Sunday, November 08, 2009

It Was a Sharp Saturday

Quite a day for the public in the NBA, yesterday. Without digging into totals, we can say with certainty they lost with Denver, they lost with Boston, Utah, the Clippers, and Chicago, and the other two games were split 50/50. So, by my count, the public went a solid 0-5-2, if you can count split money as a push.

But most days won't go like that, and it makes you think that today, or some day very soon, the public is due to hit a few, since they DO generally hit a shade under 50%. We just need to keep our eyes open for the right opportunity to join 'em, but until then, it's always the safer play to avoid games where we see the public betting a team in greater than 80% of situations.

Sports Wagering

Pistons/Sixers - This line is currently OFF, and while I'd normally wait to write this little Roundup until the lines are released, with a full slate of NFL today, and this game's start time as 1pm eastern, there just simply isn't time to wait. The Sixers barely squeaked by the severely undermanned Nets at home, so my guess is that oddsmakers aren't currently thinking too highly of them. The Pistons had a nice home win over the Magic last week, but got creamed in Toronto and then in a rematch in Orlando, so they probably won't be getting much credit, either. When it all shakes out, I figure the Sixers talent advantage will make the difference in oddsmakers' power rankings, and we should see a pretty short line on this one, maybe even a pick. The part where oddsmakers need to use a little more math is on the total, since Detroit likes to play a slower, half-court game, and the Sixers like to get out on the break and use their winged humans to score near the bucket. I think they'll lay the total somewhere in between where the two teams want it, and we'll see a number in the high 180's. Time will tell, and I promise to post some thoughts closer to game-time, when we get to see the official line.

Wizards/Suns - The Suns are laying a point on the road to Washington, a line that smells a little fishy. Phoenix is coming off a road win over the Celtics, while the Wizards have lost three straight. Yet, despite the perception of both teams being so disparate, the Wizards are only dogs by a single point. You can bet your gluteus the public is going to be coming in HARD on the Suns, and if this line doesn't move much, we may have a great spot to take the Wizards. Phoenix is near the end of their road trip, and we've already seen this year how poorly teams play when they're finishing up a relatively meaningless early-season roadie. The total is at 214.5, somewhat low given both of these teams like to shoot early in the clock. Strong lean to the Wizards, and slight lean to the Over.

Thunder/Magic - This line is OFF right now, as well, though at least the game isn't until 7pm eastern, so we'll have some time to react to the numbers the books put out. The Magic should definitely be laying a few points on the road, and they've proven to be a very resilient road club over the last year-plus. Line should be near 7. Rather than run in circles with a total that hasn't been released, let's save our time for NFL and just wait on that one.

Kings/Warriors - The Kings are getting 5 points at home with a total of 216.5. This line feels significantly off, with the Warriors really not good enough to lay 5 points on the road to anyone in the NBA. The Kings, meanwhile, lost Kevin Martin for an extended period, then promptly went on the road, and beat Utah despite being 15 point underdogs. They did play last night, so some of the energy might be missing, but the Kings are playing with the "lost-comrade" adrenaline right now. This is a great time to back Sacramento, then we'll jump on the fade train when the Kevin Martin loss catches up with them. The total feels a tad low, as well. Both teams are going to want to get that rock up near the basket as fast as humanly possible, and the only reason we're seeing this number below 220 is because Sacramento played last night, and oddsmakers feel their jumpshots might be an inch or two short.

Blazers/Wolves - Minnesota heads to the Pacific Northwest, and gets a chunky 13.5 points at the Rose Garden with a total of just 183.5. Minnesota has not looked impressive at all in the early-going, so this side is yelling at me to avoid it at all costs, but I do believe we can find some value in the total. Portland plays very slow, defensive games, and the Wolves do NOT have the personnel to push the tempo, relying heavily on Al Jefferson to stay in games. Minnesota's defense isn't all that impressive, but Portland just simply will not push the pace, even to get easy buckets, and I believe the total stays in the 170's, with the Blazers holding the Wolves to a team total in the low 80's. Slight lean to the Under.

Lakers/Hornets - Another line not yet posted, so what else is new? The Hornets had one solid game against the Mavericks, picking up something of a miracle win, then came right back with another dud, getting spanked on their home floor by a Raptors club that just simply isn't that good on the road. Now, the Hornets roll into LA to take on a Lakers club that, even without both of their big men, finds ways to win. You know Chris Paul will put on a show in LA, and you know the Hornets will bring their A-game to face the Champs, but at the end of the day, the Lakers just won't be beat by a club with only 2 guys worth guarding. Lakers will be favored by a handful in this one, and I see them winning this one by a closer margin than they should, as usual. The total, if the Lakers are indeed beginning to shoot the ball better, should be near 200.

Fantasy Advice

John Salmons - He has been dropped in some Leagues due to a very slow start, but Salmons is a proven scorer, and last night he showed that he's capable of posting a solid game even in a game with a total in the 180's. 27 points, 7 boards, 6 assists and 3 steals is enough to get anyone's fantasy juices flowing.

Joakim Noah - With Tyrus Thomas going down due to a weight-lifting incident, Noah stepped up his play inside, bopping the Bobcats for 21 points and 16 boards. He should be a solid source of defensive stats while Thomas remains out, and his minutes should get a nice little 5-6 boost, as well, since Brad Miller is the only other legitimate big guy on Chicago's roster.

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