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NBA Betting Roadmap, Week 21

   by Al McMordie - 03/11/2018

The Toronto Raptors served notice to the rest of the NBA when they defeated Houston on Friday to snap the Rockets' 17-game win streak. Toronto has won its last eight games, and owns the 3rd best record in the NBA, at 49-17. With just a month left in the season, there are several open questions, such as which team will own the best record, and which Western Conference teams will be left out of the Playoffs. Let's take a look at the NBA's upcoming week.

Spread Watch

With apologies to the Houston Rockets, who have lost just once in their past 19 games, the Portland Trail Blazers are the hottest team in the NBA right now. Terry Stotts' crew is on a nine-game win streak -- including a 17-point blowout of Golden State on Friday -- which has catapulted it to the 3rd seed in the Western Conference. For the season, Portland is 40-26, and is also 36-26-4 ATS. The Blazers are even hot in Las Vegas, as they've covered their last six games, and are 16-5-1 ATS since January 18. This week, Portland will finish its current 5-game home stand with tilts against Miami, Cleveland and Detroit, before hitting the road on Sunday to take on the Los Angeles Clippers. Will Portland's hot streak continue? I certainly believe it has a heckuva chance to win its three home games, and especially like it in Monday's match-up vs. Miami. Portland has won and covered four straight in the series. And, even better, it falls into a 'momentum' system of mine which is 89-36 ATS since 1993. That angle plays on certain home teams off back to back blowout home wins, when playing an opponent also off a home win. Lay the points with Portland on Monday.

Total Watch

The Memphis Grizzlies have lost their last 17 games in a row, which is the league's longest losing streak since the 76ers opened up the 2015-16 season with 18 defeats. And it seems as if that's perfectly fine, as management no doubt wants to win the race to the bottom in order to have the best opportunity to snare the #1 pick in the NBA Draft Lottery. Indeed, Memphis chose to rest its best player, Marc Gasol, for the 3rd time in nine games in Saturday's 114-80 loss at Dallas. Thus, Memphis is turning to guys like JaMychal Green, Ben McLemore and Dillon Brooks for offensive production. So, it's not surprising to find that the Grizz' offense failed to get more than 80 points in either of its two previous games. Memphis has now gone 'under' the total in six of its last seven games and, without significant offensive talent on the floor, will be an excellent candidate to look at to play the 'under' the rest of this season. This week, Memphis will host Milwaukee, Chicago and Denver. I like the Monday game vs. the Bucks to go 'under' the total, as Milwaukee's also on a 15-6 'under' run. And these two teams have gone 9-4-1 'under' the total since 2011.

Injury Watch

The San Antonio Spurs are mired in their worst season since 1996-97. That year, David Robinson missed all but six games due to back and foot injuries. Similarly, this season, San Antone's best player, Kawhi Leonard, has only appeared in nine games due to a quadriceps injury. The result is that the Spurs have struggled mightily when playing on the road, and also against the league's better teams. Indeed, San Antonio's streak of 20 consecutive winning seasons on the road (an NBA record) came to an end on Saturday, when it lost its 21st road game at Oklahoma City. But if there was a silver lining in that loss to OKC, it came in the form of a report by ESPN's Lisa Salters during the TV broadcast that there is the possibility that Leonard will return to action this Thursday, when the Spurs will host the New Orleans Pelicans. If Leonard is in the line-up, then I would pull the trigger on San Antonio on Thursday, given that it will be playing with double revenge from two losses suffered earlier this season to the Pels. And the Spurs are 19-9 ATS at home in the regular season when playing with double revenge.

Schedule Watch

This Saturday, the Phoenix Suns will host the Golden State Warriors. Normally, this would be a game which wouldn't excite many NBA bettors. But I've have this game circled for four weeks -- ever since the Warriors thrashed the Suns, 129-83, on February 12. I will always look at a team which lost to its opponent by 44+ points in the season's previous meeting, as those teams have covered the point spread 60% since 1990. Of course, there's nothing wrong with 60%. But we can significantly improve our angle if we solely focus on going against opponents that aren't succeeding against the point spread in the current season. Indeed, if we just fade teams whose ATS win percentage isn't .489 or higher, then our angle zooms to a perfect 12-0 ATS since 1990. And that's the situation on Saturday, as Golden State is an awful 28-39 ATS on the season, including 0-6 ATS its last six. Take Phoenix plus the points. Good luck, as always...Al McMordie. And don't miss any of my red-hot Hoops and Hockey winners here at BigAl.com. I'm currently riding a 10-5 NBA Run, a 42-26 CBB run, and a 106-62 hockey run, so join for a week, month, six months or year today to get all of my Award-Winning selections.

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