Monday, January 24, 2011

A Corner Turned

Opener:

That's two straight winning days, so that's nice. 'Bout freaking time our teams that led going into the 3rd led at the final horn.

In any case, rumbling along into Tuesday - I'll be flying most of the day, but I still damn well expect you guys to interact with one another.

I don't want this to be like the last time I was traveling all day and the blog had something like 12 responses. That does not make me want to write the darn thing. I expect no fewer than 40 when I land tomorrow at 8pm ET.

And remember, no "TiSB" on Tuesday - listen to the Betting Dork instead. Hell, listen to both every day!

Sports Wagering: NBA

Denver Nuggets (-4.5) @ Washington Wizards with a total of 211.5;
I feel like people may have forgotten just how mediocre Denver is on the road, and considering Washington played last night in New York and got spanked, this line is remarkably low. I have to think that Denver being considered just a 5.5-point neutral court favorite (adjusting for Washington's b2b and the venue) is very low, and either this is the gift of the century on a pretty public team, or oddsmakers are getting a little ahead of their biggest bettors. I know this is simplifying things, but here are two stats to check out. 13-9, and 5-13. Yes, that is Washington's home record and Denver's road mark. Denver outscores opponents by 8 in their own building, but loses by 4 on the road, on average, a whopping disparity of 12 points! Washington, likewise, averages a 2-point win at home and a 14-point loss on the road. These are two of the biggest home/road teams in the NBA, and they're squaring off with Denver as the favorite. If Washington has the energy to keep up, and it's a pretty big "if", they could definitely win this game outright. Lean to the WIZARDS and the UNDER.

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Boston Celtics (-18) with a total of 195;
This total is relatively high, considering Boston is expected to win by nearly 20 points. Kinda crazy if you asked me, which you did by coming to this blog. We can see that lines are starting to catch up with the Cavaliers a little, or whatever the opposite is of "catching up." The lines have gotten so chunky that even the pathetic Cavs are covering the number. This game, though, is a 50/50 spot, I feel - either Boston cares and they win by 35, or they don't and they still win, but only by 10 to 15. You're playing with fire by betting this game at all, but if you think Boston comes to play, can the Cavs really crack 85 points? I suppose you could put together an intriguing correlated parlay of Boston and the Under or Cavs and the Over...or both, and just hope one of the two hits? Nothing in bold in this writeup, so just take it for what it's worth. And no, there's no real revenge at play, since, somehow, these teams are 1-1 against each other this year.

Los Angeles Clippers @ Dallas Mavericks (-6) with a total of 195.5;
This game is not one that looks all that tempting right off the bat, and here's why: the Clippers are the public darling of the week, and the Mavs aren't playing very well. So, in effect, we have overrated versus underachieving, two factors that cancel each other out, and I'd rather not make a wild stab at which is more important. I suppose you could argue that the Clippers have some tiny nugget of revenge, losing to Dallas in the first week of the season (as a 5.5-point home underdog, mind you, and now just a half point more on the road), but I don't think the Clips even remember that game. What's more important is that Dallas still isn't quite right, the Clippers aren't quite "there" yet, on the road, and someone has to win. The only thing that seems a certainty is that the Clips defense on the road is going to remain atrocious. For that reason, I have NO STRONG LEAN on the side, maybe a tiny one to the Clippers to keep it tight, but I like the OVER if LA is going to force Dallas to score.

Charlotte Bobcats @ Sacramento Kings (-1) with a total of 192.5;
Sacramento finally broke through with a win last night! Yes, you heard correctly, the Kings got a lead and didn't blow it in the final moments. Is this a sign of more good things to come, or is it the win that creates a rippling "letdown" effect through the room? Tough to say. One thing we do know is that Gerald Wallace is coming back to Sactown with the Bobcats, and he might try to go off. This is the start of a 6-game road trip for the Bobcats, who, to their credit, have played a tiny bit better after an abysmal start, but still aren't very good. This line should hover around a pick, and oddsmakers are nearly dead on. These teams haven't played in nearly a year, so there's no bad blood from this season, though Charlotte did win both games last go-round, so Sacramento has season sweepvenge. This is a battle of jet-leg versus back-to-back fatigue, and with Sacramento finally closing out a game the right way, I believe they build on it, and I lean to the KINGS to get another, in a game that stay UNDER the total.

Utah Jazz @ Los Angeles Lakers (-8) with a total of 198;
This is a series that has been about as one-sided as any between two good teams. The Lakers have completely and utterly owned the Utah Jazz, and that, combined with Utah's opposite-of-stellar road trip, has puffed this up to its sizable current state. Oh, how I desperately wish that Utah had just won something on their current 5-game trip because looking ahead, this was a spot I was actually prepared to back the Lakers (insane, I know). Los Angeles is playing focused basketball, especially at home, and the Lakers are at last truly utilizing that vast size advantage over almost the entire League to just squeeze teams right out of the paint, and slowly, out of the game. But instead, the Lakers have to win by nearly double digits to cover against a hungry (but still scuffling) Jazz team. Is this the game the Jazz "get up" and play competitive ball, or will the Lakers run of dominance continue? I admit, I really liked the idea of getting the Lakers at 6, but at 7.5 or 8, I dunno. Slight lean to LA, but I have some more thinking to do, and lean to the UNDER.

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