|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|06-12-23||Heat +9 v. Nuggets||89-94||Win||100||8 h 19 m||Show|
15* Heat/Nuggets Game 5 ANNIHILATOR on Miami +9
The Miami Heat have had their backs against the wall all playoffs and have thrived in this situation. They won't go down without a fight in Game 5 tonight. The Denver Nuggets have never won an NBA Title, so the pressure is all on them now to try and close out this series. I think the Heat hang around in Game 5 and possibly pull off the upset similar to when they did in Game 2 in Denver.
The Nuggets are not a very good defensive team, but the Heat just haven't shot the ball that well in this series with the exception of Game 2 when they shot 48.7% and won outright. They shot just 40.6% in Game 1, 37% in Game 3 and 44.9% in Game 4. I have to think Miami is in line for a better shooting Game 5. The Nuggets have shot 49.4% or better in every game in this series and have some regression in store.
Miami is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 road games after losing four or five of its last six games coming in. The Nuggets are 6-19 ATS in their last 25 games following two consecutive wins by 10 points or more. Bet the Heat in Game 5 Monday.
|06-09-23||Nuggets v. Heat +3.5||Top||108-95||Loss||-110||35 h 48 m||Show|
25* NBA Finals GAME OF THE YEAR on Miami Heat +3.5
The Miami Heat have only lost two consecutive games once in the entire playoffs. That was when they nearly blew a 3-0 lead to the Celtics, only to really show their resiliency by taking Game 7 in Boston. They will come through once again with their backs against the wall in Game 4 tonight.
Everything went wrong for the Heat in Game 3 as they shot just 37% as a team while the Nuggets shot 51.2% and got huge games from both Jokic and Murray. The shots will fall at a much more efficient rate in Game 4, similar to Game 2 when the Heat pulled the upset on the road in Denver.
The Heat are 34-18 SU at home this season while the Nuggets at 24-25 SU on the road. Miami is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games following a SU loss. The Heat are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games following an ATS loss. Miami is 12-4 ATS in its last 16 games when playing on one days' rest. I trust Spoelstra to make the right adjustments as he has all playoffs. Bet the Heat in Game 4 Friday.
|06-07-23||Nuggets v. Heat +2.5||Top||109-94||Loss||-109||22 h 6 m||Show|
20* Nuggets/Heat Game 3 No-Brainer on Miami +2.5
The resilient Miami Heat struck again in Game 2. They came back from double-digits down in the first half and 8 points down entering the 4th quarter to upset the Denver Nuggets 111-108. They gained home-court advantage with that victory, and now I expect them to protect it at least for Game 3 tonight.
The Heat made a great adjustment by making Nikola Jokic into a scorer. And when Jokic scores 40-plus points in the playoffs, the Nuggets are 0-3. So there's something to it. Making Jokic a scorer instead of a passer keeps everyone else uninvolved and out of sync.
Jamaal Murray took just 15 shots and nobody else even had double-digit shot attempts while Jokic had 28 and scored 41. I trust Miami's role players more, who came up clutch in Game 2 with Vincent, Strus and Robinson all having big contributions. With Jimmy Butler's father struggling with his health, that gives this team even more of a reason to rally around him right now.
The Heat are 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games overall. Miami is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 home games. Bet the Heat in Game 3 Wednesday.
|06-04-23||Heat +9.5 v. Nuggets||Top||111-108||Win||100||69 h 2 m||Show|
20* Heat/Nuggets Game 2 No-Brainer on Miami +9.5
The Miami Heat shot 40.6% as a team and attempted only two free throws in Game 1. Yet they still only lost by 11 points and had a chance to cover the 9-point spread late. It's safe to say they have a ton of room for improvement.
Jimmy Butler was passive in Game 1 and getting his guys wide open looks all game that they would normally make. Max Strus and Caleb Martin were particularly bad combining to shoot 1-of-17 for the game. Butler will be more aggressive in getting to the rim in Game 2, and the shots will start falling.
The Heat have been a resilient team all season and I expect them to bounce back with a big effort in Game 2. Miami is 27-15 ATS in its last 42 games as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points. The Heat are 30-17 ATS in their last 47 games when revenging a road loss. Miami is 12-5 ATS in its last 17 games overall. Bet the Heat in Game 2 Sunday.
|06-01-23||Heat +9 v. Nuggets||Top||93-104||Loss||-110||9 h 28 m||Show|
20* Heat/Nuggets Game 1 No-Brainer on Miami +9
Rust will be a factor for the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 tonight. They have been off since May 22nd and have been getting patted on the back after sweeping the Lakers. I expect them to be flat and out of sync in Game 1 despite it being the NBA Finals. That's going to make it very difficult for them to win by double-digits, which is what it's going to take for them to beat us here.
The Miami Heat have beaten the Bucks, Knicks and Celtics to get here yet they continue to get disrespected. I love that Jimmy Butler didn't even acknowledge winning the Eastern Conference Finals and MVP trophies, telling his teammates there are bigger fish to fry. His leadership is a big reason the Heat have been able to get this far, and it's a key reason they will give the Nuggets more of a fight than most are anticipating, including in Game 1.
I also like the fact that the Heat got two days off after that Game 7 win over Boston to rest and recover, which is a big deal. They get two games off in between games a lot this series as well, so they'll be able to recover. I think they will be the sharper team tonight as well after having just played on May 29th.
Plays on road underdogs (Miami) - revenging a home loss against an opponent that is off a road win by 3 points or less are 32-11 (74.4%) ATS over the last five seasons. Miami is 27-14 ATS in its last 41 games as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points. The Heat are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games overall. Bet the Heat in Game 1 Thursday.
|05-29-23||Heat v. Celtics UNDER 203.5||Top||103-84||Win||100||45 h 49 m||Show|
25* NBA Playoffs TOTAL OF THE YEAR on Heat/Celtics UNDER 203.5
Death, taxes and Game 7 UNDERS. They have been a cash cow in the NBA playoffs for decades. It makes sense because with so much at stake, teams play tight and defensive intensity is at an all-time high. That will be the case in this Game 7 between the Heat and Celtics.
We have seen the scoring really fall off a cliff in this series as it has gone on. They went for 215 combined points in Game 4 which was a series low, 207 points in Game 5 which was a series low and then 207 points in Game 6 to tie the series low. Expect Game 7 to stay UNDER 203.5 for a new series low here Monday night.
Boston is 9-0 UNDER in its last nine playoff games when facing elimination, which have all come over the past two seasons. Bet the UNDER in Game 7 Monday.
|05-27-23||Celtics v. Heat UNDER 210.5||Top||104-103||Win||100||11 h 26 m||Show|
20* Celtics/Heat Game 6 No-Brainer on UNDER 210.5
Familiarity favors defense and low scoring games. The longer a series goes, the more teams become familiar with one another and points get harder to come by. Teams tend to play slower as well with fewer fast break opportunities.
Game 5 was the lowest scoring game of the series with 207 combined points despite both teams shooting very well from the floor. The Celtics shot 50.6% while the Heat shot 51.3%. Both teams aren't likely to shoot that well again, and this game is likely to stay UNDER 210.5 combined points as a result.
Boston is 8-0 UNDER in its last eight games when facing elimination in a playoff series. Miami is 14-6 UNDER after scoring 100 points or less this season. The UNDER is 15-4 in Celtics last 19 road games with a line of +3 to -3. Bet the UNDER in Game 6 Saturday.
|05-25-23||Heat v. Celtics UNDER 215.5||Top||97-110||Win||100||10 h 24 m||Show|
20* Heat/Celtics Game 5 No-Brainer on UNDER 215.5
Familiarity favors defense and low scoring games. The longer a series goes, the more familiar teams become with one another and the more difficult it is to score. They also tend to slow down the pace the longer a series goes.
We saw the lowest combined points in Game 4 last time out as the Heat and Celtics combined for 215 points. I look for them to combine for 215 or fewer in Game 5 as well with the Celtics facing elimination, they will be locked in defensively. The Heat are always locked in defensively.
Miami is 9-1 UNDER in its last 10 road games after scoring 100 points or fewer. Boston is 8-0 UNDER when facing elimination in the playoffs over the last three seasons. Bet the UNDER in Game 5 Tuesday.
|05-23-23||Celtics v. Heat -120||Top||116-99||Loss||-120||9 h 58 m||Show|
20* Celtics/Heat Game 4 No-Brainer on Miami ML -120
The Boston Celtics quit in Game 3 and are lost right now. Their season ends in a sweep at the hands of the Miami Heat, who have been the most impressive team in the playoffs knocking off the Bucks, Knicks and now the Celtics tonight.
Boston is 0-7 ATS when revenging two consecutive losses as a favorite this season. Miami is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 playoff games. The Heat are 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet the Heat in Game 4 Tuesday.
|05-22-23||Nuggets v. Lakers -3||Top||113-111||Loss||-108||11 h 60 m||Show|
20* Nuggets/Lakers Game 4 No-Brainer on Los Angeles -3
The Los Angeles Lakers won't go away quietly. They are 11-2 in their last 13 home games dating back to the regular season. They are also 7-1 at home in the postseason dating back to the play-in win over the Timberwolves.
Considering the Lakers were 5.5-point home favorites in Game 3 and are now only 3-point home favorites in Game 4, we are getting a discount on them here and the value is there to pull the trigger. Game 3's home loss was their lone defeat at home in the postseason, and was the abberration.
The Nuggets shot 50% as a team in Game 3 and 17-of-41 (41.5%) from 3-point range and committed only five turnovers.. I have a hard time believing they are going to shoot that well again, or take care of the ball that well. Look for them to relax a little after taking a commanding 3-0 lead knowing they got two more home games to finish off the Lakers if need be.
Plays on all teams where the line is +3 to -3 (LA Lakers) - revenging a same-season loss vs. opponent that's off an upset win by 10 points or more as a road underdog are 37-10 (78.7%) ATS over the last five seasons. Denver is 9-18 ATS following three or more consecutive wins this season. Los Angeles is a perfect 7-0 ATS in its last seven games following a loss by more than 10 points. Bet the Lakers in Game 4 Monday.
|05-21-23||Celtics -3 v. Heat||Top||102-128||Loss||-110||42 h 4 m||Show|
20* Celtics/Heat Game 3 No-Brainer on Boston -3
The Boston Celtics have come up with clutch road wins in the playoffs when they have needed them over the past couple seasons. They staved off elimination with a win in Game 6 at Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference Finals last year. Last series, they staved off elimination with a 95-86 win at Philadelphia in Game 6 to force a Game 7.
This is essentially a must-win for the Celtics after losing the first two games of this series to the Heat at home. I think we get their best effort here as a result, and it will be good enough to cover this 3-point spread. They are still the better team in this series and that will show tonight.
Miami is 13-27 ATS following an ATS win this season. Boston is 12-2 ATS in its last 14 games following two consecutive upset losses as a favorite. The Celtics are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following an ATS loss. Boston is 4-1 ATS In its last five trips to Miami. Bet the Celtics in Game 3 Sunday.
|05-20-23||Nuggets v. Lakers -3.5||Top||119-108||Loss||-110||45 h 14 m||Show|
25* NBA Western Conference GAME OF THE YEAR on Los Angeles Lakers -3.5
Note: I locked this in at -3.5 as soon as the line came out. I would still play it up to -5.5.
The Los Angeles Lakers won't go down without a fight and showed that in the first two games of this series. They lost by 6 points in Game 1 despite the Nuggets shooting 54.9% as a team and 46.9% from 3. They lost by 5 in Game 2 despite shooting just 8-of-30 (26.7%) from 3 themselves while the Nuggets made six more 3-pointers than them and Jamal Murray going off in the 4th quarter.
Now the Lakers are back home where they are 7-0 in the postseason dating back to the play-in win over the Timberwolves. The Lakers are 11-1 SU in their last 12 home games dating back to the regular season. They have a huge home-court advantage. The Nuggets have been vulnerable on the road going 1-3 SU in their last four playoff road games. They have a losing record (21-25) on the season away from home.
Denver is 4-13 ATS in its last 17 road games following two or more consecutive wins. The Lakers are 5-0 ATS in their last five playoff games following a loss, covering the spread by 17.2 points per game. Los Angeles is 8-1 ATS in home games when playing against a good team (60% to 70%) this season . The Lakers are 10-1 ATS in home games vs. good teams outscoring their opponents by 3-plus points per game in the 2nd half of the season over the last two seasons. Los Angeles is 5-1 ATS in its last six home meetings with Denver. The home team has won all six meetings between the Nuggets and Lakers this season all by 5 points or more. Bet the Lakers in Game 3 Saturday.
|05-19-23||Heat v. Celtics -8.5||Top||111-105||Loss||-110||36 h 39 m||Show|
20* Heat/Celtics Game 2 No-Brainer on Boston -8.5
The Boston Celtics were flat in Game 1 after winning Game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers last series. I cashed the Heat +8.5 anticipating that would be the case. But I expect the Celtics to fire back with a blowout victory in Game 2 at home.
The Heat shot 54.1% as a team and 16-of-31 (51.6%) from 3-point range in Game 1. That's not going to happen again. The Heat will be the team relaxing a little here after gaining home-court advantage and won't be playing with the same sense of urgency that they did in Game 1.
Boston is 19-9 ATS off an upset win as a home favorite this season. The Heat are 12-27 ATS following an ATS win this season. Teams down 0-1 in a series at home are now 23-1 SU & 22-2 ATS since 2019. This has been a very profitable system and it makes 100% sense. Bet the Celtics in Game 2 Friday.
|05-18-23||Lakers +6.5 v. Nuggets||Top||103-108||Win||100||45 h 1 m||Show|
20* Lakers/Nuggets Game 2 No-Brainer on Los Angeles +6.5
The Los Angeles Lakers trailed by 20-plus points against the Nuggets but still had a chance to tie Game 1 late a couple times. They wound up losing by 6. The adjustments they made in the 2nd half are something that can work to their advantage the rest of this series, including in Game 2.
The Lakers switched Rui Hachimura onto Nikola Jokic and he did a great job staying in front of him. That allowed Anthony Davis to roam around and be a stopper inside. The weak link of the Nuggets is Aaron Gordon from 3-point range, so the Lakers can let Davis guard Gordon so he can roam and make him try to beat them.
The fact that the Nuggets shot 54.9% from the field and 15-of-32 (46.9%) from 3-point range in Game 1 and still only won by 6 is a good sign for the Lakers moving forward. They aren't likely to shoot that well again the rest of the series.
The Lakers are 22-12 ATS when revenging a loss this season. Denver is 8-17 ATS following three or more consecutive wins this season. Los Angeles is 16-5 ATS in its last 21 games following a loss. Bet the Lakers Thursday.
|05-17-23||Heat +8.5 v. Celtics||Top||123-116||Win||100||12 h 4 m||Show|
20* Heat/Celtics Game 1 No-Brainer on Miami +8.5
The Miami Heat have been counted out the entire playoffs, and they are being counted out again in this series. Expect them to play with a chip on their shoulder in Game 1 of this series with the Celtics, who they beat in each of their final two regular season, including once on the road as 7-point dogs.
I expect the Celtics to take a breather after winning Game 7 against the 76ers last series. They will come out flat in Game 1. They were flat in practice and I don't expect them to turn it on for Game 1. The Heat also have a nice rest advantage last playing on May 12th while the Celtics last played on May 14th.
Miami is 24-13 ATS in its last 37 games as a road dog of 3.5 to 9.5 points. Boston is 0-9 ATS in home games when revenging a road loss this season. The Heat are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games overall. Miami is 13-5 ATS in its last 18 trips to Boston. Bet the Heat in Game 1 Wednesday.
|05-16-23||Lakers +6 v. Nuggets||Top||126-132||Push||0||15 h 33 m||Show|
20* Lakers/Nuggets Game 1 No-Brainer on Los Angeles +6
The Los Angeles Lakers have made a statement in Game 1 in each of their first two series this season. They went on the road and beat Memphis 128-112 as a 5-point underdog. They went on the road and beat Golden State 117-112 as a 4.5-point dog as well.
I think it will be more of the same here in Game 1 at Denver. LeBron James knows the importance of winning Game 1 of a series. The Lakers will be 'all in' to get the job done, and at the very least I think it will be good enough to cover this 6-point spread.
The Lakers have proven themselves more than the Nuggets have in these playoffs. They were underdogs in both of their series against Memphis and Golden State, the defending champs. They disposed of both in six games. The Nuggets got to play the Timberwolves and a depleted Suns team with no depth and needed six games to get past them.
The Lakers have remained healthy all postseason which has been their key, and are healthy coming into this one. The Nuggets are also healthy outside Jamal Murray, who is a non-covid related illness coming into Game 1 and is questionable. Denver is 6-18 ATS following two consecutive wins by 10 points or more over the last three seasons. Bet the Lakers in Game 1 Tuesday.
|05-14-23||76ers v. Celtics UNDER 202.5||Top||88-112||Win||100||50 h 29 m||Show|
20* 76ers/Celtics Game 7 No-Brainer on UNDER 202.5
Game 7 UNDERS have been a cash cow in the NBA playoffs over the last several decades. Familiarity favors defense and low scoring games, and by the 7th meeting teams are extremely familiar with one another. It suppresses scoring and favors defense.
That's especially the case in this specific Game 7 as the 76ers and Celtics have had two days off in between games to prepare for this winner-take-all. These teams combined for just 181 points in Game 6 with scoring suppressed, and it should be more of the same in Game 7.
One tactical move in Game 6 that benefited the Celtics was playing center Robert Williams III more minutes, and not giving Derrick White so many minutes. It made them much better defensively in trying to guard Joel Embiid and protecting the rim. That tactical decision will keep scoring suppressed in Game 7 as Williams makes the Celtics much better defensively, but hurts their spacing offensively.
Boston is 22-8 UNDER when playing on two days' rest over the last two seasons. Bet the UNDER in Game 7 Sunday.
|05-12-23||Warriors v. Lakers -145||Top||101-122||Win||100||12 h 56 m||Show|
20* Warriors/Lakers ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles ML -145
LeBron James hasn't lost a closeout game at home in the playoffs since 2008. He gets it done when he has the chance, and that's precisely what he and the Lakers will do in Game 6 here against the Warriors, who have struggled on the road all season.
The Lakers are 11-1 SU in their last 12 home games. They are a perfect 6-0 SU at home in the playoffs. The Warriors are 13-34 SU on the road this season. They could be without Andrew Wiggins, who has a rib injury suffered in Game 5. The Lakers are expected to be fully healthy as Anthony Davis avoided a concussion despite leaving Game 5. Bet the Lakers on the Money Line in Game 6 Friday.
|05-12-23||Knicks +6.5 v. Heat||92-96||Win||100||9 h 7 m||Show|
15* Knicks/Heat ESPN ANNIHILATOR on New York +6.5
Jalen Brunson refused to let his team lose in Game 5 as the Knicks avoided elimination with a 112-103 victory behind 38 points from Brunson, 26 from Barrett and 24 from Randle. Brunson and company won't go down without a fight in Game 6, either.
The Miami Heat were counted out and it's impressive they have gotten to this point despite being an underdog in eight of their 10 playoff games thus far. But now they are getting too much respect as 6.5-point favorites in Game 6. They were only 4 and 4.5-point favorites against the Knicks in their first two home games in this series. The value is clearly with the road underdog here.
The Knicks are 38-18-1 ATS in their last 57 road games. Bet the Knicks in Game 6 Friday.
|05-11-23||Celtics -135 v. 76ers||Top||95-86||Win||100||8 h 19 m||Show|
20* Celtics/76ers ESPN No-Brainer on Boston ML -135
The Boston Celtics had a bit of a hangover in Game 5 after falling in OT in Game 4 after Marcus Smart's 3-pointer at the buzzer in OT was just a split-second late. They came back and shot 39.8% as a team while the 76ers shot 50% in Game 5. Look for that to be reversed in Game 6 as the Celtics won't shoot that poorly again.
James Harden has put together consecutive impressive games, but to ask him to do it three games in a row is asking a lot. The Celtics will make their adjustments on him and make others try and beat them. Joel Embiid clearly isn't healthy, and I just can't see the 76ers taking advantage of this pressure-packed close out opportunity. The Celtics have more experience together in these must-win games, which is huge.
Plays on any team on the money line (Boston) - revenging a SU loss vs. opponent of 7 points or more, off an upset loss as a home favorite are 62-12 (83.8%) SU over the last five seasons. Bet the Celtics on the Money Line in Game 6 Thursday.
|05-10-23||Heat v. Knicks UNDER 210||Top||103-112||Loss||-110||9 h 46 m||Show|
20* Heat/Knicks TNT No-Brainer on UNDER 210
This is the highest total of the series between the Knicks and Heat. There's clearly value with the UNDER when you consider how familiar these teams are with one another, plus the added pressure of this being a close out game with the Heat trying to win the series and the Knicks trying to stave off elimination.
These teams both shot great in Game 4 and still only combined for 210 points. The Knicks shot 48.7% from the field while the Heat shot 47.1%. Immanuel Quickley is doubtful for the Knicks and he is their scoring spark plug off the bench. They have struggled offensively without him scoring just 86 points in Game 3 and 101 points in Game 4.
The UNDER is 7-2 in Knicks last nine games overall. The UNDER is 20-6 in the last 26 meetings in New York. Bet the UNDER in Game 5 Wednesday.
|05-09-23||76ers v. Celtics -7.5||Top||115-103||Loss||-110||9 h 33 m||Show|
20* 76ers/Celtics TNT No-Brainer on Boston -7.5
The Boston Celtics bounced back from an upset loss in Game 1 where James Harden went off for the 76ers with a 121-87 home victory in Game 2. After Harden went off in Game 4, I don't trust him to put together two consecutive monster games as he rarely does.
The 76ers need him to because Joel Embiid is clearly hobbled with that knee injury and not himself. Al Horford owned in him the 4th quarter and OT of Game 4, which isn't something that would happen if Embiid was healthy. That puts a lot of Harden and company, especially going on the road here in a hostile environment in Game 5 against a pissed of Celtics team.
The Celtics are a perfect 6-0 ATS in their last six games following a loss. Boston is 7-0 ATS in its last seven games following an ATS loss. The Celtics are 34-16-1 ATS in their last 51 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. We get a big effort from the Celtics in Game 5 tonight that should have them covering this 7.5-point spread. Bet the Celtics Tuesday.
|05-08-23||Knicks +4.5 v. Heat||Top||101-109||Loss||-110||10 h 46 m||Show|
20* Knicks/Heat TNT No-Brainer on New York +4.5
It's a good time to 'buy low' on the New York Knicks in Game 4 tonight. They have failed to cover the spread in every game in this series and are coming off a 19-point loss in Game 3 in which they shot 34.1% as a team and 8-of-40 (20%) from 3-point range. They aren't going to shoot even close to that poorly again in Game 4.
Jalen Brunson is the leader of this team and had a big Game 2 after an inspirational speech to his team after a Game 1 loss. He showed how good he could be in the playoffs last year with the Mavericks, and he is one of the most underrated players in the league. Look for Brunson to respond with a huge Game 4 to lead the way for the Knicks in a game I think they win outright to even this series, but we'll take the 4.5 points for some insurance.
Brunson had 30, Randle 25 and Barrett 24 in the Game 2 response. Look for this trio to lead the way in Game 4. The Heat don't have three players that can match these three as it's Butler, Adebayo and a bunch of role players that have played well to get them to this point. I'm just not sure it's sustainable the rest of the way, including in Game 4 tonight.
The Knicks are a perfect 7-0 ATS after scoring 100 points or less this season, bouncing back to win by an average of 11.2 points per game in this spot. New York is 38-17-1 ATS in its last 56 road games. Bet the Knicks in Game 4 Monday.
|05-07-23||Nuggets v. Suns -2.5||124-129||Win||100||10 h 35 m||Show|
15* Nuggets/Suns TNT ANNIHILATOR on Phoenix -2.5
Devin Booker and Kevin Durant scored 86 points combined to lead the Suns to a critical Game 3 victory. They are two of the best players in the NBA and are capable of doing it again. Plus, they had others step up around them and that will continue at home tonight.
Cameron Payne pushes the tempo more than Chris Paul and got them a lot of easy looks with his six assists. Jack Landale was huge off the bench and actually played better than DeAndre Ayton, and it would be a bonus if the Suns could get anything from Ayton. TJ Warren hit two huge shots late to help them seal the victory. But either way, Booker and Durant are good enough to carry this team to victory again.
Phoenix is 31-14 at home while Denver is just 20-24 on the road. The Suns were 4-point home favorites in Game 3 and now we are getting them at a discount in comparison as only 2.5-point home favorites in Game 4. We'll take the value and back them to get the job done in Game 4.
Denver is 6-18 ATS in its last 24 road games when revenging a road loss. Bet the Suns in Game 4 Sunday.
|05-07-23||Celtics v. 76ers +2.5||Top||115-116||Win||100||5 h 21 m||Show|
20* Celtics/76ers ESPN No-Brainer on Philadelphia +2.5
This is a must-win for the 76ers in Game 4 if they want to get back in this series. With how good their home-court advantage is, I expect them to get the job done and to avoid losing three in a row to the Celtics after upsetting them in Game 1.
The 76ers are 31-13 SU & 27-17 ATS at home this season. They only shot 39.7% as a team in Game 3 and I can't see them shooting that poorly again. They also shot just 39.2% on the road in Game 2 after shooting 50.6% in Game 1. Look for them to get back to closer to that 50% mark in this one.
Philadelphia is 22-10 ATS when the line is +3 to -3 this season. The 76ers are 17-7 ATS when revenging a loss this season. Philadelphia is 15-5-1 ATS in its last 21 games following a double-digit home loss. Bet the 76ers in Game 4 Sunday.
|05-06-23||Warriors v. Lakers -2.5||Top||97-127||Win||100||32 h 53 m||Show|
25* NBA 2nd Round GAME OF THE YEAR on Los Angeles Lakers -2.5
It's a great time to 'buy low' on the Los Angeles Lakers after getting blown out in Game 2 at Golden State. We saw them relax in Round 1 upsetting the Grizzlies in Game 1 before losing by double-digits in Game 2. They came back and beat Memphis by double-digits at home in Game 3, and it will be more of the same here against the Warriors.
Golden State is one of the worst road teams in the NBA let alone in the playoffs. The Warriors are 13-32 SU & 15-30 ATS on the road this season. The Lakers are 9-1 SU in their last 10 home games and have won all four playoff home games by 6 points or more.
The Lakers are 25-9 ATS in their last 34 playoff games when the series is tied. The Warriors are 17-36-1 ATS in their last 54 road games. Golden State is 0-4 ATS in its last four games following an ATS win. The Warriors have made 42 3-pointers in two games in this series and won't be nearly as effective shooting the 3 on the road here. Bet the Lakers in Game 3 Saturday.
|05-06-23||Knicks +4 v. Heat||86-105||Loss||-107||6 h 47 m||Show|
15* Knicks/Heat ABC ANNIHILATOR on New York +4
The New York Knicks have failed to cover the spread in each of their first two games in this series against the Miami Heat. It's now time to 'buy low' on the Knicks as 4-point dogs in Game 3. They were 4-point favorites in Game 1 and 9-point favorites in Game 2, so this is a massive adjustment.
Jimmy Butler is expected to return today, but he's still going to be a little hobbled with that ankle injury. And I believe the Knicks are the better team even with a healthy Butler, so getting 4 points with them is a nice value.
The Heat shot the 3 terribly all season and have just gotten hot from 3 in the playoffs to get to this point. I don't see it lasting, and this team still has a lot of flaws outside of Butler. He has way too much on his shoulders to carry this team much further.
The Knicks are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 road games after outrebounding their last opponent by 15-plus boards. New York is 38-16-1 ATS in its last 55 road games and has been one of the best road teams in the NBA this season. The Heat are 11-28-1 ATS in their last 40 games following an ATS win. Bet the Knicks Saturday.
|05-05-23||Nuggets v. Suns -3.5||Top||114-121||Win||100||84 h 21 m||Show|
20* Nuggets/Suns ESPN No-Brainer on Phoenix -3.5
The Phoenix Suns are in must-win mode in Game 3 tonight after losing the first two games of this series to the Denver Nuggets. I expect them to bounce back in a big way at home to get back into this series.
The Suns are 30-14 at home this season while the Nuggets are 20-23 SU & 19-22-2 ATS on the road. I think the Nuggets relax a bit after retaining home-court advantage, including a 4th quarter comeback win in Game 2.
Home-court advantage has been huge in this series as the home team is 6-0 SU in the last six meetings. The Suns are 3-0 SU in their last three home meetings with the Nuggets winning by 4, 7 and 29 points.
Denver is 4-12 ATS in road games following two or more consecutive wins this season. The Nuggets are 6-17 ATS in their last 23 games following two consecutive wins by 10 points or more. Phoenix is 13-4 ATS in home games after playing a road game this season. The Suns are 21-10 ATS in their last 31 games as a home favorite of 6 points or less. Bet the Suns in Game 3 Friday.
|05-05-23||Celtics v. 76ers +2.5||114-102||Loss||-105||9 h 22 m||Show|
15* Celtics/76ers ESPN ANNIHILATOR on Philadelphia +2.5
After getting embarrassed with an 87-121 loss at Boston in Game 2, we'll 'buy low' on the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 3 as home underdogs. They will respond in a big way tonight, especially with Joel Embiid in his second game back from injury. He will be much more effective at home tonight, and James Harden should bounce back as well.
After making 17 3-pointers in Game 1's upset victory, the 76ers went just 6-of-30 (20%) in Game 2. They aren't going to shoot that poorly again. Also don't expect the Celtics to make 20 3-pointers again like they did in Game 2.
The 76ers have played the Celtics tough at home in their two meetings this season. They lost by 3 as 1-point dogs and won outright as 3.5-point dogs. The 76ers are 31-12 SU & 27-16 ATS at home this season and have one of the best home-court advantages in the NBA. Philadelphia is 12-2 ATS when revenging a road loss this season. The 76ers are 26-12 ATS in their last 38 home games. Bet the 76ers in Game 3 Friday.
|05-04-23||Lakers v. Warriors UNDER 227.5||Top||100-127||Win||100||21 h 55 m||Show|
20* Lakers/Warriors ESPN No-Brainer on UNDER 227.5
Familiarity favors defense and low scoring games. The longer a series goes on, the oddsmakers usually adjust the total down. That hasn't been the case in this series as this Game 2 total (227.5) is actually higher than Game 1 (227).
The Lakers and Warriors barely sneaked over that number finishing with 229 combined points. The Warriors made 21 3-pointers in Game 1 and that is unlikely to happen again. The Lakers have been one of the best defensive teams in the NBA since the All-Star Break.
The Warriors have gotten better defensively in the playoffs by playing Kevon Looney more minutes. He has been a beast down low for them defensively, and having him and Draymond Green on the court a lot makes them better on that end. Gary Payton II is also a great defender, and getting Andrew Wiggins back for the playoffs has made them better on that end.
The Lakers have seen 229 or fewer combined points in six consecutive games, including 215 or fewer combined points at the end of regulation in five of their last six games. The Warriors went for 217 and 220 combined points in their final two games against the Kings, who play at a much faster pace than the Lakers. Bet the UNDER in Game 2 Thursday.
|05-02-23||Lakers +4.5 v. Warriors||Top||117-112||Win||100||12 h 17 m||Show|
20* Lakers/Warriors TNT No-Brainer on Los Angeles +4.5
I like fading teams in Game 1 of their next series after winning a Game 7 the series prior. A 7-game series takes a lot out of a team, and it especially took a lot out of the Warriors having to play the up-tempo Kings. The Warriors lack depth this season, which is a big reason they aren't as good as they have been in previous seasons.
The Warriors have only had one day off to recover from that seven-game series and will be playing their 4th game in 7 days. Meanwhile, the Lakers have had the last three days off and will be rested and ready to go for this series. That's a huge rest advantage heading into Game 1, and I fully expect the Lakers to pull off the upset tonight because of it.
The Lakers have shown what they are capable of when healthy since the All-Star Break. They are 22-9 SU in their last 31 games overall. They won Game 1 on the road against Memphis 128-112 as 5-point dogs. The Lakers are 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in their last three meetings with the Warriors this season winning outright by 8 as 5-point home dogs, by 13 as 6-point home favorites and outright by 6 as 5.5-point road dogs. Bet the Lakers in Game 1 Tuesday.
|05-01-23||Suns +4.5 v. Nuggets||Top||87-97||Loss||-107||29 h 12 m||Show|
20* Suns/Nuggets TNT No-Brainer on Phoenix +4.5
Kevin Durant is 25-3 in his last 28 games in which he has played dating back to Thanksgiving. I liked what I heard from him in the press conference after a bad Game 1 loss to the Nuggets. I fully expect Durant and the Suns to bounce back, and getting them as 4.5-point underdogs in Game 2 is a tremendous value.
While the Suns will fire back with a better effort, the Nuggets could relax a little after winning Game 1 so convincingly. I have a hard time seeing Jamal Murray playing as well as he did again, and for the Nuggets to make nine more 3-pointers than the Suns again.
Denver is 1-10 ATS in its last 11 home games after two straight games allowing a shooting percentage of 50% or higher. Phoenix is 28-14 ATS in its last 42 games when revenging a loss by 10 points or more. Phoenix is 5-2 ATS in its last seven trips to Denver. We may never get the opportunity to back the Suns as this big of an underdog again, so we'll take advantage. Bet the Suns in Game 2 Monday.
|05-01-23||76ers v. Celtics OVER 213.5||119-115||Win||100||27 h 39 m||Show|
15* 76ers/Celtics TNT ANNIHILATOR on OVER 213.5
The Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks combined for 225 or more points in six of their last seven games. This is a very low total for a game involving Boston, one of the best offensive teams in the NBA.
The reason the total is so low is because Joel Embiid is doubtful. But I think that is overblown here because the 76ers are going to go to more of a small ball lineup without him, which will make them play faster and will favor the OVER because they are much worse off defensively without him. I think they can make up for his loss on offense with playmakers like Harden, Harris, Maxey and Melton.
I also like the fact that both teams are fresh with the 76ers being off since April 22nd and the Celtics being off since April 27th. Both teams are going to have plenty of energy to get up and down the court in this one. I expect this to be more of a shootout than the books expect, and if I'm going to back an OVER in the playoffs it's usually going to be in Game 1 with teams not as familiar with one another. Both coaches will have a few tricks up their sleeves to get easy buckets in Game 1 before the defenses can adjust throughout the series.
Boston is 7-0 OVER after five straight games where they made 47% of their shots or better this season. The OVER is 4-0 in Celtics last four games overall. Bet the OVER in Game 1 Monday.
|04-30-23||Warriors v. Kings +1.5||Top||120-100||Loss||-110||27 h 38 m||Show|
20* Warriors/Kings ABC No-Brainer on Sacramento +1.5
Although this series is tied 3-3, it's clear to me that the Sacramento Kings have been the better team in this series. Their resiliency in Game 6 winning blowing out the Warriors 118-99 as 7-point road underdogs says all you need to know about the mental state of this team.
The Kings made all the right adjustments in Game 6 and really showed what they were capable of defensively limiting the Warriors to fewer than 100 points. Nothing came easy for the Warriors, while a lot came easy for the Kings, including getting out in transition. They will push the pace again, and they will come up with another great defensive effort at home to win this series in Game 7.
The Warriors have many shortcomings this season that have come to fruition in the playoffs, most notably they aren't a very good defensive team. Curry, Poole and Thompson are all bad defenders, and the Kings have been exploiting them all series. The Warriors aren't comfortable playing Poole for big minutes because of his liabilities on defense, but they lose a lot without him on the court offensively. They are just getting a lot of credit due to their reputation in the past, but this isn't the same old Warriors. These aren't the same old Kings either as they won the most stacked division in the NBA and it was no fluke.
The Warriors are 12-32 SU & 14-30 ATS on the road this season. Sacramento is 10-1 ATS after losing three of its last four games this season. The Warriors are 16-36-1 ATS in their last 53 road games overall. Sacramento is 17-7 ATS in the last 24 meetings. Bet the Kings in Game 7 Sunday.
|04-29-23||Suns +3.5 v. Nuggets||Top||107-125||Loss||-109||10 h 55 m||Show|
20* Suns/Nuggets TNT No-Brainer on Phoenix +3.5
It's rare that you're going to get the opportunity to back the Phoenix Suns as an underdog the rest of the way. We'll take advantage in Game 1 and back a Suns team that is currently the second-favorite to win the NBA title due to all the talent they have on hand.
Kevin Durant is now 25-2 in the last 27 games he has played dating back to Thanksgiving. The Suns are really forming chemistry with Durant, Booker, Ayton and Paul and their starting five is the best in the NBA. They do have some depth concerns, but they are rested after having the last three days off and are primed for a big effort in Game 1.
The Timberwolves took the Nuggets to the wire in each of the final four games last series. The Nuggets have too many holes defensively as Jokic, Porter Jr. and Murray are not known for defense. That is going to really hurt them in this series, starting with Game 1. The Suns have more experience in these big game situations as the Nuggets continue to be a disappointment in the playoffs. Bet the Suns in Game 1 Saturday.
|04-28-23||Grizzlies v. Lakers -4.5||Top||85-125||Win||100||11 h 27 m||Show|
20* Grizzlies/Lakers ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles -4.5
The Memphis Grizzlies are 0-24 SU in their last 24 games as road underdogs. That includes 0-18 SU & 2-16 ATS as road underdogs this season. The Grizzlies are 1-15 ATS as a road underdog of 6 points or less this season as well.
LeBron James took Game 5 off and saved up for Game 6. Now expect a big effort from James and company in Game 6 at home tonight to close out this series. The Grizzlies haven't had an answer on the road all season against good teams, including in this series. It will be a tremendous atmosphere in Los Angeles Friday night and a tremendous advantage for the Lakers laying this short number.
JA Morant is battling wrist, ankle and knee injuries right now. Luke Kennard just suffered a shoulder injury in Game 5 and likely will miss Game 6, leaving the Grizzlies short on outside shooting. The Lakers are fully healthy and showing what they are capable of when that's the case with the way they closed out the regular season just to make the playoffs, plus how they have played in the playoffs to this point. It continues with another big effort tonight. Bet the Lakers in Game 6 Friday.
|04-28-23||Kings +7.5 v. Warriors||Top||118-99||Win||100||9 h 56 m||Show|
20* Kings/Warriors ESPN No-Brainer on Sacramento +7.5
Four of the five games in this series went down to the wire decided by 8 points or fewer. The lone exception was Game 3 in a must-win for the Warriors after losing the first two games in Sacramento. I think Game 6 goes to the wire as well, so there's clear value here catching 7.5 points with the Kings.
Sacramento is 9-1 ATS in road games when playing with triple revenge over the last two seasons. The Kings are 8-1 ATS in road games when revenging a same-season loss this season. Sacramento is 35-17-1 ATS in its last 53 road games. The Kings are 12-3 ATS in their last 15 trips to Golden State. Bet the Kings in Game 6 Friday.
|04-26-23||Warriors v. Kings -120||Top||123-116||Loss||-120||73 h 41 m||Show|
20* Warriors/Kings TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on Sacramento ML -120
I locked in this pick before the D'Aaron Fox news of the fractured tip of his finger, but the injury doesn't seem to serious and he's expected to play. So that was great news, and you'll get a better line on the Kings now if you haven't bet it already. I still like the Kings at the current price.
Sacramento has one of the best home-court advantages in the NBA when they are good, and the atmospheres for Games 1 and 2 were tremendous. They won both games, and I expect them to take Game 5 and regain control of this series at home tonight.
The Warriors are 11-32 SU & 13-30 ATS on the road this season. They have been the worst NBA playoff team in the NBA on the highway this season. And it just shows that the Kings are the better team when you consider Golden State played nearly a perfect Game 4 and still only won by a single point. They shot 50% overall, 41.2% from 3 and 91.7% from the FT line. That's not going to happen in Sacramento.
The Warriors are 15-36-1 ATS in their last 52 road games. The Kings are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games following a loss. Sacramento is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 home meetings with Golden State. Bet the Kings in Game 5 Wednesday.
|04-26-23||Lakers v. Grizzlies UNDER 222||99-116||Win||100||11 h 28 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Total DOMINATOR on Lakers/Grizzlies UNDER 222
Familiarity favors defense and low scoring games. After combining for 240 points in Game 1, the Lakes and Grizzlies have combined for 196 points in Game 2, 212 points in Game 3 and 208 points at the end of regulation in Game 4. I think the fact that Game 4 went to OT and finished at 228 is keeping this total higher than it should be, and there's tremendous value with the UNDER.
The Lakers have been the best defensive team in the NBA since the All-Star Break, which is the biggest reason for their resurgence. They have held the Grizzlies to 112, 103, 101 and 104 points at the end of regulation in this series. Memphis is a great defensive team as well with Defensive POTY Jaren Jackson Jr. anchoring them. JA Morant being banged up also hampers the Grizzlies offensively.
The UNDER is 16-5-1 in the last 22 meetings. The UNDER is 10-1-1 in the last 12 meetings in Memphis. The UNDER is 10-3 in Grizzlies last 13 games vs. a team with a winning record. Bet the UNDER in Game 5 Wednesday.
|04-26-23||Knicks v. Cavs -5.5||106-95||Loss||-110||11 h 58 m||Show|
15* Knicks/Cavaliers NBA TV ANNIHILATOR on Cleveland -5.5
I'll gladly back the more motivated Cleveland Cavaliers with their backs against the wall tonight against a New York Knicks team that can relax a little after taking a 3-1 series lead by winning both games at home. This game will play out similarly to Game 2 when the Cavaliers bounced back from an upset home loss in Game 1 with a 107-90 blowout in a game that was never competitive.
Cleveland has one of the best home-court advantages in the NBA as they are 32-11 at home this season. The Cavaliers are 9-1 ATS in home games after failing to cover the spread in four or five of their last six games this season. Bet the Cavaliers in Game 5 Wednesday.
|04-25-23||Wolves +10 v. Nuggets||109-112||Win||100||11 h 48 m||Show|
15* NBA PLAY OF THE DAY on Minnesota Timberwolves +10
The close out game is always the hardest, especially for a team like the Denver Nuggets that has been a disappointment in the playoffs for years under Nikola Jokic. They failed to close out the Timberwolves in Game 4 and lost in OT, giving Minnesota new life.
I think the Timberwolves are a dangerous team now playing on house money catching 10 points against the Nuggets in Game 5. They have been competitive in each of the last three games, which have all been decided by 9 points or less. Game 1 can pretty much be thrown out because it was a terrible spot for the Timberwolves coming off a pair of play-in games and on little rest.
The Timberwolves are 24-9 ATS in their last 33 meetings in Denver. The Nuggets are 21-35 ATS in their last 56 home games after playing a road game. Bet the Timberwolves in Game 5 Tuesday.
|04-24-23||Grizzlies v. Lakers -4||Top||111-117||Win||100||25 h 50 m||Show|
20* Grizzlies/Lakers TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles -4
The Los Angeles Lakers are simply the better team in this series. They are fully healthy and showing what they are capable of when that's the case. They are now 12-3 SU In their last 15 games overall and came up clutch just trying to make the playoffs, and that has carried over into the postseason.
The Grizzlies are missing key players in Steven Adams and Brandon Clark, which really hurts them defensively. Dillon Brooks is a mad man whose head isn't in this series, and he's more concerned with his antics. And JA Morant suffered a wrist injury in Game 1 that he's playing through, plus another injury in the final seconds of Game 3 to his lower leg that could hamper him heading into Game 4.
I think it says everything that Morant had 45 points in Game 3 and the Grizzlies were still never in that game or competitive. They trailed 38-9 to start the game and most of his points came in garbage time with the game pretty much decided. The Grizzlies don't have very good depth off the bench, while this is some of the best depth LeBron has ever had. The Lakers actually increased their lead in Game 3 when he went to the bench. Guys like Reaves, Hachimura, Russell, Schroder and Vanderbilt are playing very well to compliment LeBron and AD.
Memphis is 0-17 SU & 2-15 ATS as a road underdog this season, including 1-14 ATS as a road underdog of 6 points or less. We'll continue fading the Grizzlies as road underdogs here as they have been a terrible team away from home all season, and I don't expect that to change in Game 4. Bet the Lakers in Game 4 Monday.
|04-23-23||Nuggets v. Wolves UNDER 225.5||Top||108-114||Win||100||21 h 0 m||Show|
20* Nuggets/Timberwolves TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on UNDER 225.5
Let's just look at this from a line value perspective. The total for Game 1 was 224.5 and these teams combined for 189 points. They lowered it to 222.5 and 222 for Games 2 and 3, which both went over, and now have raised it back up to 225.5 for Game 4. That's too big of an adjustment, and there's clearly value on the UNDER as a result.
There's also value on the UNDER when you consider Minnesota and Denver won't be able to keep shooting as well as they have the past two games. Denver shot 54.1% and Minnesota 50.6% in Game 2 and both shot better than 45% from 3. Denver shot 57.1% in Game 3 and Minnesota 45.6%. The Nuggets specifically can't stay this hot.
The pace has actually been very slow in this series, and it will be even slower in Game 4 as familiarity favors defense and low scoring games. The longer a series goes, the harder points are to come by because teams know each other so well.
Minnesota is 16-4 UNDER in its last 20 home games after going over the total in its previous game. The UNDER is 12-4 in Nuggets last 16 games overall. The UNDER is 6-0-1 in Timberwolves last seven Sunday games. The UNDER is 11-5-1 in Timberwolves last 17 home games. Bet the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|04-23-23||Kings v. Warriors UNDER 237.5||125-126||Loss||-110||15 h 0 m||Show|
15* Kings/Warriors ABC ANNIHILATOR on UNDER 237.5
The playoffs just have a way of slowing games down. While both Sacramento and Golden State want to play fast, it's hard to when these teams get familiar with one another and know what to expect. Familiarity favors defense and low scoring games, and that has proven to be the case in this series.
After combining for 249 points in Game 1, the Warriors and Kings combined for just 220 points in Game 2 and 211 points in Game 3. So we have a lot of margin for error here with this 237.5-point total compared to the last two games.
The Kings have actually done a very good job of defending the Warriors in this series and have upped their game on that end. The Warriors are a lot more locked in defensively in these playoffs, and they get their best defender in Draymond Green back. Plus getting both Wiggins and Payton II back from injury has made them a better defensive team, and Kevon Looney is holding it down inside.
Golden State is 7-0 UNDER in home games after allowing 105 points or less this season. Sacramento is 14-3 UNDER in road games vs. a team with a winning record this season. The UNDER is 6-1 in Kings last seven games overall. The UNDER is 17-5-1 in Warriors last 23 games vs. a team with a winning record. The UNDER is 4-1-1 in the last six meetings. Bet the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|04-22-23||Grizzlies v. Lakers -4.5||Top||101-111||Win||100||57 h 5 m||Show|
25* NBA 1st Round GAME OF THE YEAR on Los Angeles Lakers -4.5
After winning Game 1 128-112 on the road, the Lakers relaxed in Game 2, especially with the Grizzlies without JA Morant due to a wrist injury. They won't make the same mistake in Game 3, and I look for them to fire back with a blowout home victory in this one.
Dillon Brooks called LeBron James old after the Game 2 win. You know LeBron won't take that lightly and will be fully locked in to make a statement, and his teammates will have his back. The Lakers' role players have played well in this series, and I expect them to play even better at home to support LeBron and AD.
The Lakers are now 11-3 SU in their last 14 games overall coming up clutch just to try and get into the playoffs. They are showing how good they can be when healthy, which they are right now. The Grizzlies are missing up to three key players if Morant doesn't return. They aren't good enough to hang with the Lakers in this series given their current state, and especially not a 100% motivated Lakers team, which will be the case in Game 3 tonight.
Memphis is 2-14 ATS as a road underdog this season, including 1-13 ATS as a road underdog of 6 points or less. Memphis is 1-9 ATS in road games vs. good shooting teams making 48% or better this season. The Grizzlies are just 16-25 SU on the road this season and have not played well at all away from home. The Lakers have won six of their last seven at home. Bet the Lakers in Game 3 Saturday.
|04-21-23||Nuggets v. Wolves +2.5||Top||120-111||Loss||-110||33 h 43 m||Show|
20* Nuggets/Timberwolves ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on Minnesota +2.5
It's now or never for the Minnesota Timberwolves after falling down 0-2 in this series to the Denver Nuggets. I expect them to fire back in Game 3 here at home. The Timberwolves have played three of their last four playoff games on the road and were competitive in two of them, taking the Lakers to OT in the play-in game and the Nuggets to the wire in Game 2.
But now the Timberwolves at back home where they were much more comfortable. In their lone playoff home game, the Timberwolves crushed the upstart Thunder 120-95 as 5.5-point favorites. I think they are getting disrespected here as home underdogs to the Nuggets and will make a statement.
Denver is 3-11 ATS in its last 14 road games following two or more consecutive wins. Minnesota is 31-16 ATS in its last 47 games when revenging a road loss. Bet the Timberwolves in Game 3 Friday.
|04-20-23||Suns -2.5 v. Clippers||Top||129-124||Win||100||13 h 30 m||Show|
20* Suns/Clippers NBA TV Late-Night BAILOUT on Phoenix -2.5
The Phoenix Suns are by far the superior team over the Los Angeles Clippers. They have four stars in Durant, Booker, Ayton and Paul compared to one for the Clippers in Kawhi Leonard, who is having to shoulder too much of the load for them. They are relying on several guys past their primes including Eric Gordon and Russell Westbrook.
Leonard had 31 points in Game 2 and the Clippers still lost by 14. I think we are getting the Suns very cheap here as only 2.5-point favorites in Game 3. Kevin Durant is 22-2 SU in his last 24 games dating back to Thanksgiving. The Suns are finally forming chemistry with him and will be a dangerous team moving forward.
The Clippers are 1-8 ATS in home games off a road loss this season. Los Angeles is 4-15 ATS when revenging a loss by 10 points or more this season. The Suns are 5-1 ATS in their last six trips to Los Angeles. The Clippers only went 23-18 at home this season and don't have that big of a home-court advantage. Bet the Suns in Game 3 Thursday.
|04-19-23||Heat v. Bucks UNDER 219.5||Top||122-138||Loss||-110||12 h 33 m||Show|
20* NBA Wednesday Total DOMINATOR on Heat/Bucks UNDER 219.5
The Miami Heat lost their second-best player and the Milwaukee Bucks lost their best player to injury in Game 1 of this series. Tyler Herro (20.1 PPG) suffered a fracture hand and is likely to miss the rest of the playoffs. Giannis Antetokounmpo (31.1 PPG) suffered a back injury and is doubtful to play in Game 2.
Without these two, I expect points to be much harder to come by for both teams. The total for Game 1 was 221 and now the total for Game 2 is 219.5, which isn't a big enough adjustment down for these two losses. Familiarity favors defense and low scoring games, and as a series progresses the scoring slows down almost in every series.
The reason the total has stayed relatively high is because Game 1 was an offensive aberration that saw the Heat beat the Bucks 130-117 for 247 combined points. Miami shot 59.5% as a team including a ridiculous 15-of-25 (60%) from 3-point range. That's obviously not going to happen again. I think the defense is much better in Game 2, and the shooting much poorer while also being played at a slower pace. Bet the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|04-18-23||Clippers v. Suns -7.5||Top||109-123||Win||100||34 h 51 m||Show|
20* Clippers/Suns TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on Phoenix -7.5
That was a rare loss for Kevin Durant in Game 1. Durant is 21-2 in his last 23 games dating back to Thanksgiving. I fully expect the Suns to bounce back with a blowout victory in Game 2 after getting upset by the Clippers in Game 1 of this series.
A lot of times in the playoffs you see a team pull off the upset on the road in Game 1 and then let down in Game 2. The home team comes back more motivated and wins in a blowout to tie the series. I believe that's what we see here as the Suns are clearly the better team in this series.
The Suns only made six 3-pointers in Game 1. You can expect them to make double-digits from 3 in Game 2 which will be a big difference in the result. The Clippers remain without Paul George and I think that puts too much of a burden on Kawhi Leonard. The Suns were dominant with Durant prior to that Game 1 loss.
Plays on any team (Phoenix) - revenging a loss as a home favorite of 7 points or more, off an upset loss as a home favorite are 43-12 (78.2%) ATS over the last five seasons. Plays against road underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points (LA Clippers) - in the 2nd game of a playoff series are 24-5 (82.8%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet the Suns in Game 2 Tuesday.
|04-18-23||Knicks v. Cavs -5||Top||90-107||Win||100||31 h 19 m||Show|
20* Knicks/Cavs TNT No-Brainer on Cleveland -5
The Cleveland Cavaliers got dominated on the boards in Game 1 which was their demise. They lost the rebounding battle 51-38 and gave up 17 offensive rebounds. The Cavaliers are a great rebounding team on the season, so don't expect that to happen again.
I expect the Cavaliers to bounce back with a blowout home victory in Game 2 tonight. A lot of times in the playoffs you see a team pull off the upset on the road in Game 1 and then let down in Game 2. The home team comes back the more motivated team and wins in a blowout to tie the series. I believe that's what we see here as the Cavaliers are clearly the better team in this series.
Cleveland is 8-1 ATS in home games after failing to cover the spread in four or five of their last six games this season. Plays against road underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points (New York) - in the 2nd game of a playoff series are 24-5 (82.8%) ATS over the last five season. Plays on favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points (Cleveland) - off two or more consecutive home losses in April games are 43-17 (71.7%) ATS since 1996. Bet the Cavaliers in Game 2 Tuesday.
|04-17-23||Nets +10.5 v. 76ers||84-96||Loss||-115||6 h 24 m||Show|
15* Nets/76ers TNT ANNIHILATOR on Brooklyn +10.5
The Philadelphia 76ers made 21 3-pointers and had a 19-8 advantage in turnovers in Game 1 over the Brooklyn Nets to win by 20. A lot went right for them in that game, and I don't expect it to be nearly as easy for them in Game 2. I expect the Nets to take this game to the wire tonight.
The Nets are 144-97 ATS in their last 241 road games when revenging a loss. Brooklyn is 14-6 ATS when revenging a road loss this season. The Nets are 12-3 ATS in their last 15 games after a blowout loss by 15 points or more. Bet the Nets in Game 2 Monday.
|04-16-23||Clippers v. Suns -7.5||Top||115-110||Loss||-110||10 h 16 m||Show|
20* Clippers/Suns TNT No-Brainer on Phoenix -7.5
The Phoenix Suns showed what they were capable of down the stretch when fully healthy and trying to clinch a spot in the playoffs. They went 7-0 SU & 5-2 ATS for a stretch with four wins by double-digits. Kevin Durant is now 21-1 SU in his last 22 games played.
This would have been a great series if Paul George was healthy. Instead, there's too much on Kawhi Leonard's shoulders now, and while he is a great player he isn't good enough to beat the Suns on his own. He is going to be trusting too much in Russell Westbrook and Eric Gordon, two veterans on the downside of their careers. Westbrook has been a cancer everywhere he has gone.
I think Durant is the better player than Leonard, plus Booker and Ayton are both better than anything the Clippers have. They won't be able to match up with Booker on the perimeter or Ayton inside as the Clippers are very weak in the paint with Zubac handling most the minutes.
The Clippers are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games following a win. The Suns are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven games when playing on three or more days' rest. The Suns are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. This rest is exactly what the doctor ordered for the Suns as they are now ready to make their playoff run as likely the best team in the West as currently constructed. Bet the Suns in Game 1 Sunday.
|04-15-23||Warriors v. Kings||Top||123-126||Win||100||11 h 8 m||Show|
20* Warriors/Kings ABC Late-Night BAILOUT on Sacramento PK
The Sacramento Kings will be making their first playoff appearance since 2006. It's safe to say it's going to be a tremendous atmosphere for Game 1 of this series with fans ready to let out years of frustration in support of this team.
Mike Brown is the coach of the year leading the Kings to a 48-34 record this season and the 3rd seed in the West. They have stayed remarkably healthy all season and are one of the deepest teams in the NBA. I think they have a huge advantage over the Warriors when the backups are in as the Warriors lack the depth of years' past when they made NBA Finals runs.
Most just expect the Warriors to flip on the switch, but it's not that easy. Andrew Wiggins returns but is going to be rusty after missing the past 25 games. And the Warriors have been one of the worst road teams in the NBA all season, going 11-30 SU & 13-28 ATS on the highway.
Sacramento is 12-1 ATS after failing to cover the spread in two or more consecutive games this season. Golden State is 16-34-1 ATS in its last 51 road games. The Kings are 13-5 ATS in the last 18 meetings. Bet the Kings Saturday.
|04-15-23||Hawks +9.5 v. Celtics||99-112||Loss||-107||6 h 51 m||Show|
15* Hawks/Celtics ESPN ANNIHILATOR on Atlanta +9.5
The Atlanta Hawks have come up clutch here down the stretch with these games mattering most. They have gone 4-1 SU in games in which they were actually trying and not resting starters, including their dominant 116-105 win at Miami as 5.5-point underdogs in the Play-In to punch their ticket into the playoffs.
The Hawks are brimming with confidence now and ready to give the Celtics a run for their money in Game 1 of this series today. The Celtics are getting a lot of love after making the NBA Finals last year. But they kind of snuck up on everyone in the playoffs last year, and now they are the hunted instead of the hunters. Asking them to win by double-digits in Game 1 to beat us is asking too much.
The Hawks are actually more battle-tested and ready after playing a meaningful game earlier this week. Boston hasn't played a meaningful game since April 4th and could be rusty to open this series as a result. Bet the Hawks Saturday.
|04-14-23||Thunder +5.5 v. Wolves||Top||95-120||Loss||-110||11 h 16 m||Show|
20* Thunder/Timberwolves ESPN No-Brainer on Oklahoma City +5.5
The Oklahoma City Thunder are brimming with confidence after upsetting the Pelicans 123-118 on the road last game. The Minnesota Timberwolves are questioning themselves after blowing a double-digit lead and scoring just 16 points in the final 16 minutes in an OT loss to the Lakers.
The Timberwolves are also dealing with the Rudy Gobert distractions and some significant injuries heading into this one. I think 5.5 points is too many for them to be laying against this up-and-coming Thunder team that has been consistently undervalued for two straight seasons and one that just has a knack for playing in close games.
The Thunder are 11-1 ATS when revenging a close loss by 3 points or less over the last two seasons. The Timberwolves are 2-7 ATS in their last nine home games. Oklahoma City is 6-1 ATS in its last seven trips to Minnesota. Bet the Thunder Friday.
|04-14-23||Bulls +5.5 v. Heat||Top||91-102||Loss||-105||9 h 41 m||Show|
20* Bulls/Heat TNT No-Brainer on Chicago +5.5
The Chicago Bulls come into this game with a ton of confidence after coming back from 19 points down to beat the Raptors last game. I think they are once again catching too many points against the Miami Heat tonight after the Heat are questioning themselves after getting upset 105-116 at home by the Hawks in a game they were never really in.
Adding to the Bulls' confidence is the fact that they are 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in their three meetings with the Heat this season with three outright upset victories as underdogs. It should be more of the same here as I expect them to win this game outright, but we'll take the points for some insurance.
The Heat are 1-8 ATS in their last nine games following a loss by more than 10 points. Chicago is 14-5 ATS off an upset win as an underdog this season. Miami is 9-22 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points this season. Bet the Bulls Friday.
|04-12-23||Bulls v. Raptors UNDER 213.5||Top||109-105||Loss||-110||9 h 18 m||Show|
20* Bulls/Raptors ESPN No-Brainer on UNDER 213.5
Playoff intensity defense is a different animal. Teams go all regular season without playing much defense especially this season. But it will be different in the playoffs, and I think we get some inflated totals early on we can take advantage of by backing UNDERS. This is one of those totals.
The Raptors rank 25th in pace while the Bulls rank 18th, so this game will be played in the half court. The Bulls have been improved defensively since getting Patrick Beverly and rank 3rd in defensive rating over the past 15 games. The Raptors rank 5th in defensive rating over their past 15 games.
This has been a low scoring series as the UNDER is 4-0 in the last four meetings with combined scores of 202, 208, 217 and 212 points, respectively. As you can see, these teams have combined to go UNDER this 213.5-point total in three of their last four meetings, and those were regular season meetings. I'll be surprised if these teams come close to topping this 213.5-point total while playing with playoff-intensity defense. Bet the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|04-11-23||Wolves v. Lakers UNDER 232.5||Top||102-108||Win||100||13 h 58 m||Show|
20* Timberwolves/Lakers TNT No-Brainer on UNDER 232.5
Playoff intensity defense is a different animal. Teams go all regular season without playing much defense especially this season. But it will be different in the playoffs, and I think we get some inflated totals early on we can take advantage of by backing UNDERS. This is one of those totals.
The Lakers were one of the best defensive teams in the NBA after the All-Star Break. The Timberwolves were great defensively down the stretch to try and get into the playoffs, allowing 108 or fewer points in five of their last eight games overall.
This has been an UNDER series. The UNDER is 6-1 in the last seven meetings with combined scores of 228 or fewer points in six of those seven meetings, including 213 or fewer in five of the seven. This 232.5-point total has been set too high based on series history, plus when you factor in this game will be played with playoff-intensity defense. Bet the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|04-09-23||Pelicans v. Wolves UNDER 227||108-113||Win||100||6 h 60 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday Total DOMINATOR on Pelicans/Timberwolves UNDER 227
Both Minnesota and New Orleans have a lot to play for today. The winner will likely be the 8th seed while the loser will likely be the 9th seed. There's a big difference between the 8th and 9th seed in the play-in round. With so much at stake, defensive intensity in this game will be high.
The UNDER is 19-7 in Pelicans last 26 games overall. The UNDER is 12-2 in Pelicans last 14 road games. The UNDER is 6-2 in the last eight meetings in Minnesota. The UNDER is 5-2 in Timberwolves last seven games overall. The UNDER is 10-4-1 in Timberwolves last 15 home games. Minnesota is 8-0 UNDER in home games following a win by 10 points or more this season. Bet the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|04-09-23||Pelicans +4 v. Wolves||Top||108-113||Loss||-110||6 h 0 m||Show|
20* NBA DOG OF THE WEEK on New Orleans Pelicans +4
The Pelicans came up clutch last year late in the season and in the play-in before giving the Suns a run for their money. That experience is paying off this year as the Pelicans are 9-2 SU & 8-2- ATS in their last 11 games overall and coming up clutch again.
Now the Pelicans have a lot to play for here to try and either move up in the play-in and possibly get a Top 5 seed if everything breaks their way, or at the very least lock in a Top 8 spot with a win over the Timberwolves here. I trust them much more than the Timberwolves, who are still trying to form some chemistry with all the new pieces.
Minnesota will also be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back here after a 151-131 shootout win in San Antonio last night. That puts them at a big disadvantage, and I love the value we are getting on the Pelicans as underdogs here after having yesterday off and with all that big game experience gained over the past couple seasons.
The Pelicans are 7-0-1 ATS in their last eight games when playing on one days' rest. The Timberwolves are 1-7 ATS in their last eight home games. Minnesota is 0-6 ATS in its last six home games vs. a team with a losing road record. New Orleans is 5-1 ATS in its last six trips to Minnesota. Bet the Pelicans Sunday.
|04-09-23||Pistons +7.5 v. Bulls||81-103||Loss||-110||3 h 1 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Detroit Pistons +7.5
The Detroit Pistons have already locked up the worst record in the NBA and optimal odds to get the 1st pick in the draft. They are no longer tanking to close out the season and trying to win these final couple games. They pulled the 122-115 upset at Indiana as 6.5-point dogs last game, and I think they have a great shot to pull the upset as 7.5-point road dogs at Chicago today.
The Bulls have nothing to play for and are locked into the 10th seed. They will be in the play-in round against the Raptors. They are unlikely to play starters today as a result, and could care less about winning this game. They should not be this big of favorites when they are unmotivated and just trying to get healthy going into the playoffs.
Chicago is 1-8 ATS in home games following two consecutive home games this season. Bet the Pistons Sunday.
|04-07-23||Knicks v. Pelicans -8||105-113||Push||0||8 h 22 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Night BLOWOUT on New Orleans Pelicans -8
The New York Knicks are locked into the 5th seed in the East and will play the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs. They could care less about winning these last two games. Their three best players will sit tonight in Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett. They won't be competitive as a result.
The New Orleans Pelicans have a lot to play for still trying to get a Top 8 seed in the Western Conference. They are tied with the Lakers for 7th, one game back of both the Warriors and Clippers, and one game ahead of the Timberwolves.
The Pelicans came up clutch last year late in the season and in the play-in before giving the Suns a run for their money. That experience is paying off this year as the Pelicans are 8-2 SU & 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall and coming up clutch again. Now they will make easy work of the short-handed, unmotivated Knicks tonight.
New Orleans is 7-0 ATS in its last seven games when playing on one days' rest. Bet the Pelicans Friday.
|04-07-23||Raptors +105 v. Celtics||Top||102-121||Loss||-100||8 h 51 m||Show|
20* NBA Eastern Conference GAME OF THE WEEK on Toronto Raptors ML +105
The Boston Celtics are locked into the 2nd seed in the East and have nothing to play for. There's a good chance they rest all their starters tonight. They should not be favored over the Toronto Raptors as a result.
The Toronto Raptors are still battling for play-in positioning in the East one game behind the Hawks for the 8th seed. There's a big difference between the 8th and 9th seeds. I'll gladly side with the more motivated team tonight to win this game outright as an underdog.
The Raptors have saved their best basketball for last as they are 8-4 SU & 8-4 ATS in their last 12 games overall with three of those losses coming to the top three teams in the East in the Bucks, 76ers and Celtics all by 7 points or fewer. Toronto is 6-0-1 ATS in its last seven games when playing on one days' rest. Bet the Raptors on the Money Line Friday.
|04-06-23||Heat +3.5 v. 76ers||Top||129-101||Win||100||9 h 33 m||Show|
20* Heat/76ers TNT No-Brainer on Miami +3.5
The Miami Heat are still playing to try to avoid the play-in round or at the very least earn the 7th seed which will give them the advantage in the play-in round. They are 1.5 games behind the Nets for 6th and 1.5 games ahead of the Hawks for 7th.
While this game means something to the Heat, it means absolutely nothing to the 76ers. They are locked into the 3rd seed in the East. Don't be surprised if they rest their starters over the final three games as a result. At the very least, they won't be motivated to win these games.
Miami is 3-1 SU & 3-1 ATS in its last four meetings with Philadelphia winning its last two trips to Philly outright as underdogs. Bet the Heat Thursday.
|04-05-23||Lakers v. Clippers UNDER 232||Top||118-125||Loss||-110||11 h 53 m||Show|
20* Lakers/Clippers ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on UNDER 232
The Lakers and Clippers are tied for the 6th and 7th spots in the West. The 6th will avoid the play-in round, while the 7th won't so there is a lot at stake here. These teams hate each other as it is, and I expect the defensive intensity to be very high in this one.
The Lakers have been the best defensive team in the NBA since the All-Star Break. The Clippers have been one of the better defensive teams in the NBA all season. This is a very high total considering what is at stake here.
The UNDER is 16-4-2 in Lakers last 22 games vs. a team with a winning record. The UNDER is 30-13 in Clippers last 43 home games. Bet the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|04-04-23||Kings v. Pelicans -3.5||121-103||Loss||-115||8 h 33 m||Show|
15* NBA Western Conference PLAY OF THE DAY on New Orleans Pelicans -3.5
The New Orleans Pelicans came up clutch last season just to make the playoffs and then gave the Phoenix Suns a run for their money in the playoffs. They are coming up clutch again this season, and that experience from last season is really helping them.
The Pelicans are playing their best basketball of the season right now going 7-1 SU & 7-1 ATS in their last eight games overall with all seven wins by 8 points or more and six of them by double-digits. Their lone loss came on the 2nd of a back-to-back at Golden State where they blew a 17-point halftime lead and ran out of gas.
The Sacramento Kings are starting to feel the pressure of trying to win the Pacific Division. They are also just kind of going through the motions right now essentially locked into the 3rd seed in the West. They just lost outright at home to the Spurs are 16-point favorites. This young team is not used to the pressure of playoff basketball and will not handle it as well as the Pelicans will tonight.
The Pelicans are 3-1 SU & 3-1 ATS in their last four meetings with the Kings with all three wins in blowouts by 32, 14 and 30 points. New Orleans is 14-2 ATS vs. terrible defensive teams that allow 48% or higher this season. Bet the Pelicans Tuesday.
|04-04-23||Hawks v. Bulls -3.5||Top||123-105||Loss||-110||8 h 33 m||Show|
20* NBA BLOWOUT GAME OF THE WEEK on Chicago Bulls -3.5
The Chicago Bulls have saved their best basketball for last coming up clutch to not only make the playoffs, but to also try and improve their seeding. Now they have a chance to change spots with the Atlanta Hawks and move up again, and I think they take advantage with a blowout victory at home.
The Bulls are 9-4 SU & 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games overall. They are coming off a pair of blowout wins by 30 at Charlotte and by 21 at home over Memphis. They have won two of their three meetings with the Hawks with their lone loss coming by a single point at the buzzer.
The Hawks have been trading wins and losses and are 0-5 SU & 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a win. They are without De'Andre Hunter (15.4 PPG) and Trae Young (26.2 PPG, 9.9 APG) tonight.
The Hawks are 0-8 ATS in their last eight road games when revenging a loss by 10 points or more. The Bulls are 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings. The Hawks are 18-41 ATS in their last 59 games following a win. Bet the Bulls Tuesday.
|04-04-23||Cavs v. Magic +5.5||117-113||Win||100||7 h 34 m||Show|
15* NBA Tuesday Undervalued Underdog on Orlando Magic +5.5
The Orlando Magic have been one of the most profitable teams to back all season, especially of late. They continue to fly under the radar as this is a young, talented team with a very bright future and they continue showing up on a nightly basis.
The Magic are 6-3 SU and a perfect 9-0 ATS in their last nine games overall with upset wins over the Knicks and Clippers. They were even competitive in all three losses losing by 3 at Phoenix, by 6 at the Lakers and by 5 at Memphis.
The Magic can stay within 5.5 of the Cavaliers at home tonight and possibly pull off the upset. Cleveland is just 18-21 SU on the road this season. They are kind of going through the motions right now basically locked into the 4th seed in the East. They are 1-2 SU & 0-2-1 ATS in their last three games overall losing at Atlanta, losing by 16 at home to the Knicks and only beating the depleted Pacers by 10 as 12-point home favorites. Bet the Magic Tuesday.
|04-03-23||San Diego State v. Connecticut -7||Top||59-76||Win||100||45 h 0 m||Show|
20* SDSU/UConn Championship Game No-Brainer on UConn -7
The UConn Huskies are as good as anyone in the country at their best. They are loaded at guard with Hawkins (16.3 PPG), Newton (9.9 PPG, 4.6 APG, 4.3 RPG) and Jackson (6.8 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 4.7 APG) and especially in the post with the trio of Sanogo (17.1 PPG, 7.5 RPG), Karaban (9.5 PPG, 4.4 RPG) and Clingan (7.1 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.8 BPG).
KenPom now has UConn as the No. 1 ranked team in the country based on all the data, even better than Houston and Alabama. They have virtually no weaknesses, ranking 3rd in adjusted offense and 8th in adjusted defense. They rank 8th in effective field goal percentage defense, 15th in 3-point percentage defense and 25th in block percentage defense. Their completeness has really shown up in the Big Dance.
The Huskies have gone 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in the NCAA Tournament while COVERING those five games by an average of 16.1 points per game. They won by 24 over Iona as a 9.5-point favorite, by 15 over St. Mary's as a 4-point favorite, by 23 over Arkansas as a 3.5-point favorite, by 28 over Gonzaga as a 2.5-point favorite and by 13 over Miami as a 5.5-point favorite. We are witnessing one of the greatest teams in NCAA Tournament history.
San Diego State is lucky to be here. The Aztecs snuck by Charleston in the opener, and they became the first team in NCAA Tournament history to win their Elite 8 and Final 4 games by a single point each. They needed a 14-point comeback against FAU in the 2H to win that game and never led in the 2H until the buzzer. FAU gave up a five offensive rebounds on free throws alone to give the game away.
Well, UConn won't have a problem keeping San Diego State off the glass. The Huskies rank 2nd in offensive rebounding and 63rd in allowing offensive rebounds. San Diego State ranks 76th in offensive rebounding and 68th in allowing offensive rebounds. The Huskies will win the battle on the boards.
But the biggest advantage the Huskies have here is at guard, where their guards are elite and the Aztecs come up short in that department. Matt Bradley has been hit or miss and shoots only 40.1% from the field on the season, Darrion Trammell has a lot of heart but is undersized and shoots just 36.1% and Lamont Butler shoots 41.8%. Their poor shooting is a big reason the Aztecs rank just 218th in effective field goal percentage offense. These guards and San Diego State in general have a lot of heart, but unfortunately they don't have the talent to match that of the Huskies.
I think the Aztecs have been very lucky to catch teams on 'off' shooting nights to this point with four wins by 7 points or fewer. Creighton shot 2-of-17 (11.8%) from 3, Alabama shot 3-of-27 (11.1%), Furman shot 6-of-26 (23.1%) and Charleston shot 5-of-24 (20.8%). So those four teams shot a combined 16-of-94 (17%) from 3 in this tournament. That's good defense, but it's also a lot of luck. FAU shot a more reasonable 9-of-22 (40.9%) against them and are a good shooting team like UConn that can spread you out with four good shooters on the court at all times. The Huskies have made at least nine 3-pointers in all five Tournament games and shoot 36.3% from 3 on the season.
UConn is 16-0 SU & 15-1 ATS in non-conference games this season. It's clear the Big East was a lot better than it got credit for as the Huskies have destroyed everyone outside the conference. It will be more of the same against the overmatched Aztecs as the Huskies pull off yet another dominant win in the Championship Game. Bet UConn Monday.
|04-02-23||Warriors v. Nuggets OVER 234.5||110-112||Loss||-110||20 h 44 m||Show|
15* Warriors/Nuggets NBA TV Late-Night BAILOUT on OVER 234.5
This total is lower than it should be due to Denver coming off consecutive sub-par offensive showings while playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and playing without some of their best players. Well, the Nuggets should have all hands on deck tonight with the possible return of Nikola Jokic. I think it goes OVER the total whether or not he plays.
The Warriors rank 1st in the NBA in pace making them a dead nuts OVER team. They are in the top half of the league in offensive efficiency and the in the bottom half in defensive efficiency. They take on a Nuggets team that ranks 3rd in the NBA in offensive efficiency, which has been the key to their amazing season to this point.
Each of the two previous meetings this season between the Warriors and Nuggets were shootouts. They combined for 251 points in their first meeting and 251 points again in their second meeting. It should be more of the same in this third and final meeting Sunday.
The OVER is 40-13 in Warriors last 53 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The OVER is 6-1 in the last seven meetings. The OVER is 20-8 in Nuggets last 28 games vs. a team with a winning record. Bet the OVER in this game Sunday.
|04-02-23||76ers v. Bucks -4.5||Top||104-117||Win||100||19 h 13 m||Show|
25* NBA Eastern Conference GAME OF THE YEAR on Milwaukee Bucks -4.5
I love the spot for the Milwaukee Bucks tonight. They are coming off their worst loss of the season to the Boston Celtics when playing the 2nd of a back-to-back. They have no had the last two days off to rest and recover and will come back pissed off after that defeat.
Adding to their motivation is the fact that the Bucks will be looking for revenge from a 130-133 home loss to Philadelphia on March 4th in their most recent meeting. It's a much worst spot for the 76ers, who will be playing their 6th game in 10 days.
The Bucks are 6-0 SU & 4-2 ATS in their last six games following a loss and haven't lost consecutive games since January 12-14. The Bucks only lead the Celtics by 1.5 games for 1st place in the East so they have no margin for error, also adding to their motivation.
Milwaukee is 9-1 ATS following an upset loss as a favorite this season. Bet the Bucks Sunday.
|04-02-23||Spurs v. Kings -15.5||142-134||Loss||-110||17 h 13 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday Night BLOWOUT on Sacramento Kings -15.5
The Sacramento Kings are still looking to improve their playoff positioning as they trail the Grizzlies by two games for 2nd place in the West. They are handling their business right now beating the Blazers by 40 and 24 points in their last two games. Now they get another Western Conference bottom feeder in the Spurs tonight, and the result should be the same.
The Spurs are 0-6 SU & 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall and tanking to try and get the No. 1 pick. That's evident by the fact that all six losses came by 11 points or more including a 35-point loss at New Orleans, a 36-point loss at Milwaukee and a 44-point loss at Boston during this stretch. They are resting almost all of their best players right now and are playing as a G League team.
The Kings are 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in their last six meetings with the Spurs. San Antonio is 9-26 ATS in its last 35 road games. Bet the Kings Sunday.
|04-02-23||Blazers v. Wolves -16.5||Top||107-105||Loss||-110||15 h 43 m||Show|
20* NBA Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Minnesota Timberwolves -16.5
The Minnesota Timberwolves are battling to make the playoffs right now. They are in 9th place in the West but just 2 games ahead of the Mavericks in 11th. They have a great chance of improving their standing, and they won't be taking the Portland Trail Blazers lightly today.
The Portland Trail Blazers are obviously tanking to close out the season for the 2nd consecutive season. The Blazers are resting their top four scorers in Lillard, Simons, Grant and Nurkic and playing a G League team right now. Their injury report is laughable with 10 players on it right now.
The Blazers are 1-11 SU & 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games overall. Eight of their last nine losses have come by 14 points or more and by an average of 21.6 points per game. Their last three losses have come by 24, 40 and 34 points. That's why I'm willing to fade them here and lay this big number with the Timberwolves.
This is a big step down in class for the Timberwolves after playing 16 consecutive games against teams that would be in the playoffs or the play-in round if the season were to end today. They have won four of their last six games including upset road wins over the Knicks, Warriors and Kings. Minnesota is 6-0 ATS in its last six home meetings with Portland. Bet the Timberwolves Sunday.
|04-01-23||Miami-FL v. Connecticut -5||Top||59-72||Win||100||145 h 47 m||Show|
20* Miami/UConn Final 4 No-Brainer on UConn -5
The UConn Huskies are as good as anyone in the country at their best. They are loaded at guard with Hawkins (16.3 PPG), Newton (9.9 PPG, 4.6 APG, 4.3 RPG) and Jackson (6.8 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 4.7 APG) and especially in the post with the trio of Sanogo (17.1 PPG, 7.5 RPG), Karaban (9.5 PPG, 4.4 RPG) and Clingan (7.1 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.8 BPG).
KenPom now has UConn as the No. 1 ranked team in the country based on all the data, even better than Houston and Alabama. They have virtually no weaknesses, ranking 3rd in adjusted offense and 11th in adjusted defense. They rank 8th in effective field goal percentage defense, 13th in 3-point percentage defense and 25th in block percentage defense. Their completeness has really shown up in the Big Dance.
The Huskies have gone 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS in the NCAA Tournament while covering those four games by an average of 17.8 points per game. They won by 24 over Iona as a 9.5-point favorite, by 15 over St. Mary's as a 4-point favorite, by 23 over Arkansas as a 3.5-point favorite and by 28 over Gonzaga as a 2.5-point favorite.
Miami needed a 9-point comeback in the final 5 minutes to beat Drake and a 13-point comeback in the final 12 minutes to beat Texas. They did dominate both Houston and Indiana, and I take nothing away from them for those two victories. No question Miami has the best trio of guards in this tournament, but opponents haven't exploited their biggest weakness, which is their defense, especially on the interior.
Drake, Indiana and Texas were all pretty weak on the interior at least defensively. Texas was without its best big man in Dylan Disu, who was their best player dating back to the start of the NCAA Tournament. UConn ranks 2nd in the country in offensive rebound rate grabbing 38.5% of its own misses. Miami ranks 104th in adjusted defense, 207th in effective field goal percentage allowed and 179th in allowing offensive rebounds. The Hurricanes will finally get punished for their defensive flaws in the Final 4.
Miami only has one productive big man in Norchad Omier, and he isn't going to be able to contain the three big men of UConn. We saw how much Drew Timme struggled against them for Gonzaga and got into foul trouble and fouled out. Omier will likely get into foul trouble in this one as UConn will keep attacking him with these big men, plus drives to the rim. The Hurricanes are doomed if he gets in foul trouble, and probably doomed even if he doesn't as it's just too tall a task to ask of him to try and hang in the paint with UConn. The Huskies are 28th in average height while the Hurricanes are 224th.
UConn is 15-0 SU & 14-1 ATS in non-conference games this season. Clearly, the Big East was better than it got credit for this season. The Huskies are only 5-point favorites here while Houston was an 8-point favorite over Miami. Again, KenPom has the Huskies as the better team than Houston, so comparing past lines there's value here with the favorite. Bet UConn in the Final 4 Saturday.
|04-01-23||Clippers v. Pelicans -2.5||Top||114-122||Win||100||12 h 58 m||Show|
20* Clippers/Pelicans NBA No-Brainer on New Orleans -2.5
The New Orleans Pelicans are 1.5 games out of 6th place in the West and only 2 games ahead of 11th place. They need these games like blood here down the stretch and are playing like it. The Pelicans are 6-1 SU & 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall with all six wins by double-digits and their lone loss coming on the 2nd of a back-to-back on the road at Golden State where they blew a 17-point halftime lead and ran out of gas.
Speaking of running out of gas, the Los Angeles Clippers will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 9th game in 15 days after losing 94-108 in Memphis last night. They will have nothing left in the tank for the Pelicans, who had yesterday off and will the fresher, more motivated team. The Clippers are also without Paul George and Marcus Morris and are likely to be without Eric Gordon, who left the Memphis game with a hip injury.
The Pelicans simply own the Clippers, going 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in the last three meetings despite playing all three of those games on the road and pulling off two blowouts in upset wins as underdogs by 21 points each in their two meetings this season. New Orleans is 40-17 ATS in the last 57 meetings, including 22-6 ATS in the last 28 home meetings. The Pelicans are 6-0 ATS in their last six games when playing on one days' rest. Bet the Pelicans Saturday.
|04-01-23||Florida Atlantic +2 v. San Diego State||Top||71-72||Win||100||128 h 35 m||Show|
20* FAU/San Diego State Final 4 No-Brainer on Florida Atlantic +2
I said going into the tournament that the FAU/Memphis winner would make a run to the Elite 8. That's how high I was on both teams. After backing Memphis in the Round of 64 against FAU, I have been on the Owls ever since. They were fortunate to steal victory from the jaws of defeat in the final seconds against Memphis, and they have been riding that momentum and confidence ever since.
FAU was in a tough spot not being the cinderella against Fairleigh Dickinson, but managed to handle their business in a 78-70 victory. They then came back and upset Tennessee 62-55, beating a Vols team that is very similar to this San Diego State squad. And they made all the clutch free throws they needed to to hold off Kansas State in a 79-76 victory in the Elite 8.
FAU comes out of Conference USA, which is the best mid-major conference in the country. That has been proven with C-USA teams going 17-1 SU in postseason tournaments this season. Charlotte won the CBI, North Texas and UAB will play in the NIT Championship Game, and now FAU is in the Final 4. The Owls have been more battle-tested than they get credit for playing in such a tough conference, and now with four consecutive wins in the NCAA Tournament to get here.
FAU has very few weaknesses. They rank 24th in adjusted offense and 29th in adjusted defense. They rank 25th in effective field goal percentage offense and 15th in effective field goal percentage defense. They have five players on the court at all times that can hit 3-pointers. Their four guard lineups are tough to tame, and versatile big man Vladislav Goldin (10.3 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.2 BPG, 62.7% FG's) is a matchup nightmare. They go nine deep and all seven guards shoot at least 32.3% from 3, and four of the top five shoot at least 36.6% from 3.
A lot has been made about San Diego State's 3-point defense, but they haven't faced a team that can shoot it like FAU and is as versatile. I think the Aztecs have been very lucky to catch teams on 'off' shooting nights to this point with three wins by 7 points or fewer. Creighton shot 2-of-17 (11.8%) from 3, Alabama shot 3-of-27 (11.1%), Furman shot 6-of-26 (23.1%) and Charleston shot 5-of-24 (20.8%). So the four teams they have faced have shot a combined 16-of-94 (17%) from 3 in this tournament. That's good defense, but it's also a lot of luck. I think their luck runs out against FAU.
Guard play wins in the tournament, and the Aztecs don't have the best guards. Matt Bradley has been lost the last couple games and shoots only 40.1% from the field on the season, Darrion Trammell has a lot of heart but is undersized and shoots just 36.1% and Lamont Butler shoots 41.8%. San Diego State is brutal on offense and goes on long scoring droughts, and one of those is going to be costly against FAU. San Diego State ranks 223rd in the country in effective field goal percentage on offense.
Florida Atlantic is 11-2 ATS in non-conference games this season. The Owls are 10-0 ATS following two consecutive non-conference games this season. The other three Mountain West teams all lost their first NCAA Tournament games and the MWC is now 4-13 SU & 4-13 ATS in their last 16 NCAA Tournament games. All four wins belong to SDSU this tournament. I'll gladly side with C-USA over MWC in this game as FAU is the better team in my opinion with fewer weaknesses and should not be the underdog. Bet Florida Atlantic Saturday.
|03-31-23||Spurs v. Warriors -15.5||Top||115-130||Loss||-110||20 h 58 m||Show|
20* NBA Friday Late-Night BAILOUT on Golden State Warriors -15.5
The Golden State Warriors finally flipped the switch to playoff mode and are a dangerous team right now. They have gone 4-1 in the last five games overall with their lone loss coming by 3 points. They are rested and ready to go coming in on two days' rest and motivated to avoid the play-in round of the playoffs. They will not take the San Antonio Spurs lightly as a result.
The Spurs are clearly tanking right now. They are 0-5 SU & 0-5 ATS in their last five games overall losing by 35 at New Orleans, by 36 at Milwaukee, by 12 at Washington, by 44 at Boston and by 11 at home to Utah. They have lost those five games by an average of 27.6 points per game, which is why I'm not scared to lay this big number with the Warriors.
The Spurs' injury report is laughable at this point with eight players on it. They will be without Zach Collins and Jeremy Sochan and are likely to rest Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell and Romeo Langford for injury management. The Warriors are fully healthy with the exception of Andrew Wiggins, who has been out for a couple months now.
San Antonio is 1-12 ATS when revenging a home loss by 10 points or more this season. The Spurs are 0-7 ATS following four consecutive losses by 10 points or more this season. The Warriors are 31-8 SU & 26-12-1 ATS at home this season. The Spurs are 7-23 ATS in their last 30 road games. The Warriors are 38-15-1 ATS in their last 54 home games. Bet the Warriors Friday.
|03-31-23||Kings -14.5 v. Blazers||Top||138-114||Win||100||20 h 57 m||Show|
20* NBA BLOWOUT GAME OF THE WEEK on Sacramento Kings -14.5
The Portland Trail Blazers are obviously tanking to close out the season for the 2nd consecutive season. The Blazers are resting their top four scorers in Lillard, Simons, Grant and Nurkic and playing a G League team right now. Their injury report is laughable with 10 players on it right now.
The Blazers are 1-10 SU & 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games overall. Seven of their last eight losses have come by 14 points or more and by an average of 21 points per game. That's why I'm willing to fade them here and lay this big number with the Sacramento Kings.
The Kings are fully healthy right now and should make easy work of the Blazers. They beat the Blazers by 40 on Wednesday and by 17 in their two most recent meetings. They play at a fast pace and lead the NBA in offensive efficiency, so that's another reason why I have no problem laying this big of a number. I just don't think the Blazers have the firepower to keep up missing all these players.
The Kings are 8-1 ATS in their last nine road games. Portland is 1-7 ATS in its last eight home games with seven losses by double-digits. The Blazers are 4-17-1 ATS in their last 22 games vs. a team with a winning record. Bet the Kings Friday.
|03-31-23||Lakers v. Wolves UNDER 232.5||123-111||Loss||-110||18 h 54 m||Show|
15* Lakers/Timberwolves NBA TV ANNIHILATOR on UNDER 232.5
The Los Angels Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves will be playing with playoff intensity as they are both trying to just get into the playoffs still. That means the defensive intensity will be there, and I like the UNDER as a result.
The Timberwolves have struggled offensively getting Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert to mesh together. They have scored just 99 points against the Warriors, 119 against the Kings and 100 against the Suns in their last three games. But they have been elite defensively, allowing 96 to the Warriors, 115 to the Kings and 107 to the Suns which are three of the best offensive teams in the NBA.
The Lakers have also stepped it up defensively of late allowing 118 or fewer points in 14 consecutive games. The UNDER is 8-5 in their last 13 games overall. With the way these teams are playing right now, this number is simply too high.
That's especially the case when you look at the recent head-to-head history. The UNDER is 6-0 in the last six meetings with combined scores of 228 or fewer points in all six and 213 or fewer in five of the six. Bet the UNDER in this game Friday.
|03-31-23||Raptors v. 76ers UNDER 225.5||110-117||Loss||-110||17 h 54 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Total DOMINATOR on Raptors/76ers UNDER 225.5
Two teams that play at a snail's pace square off tonight when the Toronto Raptors visit the Philadelphia 76ers. The Raptors rank 25th in pace while the 76ers rank 27th. This game will be played with great intensity defensively as both are trying to improve their playoff positioning.
This has been a low scoring series as the UNDER is 6-2 in the last eight meetings with 229 or fewer combined points in all eight meetings, including 212 or fewer in all six unders. In their two most recent meetings this season, the 76ers and Raptors combined for 205 and 202 points.
The UNDER is 5-0 in Raptors last five games overall. The UNDER is 5-1 in 76ers last six games overall. The UNDER is 7-0 in 76ers last seven games playing on one days' rest. The UNDER is 6-1 in 76ers last seven home games. Bet the UNDER in this game Friday.
|03-30-23||Pelicans +7 v. Nuggets||Top||107-88||Win||100||14 h 42 m||Show|
20* Pelicans/Nuggets TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on New Orleans +7
The New Orleans Pelicans are 1.5 games out of 6th place in the West and only 1.5 games ahead of 11th place. They need these games like blood here down the stretch and are playing like it. They Pelicans are 5-1 SU & 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall with all five wins by double-digits and their lone loss coming on the 2nd of a back-to-back on the road at Golden State where they blew a 17-point halftime lead and ran out of gas.
While the Pelicans are playing with a sense of urgency, the Denver Nuggets have plenty of margin for error. They have a 3.5-game lead over the Grizzlies for 1st place in the West with seven games left. They could decide to rest Nikola Jokic, who is very questionable with calf injury. Either way, I like the Pelicans to stay within this 7-point spread given all the motivation factors.
Willie Green is 14-2 ATS vs. terrible defensive team that allow 48% shooting or higher as the coach of New Orelans. Plays against home favorites (Denver) - following two or more consecutive home wins in March games are 30-8 (78.9%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Pelicans are 6-2 ATS in their last eight trips to Denver. Bet the Pelicans Thursday.
|03-29-23||Kings -13.5 v. Blazers||120-80||Win||100||10 h 49 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Night BLOWOUT on Sacramento Kings -13.5
The Portland Trail Blazers are obviously tanking to close out the season for the 2nd consecutive season. The Blazers are resting their top four scorers in Lillard, Simons, Grant and Nurkic. They are also expected to be without Reddish and Watford tonight, who are both listed as doubtful.
The Blazers are 1-9 SU & 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall. Six of their last seven losses have come by 14 points or more and by an average of 18.6 points per game. That's why I'm willing to face them here and lay this big number with the Sacramento Kings.
The Kings are fully healthy right now and should make easy work of the Blazers. They beat the Blazers by 17 in their most recent meeting. They play at a fast pace and lead the NBA in offensive efficiency, so that's another reason why I have no problem laying this big of a number. I just don't think the Blazers have the firepower to keep up missing six of their best players.
The Kings are 7-1 ATS in their last eight road games. Sacramento is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games following a loss. Portland is 1-6 ATS in its last seven home games with six losses by double-digits. The Blazers are 4-16-1 ATS in their last 21 games vs. a team with a winning record. Bet the Kings Wednesday.
|03-29-23||Wolves v. Suns UNDER 235.5||100-107||Win||100||10 h 49 m||Show|
15* Timberwolves/Suns ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on UNDER 235.5
The Minnesota Timberwolves have the twin towers back now in Gobert and Towns together. They struggled for much of the season offensively with these two healthy, but they were obviously much better defensively, and they play at a slower pace. They are still trying to figure out ways to make their offense work with these two on the floor at the same time.
The Phoenix Suns recently got De'Andre Ayton back from injury and are much better defensively with him on the floor. So both teams have their stud big men healthy right now, and there won't be a lot of easy buckets at the rim as a result. I think this total has been set too high tonight given all the circumstances.
Both the Timberwolves and Suns are battling right now to try to avoid the play-in round in the West, and to just make the playoffs. That means the defensive intensity will be there as this will feel like a playoff game, especially with it being broadcast on ESPN on National TV. The Timberwolves held the Warriors to 96 points and the Kings to 115 points in their last two games on the road, while the Suns held the 76ers to 105 and the Jazz to 103 in their last two games coming in.
Minnesota is 8-1 UNDER following three or more consecutive wins this season. Phoenix is 20-10 UNDER when revenging a loss this season. The UNDER is 6-2 in Timberwolves last eight games overall. The UNDER is 11-5 in the last 16 meetings in Phoenix. Bet the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|03-29-23||Lakers v. Bulls UNDER 227.5||Top||121-110||Loss||-110||8 h 49 m||Show|
20* NBA TOTAL OF THE WEEK on Lakers/Bulls UNDER 227.5
Familiarity favors defense and low scoring games. The Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls will be playing for the 2nd time in 4 days. The Bulls won the first meeting 118-108 for 226 combined points. That total was set at 224.5, and now this total is set at 227.5, a 3-point adjustment up that is unwarranted.
That first meeting was played at a snail's pace but both teams shot great with the Bulls shooting 54% and the Lakers shooting 50.7%, and it's unlikely they'll shoot that well again. The Lakers and Bulls have now combined for 226 or fewer points in each of their last four meetings.
The Bulls have been great defensively since trading for Patrick Beverly. He doesn't provide much offensively, but he makes them much better defensively. They are allowing just 105.7 points per game in their last six games. Both teams are fighting for their playoff lives right now, so the defensive intensity will be there. It was going to be there anyway with that first meeting being very chippy a couple nights ago.
The UNDER is 11-5-1 in Lakers last 17 games overall. The UNDER is 6-1 in Lakers last seven games following a double-digit home loss. The UNDER is 11-4 in Bulls last 15 home games. Bet the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|03-28-23||Pelicans +9.5 v. Warriors||Top||109-120||Loss||-115||22 h 3 m||Show|
20* Pelicans/Warriors TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on New Orleans +9.5
The New Orleans Pelicans came up clutch last season behind Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum just to get into the playoffs. They are coming up clutch again behind these two with their season on the line trying to make the playoffs again this year.
Indeed, the Pelicans have saved their best basketball for last, going 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall with all five wins by double-digits and by an average of 23.8 points per game. Yes, they will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back here, but that is mitigated by the fact that they got to rest their starters in the 4th quarter of a 124-90 blowout win in Portland.
The Pelicans will be plenty fresh tonight, and they'll have no problem getting up to face the defending champs, who they trail by just a 0.5 games in the standings. The Warriors have been overvalued all season, especially of late going 5-7 SU & 4-8 ATS in their last 12 games overall. That includes an upset home loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves as 6.5-point favorites last time out. Bet the Pelicans Tuesday.
|03-28-23||Utah Valley +2 v. UAB||Top||86-88||Push||0||117 h 56 m||Show|
20* Utah Valley/UAB NIT No-Brainer on Utah Valley +2
I've been riding Conference USA in the NIT and the NCAA Tournament, but I think it's time to fade the conference here and go against UAB. Not because I don't think the Blazers are good, I just think Utah Valley is better and the wrong team is favored here.
Utah Valley is 28-8 this season and should have won their conference tournament but lost by a single point to Southern Utah. They have taken out their frustration in the NIT thus far, winning at two of the toughest places to play in the country.
Utah Valley went into New Mexico and won 83-69 as 5.5-point dogs. They followed it up with an 81-69 win at Colorado as 4.5-point dogs. They finally got to play a home game and took advantage, topping Cincinnati 74-68 as 1.5-point favorites. That was previously the biggest game in program history, and now this will be the biggest game in program history in the semifinals.
One hidden factor here is that this will essentially feel like a home game for Utah Valley State being played in Las Vegas. Fans will be making the 5-hour trek to Las Vegas to support their team. Nobody from UAB is driving the 26 hours to Vegas. They may fly, but I can't see them having nearly the support that the Wolverines do.
The Wolverines are 22-5 ATS in their last 27 games overall. The Blazers are 7-15-1 ATS in their last 23 games following an ATS win. UAB had the much easier path to get here beating Southern Miss and Morehead State at home as well as a short-handed Vanderbilt team on the road. Utah Valley had three better wins than them and are more battle-tested. Bet Utah Valley Tuesday.
|03-28-23||Wisconsin v. North Texas -1||Top||54-56||Win||100||126 h 35 m||Show|
25* NIT GAME OF THE YEAR on North Texas -1
Conference USA was one of the best mid-major conferences in the country this season. C-USA is now 15-1 SU in all tournament games this season. Florida Atlantic, UAB and North Texas were all NCAA Tournament-worthy teams, and FAU is still playing in the Final 4 as of this writing. That easily could have been North Texas instead.
North Texas was dominant in its first two NIT games beating Alcorn State by 16 and Sam Houston State by 20. The Mean Green then went on the road and upset Oklahoma State by 6 as 4.5-point dogs. The Mean Green are now 14-2 SU & 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games overall.
Wisconsin benefited from a pretty easy path to get here. They beat Bradley and Liberty (by 4) at home before going on the road and upsetting Oregon 61-58. But Oregon was without three of its best players, and that line was steamed from Wisconsin +5 down to +1.5 after the news came out. Yet the Badgers were still life and death with the Ducks.
This will be Wisconsin's stiffest test yet, and the Big Ten only had one team remaining in the Sweet 16, and Michigan State lost to Kansas State to go to the Elite 8. Wisconsin is 1-9-2 ATS in its last 12 games following a win. The Badgers are 0-5-2 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS win. This is one of the biggest games in program history for the Mean Green, and not only are they the better team, but they simply want it more. Bet North Texas Tuesday.
|03-27-23||Mavs v. Pacers +1||Top||127-104||Loss||-110||9 h 56 m||Show|
20* NBA Non-Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Indiana Pacers +1
Note: I released this play before the news of Luka Doncic having his 16th technical rescinded, thus being able to play tonight. I would still make this a 20* play at the current line of Pacers +4. The Mavericks have been terrible with or without Doncic, and he will be on tired legs. I still think the Pacers win this game outright.
The Indiana Pacers are still fighting to stay alive for a play-in spot in the East. Five of their last six games have come against playoff teams and all on the road, and they managed to win two of them as 12-point dogs at Milwaukee and 9.5-point dogs at Toronto. Now the Pacers are back home here for just the 2nd time in their lats nine games.
The Pacers are 19-17 SU & 21-14-1 ATS at home this season and welcome the hapless Dallas Mavericks, who are falling apart at the seams. They just they lost four consecutive games including back-to-back losses to the Hornets as 15.5-point home favorites and 12.5-point road favorites.
Luka Doncic picked up his 16th technical foul yesterday against the Hornets and scored 40 points in the process. But now they won't have his scoring because he has been suspended for this game, terrible timing for the star player on a team that is currently on the outside looking in for the playoffs. I just don't trust this team at all right now as they are simply imploding.
Rick Carlisle has stuck it to his former team with the Pacers after he got fired by the Mavericks. The Pacers are 3-1 SU & 3-1 ATS in their last four meetings with Dallas. He would love nothing more than to deal them another blow to their playoff hopes. The Pacers had yesterday off, while the Mavericks will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 5th game in 8 days.
Dallas is 5-17 ATS in non-conference games this season. The Mavericks are 5-13 ATS as road favorites this season. Dallas is 7-23-1 ATS in its last 31 games vs. a team with a losing record. The Mavericks are 0-4 ATS in their last four games when playing on zero rest. Bet the Pacers Monday.
|03-26-23||Grizzlies v. Hawks OVER 243.5||123-119||Loss||-110||8 h 11 m||Show|
15* Grizzlies/Hawks NBA TV ANNIHILATOR on OVER 243.5
The Atlanta Hawks are a dead nuts OVER team right now. They have gone for 244 or more combined points in six of their last seven games overall, so this 243.5-point total isn't that high for them.
The Memphis Grizzlies are a dead nuts OVER team now that they have JA Morant back from suspension. In their two games since he returned, they combined for 255 points and 265 points in their two meetings with the Houston Rockets. Bet the OVER in this game Sunday.
|03-26-23||Wizards v. Raptors UNDER 220.5||104-114||Win||100||8 h 7 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday Total DOMINATOR on Wizards/Raptors UNDER 220.5
The Washington Wizards are going to be without two of their top three scorers in Bradley Beal (23.2 PPG) and Kyle Kuzma (21.2 PPG) today. They could be without 4th-leading scorer Monte Morris (10.2 PPG), who is questionable. They will struggle to score points today, and this game will be played at a snail's pace against the Toronto Raptors.
The Raptors rank 25th in pace this season while the Wizards rank 23rd. The Raptors also have injury concerns of their own with two of their top five scorers questionable in Gary Trent Jr (17.7 PPG) and Scottie Barnes (15.5 PPG). Both teams will have to rely on defense to try and win this game.
The UNDER is 15-7 in Wizards last 22 road games. The UNDER is 5-0 in Wizards last five Sunday games. The UNDER is 7-3 in Raptors last 10 Sunday games. Bet the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|03-26-23||Nets v. Magic -2||Top||106-119||Win||100||8 h 5 m||Show|
20* NBA Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Orlando Magic -2
The Brooklyn Nets will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 5th game in 8 days tonight. Three starters played at least 34 minutes last night in their upset win over the Miami Heat in Bridges, Dinwiddie and Claxton. They won't have much left in the tank tonight for Orlando, and this is now a bit of a letdown spot for them.
The Magic have been one of the most underrated teams in the NBA in the second half of the season. They have gone 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall which includes an upset road win over the Clippers, a 3-point loss at Phoenix, a 6-point loss at LA Lakers, a 10-point home win over the Wizards and a 5-point home win over the Knicks. Now they come in rested and ready to go after having the last two days off.
Plays on all teams where the line is +3 to -3 (Orlando) - revenging a same-season loss against an opponent that is coming off an upset win by 10 points or more as a road underdog are 32-10 (76.2%) ATS over the last five seasons. Brooklyn is getting too much respect off that upset win at Miami last night. Bet the Magic Sunday.
|03-26-23||Miami-FL v. Texas OVER 149||Top||88-81||Win||100||8 h 59 m||Show|
20* Miami/Texas Elite 8 No-Brainer on OVER 149
Two elite offensive teams square off tonight in the Elite 8 in Kansas City when the Miami Hurricanes take on the Texas Longhorns. You would be hard-pressed to find two teams with a better trio of guards in the country than these two.
Miami has put up 85 points on 48.6% shooting on Indiana and 89 points on 51.7% shooting against Houston in its last two games. That was the most points Houston allowed all season by 12 as their previous high was 77. Isaiah Wong (16.3 PPG), Jordan Miller (15.1 PPG) and Nijel Pack (13.8 PPG) are arguably the best trio of guards in the country.
Texas has put up 71 or more points in four consecutive games, including 76 against Kansas, 81 against Colgate and 83 against Xavier. Marcus Carr (15.8 PPG), Sir'Jabari Rice (12.9 PPG) and Tyrese Hunter (10.4 PPG) can match Miami score for score. And they may not have big man Dylan Disu, which would hurt them defensively because he is their best rim protector. Miami is a terrible defensive team and relies on outscoring opponents to win.
Texas is 18-3 OVER in its last 21 games against ACC opponents. The OVER is 14-6 in Longhorns last 20 NCAA Tournament games. Bet the OVER in this game Sunday.
|03-26-23||Mavs v. Hornets UNDER 231.5||104-110||Win||100||3 h 22 m||Show|
15* Mavs/Hornets NBA Early ANNIHILATOR on UNDER 231.5
Sunday UNDERS in these early start time games have been gold over the years. Teams aren't used playing this early in the day, and they seem to be sleep walking through the game. They don't look to push the tempo as much, either.
The Mavericks aren't a good defensive team right now, but their intensity on defense will be there as they are close to missing the playoffs. The Hornets have been a dead nuts UNDER team since losing La'Melo Ball to injury. Now they are likely to be without Terry Rozier, who is doubtful, and could be without Kelly Oubre Jr. who is questionable. That's their three best guards and without those three they will struggle to score.
The UNDER is 13-3 in Hornets last 16 games overall. They have gone for 230 or fewer combined points in 14 consecutive games, making for a 14-0 system backing the UNDER pertaining to this 231.5-point total. Enough said. Bet the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|03-25-23||Pelicans v. Clippers UNDER 225||Top||131-110||Loss||-110||15 h 39 m||Show|
20* Pelicans/Clippers NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on UNDER 225
The Los Angeles Clippers are now an UNDER team without second-leading scorer Paul George (23.8 PPG). They are having to slow it down and run their offense through Kawhi Leonard. Five of their last seven games have seen 221 or fewer combined points with the UNDER going 5-2 during this stretch.
The New Orleans Pelicans have been even more of an UNDER team without Zion Williamson. They are 13-3 UNDER in their last 16 games overall with 226 or fewer combined points in 13 of their last 18 games overall.
Both teams are fighting to make the playoffs here as the season comes to an end, so the defensive intensity will be there. And this has been an UNDER series of late. The UNDER is 4-0 in the last four meetings with 203, 206, 219 and 202 combined points. The UNDER is also 6-1 in the last seven meetings with 223 or fewer combined points in the six unders, and only 227 in the lone over.
The UNDER is 30-11 in Clippers last 41 home games. The UNDER is 5-0 in Pelicans last five road games. The Clippers are 7-0 UNDER in home games when playing against a team that wins 40-49% of their games this season. Bet the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|03-25-23||Connecticut -130 v. Gonzaga||Top||82-54||Win||100||44 h 9 m||Show|
25* NCAA Tournament GAME OF THE YEAR on UConn ML -130
The UConn Huskies are as good as anyone in the country at their best. They are loaded at guard with Hawkins (16.1 PPG), Newton (9.9 PPG, 4.7 APG, 4.3 RPG) and Jackson (6.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 4.5 APG) and especially in the post with the trio of Sanogo (17.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG), Karaban (9.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG) and Clingan (7.1 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.8 BPG).
The Huskies have virtually no weaknesses. That's why KenPom has them as the 3rd-best team in the country, and I agree with it. He only has Houston and Alabama ahead of them. UConn ranks 3rd in adjusted offense and 13th in adjusted defense.
The Huskies have been the most impressive team in the tournament to this point. They beat Iona by 24, St. Mary's by 15 and Arkansas by 23. That means they will still be very fresh for this game against Gonzaga because they didn't have to work too hard in the 2nd half against Arkansas Thursday night.
Gonzaga just survived against both TCU and UCLA to get here. They beat TCU by 3 and UCLA by 3. They also played the late game Thursday night, so they have even less rest than UConn heading into this one. I like backing the team that played the early game because they get the chance to watch their opponent after winning and get a head start on the scouting.
Gonzaga also benefited from TCU being without its best big man, and UCLA being without two starters in G Clark and F Bona. Drew Timme had huge games against both of those teams to lead the way, but things aren't going to come so easy against UConn. The Huskies rank 10th in effective field goal percentage defense, 14th in 2-point percentage and 25th in block percentage. They have three stud big men who can contain Timme.
UConn also ranks 2nd in the country in offensive rebound percentage, getting 38.9% of their own misses. Gonzaga is an elite offensive team but a terrible defensive team. The Bulldogs are 73rd in adjusted defense and 235th in effective field goal percentage allowed. The Huskies are going to own them on the boards and limit Timme, which is going to be key to them getting this win. I'll gladly side with the better defensive team in this matchup.
UConn is 13-1 ATS in none-conference games this season. Gonzaga is 1-7 ATS in road games when playing its 2nd game in 3 days this season. UConn is 12-2 SU & 11-3 ATS in its last 14 games overall and playing its best basketball of the season with all 12 wins coming by 6 points or more, and the two losses coming by a combined 5 points in road/neutral environments to Creighton and Marquette. The Huskies continue rolling right into the Final 4 with a win here. Bet UConn on the Money Line Saturday.
|03-25-23||Pacers +9.5 v. Hawks||130-143||Loss||-110||9 h 2 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Indiana Pacers +9.5
The Indiana Pacers are fighting for their playoff lives right now. They are in 11th place in the East and within 3 games of the Hawks, Raptors and Bulls for the final three spots. They continue to battle through injury and are getting healthy here for the stretch run, making them a dangerous team.
The Pacers just got Tyrese Haliburton back from injury last night and are still 8-7 SU & 9-6 ATS in their last 15 games overall. They did get blown out by 25 points, so that allowed them to rest starters in the 4th quarter to remain somewhat fresh for the Hawks tonight, a team they will be extra motivated to beat since it's one of the teams they are trailing.
Asking the Hawks to beat the Pacers by double-digits to beat us is asking too much. They are just 2-4 SU in their last six games overall with a 9-point home loss to Boston, a 21-point home loss to Minnesota, an 8-point road loss at San Antonio as a double-digit favorite and a 1-point loss at Minnesota. Top three scorers Trae Young, Dejounte Murray and De'Andre Hunter are all questionable to play for the Hawks tonight.
Indiana is 10-2 ATS after scoring 105 points or fewer this season. Atlanta is 10-26 ATS in its last 36 games following an ATS win. The Hawks are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games playing on two days' rest. Bet the Pacers Saturday.
|03-24-23||Suns v. Kings -3||127-135||Win||100||10 h 1 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Late-Night BAILOUT on Sacramento Kings -3
The Phoenix Suns are without two key starters in Kevin Durant and DeAndre Ayton right now. With all the talent they traded away to get Durant, they cannot afford to be without these two. That has shown up of late as the Suns are 1-5 SU & 0-6 ATS in their last six games overall.
Their lone win came at home against the Magic by 3 as 8-point favorites. They lost on the road to the Lakers by 11, the Warriors by 11 and the Thunder by 4. They also lost at home to the Bucks by 12 and the Kings by 9, so they have rarely even been competitive of late. It's too much on Devin Booker's shoulders and he can't carry the load.
The Kings should be more than 3-point home favorites tonight considering they are fully healthy and playing well. They also come in off consecutive losses and will be motivated for a victory, plus they come in on two days' rest. The Kings can inch closer to winning the division tonight, and it's going to be a tremendous atmosphere at home tonight as Sacramento fans absolutely love this team, especially when they are in contention.
The Kings are 10-1 ATS after failing to cover the spread in two or more consecutive games this season. They are outscoring opponents by 11.5 points per game in this spot. This one has blowout written all over it tonight. Bet the Kings Friday.
|03-24-23||Bulls -2 v. Blazers||Top||124-96||Win||100||10 h 1 m||Show|
20* NBA Friday No-Doubt Rout on Chicago Bulls -2
The Chicago Bulls are battling here down the stretch to try and make the playoffs. They are currently 10th in the East and in the final play-in spot. They have gone 5-2 SU & 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall with their only losses coming to the Kings and 76ers. They upset the 76ers as 8.5-point road dogs and upset the Nuggets as 9-point road dogs during this stretch.
Now the Bulls take on the hapless Portland Trail Blazers, who are simply going through the motions here down the stretch as they have been all but eliminated from the playoffs. The Blazers are 1-6 SU & 2-5 ATS in their last seven games overall with five losses by 14 points or more. They are without Simons and Grant right now and could be without Nurkic, leaving way too much on Damian Lillard's shoulders to handle.
The Blazers are 0-4 SU & 0-4 ATS in their last four home games losing by 11, 14, 15 and 16 points. They have zero home-court advantage right now as the fans have given up on this team this season. I'll gladly back the more motivated, healthier Bulls tonight. Bet the Bulls Friday.
|03-24-23||Xavier v. Texas -4||71-83||Win||100||54 h 18 m||Show|
15* Xavier/Texas Sweet 16 Late-Night BAILOUT on Texas -4
The Texas Longhorns are playing their best basketball of the season right now. They have won six consecutive games and are 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. That includes a pair of blowout wins over Kansas by 20 in the Big 12 Tournament and by 16 at home.
The Longhorns now go back to Kansas City for the Sweet 16, a familiar venue for them as they just won the Big 12 Tournament there by beating Oklahoma State by 14, TCU by 6 and Kansas by 20. They are now 5-1 SU & 5-1 ATS in their last six games in Kansas City, and their familiarity with the venue is a hidden advantage as it will feel like a home game for them.
Xavier is overvalued after an easy path to the Sweet 16. They needed a 13-point comeback in the final 12 minutes against Kennesaw State to win 72-67. Then they beat a Pittsburgh team 84-73 that arguably shouldn't have even been in the NCAA Tournament. This is a big step up in class for Xavier compared to what they have faced thus far, while Texas fended off a red hot Penn State team that was playing as well as anyone in the Big Ten down the stretch.
Texas has no weakness ranking 5th in KenPom at 15th in adjusted offense while 10th in adjusted defense. Xavier is an elite offensive team, but they struggle on the other end ranking 64th in adjusted defense. I always like backing the better defensive team in the NCAA Tournament given the choice. Dylan Disu will dominate the paint in this one. He is shooting 72.2% while averaging 17.8 points and 9 rebounds per game since the start of the Big 12 Tournament. The Musketeers have nobody inside that can match up with him, plus Texas has three elite guards which wins in the tournament as well. Bet Texas Friday.
|03-24-23||Pacers +12.5 v. Celtics||Top||95-120||Loss||-115||7 h 1 m||Show|
20* NBA Friday Undervalued Underdog on Indiana Pacers +12.5
The Indiana Pacers are fighting for their playoff lives right now. They are in 11th place in the East just 1.5 games behind the Bulls and 2 games behind the Raptors for the final two play-in spots. They continue to battle through injury and are getting healthy here for the stretch run, making them a dangerous team.
The Pacers are coming off a 118-114 win at Toronto as 9.5-point dogs without Tyrese Haliburton. There's a decent chance they get him back tonight, which would mean they are at full strength. But they have been a money maker even without him, going 8-6 SU & 9-5 ATS in their last 14 games overall.
The Boston Celtics are just 6-6 SU & 5-7 ATS in their last 12 games overall and getting way too much respect from oddsmakers tonight. This is a terrible spot for the Celtics as it's their first game back home following a six-game road trip. I always like fading teams in that first home game back from an extended road trip because there are a lot of distractions to deal with at home, and it tends to be a flat spot.
The Pacers are 2-2 SU & 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings with the Celtics with two outright wins as 9.5-point dogs, a 5-point loss as a 15-point dog and a 4-point loss in OT as a 7.5-point dog. It's safe to say the Pacers match up very well with the Celtics, and getting 12.5 points is too much tonight. Bet the Pacers Friday.