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NBA Betting Roadmap, Week 5

   by Al McMordie - 11/21/2016

The past week in the NBA saw home teams flex their muscles, as they went 33-18-3 ATS, including 21-6-3 off a loss. For the season, home teams are 103-90-5 ATS, including 53-38-3 off a loss, and 28-19 when rested and playing an unrested foe. Let's take a look at the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday week in the NBA.

Spread Watch

There haven't been very many surprises in the early-going of this NBA season. The top 3 teams out East (Cleveland, Atlanta, Toronto) were those Eastern Conference teams with the best point differentials last season. And out West, it's a somewhat similar story, with the Clippers, Warriors and Spurs on top. The Clippers ranked 4th in the West in scoring margin last season, but the team ahead of it -- the Thunder -- weren't expected to contend this year following the loss of Kevin Durant. However, if there has been a minor surprise, it must be the play of the Chicago Bulls. After downing the Lakers on Sunday night (Chicago's 4th road game in 6 nights), the Bulls have covered six straight games. And they're 9-5 straight-up and 10-4 ATS this season. But the most impressive thing about Fred Hoiberg's squad this season is that it ranks 5th in the league in scoring margin (behind only the Clippers, Warriors, Hawks and Cavaliers), while playing nine of its first 14 games on the road. The Bulls' biggest improvement has come on the offensive end, as they rank 7th in Offensive Efficiency, after ranking just 21st last season. Chicago will continue its 6-game road trip this week, with stops at Denver (Tuesday) and Philadelphia (Friday). The game against the 76ers will be a sweet spot for Chicago, as it's won the last 10 meetings vs. the Sixers, and has scored over 110 points in each of the last five. Chicago will also have had the previous two days off, while Philly will be playing with just a single day off. And Chicago's 93-62 ATS its last 155 games when playing with 2+ days of rest against an opponent playing with less rest.

Total Watch

The Toronto Raptors rank 4th in Offensive Efficiency this season, and 19th in Defense. So, one shouldn't be surprised that the Raptors have gone 'over' the total in six of their last seven games (and 9 of their 13 for the season). Their last six 'overs' have all been exceptionally high-scoring, with each totaling 224+ points. This week, Toronto will finish its road trip with games at the Clippers, Rockets and Bucks. The Wednesday night game vs. James Harden & Co. seems like the best one to play the 'over,' as both meetings last season between Houston and Toronto generated 220+ points, and sailed 'over' the total.

Injury Watch

Portland Trail Blazer forward Al-Farouq Aminu suffered a calf injury in the November 8 game vs. Phoenix. And the Blazers promptly lost their next six games against the spread! Certainly, Aminu's numbers don't jump off the page. He's averaging just 6.4 ppg and 6.6 rpg. But he's the best defensive player on the team, and his Defensive Real Plus-Minus (+1.55) ranks 5th in the NBA among small forwards this season (after ranking 8th last year). Portland got off the schneid with a 129-109 win at Brooklyn, on Sunday. But it's still 1-6 ATS with Aminu in street clothes, and he'll be out for possibly a few more weeks. In his stead, Ed Davis has been inserted into the starting line-up by coach Terry Stotts. But Davis is a rebounding specialist, has limitations on offense, and commits needless fouls. The Trail Blazers currently rank dead last (30th) in Defensive Efficiency after ranking 19th last season, and part of the problem has been Aminu's absence. This week, at least, Portland will face a few teams that play just as poorly on defense as it does. On Tuesday, Portland will play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, and the Knicks rank 29th in Defensive Efficiency. And, later in the week (Sunday), the Blazers will host Houston, which ranks 20th. I actually like Portland on Tuesday vs. New York, as the Blazers have dominated the series, with seven wins in the last eight games (6-2 ATS). And New York's a woeful 2-14 SU and 5-11 ATS off a straight-up win.

Schedule Watch

The Golden State Warriors will play back-to-back games vs. the Lakers on Wednesday and Friday. And to say that the Warriors will desperately want to defeat Los Angeles would be an understatement. That's because the Lakers handed the Warriors one of their only two losses of the season -- and a blowout (117-97), at that. Golden State is a terrific 23-10 ATS its last 33 when playing with revenge, so this back-to-back spot offers a great opportunity to play on Steve Kerr's crew. And especially because the Warriors are 18-10 ATS vs. the Lakers in the last 28 meetings, including 10-3 ATS at home. 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 year today to get all of my award-winning selections.

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