Good luck, as always...Al McMordie. And don't miss any of my Basketball winners, here, at BigAl.com, as I'm 20-6 my last 26 in Hoops.