Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year NBA RoundUp

Just 3 games, and there's no prayer I'd get this thing done tomorrow morning, so I'm putting it out ridiculously early, with as many thoughts as I can squeeze into it.

Sports Wagering

Knicks @ Hawks - Atlanta by 11.5 with a total of 204. A pretty hefty spread for a New Years game, though I'd say it's pretty safe the say the Hawks are not going to be in good spirits going into this one, and may very well be looking to take out their aggression on someone. Atlanta has already knocked off the Knicks twice this year, once by 13 and once by 7, and not surprisingly, this line falls right in between. I would prefer to back the Knicks on double revenge here, but they're coming off a truly ugly performance against the Nets, and I'm not convinced they're the type of team that can bounce back quick enough to stay close to the high-flying Hawks. Atlanta has been trading off covers and losses ATS, so it's not as though they're clobbering quite as hard as they were earlier in the year, and I do believe this number is a little bit on the high side. I lean to New York on the side. For the total, it might look a little high, given the way the Knicks have been slowing games down lately, and it might very well be a little steep, but interestingly, the Knicks game with the Nets was their first Over in the last 9 games! So it goes to show the players that if they don't play defense, they don't win games. I'm not confident that they'll get the defensive side of the ball turned around that quickly, though at the same time I think Atlanta is ripe to have a little bit of an emotional lull after the two WARS with the Cavs. I lean just slightly to the Under.

Magic @ Timberwolves - Orlando by 8.5 with a total of 205. Another hefty spread, this time for a road team that heads into Minnesota off a second-half stomping of the Bucks. Orlando trailed for a large portion of that game, then somehow managed to win by 25, as they scored over 70 points in the second half, and held the Bucks to under 40. Of course, in that one, the Magic were coming off about a week without a game - that's a slight exaggeration, but the time off left the Magic a little rusty in the first half, but their energy level really ramped up late in the game. I think this could be a very tough match-up for the Wolves, who only seem to be able to compete with the teams they can outrebound. In terms of ability to grab boards, Orlando is among the best defensive rebounding teams in the NBA because of a hefty fellow by the name of Dwight. I really don't like the Wolves chances in this one, and I think this line is pretty sizable for a reason. I rarely like huge road favorites, but I lean to Orlando in this one, since I think this time is right on the cusp of going on a beastly run, and I get the feeling the Wolves made their little push about a week ago. In terms of the total, I think we may very well see the Magic shoot over 50% and score close to 110. My concern is whether the Wolves will get up near 100. I lean slightly to the Over, but it's a weak lean, more of a tilt than a lean, really.

Kings @ Lakers - This line is OFF. For good reason, too. Tyreke Evans and Ron Artest are both probable, but this just won't be a game without Evans. We all know about Kobe's laundry list of nagging injuries (groin, finger, elbow), but he just seems to get tougher every year. More important in this match-up is that Kobe is rolling right now while the rest of his team is seeming to get less and less interested in the regular season. Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum aren't doing much of anything right now, and if it weren't for Gasol, I'm not sure how many of these games the Lakers would actually win. It took 2 overtime periods for the Lakers to knock off these Kings up in Sacramento a week ago, but the Kings are a much, much better team when they're at home, and I'm not sure that coming into LA on New Year's Day after getting beat up by a surging Sixers team at home. This play will depend largely on the line. I think that both teams will be a little groggy, so my favorite play here would be an Under, but obviously we need to see where the line opens up. I also think that grogginess favors the Lakers, since they get the easiest shots of the two teams, and Kobe is immune to, it seems, just about everything. Mike Hook and I predicted the opening line on this game -- thought 10.5, I thought 9, and he's probably right, since I think I'm giving the betting public too much credit with the lower line. We always have to remember that the Lakers are such a marquee team, that almost every line set for them is going to come at a premium, despite the fact that LA has covered just 1 of the last 5 games, and that was, of course, the game in Sacramento. Also interesting, the Lakers have played to 3 consecutive Overs, as their defense without Ron Artest has suffered markedly.

3 comments:

Maroussia said...

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