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NBA Betting Roadmap, Week 4

   by Al McMordie - 11/15/2016

I always like to look at early season trends to see if anything jumps out. So far, this season, there hasn't been much difference between home and road teams (home teams are 76-74-2 ATS), or favorites and underdogs (favorites are 79-71-2 ATS). But 'overs' are significantly outpacing 'unders' (162-140). And another trend to keep an eye on is that teams playing with same-season revenge are 13-5 ATS, including 11-1 ATS off a loss. Let's take a look at other developing situations in the NBA.

Spread Watch

We are three weeks into the NBA season, and many would not have guessed before the season that the two best teams -- at least from the metrics -- would be the Los Angeles Clippers and Atlanta Hawks. But that's exactly what's happened. The Clippers are 10-1 straight-up and 9-2 ATS, while the Hawks are 7-2, both straight-up and ATS. And they're the only two teams with a Net (Efficiency) Rating and a Margin of Victory over 10.0. This week, both teams have relatively soft schedules. Atlanta will play road games at Miami (Tuesday), Charlotte (Friday) and New York (Sunday), wrapped around a home game on Wednesday vs. Milwaukee. The Clippers, meanwhile, will host Memphis (Wednesday) and Chicago (Saturday), sandwiched around a road trip on Friday to the spanking-new Golden 1 Center to play Sacramento. Of these games, I really want to fade Atlanta as a big road favorite, on Tuesday, in Miami. The Hawks are riding a 4-game SU/ATS win streak, including a 117-96 blowout of Philly in their last game. Unfortunately for Atlanta, teams that are off back-to-back wins have covered just 12 of their last 54 games, if they scored 117+ points in their last game, and their opponent is off a straight-up loss. Take Miami on Tuesday.

Total Watch

The Phoenix Suns are playing at the fastest Pace Factor in the NBA, as they are averaging 102.7 possessions per game. Not surprisingly, the Suns have gone 'over' the total in nine of 11 games, including their last nine in a row. And their last game -- a 133-120 loss at Golden State -- was their highest-scoring game (253 points) of the season yet, and it went 'over' the total by a whopping 27 points. This week, the Suns will play road games against three other teams ranked high in Pace Factor. On Wednesday, Phoenix will travel to Denver (6th in Pace), before playing Indiana (9th in Pace) on Friday, and Philly (11th in Pace) on Saturday. That game vs. Philly has all the earmarks of a high-scoring contest. Both meetings last season between the 76ers and Suns went 'over' the total, and the 76ers have played six of their last eight 'over' the total.

Injury Watch

The Minnesota Timberwolves' starting point guard, Ricky Rubio, returned from injury on Saturday to play 24 minutes against the Clippers (and then 34 minutes the next night vs. the Lakers). Rubio, who was out five games with a sprained right elbow, reached double-digits in points and assists, and added three steals in Sunday's 125-99 win, and that's great news for the young T-Wolves, who were 2-3 in his absence. Currently, Minnesota is 3-6, and two games behind the Lakers, who occupy the eighth (and final) playoff spot in the Western Conference. But if their 26-point win over the Lakers is any indication, then we could be looking at a playoff team come April, if its players can stay healthy. Certainly, Andrew Wiggins is playing at an All-Star level. After scoring 47 points on Sunday, he's now averaging 26.3 ppg on 48% FG shooting, and has a 21.85 PER. This week, Minnesota will host Charlotte and Philly, before traveling to Memphis for a Saturday night game. That game against Memphis should be a very good spot to step in and take Minnesota, as I feel they match-up well vs. Memphis. The two teams have already met twice this season. Minnesota coughed up a 20-3 lead, and lost 102-98 at Memphis in the season-opener for both squads. Then, six days later, the T-Wolves blew out the Grizzlies, 116-80, in a game Rubio did not play. Minnesota is 7-3 ATS its last 10 games vs. Memphis, and I would take the points with the T-Wolves in the upcoming match-up.

Schedule Watch

Sports handicappers have many tools in their arsenal, and one is the schedule. There are all sorts of factors at which to look. For example, teams often play each other with different amounts of rest. Or, perhaps, a team may be playing its third game in four nights, or fifth game in seven nights. And, then, sometimes, it's important to consider a particular opponent which a team just played. On Friday, the Toronto Raptors will be at Denver. And, on the surface, it looks like an awful spot for the Raptors. That's because it will be Toronto's third game in four nights, and it also will be coming into that game off back-to-back games vs. the league's two premier teams (Wednesday vs. the Golden State Warriors; Tuesday vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers). Denver not only will be playing that game with revenge from a 105-102 loss to Toronto on Halloween, but the Nuggets are also 50-22 ATS at home since 1990 when well-rested, and playing a rested opponent on its third game in four nights. And Denver's also 28-13 ATS its last 41 vs. the Raptors. Good luck, as always...Al McMordie. And don't miss any of my Hoops, Hockey and Football Winners here at BigAl.com. Join for a week, month, six months or year today to get all of my award-winning selections.

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