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NBA Betting Roadmap, Week 20

   by Al McMordie - 03/07/2016

The Golden State Warriors' drive to a record 73-win season hit a speed bump on Sunday when they lost by 17, as a 17.5-point favorite to the Lakers. I wasn't that surprised, as my NBA play on Sunday was on the Lakers. Still, it's worth noting that Los Angeles' upset was the biggest since Dallas (+19.5) defeated Seattle, 109-107, on April 6, 1993. Even more impressive: it was just the 13th time over the past 26 years when a 13-point (or greater) underdog won by at least 13 points. And, among those games, the Lakers' 34.5-point cover represented the 2nd biggest pointspread differential, bested only by the Clippers' 25-point win, as a 14-point underdog, vs. the Lakers on December 9, 1994. Let's take a look at other happenings around the Association.

Spread Watch

The Atlanta Hawks have had a pedestrian season, for the most part. Especially when compared to last year's breakout season, in which they went 60-22 straight-up, and 50-31-1 ATS. But the Hawks are starting to show signs of life. They've won four of their last five (5-0 ATS), and have sandwiched four double-digit wins around a 4-point loss at Golden State. Atlanta's most recent win was its most impressive, as it went into Staples Center, and upset the Clippers, who were 21-10 at home. Atlanta trailed that game by 12 after the first quarter, but outscored the Clips 82-60 the rest of the way. This week, Atlanta's road trip continues with stops at Utah (Tuesday) and Toronto (Thursday), before returning home to face the Grizzlies and Pacers. I like the Hawks to stretch their ATS win streak to six games, on Tuesday, as they're 12-4 SU and 11-5 ATS since 2007 vs. the Jazz, including 7-0 ATS if both teams are off a win.

Totals Watch

The wheels have started to come off of the Dallas Mavericks' defense (not that they were ever securely on, to begin with). The Mavs have allowed over 100 points in 11 consecutive games. Not surprisingly, 10 of those 11 games have gone 'over' the total. Before this stretch, Dallas had allowed 100.8 ppg, but its defensive average over these 11 games has ballooned to 111.0. The Mavs will entertain the Clippers on Monday. If history repeats itself, then another 'Over' is likely, as these two teams combined for 226 points in their last meeting. And nine of their last 10 meetings have gone 'Over' the total. Then, on Wednesday, Dallas will host Detroit. And 10 of the previous 13 meetings between those two clubs have sailed 'Over' the total.

Injury Watch

The star-crossed career of Eric Gordon continued when the Pelicans' guard re-fractured his finger in Saturday's loss to Utah. It's the same injury which caused Gordon to miss 16 games earlier this year, and it likely means the end of his season. And this will be the 7th straight year he will have missed a significant number of games due to injury. Indeed, if he misses the rest of the season, he would have missed 219 of 558 games over the past seven seasons! Going into Saturday's game, Gordon had averaged 22.67 ppg over his previous three outings. And he's New Orleans' fourth-leading scorer this season (15.2 ppg). Even if Gordon hadn't gotten injured, the odds that the Pelicans would have made the Playoffs were slim. But his injury is certainly the final nail in the coffin. This week, New Orleans will host a desperate Sacramento club on Monday, before embarking on a road trip to face the Hornets, Grizzlies and Bucks. The Kings look to be a decent bet as an underdog vs. the Pelicans, as Sacramento is just four games out of the Playoff picture, and will be highly-motivated to win. Sacramento did lose its previous two games to the Pels this season, but double-revenging teams are 29-13 ATS vs. New Orleans, including 6-0 ATS their last six.

Schedule Watch

The Golden State Warriors lost to the Lakers, 112-95, as a 17.5-point favorite, on Sunday. That result certainly pleased my clients, as we had a play on the Lakers. But it surely won't sit well with Steph Curry & Co., as there's scant room for error, if they're to challenge the Bulls' record of 72 wins. This season, Golden State has bounced back strongly off a defeat. It's 4-1 ATS following its previous five losses. And its only ATS defeat was by a single point, on February 20, when the Clippers scored the last 13 points of the game to lose by three, as a 4-point underdog. Even more impressive is the fact that Golden State is 26-9-1 ATS its last 36 games off a loss by 9+ points. Look for Orlando to get walloped by the Warriors on Monday, as Golden State is 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in the series since 2013. Good luck, as always...Al McMordie. And don't miss any of my Hoops Winners here at BigAl.com, as I'm 130-87 (60%) my last 217 in Basketball. Weekly and Monthly packages, as well as March Madness subscriptions are available. Join today!

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