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NBA Betting Roadmap, Week 23
by Al McMordie - 03/27/2017
With just 17 days remaining in the NBA's regular season, there's still great drama atop each of the conferences. San Antonio is just two games back in the loss column behind Golden State, while Boston's defeats exceed Cleveland's by just one. Two of the three biggest remaining games on the schedule will be played in the Alamo City this week, as San Antone will welcome both the Cavs and Warriors. And those results will go a long way toward determining the #1 seeds. Let's take a look at the upcoming week.
The Philadelphia 76ers are 8-2 ATS over their last 10 games, and 17-5 ATS over their last 22. For the season, they're 46-27 ATS (.630). And that point spread win percentage, if it holds over Philly's final nine games of the season, would rank among the best ATS win percentages of all-time. However, look closer, and you'll notice that the 76ers are doing something remarkable this season. Notwithstanding their success at the betting window, they're still just 27-46 on the season (.369). And, generally speaking, extreme point spread success (or failure) is strongly correlated with a team's actual win percentage. It's quite rare that a horrible team like the Sixers would have such a great ATS win percentage. Indeed, the best ATS win percentages over the last 26 years belong to the 2008 Celtics (66-16 SU; 53-28-1 ATS), 1995 Jazz (60-22 SU; 52-28-2 ATS) and 2010 Bucks (46-36 SU; 52-28-2 ATS). And only once in the past 26 years (Charlotte, 2006) has a team covered more than 60% of its games, yet lost more than 60% of its games, straight-up. But that's a credit to coach Brett Brown and his staff for getting his charges to play hard every single night. This week, the 76ers will play at Brooklyn, then host Atlanta, and conclude with road games at Cleveland and Toronto. Wednesday's game with Atlanta seems to be the best one to play on the 76ers, notwithstanding Atlanta's recent success (6-0 SU/ATS) vs. the 76ers. Philly is 25-11 ATS at home this season, including 12-0 ATS since January 3 off a road game. Meanwhile, Atlanta is currently on a nasty 7-game losing streak (2-5 ATS), and is 5-13 ATS since Valentine's Day.
The Golden State Warriors are the league's best team because they are sensational both on offense and defense. This season, Steve Kerr's crew is neck-and-neck with the Houston Rockets for the top offensive efficiency rating, and also in a virtual tie with the San Antonio Spurs for the top defensive efficiency rating. Yet most NBA fans still perceive the Warriors to be primarily an offensive, rather than a defensive juggernaut. In Vegas, though, Golden State's defense has enabled bettors to cash a lot of Totals tickets. Golden State has gone 'under' in 46 of its 73 games this season, including 10 straight, and 15 of its last 16. This week, the Warriors will play the Rockets twice -- sandwiched around a road game at San Antonio -- and then finish with a home game vs. Washington. Certainly, Wednesday's game at San Antonio looks to be the best one to play 'under' the total. The Spurs and Warriors have gone 'under' in the last four meetings in San Antonio. And the Spurs held Golden State to 92, 79, 92 and 85 points in those four games. Indeed, Golden State hasn't scored more than 100 points in any of its last eight games at San Antonio (87.8 ppg)! I look for a relatively low-scoring game on Wednesday.
Marc Gasol missed his 4th game of the season on Sunday, when Memphis played the Warriors in Oakland. Zach Randolph got the start, instead. But the ripple effect, then, for the Grizzlies was that their bench was greatly weakened. So far this season, Memphis is 1-3 in the four games that Gasol has been sidelined, both SU and ATS. And that's not surprising, as his production (19.9 ppg; 6.3 rpg; 20.27 PER) is vital to a Grizzlies squad, which is locked into a battle with the Thunder and Clippers for the 5th seed in the Western Conference. If there is a silver lining to the timing of Gasol's injury, it's that this week's opponents (Kings, Pacers, Mavericks, Lakers) are on the soft side. But if Gasol cannot go Monday vs. Sacramento, Memphis will be susceptible to an upset. Sacramento, of course, is coached by Memphis' former coach, Dave Joerger. And they've been decent, of late, with a 17-13-1 ATS record since Jan. 21, including an eye-opening win, as a 13.5-point underdog, at the Clippers on Sunday. With Memphis a poor 17-39 ATS vs. foes with double revenge that are not off back-to-back losses, I would back Sacramento on Monday.
The proud Detroit Pistons franchise has not won a playoff game since the 2008 season, as it's been swept the last two times (2009, 2016) that it reached the post-season. This year, Stan Van Gundy's troops are right in the mix for the final Eastern Conference playoff slot, as they're among four teams (Heat, Bulls, Pistons, Hornets) currently separated by a mere two games. But it hasn't done itself any favors by starting off its 4-game road trip with three losses, including a 28-point upset loss at Orlando on Friday. Detroit's final road game on this trip will be in Madison Square Garden, where it will battle the New York Knicks, followed by home dates vs. Miami and Brooklyn. The Pistons are a solid 26-12 ATS their last 38 off an upset loss, which bodes well for them against the Knicks on Monday. And it won't hurt matters any that Carmelo Anthony might miss the game due to soreness in his left knee. I expect Detroit to handily defeat New York. Good luck, as always...Al McMordie. And don't miss any of my hoops, hockey and baseball winners here at BigAl.com. Join for a week, month, six months or year today to get all of my award-winning selections.