Wednesday, February 17, 2010

TNT Thursday, Awesome Games

I want to begin by giving a HEARTY "Thank You!" to everyone that got on board yesterday! It was a big day, and now that I officially have long-term subscribers, I am definitely going to try to make that subscription worth your while! I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the fact that you guys continue to put your trust in me is downright touching. I can't thank you enough for having that faith, and I promise it will be rewarded!

Yesterday didn't go exactly as planned, but it wasn't all bad.

We dropped the early play on the Knicks, as New York crumbled in the second half and Chicago's defense really stepped up big. I think we can learn something from this game, other than that the Knicks are garbage. It's important to note that perhaps by the time we bet the game, the line had already been adjusted for the revenge factor, and in fact, the line didn't contain the value we thought. If anything, it may have actually had a small amount of value for the Bulls, but I feel that if I would have realized sooner than the line was preadjusted, we could have avoided that one. As I said in yesterday's blog response, a loss that could have potentially been avoided ALWAYS irritates me more than one that blindsides me.

We managed to make back a fair share of our losses in the late Total, though, as the Warriors rattled off some tremendous offensive numbers, and the Kings did just enough to push the Total up Over in Oakland.

Thus, on a wacky Wednesday when a lot of folks were getting crushed, we split the card, and that's ALMOST a win in my book.

Short card today, but two GREAT games, so let's get some winners.

Sports Wagering

Nuggets @ Cavs - Cleveland by 6 with a total of 206. This is quite the opening act! The Cavs, winners of 13 in a row straight up (8-5 ATS), play host to the Nuggets, and neither team has played since the All Star Break. Unfortunately, that makes this game a little bit funny. The lead dog on each team spent the All Star weekend in Dallas, taking in the festivities, and Melo had probably the strongest game of anyone on the West squad (arguably, at least). It's not at all uncommon for these clubs to be a little rusty from the perimeter. What we've seen over the last two days, with teams coming out of the Break, is that home teams seem to have a solid advantage. I worry, though, that the Cavs have basically maxed out, in terms of value against the spread. We were able to back Cleveland last Thursday when they hosted Orlando, but we actually had value there with the Cavs coming off back-to-back failed covers against the Nets and Knicks, and the Magic coming off a blowout win over the Bulls. This time around, we don't really have any "previous game" to look at for information on the value. The Nuggets played a complete and utter stinker in their final game before the All Star Break, but that was clearly a situation where they were ready for some time off, and the Spurs came to town wanting to make a statement going into the Break. I don't believe those games last Thursday have any bearing on how this one plays out. There are certainly some angles involved in this game, but before we discuss, I feel it's worthwhile to point out that both of these teams play again tomorrow, and both play exceedingly weak competition. The best value might be to fade these teams in the letdown game tomorrow, but hey, let's see what we can find right now. This is, believe it or not, a revenge game for the Cavs, who lost to the Nuggets back on January 8. In fact, the last two games Cleveland has lost have been heartbreakers in Denver and in Utah, so this team apparently can't quite get it done in altitude. Too bad for Denver this game is, roughly, at sea level in Ohio. So, assuming that Lebron wants to strut his stuff against buddy Carmelo, and assuming the Cavs are playing with a certain level of revenge, surely they have to be the lean, right? Well, not necessarily. This first game out of the Break can start out so many different ways, that I'm inclined to think Chauncey Billups is going to make a huge difference and keep this thing relatively close down the stretch. I have no strong lean on the side as of yet, though I'm inclined to believe the Nuggets make a game of it, so I suppose the small lean is to Denver. On the total, I'm torn between the prospect of a cold-shooting start for both teams and the fact that both clubs have been running the ball more lately. I have a very slight early lean to the Under, but that is subject to change.

Celtics @ Lakers - This line is OFF. Another fun one, with both teams coming off look-ahead spots, where neither covered their last game, but each team picked up a win. Boston got a narrow victory in Sacramento, though really, if the Kings could make a few free throws, Boston loses that game, and the Lakers let the Warriors hang around until about the 4 minute mark, then laid a beating on Golden State down the stretch. The question around this game, to no one's surprise, is whether Kobe's playing. The Lakers have looked very strong without him, playing a slow, possession game, and really, this type of high-profile contest is where the defense really reigns supreme. I have to say, though, that I believe when this line comes out, we're going to actually be getting some value on the Celtics, and I only hope Kobe DOES make his return to inflate the line by an additional 2 to 2.5 points. Boston has lost 5 straight ATS, which makes them an uglier and uglier bet against the best teams in the NBA, and we can probably use the public's perception against them. Unfortunately, if Kobe sits another one out, I'm not sure we get that same value on Boston, and right now, I believe Kobe's status is "doubtful." On the total, both teams have actually been playing to the Under, but we have to wait and see where this line comes out. The Lakers have been playing a ton of defense and really cleaning the glass nicely with Kobe out. The Celtics have chemistry issues, and some serious lapses in focus. I can't help but think the Celtics are the team that no one wants to back right now, so I lean in their direction. I also like the Under, but we'll see how low oddsmakers bring this line out, especially if Kobe's not playing.

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