Monday, December 27, 2010

Memphis Playing Defense

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sports Wagering: NBA

Boston Celtics (-4.5) @ Indiana Pacers with a total of 190;
I actually happen to think this line is pretty accurate. Indiana has been very inconsistent, and played pretty poorly coming out of the Christmas holiday break, shooting just 35% in getting blasted at home by the Memphis Grizzlies. The Celtics lost on Christmas Day at the hands of the Magic to snap their own rather substantial winning streak. As most know, I generally like to fade a team coming off a long win streak, though that applies more to teams that aren't accustomed to winning, like the Knicks earlier this year. A veteran team like Boston could very well bounce right back, though the lack of Rajon Rondo certainly slows then down on offense, considerably. Indiana might come to play, and Boston's ended win streak is the only true angle at play, so with that in mind, tiny lean to PACERS, but very small chance it becomes anything more, and a lean to the OVER.

Orlando Magic (-7.5) @ Cleveland Cavaliers with a total of 191;
I really have wanted to find a way to fade the Magic over the last 2 days, and maybe I'll regret laying off, but with the new players back, this team could either suffer a letdown off the big pair of wins (over the Spurs and Celtics), or could find themselves in the middle of a positive surge. The Cavs look like the worst team in the East lately, so they're an awfully tough club to back without a really strong angle, and I'm not too sure that such a strong angle actually exists in this one. Cleveland lost to the lowly Timberwolves coming out of the Christmas Break, and Orlando is taking on Jersey as I type this, but I'm not too concerned about a fatigue spot for the Magic. This line might be inflated a hair, but that might not be enough for my liking. Gun-to-head lean to CAVALIERS, and slight lean to the UNDER.

New York Knicks @ Miami Heat (-10.5) with a total of 204.5;
The Knicks actually played some defense in their Christmas morning tilt with the Bulls, and combined with raining in threes, that was more than enough to get the job done in a big win. The Heat, not to be outdone, came out about 3 hours later and just blasted the Lakers in a game that the Heat downplayed, but you know darn well they wanted that game, and wanted to show the champs what they were made of. Well, they did. And now, back home, finally getting a late chance to do a little of the Christmas stuff with family, the Heat have to try to refocus on the Knicks, a team they beat handily a couple weeks back, in New York. Well, we all know how LeBron likes playing at Madison Square Garden, and we also know that the Knicks can score a heck of a lot better than they showed in that first game with Miami. I expect a better effort from the Knicks, which means two things. Small lean to NEW YORK, and maybe even more of a lean to the OVER.

Milwaukee Bucks @ Chicago Bulls (-7.5) with a total of 178.5;
The back-to-back champs from yesteryear, the Bucks, take on a Bulls team that was rolling along, then went to sleep offensively on Christmas morning against the Knicks. It was a strange 4th quarter, to say the least. Milwaukee is slated to take on the Hawks before this one, so the results of that game might make an impact on how we handicap, if they're especially extreme in one direction or another. My take on Milwaukee for this game is roughly the same as for yesterday's -- this is a team that's playing well even without Brandon Jennings, but something tells me his loss catches up with the team at some point. It's the "extended" injured star theory, and we might be at the tail end of the "good ATS" part. With that in mind, the Bucks are a team that I'd handle with care. Plus, Chicago is damn tough at home. Very small lean to CHICAGO and the OVER.

Toronto Raptors @ Dallas Mavericks (-12.5) with a total of 208;
This is a pretty darn high total for a Mavs game, and I can't help but wonder if oddsmakers are using Dallas's high profile to bump up the line a hair. Both teams are going to be playing the second half of a back-to-back, with Toronto coming to town from Memphis, and Dallas returning from Oklahoma City. The Mavs have gotten caught up in a few higher scoring games lately, but at the same time, they play strong defense, and they know that their best chance to beat the Raptors is to lock down on the defensive end, and turn missed shots into easier opportunities. Can both teams focus on defense when a little fatigued? When push comes to shove, Dallas comes home off 3 terribly tough road games, and this one has all the scents of a spot where the Mavs squeak by -- they played Miami and Orlando before Christmas, and open the post-Holiday slate with the Thunder, Raptors, and Spurs. Which game looks like the easy one? Lean to TORONTO and the OVER.

Los Angeles Lakers @ San Antonio Spurs (-3) with a total of 199;
The Lakers looked mad at the end of that Miami game, and I know that we've been playing them to be extremely streaky this year, but I'm not sure I want to step in front of that madness. When Kobe gets embarrassed like he and his mates did on Christmas, there is hell to pay in the locker room. This game feels like that spot where the Lakers come out with the most energy they've shown in any game all season, and against a team they can beat when they play well. The Spurs have been able to ramp up their offense this year, and I think have caught some teams by surprise, but the Lakers have the right blend of guys to slow down San Antonio, and the neutral court equals this line has illustrated makes me think that the Christmas game took a toll on the Lakers betting faithful. I'm shirking the "Faceless_Sink" System v1.0, and leaning LAKESHOW and UNDER.

Portland Trailblazers @ Denver Nuggets with a total of N/A;
I can't believe I'm saying this, but despite all signs pointing to the Blazers getting blasted, I think they pose a nice shot to win this game straight up. It's a back-to-back in altitude, the worst spot imaginable (aside from losing a time zone), the Nuggets are coming off getting upset at home, the Nugs are generally a strong home team, Portland is playing terribly on the road, and the Nuggets are on revenge, and yet for some reason, I still want to back Portland. I suppose we should wait and see what the line is, and because all the angles point to Denver, and I still don't want to back them, this might end up being a prime example of a game to pass, but that's where I sit right now, pre-line. NO LEAN YET on the side, could go either way depending on line, movement, and other news, and PASS on the total.

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