Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Manu Goes And1

Unreal, guys. Just unreal. I sent a text message to fellow Pro Mike Hook when that Spurs-Thunder game ended last night that read, "when the bad luck comes, it hits you right in the scrotum," and I can tell you I should have worn a cup. If you didn't happen to catch how last night's Paid Play lost, I suggest you check it out on Sportscenter, because I'm not sure my play-by-play could really do it justice.

We did, however, salvage the evening with a Free Premium winner on the Denver Nuggets, and a few winning leans for those that played them. I can't really get mad when it's taking a super-human play from the Spurs 6th man to beat us, but I sure wouldn't mind catching a few breaks!

Sports Wagering

Bulls @ Celtics - Boston by 7 with a total of 194.5. Boston comes home off a 24-point throttling of the New Jersey Nets on the road, but the issue, once again, is whether Boston can sustain the effort for all 48-minutes on the second night of a back-to-back. Surely that's why this line looks so succulent for Celtics-backers, only laying a measly 7 points to the Bulls. I think the best information we can use when handicapping this game is a peek at the previous match-ups, and the results are really something. Boston absolutely KILLED Chicago in both games thus far this season, interesting given the epic nature of their playoff series last year. Of course, both games this season have featured an intimidating defender by the name of Kevin Garnett, and his absence makes this match-up feel an awful lot like the playoff games from last year (which, as you may recall, featured 5 of 7 games decided by 3 points or less, and neither team was on a back-to-back). I love Chicago in this spot, especially with the game on TNT and the Bulls on double-revenge this year. For what it's worth, the Bulls have done quite poorly avenging home losses, but this is really a "new" Bulls club since late December. They've covered 8 of 9 spreads since bottoming out, and have covered 11 of 14 since a huge loss on December 12th to these very same Celtics. I think we see a Chicago team that's looking to show an old Celtics club that they're ready to play 'em like it's the '09 Playoffs. Boston is just 6-10 ATS at home, so they don't tend to cover these hefty home spreads, and this one would be up around 9 if not for the fatigue issue. And I don't call it an "issue" for no reason - the Celtics are 2-5 ATS on the second night of a back-to-back, so another spot where perhaps they get out to a lead and get backdoored when the legs slow, or have to muster some strength late. The obvious concern here is that Boston might just have Chicago's number, but I don't believe that holds true without KG. He hasn't "led the charge" in the games against the Bulls, but a balanced attack, supplemented with suffocating defense (Chicago shot 41 and 33% in the two games) have been the key. I think the Bulls (50%+ in 3 of their last 4 games) put together a much better offensive effort, and I lean their direction - I also like an Over, since this one has about a 50% chance of going to OT (haha!).

Cavaliers @ Jazz - A Pick in Utah with a total of 196.5. Very weird spread here, if you ask me. I realize sometimes we may overthink things, and create a trap where perhaps there isn't one, but this feels like a Cavs-related trap right off the bat. You just know the Jazz are going to be amped up to play one of the top 3 highest-profile teams in the NBA (and arguably the biggest draw in Lebron James) on TNT Thursday in the late game! There is also just zero chance the Cavs are only 3 points the Jazz's superior on a neutral court. In any case, breaking this one down, Cleveland comes to down off a narrow win in Golden State, but a win nonetheless, to cap a back-to-back sweep in Portland, then Oakland - that, after a heartbreaking loss in Denver to start the road trip. Utah, meanwhile, continues a short homestand off an easy win over the Heat, so they too should be fairly well-rested. Really, this has the potential to be a good game, barring the Cavs decide to ratchet their intensity up to Christmas Day level and just destroy the Jazz. It's not going to be easy for either team, that's for damn sure. Utah lost by just 4 points in Cleveland earlier this season, so they can certainly compete with the Cavs, and that game ended up being played at the Jazz's tempo, sailing Over the posted total of 190.5 by almost 20 points. No surprise that this line is 6 points higher, which seems fair. I don't have a strong feeling on the total, though both of these teams have been pretty keyed in, offensively. Still, the TNT cameras might cause some real hard-nose defense, and I just don't have a feeling on this total. I do, however, think that we'll get a big-time game from the spread perspective, and I have to give the Jazz the very slight edge in a spot where I don't think folks will give them the time of day.

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