|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|11-02-18||Thunder v. Wizards -2.5||Top||134-111||Loss||-104||7 h 2 m||Show|
20* Thunder/Wizards ESPN No-Brainer on Washington -2.5
The Washington Wizards will be highly motivated for a victory Friday night. They sit at just 1-6 on the season and in need of a victory. They have played five of their first seven games on the road, and their two home games resulted in losses by a combined 5 points to Toronto and Miami.
But the Wizards are in a great situational spot here. They come in on two days’ rest having last played in Memphis on Tuesday. So they will be fresh and ready to go. I think we get the best effort of the season from the Wizards tonight because of it.
Conversely, this is an awful spot for the Oklahoma City Thunder. They Thunder will be playing the second of a back-to-back and their 3rd game in 4 days. They used a lot of energy erasing a double-digit deficit in the second half last night to beat the Bobcats 111-107. They won’t have much left in the tank come the second half in this one.
Home-court advantage has been huge in this series as the home team is 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings. The Wizards are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 home meetings with the Thunder. The Thunder are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400.
Plays on any team (Washington) - in non-conference games, off three or more consecutive road losses are 70-29 (70.7%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet the Wizards Friday.
|11-01-18||Pelicans v. Blazers -4||119-132||Win||100||11 h 35 m||Show|
15* Pelicans/Blazers TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on Portland -4
I love the situation for the Portland Trail Blazers tonight. They had yesterday off and will be highly motivated for revenge on the Pelicans after getting swept by them in the playoffs last year. Look for them to step up in a big way tonight and get a win and cover.
They catch the Pelicans in a great spot, too. New Orleans will be playing the second of a back-to-back and its 5th game in 7 days. And they are coming off a loss to the Warriors last night, so they won’t be nearly as motivated to play the Pelicans, a team they swept in the playoffs.
It’s almost always a good move to fade a team after they play the defending champs. But the Pelicans also have a ton of injury concerns right now with Elfrid Payton and Darius Miller questionable after sitting out last night, and Anthony Davis playing through injury last night. It’s no surprise that the Pelicans have lost three straight coming in by a combined 36 points due to their injury situation.
The Blazers are 8-1 ATS in their last nine Thursday games. Portland is 6-1 ATS in its last seven home games vs. a team with a losing road record. The Blazers are 21-7-1 ATS in their last 29 home games overall. Portland is 41-19-4 ATS in its last 64 games following a win. Roll with the Blazers Thursday.
|10-31-18||Pistons v. Nets -2||Top||119-120||Loss||-115||8 h 41 m||Show|
20* NBA Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Brooklyn Nets -2
The Pistons will be playing the second of a back-to-back tonight after a hard-fought 105-108 loss in Boston last night. I expect a poor showing from them tonight in Brooklyn against a Nets team that had yesterday off and will be highly motivated for a victory.
The Nets have lost three straight to fall to 2-5 this season. But they are better than their record. Three of their losses came by 2, 3 and 6 points at New Orleans, at Detroit and vs. Golden State, respectively. So they also want revenge from their 100-103 loss at Detroit as 6-point dogs in the opener.
The Pistons are overrated due to their 4-2 start this season. But their four wins came against the Nets, Bulls, 76ers, and Cavs with three of those at home. They have lost to the best team the’ve faced in the Celtics twice for their two defeats. And this Brooklyn team has already made me a lot of money and will continue to do so this season because they are way underrated.
The Pistons are 5-19 ATS in road games when the line is +3 to -3 over the last three seasons. Detroit is 1-6 ATS in its last seven after scoring 100 points or more in its previous game. Brooklyn is 12-4 ATS in the last 16 meetings, including 6-2 ATS in the last eight home meetings with the Pistons. Bet the Nets Wednesday.
|10-30-18||Clippers v. Thunder -1.5||Top||110-128||Win||100||8 h 56 m||Show|
20* NBA Tuesday No-Doubt Rout on Oklahoma City Thunder -1.5
The Oklahoma City Thunder should be highly motivated for a win tonight after a 1-4 start to the season. Getting them as only 2-point home favorites over the Clippers just shows how much they’ve been downgraded in everyone’s power rankings. This is the perfect ‘buy low’ opportunity on the Thunder.
It’s also a great ‘sell high’ spot for the Clippers. They are off to a 4-2 start this season and coming off back-to-back blowout victories over the Rockets and Wizards. I think they’ll fail to meet the lofty expectations they have now earned in the eyes of the oddsmakers tonight.
The Thunder also want revenge from a 92-108 road loss to the Clippers back on October 19th less than two weeks ago. But Russell Westbrook sat out that game due to injury, and that injury is a big reason for their early struggles. Westbrook is back healthy now and ready to help get this thing turned around in OKC.
The Thunder are 72-46 ATS in their last 118 games after having lost three of their last four games coming in. The home team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings. The favorite is 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings. The Clippers are 0-4 ATS in their last four trips to Oklahoma City.
Plays on favorites (OKC) - after a home game where both teams scored 100 or more points against an opponent that’s coming off a home blowout win by 20 points or more are 24-6 (80%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet the Thunder Tuesday.
|10-30-18||Pistons v. Celtics UNDER 210||105-108||Loss||-110||7 h 23 m||Show|
15* NBA Tuesday Total DOMINATOR on Pistons/Celtics UNDER 210
This is one of my favorite situations to bet an UNDER. The Celtics and Pistons just played each other in Detroit on October 27th. They combined for just 198 points in a 109-89 road win for Boston. And now this total has been set at 210 points for the rematch just a few days later, and I think there’s value with the UNDER.
The reason these situations are so good is because both teams are familiar with each other having just played. And both teams have had two days off since that game, so all they’ve been doing is preparing for each other in practice. And that certainly favors the defenses.
Boston is one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. The Celtics are holding opponents to just 96.3 points per game on 40.8% shooting. But they have yet to get their offense going, averaging just 101.5 points per game on 41.4% shooting. They will control this game playing at home.
The UNDER is 3-1-1 in the last five meetings with combined scores of 208 or fewer points in four of the five. Detroit is 14-3 UNDER in a road game where the total is 200 to 210 over the last two seasons. The UNDER is 55-23-3 in Pistons last 81 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game. The UNDER is 10-1 in Celtics last 11 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. The UNDER is 6-0 in Celtics last six home games.
Plays on the UNDER on home teams where the total is 200 to 210 (Boston) - after allowing 90 points or less against opponent after allowing 100 points or more in five straight games are 30-7 (81.1%) over the last five seasons. Take the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|10-29-18||Lakers v. Wolves UNDER 240.5||120-124||Loss||-105||7 h 19 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday Total DOMINATOR on Lakers/Timberwolves UNDER 240.5
This total has gotten out of hand tonight. I think there’s value backing the UNDER because of it. This total is inflated because the Lakers have their guys back from suspension. But they aren’t going to be this poor defensively all season because Lebron James simply won’t stand for it.
Andrew Wiggins has missed the last two games for the Timberwolves and is questionable to return from a quad injury tonight. And Minnesota isn’t getting much done on offense right now. They are averaging just 100.3 points per game in their last three games coming in.
The Lakers and Timberwolves have combined for 230 or fewer points at the end of regulation in each of the last eight meetings. That makes for an 8-0 system backing the UNDER pertaining to this 240.5-point total set. They have averaged 219.8 combined points per game in their last eight meetings, which is roughly 21 points less than this total.
Plays on the UNDER on all teams where the total is 220 or more in a game involving two bad teams who win 25% to 40% of their games are 58-24 (70.7%) since 1996. The UNDER is 6-1 in Timberwolves last seven games when playing on two days’ rest. Take the UNDER in this game Monday.
|10-29-18||Warriors v. Bulls +11.5||Top||149-124||Loss||-108||8 h 50 m||Show|
20* NBA Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Chicago Bulls +11.5
The Golden State Warriors are in a very tough early scheduling spot here. They will be playing the second of a back-to-back and their 6th game in 9 days tonight. Players aren’t as in shape early in the season as they are later in the year, so this tough early scheduling spots have more of an impact.
I don’t think we see a very good effort from the Warriors tonight as a result. Their four stars in Stepen Curry (36:16), Klay Thompson (33:35), Kevin Durant (39:08) and Draymond Green (36:19) all played big minutes against the Nets last night. Steve Kerr will surely limit their minutes tonight if possible, and that means more minutes for what is one of the worst benches in the league.
The Bulls had yesterday off and should be fresh and ready to go. They will be laying it all on the line with the defending champion Warriors coming to town. I know the Bulls have some injury issues right now, but that didn’t stop them from winning two of their last three games in upset fashion, including a 97-85 win in Atlanta as 5.5-point dogs on Saturday. Zach LaVine and Jabari Parker have really taken on bigger roles and are excelling in them.
Chicago is 12-3 ATS in home games off an upset win as an underdog over the last two seasons. The Warriors are 11-22 ATS off three or more consecutive wins over the last three years. The Bulls are 5-0 ATS in their last five games following a double-digit win. The home team is 23-8-1 ATS in the last 32 meetings.
Plays against road favorites of 10 or more points (Golden State) - playing on back-to-back days, in the first half of the season are 29-6 (82.9%) ATS since 1996. Plays against favorites of 10 or more points (Golden State) - a team that had a winning record last season, off four or more consecutive wins are 28-7 (80%) ATS since 1996. The Warriors are simply overvalued right now given the spot and situation. Bet the Bulls Monday.
|10-28-18||Warriors v. Nets +10.5||120-114||Win||100||6 h 1 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday PLAY OF THE DAY on Brooklyn Nets +10.5
The Nets should be a pretty big money maker this season. They have improved greatly each season in the three years under Kenny Atkinson and this year should be no different. They are one of the deepest teams in the NBA and have been stockpiling talent through the draft. I like what I’ve seen from this team thus far.
The Nets are just 2-3 but two of their losses came by a combined 5 points on the road to Detroit (100-103) and at previously unbeaten New Orleans (115-117). They have played four of their first five games on the road this season with their lone home game resulting in a win over the Knicks.
The Warriors are overvalued after covering three straight with blowout wins over the Suns, Wizards and Knicks. They will get some resistance from the Nets here. And I don’t think they will be ‘all in’ for this game knowing that they play a back-to-back with a road game at Chicago tomorrow.
The Nets are 6-2 ATS in their last eight meetings with the Warriors, including 3-0 ATS in the last three meetings. Brooklyn is 14-3 ATS vs. up-tempo teams who average 88 or more shots per game over the last three seasons. They are actually winning these games outright by 6.7 points per game on average. The Nets are 7-1 ATS in their last eight home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Plays against road favorites of 10 or more points (Golden State) - an explosive offensive team that scores 103 or more points per game against an opponent that’s off a loss by 6 points or less are 26-6 (81.2%) ATS since 1996. Bet the Nets Sunday.
|10-27-18||Lakers v. Spurs UNDER 230.5||106-110||Win||100||10 h 34 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Total DOMINATOR on Lakers/Spurs UNDER 230.5
I love this spot for an UNDER bet between the Lakers and Spurs. These teams just played on October 22nd five days again and it was a shootout. The Spurs won 143-142 in overtime in a game that was tied 128-128 after regulation.
So, with that big scoring output, the total has now been inflated. It was set at 226.5 for that game, and now it’s set four points higher at 230.5 in the rematch. I love taking the UNDER when teams play each other a second time in a close proximity because it’s almost always lower scoring the second time.
The biggest reason for this is that teams become familiar with one another. That favors defense a lot more than offense. Both teams know what one another like to do offensively, and they’ll be better prepared to stop it the second time around. I expect this to be more of a defensive battle than the oddsmakers are anticipating tonight.
Prior to that 256-point output at the end of regulation, the Lakers and Spurs had combined for 223 or fewer points at the end of regulation in each of their previous seven meetings. The Lakers are 10-1 UNDER in their last 11 games after allowing a shooting percentage of 50% or better in three straight games. Bet the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|10-27-18||Celtics -3.5 v. Pistons||109-89||Win||100||8 h 53 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Boston Celtics -3.5
The Detroit Pistons are getting too much respect from oddsmakers due to their 4-0 start to the season. Their four wins have come against soft competition in the Nets, Bulls, 76ers and Cavaliers with three of them at home. They won those four games by a combined 13 points, or by an average of 3.3 points per game.
Now they take a big step up in class here against the Boston Celtics. I think we are getting a short price on the Celtics because they are just 3-2 on the season thus far. I have no doubt they are one of the best teams in the NBA, and probably the best team in the Eastern Conference. Look for them to make easy work of the Pistons and hand them their first loss tonight.
The Celtics are 4-1 SU in their last five meetings with the Pistons. Better yet, the Celtics are 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in their last five meetings in Detroit. They won both road meetings last year by 12 and 10 points, respectively.
The Celtics are 41-17 ATS in their last 58 Saturday games. The Pistons are 1-5 ATS in their last six games following a win. The road team is 7-0 ATS in the last seven meetings. Boston is 14-3 ATS in its last 17 games off an upset win as an underdog. Roll with the Celtics Saturday.
|10-26-18||Nets +10 v. Pelicans||Top||115-117||Win||100||9 h 18 m||Show|
20* NBA Non-Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Brooklyn Nets +10
The Brooklyn Nets catching double-digits to the New Orleans Pelicans tonight is a nice value play. I think the Nets are underrated early in the season, while the Pelicans are starting to get too much love from oddsmakers.
The Pelicans have opened 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS this season. With that start comes expectations from oddsmakers that are very tough to live up to. No question the Pelicans are a playoff contender, but they can’t be laying double-digits consistently.
The Nets have improved dramatically over the past three seasons under head coach Kenny Atkinson. They are off to a 2-2 start this season and one of their losses was a 3-point loss at Detroit. The other was a blowout loss at Indiana. They have also beaten Cleveland on the road and New York at home thus far.
Plays against favorites (New Orleans) - team that had a winning record last season playing a team that had a losing season, off three or more consecutive wins are 27-8 (77.1%) ATS over the last five seasons.
The Nets are 8-0 ATS after allowing 90 points or less last game over the past three seasons. Brooklyn is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games following a SU win of more than 10 points. The road team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings. Take the Nets Friday.
|10-25-18||Celtics v. Thunder UNDER 216||Top||101-95||Win||100||10 h 48 m||Show|
20* Celtics/Thunder TNT No-Brainer on UNDER 216
Both the Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder are highly motivated for a victory tonight. Both are off to disappointing starts as the Celtics are just 2-2 and the Thunder are 0-3. I think we see a big effort from both teams defensively to try and get a win tonight, which favors the UNDER.
The Celtics are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA and have been since Brad Stevens took over. They are giving up just 98.5 points per game on 42.1% shooting through four games this season. They are averaging just 198.2 combined points per game with their opponents this year, which is roughly 18 points less than tonight’s posted total of 216.
The Thunder still have the same offensive issues they’ve had since Kevin Durant left. It’s too much one-on-one with Russell Westbrook and Paul George, and they simply lack 3-point shooters. They are scoring just 104.0 points per game on 39% shooting this season thus far through three games.
Both meetings between Boston and OKC went UNDER the total with ease last season. They combined for just 195 points in Oklahoma City with a 207.5-point total. They also combined for just 199 points in their meeting in Boston with a 208-point total.
The UNDER is 17-4 in Thunder last 21 games after allowing more than 125 points in their previous game. The UNDER is 10-4 in Thunder last 14 games when playing on three or more days’ rest. The UNDER is 6-0 in Thunder last six games following a double-digit home loss. The UNDER is 8-1 in Celtics last nine games when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game. The UNDER is 4-0 in Celtics last four games following a loss. Take the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|10-24-18||Wizards +9.5 v. Warriors||122-144||Loss||-102||11 h 17 m||Show|
15* Wizards/Warriors NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on Washington +9.5
The Washington Wizards are highly motivated for a victory after a 1-2 start to the season. Well, their two losses came by a combined 5 points to the Heat and Raptors, who of the better teams in the East. And their win was an impressive 125-124 (OT) road win at Portland. They seem to play up to their level of competition and have for years.
Now I think the Wizards have what it takes to go into Golden State and give the defending champion Warriors a run for their money. Especially now that they are going with the small ball lineup of Wall, Beal, Morris, Porter Jr. and Oubre Jr. that served them so well against the Blazers last time out. They can now match the small ball lineup of the Warriors.
Golden State has clearly been overvalued to open the season and continues to be here tonight. The Warriors are 1-3 ATS in their four games this season. They only beat OKC by 8 as 12-point home favorites without Russell Westbrook, they only won 124-123 at Utah as 2.5-point favorites and needed a huge comeback to win that game, and they lost 98-100 as 4.5-point road favorites at Denver.
The Wizards are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings with the Warriors while losing by more than 8 points only once. The Warriors are 8-21-1 ATS in their last 30 games following a SU win of more than 10 points. Roll with the Wizards Wednesday.
|10-24-18||Grizzlies v. Kings UNDER 219.5||92-97||Win||100||11 h 47 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Total DOMINATOR on Grizzlies/Kings UNDER 219.5
I think this total has been inflated due to the fact that the Kings have gone 4-0 to the over in their first four games. I think there’s now value with the UNDER because of it, especially since they’re up against the Grizzlies, one of the few teams in the NBA that still gets after it defensively.
The Grizzlies are holding opponents to 104.0 points per game through three games this season. They still have offensive issues of their own because they don’t have many go-to players outside Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, who have been stalwarts for this team for years. The Grizzlies are averaging just 102.0 points per game and shooting 40.2% from the floor.
A quick look at the recent series history between these teams and it’s easy to see there’s value with the UNDER. The UNDER is 6-2 in the last eight meetings. The Kings and Grizzlies have combined for 210 or fewer points in all eight meetings. They are averaging just 196.3 combined points per game in those eight meetings, which is roughly 23 points less than tonight’s posted total of 219.5.
The Grizzlies and Kings have failed to combine for 220 or more points in 19 of their last 21 meetings. That’s a 19-2 system backing the UNDER tonight, and an 8-0 system in the last eight meetings. Take the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|10-24-18||Pacers v. Spurs -2||Top||116-96||Loss||-105||9 h 17 m||Show|
20* NBA Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on San Antonio Spurs -2
The Spurs are getting no love to start the season. But they’re better than last year when they went 47-35 for the simple fact that Kawhi Leonard didn’t even play last year, and now they’ve replaced him with DeMar DeRozan, who is on a mission to prove his naysayers wrong.
The duo of LaMarcus Aldridge and DeRozan gives the Spurs some consistent offensive punch. Aldridge had 37 points and 10 rebounds, while DeRozan had 32 points and a career-high 14 assists to lead the Spurs to a 143-142 (OT) victory over Lebron James and the Lakers in Los Angeles last time out.
Indiana is 2-0 at home with wins over Memphis and Brooklyn, but 0-2 on the road with blowout losses to Milwaukee (101-118) and Minnesota (91-101). The Pacers are getting way too much respect from oddsmakers as only 2-point road underdogs to the Spurs tonight.
The Spurs are 17-4 SU in their last 21 home meetings with the Pacers. San Antonio is 11-2 ATS in its last 13 home games. Bet the Spurs Wednesday.
|10-23-18||Clippers v. Pelicans UNDER 239||109-116||Win||100||8 h 17 m||Show|
15* NBA Tuesday Total DOMINATOR on Clippers/Pelicans UNDER 239
This total has clearly been inflated tonight due to the Pelicans going over the total in their first two games of the season. They combined for 243 points with the Rockets in Game 1 and a whopping 278 points with the Kings in Game 2. Now the total has been set at 239 for this game against the Clippers, and it’s simply too high.
Patrick Beverly has dubbed the new Clippers “Clamp City” for their defensive prowess. Gone are the “Lob City” days of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan as all three are gone. And the Clippers now have to win with defense.
They did it in the preseason, giving up just 97 points per game, which was the best mark in the NBA. And they’ve been solid defensively thus far in the regular season, opening 2-1 while holding the Nuggets, Thunder and Rockets to an average of just 103.7 points per game and 40.6% shooting.
The Pelicans have shot the lights out of the ball thus far, hitting 56% as a team and 46.4% from 3-point range. That obviously won’t continue for the rest of the season, and I think the Clippers can hold them well below their outputs against the Rockets and Kings.
Plays on the UNDER on all teams where the total is 220 or higher (New Orleans) - off a home win by 10 points or more against an opponent that’s off a home win scoring 110 points or more are 25-6 (80.6%) over the last five seasons.
The UNDER is 4-1 in the last five meetings. The Pelicans and Clippers have combined to average 215.8 points per game in those five meetings. That’s roughly 23 points less than tonight’s posted total of 239. There’s clearly some value with the UNDER tonight. Take the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|10-22-18||Grizzlies v. Jazz UNDER 214.5||92-84||Win||100||8 h 14 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday PLAY OF THE DAY on Grizzlies/Jazz UNDER 214.5
I’ll take the UNDER in this game Monday night between the Utah Jazz and Memphis Grizzlies. I think it’s an inflated number based on both teams coming off high-scoring games. The Jazz combined for 247 points with the Warriors last time out, while the Grizzlies combined for 248 points with the Hawks.
But one look at the recent history between the Jazz and Grizzlies and it’s easy to see there’s value with the UNDER. These are two teams that value playing defense more than most teams in the NBA, and that hasn’t changed this season.
The Jazz and Grizzlies have combined for 204 or fewer points in 25 straight meetings. They’ve combined for 211 or less in 30 straight meetings. And with this total at 214.5 tonight, that’s a 30-0 system backing the UNDER. Take the UNDER in this game Monday.
|10-21-18||Rockets v. Clippers||112-115||Win||100||10 h 10 m||Show|
15* Rockets/Clippers NBA TV No-Brainer on Los Angeles PK
The Houston Rockets will be playing the second of a back-to-back today after a huge 124-115 road win over the Los Angeles Lakers last night. It’s almost certain they went out after the game for this Los Angeles double-header, which means they won’t be on their ‘A’ game today.
Plus you have to factor in that Chris Paul will likely get suspended from his scuffle with Rajon Rondo. And the Rockets weren’t nearly as good in games that Paul missed last season. It cost them a possible series win against the Warriors and a trip to the NBA Finals.
The Clippers should be 2-0, but they blew a big lead against the Nuggets in their opener. They responded with a 108-92 win over the Thunder on Friday before having Saturday off to rest and get ready for the Rockets. Patrick Beverly will be highly motivated to go up against his former team, and I expect him to guard James Harden a lot and make life difficult on him.
Los Angeles is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet the Clippers Sunday.
|10-20-18||Nets +8.5 v. Pacers||112-132||Loss||-107||8 h 14 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday PLAY OF THE DAY on Brooklyn Nets +8.5
The Brooklyn Nets are one of the deepest teams in the NBA. They won’t be phased by these back-to-back situations. And Indiana is also on a back-to-back off its 101-118 loss at Milwaukee last night.
I just think the Nets are catching too many points tonight. The won last night over the Knicks despite losing the turnover battle 22-3. And they only lost by 3 at Detroit in their opener 100-103. This will be a pesky team in the East capable of competing with anyone all season.
The Pacers are getting too much respect from the books here. They came out of nowhere to earn the 4th seed in the East last season and took the Cavs to the brink. I think they are overvalued early in the season because of last season.
The Nets are 36-17 ATS in their last 53 road games. Brooklyn is 4-1 ATS in its last five games when playing on no rest. The road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Roll with the Nets Saturday.
|10-19-18||Thunder v. Clippers UNDER 215.5||92-108||Win||100||16 h 1 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Total DOMINATOR on Thunder/Clippers UNDER 215.5
Patrick Beverly has nicknamed the new Clippers as “Clamp City”, replacing the old “Lob City” they were famous for when Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan led the team. It’s a fitting nickname because the Clippers now have to rely on defense to win games, which is certainly fine for the defensive-minded Doc Rivers.
The Clippers have some of the better defenders in the NBA at the guard positions in Avery Bradley and Beverly. They also added Luc Mbah a Moute in the offseason, and he’s known for being a defensive specialist. The Clippers were the best team in the NBA defensively in the preseason, holding opponents to just 97 points per game.
The Clippers easily went UNDER the 222.5-point total in their opener in a 98-107 home loss to the Nuggets for 205 combined points. And they should go UNDER easily again tonight against a Thunder team that should be without Russell Westbrook, who is doubtful with a knee injury. Westbrook missed the opener against the Warriors, which was a defensive battle which saw just 208 combined points, staying well UNDER the 220.5-point total.
Oklahoma City is 29-13 UNDER in its last 42 games as a road underdog. The UNDER is 7-2 in Thunder’s last nine road games. The UNDER is 6-2 in the last eight meetings in Los Angeles. Roll with the UNDER in this game Friday.
|10-19-18||Knicks v. Nets -3||105-107||Loss||-107||13 h 1 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday No-Doubt Rout on Brooklyn Nets -3
The Brooklyn Nets have made big strides the last few years under head coach Kenny Atkinson. I think they are going to be one of the most undervalued teams in the NBA this season. They certainly have one of the deepest teams in the NBA.
The Nets suffered a tough 100-103 road loss to the Pistons in their opener, but covered as 6-point underdogs. Now they play their home opener two nights later and should get a win over the New York Knicks.
The Knicks come into this game overvalued off their 126-107 home win over Hawks. But the Hawks are the worst team in the NBA this season in my opinion. And the Knicks have big injury concerns as they are without their best player in Kristaps Porzingis for the foreseeable future, and both Courtney Lee and Emmanuel Mudiay are questionable after missing the opener.
The home team is 9-4 ATS in the last 13 meetings. The Nets are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a SU loss. The Knicks are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games following a SU win of more than 10 points. Take the Nets Friday.
|10-18-18||Heat v. Wizards -5||113-112||Loss||-115||10 h 42 m||Show|
15* NBA Thursday No-Doubt Rout on Washington Wizards -5
The Miami Heat are a mess right now injury-wise. They are likely to be without Dion Waiters, Justise Winslow, Wayne Ellington and James Johnson, just as they were last night against the Magic. And they lost 101-104 to a bad Orlando team while shooting 39.2% from the floor.
Now they take a step up in class here and have to play the second of a back-to-back short-handed. I like the Wizards laying the small number at home here. This is a Wizards team that is one of the best in the Eastern Conference.
The Wizards return four starters this season in John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and Markieff Morris. And now they swap out Marcin Gortat for Dwight Howard and should be a better defensive and rebounding team because of it, which was their weakness last year. And their bench gets a nice boost with the addition of Austin Rivers from the Clippers and Jeff Green from the Cavs.
Plays against underdogs (Miami) - vs. division opponents, off an upset loss to a division rival as a favorite are 24-2 (92.3%) ATS over the last five seasons. Roll with the Wizards Thursday.
|10-17-18||Nuggets v. Clippers UNDER 226||Top||107-98||Win||100||11 h 4 m||Show|
20* Nuggets/Clippers NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on UNDER 226
Patrick Beverly has nicknamed the new clippers at “Clamp City”, replacing the old “Lob City” that was here when Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan led the team. It’s very fitting because these Clippers will have to rely on defense to win game.
They have some of the better defenders in the NBA at the guard positions in Beverly and Avery Bradley. They also added Luc Mbah a Moute who has already been known as a defensive specialist. And the Clippers were awesome defensively in the preseason, giving up just 97 points per game, which was the best mark in the league.
The Nuggets played a big portion of last season without their best defender in Paul Millsap due to injury. Well, he is the floor general on defense, and as long as he’s healthy they should be much better on that end of the court. And the Nuggets showed in the preseason that they can defend by holding opponents to 105 points per game.
A key injury here will also help the UNDER. The Nuggets made a good move to acquire Isaiah Thomas, who is notoriously one of the worst defenders in the NBA, but a great scorer. Well, Thomas is opening the season in street clothes due to a hip injury. Bet the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|10-17-18||Jazz v. Kings +9||123-117||Win||100||11 h 35 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Undervalued Underdog on Sacramento Kings +9
The Utah Jazz are getting way too much respect from oddsmakers coming into the 2018-19 season. They can’t be 9-point road favorites here against the Sacramento Kings, or anyone for that matter.
It all stems back to the Jazz winning 29 of their final 35 regular season games last year. But they were just a .500 team before that, yet they’re being treated more like the team that went 29-6 to close. I think it’s somewhere in between for this squad.
The Kings were a very young team last year in a 27-55 season. Dave Joerger now has a team that is a year older with players like De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield expected to take a leap forward this year. And they got what could turn out to be the best player in the draft in Marvin Bagley III to add some much-needed scoring punch as the forward position.
Sacramento has simply had Utah’s number. The Kings are 58-35 ATS in their last 93 meetings with the Jazz, including 17-8-2 ATS in the most recent 27 meetings. Sacramento is 13-3 ATS in its last 16 games when playing on three or more days’ rest. Roll with the Kings Wednesday.
|10-17-18||Wolves v. Spurs -2||108-112||Win||100||9 h 4 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on San Antonio Spurs -2
It’s another season, and yet the Spurs are once again opening the season undervalued. What do they have to do to get some respect? They have 21 straight winning seasons and have the second-highest winning percentage of any team in the four major professional sports during that span.
I know the Spurs lost some of their foundation pieces in Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli and Kawhi Leonard this offseason. But Leonard didn’t even play last year, Parker wasn’t effective, and Ginobli only showed flashes at times. It was time to get younger, and I’m not so sure the Spurs aren’t actually better off for it.
DeMar DeRozan was upset he was traded by Toronto initially because he wanted to be a Raptor for life. However, he has warmed up to San Antonio over time, and he has stated that he will take his revenge out on the rest of the league. DeRozan pairs with LaMarcus Aldridge to give the Spurs the scoring punch in the starting lineup that desperately missed last season. They went 3-2 in the preseason and outscored opponents by nearly 6 points per game.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are a mess right now. The Jimmy Butler trade demand has me really questioning their togetherness as a team right now. And it showed in the preseason as the Timberwolves went 1-4 while giving up 123.8 points per game and getting outscored by 15 points per game.
The Spurs are 23-12 ATS as a home favorite over the last two seasons. San Antonio is 36-9 SU in its last 45 home meetings with Minnesota. The Spurs are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 home games dating back to last season. Take the Spurs Wednesday.
|10-16-18||76ers v. Celtics -4.5||Top||87-105||Win||100||9 h 42 m||Show|
20* 76ers/Celtics 2018 NBA Season Opener on Boston -4.5
It’s amazing that the Celtics were able to make the Eastern Conference Finals last year after losing their two best players to season-ending injuries. Gordon Hayward was lost for the season after the first game, and Kyrie Irving missed the end of the regular season and playoffs with a knee injury.
Well, both Hayward and Irving are back to 100%, and the Celtics basically return everyone intact from a year ago. Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rosier all three grew up in a big way last year, and leaders Al Horford and Marcus Smart remain with the team. The Celtics are the clear favorites to win the East this season with Lebron James now in the Western Conference.
The 76ers are one of the top contenders to challenge Boston for East supremacy. I like their team and they return mostly intact as well. But they couldn’t beat Boston in the Eastern Conference Semifinals despite the absences of Irving and Hayward. They won’t be getting by them in Game 1 tonight or in the playoffs for that matter if the Celtics stay healthy.
The Celtics are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 home games. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. The Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last five home meetings with the 76ers. Bet the Celtics Tuesday.
|06-08-18||Warriors v. Cavs +4.5||Top||108-85||Loss||-104||9 h 21 m||Show|
20* Warriors/Cavs Game 4 No-Brainer on Cleveland +4.5
The Cleveland Cavaliers easily could be up 2-1 in this series. They blew the game late in Game 1 and Game 3. This is a repeat of last year when the Warriors jumped out 3-0, only for the Cavs to win Game 4 and avoid the sweep. I think that will be the case again here.
The Cavaliers still haven’t shot up to their potential in any of the three games, which makes it even more remarkable that they could easily be up 2-1 in this series. They shot 44.4% in Game 1, 41.1% in Game 2 and 43.5% in Game 3. I have to think they are primed for their best shooting performance of the season in Game 4.
Conversely, the Warriors have shot lights out at 51.1% in Game 1, 57.3% in Game 2 and 51.9% in Game 3. Look for the Cavaliers to make the proper adjustments to not allow so many easy layups and dunks that the Warriors have been getting. Lebron James called out his team for having too many mental errors after Game 3, and they should respond accordingly.
Golden State is 3-11 ATS off five or more consecutive wins this season. Cleveland is 8-1 SU In its last nine home playoff games. The Warriors are 8-18 ATS in their last 26 games following a win. Bet the Cavaliers in Game 4 Friday.
|06-06-18||Warriors v. Cavs +5||Top||110-102||Loss||-110||60 h 9 m||Show|
25* NBA Playoffs GAME OF THE YEAR on Cleveland Cavaliers +5
The Cavaliers won’t go down without a fight. Look for them to come out like gangbusters in Game 3, which always seems to happen with the home team when they were down 0-2 in a series. Cleveland will get the win and cover in Game 3 Wednesday night.
Cleveland showed well in Golden State. The Cavaliers should have won Game 1 but the calls did not go their way as they lost in overtime. They then kept it within 10 before getting blown out in the 4th quarter of Game 2. But it will be a different story at home tonight.
The Cavaliers are 8-1 at home in the playoffs. They have won eight straight since losing Game 1 to Indiana to open the playoffs. Their last four victories against the Celtics and Raptors have all come by 9 points or more. They are just way more comfortable in front of their home fans, especially their role players. They are 37-13 at home this season.
Golden State is 4-13 ATS off two or more consecutive home wins this season. The Warriors are 7-21-1 ATS in their last 29 games following a win by more than 10 points. The Cavaliers are 5-0 ATS in their last five home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600. Bet the Cavaliers in Game 3 Wednesday.
|06-03-18||Cavs +11.5 v. Warriors||Top||103-122||Loss||-109||12 h 33 m||Show|
20* Cavs/Warriors Game 2 No-Brainer on Cleveland +11.5
The Cleveland Cavaliers proved they could play with the Warriors in Game 1. They forced overtime and would have won if not for several missed calls by the officials down the stretch. Of course, a missed FT by George Hill and a bonehead play by JR Smith did not help.
The Cavs will come back even more motivated and confident in Game 2 tonight. And while the Cavs are now fully healthy with Kevin Love back, the Warriors are far from it.
Andre Iguodala is doubtful for Game 2 and his absence for this team thus far is not getting factored into the line like it should be. He is more important to the Warriors than he gets credit for. Also, Klay Thompson suffered a knee injury in Game 1 that had him really hobbled after the game. He is questionable to play in Game 2.
The Cavaliers are 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall. Cleveland is 4-0 ATS in its last four vs. Western Conference opponents. The Warriors are 6-18 ATS in their last 24 games following a win. Golden State is 0-4 ATS in its last four when playing on two days’ rest. Bet the Cavaliers in Game 2 Sunday.
|05-31-18||Cavs +13 v. Warriors||Top||114-124||Win||100||11 h 31 m||Show|
20* Cavs/Warriors ABC No-Brainer on Cleveland +13
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been hearing all week leading up to Game 1 of the NBA Finals how they are the biggest underdogs in NBA Finals history. They will be highly motivated to prove their doubters wrong in Game 1, just as they have been doing this entire season.
They’re already motivated enough due to the rivalry they have formed with the Warriors as this is their fourth straight year meeting in the NBA Finals. You know Lebron will be playing with a chip on his shoulder in this series, starting with Game 1 tonight as massive 13-point underdogs.
Kevin Love is questionable with a concussion, but the Cavaliers proved they could win Game 6 and Game 7 without him against the Celtics. The Warriors will be without Andre Iguodala due to a knee injury once again. All the numbers show how much better they are offensively AND defensively with Iguodala in the lineup. His absence continues to get overlooked.
Plays on underdogs (Cleveland) as a #4 seed in the playoffs, in the 1st game of a playoff series are 23-5 (82.1%) ATS since 1996. The Warriors are 1-6 ATS in their last seven vs. Eastern Conference opponents. Golden State is 6-17 ATS in its last 13 games following a win. Bet the Cavaliers in Game 1 Thursday.
|05-28-18||Warriors v. Rockets +6.5||Top||101-92||Loss||-103||11 h 2 m||Show|
20* Warriors/Rockets TNT No-Brainer on Houston +6.5
It’s pretty remarkable this shift in point spread compared to the other three games played in Houston thus far. The betting public is all over the Warriors in Game 7, which is evidenced by this adjustment. We’ll gladly take the value side and the Houston Rockets as 6.5-point home underdogs.
The Rockets were 2.5-point favorites for Game 1, 2-point favorites for Game 2, and 1-point favorites for Game 5, all at home. Now they are 6.5-point underdogs, which is basically a 7.5 to 9-point adjustment. I get the Chris Paul is a game-time decision, but he isn’t worth that much to the point spread.
The Warriors have injury issues of their own that are getting overlooked here. Andre Iguodala is doubtful with his knee injury after missing the last two games. And the Warriors have certainly missed him, especially defensively. Kevin Looney is also questionable with a toe injury, and he has been starting in Iguodala’s place. Paul at least has the questionable tag, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him gut it out.
The Warriors are 6-21-1 ATS in their last 28 games following a win by more than 10 points. Golden State is 4-13 ATS in its last 17 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600. The Warriors are 7-21-1 ATS in their last 29 games following an ATS win. The Rockets are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a loss. Houston is 5-1 ATS in its last six games following an ATS loss. Bet the Rockets in Game 7 Monday.
|05-27-18||Cavs v. Celtics UNDER 200||Top||87-79||Win||100||11 h 41 m||Show|
20* Cavs/Celtics ESPN No-Brainer on UNDER 200
Every game in Boston thus far has gone UNDER the total in this series. The Cavs and Celtics have combined for 191, 201 and 179 points in their three meetings in Boston for an average of 190.3 combined points per game.
Now we’re seeing a 200-point total for Game 7, and I believe there is a ton of value with the UNDER. This game will be played close to the vest, and refs will be swallowing their whistles trying to let the players decide the game.
Another key factor that points to the UNDER is that Cleveland’s second-best player in Kevin Love is going to be out with a concussion that he suffered in Game 6. That is going to force Cleveland to play a bigger lineup the majority of the game with more of Tristan Thompson. It will be more of a defensive lineup, and the Cavs will certainly miss Love’s floor spacing on offense.
Boston is 12-3 UNDER at home when the line is +3 to -3 over the last two seasons. The UNDER is 15-6 in Cavs last 21 games following an ATS win. The UNDER is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Boston. Bet the UNDER in Game 7 Sunday.
|05-26-18||Rockets v. Warriors OVER 212||Top||86-115||Loss||-106||14 h 10 m||Show|
20* Rockets/Warriors TNT Total DOMINATOR on OVER 212
This is by far the lowest total of the series. It opened at 225.5 for Game 1, and we’ve seen totals of 225, 226, 227.5 and 219.5 since. Sure, the under is 4-1 in this series, but now the value is with the OVER for Game 6 with a total of just 212 points.
I think the Rockets will get fatigued without Chris Paul, which will impact their defense more than anything. The Warriors should be able to hang a big number on them, but I’m not willing to lay the 12-point spread. So I think the better bet is with the OVER as the Rockets should be able to somewhat keep pace.
Both teams have shot awful the past two games, which is why we have seen such low-scoring affairs. I have to think that the two best offensive teams in the NBA won’t be held down for a 3rd straight game. Look for the Warriors to shoot 50% or better.
The Rockets have shot 39% or less three consecutive games, and that’s not likely to happen again. James Harden is in a 0-for-20 shooting slump from 3-point range. He won’t be held without a 3-pointer in Game 6, and he should have a huge game knowing he needs it with Paul out. Bet the OVER in Game 6 Saturday.
|05-25-18||Celtics v. Cavs -7||Top||99-109||Win||101||14 h 15 m||Show|
20* Celtics/Cavs ESPN No-Brainer on Cleveland -7
The home team is 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in this series. These games haven’t even been close as the home team has won by 9 or more points in all five meetings, and by an average of 18.0 points per game. This trend will continue here tonight.
The Cavs are 7-0 in their last seven playoff home games. Their role players are averaging way more points at home than on the road in the playoffs, especially in this series. Lebron James and company won’t go down without a fight as he tries to keep alive his 9th straight trip to the NBA Finals.
It has been night and day for the Celtics home and away in these playoffs. Boston hasn’t lost yet at home, but the Celtics are just 1-6 on the road in the postseason. Their lone win came in overtime against the 76ers. This young team just isn’t ready to win a big road game like this one in Game 6 tonight. Bet the Cavaliers Friday.
|05-24-18||Warriors v. Rockets +1||Top||94-98||Win||101||9 h 25 m||Show|
20* Warriors/Rockets TNT No-Brainer on Houston +1
The Houston Rockets earned a gutsy 95-92 win over Golden State in Game 4 to regain home-court advantage. They don’t want to give it right back. I look for them to follow it up with another home victory in Game 5 to take control of this series.
The Rockets showed in Game 4 that they can defend every bit as good as the Warriors when they put their minds to it. They held the Warriors to just 39.3% shooting and forced 16 turnovers. That effort gave them the belief they can beat the Warriors, which is half the battle. They should be oozing with confidence heading into Game 5, and they’ll feed off of their home crowd.
The Warriors have some injury concerns right now that have just popped up recently. Andre Iguodala missed Game 4 with a knee injury and is questionable. Klay Thompson also suffered a knee injury in Game 4 and wasn’t the same when he came back from the locker room. He will play tonight, but he won’t be very effective, putting a ton of pressure on Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry to pick up the slack.
The Rockets are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games when playing on one days’ rest. The Warriors are 5-16 ATS in their last 21 games when playing on one days’ rest. Golden State is 10-23 ATS in its last 33 games vs. a team with a winning record. The Rockets are now 4-3 against the Warriors this season. Bet the Rockets in Game 5 Thursday.
|05-23-18||Cavs v. Celtics +1||Top||83-96||Win||100||10 h 24 m||Show|
20* Cavs/Celtics ESPN No-Brainer on Boston +1
The Boston Celtics return home after a good effort in Game 4 in which they made the Cavaliers earn it. They still control this series due to having home-court advantage, and I like them to get a victory here in Game 5 tonight.
The Celtics have gone 9-0 at home in these playoffs and have won 10 in a row at home dating back to the regular season. They are 36-14 at home this year. They have one of the best home-court advantages in the NBA with rabid fans that don’t make it easy on the opposition.
Boston beat Cleveland 108-83 at home in Game 1 and 107-94 at home in Game 2. Lebron James is the only one that can be trusted to show up for the Cavs on the road. Their role players’ games have not traveled well, namely JR Smith, Kyle Korver and George Hill. They aren’t getting much production from anyone but James on the road in these playoffs.
The Celtics are 18-6 ATS in their last 24 home games. Boston is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 games following an ATS loss. The Cavs are 8-17 ATS in their last 25 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Boston is 23-6 ATS when revenging a loss this season, and 14-3 ATS when revenging a road loss. The Celtics are 10-1 ATS in home games when playing against a team that wins 60% to 70% of their games this season. The home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings. Bet the Celtics in Game 4 Wednesday.
|05-22-18||Rockets +9 v. Warriors||Top||95-92||Win||100||10 h 21 m||Show|
20* Rockets/Warriors TNT No-Brainer on Houston +9
The Houston Rockets got absolutely embarrassed in Game 3. They shot just 39.5% while committing 19 turnovers as a team. They’ll come back with a much better effort in Game 4 tonight to try and square this series at 2-2.
I like the fact that this line has climbed to +9 after being a 7.5-point spread in Game 3. This is just a result of public perception after Game 3. But the Rockets aren’t nearly as bad as they showed, and the Warriors aren’t as good as they showed. This is still a 3-3 series dating back to the start of the regular season and I view these teams as close to equals, so getting 9 points is too much.
There is a key injury for the Warriors that is getting overlooked as well. Andre Iguodala is doubtful with a knee injury. He is the most underrated player on this team, and he even won NBA Finals MVP a few years back. He does all the little things that go unnoticed. Not having him on defense will make the Warriors extremely vulnerable on switches. The Rockets will take advantage.
The Warriors are 1-10 ATS in Tuesday games this season. Golden State is 4-15 ATS in its last 19 games when playing on one days’ rest. Mike D’Antoni is 19-6 ATS in road games when playing six or less games in 14 days as the coach of Houston. Bet the Rockets Tuesday.
|05-21-18||Celtics v. Cavs -7||Top||102-111||Win||100||9 h 46 m||Show|
20* Celtics/Cavs ESPN No-Brainer on Cleveland -7
Cleveland improved to 6-1 at home in the playoffs this season with their 116-86 beat down of the Boston Celtics in Game 3. The Cavaliers have now won six in a row at home and still have work to do here in Game 4 to even this series.
The road struggles of the Boston Celtics also continued. The Celtics haven’t lost at home yet, but they’re just 1-5 on the road in the playoffs. Their only victory came in overtime against the 76ers. Four of their five losses have come by double-digits.
Cleveland’s role players have played much better at home in these playoffs. Kyle Korver, JR Smith and George Hill all had very good games against the Celtics in Game 3. They even got contributions from Larry Nance and Jordan Clarkson. They will play well again tonight at home in Game 4.
Plays against underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points (Boston) - revenging a road blowout loss by 20 points or more against an opponent that is off a home win scoring 110 points or more are 33-11 (75%) ATS over the last five seasons. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet the Cavaliers in Game 4 Monday.
|05-20-18||Rockets +8 v. Warriors||Top||85-126||Loss||-108||9 h 10 m||Show|
20* Rockets/Warriors TNT No-Brainer on Houston +8
The Houston Rockets have been the better team all season over Golden State. They won two of three meetings during the regular season, and they have been the better team for 3/4 of the first two games of this series. The only exception was the second half of Game 2, but I don’t expect them to play that poorly again the rest of the series.
The Rockets made some great adjustments in Game 2 both offensively and defensively. They put more shooters on the floor in Game 2, and they defended Golden State’s pick and rolls much more effectively. The end result was a 127-105 blowout victory in their favor.
The key advantage the Warriors have in this series is targeting Stephen Curry. They put Curry in numerous pick and rolls until he’s forced to switch on Harden, who keeps torching him time and time again. This also wears out Curry, who recently returned from an ankle injury. That’s why Curry has struggled so much on offense in these first two games. Kevin Durant is the only play for the Warriors who is getting his consistently, but he’s having to do so in one-on-one isolation stuff, which the Rockets will live with.
The Rockets are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game. Houston is 10-3 ATS In its last 13 games when playing on 3 or more days’ rest. The Warriors are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 home games. Bet the Rockets in Game 3 Sunday.
|05-19-18||Celtics v. Cavs -6.5||Top||86-116||Win||100||60 h 17 m||Show|
20* Celtics/Cavs ESPN No-Brainer on Cleveland -6.5
Lebron James has been in this situation before. He has come back to win a series down 2-0 twice in six tries. That’s pretty impressive, and he and his teammates won’t be lacking in confidence at all faced with this situation again.
Previously, most of those 0-2 deficits came against much better teams than these Boston Celtics. Give the Celtics credit, they have gotten the most out of their team. But I think reality is about to set in in Cleveland, starting with Game 3 here Saturday night.
Lebron has gotten zero help outside anyone not named Kevin Love in this series. But role players usually play better at home, and you can expect the Kyle Korvers, George Hills and JR Smiths of the world to play much better in Cleveland in Game 3. Almost all the role players played great in the sweep of Toronto, so they know they are capable.
Boston hasn’t lost at home in the playoffs, but this young team has struggled on the road. The Celtics are 1-4 SU & 1-4 ATS in road playoff games against the 76ers and Bucks. Their lone win came in overtime. This will be their toughest road test yet in Game 3 against a motivated Cavs squad. Cleveland is 5-1 at home in the playoffs. Bet the Cavaliers Saturday.
2018 Preakness Stakes Picks:
Win: No. 7 Justify (1/2)
Justify became the first horse since Apollo in 1982 to win the Kentucky Derby after not racing at a 2-year-old. He did so on a sloppy track and was easily the best horse. Forecasts are calling for rain all week at Pimlico, so he could get another muddy run.
But it won’t matter either way. Justify has won all four of his races as a 3-year-old in impressive fashion. He has won four races by a combined 21 lengths. He is going from the identical No. 7 post that he went from in the Kentucky Derby. He should have an easy path to stalk the leaders again.
Trainer Bob Baffert is big on this horse and stated that he could have raced again the next day after the Derby. Baffert will be going for a record-tying seventh Preakness victory. He is 5-0 previously when entering a Kentucky Derby winner into the Preakness. He won most recently with American Pharoah in 2015, which went on to win the Belmont and the Triple Crown. Justify is a clear Triple Crown candidate.
Place: No. 1 Quip (12/1)
If one horse is going to surprise and beat Justify, it’s going to be Quip. Trainer Rodolphe Brisset decided to bypass the Kentucky Derby for the Preakness because it’s the Triple Crown race that “fits him best,” according to Brisset.
Quip won the Tampa Bay Derby in March and was second in the Arkansas Derby to Kentucky Derby contender Magnum Moon last time out. He is a speed horse that likes to run close to the front, which makes his No. 1 post a non-issue. He will sprint out to the lead and try and make Justify and Good Magic uncomfortable behind him.
There’s certainly no guarantee Quip can beat the two favorites, but he will challenge them at the beginning of the race. And the fact that he was held out of the Derby for the Preakness means he’ll have the fresh legs that could help him stay near the front the entire race. He should find the board at solid 12/1 odds.
Show: No. 5 Good Magic (3/1)
I picked Good Magic (12/1) to finish 2nd in the Kentucky Derby and that’s precisely where he ended up. There were a lot of reasons to like this horse coming into the Derby, and many of those same reasons apply here.
Good Magic was a champion 2-year-old and has improved with each start. He got off to a disappointing start this season, but came back with an impressive win in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes. Underrated trainer Chad Brown won the Preakness with Cloud Computing last year. He is a Top 5 trainer nationally, has won 10 Breeders’ Cup races, and is an Eclipse Award winner as nation’s top trainer.
The son of Curlin, Good Magic has the pedigree to be a contender. Curlin won the Breeders’ Cup and the Dubai World Cup to become one of the all-time greats. He has already sired a Belmont and Preakness winner, and Exaggerator finished second in the Derby. Hard Spun, his damnsire, finished one spot ahead of Curlin in the Derby and two spots behind him in the Preakness. This is the type of pedigree you want to get behind.
Exacta Box: (7) Justify, (1) Quip, (5) Good Magic
Trifecta Box: (7) Justify, (1) Quip, (5) Good Magic, (8) Bravazo
Like the Kentucky Derby, I’m picking three horses for the exacta and four for the Trifecta. Adding that fourth horse in the Derby really paid off as Audible was my fourth choice and he came in 3rd, getting myself and my clients a big win on the Trifecta. I think No. 8 Bravazo is the most likely to crack the board if Justify, Quip or Good Magic falters.
|05-16-18||Warriors v. Rockets -1||Top||105-127||Win||100||9 h 8 m||Show|
25* NBA Western Conference Playoffs GAME OF THE YEAR on Houston Rockets -1
The Houston Rockets are in must-win mode in Game 2 tonight. They cannot afford to go back to Golden State down 0-2, or this series is over. So look for their best effort here tonight, which will be good enough to get a win.
The Rockets bogged down in the second half of Game 1. I expect them to make the proper adjustments. They committed too many turnovers, which led to easy layups on the other end for Golden State. Look for them to clean that up, and to get more movement from everyone else around James Harden and Chris Paul to make it more difficult on Golden State’s defense.
Plays on favorites (Houston) - revenging a loss by 10 points more against an opponent that’s off a road win are 117-69 (62.9%) ATS over the last five seasons.
Golden State is 8-20 ATS off three or more consecutive wins this season. The Warriors are 4-14 ATS in their last 18 games when playing on one days’ rest. Golden State is 6-19-1 ATS in its last 26 games following a win by more than 10 points. Bet the Rockets Wednesday.
|05-15-18||Cavs +1 v. Celtics||Top||94-107||Loss||-110||9 h 56 m||Show|
20* Cavs/Celtics ESPN No-Brainer on Cleveland +1
After getting embarrassed 83-108 in Game 1 Sunday, the Cleveland Cavaliers will respond in a big way here Tuesday night in Game 2. Look for them to win this game and grab home-court advantage for the series.
The Cavs shot just 36% as a team in Game 1, including a woeful 4-of-26 (15.4%) from 3-point range. They had been on fire from distance in the Toronto series, so it was an aberration. They were probably rusty after sweeping the Raptors and getting five days off in between games. The rust will be there no longer.
Plays on road teams where the line is +3 to -3 (Cleveland) - off a road loss by 10 points or more, a well-rested team playing 6 or less games in 14 days are 34-15 (69.4%) ATS over the last five seasons.
Cleveland is 51-27 ATS in its last 78 games when playing just its 2nd game in 7 days. The road team is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings. Cleveland is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 trips to Boston. Bet the Cavaliers in Game 2 Tuesday.
|05-14-18||Warriors v. Rockets -1||Top||119-106||Loss||-105||9 h 52 m||Show|
20* Warriors/Rockets TNT No-Brainer on Houston -1
The Houston Rockets built their team to compete with the Warriors. They executed it to perfection during the regular season as they snagged the No. 1 seed to earn home-court advantage, which gives them their best chance to dethrone the champs.
We got a taste of what the Rockets could do during the regular season against the Warriors. In fact, the Rockets won two of three meetings despite being underdogs in all three. They can certainly score with the Warriors, and their defense is vastly improved over a year ago with both Chris Paul and Clint Capela playing huge roles on that end.
While the Warriors have a tremendous starting five, their bench leaves a lot to be desired. There’s no question that the Rockets will have the advantage in this series when the starting five aren’t on the floor for the Warriors. And they typically only play 20 minutes per game or less together.
The Rockets are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games when playing on three or more days’ rest. Houston is 5-0 ATS in its last five after allowing 100 points or more in its previous game. Golden State is 8-21 ATS in its last 29 games vs. a team with a winning record. The Warriors are 4-12 ATS in their last 16 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Bet the Rockets Monday.
|05-13-18||Cavs -1.5 v. Celtics||Top||83-108||Loss||-113||7 h 45 m||Show|
20* Cavs/Celtics ABC Sunday ANNIHILATOR on Cleveland -1.5
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been a different team in these playoffs. Lebron James is playing like the MVP he is, and the role players like Kyle Korver, JR Smith and Kevin Love have really stepped up and knocked down open shot after open shot.
On paper, this is a complete mismatch. The Cavs are by far the superior team talent-wise. The 76ers were too last series, but the youth of Philadelphia really showed. Boston won the last five minutes of the first half and the 4th quarter almost every single game.
That won’t happen against the Cavaliers, who are a much more veteran squad and used to making it to the NBA Finals at this point. Brad Stevens has gotten the Celtics this far, and while I have a ton of respect for him, not even he can conjure up a game plan that’s going to be able to stop Lebron and company.
The Cavs are 10-1 ATS off a home blowout win by 20 points or more over the last two seasons. Cleveland is 51-26 ATS in its last 77 when playing only its 2nd game in 7 days.
Plays against home underdogs (Boston) - revenging a blowout loss by 20 points or more, when they’re off a close home win by 3 points or less are 34-8 (81%) ATS since 1996. Bet the Cavaliers Sunday.
|05-09-18||76ers v. Celtics +1||Top||112-114||Win||102||18 h 12 m||Show|
20* 76ers/Celtics TNT No-Brainer on Boston +1
The Boston Celtics took their foot off the gas in Game 4 after taking a 3-0 lead in this series. They won’t make that mistake playing at home in a close out contest in Game 5 tonight. Look for a big effort from the Celtics here.
The Celtics are a perfect 7-0 SU & 7-0 ATS in their last seven home games. That includes 6-0 SU & 6-0 ATS in the playoffs. They have one of the toughest atmospheres for an opponent in the league. These young 76ers haven’t handled it well, and the young Bucks didn’t handle it well last series, either.
The 76ers have just struggled offensively in these playoffs. They have school 43% or worse in six consecutive games now. They are lost on offense and are hoisting way too many contested 3-pointers. They can’t be trusted to slow it down and execute with their season on the line on the road tonight.
Boston is a perfect 10-0 ATS as a home underdog this season. It is not only winning these games, but winning them by 6.5 points per game on average. The Celtics are also a perfect 10-0 ATS when revenging a blowout loss by 10 points or more this season. Bet the Celtics Wednesday.
|05-08-18||Pelicans v. Warriors UNDER 228.5||Top||104-113||Win||100||11 h 41 m||Show|
25* NBA 2nd Round TOTAL OF THE YEAR on Pelicans/Warriors UNDER 228.5
The books have set the bar too high in Game 5 between the Pelicans and Warriors. This total of 228.5 is 5 points higher than Game 1’s total of 223. This despite the fact that the Warriors and Pelicans have combined for 224 or fewer points in three of the four games thus far.
The last two games have been the lowest-scoring yet, and this goes along with my theory that points are harder to come by as a series progresses. After combining for just 219 points in Game 3, they combined for only 210 in Game 4. I expect a similar output here in Game 5 now that these teams are so familiar with one another.
The UNDER is 8-3 in Pelicans last 11 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. The UNDER is 12-5 in Warriors’ last 17 games when playing on one days’ rest. The Warriors are 20-10 UNDER off a road win this season. New Orleans is 21-9 UNDER in road games off two or more consecutive unders over the last three seasons. Bet the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|05-07-18||Raptors +5.5 v. Cavs||Top||93-128||Loss||-105||9 h 21 m||Show|
20* Raptors/Cavs TNT No-Brainer on Toronto +5.5
The Cavaliers may be up 3-0 in this series, but two games were toss-ups decided by a combined 3 points. I don’t think there’s as much separation between these teams as this 3-0 lead would indicate. And I think there’s value with the Raptors as 5.5-point underdogs in Game 4 tonight because of it.
You look at the adjustments in the line from Game 1 until now and it’s easy to see that there’s value with the Raptors. They went from being 7-point home favorites in both Game 1 and Game 2 to 5.5-point underdogs in Game 4. That’s a 12.5-point adjustment and simply too much.
The Raptors know that not only their season and pride are on the line, but their future as well. Dwane Casey, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry could all have their jobs on the line with the Raptors. Another playoff failure against the Cavaliers and they might just blow it all up. So they won’t be going down without a fight in Game 4.
Toronto is 12-2 ATS in road games off two or more consecutive losses over the last three seasons. Cleveland is 11-30 ATS as a home favorite this season. The Cavaliers are 0-5 ATS in their last five home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Bet the Raptors Monday.
|05-06-18||Rockets v. Jazz +5.5||Top||100-87||Loss||-105||8 h 17 m||Show|
20* Rockets/Jazz TNT No-Brainer on Utah +5.5
The Utah Jazz will respond in a big way after getting embarrassed at home by the Houston Rockets 92-113 in Game 3. They shot just 41.7% from the field and it was over by halftime. They know their home fans deserve a better effort than that.
The Jazz could get Ricky Rubio back in the lineup from a hamstring injury. He has been upgraded to questionable and will likely be a game-time decision after missing the first three games in this series. They proved they could win without him with their 116-108 road win in Game 2 as 10.5-point underdogs, but of course they’d rather have him back.
Plays against road favorites (Houston) after having covered four of their last five against the spread, a top team (75% or better) playing a team with a winning record are 72-39 (64.9%) ATS since 1996.
The Jazz are 4-1 ATS in their last five games following a straight up loss by more than 10 points. The Jazz are 6-2 ATS in their last eight Sunday games. The Rockets are 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games. Mike D’Antoni is 11-23 ATS after leading their previous game by 15 or more points at the half as the coach of Houston. Bet the Jazz Sunday.
|05-05-18||Raptors +5 v. Cavs||Top||103-105||Win||100||10 h 52 m||Show|
20* Raptors/Cavs ABC No-Brainer on Toronto +5
The Toronto Raptors aren’t done yet. Most have written them off after losing the first two games of this series at home. But I strongly believe they still have some fight left in them for Game 3 to try and redeem themselves.
They let the Cavs off the hook in Game 1 by going 0-for-12 down the stretch. They never trailed one time in regulation and then lost in overtime. Then Kevin Love had his best game of the playoffs in Game 2, which came out of nowhere because he had been playing terrible. The Cavs shot 59.5% as a team in Game 2, which isn’t going to happen again.
Look for the Raptors to show some pride here in Game 3. They are a much better team than they’ve shown up to this point, and I still think they are better than the Cavs. They have only forced eight turnovers this entire series, and that’s unacceptable. Their defensive effort will be the best it has been in any game this series in Game 3 to try and make up for it.
Toronto is 11-2 ATS in road games off two or more consecutive losses over the last three seasons. Cleveland is 11-29 ATS as a home favorite this season. The Cavaliers are 16-38-1 ATS in their last 55 home games overall. Cleveland is 0-4 ATS in its last four home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Bet the Raptors Saturday.
My 2018 Kentucky Derby Picks:
Win: No. 11 Bolt d'Oro (8/1)
Price, performance and pedigree lead me to believe that Bolt d'Oro will be your 2018 Kentucky Derby winner. He has four wins in six starts, including a pair of Grade 1 victories. He placed a game second to Derby favorite Justify in the Santa Anita Derby.
Bolt d'Oro's sire, Medaglia d'Oro, delivered seven Grade 1 winners in 2017. His broodmare sire, A.P. Indy, won the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes in 1992. He has one of the top Beyer Speed Figures (103) in the field.
Bolt d'Oro finished the final three-eighths of a mile in the Santa Anita Derby in less than 38 seconds, showing that he has plenty left in the tank for the 1 1/4 mile Derby. If he gets in a duel with Justify again, I like his chances down the stretch.
Place: No. 6 Good Magic (12/1)
Good Magic was a champion 2-year old that has steadily improved with each start. I expect him to take another step forward in the Derby Saturday. After a disappointing seasonal debut, he came back with an impressive win in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes.
Good Magic has the perfect running style for the Derby. He is a stalker that likes to sit just off the pace, and that is the style that usually wins this race. He'll be able to follow Justify out of the 7th post and stalk him.
Underrated trainer Chad Brown has been oozing with confidence over this horse. Brown won the Preakness with Cloud Computing last year, and Practical Joke came in a solid fifth in the Kentucky Derby. Brown is a Top 5 trainer nationally, has won 10 Breeders' Cup races, and an Eclipse award as top trainer.
The son of Curlin, Good Magic has a great pedigree. Curlin finished a disappointing 3rd in the Derby, but went on to win the Breeders' Cup Classic and Dubai World Cup to become one of the all-time greats. He's already sired a Belmont and Preakness winner, and Exaggerator was second in the Derby. Good Magic's damsire, Hard Spun, finished one spot ahead of Curlin in the Derby and two spots behind him in the Preakness. The bloodline couldn't be much better for this horse.
Show: No. 7 Justify (3/1)
History and inexperience are the only reasons I am not picking Justify to win. No horse that failed to race as a 2-year old has won the Kentucky Derby since Apollo in 1882. That's an 0-for-61 stretch, and something that cannot be overlooked.
But what also can't be overlooked is how Justify has won all three of his races as a 3-year-old in impressive fashion. He has won the three by a combined 19 lengths. He finished strong in the Santa Anita Derby to hold off favorite Bolt d'Oro, which I believe to be the best horse in the field.
Another reason to like Justify's chances is the post draw. He drew the No. 7 post, and based on the racing styles of the horses closest to him, he's going to have an easy path to where he wants to get to. Justify is a stalker that prefers to be toward the front and then make his move around the final turn. He'll be able to move in right behind likely pacesetters Promises Fulfilled and Flameaway, who start from the 3rd and 4th posts, respectively.
Exacta Pick: 6, 7, 11 Exacta Box
Trifecta Pick:5, 6, 7, 11 Trifecta Box
Note: I'm throwing in No. 5 Audible in my Trifecta Box as I believe he's the 4th-best horse in the field and the most likely to hit the board if one of my top three picks falter. Feel free to use these four horses in a Superfecta Box as well.
|05-04-18||Rockets -4.5 v. Jazz||Top||113-92||Win||100||12 h 58 m||Show|
20* Rockets/Jazz ESPN No-Brainer on Houston -4.5
After a terrible performance in Game 2 with an upset loss to the Jazz as 10.5-point home favorites, I fully expect the Houston Rockets to come back highly motivated for a victory in Game 3. Look for them to bury the Jazz tonight.
The Rockets shot 40% from the field and 27% from 3-point range in Game 2. That’s not going to happen again. Meanwhile, the Jazz shot 51.8% from the field and 46.9% (15-of-32) from 3-point range in Game 2. That’s also unlikely to happen again.
It was a rare win for the Jazz in this series. The Rockets are now 5-1 SU & 5-1 ATS in their six meetings with the Jazz this season. All five wins came by 11 points or more as well.
Houston is 14-3 ATS in road games off two or more consecutive overs over the last two seasons. The Rockets are 4-0 ATS in their last four games after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game. Bet the Rockets Friday.
|05-03-18||Cavs v. Raptors -6.5||Top||128-110||Loss||-102||6 h 13 m||Show|
25* NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs GAME OF THE YEAR on Toronto Raptors -6.5
The Cleveland Cavaliers became just the 2nd team in the last 20 years to win a playoff game while not leading once during regulation. It was a complete fluke. The Raptors feel they let them off the hook, and they’ll come back highly motivated in Game 2 to square this series.
I think the Cavaliers feel they’re just happy for a split in Toronto and won’t be giving the kind of effort they did in Game 1. They weren’t as fatigued as I expected them to be, but they will start to feel it in the coming games after having to go 7 games to defeat the Pacers.
It was a rare home loss for the Raptors, who are 37-8 at home this season and outscoring opponents by 10.1 points per game. Cleveland is just 6-16 ATS off a road win this season. The Cavs are also 15-29 ATS after playing a road game this year.
Plays on any team (Toronto) - revenging a loss as a favorite against opponent that’s off a road win by 3 points or less are 52-24 (68.4%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Raptors are 7-1 ATS in their last eight home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Bet the Raptors in Game 2 Thursday.
|05-02-18||Jazz +11 v. Rockets||Top||116-108||Win||100||8 h 37 m||Show|
20* Jazz/Rockets TNT No-Brainer on Utah +11
The Utah Jazz know that if they are going to have any chance in this series, they are going to have to steal one in Houston. The Rockets have owned them this season, and I think they say enough is enough this game.
They lost by 14 in Game 1, but there’s reason to believe they can improve on that significantly. The Jazz shot just 31.8% from 3-point range and 59.1% from the free throw line while committing 18 turnovers. They should be able to improve on all three of those numbers, which will help them stay within 11 here.
The Rockets shot lights out in Game 1 from 3-point range. They made 17-of-32 (53.1%) of their attempts, which was the difference. They also shot 79.2% from the free throw line. It’s hard to envision the Rockets shooting that well from distance again in Game 2.
Mike D’Antoni is 1-10 ATS off three consecutive covers as a favorite as the coach of Houston. The Rockets are only winning by 2.0 points per game on average this spot. Houston is 1-9 ATS in home games off three consecutive covers as a favorite over the last two seasons. Bet the Jazz in Game 2 Wednesday.
|05-01-18||Pelicans +11 v. Warriors||116-121||Win||100||10 h 59 m||Show|
15* Pelicans/Warriors TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on New Orleans +11
The New Orleans Pelicans got embarrassed in Game 1 in a 101-123 loss at Golden State. The Warriors shot 48.4% for the game and 40.7% from the 3-point line, while the Pelicans shot just 43.7% for the game and 32% from 3-point range.
Look for the Pelicans to come back highly motivated for a win in Game 2. They know they are going to have to steal one in Golden State if they want to make this a series. And this would be the time to do it with Stephen Curry returning for the Warriors. They are getting too much respect for his return, but he won’t be sharp as he hasn’t played since late March.
The Pelicans are 9-1 SU & 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall. It was probably a good thing that they took a humbling defeat in Game 1 to refocus, because they were probably getting overconfident after their 9-game winning streak and sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round.
The Warriors are 8-25 in their last 33 games after attempting 20 or more free throws than their opponent. The Warriors shot 32 while the Pelicans shot just 11 in Game 1. There won’t be that big of a gap in Game 2. Golden State is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games following an ATS win. Take the Pelicans in Game 2 Tuesday.
|05-01-18||Cavs v. Raptors -6.5||Top||113-112||Loss||-108||7 h 46 m||Show|
20* Cavs/Raptors TNT No-Brainer on Toronto -6.5
Cleveland needed a super-human performance from Lebron James just to get by the Indiana Pacers in seven games. He averaged over 45 points per game in their four wins, yet they won those games by just 3, 4, 3 and 4 points. It’s a sign of things to come for the Cavaliers in this series.
Toronto is the most complete team in the Eastern Conference, and that showed in the regular season. They go 10-plus deep and have been much better this season with a change in philosophy. They are looking to push the tempo more and shoot more 3-pointers. They average 111.5 points per game this season.
The Raptors are 37-7 at home this season. They are outscoring opponents by 10.4 points per game on their home floor. It will be a raucous atmosphere tonight in Toronto. The Cavs are tired as they just had to play on Sunday and only get one day to get ready for Toronto. Lebron admitted he was extremely tired in his press conference after the game Sunday. The Raptors, who have had three days off in between games, will be the fresher, more motivated team in Game 1.
Plays against underdogs (Cleveland) - as the No. 4 seed in the playoffs, in the 1st game of a playoff series are 22-4 (84.6%) ATS since 1996. The Cavaliers are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games overall. The Raptors are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six home games. The home team is 3-0-1 ATS in the last four meetings. Bet the Raptors in Game 1 Tuesday.
|04-30-18||76ers -3.5 v. Celtics||Top||101-117||Loss||-115||7 h 12 m||Show|
20* 76ers/Celtics TNT No-Brainer on Philadelphia -3.5
The Philadelphia 76ers are rested and ready to go following an impressive 4-1 win over Miami in the opening round. They won three of the four games by double-digits. They haven’t played since April 24th and will be the fresher team here.
The same cannot be said for the Celtics, who were pushed to the brink of elimination. They needed to win Game 7 against the Bucks just to advance. And they played Game 7 on Saturday, so they have only had one day to get rested and ready for the 76ers.
That’s not enough given the current state of the Celtics. Injuries have taken their toll all season, and another one popped up in Game 7. Jaylen Brown suffered a hamstring injury that forced him to leave the game. Now Brown is doubtful for Game 1 Monday.
The 76ers are 27-12 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points this season. Philadelphia is 6-1 ATS in its last seven road games. The road team is 8-3 ATS in the last 11 meetings. The 76ers are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings in Boston. Bet the 76ers in Game 1 Monday.
|04-29-18||Pacers v. Cavs UNDER 200||Top||101-105||Loss||-115||2 h 52 m||Show|
20* Pacers/Cavs Game 7 No-Brainer on UNDER 200
The UNDER is 5-1 in the six games in this series thus far. The lone exception was Game 6 as Indiana shot lights out and they combined for 208 points. The Pacers shot 56.3% from the field and 15-of-30 from 3-point range. That’s not going to happen again.
The other five games saw 178, 197, 182, 204 and 193 combined points. Now we have a 200-point total for Game 7 with everything on the line. Defensive intensity will be at an all-time high, and this game will slow down to a snail’s pace. That’s why I really like the UNDER in this Game 7 today.
Indiana is 12-1 UNDER after scoring 120 points or more this season. The UNDER is 8-1-1 in Pacers last 10 vs. a team with a winning record. The UNDER is 35-16-1 in Pacers last 52 games overall. The UNDER is 4-0 in Cavs last four home games. The UNDER is 7-1-1 in the last nine meetings, including 3-0-1 in the last four meetings in Cleveland. Bet the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|04-28-18||Bucks v. Celtics UNDER 195.5||Top||96-112||Loss||-105||13 h 43 m||Show|
20* Bucks/Celtics TNT No-Brainer on UNDER 195.5
As this series has progressed and these teams have gotten more familiar with one another, points have been harder and harder to come by. The tempo has also slowed down dramatically. That won’t change in this decisive Game 7 with everything on the line.
Boston beat Milwaukee 92-87 for 179 combined points in Game 5. Milwaukee returned the favor with a 97-86 home victory in Game 6 and only 183 combined points. Now we have a total set of 195.5 for Game 7, which is much higher than those two results. I think there’s a ton of value with the UNDER in this game tonight.
I think it’s no coincidence that these last two games have been so low scoring with the return of Marcus Smart from injury. He is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, and he also tends to hold the ball on offense. Bet the UNDER in Game 7 Saturday.
|04-27-18||Thunder v. Jazz UNDER 207.5||91-96||Win||100||11 h 17 m||Show|
15* Thunder/Jazz ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on UNDER 207.5
As a series goes on and teams become more familiar with one another, points become harder to come by. I expect that to be the case in this all-important Game 6 here tonight. Both teams will struggle to even reach 100 points in this one with what’s at stake.
The UNDER is now 6-3 in the nine meetings between the Thunder and Jazz this season. They have averaged just 200.1 combined points per game in those nine meetings. So we’re getting at least 7 points of value with the UNDER based on their head-to-head season averages.
And it’s worth noting that in Game 5 Rudy Gobert got in foul trouble and missed most of the second half. The Thunder were stuck on 46 points with 8:00 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, but finished with a fully and a 107-99 win. That was almost all due to Gobert’s absence. Look for him to be smarter about staying out of foul trouble and to play his normal minutes in this one, which will certainly help the UNDER since he’s arguably the most important defender in the league.
Oklahoma City is 17-5 UNDER as a road underdog of 6.5 to 12 points over the last three seasons. The Thunder are 9-1 UNDER after trailing in their previous game by 15 or more points at the half over the last two years. The UNDER is 15-6 in the last 21 meetings, including 8-2 in the last 10 meetings in Utah. Take the UNDER in Game 6 Friday.
|04-27-18||Raptors v. Wizards UNDER 214.5||Top||102-92||Win||100||8 h 47 m||Show|
25* NBA 1st Round TOTAL OF THE YEAR on Raptors/Wizards UNDER 214.5
After going over the total in each of the first three games in this series, the Raptors and Wizards have gone under the total in the last two. This goes right along with my theory that the more familiar teams become with one another, the harder it is to score points.
That has been the case in Games 4 and 5 of this series. They combined for 204 points in Game 4 and 206 points in Game 5. Now they have the total set at 214.5 for Game 6, which is still higher than the 213.5-point total they had for Games 1 and 2. So I think there’s a ton of value with the UNDER in Game 6 tonight.
Toronto is 15-5 UNDER in April road games over the last three seasons. Washington is 15-7 UNDER off two or more consecutive unders this season. The UNDER is 10-4 in Wizards last 14 games when playing on one days’ rest. Bet the UNDER in Game 6 Friday.
|04-26-18||Celtics v. Bucks -4||Top||86-97||Win||100||10 h 20 m||Show|
20* Celtics/Bucks TNT No-Brainer on Milwaukee -4
I think the fact that the Celtics have gone 4-1 ATS thus far in this series has them overvalued. But they barely covered in three of the four games where they were victorious against the spread. I think the value is now with the Bucks at home as only 4-point favorites in this matchup.
The Bucks are in a must-win situation here trying to force a Game 7. It’s safe to say that they will be laying it all on the line tonight. They have played very well in their two home games in this series. They won Game 3 116-92 and then led 51-35 at halftime of Game 4 before the Celtics came out of nowhere to score 67 points in the second half. That’s unlikely to happen again.
It’s also unlikely that the Bucks are going to shoot as poorly as they did in Game 5. They shot just 36.8% in that contest, yet still only lost 87-92 as 4.5-point underdogs. They had shot 59.7%, 57% and 52.1% in their three previous games and should get back to torching this undersized Celtics’ defense.
Home-court advantage has been huge in this series as the home team is 5-0 SU & 4-1 ATS in the five games thus far. That trend continues here as Milwaukee forces a Game 7. Bet the Bucks Thursday.
|04-25-18||Jazz v. Thunder -3.5||Top||99-107||Win||100||10 h 36 m||Show|
25* NBA 1st Round GAME OF THE YEAR on Oklahoma City Thunder -3.5
With their season on the line tonight, the Oklahoma City Thunder should respond in a big way at home in Game 5. Look for them to easily cover this generous 3.5-point spread as they are now clearly undervalued after losing the last three games to the Jazz.
The Thunder are 15-1 SU in their last 16 home meetings with the Jazz. They have won these games by an average of 13.1 points per game. This is certainly a trend I want to get behind tonight given the circumstances.
The home team is 21-9 ATS in the last 30 meetings. The Jazz are 4-11-1 ATS in their last 16 trips to Oklahoma City. Bet the Thunder in Game 5 Wednesday.
|04-25-18||Wizards v. Raptors -7||98-108||Win||100||7 h 6 m||Show|
15* Wizards/Raptors NBA TV No-Brainer on Toronto -7
After losing both games in Washington, the Toronto Raptors will come back highly motivated for a victory in Game 5 tonight at home. They want to prove their naysayers wrong that this is a different team and one ready to make the NBA Finals.
The Raptors are 36-7 at home this season and outscoring opponents by 10.4 points per game. Home-court advantage has been huge in this series as the home team is 6-1 SU & 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings with the only exception being a 102-95 Toronto win in Washington in their final regular season meeting this year.
Toronto is 13-3 ATS off two or more consecutive road losses over the last three seasons. The Wizards are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 road games. The Raptors are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five home games. Take the Raptors in Game 5 Wednesday.
|04-24-18||Heat +10.5 v. 76ers||Top||91-104||Loss||-105||10 h 37 m||Show|
20* Heat/76ers TNT No-Brainer on Miami +10.5
The Miami Heat let a golden opportunity slip by in Game 4 as they were trying to tie this series. They shot just 13-of-25 (52%) from the free throw line, which was the difference in their 102-106 loss. They know they can play with this team, and they will be laying it all on the line in Game 5 to keep their season alive.
Miami is 16-4 ATS as a road underdog of 6.5 to 12 points over the last two seasons. The Heat are 8-1 ATS in road games after having lost four or five of their last six games this season. Miami is 11-3 ATS off two or more consecutive losses this season. The Heat are 22-7 ATS off two or more consecutive ATS losses over the last two years.
Plays on underdogs of 10 or more points (Miami) - poor foul drawing team attempting 21 or fewer free throws per game, when playing on Tuesday nights are 49-19 (72.1%) ATS since 1996. Miami is 19-9-2 ATS in its last 30 road games. Bet the Heat in Game 5 Tuesday.
|04-23-18||Rockets v. Wolves +6||Top||119-100||Loss||-103||8 h 2 m||Show|
20* Rockets/Timberwolves TNT No-Brainer on Minnesota +6
I’ve rode Minnesota in every game this series and I’m going to continue to do so tonight. I came into the playoffs believing that the Timberwolves were the most underrated 8th seed of all-time, and the Rockets were overrated for what they did in the regular season. And so far that has panned out.
The Timberwolves have gone toe-to-toe with the Rockets, only getting outscored by 7 points total in their first three games despite playing two of the first three in Houston. This is simply a different team with a healthy Jimmy Butler, and an 8th seed that no No. 1 seed would ever want to have to face.
The Timberwolves responded in a big way with a 121-105 victory in Game 3. They have rabid home fans who have been starving for a playoff game for more than a decade. It will be another raucous atmosphere tonight in Minneapolis as the Timberwolves likely square this series 2-2, though we’ll take the 6 points for some added insurance.
The Rockets are 1-8 ATS in their last nine vs. Western Conference opponents. Houston is 0-5 ATS in its last five road games. Minnesota is 6-1 ATS in its last six games overall. Bet the Timberwolves in Game 4 Monday.
|04-22-18||Cavs +1 v. Pacers||Top||104-100||Win||100||31 h 37 m||Show|
20* Cavs/Pacers TNT No-Brainer on Cleveland +1
After choking away a huge lead in the 2nd half of Game 3, the Cleveland Cavaliers will come back with a chip on their shoulder in Game 4. This is a must-win game for them and I expect them to respond as so.
I trust Lebron James in this situation more than any other player in the NBA. Of course, he will have to get some help from his teammates, which has been lacking thus far in the series. Look for the role players to step up and follow his lead.
Indiana is a young team that’s not ready for the spotlight just yet. They have answered the bell in the first three games, but now the pressure intensifies. I don’t trust them in this situation.
Plays against all teams where the line is +3 to -3 (Indiana) - off a close win by 3 points or less against opponent that’s off a loss by 6 points or less are 45-21 (68.2%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet the Cavaliers in Game 4 Sunday.
|04-22-18||Celtics v. Bucks -4.5||102-104||Loss||-108||23 h 6 m||Show|
15* Celtics/Bucks ABC Early ANNIHILATOR on Milwaukee -4.5
The Milwaukee Bucks are clearly the more talented team right now due to all of the injuries for Boston. That talent shined through in Game 3, and it will once again in Game 4 today.
The Celtics simply wanted it more in the first two games in this series. It also helped that they shot nearly 60% in Game 2. But as this series goes on, I think their deficiencies will start to show as there is more than a crack or two in their foundation.
I like the resiliency the Bucks showed in Game 3 with their 116-92 blowout victory. They will come out like gangbusters once again in Game 4 with their backs still against the wall here down in this series. And I think this 4.5-point spread is very generous given that they are the better team right now and playing at home.
Plays against underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points (Boston) - revenging a blowout road loss by 20 points or more against opponent off a home win scoring 110 or more points are 33-10 (76.7%) ATS over the last five seasons. The home team is 5-0 SU & 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Take the Bucks in Game 4 Sunday.
|04-21-18||Thunder v. Jazz UNDER 207||102-115||Loss||-105||57 h 20 m||Show|
15* Thunder/Jazz ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on UNDER 207
This has been an UNDER series between the Jazz and Thunder. I think the books have set the bar too high in this Game 3. As the series goes on, teams become more familiar with one another, and that certainly favors defense.
The UNDER is 5-1 in the six meetings between Utah and Oklahoma City this season. Game 1 was clearly the aberration as they combined for 224 points. But the other five meetings saw 197, 192, 186, 194 and 183 combined points. That’s an average of 196.0 combined points per game, which is roughly 11 points less than tonight’s posted total of 207, showing that there is a ton of value with the UNDER.
Plays on the UNDER on all teams where the total is 200 to 209.5 (Utah) - in the 3rd game of a playoff series are 56-26 (68.3%) since 1996. Plays on the UNDER on all teams where the total is 200 to 209.5 (Oklahoma City) - after having won five or six of their last seven games, extremely well-rested team playing 5 or less games in 14 days are 73-33 (68%) over the last five seasons.
Oklahoma City is 27-11 UNDER as a road underdog over the last two seasons. The Thunder are 11-3 UNDER off a home loss this season. The Jazz are 8-1 UNDER in home games when playing with two days’ rest this season. Roll with the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|04-21-18||Rockets v. Wolves +4.5||Top||105-121||Win||100||55 h 5 m||Show|
20* Rockets/Timberwolves ESPN ANNIHILATOR on Minnesota +4.5
Minnesota fans will be raucous as they’ve waited a long time for a home playoff game. Look for the Timberwolves to respond in a big way and get right back in this series with a big Game 3 win at home tonight.
Minnesota played well in a 101-104 Game 1 loss as 11.5-point underdogs. But they couldn’t make anything in Game 2 and lost 82-102. They also turned the ball over 16 games and shot just 27.8% from 3-point range. It’s safe to say they will play much better here tonight.
I think this is the game where the Timberwolves say enough is enough. The Rockets have had their number over the past two seasons, winning eight straight meetings coming in. Look for them to relax enough after taking a 2-0 lead that the Timberwolves will be by far the more motivated, aggressive team in Game 3.
Minnesota is 10-1 ATS in home games off two or more consecutive unders this season. It is winning by 13.8 points per game on average in this spot this year. Take the Timberwolves Saturday.
|04-20-18||Raptors v. Wizards -1.5||Top||103-122||Win||100||32 h 36 m||Show|
20* Raptors/Wizards ESPN 2 No-Brainer on Washington -1.5
The Toronto Raptors shot lights out in their first two games at home against the Wizards in this series. They shot 53.2% in Game 1 and 16-of-30 (53.3%) from 3-point range. In Game 2, they shot 51.7% and 13-of-35 (37.1%) from 3-point range.
The law of averages says that they won’t shoot that well against in Game 3. Look for a big effort from the Wizards at home here Friday night to try and get back in this series. They have shot it pretty well these first two games with 106 points in Game 1 and 119 points in Game 2, but it wasn’t quite enough. They will be much better defensively at home in Game 3.
Plays against road teams where the line is +3 to -3 (Toronto) - after going over the total by more than 30 points in their previous game, in the second half of the season are 25-8 (75.8%) ATS over the last five seasons.
Plays against road teams where the line is +3 to -3 (Toronto) - hot team having covered six or seven of their last eight against the spread, with a winning record on the season are 75-39 (65.8%) ATS over the last five years. The Raptors are 1-5 ATS in their last six road games. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet the Wizards Friday.
|04-19-18||Blazers +4 v. Pelicans||102-119||Loss||-105||11 h 19 m||Show|
15* Blazers/Pelicans NBA TV ANNIHILATOR on Portland +4
The Portland Trail Blazers are extremely disappointed to be down 0-2 in this series. They had their chances in Game 1 and Game 2, trailing by exactly 2 points in the closing seconds both games. They shot just 37.8% in Game 1 and 45.1% in Game 2.
I expect the Blazers to come out with a win-or-die attitude in Game 3 tonight. They have been bashed in the media leading up to this game, especially Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. These guys already play with a chip on their shoulder and will only be extra motivated to make amends tonight.
The Pelicans will likely relax now that they’ve stolen two games in Portland. Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis have both been receiving huge praise in the media, as have Rajon Rondo and Nikola Mirotic. Deservedly so, but that’s the type of exposure that will make players relax.
Home-court advantage has meant very little in this series recently. The road team is 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. The Pelicans are only 24-17 at home this year compared to 26-17 on the road. Plays against home favorites (New Orleans) after beating the spread by 54 or more points in their last 10 games against opponent after going under the total by 48 or more points in their last 10 games are 42-12 (77.8%) ATS over the last five seasons. Take the Blazers Thursday.
|04-19-18||76ers v. Heat UNDER 217||Top||128-108||Loss||-110||9 h 19 m||Show|
20* 76ers/Heat TNT No-Brainer on UNDER 217
The 76ers and Heat shot lights out in Game 1 and combined for 233 points. They set expectations for themselves that they could not live up to moving forward. They still combined for 216 points in Game 2, but that went UNDER the 217-point total. And now I expect an even lower-scoring Game 3 with an identical 217-point total.
As a series goes on, teams become more familiar with one another. That favors defense. I also like the fact that this series is moving to Miami. The Heat want to slow it down, while the 76ers want to play at a fast pace. Well, the home team is the one that usually controls the pace, so expect this to be the slowest tempo of any game thus far.
Five of the last six meetings between Miami and Philadelphia have seen 216 or fewer combined points. Miami is 11-2 UNDER off a win by 10 points or more as an underdog over the last two seasons. The UNDER is 12-4 in 76ers last 16 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The UNDER is 6-1 in Heat last seven conference quarterfinals games. The UNDER is 37-18-2 in Heat last 57 Thursday games. Bet the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|04-18-18||Wolves +10.5 v. Rockets||Top||82-102||Loss||-105||48 h 53 m||Show|
20* Timberwolves/Rockets TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on Minnesota +10.5
The Minnesota Timberwolves gave the Houston Rockets all they wanted in Game 1. They only lost 101-104 despite an awful shooting night in which they shot just 43.7% from the field compared to 47% for the Rockets.
Playing playoff basketball down the stretch really helped the Timberwolves. They needed to win Game No. 82 just to get in the playoffs, while the Rockets were coasting for weeks. And having Jimmy Butler healthy down the stretch made all the difference for this team as well.
They are now 4-1 SU & 5-0 ATS in their last five games, including 3-1 SU & 4-0 ATS since Butler returned from injury. Butler meant everything for this team during the regular season. They went 39-23 with him in the lineup, and just 8-12 in the 20 games without him. They are certainly good enough to hang with Houston at full strength, which was evident in Game 1.
Plays against home favorites (Houston) - when leading in a playoff series, a top-level team (75% or better) playing a team with a winning record are 45-19 (70.3%) ATS since 1996.
Minnesota is 22-10 ATS as a road underdog of 6.5 to 12 points over the last three seasons. Houston is 9-18 ATS as a favorite of 10 or more points this season. The Rockets are 0-7 ATS in their last seven vs. Western Conference opponents. The Timberwolves are 6-2 ATS in their last eight trips to Houston. Bet the Timberwolves in Game 2 Wednesday.
|04-17-18||Pelicans v. Blazers -6.5||111-102||Loss||-102||25 h 16 m||Show|
15* Pelicans/Blazers TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on Portland -6.5
After losing Game 1 in heartbreaking fashion 97-95, I look for the Portland Trail Blazers to get a big win and cover in Game 2 to get right back in this series. They cannot afford to fall down 0-2, and the Pelicans are just happy to steal one game in Portland.
The Blazers couldn’t have shot any worse in Game 1, yet they still about won the game. They shot just 37-of-98 (37.8%) from the field and 12-of-39 (30.8%) from 3-point range. I suspect the game plan will be to try and get the ball inside more to Jusuf Nurkic and to attack the rim after settling for too many jumpers in Game 1.
The Pelicans actually shot the ball well, making 47.7% from the field. They won’t top that number, and as long as the Blazers at least match them from a percentage standpoint, they should easily cover this spread in Game 2.
Portland is 21-4 SU & 19-5-1 ATS in its last 25 home games. The Blazers have one of the best home-court advantages in the league, especially in the second half of the season this year. With their season ultimately on the line tonight, they’ll come through with a big effort. Take the Blazers Tuesday.
|04-17-18||Wizards v. Raptors UNDER 215||Top||119-130||Loss||-108||22 h 41 m||Show|
20* Wizards/Raptors NBA Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 215
The Wizards and Raptors combined for 220 points in Game 1. But both teams shot lights out to get there, especially the Raptors. I look for a much lower scoring Game 2 and for this contest to stay UNDER the 215-point total.
The Raptors shot 53.2% from the field, 53.3% from 3-point range with 16 made 3-pointers, and 80% from the line in Game 1. The Wizards shot a solid 47.7% from the field, 38.1% from 3-point range and 88.9% from the free throw line. At the very least, the Raptors won’t shoot as well in Game 2, and the Wizards will be hard-pressed to match their numbers.
Eight of the previous 11 meetings in this series saw 203 or fewer combined points. The UNDER is 5-1 in the last six meetings in Toronto with an average combined score of just 199.2 points per game. I think we get back to seeing a more familiar combined score between these teams, one much lower than this 215-point total. There is clearly some value with the UNDER after a high-scoring Game 1.
Washington is 11-3 UNDER in road games when playing just its 2nd game in 5 days this season. The UNDER is 5-1-1 in Wizards last six games after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. The UNDER is 10-4 in Raptors last 14 Conference Quarterfinals games. Bet the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|04-16-18||Spurs +10 v. Warriors||101-116||Loss||-115||11 h 44 m||Show|
15* Spurs/Warriors TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on San Antonio +10
Greg Popovich called out his players after an ugly 92-113 loss to Golden State in Game 1. His exact words were that they looked like a ‘deer in headlights’. Look for his players to respond with a much better effort in Game 2 tonight.
It was a rare performance for the Spurs in which they lost most of the 50-50 balls and were out rebounded 57-40. They also caught the Warriors on a rare good shooting night in which they shot 54.3%, while the Spurs couldn’t make anything and shot just 40.0%. Look for those percentages to be much closer to even in Game 2 with the Spurs covering this 10-point spread.
Plays on road underdogs (San Antonio) - after failing to cover five or six of their last seven against the spread against opponent after having covered two of their last three against the spread are 177-113 (61%) ATS over the last five seasons.
Golden State is 3-14 ATS when playing against a team that wins 51% to 60% of their games in the second half of the season this season. San Antonio is 14-4 ATS after failing to cover five or six of their last seven against the spread over the last two seasons. The Spurs are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games following a loss by more than 10 points. The Warriors are 2-12 ATS in their last 14 games when playing on one days’ rest. Take the Spurs in Game 2 Monday.
|04-16-18||Heat +7 v. 76ers||Top||113-103||Win||100||8 h 14 m||Show|
20* Heat/76ers TNT No-Brainer on Miami +7
The Miami Heat actually held a 60-56 lead over Philadelphia at halftime in Game 1. That’s why it’s so hard to believe they lost by 27. But the 76ers couldn’t miss in the second half and rode that momentum to a blowout victory.
This is one of my favorite situations in the playoffs. I like backing the team coming off the blowout loss because they will be the more motivated team. And the 76ers aren’t going to shoot 18-of-28 (64.3%) from 3-point range again.
That was a rare blowout victory for the 76ers in this series, too. It was only the second time in the last 16 meetings that the 76ers have beaten the Heat by more than 7 points. They split the season series 2-2 with the Heat’s two losses coming by 2 and 6 points.
Miami is 26-10-2 ATS in its last 38 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Philadelphia is 1-5 ATS in its last six games after scoring more than 125 points in its previous game. Bet the Heat in Game 2 Monday.
|04-15-18||Wolves +11.5 v. Rockets||101-104||Win||100||54 h 18 m||Show|
15* Timberwolves/Rockets TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on Minnesota +11.5
The Houston Rockets have been the best team in the NBA during the regular season. That makes them overvalued heading into the playoffs. Expectations are high, and I look for them to fall short of expectations in Game 1 considering they are whopping 11.5-point favorites over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
I think the fact that the Rockets took their foot off the gas down the stretch after wrapping up the No. 1 seed in the West will work against them early in the playoffs. They went 1-6 ATS over their final seven games and haven’t been into it mentally. They also have some key injuries right now with Luc Mbah a Moute and Ryan Anderson out for Game 1, and Eric Gordon questionable.
The Timberwolves have been playing playoff basketball down the stretch. They needed to win Game No. 82 just to get into the playoffs, and they did so in overtime against the Nuggets, so they will be oozing with confidence and feeling like they are playing with house’s money. They also got a healthy Jimmy Butler back for the last few games of the regular season, and this team has been much better with Butler in the lineup as he has played at a near-MVP level when healthy this year.
I also think the fact that the Rockets went 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS against the Timberwolves this season has them overvalued, and it also has the Timberwolves motivated for revenge. Having Butler healthy and able to guard James Harden will be huge in this series. Butler is one of the top defenders in the league when focused, and he’ll certainly be focused in the playoffs.
The Timberwolves are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall, including 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS since Butler returned from injury. He only played in 62 games this season. The Timberwolves went 8-12 without him, and 39-23 with him. That’s the kind of difference he makes for this team. It’s safe to say Minnesota is one dangerous 8th seed, and maybe the best 8th seed I can ever remember. Roll with the Timberwolves Sunday.
|04-15-18||Jazz v. Thunder -3.5||Top||108-116||Win||100||52 h 48 m||Show|
20* Jazz/Thunder TNT Sunday No-Brainer on Oklahoma City -3.5
The Utah Jazz are certainly a great regular season team. They play solid defense and will fight you every night. But they lack superstar power, and that’s what you need in the playoffs. I think they are in over their heads here in Game 1 against the Thunder.
The Thunder aren’t short on star power. Russell Westbrook just finished averaging a triple-double for the second consecutive season, which is unheard of. Paul George is still a Top 10 player in this league, Carmelo Anthony is hungry, and Steven Adams is one of the most underrated centers in the game because he does all the dirty work.
I think the Jazz come in overvalued due to their big finish to the season. But they are just 20-21 on the road, and the Thunder have an excellent home-court advantage with a 27-14 record this season. And the Thunder own the Jazz, going 6-1 SU & 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings.
The Thunder won their final three meetings with the Jazz this season by 14, 28 and 6 points. In fact, Oklahoma City is 14-0 SU in its last 14 home meetings with Utah. It has won those 14 meetings by an average of 14.9 points per game. Enough said. Bet the Thunder Sunday.
|04-14-18||Heat +7 v. 76ers||Top||103-130||Loss||-105||29 h 18 m||Show|
20* Heat/76ers ESPN Saturday No-Brainer on Miami +7
The Miami Heat are probably the most underrated team in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They aren’t flashy and lack superstars, but they will fight, scratch and claw on every possession. This is the type of team I want to get behind.
The 76ers come into the playoffs way overvalued due to their 16-game winning streak. Now they are being asked to lay 7 points here in Game 1 despite the fact that they will be missing their best player in Joel Embiid. It’s always tough for young teams like the 76ers to have success in their first go-round in the playoffs, and I expect that to be the case for Philadelphia.
The Heat have played the 76ers extremely tough this season, and in recent years. Miami split the season series 2-2 with its two losses both coming on the road by 2 and 6 points, respectively. Only once in the last 15 meetings have the 76ers beaten the Heat by more than 7 points, which was an 8-point win. That makes for a 14-1 system backing the Heat pertaining to this 7-point spread.
The Heat are 15-4 ATS as a road underdog of 6.5 to 12 points over the last two seasons. Miami is 15-3 ATS in road games after playing two consecutive home games over the last two years. The Heat are 26-9-2 ATS in their last 37 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Bet the Heat Saturday.
|04-14-18||Spurs +8 v. Warriors||92-113||Loss||-105||24 h 18 m||Show|
15* Spurs/Warriors ABC Early ANNIHILATOR on San Antonio +8
The Golden State Warriors are vulnerable in Round 1 because they are missing their best player in Stephen Curry. They just haven’t been the same without him down the stretch, and they certainly should not be laying 8 points to the Spurs in Game 1 Saturday.
The Warriors are just 6-15 ATS in their last 21 games overall. They have gone just 6-10 SU in their last 16 games. That’s not the sign of a team that should be this big of a favorite against a Spurs team that played well down the stretch just to get into the playoffs.
The Spurs are 10-5 SU & 9-6 ATS in their last 15 games overall. They have been playing playoff basketball for a month now because there was a brief time there where they were in 9th place in the West and in need of a big finish just to get into the playoffs.
The last two meetings have been impressive by the Spurs. They only lost 107-110 at Golden State as 11-point underdogs on March 8th in a game in which the Warriors needed a huge fourth quarter just to get a close win. And the Spurs returned the favor with an 89-75 victory on March 19th at home in their most recent meeting.
Golden State is 2-14 ATS in its last 16 games vs. a team that wins 51% to 60% of its games on ht season. The Spurs are 6-1 ATS in their last seven following a win by more than 10 points. The Warriors are 0-5 ATS in their last five home games. Golden State is 9-24-1 ATS in its last 34 games vs. a team with a winning record. Take the Spurs Saturday.
|04-11-18||Nets -1 v. Celtics||97-110||Loss||-105||8 h 16 m||Show|
15* NBA Eastern Conference ANNIHILATOR on Brooklyn Nets -1
The Boston Celtics will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 6th game in 9 days here tonight. They are already short-handed with all of their injuries, and they would be wise to rest all of their starters in this final game before the playoffs.
The Celtics are locked in to the No. 2 seed, so this game doesn’t matter to them at all. That’s why we have seen a shift from the opener of Celtics -5.5 to the Nets being 1-point favorites. It’s a big adjustment, but it’s not big enough. It’s clear to me that the Nets will win this game.
Brooklyn has been playing for pride and trying to build chemistry down the stretch. That’s evident by the fact that the Nets are 5-2 SU & 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall, including three straight victories by 8 points or more coming in. They aren’t about to let up now.
The Nets are 9-1 ATS in road games off a combined score of 215 points or more in three straight games this season. Boston is 6-17 ATS in home games when playing 6 or more games in 10 days over the last two years. The Celtics are 1-8 ATS vs. poor defensive teams that allow 110 or more points per game this season. Brooklyn is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Nets are 4-0 ATS in their last four trips to Boston. Take the Nets Wednesday.
|04-11-18||Nuggets v. Wolves UNDER 214.5||Top||106-112||Loss||-100||8 h 48 m||Show|
20* NBA TOTAL OF THE MONTH on Nuggets/Timberwolves UNDER 214.5
This is a play-in game between the Nuggets and Timberwolves. The winner will be the 8th seed in the playoffs, while the loser will either be taking a depressing flight or bus ride home. With what’s at stake, I fully expect this to be a nervy, defensive battle tonight.
The Nuggets and Timberwolves recently played on April 5th less than a week ago. The Nuggets won that game 100-96 at home for 196 combined points. Now we are seeing a total set of 214.5, which is way too high and I believe there is value with the UNDER because of it.
Plays on the UNDER on home teams where the total is 210 to 219.5 (Minnesota) - after going under the total by 42 or more points in their last five games, when playing a division opponent are 37-16 (69.8%) since 1996.
Minnesota is 14-4 UNDER off two or more consecutive unders this season. The UNDER is 5-1 in Timberwolves last six vs. Western Conference opponents. The UNDER is 6-2 in the last eight meetings. Bet the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|04-10-18||76ers v. Hawks +10||Top||121-113||Win||100||9 h 42 m||Show|
20* NBA DOG OF THE MONTH on Atlanta Hawks +10
The Atlanta Hawks will be playing their season finale today at home against one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference in the Philadelphia 76ers. They will be motivated to beat the 76ers, just as they have other playoff teams here recently.
The Hawks are 3-2 SU & 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. They beat Orlando, only lost to Miami by 3 as 13-point road dogs, beat Washington by 6 as 10.5-point road dogs, and beat Boston by 6 as 9.5-point road dogs. Those efforts show that we are getting tremendous value with them as 10-point home underdogs tonight.
The 76ers are grossly overvalued right now due to their 14-game winning streak. They are certainly worthy of being favorites here tonight, but not double-digit road favorites. Philadelphia hasn’t beaten Atlanta by more than 10 points in any of the last 17 meetings in this series, making for a 17-0 system backing the Hawks pertaining to this 10-point spread.
Plays against favorites (Philadelphia) - after beating the spread by 54 or more points total in their last 10 games against opponent after going under the total by 48 or more points total in their last 10 games are 64-28 (69.6%) ATS over the last five seasons.
Plays on home teams (Atlanta) revenging a home loss vs. opponent of 10 points or more, a bad team (25% to 40%) playing a team with a winning record are 39-15 (72.2%) ATS over the last five years. Bet the Hawks Tuesday.
|04-09-18||Blazers v. Nuggets -4||Top||82-88||Win||100||10 h 32 m||Show|
25* NBA Western Conference GAME OF THE YEAR on Denver Nuggets -4
The Denver Nuggets have really stepped up their game down the stretch with their playoff lives on the line. They have gone 5-0 in their last five games overall while beating four playoff teams in Oklahoma City, Milwaukee, Indiana and Minnesota, as well as a 134-115 road win at Oklahoma City.
The Nuggets are now tied with the Timberwolves for the 8th seed, but they currently lose out on the tiebreaker. They play at Minnesota Wednesday night, so they must keep pace with them with a win here if they want to make the playoffs. The Timberwolves host the Grizzlies tonight and will surely win that game.
Portland really has nothing to play for. The Blazers can either be the 3rd or 4th seed in the West, but that won’t be determined until they play current 4th seed Utah on Wednesday. They will be looking ahead to that game. The Blazers are clearly worried more about resting right now as they are 0-3 in their last three games overall and disinterested.
The favorite is 4-0-1 ATS in the last five meetings in this series. The home team is 3-1-1 ATS in the last five meetings as well. The Nuggets have won their last two meetings with the Blazers this season, one at home and one on the road. Bet the Nuggets Monday.
|04-08-18||Pistons -6.5 v. Grizzlies||117-130||Loss||-101||4 h 10 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Detroit Pistons -6.5
The Detroit Pistons are playing for more than pride. They want to see if they can get to .500 on the season as they are currently 38-41. They have put themselves in this position to consider this season a success by going 8-2 SU & 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
The Memphis Grizzlies could care less about winning games right now as they just want the highest draft pick possible. They are 21-58 on the season. It’s obvious they are trying to lose when you just look at their injury report.
Mike Conley, Tyreke Evans, Wayne Selden, Marc Gasol, Chandler Parsons, Jarell Martin, JaMychal Green and Andrew Harrison are all expected to rest today. They are going to be sending a bunch of D League players out there for this one, purposely trying to lose.
Plays on road favorites (Detroit) - with a winning percentage between 40% and 49% on the season, on Sunday games are 33-6 (84.6%) ATS over the last five seasons. Detroit is 8-0 ATS in its last eight games vs. a team with a losing record. Roll with the Pistons Sunday.
|04-08-18||Pacers v. Hornets +2.5||Top||123-117||Loss||-108||4 h 15 m||Show|
20* NBA Sunday No Doubt Rout on Charlotte Hornets +2.5
The Pacers are coming off a 73-92 loss at Toronto. That loss basically sealed their fate as they are now locked in to the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. They would be better off resting their players and staying healthy for the playoffs now.
The Charlotte Hornets have played much better down the stretch and have won five of their last nine games, including a 137-100 win in Orlando last time out. They want to win their home finale here Sunday to give their home fans a lasting impression.
Home-court advantage has been huge in this series as the home team is a perfect 7-0 SU & 7-0 ATS in the last seven meetings. The Hornets are 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS in their last four home meetings with the Pacers, winning by 7, 12, 22 and 7 points, respectively. Bet the Hornets Sunday.
|04-07-18||Nuggets -2 v. Clippers||Top||134-115||Win||100||6 h 8 m||Show|
20* Nuggets/Clippers NBA Saturday No-Brainer on Denver -2
The Denver Nuggets are 0.5 games out of 8th place in the West, and just one game behind three other teams listed 5th through 7th in the West. They still have a great shot to make the playoffs, but they are going to likely need to win out to get in.
The Nuggets have been doing their part as they are 4-0 in their last four games overall, beating four playoff teams in the Thunder, Bucks, Pacers and Timberwolves all in close fashion. Winning four straight close games the way they have has to have them oozing with confidence right now.
The Los Angeles Clippers had a shot to make the playoffs with a few weeks left, but now they are 2.5 games out with only 3 games remaining after going 1-3 in their last four games overall. The life has been sucked out of them, and I don’t expect them to show up at all today.
The Nuggets are 4-1 ATS in their last five road games. The Clippers are 4-10-1 ATS in their last 15 Saturday games. Los Angeles is 8-20 ATS in its last 28 vs. NBA Northwest Division opponents. Denver is 38-17 ATS in road games off an ATS loss over the last three seasons. Bet the Nuggets Saturday.
|04-06-18||Bulls +10.5 v. Celtics||Top||104-111||Win||100||11 h 0 m||Show|
20* NBA Eastern Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Chicago Bulls +10.5
The Boston Celtics just lost to the Toronto Raptors. It was a huge game for them as they entered just two games behind the Raptors. But after losing that game by 18, they are now essentially locked in to the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.
I don’t expect the Celtics to show up at all for this game. That’s going to make it tough for them to be able to cover this massive double-digit spread. They are banged up right now without Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart, and several others are nursing injuries.
The Bulls continue to play for pride and have been extremely undervalued over the past week. The Bulls are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall. They have pulled off three straight outright upsets, beating the Magic by 8 on the road as 6.5-point dogs, the Wizards by 17 at home as 7-point dogs and the Hornets at home by 6 as 5.5-point dogs.
Chicago is a perfect 11-0 ATS off two or more consecutive wins this season. Boston is 4-15 ATS in home games when playing against a team that wins 25% to 40% of their games over the last two years. Bet the Bulls Friday.
|04-05-18||Wolves v. Nuggets UNDER 225.5||Top||96-100||Win||100||15 h 19 m||Show|
20* Timberwolves/Nuggets TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on UNDER 225.5
This game will have a playoff atmosphere Thursday night. The 8th place Timberwolves visit the 9th place Nuggets with only one game separating the two. Both teams are trying to secure a playoff spot, and you can bet the defensive intensity will be as high as any point this season from each squad.
I think this total has been inflated because Denver has played in some high-scoring affairs of late due to two overtime games in their last three. But their defense has been much better down the stretch as they’ve tried to hang on for a playoff spot, winning three straight nail biters.
This has certainly been an UNDER series. The Timberwolves and Nuggets have combined for 219 or fewer points in 13 of their last 14 meetings. The only exception was an overtime game. That makes for a sweet 13-1 system backing the UNDER pertaining to tonight’s total set of 225.5. Bet the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|04-04-18||Heat v. Hawks UNDER 205.5||Top||115-86||Win||100||8 h 10 m||Show|
20* NBA TOTAL OF THE MONTH on Heat/Hawks UNDER 205.5
This is one of my favorite UNDER situations in the NBA. The Hawks and Heat will be playing a home-and-home tonight after Miami beat Atlanta 101-98 for 199 combined points last night. Now they will travel to play in Atlanta just one night later.
Teams are obviously very familiar with one another when having to play two days in a row, which certainly favors defense. And with a total now set at 205.5, it’s simply too high.
The Heat have Hassan Whiteside back healthy, and he’s one of the top defensive centers in the NBA. For the Hawks, they recently lost starting PG Dennis Schroeder to a season-ending injury. He was basically their entire offense, so without him they have been lost.
The UNDER is 10-3 in the last 13 meetings in this series. The Heat and Hawks have combined for 199 or fewer points in 10 of those 13 matchups. Miami is 9-1 UNDER in road games off a win by 3 points or less over the last two seasons. The UNDER is 22-7 in Hawks last 29 games following an ATS win. Bet the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|04-03-18||Pacers v. Nuggets -3||Top||104-107||Push||0||9 h 40 m||Show|
20* NBA Non-Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Denver Nuggets -3
The Denver Nuggets are two games out of the playoffs with five games remaining. They have no margin for error right now. They are coming off back-to-back impressive wins at Oklahoma City and at home against Milwaukee to give themselves a shot.
The Indiana Pacers are starting to get too much respect from oddsmakers after going 5-0 in their last five games overall. But they will be running out of gas soon as this will be their fourth consecutive road games in a stretch of six of seven on the road.
Home-court advantage has been huge in this series as the home team is 8-2 SU in the last 10 meetings. Denver is a perfect 8-0 SU in its last eight home meetings with Indiana. The Nuggets have a great home-court advantage this season as they are 28-10 on their home floor.
Indiana is 5-15 ATS on the road when the line is +3 to -3 over the last two seasons. The Nuggets are 18-7-1 ATS in the last 26 meetings, including 3-0-1 ATS in the last four meetings inside the Pepsi Center. Bet the Nuggets Tuesday.
|04-03-18||Warriors v. Thunder -4.5||111-107||Loss||-105||8 h 40 m||Show|
15* Warriors/Thunder TNT Tuesday No-Brainer on Oklahoma City -4.5
The Golden State Warriors are locked in to the No. 2 seed in the West. They have nothing to play for the rest of the way and cannot be trusted. The Warriors are just 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games overall.
Injuries and a lack of motivation have been the biggest reasons for the Warriors’ struggles down the stretch. They are still without Steph Curry, Andre Iguodala and Omri Casspi, and they recently lost Patrick McCaw to a gruesome back injury. Meanwhile, the Thunder are at full strength.
Oklahoma City still has a lot to play for with four games remaining. The Thunder are currently 5th in the West, just 0.5 games behind the Spurs for the No. 4 seed. They want that No. 4 so that they can get home-court advantage in the first round. And they are also just one game clear of Utah and Minnesota, so they don’t want to fall further in the standings and have to play either Golden State or Houston in the first round.
Golden State is 1-11 ATS when playing against a marginal winning team (51% to 60%) in the second half of the season this season. The Warriors are 0-9 ATS in their last nine games following a straight up win. Oklahoma City is 41-19-3 ATS in its last 63 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600. Take the Thunder Tuesday.
|04-02-18||Michigan v. Villanova -7||Top||62-79||Win||100||9 h 32 m||Show|
20* Michigan/Villanova Championship Game No-Brainer on Villanova -7
The Michigan Wolverines have had the easiest path to the Championship Game of nearly any team in NCAA Tournament history. They haven’t had to face a 5 seed or lower in their entire path to the Final Four. They’ve faced a 14, No. 6, No. 7, No. 9 and a No. 11 on their route here.
Certainly, the Wolverines have been impressive, but now they have finally met their match in Villanova. I don’t remember seeing a team quite as dominant as these Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament. They have beaten all five opponents by 12 points or more and by an average of 17.8 points per game.
The Wildcats have no weaknesses. They are an elite defensive team, and they are the most efficient offensive team in the country. They set a Final Four record by making 18 shots from beyond the 3-point line against Kansas. But they can beat you inside and out. It’s not a team I want to be fading with the title on the line.
Villanova is 25-9 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record this season. The Wildcats are 14-3 ATS after a game where they made 13 or more 3-point shots this season. Villanova is 53-21-1 ATS in its last 75 non-conference games. The Wildcats are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 vs. Big Ten opponents. Bet Villanova Monday.
|04-01-18||Bucks v. Nuggets -4||Top||125-128||Loss||-108||9 h 24 m||Show|
20* NBA Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Denver Nuggets -4
The Denver Nuggets are in must-win mode with six games remaining. They trail 7th and 8th place Utah and Minnesota by exactly two games each for a playoff spot. They almost need to win out to get in, and with four of their final six games at home, they have a shot.
The Nuggets have played well at home all season. They are 27-10 on their home floor. And they just beat Milwaukee 134-123 on the road on February 15th in their first meeting this season. The Nuggets are now 5-1 SU in their last six meetings with the Bucks. They are also 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in their last three meetings.
The Bucks are just 6-12 ATS in their last 18 games overall. They don’t have much to play for the rest of the way except for seeding, which doesn’t make that much of a difference between the 6th, 7th and 8th seeds in the East. And the Bucks have some key injuries right now with Malcolm Brogdon and Matthew Dellavedova out, Thon Maker doubtful and John Henson questionable.
Milwaukee is 4-11 ATS in its last 15 games vs. a team with a winning record. Denver is 4-0 ATS in its last four home games following a road trip of 7 or more days. The Nuggets are 12-4-1 ATS in their last 17 home meetings with the Bucks. Bet the Nuggets Sunday.
|04-01-18||Pacers v. Clippers -2.5||111-104||Loss||-115||5 h 55 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Los Angeles Clippers -2.5
The Los Angeles Clippers are in must-win mode with six games remaining. They trail 7th and 8th place Utah and Minnesota by exactly two games each for a playoff spot. They will certainly need to finish strong to get in, and with five of their final six games at home they have a great shot.
The Clippers have won four of their last six coming in. That includes upset road wins at Milwaukee and Toronto. Their only two losses came on the road at Portland and at Indiana in closely-contested battles.
That sets the Clippers up for a revenge game here after losing 104-109 in Indiana on March 23rd just a week ago. They don’t have to wait long for their shot at revenge, which only adds to their motivation here tonight.
The Clippers are 10-2 ATS when playing eight or more games in 14 days this season. The Pacers are 5-15 ATS on the road when the line is +3 to -3 over the last two years. Los Angeles is 16-7 ATS in its last 23 vs. Eastern Conference opponents. Take the Clippers Sunday.
|03-31-18||Warriors v. Kings +8.5||112-96||Loss||-105||10 h 28 m||Show|
15* Warriors/Kings NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on Sacramento +8.5
The Golden State Warriors are a mess right now. They have too many injuries they are dealing with, and they don’t care about winning games because they are locked in to the No. 2 seed. They are simply playing out the string at this point.
That’s why they cannot be 8.5-point road favorites against the Sacramento Kings tonight. The Warriors are just 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games. They are also just 3-7 SU in their last 10 games. They have gotten some guys healthier of late, but they are far from full strength.
The Kings have already upset the short-handed Warriors twice this season. They Kings won 110-106 as 12.5-point road underdogs on November 27th, and they won 98-93 as 8.5-point road dogs on March 16th.
The Warriors are 0-9 ATS in their last nine games when playing on one days’ rest. Golden State is 1-10 ATS in its last 11 when its opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game. The Kings are 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 home games vs. a team with a road winning % greater than .600. The Warriors are 11-26 ATS in their last 37 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. Take the Kings Saturday.
|03-31-18||Kansas v. Villanova UNDER 155||Top||79-95||Loss||-110||30 h 59 m||Show|
25* NCAA Tournament TOTAL OF THE YEAR on Kansas/Villanova UNDER 155
Oddsmakers have set the bar way too high in this Final Four matchup between Villanova and Kansas. They are expecting an 80-75 final, and I’m just not seeing it. This bet on the UNDER is my favorite totals bet of the entire NCAA Tournament.
Villanova is an elite defensive team that gives up just 70.2 points per game and 42.7% shooting on the season, including only 32.2% from 3-point range. Kansas only gives up 71.3 points per game on 42.3% shooting on the year, including 32.7% from 3-point range.
I think a big reason this total has been set so high is because Kansas went over against Duke last game in an 85-81 final in overtime. But that game was only 72-72 at the end of regulation for 144 combined points, and Duke is an elite offensive team. Having Azabuike back healthy has done wonders for this KU team defensively as he’s an elite shot blocker and rebounder.
No question Villanova is a very good offensive team, but even they will struggle to reach 80 points against Kansas. Villanova has allowed 68 or fewer points in five of its last six games coming in, including just 59 against Texas Tech last time out.
I think both teams having nearly a week to prepare for each other also favors the UNDER. These are two elite head coaches who will have their defenses prepared to stop the strengths of the opposing offenses. Bet the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|03-31-18||Loyola-Chicago v. Michigan -5||57-69||Win||100||27 h 19 m||Show|
15* Loyola/Michigan Final Four No-Brainer on Michigan -5
I’ve been backing both Loyola and Michigan this entire NCAA Tournament with regularity. It has worked out very well for me. But when push comes to shove here, I have to side with Michigan for a number of reasons.
Four starters, an 11-seed or lower has never made the Championship Game. It has been a great run for Loyola, but they will finally meet their match here in Michigan.
The Wolverines are the hottest team left, going 13-0 SU & 10-2-1 ATS in their last 13 games overall. They have beaten Purdue by 9, Michigan State by 11 and Ohio State by 12 prior to the tournament. They have handled their business with relative ease in the NCAA Tournament with the exception of a tougher-than-expected game against Houston.
Loyola has been winning with smoke and mirrors, admittedly. They were fortunate to win their first three games by a combined 4 points, including two buzzer-beaters. And they were fortunate for an easy path. They got to face Nevada in the Sweet 16 and Kansas State in the Elite 8 because of all the madness in that region.
Michigan is a different animal. The Wolverines are legitimately a top defensive team in the country. They give up just 63.1 points per game on 42.4% shooting. And I love the matchup for them against Loyola’s barrage of 3-point shooters.
Michigan only allowed 5 made 3-pointers per game and only 16 attempts per game on 33.1% shooting. They run their opponents off the 3-point line. You have to be able to penetrate to beat them, and Loyola doesn’t have those penetrators. They are more of a passing team to find their shots, but Michigan will be ready for it.
The Wolverines are 7-0 ATS vs. good defensive teams that allow 64 or fewer points per game after 15-plus games over the last two seasons. The Ramblers are 1-6 ATS in their last seven vs. Big Ten opponents. The Wolverines are 13-3-2 ATS in their last 18 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Michigan is 35-17-4 ATS in its last 56 neutral site games. Take Michigan Saturday.
|03-30-18||Clippers +6.5 v. Blazers||Top||96-105||Loss||-109||10 h 43 m||Show|
25* Clippers/Blazers ESPN GAME OF THE YEAR on Los Angeles +6.5
The Los Angeles Clippers are quietly making a push toward the playoffs. They are now just one game behind the Utah Jazz for the 8th and final spot in the Western Conference. They have seven games remaining, and you can bet Doc Rivers’ team will be laying it all on the line.
The Clippers have gone 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. Their two most impressive wins both came on the road as they won 127-120 as 6-point underdogs at Milwaukee and 117-106 as 8.5-point dogs at Toronto. They are more than capable of pulling off the upset here, let alone staying within 6.5 points.
The Portland Trail Blazers don’t have a whole lot to play for the rest of the way. They are stuck in 3rd place, 2.5 games ahead of 4th place. That’s why it wouldn’t be surprising if Damian Lillard sits a second consecutive game tonight for personal reasons. The Blazers are already without starter Maurice Harkless, and Lillard is questionable.
The Clippers want revenge from a 122-109 home loss to the Blazers on March 18th less than two weeks ago as well. Home-court advantage has meant very little in this series of late as the road team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.
The Clippers are 20-7-1 ATS in their last 28 road games. Los Angeles is 8-0 ATS off a win by 10 points or more over a division opponent this season. The Clippers are 7-0 ATS in road games after covering three of their last four this season. Los Angeles is 10-1 ATS when playing 8 or more games in 14 days this season. Bet the Clippers Friday.
|03-30-18||Grizzlies v. Jazz UNDER 197||97-107||Loss||-102||9 h 42 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Total DOMINATOR on Grizzlies/Jazz UNDER 197
The Utah Jazz will be laying it all on the line defensively tonight to get a win. They are in 8th place, but just one game ahead of the Clippers. They will be locked in on the defensive end, and defense has been their staple all season.
But what I really like about this UNDER is the recent head-to-head history between Memphis and Utah. These teams always seem to play in low-scoring affairs when they get together.
Indeed, the UNDER is 7-2 in the last nine meetings. The Jazz and Grizzlies have combined for 198 or fewer points in each of their last 20 meetings. They have combined for 197 or fewer in 18 of those 20. That’s an 18-2 system backing the UNDER pertaining to tonight’s total set of 197.
Memphis is 10-1 UNDER in Friday games this season. The UNDER is 8-1 in Grizzlies last nine vs. Western Conference teams. The UNDER is 5-1 in Jazz last six home games. The UNDER is 8-2 in Jazz last 10 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400. Take the UNDER in this game Friday.