Friday, January 29, 2010

Bounceback Follow-Up, Anyone?

The announcement of a "Bounceback Day" never fails! Yesterday we got creamed, today we did the creaming. Perhaps I could have picked a better word there, but I really wanted to make a strong point.

Our Paid Play was an easy winner on the Timberwolves, who did let the Clippers claw back into the game just briefly, but got a few key stops in the 4th and covered by double-digits. That win moves our Paid Play run to 7-4, which, for whatever reason, looks a lot better than 6-4 to me!

We also nabbed a narrower victory on the Free Premium selection of the Spurs, who covered by just 2, but were "in the money" for most of the game. Free Plays also moved to 7-4 over the last 11, so despite a couple of less-than-stellar days in the middle of this week, we're still delivering a sound beating in the NBA, and I see no reason why it shouldn't continue with another solid day.

My favorite part about the Friday card, even beyond the 2-0 mini-sweep, is that the Friday games LED to angles in the Saturday and Sunday games. It's a great feeling when you can take results from one day, and immediately reapply them to the next. Let's get to it.

Sports Wagering

Hawks @ Magic - Orlando by 5 with a total of 192.5. The battle of teams that just played Boston! This will be the 3rd meeting of these teams this season, and Orlando has dominated each of the first two, winning in Atlanta by 17, then at home by 22. So yes, a few things come to mind: the Hawks are indeed on double-revenge, but I just don't know if this is the right time. Both teams are coming off emotional games with the Celtics, and the Hawks just completed a 4-game season sweep of Boston with a nice 4th quarter last night. But how strong is the double-revenge when Atlanta just powered out such a nice 4-game sweep and, I would say, accomplished one small season goal? I'm inclined to think not all that outrageously strong. Orlando has owned the Hawks so far, so it's also quite possible that the Magic just have Atlanta's number. Let's dig deeper. How have each of these teams played in the game immediately following a showdown with Boston? When Orlando beat Boston in Boston back in November, they followed that up with a road win over the Raptors (and a cover); when Orlando lost to Boston in Orlando, the Magic bounced back by throttling the Bucks. So 2 games after Boston so far, and 2 wins and covers. How about Atlanta? When they beat Boston in November, the Hawks were right in the middle of a 7-game winning streak, so needless to say, they won the next one; the most recent win over Boston was followed by a narrow home cover against the Wizards; that brings us to the 2nd game with Boston for the Hawks. They beat the Celtics by 8 in Atlanta, and had to play in Orlando the next night where they got manhandled by the aforementioned 22 points. So, here we are again, the same exact scenario, and the Magic are favored by just 5. This is scary, to me. I definitely think Orlando has a strong edge in energy and experience, but this line is enough to give a man fits. I don't like the side here, given all the information we have, but if I had to lean, I'd lean to the home fave. In terms of the tota, the first meeting between these teams went under 199, the second went under 196, and now this one is set at 192. We might very well be due for an Over, but let's see how this thing moves off the opening number, since I'm at a loss for what the public is going to think on this total.

Hornets @ Grizzlies - Memphis by 5 with a total of 206. Memphis and New Orleans BOTH playing back-to-back contests, so this is definitely going to be a battle of attrition, and courtesy of New Orleans losing in overtime to the Bulls, I would expect to see this line move to 6 before morning, so your best bet might be to grab Memphis right at this very moment (if the line hasn't changed before I finish typing this blog), then maybe hope for a move up to 7 and grab yourself a middle, since a 2-point middle, as you all heard on the podcast I'm sure (you best be listening!) is a very profitable endeavor in the long term, especially when NBA lines are getting nice and sharp. In any case, we know how tough Memphis has been at home, and we also know how New Orleans has a knack for playing close games. I think a lot of that has to do with having a leader like Chris Paul - he's so even keel that his team really feeds off that. They don't get up when they're ahead, and don't get down when they're behind, leading to a lot of games decided by a bucket or two. And just as we hope, we have an example! Wow, it's like we were taught in 9th grade - when you make a statement, back it up. How about the game between these same two teams just a week ago, which New Orleans won 113-111, failing to cover the home spread of -3.5, and easily clearing the posted total of 204. So, in a week and a half, the power rankings have changed 2.5 points? I'm not sure I buy that, and I'm thinking this line has been overadjusted for home court, and potentially preadjusted for revenge. While I definitely believe Memphis wins the game, I actually think New Orleans might be the better value, especially once this line adjusts for the Hornets going into OT last night. I lean Hornets if we can get this thing at 6 or 7. I think we'll see the total come down a tiny bit because of fatigue, but both teams have played to the Over on back-to-backs, and I lean that way.

Knicks @ Wizards - This line is OFF. And this is not the world's greatest spot for either team. The Knicks just finished up a 5-game homestand with that brutal loss to the Raptors, and will be playing their first road game since January 16th! How will the Knicks respond to being back out on the road? If recent road games are any indicator, the answer is "okay" -- they took 2 of 3 road games near the turn of the decade, then took 1 of 3 in Houston, Oklahoma and Philly, then lost their most recent road game in Detroit when the Pistons were actually playing decent ball for about 3 games. So, based on those games, 2 weeks ago, we have to try to figure out how they'll play in this one. My guess is, well, "okay." As for the Wizards, they managed to squeak out a narrow win in Jersey last night, 81-79 (I leaned Under in that one pretty strongly, for what it's worth), and now they come home to host the Knicks. This is a Wizards team that really needed a win, but they're just not showing any kind of spirit over the last few games. They've failed to cover in 4 straight, and it just looks like they're hitting that wall that I spoke of at great length on the podcast with respect to yesterday's play. This game feels like the spot where Washington bottoms out. This is the first meeting between these two teams this year, and if indeed Washington continues to play without spirit, this should be a nice line for New York. For what it's worth, the Wizards, one of the worst ATS wagers in the NBA (17-27-1 ATS), are 3-8 ATS on the second half of back-to-backs. Yeah, I know, not surprising. I lean to the Knicks even though they burned me on Thursday. I have very weak feelings on the total, and given the teams involved, I have to take a teeny tiny lean to the Under, but for flimsy reasons, at best.

Heat @ Bucks - This line is OFF. And, while Dwyane Wade played last night in Detroit (and was able to rest quite a bit), he was seen in visible pain, and I'm just not sure that anyone, even oddsmakers, know where to open this one up. These teams haven't played this year, so there's no prior meeting to base numbers upon, and we have no idea if Dwyane Wade or Michael Beasley will play, two guys that could create about a 4-point swing in the spread, depending on health. You guys know how I feel about trying to throw darts at a game that involves crucial injury issues, but I'll break this thing down, anyway. The Heat, as we just saw, are coming off annihilating the Pistons in Motown, embarrassing Detroit by 27 points while holding them to just 65 points in the entire game. You guys know how I enjoy looking at teams that got shown up at home, but that's when we look at Detroit; this is our look at Miami. The Heat snapped a 2-game losing streak with this easy win, and now they turn their attention on a very strong home team in Milwaukee. The Bucks, a team we've been playing quite a bit lately, have covered 6 straight games while going just 3-3 SU but outperforming the line each and every night. Conveniently, they lost the 3 of those games played on the road and won all 3 at home. The Bucks are 13-8 ATS on their own court, where they shoot the ball from outside very, very well, and that could really come in handy in this one. If the Heat have tired legs and can't quite get out to cover shooters, someone like a Carlos Delfino could potentially have a field day. I lean Milwaukee until they look like they're slowing down. We must be careful, though, as these teams play one another again in Miami in 2 days. Maybe it's best to just wait and play the opposite team in the second game. Still, I like the home teams to win both games in this home-and-home, and I lean Bucks and Over.

Blazers @ Mavericks - Dallas by 8.5 with a total of 193. That's a lot of points for the Mavs to give away, considering their home situation. I realize that Portland beat Dallas here earlier this year, so there is going to be some revenge of a home loss for the Mavs, but Dallas has just not shown me anything on the defensive end lately, and with Portland on a back-to-back, I think this line is getting needlessly inflated. The Blazers covered in Houston last night, as I suspected they would, and now they can flex their back-to-back muscles, a situation that Portland has not been opposed to this year. In fact, the Blazers are a strong 7-3 ATS in these spots, playing roughly the same on day 1 as day 2, and thus the 2 bonus points given to them by the oddsmakers end up giving the Blazers all kinds of line value. Now, don't get me wrong, Portland has lost 3 straight, and they've looked outmanned doing it, but the Roy-less Blazers are suddenly a gold mine for line value, assuming they put together even 36 minutes of decent basketball. Dallas is a miserable 5-16 ATS in home games, and giving away almost 10 points is just no way for the Mavs to get a cover. And no, I don't think this is a trap to take the road team, since nobody wants to take Portland without Brandon Roy. I lean Dallas to win, and Portland to cover. I also like the Over - these teams played to just 166 points the last time they met on a total of 187.5, and oddsmakers bumped this number UP to 193; if that's not fishy, I don't know what is.

Bobcats @ Kings - Charlotte by 1 with a total of 196. As I begin typing this paragraph, Charlotte is engaged in a 4th quarter battle with the Warriors, and leading Golden State by a healthy margin. It makes a man think, really. Both teams in this game are going to be on the second half of a back-to-back, with Charlotte going road-to-road, and of course, Sacramento going road-to-home. Sacramento is 3-6-2 ATS on the tail end of back-to-backs, but are actually 3-2 SU when going away-to-home in these situations. Still, the narrow cover in Utah is a huge rarity for this team. The Kings are now 3-10 ATS in January, and 1-8 ATS against Southeast division opponents, so this does not shape up well for them. I keep waiting for the Kings to "bottom out", but I'm not sure that situation has presented itself yet. They didn't look good at all against Utah, allowing Paul Millsap to thoroughly dominate the game, and while Kevin Martin is back, Jason Thompson has hit something of a wall. I'm not sure I can legitimately tell anyone to back the Kings here, even though they're probably the sharp choice. Charlotte is 9-3 ATS on back-to-back game twos, so they're a strong choice for this situation, too. Most people thought they'd be in a letdown spot against Golden State last night, but clearly that was not the case. This is a team growing together by the day, and they're learning how to play on the road, suddenly making them a very dangerous team. Charlotte got out to a huge lead over Sacramento when they played a couple weeks ago, and nearly blew it, and that game does throw a wrinkle into things, here. Sure, the Kings are on revenge, but at the same time, I think Charlotte is going to want to prove that they're better than they showed in the second half of that game at home. I lean Charlotte, despite the difficulty of playing in Arco and revenge, and I lean Under on the side, as I see the Bobcats trying to slow things down, and I don't see the Kings energized enough or cogent enough to push through the Bobcats strong defense.

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.