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NBA Hot and Cold Bets

   by Matt Fargo - 11/09/2008

NBA Hot Bets This Week

Tuesday – Atlanta Hawks at Chicago Bulls 8:35 PM ET

Are the Hawks for real or is their 4-0 start just a fluke? I am a firm supporter of the former and we witnessed this last season. In what was supposed to be a blowout series, Atlanta took the World Champion Celtics to seven games in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The Hawks remain an undervalued team as they have been favored by fewer than three points in both home games while getting at least eight points in both road games. The loss of Josh Smith will no doubt hurt but there is plenty of frontcourt depth to make up for it. The Bulls have been hit or miss as their victories have been blowouts while the losses have also been on the large side. Kirk Hinrich is gone for up to three months which hurts the backcourt depth that was extremely young to begin with. Chicago is still a public team while the Hawks are on no one’s list still and will continue to present excellent value.

Wednesday – San Antonio Spurs at Milwaukee Bucks 8:05 PM ET

Heading into the season it would not have surprised many to see the Rockets and Hornets atop the Southwest Division after two weeks but no one saw the Spurs sitting at 1-4 and in last place. The lone victory came in double overtime at Minnesota and if not for a Tony Parker jumper at the buzzer in the first overtime, San Antonio would be in the company with Washington and the Los Angeles Clippers as the only winless teams in the league. Injuries are obviously the big factor as Tony Parker has pulled up a chair next to Manu Ginobili on the sidelines. The Spurs look to bounce back Tuesday at home against the Knicks and then Wednesday at Milwaukee. Now could be the time jump on San Antonio as the public is falling off fast and we will be presented with some valued lines. Milwaukee has started just 1-2 at home including a 0-1 mark against the Western Conference (Suns). The Bucks went 8-22 against the Western Conference last season.

NBA Cold Bets This Week

Monday – Portland Trailblazers at Orlando Magic 7:05 PM ET

Orlando is finally starting to play some good basketball. After a 0-2 start, the Magic have won four straight games, all of those coming on their home floor and coming by an average of 14 ppg. They covered three of those games but now it looks to be the time to sell. When teams start putting runs together, the public becomes more infatuated with the lines reflecting that which will be the case here. Orlando is coming off a 25-point win over the hapless Wizards as 9.5-point favorites and that was the fourth time in five games it has been at least an eight-point favorite at home. The Magic went 10-5-2 ATS last season as a home favorite of eight points or more but last year Orlando had the second best spread record in the league at 50-29-3 ATS. Don’t expect a repeat of that. Portland comes in at 3-3 but just 2-4 ATS including 0-3 ATS on the road and we should get a line with plenty of value on the Blazers side.

Wednesday – Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors 7:05 PM ET

What is wrong with the Sixers? The acquisition of Elton Brand was supposed to make Philadelphia a virtual lock for the playoffs and possibly present a small challenge to the Celtics in the Atlantic Division. The Sixers have blown out the Knicks and Kings which is nothing special considering most average teams can manage that as well. They are 0-3 on the road and have lost those games by an average of 13.3 ppg. Philadelphia was beaten at home pretty soundly by the Raptors already this season as a four-point chalk. Keep an eye on this team Tuesday and how it fares against Utah as that will be the first game in five days. The time off could help the Sixers get things together or it could prolong the problems. Toronto started 3-0 before losing two straight against the Pistons and Hawks. A winnable game against Charlotte comers before a matchup with Boston on Monday and a win there could provide a huge spark.

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