Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's Always Sonny (Weems) in Philadelphia

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sports Wagering: NBA

Los Angeles Clippers @ Indiana Pacers (-8.5) with a total of 200;
I feel like I could just cut and paste every writeup so far this year on the Clippers. Total disaster of a team - Blake Griffin is a hyper-athletic young player, but teams are starting to send him to the line, where he's been hit-or-miss...mostly miss. Besides Griffin, the Clippers are pretty banged up, and Vinny Del Negro seems to have lost these guys, already. Now, that being said, 8.5 points is quite a large number, considering the Pacers don't play much in the way of defense, and Darren Collison, perhaps the team's second best defensive player, is day-to-day. So, without Collison, it's going to be a matter of whether the Pacers can get 5 more stops than the Clippers. It sounds easy enough, but I want no part of it. Staying within 8 or 9 points just takes a full-game effort, even from a bad team, so I'll take it right here - if the Clippers get blown out in Minnesota on Wednesday, strongly consider CLIPS for Thursday, otherwise, probably just leave it alone. As far as the total goes, I find it hard to believe anyone takes defense that seriously, so I'm inclined to lean over, but can the Clippers even break 90 points? Eh, tiny lean to the OVER.

Phoenix Suns @ Orlando Magic (-9) with a total of 203;
The angles on this game are a little less convoluted than the ones for the Clips/Pacers game, above. Simply put, if Orlando is AWAKE, they will try to slow this game down and use their superior size to squash the Suns. Phoenix is also going to be playing the second game of a difficult Florida back-to-back, and what we've seen so far this year is that Phoenix's offense suffers when their legs aren't quite 100%. A jump-shooting, running team, the Suns need full energy to win, so it's not that surprising that their numbers drop a tad in fatigue spots. Orlando, meanwhile, got off to a weird start to the year, and I'd argue are having some issues with focus. They are coming off, perhaps, their best defensive game of the season, so I wonder if Orlando is going to keep that focus, or slip back into the lull that allowed Toronto to beat them, and then nearly let Jersey sneak out a win, too. I have to believe, with this game being the early TNT game, Orlando will be awake and looking to put the squeeze on the smaller Suns. I think the side is pretty accurate here, though a slight lean to ORLANDO, and I think that total looks low for a reason, and I lean to the UNDER.

Denver Nuggets @ Portland Trailblazers (-3) with a total of 203;
I have to say, when I first looked at this game, I wanted to just jump all over the Trailblazers, but something is nagging at me, and I think it's their team defense. Aside from locking down on the hapless Pistons, the Blazers have been giving up points in hefty bunches, and that's just not how they're going to win games. They allowed 121 to the Lakers, 110 to the Thunder, 107 to the Hornets, and 99 to the Grizzlies, in a game they won. The Blazers aren't going to beat the Nuggets with offense. In fact, playing offense is what the Nuggets actually enjoy. It's that darn defense that gets them all knotted up. So, where does that leave us? I'd say, with a darn difficult high-profile game to cap. The Nuggets' heart is certainly in question, and now J.R. Smith has basically doghouse'd his way right out of the rotation. So, on top of all the injuries to both teams, there's turmoil. The Blazers are the hardier team, if it comes down to that, and Denver really looks like they don't care to play a full 48 minutes. It's tough to trust a team that takes 12-24 minutes off every game, and that, to me, is the difference. However, that presupposes Portland plays defense for a quarter or two...yikes. Lean to the BLAZERS and the UNDER, because if it's going over the total, Portland's going to struggle. This is sort of correlated, in a sick way.

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