Monday, December 20, 2010

Nobody Beats Me, I'm The Wiz

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sports Wagering: NBA

Dallas Mavericks @ Orlando Magic (-4) with a total of 190;
This game is pretty heavily reliant on the outcome of a few games yesterday. I desperately want to see how Orlando's new guys fit in in their Monday night game in Atlanta, and Dallas is heading into down off a tough game with the Heat...let's add more to this one shortly. And now we've seen yesterday's play out, and the Mavs once again dominated on the road. They put the road blocks in front of the hottest team in the NBA, the Heat, and now they head to a discombobulated Orlando team, looking to "pull a Utah" and sweep the Florida swing. Both teams are playing back-to-backs, and I really fail to see how the Mavs slow down a ton. Looking at the minutes from last night, Dwight Howard played 42 minutes in the Magic loss at Atlanta, and all 5 Orlando starters played over 30 minutes. The Mavs, a deeper team, budgeted minutes better, and are also playing some tremendous basketball. Even if they lose, it seems like Dallas won't fall behind by more than 5-6 points, and late in the game they have great free throw shooters and solid 3-point guns to close games. How can I not? Lean to the MAVS and the UNDER.

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Charlotte Bobcats with a total of N/A;
The Thunder started to get a little high and mighty, then Phoenix rolled into town and shot 58%. Thing is, the team had been talking a big game about playing defense, but when you look at their recent opponents, the big-time defensive efforts came against the Cavaliers and Kings, two teams that can't score to save their lives, especially on the road. Charlotte definitely has trouble scorin, but they're a better home team than road, and the Thunder's home/road splits aren't that severe. I'm pretty curious to see where this one opens up, though I figure it'll be in the 5-point neighborhood. I must say, given the Thunder's team-wide issues on defense, and the fact that Charlotte's home losses have largely come against the best teams in the NBA, this one might end up closer than people think. The Thunder only lost to the Suns by 3 points, but got significantly outplayed and only free throws kept it close. The Bobcats are probably a bit better defensively than Phoenix, and though they aren't nearly as competent on offense, they remain a decent play at home. I prefer to take Charlotte to beat bad teams at home and cover 3-5 point spreads, but if they're catching 5-6 in this one, I might be tempted. Lean to BOBCATS and the OVER.

New Jersey Nets @ Memphis Grizzlies (-8) with a total of 187.5;
The Grizzlies are actually playing some solid basketball against everyone not named Houston. They have covered every game in the month of December except the two contests with the Rockets. So it goes with the Grizz. New Jersey has played decent basketball the last 3 games, or so, but they continue to have all kinds of issues scoring, and unless they can hold an opponent to around 90 points, they're in big trouble, and even then it's questionable. Memphis has really ramped up its team defense, and are really, really rebounding the ball well at home. If you toss out the Houston games, the Grizzlies are one of the teams that has overachieved against the number all month long, and the oddsmakers are just starting to catch up. The Nets, meanwhile, are playing solid defense at home, but continue to have issues scoring enough to keep up on the road. And Memphis's outstanding team rebounding could be disastrous for New Jersey, a team that desperately needs to limit second chance opportunities since they, themselves, can't really score. This number might look large, but I think it's pretty close to accurate, and given the Nets road woes and the Grizzlies hot play, I lean to MEMPHIS and the UNDER.

Philadelphia 76ers @ Chicago Bulls (-6) with a total of 190.5;
Is this line just a huge adjustment for Joakim Noah's injury, the Sixers recent hot play, or both? This is a pretty darn short spread for a Sixers road game, but Philadelphia has done nothing to make us doubt their recent play. The Sixers have covered 11 of 12, only failing to do so against the suddenly surging Lakers. The Bulls, meanwhile, seemed to feel the distinct lack of a defensive presence inside with Noah out, and the Clippers shot 51% against Chicago in a stunning road upset. So, is something wrong with the Bulls? I doubt it. I happen to think Chicago is going to be fine, and I think this line might be a hair overadjusted from the two factors listed above. Does that mean I'm hopping on Chicago at the short number? Absolutely not, since Philadelphia's incredible run of success makes them dangerous on every night, and we'll start fading Philly when they get overrated. I don't think we've seen the end of the line adjustments for the Sixers, though, which means it's not time to step in front of that train. Side is SPOT ON, and slight lean to UNDER.

Golden State Warriors @ Sacramento Kings with a total of N/A;
A Northern California battle that will make your hairs stand on end...or might make you nauseous. Either way, it might be one of the better spots to lay our money on this card. The Warriors are bottoming out, now dealing with injuries to their big men at just about every spot, and also trying to fight through a Steph Curry injury. This is also the second night of a back-to-back, but there's almost no travel, and the Kings are, well, the Kings. Sacramento covers about one game every week, they have absolutely nothing going on, offensively, and if that's not bad enough, they stink on defense! The Kings are, far and away, the worst team in the NBA, and I'm not sure there's any number oddsmakers can put out for this team that makes much sense. They have covered a few games at home, but those have come against opponents in letdown spots or dealing with massive injury issues. Here, they're likely going to be asked to win the game to cover (or close to it), and I just can't see Sacramento out-scoring the Warriors in the 4th quarter of a tight game. Oh, and the Kings can't rebound that well, either, normally a stat where I'd imagine they'd have the edge over the generally undersized Warriors. Lean to GOLDEN STATE and the UNDER.

Milwaukee Bucks @ Los Angeles Lakers with a total of N/A;
I know the Lakers are rolling, and our buddy Sink's system says to keep playing them, but a few key angles are telling me not to. First, this is the Lakers first home game off a 7-game road trip (though the first game was a "road" contest against the Clippers). This is a huge sluggish spot for LA, especially against a Milwaukee team that they clubbed on the road in an earlier road trip. Second, the line is going to be inflated an extra 2 points with the Bucks on a back-to-back. Milwaukee has shown time and again that they're not really bothered by playing in back-to-back spots. They haven't been as tremendous this year as they were last season, but much closer to 50-50, so those 2 points might be about right, but they're certainly not too few, if that makes sense. Plus, the Lakers host Miami on Christmas Day in their next game, and this is a big-time look-ahead. The Bucks, on the flip side, have one more game before the Christmas holiday, a road game in Sacramento. This is a bad situational spot for LA, and though they could very easily win by 30, I think there's a 55% chance Milwaukee comes to play and makes LA work for it. Lean to the BUCKOS and the UNDER.


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