Sunday, December 13, 2009

We Loved Saturday

Yesterday was a good day. The Top Play hit with Utah, and the three smaller plays all hit, with 6 teams clanking their way to successful Unders in Detroit, Chicago and Denver. I will never argue with a 4-0 sweep on posted plays, and this stretch of red-hot NBA continues at 22-10 over the last 3 weeks.

Today is a football day, to be sure. Just take a look at the weird match-ups below!

Sports Wagering

Raptors/Rockets - Raptors getting 1.5 points at home with a total of 203.5. This is an interesting one, and I always like trying to get an edge on game with almost no spread. Here, we have the Rockets, maybe the biggest overachievers in the NBA, at 13-9 on the season and really without any stars on the club, taking on the Raptors, one of the league's true underachievers. Toronto is 10-15, and is coming off getting spanked in Milwaukee, then at home by the Hawks. The Raptors are also 10-15 ATS, which has meant this team's been a solid fade so far, and even moreso recently, as Toronto has gone 2-8 ATS over their last 10 games. The Rockets have covered 5 of their last 6 games, truly impressing me in the process. If the season ended right now, Rick Adelman should be getting huge consideration for coach of the year. But this isn't helpful for handicapping. The most important thing we need to know going into this one is who is going to play. Toronto was without Jose Calderon in their last game, and the offense loses a ton of its rhythm without him. I will not, in good conscience, place a wager on this game until we know who is and who is not playing. It's just not worth it. If we can find out a bit more, and if Toronto is healthy, this might be a nice bounceback spot for them, coming off another embarrassing defeat to the Hawks. I like Toronto and the Over, but only if we can get a fully healthy lineup out there, and first indications are that we cannot.

Hawks/Nets - Atlanta by 12.5 at home with a total of 198.5. This is a pretty hefty spread, and in situations like this I try to find reasons to take the underdog, but this game might be another pass. Atlanta has won, and covered, 3 straight games, including a pair of merciless beatings of the Bulls and Raptors. So, we've seen Atlanta handle large spreads, not good for our efforts to find reasons to back the dog. Atlanta's next game isn't until the 16th, when they host Memphis, so this isn't a look-ahead spot either. The more we dig into this game, the more it looks like one we should be skipping. New Jersey remains a dismal 2-21 on the season, and an unpleasant if not quite equally pathetic 7-16 ATS. They have been smashed in each of their last 2 games, one against the Warriors at home, then the next in Indiana. They play in Atlanta tonight, then in Cleveland on Tuesday, so the road doesn't get much easier, and word on the street is that Devin Harris is dealing with an injured finger. Unfortunately, given all this information, I lean to Atlanta, but barely enough to notice, and I also lean to the Under, since I'm not sure the Nets can break 90.

Heat/Grizzlies - Heat by 7 at home with a total of 199. I can't help but wonder what the Heat are doing laying 7 points to anyone, anywhere. This team is not much better than the Grizzlies, if at all, and Memphis has been playing excellent basketball. Let's see if we can't figure out what the oddsmakers have up their sleeves. Miami is coming off a 13-point loss at home to the Dallas Mavericks, so they will be fired up to get a win in front of their home crowd. That being said, the Heat are a rather mundane 6-6 at home, unable to really put the pieces together a few games in a row, and hovering near the .500 mark all season after a quick start. This game with the Grizzlies is the second of a 6-game homestand for Miami, which means it is indeed a better spot for them than the last game with Dallas. The players are settling in to their own homes with family obligations, and I think we see a solid effort from the Heat in this one. But, curbing our enthusiasm, Miami has just ONE win since November 12 of more than 7 points, that being in Sacramento when they kicked off their road trip to the west coast. Beating anyone by 8 seems to be awfully difficult for this team, but it's possible. Memphis has been one of the home/road split-teams thus far this year, going a very respectable 6-4 on their home court, and a pathetic 3-9 on the road. They did win their last road game in Minnesota, but prior to that had lost by large sums in Utah and against the Clippers. Of course, before that they won a nice one in Portland. This Memphis team is far too inconsistent to pick a side in this one. The total is no good, either, as the Heat have been playing Overs and the Grizz have been playing Unders. Memphis has had a tendency to relax on defense on the road, so I'd lean Over, but this is another game that doesn't have my attention just yet.

Thunder/Cavaliers - Cleveland laying 3.5 on the road with a total of 191. This line smells a little like a trap. Cleveland hasn't been playing that well lately, which makes Oklahoma look excellent at first glance. The Cavs have failed to cover their last 3 games in a row, 2 of them outright losses in Memphis and Houston. It took a 54% shooting performance for Cleveland to beat Portland, so their defense is struggling a tad, and a few banged up players might be the reason behind it. Mo Williams is playing through an injury, as is Anderson Varejao, and if even 1 of the 5 guys on the floor isn't rotating properly, the entire defense will suffer. I think this is a particularly bad spot for the Cavs, and while I think Lebron will put together another solid game, I'm not sure this is a game we'll see the entire team get up for. It's a Sunday early-evening game, and while I am fully aware weird things happen on Sundays, let's keep a close eye on this line. The Thunder have gone 5-2 SU and ATS over their last 7 games, including 2 straight wins and covers (vs. GS and at Mem). They have also played to 2 straight Unders, which I actually don't like. I feel the Over has some value with the Thunder starting to click offensively, and the Cavs with a guy named James that can overcome most defenses on his own. I lean to the Thunder and just slightly to the Over.

Clippers/Spurs - The Spurs are laying 6 points on the road with a total of 187. Not the world's most succulent Sunday card, now that we're on the last game of it. Good thing there's football. The Spurs are coming off back-to-back home wins over the Kings and the Bobcats, but have covered just 1 of their last 6 games, going 1-4-1 ATS in that stretch. They have regressed a tad defensively after a nice run to end November, but offensively, San Antonio is holding up just fine. They've shot over 50% in each of their last 2 games, but have allowed their opponents to shoot over 50% in 2 of the last 3, as well. We've seen 3 straight games fly Over the total, and the poor defense and good shooting are the obvious reasons why. Today, the Spurs face the bricklaying LA Clippers, who have shot 40% and 35% in their last 2 games, and have gone Under the total in 8 of their last 9 games. The Clippers slow, plodding offense is definitely the reason this total is so low. I will admit when there's a team that I'm just not getting a great read on, and the Clippers are one of those teams. I'm quite hesitant to lean to either side, though the Spurs' road woes make me move just slightly to the Clippers -- San Antonio is 10-4 at home and just 1-5 on the road, so laying 6 points is a recipe for disaster. The total of 187 has a nice shot of getting cleared, but the Clippers could slow things down enough to try to win this one in a defensive struggle.

Fantasy Advice

Erick Dampier - Contract year. That's all that needs to be said. The dude is healthy again, and rebounding like he wants to be able to afford food for his family next season, including back to back 17/18 rebound performances.

No comments:

Your Ad Here

The information contained on this page is for entertainment purposes only; any use of this information in violation of any federal, state, or local laws is prohibited. The owner of this website assumes no responsibility for the actions by and makes no representation or endorsement of any of these games and/or activities offered by the advertiser.