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NBA Betting Roadmap, Week 11

   by Al McMordie - 01/03/2017

We're nearing the halfway point of the season, and our list of title contenders has been narrowed to six teams. In the West, just four teams sport a margin of victory of 5+ points (Warriors, Rockets, Spurs, Clippers), while out East, only the Cavaliers and Raptors can boast an elite mark. Still, the Warriors' +12.71 margin is the best by a mile, so perhaps the Rockets' high-variance strategy of shooting a lot of 3-point goals is the one best suited to engineer an upset. Let's take a look at the upcoming week's action.

Spread Watch

The Washington Wizards started the season with a 7-13 SU/ATS record, but has righted themselves since. Washington's 9-4 SU and 10-3 ATS in its last 13 games. And the key has been a much-improved offense. Washington shot 49.2% from the floor in its past 13 games, and now ranks 6th in the league in FG%. The Wizards are also right in the thick of the race for the Playoffs in the extremely mediocre Eastern Conference, as they're currently in 9th place, but just two games out of fourth place. However, if there is cause for concern, it's that the Wizards have the 2nd biggest home/road dichotomy in the league (behind the Pacers), and they've played five less road games so far this season. Washington's 13-6 at home, but just 3-11 on the road. This week, the Wizards have games against three teams playing better ball of late (following slower-than-expected starts to the season). Tuesday's game at Dallas looks to be a great spot to fade Washington, given the history of the series (Washington's won just once in past 12 meetings), and the Wizards' awful road record.

Totals Watch

The Boston Celtics have topped 100 points in each of their last eight games, and have now played seven straight games 'over' the total. Boston's crept up to seventh in Offensive Efficiency, while it ranks 18th in Defensive Efficiency. Something will have to give this week when the Celtics host Utah on Tuesday. The Jazz rank 3rd in Defensive Efficiency, and have gone 'under' the total in nine of 11 games. And I actually like this game to be relatively low-scoring, as none of the last five meetings between these two in Boston have gone 'over' the total.

Injury Watch

The Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis (20.1 ppg; 7.8 rpg) sat out last weekend's game against Houston, and Monday's game vs. Orlando with soreness in his right Achilles. Those were the first two games the 21-year-old has missed this season. Many within the organization are concerned for the still-growing Latvian's long-term future, as his minutes have increased to 34.8 this season (compared to just 28 in his rookie season). Without Porzingis on the court, New York's losing streak has reached five games, and it has a home-and-home series vs. Milwaukee on deck. New York's covered just 19 of 49 home games vs. the Bucks, so I will look to fade New York on Wednesday.

Schedule Watch

The Golden State Warriors don't lose very often. But when they do, it's always wise to consider playing on the Warriors in the very next meeting against the team that beat them. The Memphis Grizzlies handed the Warriors a 21-point defeat on December 10, so the Warriors will be out for revenge on Friday in Oakland. With Golden State on a 24-10 ATS run when playing with revenge (including 14-1 ATS vs. a foe with a season ATS win percentage greater than .515), we'll back Steve Kerr's troops in this re-match. 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, 6 months or a year today to get all of my award-winning selections.

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