Monday, January 17, 2011

The Ups and Downs

Opener:

Those of you that were part of the MLK Day blog, thank you! It was a damn fine time, we nailed 5 of 6 free plays (to make the afternoon even a little better), and we churned out one of the biggest NBA blogs since I've been at Pregame.

You also are among the few aware that the "Recap and Promo" sections are being eliminated from the blogs to help streamline my operation. It allows me to post the blog when I'm done (instead of waiting for games to end), and if any of you is truly interested in my wares, you all know my Pro Page is DanBebe.com.

I'll keep reminding everyone of this change throughout the week, but starting in a few days, this "Opener" section will be populated by random NBA musings - the type of idiotic thoughts that pop into my head while I watch a game, and the type of asinine humor that I know you'll all enjoy as much as I do.

Sports Wagering: NBA

Atlanta Hawks @ Miami Heat with a total of N/A;
I don't really like the spot either team is in, though my hesitance to back Miami is scheduling and situational, and my reticence on Atlanta is just simply that they're not playing much defense. Is the Atlanta comeback against the lowly Kings a sign of better things to come? Possibly. Is the revenge factor coming into play in some small fashion? That's also possible. I'm just not completely sold on any of our normal "factors" being a big deal for an Atlanta team that seems convinced, suddenly, that they can take care of business with just offense. Miami, meanwhile, is coming home for the first time off a 5-game road trip. The one advantage the Heat have over most teams coming home from a long roadie is that they have sort of worked their way across the nation, playing in Los Angeles, Denver, and Chicago. So, Miami is only changing one time zone, even though the travel miles are adding up. The concern for the Heat, of course, is the health of the superstars. If LeBron and Bosh are both out, I'm just not sure Wade can do it himself. I'd quote the injured star theory, but there really isn't anyone on the Heat bench that can "step up" and take on a bigger role. Injuries will absolutely be a factor in this contest, but given what we know now, very early, I lean to the HAWKS if the number is high enough, and the OVER.

Charlotte Bobcats @ Chicago Bulls (-7) with a total of 184;
It's a damn shame we didn't know the Bobcats would lose in OT, because this line is on its way up, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it "re-open" in the morning even higher than it sits now. And the worst part (or maybe it's the best part) is that I still want to find a way to back Chicago, even laying some pretty hefty chalk. The Bulls are a strikingly good home team, and Charlotte just laid a beating on Chicago only a few short days ago. The Bulls are showing signs of ratcheting up that defense again, and even though maybe they played a bit over their heads in game one without Carlos Boozer, we've seen plenty of times that Derrick Rose is a machine, and he can take care of business with or without his partner in crime. Hell, I happen to think Taj Gibson is actually a better defender than Boozer. Yes, Rose will have to carry almost the entire offensive load, but I can't see Charlotte doing much in the way of scoring. Put all that mess together, and I'm looking at the BULLS and the UNDER.

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