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 18
by Al McMordie - 02/13/2018
The All-Star Break is upon us, and the trade deadline last week certainly injected some drama into this season. The Cavaliers were the main culprit, as GM Koby Altman completely re-made the Cavs' roster. In the short term, at least, the moves have paid dividends. And Cleveland served notice, with its 121-99 blowout of Boston, that reports of its demise were premature. Let's take a look at this upcoming, abbreviated week.
The Phoenix Suns are 18-40 straight-up, and 26-31-1 against the spread this season. And they've dropped their last six games SU and their last four ATS. Even worse: two of their three worst defeats have come in their last three games. San Antonio pounded them by 48 on February 7. And then Golden State won by 46 this past Monday. And that loss was made even more ignominious by the fact that Golden State's Steve Kerr decided to not even coach his team for that game (Kerr let his players coach themselves), a fact that really rankled the Suns' staff. But, perhaps, that embarrassing, blowout loss will serve as "rock-bottom" for this Suns team. This week, they'll travel to Salt Lake City for their final game before the All-Star Break. And I actually like them catching double-digits from the red-hot Jazz, who have won 10 in a row. And that's because rested road teams off losses by 40+ points have gone 37-19-2 ATS since 1990. Take the Suns on Wednesday.
The hottest team in the league are Quin Snyder's Utah Jazz, who have won 10 straight games after Monday's comeback win vs. San Antonio. And the primary reason for Utah's success has been on the offensive end, as they've averaged 112 points during their win streak (they had averaged just 101.5 prior to the start of the streak). Not surprisingly, the Jazz have gone 'over' the total in six of their last eight games. Will Utah's offense continue to roll? It's possible, given that the Jazz will face the defensively-challenged Suns (the league's worst defensive team) before the All-Star Break, and then take on Portland, at home, immediately after the break. Utah put up 129 points on the Suns earlier in February, and also toasted Portland for 112 and 115 points in their two previous meetings this season. And all of those games did go 'over' the total. I especially like the Jazz/Blazers game to be relatively high scoring, as 14 of the last 21 meetings between these two clubs have gone 'over' the total.
The New York Knicks suffered their worst nightmare when Kristaps Porzingis tore his ACL in his left knee against the Milwaukee Bucks on February 6. Porzingis was averaging 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. So, his worth to a Knicks team largely bereft of talent cannot be overstated. The Knicks went on to lose that game to Milwaukee, 103-89, and have lost every game since (both SU and ATS). Currently, the Knicks are on a seven-game losing streak, and have dropped five in a row ATS. This week, the Knicks will host Washington on Valentine's Day, before resuming play after the break, on the road, against the Magic. And while it's certainly true that New York has struggled vs. Washington (0-7 SU; 1-6 ATS since 2016), teams like the Wizards, who are off a win and playing their last game before the All-Star Break on the road, have been poor vs. opponents off back to back losses. Since 1990, such road teams have gone 37% ATS. Take the Knicks.
The Portland Trail Blazers will surely come out with a vengeance on Wednesday vs. the Golden State Warriors. Not only will the Blazers want to bounce back from their 19-point home loss to Utah, but they'll also want to snap their 11-game losing streak to Golden State (which encompassed a 4-0 playoff series sweep last season). And, for technical support, we will note that winning teams, off a loss, have cashed 69.5% at home, if they had lost their previous 10 meetings against their opponent! We actually saw this situation occur back in November when the Knicks upset the Clippers, 107-85, as a 2-point home underdog, to snap their 10-game losing streak to Los Angeles. I look for Portland to pull off a similar upset vs. Golden State. Take the Blazers + the points. Good luck, as always...Al McMordie. And don't miss any of my Hoops and Hockey Winners here at BigAl.com, including my NBA Game of the Month on Valentine's Day. Or, better yet, join for a week, month, 6 months or year today to get all of my Award-Winning plays.