|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|11-06-19||Florida State v. Pittsburgh +4.5||61-63||Win||100||9 h 19 m||Show|
15* ACC PLAY OF THE DAY on Pittsburgh +4.5
Jeff Capel did a great job in his first season at Pitt. He took a team that went winless in the ACC and with eight wins overall under Kevin Stallings and got them to 14-19 on the season. Now, in his second season with the team, Capel and the Panthers should make a big leap forward.
The Panthers return four starters led by guards Xavier Johnson (15.5 PPG) and Trey McGowens (11.6 PPG). JC transfer G Ryan Murphy should contribute right away. They also return Au’Diese Toney (7.5 PPG, 5.6 RPG) and Terrell Brown (5.7 PPG, 4.5 RPG) down low and add in UNC Greensboro transfer Eric Hamilton. Freshman Justin Champagnie is a swingman who is strong off the dribble and can rebound. He should bring some much-needed scoring pop to the frontcourt.
The Florida State Seminoles are coming off an awesome 29-win season. However, they lost six of their top eight scorers from that team and won’t be starting fast this season. They don’t return a single double-digit scorer as their top two returnees are Trent Forest (9.3 PPG) and M.J. Walker (7.5 PPG). It’s going to take some time for the Seminoles to gel with all they lost.
Plays on home teams (Pittsburgh) - first five games of the season, after closing out last season with eight or more losses in their final 10 games, a team that had a losing record last season are 121-71 (63%) ATS over the last five seasons.
Pittsburgh beat a very good FSU team 75-62 as identical 4.5-point home underdogs last season. The Panthers are now 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings. The Seminoles are 1-4 ATS in their last five trips to Pittsburgh. Roll with Pittsburgh Wednesday.
|11-05-19||Michigan State -2.5 v. Kentucky||62-69||Loss||-111||11 h 43 m||Show|
15* Michigan State/Kentucky ESPN No-Brainer on Michigan State -2.5
The Michigan State Spartans went 32-7 last year and made the Final Four. I completely agree with them being the No. 1 ranked team in the country this season with all that they return. They are clearly the best team in college basketball to start the season.
Head coach Tom Izzo welcomes back Big Ten Player of the Year Cassius Winston at point guard. He averaged 18.8 points and 7.5 assists per game last year and is the heart and soul of this team. Also back are key contributors in G Kyle Ahrens (4.7 PPG, 2.5 RPG), F Aaron Henry (6.1 PPG, 3.8 RPG) and F Xavier Tillman (10.0 PPG, 7.3 RPG). And the Spartans expect key contributions from freshmen G Mark “Rocket” Watts and F Malik Hall.
I like fading teams like Duke and Kentucky early in the season because they are filled with one and done players and usually start slow. That will be the case for Kentucky, which loses four double-digit scorers from last season in P.J. Washington (15.2 PPG, 7.5 RPG), Tyler Herro (14.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG), Keldon Johnson (13.5 PPG, 5.9 RPG) and Reid Travis (11.2 PPG, 7.2 RPG). Their only returning starter is PG Ashton Hagans (7.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG).
Michigan State is 26-10 ATS in its last 36 games overall. Kentucky is 1-3-1 ATS in its last five vs. Big Ten opponents. The Spartans have won four of their last six meetings with the Wildcats. Roll with Michigan State Tuesday.
|11-05-19||Pacers v. Hornets +3.5||120-122||Win||100||7 h 23 m||Show|
15* NBA Tuesday PLAY OF THE DAY on Charlotte Hornets +3.5
Most people tabbed the Charlotte Hornets as the worst team in the NBA coming into the season. As a result, there has been some value in backing them as the Hornets have opened 3-3 SU & 4-2 ATS. They are certainly better than they were getting credit for coming into the year.
The Hornets are doing a great job of playing team basketball and sharing the ball. They have six players averaging at least 12.5 points per game this season. Terry Rozier has been an adequate replacement for Kemba Walker, PJ Washington is one of the best rookies in the NBA, and Devonte Graham, Cody Zeller, Dwayne Bacon and Miles Bridges have all made big jumps this season. Plus, they still have Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to lock it down defensively.
The Indiana Pacers come in overvalued off three straight wins. Two of those came at home against the Cavs and Bulls, while the other was a road win at Brooklyn. The Pacers have some serious injury concerns right now playing without their two best players in Victor Oladipo and Myles Turner, plus Domantas Sabonis is questionable.
The Hornets are 6-1 ATS in their last seven against Eastern Conference opponents. The home team is 10-2 ATS in the last 12 meetings. The Hornets are 8-1 ATS in their last nine home meetings with the Pacers. Take the Hornets Tuesday.
|11-04-19||Pistons v. Wizards -2.5||Top||99-115||Win||100||8 h 28 m||Show|
20* NBA Monday No-Doubt Rout on Washington Wizards -2.5
The Washington Wizards came into the season tabbed as one of the worst teams in the NBA. As a result, they were undervalued to start the season and remain undervalued right now. They are 1-4 SU but 4-1 ATS and could easily have more wins than they do.
Two of their losses came by a combined 3 points to San Antonio (122-124) as 11.5-point road dogs and Houston (158-159) as 8-point home dogs. They also covered as 9-point dogs in an 8-point loss at Dallas and upset Oklahoma City by 12 as 8.5-point road dogs. Their only poor performance came at home against Minnesota in the game after the deflating loss to the Rockets. Now, I expect the Wizards to be highly motivated to get their second win of the season tonight at home against the Pistons.
The Pistons have already played seven games compared to five for Washington. Detroit will be playing its 8th game in 13 days to start the season and its 3rd game in 4 days. Making matters worse for the Pistons is that they are so banged up right now. They are without starters Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson. Now they are without both Derrick Rose and Tim Frazier, the two backup guards to Jackson. They are in a world of hurt right now due to these injuries and lack of rest.
The home team is 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings in this series, winning by an average of 11.3 points per game. The home team is also 11-2 SU in the last 13 meetings. The Pistons are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games playing on one days’ rest. The Wizards are 5-1 ATS in their last six home meetings with the Pistons. Take the Wizards Monday.
|11-03-19||Jazz v. Clippers -4||Top||94-105||Win||100||11 h 0 m||Show|
20* Jazz/Clippers NBA Sunday Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles -4
I love the spot for the Los Angeles Clippers tonight. They want revenge from a 96-110 loss in Utah on October 30th. But Kawhi Leonard didn’t play in that game, and he is expected to play tonight. Look for the Clippers to get their revenge in this one.
The Clippers are 3-0 at home this season outscoring opponents by 10.4 points per game. They come in rested and ready to go on two days’ rest having last played on Thursday. Expect a big effort from them here tonight, especially since they have another two days off after this.
The Jazz just haven’t been very impressive this season. They are 4-2, but their four wins have come against the Thunder, Kings, Suns and Clippers (minus Leonard). They also lost to the Kings and lost to the Lakers on the road, going 1-2 in road games with their only win coming by a single point over the Suns.
The home team has won three straight and five of the last six meetings in this series. The Jazz are 1-5 ATS in their last six road games. Plays on favorites (LA Clippers) - revenging a loss where opponent scored 100 or more points, in a game involving two teams that had marginal winning records (51% to 60%) last season are 36-13 (73.5%) ATS since 1996. Bet the Clippers Sunday.
|11-02-19||Hornets +1 v. Warriors||Top||93-87||Win||100||13 h 13 m||Show|
20* NBA Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Charlotte Hornets +1
Wrong team favored here. The Golden State Warriors are now 2000-1 to win the NBA title. Let that sink in for a minute. They are literally the worst team in the NBA right now, and I don’t even think it’s really that close. They are fade material for the time being.
No Kevin Durant. No Klay Thompson. And now now Stephen Curry. Plus, Kevon Looney has been out with a hamstring injury, and Draymond Green is battling a back injury. The Warriors just can’t catch a break. Now they will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back after a 127-110 home loss to the San Antonio Spurs last night. Worse yet, it will be their 5th game in 7 days, which is one of the toughest situations in the NBA. Their lack of depth will really be felt tonight.
Meanwhile, the Charlotte Hornets come in on two days’ rest after last playing on Wednesday in a 118-111 road win over the Sacramento Kings. Most people tabbed the Hornets as the worst team in the NBA coming into the season, but that clearly hasn’t been the case. And I think they are undervalued for the time being due to the low preseason expectations.
The Hornets are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games vs. a team with a winning % below .400. Charlotte is 6-1 ATS in its last seven road games. The Warriors are 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine games overall. Golden State is 2-9-1 ATS in its last 12 games playing on zero days’ rest. The Warriors are 16-34-1 ATS in their last 51 home games. The road team is 6-1-1 ATS in the last eight meetings. Bet the Hornets Saturday.
|11-02-19||Raptors v. Bucks UNDER 225.5||105-115||Win||100||13 h 42 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Total DOMINATOR on Raptors/Bucks UNDER 225.5
The Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks are very familiar with one another after playing in a six-game series in the Eastern Conference Finals last season. They clearly don’t like each other, and this game will be played closer to the vest. I think it will be a low-scoring, defensive battle tonight as a result.
Seven of the last eight meetings in this series have seen 222 or fewer combined points at the end of regulation. In fact, the Raptors and Bucks have averaged just 206.4 combined points at the end of regulation in those seven meetings. That’s roughly 19 points less than tonight’s posted total of 225.5, so there is tremendous value with this UNDER. Take the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|11-01-19||Pistons v. Bulls -3||Top||106-112||Win||100||10 h 38 m||Show|
20* NBA Friday No-Doubt Rout on Chicago Bulls -3
The Chicago Bulls were a popular sleeper team coming into the season. They were clearly overvalued as they have now been favored in four of their five games, including in all four of their road games. This team never used to be favored on the road, which shows just how overvalued they were.
Now, the Bulls are 1-4 SU & 1-4 ATS and the betting public doesn’t want much to do with them. It’s time to ‘buy low’ on the Bulls tonight. They have played four of their five games on the road with their only home game coming against the defending champion Raptors. Now the Bulls get a team they can handle in the Detroit Pistons.
The Pistons are 2-3 this season with their only two wins both coming against the lowly Indiana Pacers. Their three losses have come by a combined 35 points. The Pistons are without their two best players in Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson, and they could be without Markieff Morris, who is questionable. Meanwhile, the Bulls are 100% healthy right now.
Detroit is 5-16 ATS after failing to cover three of their last four games against the spread over the last two seasons. The Pistons are 3-12 ATS in their last 15 games overall. Detroit is 0-7 ATS in its last seven games following a loss by more than 10 points. The home team is 10-2 ATS in the last 12 meetings. Take the Bulls Friday.
|11-01-19||Bucks v. Magic UNDER 215.5||123-91||Win||100||9 h 50 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Total DOMINATOR on Bucks/Magic UNDER 215.5
The Orlando Magic are 4-0 to the UNDER this season. They are a great defensive team due to their length at almost every position. But they are an atrocious offensive team because they lack shooting. Look for this game to easily go UNDER the number tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Magic rank 29th in the NBA in pace at 99.3 possessions per game. They will control the tempo playing at home tonight and slow this thing down to a snail’s pace. The Magic rank 29th in offensive efficiency and are shooting just 39.5% on the season. But the Magic are 3rd in defensive efficiency while holding opponents to 93.7 points per game and 41.2% shooting.
The Bucks haven’t face a team with the length and defensive strengths of the Magic. They have played Houston, Miami, Cleveland and Boston with the majority of those teams being guard-led and playing little defense. The Bucks are a great defensive team in their own right as they are holding opponents to 43.1% shooting this season.
The UNDER is 3-1 in the last four meetings with these teams averaging just 201 combined points per game. That’s nearly 15 points less than tonight’s posted total of 215.5. There’s clearly some value with the UNDER tonight. Roll with the UNDER in this game Friday.
|10-31-19||Nuggets v. Pelicans OVER 222.5||Top||107-122||Win||100||10 h 35 m||Show|
20* NBA TOTAL OF THE WEEK on Nuggets/Pelicans OVER 222.5
The New Orleans Pelicans are an OVER machine and have been ever since Alvin Gentry took over as head coach. He finally has the youngsters to run the offense he wants, which is get up and down the floor and get up a shot as quickly as possible while playing little defense.
The Pelicans are 4-0 OVER this season. They rank 5th in the NBA in pace at 106.8 possessions per game. They are 6th in offensive efficiency at 110.8 points per 100 possessions, and 28th in defensive efficiency while giving up 116.6 points per 100 possessions. They are combining with their opponents to average 249.2 points per game on the season.
While the Nuggets like to play at a slower pace, they won’t have a choice here. The Pelicans will control the pace playing at home here tonight. And they get their best player in PG Jrue Holiday back from injury after a one-game absence, which benefits the OVER.
The head-to-head series history favors the OVER, too. The Pelicans & Nuggets have combined for at least 227 points in eight of their last nine meetings, making for an 8-1 system backing the OVER pertaining to tonight’s total set of 222.5. The OVER is 6-0 in Pelicans last six Thursday games. The OVER is 4-1 in the last five meetings in New Orleans. Roll with the OVER in this game Thursday.
|10-30-19||Clippers v. Jazz UNDER 217||96-110||Win||100||11 h 22 m||Show|
15* Clippers/Jazz ESPN No-Brainer on UNDER 217
This huge game between the Clippers and Jazz will be played at a snail's pace tonight. The Jazz rank 28th in pace this season, averaging just 99.3 possessions per game. The Clippers are 21st in pace at 102.4 possessions per game.
Not to mention, these are two of the best defensive teams in the NBA. The Jazz are 1st in the NBA in defensive efficiency at 92.0 points per 100 possessions allowed. The problem for the Jazz is on the other end, where they rank 27th in offensive efficiency at 99.5 points per 100 possessions.
The Clippers have put up big numbers offensively this season, but they’ve played against some bad defensive teams in the Warriors, Suns and Hornets in their last three games. I think those gaudy offensive numbers have inflated this total. The Jazz give up just 91.5 points per game and 39.1% shooting on the season, so the Clippers will have their stiffest test yet tonight.
The UNDER is 7-0 in Jazz last seven games overall. The UNDER is 4-0 in Jazz last four home games. The UNDER is 14-3 in Jazz last 17 games following an ATS loss. Bet the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|10-30-19||Rockets v. Wizards +8||159-158||Win||100||10 h 59 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Undervalued Underdog on Washington Wizards +8
The Washington Wizards have really impressed me this season thus far. They are 1-2 SU but 3-0 ATS despite playing their first three games on the road. Now they play their home opener here Wednesday and come in on three days’ rest having last played on Sunday, so they’ll be ready to go tonight.
Washington only lost by 8 at Dallas as 9-point dogs in their opener. They pulled the 97-85 upset at Oklahoma City as 8.5-point dogs. And the very next night they gave the Spurs all they could handle in a 122-124 loss as 11.5-point dogs. The Wizards are playing great team basketball with eight players averaging at least 10 points per game.
The Houston Rockets are clearly one of the most overrated teams in the NBA in the early going. They are 0-3 ATS despite playing their first three games at home. They lost outright to the Bucks, barely beat the Pelicans by 3 as 12-point favorites, and also barely beat the Thunder by 4 as 10-point favorites.
The home team is 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings. The Wizards are 6-1 ATS in their last seven vs. Western Conference opponents. Washington is 17-5 ATS in its last 22 home games after a combined score of 245 points or more. Roll with the Wizards Wednesday.
|10-30-19||Pacers v. Nets -3||118-108||Loss||-108||9 h 29 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Brooklyn Nets -3
The Indiana Pacers are one of the worst teams in the NBA. They are 0-3 SU & 0-3 ATS with their three losses coming to the Pistons (twice) and Cavaliers. That’s a Pistons team playing without Blake Griffin, and they were without Reggie Jackson in the second meeting. And it’s a Cavaliers team that is one of the worst in the NBA.
The Nets come in on two days’ rest and highly motivated for a win today. They have opened 1-2, but could easily be 3-0 as both of their losses have come by a single point. I think we are getting them at a tremendous value as only 3-point home favorites here Wednesday.
Plays on favorites (Brooklyn) - off an upset loss as a road favorite, first six games of the season, a playoff team from last season who lost four or more of their last five games are 36-13 (73.5%) ATS since 1996.
Indiana is 7-18 ATS in road games after playing a road game over the last two seasons. Brooklyn is 39-20 ATS when playing only its 2nd game in 5 days over the last three years. The Pacers are 0-6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. Indiana is 1-9-1 ATS in its last 11 vs. NBA Atlantic Division opponents. The Nets are 15-6 ATS in their last 21 games when playing on two days’ rest. Take the Nets Wednesday.
|10-30-19||Wolves +7.5 v. 76ers||Top||95-117||Loss||-105||8 h 22 m||Show|
20* NBA Non-Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Minnesota Timberwolves +7.5
The Minnesota Timberwolves continue to get no respect from oddsmakers here as 7.5-point road underdogs to the Philadelphia 76ers. They have opened 3-0 SU & 2-0-1 ATS this season and are clearly one of the most underrated teams int he NBA in the early going.
I just don’t trust the Philadelphia 76ers all that much to lay big numbers. They are 3-0, but two of their wins have come by 6 points or less to the Pistons and Hawks, two teams in the bottom half of the NBA. The rank just 19th in offensive efficiency and don’t have many shooters, so they are going to go on stretches where points are hard to come by.
The Timberwolves are taking advantage of their youth this season and rank 11th in pace. They rank 4th in offensive efficiency, scoring 111 points per 100 possessions. They are also 11th in defensive efficiency, and it helps that they have a healthy Robert Covington and drafted Jarrett Culver, giving them two of the best wing defenders in the NBA.
The Timberwolves come in on two days’ rest, so they will be ready to go tonight. Minnesota is 5-0 ATS in its last five road games. Bet the Timberwolves Wednesday.
|10-29-19||Grizzlies +12 v. Lakers||Top||91-120||Loss||-110||12 h 50 m||Show|
20* Grizzlies/Lakers NBA TV Late-Night BAILOUT on Memphis +12
The Memphis Grizzlies are a fun team this year because they actually have some scorers now, and they still play great defense. They are playing great team basketball in the early going as they have seven players averaging at least 10.7 points per game.
Ja Morant is the real deal, averaging 18 points, 6 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game. Jaren Jackson Jr. is his sidekick, averaging 17.3 points and 6.7 rebounds. And I like the role players in Jonas Valanciunas, Dillon Brooks, Brandon Clarke, Jae Crowder, Solomon Hill, Kyle Anderson and Tyus Jones.
The Lakers are simply laying too many points tonight. They are overvalued coming off back-to-back wins and covers over Utah and Charlotte at home. They will be without Kyle Kuzma and could be without Raton Rondo. And I like the fact that Jaren Jackson Jr. is a great defender and will make Anthony Davis work for everything he gets.
The Grizzlies are 4-2 SU & 4-2 ATS in their last six meetings with the Lakers, including outright wins as underdogs in their last two trips to Los Angeles. The underdog is 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings. The Lakers are 4-16 ATS in their last 20 against teams that are outscored by 3-plus points per game by their opponents over the last two seasons. Bet the Grizzlies Tuesday.
|10-29-19||Hawks +8 v. Heat||97-112||Loss||-100||9 h 49 m||Show|
15* Hawks/Heat NBA TV No-Brainer on Atlanta +8
The Atlanta Hawks are 2-1 SU & 3-0 ATS this season and one of the most undervalued teams in the NBA to start the year. They should be 3-0 as they led basically the entire way against the 76ers last night but came up short with a 103-105 loss as 5.5-point home dogs. They missed a shot at the buzzer that would have won it.
I actually like the fact that they lost that game because they will come back highly motivated for a victory tonight. And I’m not concerned at all about the Hawks playing the 2nd of a back-to-back this early in the season because they are a young team with young legs built for it. They have tremendous young talent in Trae Young (34 PPG, 9 APG), John Collins (14.3 PPG, 10 RPG) and De’Andre Hunter (11.3 PPG) leading the way.
I think this line is inflated due to Jimmy Butler making his season debut for the Heat tonight following the birth of a child. Butler has been a cancer in his recent stops in Minnesota and Philadelphia. The ball sticks to him, which won’t allow the Heat to play the nice team basketball they’ve been playing up to this point en route to a 2-1 start.
The Hawks are 4-3 SU & 6-1 ATS in their last seven meetings with the Heat. All four wins came outright as underdogs, and two of the losses came by a combined 4 points. The Hawks are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 road games, and 20-7 ATS in their last 27 games overall. Atlanta is 31-16 ATS off a home loss over the last three seasons. Take the Hawks Tuesday.
|10-28-19||Warriors v. Pelicans -4||134-123||Loss||-110||9 h 50 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday No-Doubt Rout on New Orleans Pelicans -4
The New Orleans Pelicans could easily be 3-0 instead of 0-3. They led the entire game against the Raptors on the road in the opener before losing by 8 in overtime. They played the Mavericks tough in their second game and lost 116-123. And last time out on Saturday they only lost 123-126 on the road at Houston as 12-point dogs.
The Golden State Warriors haven’t even come close to winning. They lost 122-141 in their home opener to the Clippers. And yesterday they got crushed on the road 92-120 by a bad Oklahoma City Thunder team. So they’ll now be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back.
The problem for the Warriors is that they don’t have any scorers outside Stephen Curry and De’Angelo Russell. And Russell isn’t off to a promising start in his first season with the Warriors. They have no depth, and they really miss Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant. They also have no inside game as both Kevon Looney and Willie Cauley-Stein are out. And they play no defense, ranking dead last in the NBA in defensive efficiency by a wide margin.
The Pelicans rank 6th in offensive efficiency and will test this porous Golden State defense. The Warriors are 1-9-1 ATS in their last 11 games playing the 2nd of a back-to-back. New Orleans is 8-0 ATS in its last eight Monday games. Take the Pelicans Monday.
|10-28-19||76ers v. Hawks +5||105-103||Win||100||8 h 56 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday Undervalued Underdog on Atlanta Hawks +5
The Atlanta Hawks are getting zero respect early in the season. They went on the road as underdogs and crushed the Pistons 117-100 in their first game. And they upset the Magic 103-99 in their home opener on Saturday. Now the Hawks are once again underdogs to the Philadelphia 76ers.
It’s a 76ers team that could be without Joel Embiid, who is battling an ankle injury. The 76ers have opened 2-0 with a good win over Boston in their opener, but they needed a comeback win against the Pistons to beat them 117-111 on the road. That’s a Pistons team that was playing without both Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson, arguably their two best players.
The Hawks rank 7th in offensive efficiency and 10th in defensive efficiency thus far through two games. They are shooting 51.2% and giving up just 38% as a team. Trae Young is averaging 38.5 points and 9.0 assists as he appears to be building off the tremendous second half last year. And they drafted De’Andre Hunter to improve their defense and guard the opposing team’s best player. He is also shooting 61.5% from the floor and 50% from 3 in the early going.
Philadelphia is 4-14 ATS after successfully covering the spread in two or more consecutive games over the last two seasons. The 76ers are also 9-23 ATS off two or more consecutive wins over the last two years. Atlanta is 27-13 ATS after playing a home game over the last two seasons. The Hawks went 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS against the 76ers last season, upsetting them as 4.5, 7.5 and 10-point dogs in the three meetings. Atlanta is 6-1 ATS in its last seven home meetings with Philadelphia. Roll with the Hawks Monday.
|10-27-19||Heat v. Wolves -6.5||109-116||Win||100||9 h 43 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday PLAY OF THE DAY on Minnesota Timberwolves -6.5
It’s a tough spot for the Miami Heat tonight. They erased a 17-point halftime deficit yesterday against the Bucks and came back to force overtime. They eventually won 131-126 as 11.5-point dogs in the extra session. Now, this is obviously a letdown spot, but they’ll be pretty tired playing the 2nd of a back-to-back off an OT game.
The Timberwolves will test the fatigue factor for the Heat. They ranked 1st in pace in the preseason and are currently 8th in pace through two games of the regular season. This is a young team, and they’ve stated they want to get up and down the floor this year to take advantage of their youth.
So far so good for the Timberwolves, who are 2-0 SU & 2-0 ATS with two road wins over the Nets and Hornets. Fans should be pretty excited and turn out for their home opener today against the Heat. It’s their only home game in their first five games this season, so look for them to take advantage. Bet the Timberwolves Sunday.
|10-26-19||Clippers -9 v. Suns||Top||122-130||Loss||-110||11 h 50 m||Show|
20* Clippers/Suns NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on Los Angeles -9
I don’t even think it’s an overreaction to say that the Clippers are the best team in the Western Conference from what we’ve seen from them so far. They beat the Lakers 112-102 in their home opener, then went on the road Thursday and crushed the Warriors 141-122.
Not only do the Clippers have a great starting lineup led by Leonard, Beverly and the underrated duo of Shamet and Zubac, but they clearly probably have the best bench in the league. Their bench scored 60 points against the Lakers and following it up with 68 against the Warriors. That’s a mind-blowing 128 bench points in two games. It’s scary to think that they are doing this without Paul George.
The Phoenix Suns are in an awful spot tonight. They will be playing the 2nd of a back-to-back and their 3rd game in 4 days. Not only that, but they went to overtime against Denver on the road in the altitude last night. They won’t have much left in the tank, especially since they’ll be without DeAndre Ayton again tonight.
The Clippers already own the Suns, going 12-0 SU & 10-2 ATS in the last 12 meetings. A whopping 10 of those wins came by double-digits. And now the Clippers have the best team they’ve ever had, while the Suns are still the same old Suns. Bet the Clippers Saturday.
|10-26-19||Raptors v. Bulls +3.5||108-84||Loss||-110||9 h 50 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Chicago Bulls +3.5
The Chicago Bulls are a young team that can handle these back-to-back situations better than most. I love their young, talented roster, and they really should be 2-0. They lost 125-126 at Charlotte only after the Hornets made a ridiculous 23-of-44 from 3-point range. But they came back and won 110-102 at Memphis last night.
The Raptors lost Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green from last year. They just won’t be as good this year, and they should be 0-2. They trailed almost the entire way against the Pelicans in their home opener, needing overtime to beat them while getting a fluky cover as 7-point favorites. And last night they lost to the rival Celtics 106-112 on the road and now will be on the road again for the 2nd of a back-to-back. I think that affects the Raptors worse because they have several older players in Lowry, Gasol and Ibaka who play big minutes and will need to be limited here.
Fans will be excited for the home opener for the Bulls and they’ll pack the United Center tonight. It should be a great atmosphere for a fan base starting for a winner, and the Bulls are very close to turning the corner with the talent they have stockpiled. Chicago is 15-5 ATS in its last 20 meetings with Toronto. Take the Bulls Saturday.
|10-26-19||Heat v. Bucks -10.5||131-126||Loss||-108||6 h 50 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Milwaukee Bucks -10.5
The Miami Heat are going to be without Jimmy Butler, Dion Waiters and James Johnson tonight. They were able to overcome the loss of these three in their opener, winning 120-101 over the Grizzlies at home. But that was a misleading final as the Grizzlies led the entire way, and it took a crazy 26-1 run in the 4th by the Heat to beat them.
Now, the Heat take a big step on in class on the road against the team that I believe is the best in the Eastern Conference in the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s a Bucks team that returned almost everyone from last year and also added in Wesley Matthews, Robin Lopez and Kyle Korver. And unlike the Heat, they are completely healthy.
The Bucks own the Heat. They won their final three meetings last season against the Heat by 38, 15 and 29 points. Those 38 and 29-point wins came at home, and I expect another blowout here in their home opener in what will be a great atmosphere for a game in Milwaukee tonight.
The Heat are 3-13 ATS off a home win by 10 points or more over the last three seasons. The Bucks are 37-17-2 ATS in their last 56 vs. Eastern Conference opponents. Bet the Bucks Saturday.
|10-25-19||Mavs v. Pelicans OVER 228||123-116||Win||100||9 h 56 m||Show|
15* Mavs/Pelicans ESPN No-Brainer on OVER 228
The New Orleans Pelicans consistently play at one of the fastest paces in the NBA under head coach Alvin Gentry. That won’t change this season, especially with a younger roster that is built for getting up and down the floor.
The Pelicans were 5th in pace in the regular season, averaging 110.4 possessions per game. In their opener, they went to OT against the Raptors in a 122-130 loss. Well, that game was tied 117-117 at the end of regulation despite poor shooting from both teams. The Pelicans shot 42.2% from the field while the Raptors shot 40.8%.
The Mavericks are coming off a low-scoring, 108-100 home win over the Wizards in their opener. The Wizards shot just 39.8% from the field and aren’t very good. The Mavericks are going to have to do a lot more offensively in this one to keep up with the Pelicans, who will control the pace at home.
The OVER is 6-1 in the last seven meetings with combined scores of 220, 226, 241, 238, 220, 235 and 248 points at the end of regulation in the last seven meetings, respectively. That’s an average of 232.6 combined points per game. And both teams are stronger offensively with what they did this offseason. Take the OVER in this game Friday.
|10-25-19||Raptors v. Celtics -2.5||Top||106-112||Win||100||7 h 29 m||Show|
20* NBA Friday No-Doubt Rout on Boston Celtics -2.5
The Boston Celtics are highly motivated for a win in their home opener. They lost on the road to the 76ers to open the season Wednesday and now they welcome the defending champs to Boston. Look for them to handle their business as only 2.5-point home favorites tonight.
I loved the move to replace cancer Kyrie Irving with Kemba Walker. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are on their way to becoming stars and will get to play larger roles this season. And Gordon Hayward is back in the starting lineup after coming off the bench last year. Hayward scored 25 points in the opener and should return to the player that he was in Utah.
The Raptors lost both Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to the Lakers in free agency. They still have some talent here with Lowry, Gasol, Siakam, Ibaka and Van Vleet, but they are a far cry from the team they were last year. They didn’t do much to add to their roster in the offseason and two signees in Patrick McCaw and Rondae-Hollis Jefferson are out with injuries.
Nick Nurse is 4-15 ATS after a combined score of 235 points or more as the coach of Toronto. Boston is 15-4 ATS in home games vs. division opponents over the last three seasons. The home team is 11-0 SU & 10-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings as home-court advantage has been huge in this series. Bet the Celtics Friday.
|10-24-19||Bucks +2 v. Rockets||117-111||Win||100||9 h 32 m||Show|
15* Bucks/Rockets TNT Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Milwaukee +2
The Milwaukee Bucks had the best record in the NBA last season and will challenge for the top spot again in 2019. They didn’t lose much this offseason outside Malcolm Brogdon, who was simply an injury waiting to happen and the Pacers paid way too much for him.
I actually think the Bucks got better in the offseason. They brought back their core four in Giannis, Bledsoe, Middleton and Lopez. They added veteran Wesley Matthews, C Robin Lopez, G Kyle Korver and F Dragan Bender. The Bucks will be a force once again and are far and away the best team in the East in my opinion.
I think it’s going to take some time for the Rockets to get accustomed to playing with both James Harden and Russell Westbrook, the two most ball-dominant players in the NBA. They lost Chris Paul, Iran Shumpert and Kenneth Faried in the offseason. I don’t like the additions of Tyson Chandler and Thabo Sefolosha, who have both been non-factors in the NBA due to injury and age.
The Bucks owned the Rockets in both meetings last season. They won 108-94 at home and held the Rockets to 36.4% shooting. They also won 116-109 on the road and held the Rockets to 37.6% shooting. The Bucks are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Expect more of the same here in the opener. Roll with the Bucks Thursday.
|10-23-19||Grizzlies +8 v. Heat||101-120||Loss||-105||9 h 13 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Memphis Grizzlies +8
The Miami Heat are getting too much respect from oddsmakers in their opener against Memphis. They signed Jimmy Butler, and he has been a cancer in his last two stops in Philadelphia and Minnesota. He needs to have the ball in his hands to be effective, and he’s just not a great team player.
The rest of Miami’s starting five includes Jutise Winslow, Dion Waiters, Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo, though Waiters is out with a suspension. They are also without key role player James Johnson. They lost Dwyane Wade, Josh Richardson and Hassan Whiteside. I like the draft pick on Tyler Herro, but Meyers Leonard was their only other key addition, and he’s just not very good.
The Grizzlies managed to win 33 games last year despite all of their injuries and players they traded away. They enter a new era now with a younger, exciting group of players. Their top two picks in the draft the last two years in Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant are absolute studs. They also got Brandon Clarke in the draft, giving them three huge building blocks for the future.
Jonas Valanciunas was not a downgrade at all from Marc Gasol at center. He played well down the stretch for the Grizzlies as they were a thorn in the side of a lot of playoff contenders. They also added veteran Jae Crowder, who will start alongside Jackson Jr., Morant, Valanciunas and Dillon Brooks, who had a big preseason and looks to take the next step forward. They have a lot of depth as they added 10 players this offseason. Roll with the Grizzlies Wednesday.
|10-23-19||Bulls -2.5 v. Hornets||Top||125-126||Loss||-109||10 h 36 m||Show|
20* NBA Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Chicago Bulls -2.5
The Chicago Bulls will be one of the most improved teams in the NBA this season. The Charlotte Hornets will be the worst team in the NBA by my estimation. So it only makes sense to back the Bulls as short favorites here in the opener over the Hornets.
Injuries decimated the Bulls in a 22-60 season last year. This is one of the most talented rosters in the league when healthy. They have Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter Jr. and Zach LaVine as veterans to lead the way. They landed Coby White in the draft and added Thaddeus Young and Tomas Satoransky in free agency. And they get last year’s first-round pick in Wendell Carter Jr. back from injury.
The Hornets could have traded Kemba Walker and got a big return either of the last two seasons. Instead, they gave hime a lowball offer and let him walk in free agency to Boston. They replaced him with a backup PG in Terry Rozier. The Hornets also let Jeremy Lamb walk in free agency, so they’ve lost their two best players. Their projected starting five of Rozier, Bacon, Washington, Bridges and Zeller is the worst in the NBA. Bet the Bulls Wednesday.
|10-23-19||Cavs +9 v. Magic||85-94||Push||0||9 h 43 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Undervalued Underdog on Cleveland Cavaliers +9
The Orlando Magic open the 2019-20 season getting too much respect from oddsmakers after a big finish last season to make the playoffs. I like their team, but they should not be laying 9 points to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the opener.
While the Magic didn’t do much this offseason, the Cavaliers will be greatly improved after going just 19-63 last season. They drafted Daris Garland to pair with Collin Sexton, giving them one of the most dynamic backcourts in the NBA. They also drafted Dylan Windler and Kevin Porter Jr., thought Windler is out to start the season with a leg injury.
Now the Cavaliers have a nice mix of youth and veterans. Their frontcourt is in good shape with Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson, and they brought back Matthew Dellavedova, who are the holdovers from the 2016 glory days. Love is still an All-Star caliber player who was hurt last year. Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. should take another step forward this year. Take the Cavaliers Wednesday.
|10-22-19||Pelicans +7 v. Raptors||Top||122-130||Loss||-106||10 h 19 m||Show|
20* Pelicans/Raptors TNT No-Brainer on New Orleans +7
I think the injury to Zion Williamson is being overblown here, and the Pelicans are catching too many points now on opening night to pass up. This line has moved from Toronto -5 up to Toronto -7, providing us with ample value to pull the trigger on the Pelicans.
New Orleans made plenty of other offseason moves that will improve them. They also added Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker in the draft. They signed JJ Redick and Nicolo Melli in free agency while also dealing for Derrick Favors. Plus, they got Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram back in the Anthony Davis trade. This team is loaded with talent and depth now.
The Raptors lost both Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to the Lakers in free agency. Kyle Lowry will play despite recovering from offseason thumb surgery. And key signees Patrick McCaw (knee) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (groin) will be out to start the season. There is still some talent here with Marc Gasol, Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka, but they are a far cry from the team that won the title last year while riding Leonard.
The Pelicans are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six trips to Toronto. The underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Bet the Pelicans Tuesday.
|06-13-19||Raptors +3 v. Warriors||Top||114-110||Win||100||12 h 45 m||Show|
20* Raptors/Warriors Game 6 No-Brainer on Toronto +3
The Toronto Raptors are now 5-2 against the Warriors this season. Even in their two losses they had a chance to win, losing by a combined 6 points. And they’ve been unstoppable at Oracle in Golden State.
Indeed, the Raptors are 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS at Golden State this season with wins by 20, 14 and 13 points. They have actually played their best basketball on the road in this series. And now without Kevin Durant, the Warriors don’t stand much of a chance of slowing them down.
In Game 5, the Warriors got a 3-for-3 from 3-point shooting effort from Durant before he left with injury. His points proved to be the difference in the game in a 106-105 win. In fact, the Warriors made 20 3-pointers compared to just 8 for the Raptors, outscoring them by 36 points from the 3-point line. Yet they still only won by one. The discrepancy in 3-point shooting won’t be near that big in Game 6, and as as result the Raptors should roll again.
The Raptors are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine games overall. The Warriors are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games. Toronto is 4-0 ATS in its last four trips to Golden State. Bet the Raptors in Game 6 Thursday.
|06-10-19||Warriors v. Raptors -1.5||Top||106-105||Loss||-105||10 h 53 m||Show|
20* Warriors/Raptors Game 5 No-Brainer on Toronto -1.5
The Warriors are getting a lot of respect from oddsmakers here in Game 5. They are only 1.5-point road underdogs to the Raptors. A lot of that has to do with he speculation that Kevin Durant may return, but even if he does he won’t be 100% and will be on a minutes restriction.
The Raptors continue to get no love from oddsmakers despite saving their best basketball of the season for last. They are now 7-1 SU & 7-1 ATS in their last eight games overall against the Bucks and Warriors. That’s no small feat. The only game they lost they lost by 5 to the Warriors and shot just 37.2% from the field.
It will be the best atmosphere ever for a Toronto home game tonight. Canada wants their first ever NBA title, and fans will be raucous. The Raptors are 41-12 at home this season and have some of the best fans in the business. They also have the current best player in the NBA in Kawhi Leonard, who continues to make all the right decisions.
The Raptors are 5-1 SU in all meetings with the Warriors this season. The Warriors just aren’t getting much help outside Curry and Thompson in this series, and the injuries and their lack of depth has really caught up to them. I believe this series ends tonight in Toronto. Bet the Raptors Monday.
|06-07-19||Raptors v. Warriors UNDER 215.5||105-92||Win||100||9 h 13 m||Show|
15* Raptors/Warriors Game 4 Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 215.5
The Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors meet for a pivotal Game 4 tonight. I think with what’s at stake here with the series basically on the line for the Warriors that we will see a great defensive effort from them. The Raptors bring it defensively every game.
I also think there’s value on the UNDER here when comparing this line to previous in this series. It was 212.5 for Game 1, 213 for Game 2 and 209.5 for Game 3. Now it’s 215.5 for Game 4, the highest of any game thus far.
The Raptors aren’t likely to shoot as well as they did last game as they shot 52.4% from the floor, 44.7% from 3-point range and 95.2% from the free throw line. One team has shot lights out in every game thus far. Expect both teams to struggle offensively now that both teams are more familiar with one another.
The UNDER is 8-3-1 in Raptors last 12 road games. Take the UNDER in this game Friday.
|06-05-19||Raptors +5 v. Warriors||Top||123-109||Win||100||10 h 59 m||Show|
20* Raptors/Warriors Game 3 No-Brainer on Toronto +5
The Toronto Raptors had their fourth-worst shooting performance of the entire playoffs in Game 2. They shot just 35-of-94 (37.2%) from the field, yet they still only lost by 5 points. Look for them to shoot the ball much better in Game 3 and to prove once again that they are one of the best road teams in the NBA.
Of course, injuries to the Warriors makes the job a lot easier for the Raptors. They will still be without Kevin Durant for Game 3, Kevon Looney is out for the playoffs after suffering a shoulder injury in Game 2, and Klay Thompson is questionable tonight with a hamstring injury also suffered in Game 2.
The Looney injury is getting overlooked. The trio of Curry, Green and Looney have the best 3-man rating in the entire playoffs at +20.2 compared to only +2.5 without Looney on the floor. They have a +122.5 offensive rating with Looney compared to a +109.4 rating without him. Plus, they have the best 3-man defensive combination in the entire playoffs when Curry, Green and Looney are on the floor together.
The Warriors are 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine games following an ATS win. The Raptors are 5-1 SU & 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall. A better shooting performance tonight will have them taking advantage of the Warriors’ injuries and likely winning this game outright, though we’ll take the points for some insurance. Bet the Raptors Wednesday.
|06-02-19||Warriors v. Raptors -2||Top||109-104||Loss||-107||9 h 22 m||Show|
20* Warriors/Raptors Game 2 No-Brainer on Toronto -2
The Toronto Raptors have now won five straight games over the Bucks and Warriors. This team is proving they are for real and a legit threat to stop Golden State’s three-peat. They know getting Game 2 here is a must with Kevin Durant likely coming back soon.
The Warriors are vulnerable without KD despite all the numbers they have shown about their record with Curry and without Durant. That was evident last series when they had to come back from 15-plus points down in three straight games against the Blazers. Well, the Raptors are much better than the Blazers.
Toronto is 5-0 ATS in its last five games overall. Golden State is 2-10 ATS in its last 12 Sunday games. The Raptors are 35-16-2 ATS in their last 53 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Toronto is now 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in all three meetings with the Warriors this season. Bet the Raptors Sunday.
|05-30-19||Warriors v. Raptors -1||Top||109-118||Win||100||10 h 48 m||Show|
20* Warriors/Raptors Game 1 No-Brainer on Toronto -1
What the Raptors just did to the Bucks in winning four straight was the most impressive feat yet in these playoffs. The Bucks were the best team in the NBA during the regular season, and Nick Nurse and the Raptors came up with the proper game plan to stop them.
Of course, the feat the Warriors just pulled off against the Blazers was also impressive. They swept the Blazers in four games, winning each of the final three games despite trailing by at least 15 points in all three. While impressive, it also shows how vulnerable the Warriors really are. The Blazers aren’t that good.
Certainly this is a step up in class for the Warriors, who will still be without Kevin Durant. And the Raptors proved in the regular season that they could beat the Warriors, sweeping the season series while winning 131-128 at home and 113-93 on the road. Kawhi Leonard is the best player in this series, period, and the role players for the Raptors are really gaining confidence.
I think the 5-day layoff for the Raptors is the superior situation than the 10-day layoff for the Warriors, who are sure to be rusty in Game 1. Toronto is 34-16-2 ATS in its last 52 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. The Raptors are 5-2-1 ATS in the last eight meetings. Bet the Raptors in Game 1 Thursday.
|05-25-19||Bucks +2 v. Raptors||Top||94-100||Loss||-104||8 h 20 m||Show|
20* Bucks/Raptors TNT No-Brainer on Milwaukee +2
The Milwaukee Bucks were the best team in the NBA all season. I’ll back them to get it figured out in Game 6 and get this series back to Milwaukee. The Raptors simply are not this good, getting the breaks late in wins in Game 3 and Game 5.
Officiating certainly went the Raptors’ way in Game 5 as they attempted 31 free throws compared to 18 for the Bucks despite the fact that the game was played in Milwaukee. And Fred VanVleet hit 7 3-pointers, which was the difference and is unlikely to happen again.
The Bucks are 31-16 SU & 28-17-2 ATS on the road this season, so they clearly aren’t phased by traveling. And they lost in double-OT in Toronto in Game 3. Not to mention, they won both regular season meetings in Toronto.
Milwaukee is 16-4 ATS off an upset loss as a favorite this season. The Bucks are 22-3 SU & 19-6 ATS off a loss this season. Milwaukee is 37-16-2 ATS in its last 55 vs. Eastern Conference opponents. Bet the Bucks Saturday.
|05-23-19||Raptors v. Bucks -6.5||Top||105-99||Loss||-110||11 h 43 m||Show|
25* NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs GAME OF THE YEAR on Milwaukee Bucks -6.5
After losing both games in Toronto, and getting embarrassed in Game 4, the Milwaukee Bucks return home highly motivated for a victory in Game 5 to regain control of this series. The Bucks are still 10-3 SU & 10-3 ATS in these playoffs and the best team in the East, and that will show tonight.
Milwaukee has been a great bet off a loss. In fact, the Bucks are 22-2 SU & 19-5 ATS following a loss this season. That’s right, they’ve only lost back-to-back games twice all season, and it just happened for the second time. It’s been a resilient team, and that resiliency will really be on display tonight with the support of their home crowd on their side.
Kawhi Leonard is clearly hobbled and tired. The Bucks made the mistake of double-teaming him last game, and he found open shooters time and time again. The Raptors’ roll players hit those shots at home, but now it will be the Bucks’ role players who step up at home this time around. And I expect Mike Budenholzer to make the right adjustments like he’s done all season and to not double-team Kawhi. He can’t beat them on his own.
Plays on favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points (Milwaukee) - revenging a loss by 10 points or more, off two or more consecutive road losses are 37-13 (74%) ATS over the last five seasons. Milwaukee is 10-1 ATS off an upset loss as a road favorite this season. The Bucks are 21-5 ATS in their last 26 games off a loss. Milwaukee is 5-1 SU & 5-1 ATS at home in the playoffs this season. Bet the Bucks Thursday.
|05-21-19||Bucks -3 v. Raptors||Top||102-120||Loss||-104||8 h 55 m||Show|
20* Bucks/Raptors TNT No-Brainer on Milwaukee -3
The Milwaukee Bucks played about as poorly as they could have in Game 3. Yet, they still forced double-overtime despite shooting just 37.3% from the field. It was a must-win game for the Raptors in that spot, and they were fortunate to escape with a victory.
They won’t be so fortunate in Game 4 tonight. The Bucks aren’t going to shoot that poorly again as this has been one of the best offensive teams in the NBA this season at 117.9 points per game on 47.3% shooting. They are loaded with great 3-point shooting to surround the unstoppable Greek Freak.
Milwaukee is a ridiculous 22-1 SU & 19-4 ATS following a loss this season. It is coming back to win by 15.0 points per game in this spot. The Bucks are 12-2 ATS off a road loss this season. They have been the most resilient team in the NBA this season. Milwaukee is 20-7-1 ATS in its last 28 road games. The Raptors are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall. Bet the Bucks Tuesday.
|05-20-19||Warriors v. Blazers +3.5||Top||119-117||Win||100||10 h 58 m||Show|
20* Warriors/Blazers ESPN No-Brainer on Portland +3.5
The Golden State Warriors just became the first team in NBA history to win consecutive playoff games after trailing by 13 or more points. It shows their resiliency, but it also shows how the Blazers could easily be up 2-1 in this series instead of down 0-3.
From a line value perspective, there’s certainly value taking the Blazers in Game 4 here as 3.5-point underdogs when you consider they were 2.5-point favorites in Game 3. That’s a 6-point adjustment. I think the Blazers will show some pride here and not want to get swept.
The Warriors are already without Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins, and now they could be without Andre Iguodala, who left with a calf injury in Game 3. He is their best defender and the Blazers should have a lot more success offensively if he can’t go.
Golden State is 4-12 ATS as a road favorite of 6 points or less this season. Portland is 11-2 ATS when revenging a loss by 10 points or more this season. The Blazers are 17-8-1 ATS in their last 26 games following an ATS loss. The Warriors are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games following an ATS win. Golden State is 19-42-2 ATS in its last 63 games off a win by more than 10 points. Bet the Blazers Monday.
|05-19-19||Bucks v. Raptors -2||112-118||Win||100||12 h 1 m||Show|
15* Bucks/Raptors TNT ANNIHILATOR on Toronto -2
It’s now or never for the Toronto Raptors. They must win Game 3 if they want to get back in this series after losing the first two, and I trust them to get the job done.
The Raptors are 37-11 at home this season. Milwaukee is 7-21 ATS in its last 28 games off three or more consecutive home wins. Toronto is 18-5 ATS after failing to cover four of its last five ATS over the last three years. Toronto is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600. Roll with the Raptors Sunday.
|05-18-19||Warriors v. Blazers -2||Top||110-99||Loss||-113||14 h 16 m||Show|
25* NBA Conference Finals GAME OF THE YEAR on Portland Trail Blazers -2
The Portland Trail Blazers know they can beat the Warriors. They proved it in the regular season by splitting the season series 2-2. And they certainly gave them a run for their money in Games 1 and 2 in Golden State.
Indeed, the Blazers were tired off their seven-game series with the Nuggets, yet they were only down by 6 points at the end of three quarters despite playing their worst game of the playoffs in Game 1. They played much better in Game 2 and actually led by 17 in the 3rd quarter, but the Warriors came back and stole a victory late.
Now, with their season on the line, the Blazers should be able to win Game 3 at home. The Warriors are likely to relax after protecting their home court, while the Blazers are likely to play with a big chip on their shoulder here after letting Game 2 slip away. This is my favorite bet of the conference finals.
The Warriors are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games off a win. The Blazers are 7-1 ATS in their last eight home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600. Bet the Blazers Saturday.
|05-17-19||Raptors v. Bucks UNDER 216||103-125||Loss||-102||10 h 36 m||Show|
15* Raptors/Bucks TNT Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 216
The pace was a rapid one in Game 1 as the Raptors got 92 shots up and the Bucks got 93 up. Yet, they still went UNDER the 218-point total as the Bucks won 108-100 for 208 combined points. I have to think the pace slows down quite a bit in Game 2 now that these teams are more familiar with one another, and as a result I like it to stay UNDER the total again.
The UNDER is 7-1-1 in Raptors last nine road games. The UNDER is 6-0 in Raptors last six games following an ATS loss. The UNDER is 11-3 in Raptors last 14 games overall. The UNDER is 4-1 in Bucks last five games off a win. The UNDER is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings in Milwaukee. Roll with the UNDER in Game 2 Friday.
|05-16-19||Blazers +7.5 v. Warriors||111-114||Win||100||9 h 44 m||Show|
15* Blazers/Warriors ESPN ANNIHILATOR on Portland +7.5
The 22-point blowout the Warriors put on the Blazers was a bit misleading. This was a 6-point game at the end of three quarters. Portland managed to hang around despite committing 21 turnovers and shooting just 36.1% from the field.
So, the Blazers couldn’t have played any worse in Game 1, and they still had a chance to pull the upset going into the 4th quarter. And they were in a tough spot off a difficult Game 7 win in Denver. Now a few more days removed, and they should come back much fresher for Game 2 tonight. Expect the Blazers to give the Warriors a run for their money.
Golden State has shot 49.4% and 50% from eh field in its last two games. Both of those were without Kevin Durant. The Warriors aren’t a better team without Durant, and they certainly will be hard-pressed to continue shooting as well as they did in their last two games against Houston and Portland.
Portland is 8-0 ATS when revenging a road loss by 10 points or more this season. It is bouncing back to win by 8.3 points per game in this situation. Golden State is 9-19 ATS off a win by 15 points or more this season. The Warriors are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games off an ATS win. Take the Blazers Thursday.
|05-15-19||Raptors v. Bucks -6||Top||100-108||Win||100||9 h 50 m||Show|
20* Raptors/Bucks TNT No-Brainer on Milwaukee -6
The Milwaukee Bucks have been the best team in the NBA all season. And as a result, they’ve been the best team for bettors to back, too. They are currently 68-23 SU & 55-33 ATS this season. They’ve been even better in the playoffs, going 8-1 SU & 8-1 ATS for backers with seven wins by double-digits.
The Bucks went 3-1 SU & 3-1 ATS against the Raptors in the regular season. They are in the favorable spot here having a full week off after closing their series with the Celtics last Wednesday. The spot is a much tougher one for the Raptors.
Indeed, Toronto just completed a grueling seven-game series with the 76ers on Sunday. We saw how much the seven-game series took out of the Blazers last night, and I think it will be the same for the Raptors. I think they relax in Game 1 here after surviving the 76ers, and they will simply still be too tired to match the energy and effort the Bucks put into this game.
Toronto is 1-9 ATS in road games after allowing 90 points or less over the last two seasons. The Bucks are 35-14-2 ATS in their last 51 vs. Eastern Conference opponents. Milwaukee is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet the Bucks Wednesday.
|05-14-19||Blazers +7.5 v. Warriors||94-116||Loss||-106||10 h 32 m||Show|
15* Blazers/Warriors ESPN ANNIHILATOR on Portland +7.5
The Warriors are ripe for the picking with Kevin Durant likely to miss the first two games of this series. Yes, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson caught fire against the Rockets in Game 6 last series to steal a victory, but they can’t be expected to stay that hot.
The fact of the matter is the Warriors are short-handed. They already lacked a bench before losing both DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant. The Blazers won’t take them lightly like the Rockets did, and this is a Blazers team with something special going right now.
Indeed, the Blazers upset both the Thunder and the Nuggets as underdogs in their series. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are showing why they are one of the best guard tandems in the NBA. And the Blazers are getting significant contributions from most of their role players like Seth Curry, Zach Collins, Enes Kanter, Al-Farouq Aminu, Rodney Hood and Maurice Harkless.
The Blazers split the season series with the Warriors 2-2, including a 110-109 upset at Golden State as 9-point dogs. Golden State is 1-8 ATS in home games when revenging a loss this season. The Warriors are 9-18 ATS as a home favorite of 6.5 to 12 points this season. Golden State is 0-6 ATS in its last six games following an ATS win. Bet the Blazers Tuesday.
|05-12-19||76ers v. Raptors -6||90-92||Loss||-110||9 h 59 m||Show|
15* 76ers/Raptors TNT ANNIHILATOR on Toronto -6
The Philadelphia 76ers just can’t be trusted to go on the road and win a big Game 7 like this. They only have one player you can trust, and that’s Jimmy Butler. Joel Embiid has been held in check this series by Marc Gasol, Ben Simmons has only had one good game, and Tobias Harris hasn’t been much of a factor.
The Raptors did lose once at home to the 76ers in Game 2, but they blew them out by 13 and 36 points in the other two meetings in Toronto. The Raptors are now 15-1 SU & 11-5 ATS in their last 16 home meetings with the 76ers. They have covered six of their last seven at home against Philadelphia.
Home teams are 105-28 (79%) at home in Game 7’s all-time. Toronto is 16-3 ATS in home games vs. division opponents over the last two seasons. The Raptors are 6-0 ATS in their last six games following. Loss by more than 10 points. Take the Raptors Sunday.
|05-12-19||Blazers v. Nuggets -5.5||Top||100-96||Loss||-105||5 h 29 m||Show|
20* Blazers/Nuggets ABC No-Brainer on Denver -5.5
The Denver Nuggets had the best home record in the NBA during the regular season. They are 39-9 at home, outscoring opponents by 10.1 points per game, and I trust them to get the job done here in Game 7 at home by 6-plus points to cover this spread.
After all, the Nuggets already showed they could handle the pressure of a Game 7 by beating the Spurs at home, and they didn’t even play that well in that game. I expect them to play more like they did in the pivotal Game 5 when they buried the Blazers 124-98 as identical 5.5-point favorites. Home teams are 105-28 (79%) at home in Game 7’s all-time.
Portland is 3-15 ATS in road games after failing to cover five or six of their last seven games aover the last three seasons. Denver is 14-6 ATS as a home favorite of 6 points or less this season. The Nuggets are 13-5 ATS in home games when revenging a loss this season. The Blazers are 0-5 ATS in their last five games following a win. Denver is 4-1 ATS in its last five games following a loss. The Nuggets are 9-3-1 ATS in the last 13 meetings. Bet the Nuggets Sunday.
|05-10-19||Warriors v. Rockets -7||Top||118-113||Loss||-105||9 h 40 m||Show|
20* Warriors/Rockets ESPN No-Brainer on Houston -7
The Houston Rockets let the Warriors off the hook in Game 5. I think they let down from the Kevin Durant injury, and James Harden wasn’t his usual self, shooting just one time in the final eight minutes, 30 seconds of the game.
I think after reflecting on the fact that Durant is out, the Rockets won’t feel bad at all. Remember, they held a 3-2 series lead over the Warriors last season before Chris Paul went out with a hamstring injury and missed the final two games. I believe they would have won that series had Paul not gotten hurt.
Now, the Rockets should win this series because Durant is hurt, and DeMarcus Cousins is already out. The Warriors don’t have any depth this year, which is why they have had to play their starters such big minutes already. That certainly could have attributed to the Durant injury. Now, too much of the scoring load will be placed on Steph Curry and Klay Thompson because the Warriors really don’t have any other scorers.
Houston is 5-0 SU & 4-1 ATS at home in the playoffs this season, outscoring opponents by 13.6 points per game. The Rockets are now 36-10 at home this season. Houston is 8-1 ATS in home games off two or more consecutive ATS wins this season. Bet the Rockets Friday.
|05-09-19||Raptors v. 76ers UNDER 212.5||Top||101-112||Loss||-109||9 h 42 m||Show|
20* Raptors/76ers ESPN No-Brainer on UNDER 212.5
The Toronto Raptors have been absolutely dynamite defensively in the playoffs and down the stretch. In fact, they have allowed 42% shooting or less in 11 of their last 12 games overall. As a result, the UNDER is 9-2 in Raptors’ last 11 games overall.
The Philadelphia 76ers have shot 42% or worse in four of five games in this series. They have been respectable defensively as the Raptors have had a hard time getting anyone other than Kawhi Leonard going. And the UNDER is 6-1 in 76ers' last seven games overall.
The Raptors and 76ers have combined for 203, 183, 211, 197 and 214 points in their five meetings in this series. That’s an average of 201.6 combined points per game, which is roughly 11 points less than this 212.5-point total for Game 6 tonight. I think there continues to be value with the UNDER tonight.
Philadelphia is 21-4 UNDER when playing four or less games in 10 days this season. The UNDER is 6-0-1 in Raptors last seven road games. The UNDER is 8-1 in 76ers last nine home games vs. a team with a winning road record. The UNDER is 5-1 in the last six meetings. Bet the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|05-08-19||Rockets +6.5 v. Warriors||99-104||Win||100||11 h 38 m||Show|
15* Rockets/Warriors TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on Houston +6.5
The Houston Rockets are loaded with confidence now after taking two must-win games in Houston to even this series at 2-2. They know this pivotal Game 5 is where they can really take a stranglehold on this series and get the sweet revenge they’ve been waiting for since blowing a 3-2 lead last year after Chris Paul went down with injury.
The Rockets have been the more aggressive team in this series, and they’ve done a great job of limiting both Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. They are letting Kevin Durant get his, but the Warriors are much better when the ball is moving and everyone is getting involved. They are playing a brilliant defensive game thus far.
Considering all four meetings in this series have been decided by 6 points or less, I think we are getting some real value here with the Rockets as 6.5-point dogs in a game that will likely go down to the wire again. The Rockets are now 5-3 SU & 6-2 ATS in their eight meetings with the Warriors this season, and I actually believe they are the better team. The Rockets have a deep bench, while the Warriors’ bench is the worst its been in a long time.
Golden State is 9-18 ATS as a home favorite of 6.5 to 12 points this season. Houston is 30-16 ATS in road games off a home win over the last three years. The Rockets are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games overall. Houston is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games following a win. The Warriors are 11-23-1 ATS in their last 35 home games. Take the Rockets Wednesday.
|05-08-19||Celtics +9 v. Bucks||Top||91-116||Loss||-110||8 h 5 m||Show|
20* Celtics/Bucks TNT No-Brainer on Boston +9
The Boston Celtics won’t go down without a fight. That’s the type of team they are, and they have heard in the media that this series is already over from everyone. I think there’s a ton of value on the motivated Celtics as 9-point dogs in this contest.
Boston shot 54% in its upset Game 1 victory, which wasn’t sustainable. However, the Celtics have shot just 39.5%, 43.2% and 37.8% in their three games since, and they are a much better shooting team than that. Look for them to get closer to the 50% mark in this Game 5 than they have been in their previous three games.
Boston is 13-4 ATS after failing to cover the spread in three or more consecutive games over the last two seasons. It is winning outright by 8.0 points per game in this spot. Milwaukee is 67-112 ATS in its lsat 179 games off three or more consecutive wins. The Celtics are 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games. The road team is 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings. Bet the Celtics Wednesday.
|05-07-19||Blazers v. Nuggets -4.5||Top||98-124||Win||100||10 h 52 m||Show|
20* Blazers/Nuggets TNT No-Brainer on Denver -4.5
The Denver Nuggets are a resilient bunch. They trailed 2-1 against San Antonio and went and got a huge road win 117-103. Then they followed it up with an 18-point victory at home in Game 5 to regain control of the series. I think we see something similar here against Portland.
After trailing 2-1 after losing a four-overtime heartbreaker, the Nuggets went into Portland and pulled out a victory in Game 4. They have all the momentum and confidence now, and I look for them to continue playing very well on their home court.
The Nuggets had the best home record in the NBA during the regular season and are now 38-9 at home this season. I simply believe they are the deeper, more talented team in this series, and as long as they shoot the ball hallway decent they will win and cover. They have covered in six of their eight meetings with the Blazers this season.
Denver is 18-5 ATS in home games off an ATS win this season. Portland is 3-14 ATS in road games after failing to cover five or six of their last seven ATS over the last three seasons. Plays against road underdogs (Portland) vs. division opponents, off an upset loss to a division rival as a favorite are 25-8 (75.8%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet the Nuggets Tuesday.
|05-06-19||Warriors v. Rockets -1||Top||108-112||Win||100||9 h 22 m||Show|
20* Warriors/Rockets TNT No-Brainer on Houston -1
The Rockets will be brimming with confidence after taking down the Warriors in overtime in Game 3 and saving their season. Now, I look for them to put forth their best performance yet in a series that has been closely-contested thus far with all three games decided by 6 points or less.
The Rockets are 35-10 at home this season and 4-0 at home in the playoffs, outscoring opponents by an average of 16 points per game. They certainly got more from their role players at home in Game 3 as they made 18 3-pointers as a team and shot 48.4% from the field.
The Rockets are 8-1-1 ATS in their last 10 home games. Houston is 8-2 ATS in its lsat 10 games following a win. The Rockets are 4-3 SU & 5-2 ATS in their seven meetings with the Warriors this season. Bet the Rockets Monday.
|05-06-19||Bucks v. Celtics -1.5||113-101||Loss||-105||7 h 49 m||Show|
15* Bucks/Celtics TNT ANNIHILATOR on Boston Celtics -1.5
The Boston Celtics are fighting for their lives tonight at home in Game 4. If they lose this game, the series is overall. The Celtics will want it more, and the Bucks could easily relax after regaining home-court advantage after an impressive Game 3 victory.
The Celtics shot 54% in Game 1, which wasn’t sustainable. But they have shot just 39.5% in Game 2 and 43.2% in Game 3 since. They are a better shooting team than that, and I look for their offense to be much smoother in Game 4 as more guys get involved.
It was a rare home playoff loss for the Celtics in Game 3. The Celtics are 12-2 ATS in home playoff games over the last two seasons. Boston is 18-7-1 ATS in its last 26 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600. The Celtics are 6-2 ATS in their last eight home meetings with the Bucks. Take the Celtics Monday.
|05-05-19||Raptors v. 76ers UNDER 214.5||Top||101-96||Win||100||5 h 54 m||Show|
20* Raptors/76ers ABC No-Brainer on UNDER 214.5
This pivotal Game 4 will be a low-scoring, defensive battle just as the first three games have been. The UNDER is 3-0 in this series with combined scores of 203, 183 and 211 points. And now we have a 214.5-point total for Game 4, which is too high.
That’s especially the case when you consider that the Raptors will be without arguably their second-best player in Pascal Siakam today. He is the team’s second-leading scorer at 16.9 points per game and he has just gotten better as the season has gone on.
Philadelphia is 16-4 to the UNDER in its lsat 20 during the 4th game of a playoff series. The UNDER is 5-0-1 in Raptors last six road games. The UNDER is 8-1 in Raptors last nine games overall. The UNDER is 5-0 in 76ers last five games overall. The UNDER is 4-0 in the last four meetings. Bet the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|05-04-19||Warriors v. Rockets -3||Top||121-126||Win||100||10 h 45 m||Show|
25* NBA 2nd Round GAME OF THE YEAR on Houston Rockets -3
The Houston Rockets had their chances in both Games 1 and 2 at Golden State. The officials cost them Game 1 in a 4-point loss, and they got within 3 late in the second half of Game 2 but lost by 6. They certainly know they can beat this team, and I can’t see them falling down 3-0 and not putting up a fight.
The Rockets proved they could beat the Warriors by winning three of four regular season meetings with their only loss coming by 2 points. And now they get the Warriors at home for the first time in this series. I expect Golden State to relax after taking care of business at home, and for the Rockets to simply want this one more.
Getting three days off between games was huge for James Harden. His eye injury got extra time to heal, and he should be near 100% for this one. Harden still had 29 points in Game 2 with that eye injury, so I’m not concerned about it at all.
The Warriors are plus-15 in field goal attempts in this series because the Rockets have been terrible in turnovers and allowing offensive rebounds. They have turned the ball over 31 times and have allowed 26 offensive rebounds with the Warriors regaining possession on 30.2% of their misses. Look for the Rockets to shore up those two areas, and that will make all the difference here.
Houston is 8-1 ATS when playing with double revenge this season, coming back to win by 13.6 points per game on average. The Warriors are 0-5 ATS in their last five games following an ATS win. The Rockets are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine home games. They went 3-0 at home against the Jazz last series, outscoring them by a combined 59 points in the three victories. Bet the Rockets Saturday.
FREE Kentucky Derby Picks!
Win: No. 5 Improbable (5/1)
Improbable was undefeated in three starts as a 2-year-old. Since then he lost by a neck in the Rebel Stakes and by a length to Derby favorite Omaha Beach in the Arkansas Derby. That effort showed he could go the distance with what was previously the best horse in the field in Omaha Beach. Now, I believe Improbable is the best horse in the field.
The pedigree is a good one as well. He is the son of City Zip, a Grade 1-winning sprinter and half brother to 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic and Horse of the Year Ghostzapper. It’s also worth mentioning he has the same trainer and owner as Triple Crown winner, Justify.
I like the running style of Improbable. He likes to stalk the leader and sit no more than one or two lengths behind before making his move around the final turn. There isn’t going to be a lot of speed in this race, so the stalkers will have the advantage over the closers. Horses sitting too far off the pace will have no chance. Improbable has as good a chance as any at winning the Run for the Roses this year.
Place: No. 16 Game Winner (9/2)
Game Winner is basically a nose and a half-length away from being unbeaten with the two losses coming to elite competition. He lost to Omaha Beach in the Grade II Rebel Stakes by a nose, and we all know that Omaha Beach was the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby before getting scratched.
Then, with his ticket already punched into the Kentucky Derby, Game Winner lost to fellow Bob Baffert trainee Roadster by a half-length in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. Well, there’s been talk that Game Winner didn’t give it his all in that race because he didn’t need to. Roadster needed the win to quality for the Kentucky Derby, so it would make sense that Baffert would have instructed the jockey of Game Winner to let Roadster win.
The pedigree is a good one as well for Game Winner, which is a bay colt by Candy Ride, the sire of 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner. He is also out of Indyan Giving, the daughter of A.P. Indy and champion older mare Fleet Indian. Game Winner can get the distance as Fleet Indians scored in the 1 1/4-mile Personal Ensign (G1) and Delaware H. (G2), and her other stakes wins all came at 1 1/8-miles, the most notorious of which was the Beldame (G1).
Show: No. 8 Tacitus (8/1)
Tacitus won both of his Derby prep races with victories in the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby and the Grade II Wood Memorial. His victory in the Wood Memorial was made even more impressive by the fact that he was bumped at the start, yet he went on to post the best Brisnet speed figure (103) of any horse in their final prep race.
Tacitus has the perfect racing style to win the Kentucky Derby, too. He likes to sit mid-pack, just behind the first set of stalkers. He has drawn the 8th post position, and most horses have had success from the 5-10 spots. He should get a nice trip and be able to stalk the early leaders.
Juddmonte Farms has captured all of the world’s biggest races except the Kentucky Derby. In Tacitus, they believe they will capture the Run for the Roses this year. Dam Close Hatches is a thorough Juddmonte product top and bottom. Sire First Defence is a near relation to homebred Empire Maker, the runner-up as the Derby favorite that went on to win the Belmont.
Exacta Pick: 5, 8, 14, 16 ($2 Exacta Box Costs $24)
Trifecta Pick: 5, 8, 14, 16 ($2 Trifecta Box Costs $48)
Superfecta Pick: 5, 8, 14, 16 ($1 Superfecta Box Costs $24)
Note: I’m throwing in No. 14 Win Win Win (15/1) in my Trifecta Box as I believe he is the horse with the fourth-best chance to hit the board. Other horses I consider to have a shot in order are Roadster (5/1), Vekoma (15/1), Maximum Security (8/1) and Code of Honor (12/1).
|05-03-19||Nuggets v. Blazers OVER 214.5||137-140||Win||100||13 h 32 m||Show|
15* Nuggets/Blazers ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on OVER 214.5
After combining for 234 points in Game 1, the Blazers and Nuggets combined for just 187 in Game 2. I’m certain that Game 2 was the aberration as the Nuggets shot just 34.7% from the field and missed 32 shots in the paint. The Blazers only shot 42.4% themselves.
Still, these teams have combined for 223 or more points in five of their six meetings this season. So that fact alone shows there’s value on the OVER tonight. And I like that they only have one day off in between games, giving them less time to make defensive adjustments. The offenses will win out tonight.
Portland is 9-0 OVER in its last nine home games vs. poor pressure defensive teams that force 14 or fewer turnovers per game. The Blazers are 13-2 OVER in their last 15 home games vs. poor defensive teams that allow 106 or more points per game. The OVER is 5-0 in Nuggets last five road games. The OVER is 16-4-1 in Blazers last 21 home games. The OVER is 5-1 in the last six meetings. Bet the OVER in this game Friday.
|05-03-19||Bucks v. Celtics UNDER 220||Top||123-116||Loss||-110||10 h 7 m||Show|
20* Celtics/Bucks ESPN No-Brainer on UNDER 220
The Celtics and Bucks combined for just 202 points in Game 1. But then they exploded for 225 combined points in Game 2 thanks to the Bucks making a ridiculous 20 3-pointers. That’s not going to happen again. I look for a low-scoring, defensive battle in this pivotal Game 3 tonight.
The Celtics and Bucks have combined for 208 or fewer points in seven of their last 10 games overall. That fact alone shows there’s a ton of value with the UNDER in this matchup tonight. These teams are so familiar with one another after meeting up for a seven-game series in the playoffs last year that points are usually hard to come by.
The UNDER is 14-2-1 in Celtics last 17 home games following a road trip that lasted seven or more days. The UNDER is 8-2 in Celtics last 10 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Bet the UNDER in this game Friday.
|05-02-19||Raptors -1 v. 76ers||Top||95-116||Loss||-110||9 h 33 m||Show|
20* Raptors/76ers ESPN No-Brainer on Toronto -1
After shooting 51.9% in a Game 1 blowout victory, the Raptors were upset in Game 2. That’s because they shot just 36.3% from the field and 27% from 3-point range. They also let the 76ers shoot 11 more free throws than them.
I can’t foresee the Raptors shooting that poorly again. They are the better offensive team in this series, and they are certainly the better defensive team, which has shown. They have held the 76ers to 39.3% shooting and 39.5% shooting in Games 1 and 2, respectively. They clearly have Philadelphia figured out. It took a heroic game from Jimmy Butler to beat them in Game 2.
Plays on road favorites (Toronto) - a good team that outscores its opponents by 3-plus points per game, after scoring 90 points or less are 46-21 (68.7%) ATS over the last five seasons.
Toronto is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games overall, including 6-2 ATS in its last eight road games. The Raptors are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following an ATS loss. Toronto is 27-12-2 ATS in its lsat 41 trips to Philadelphia, and 14-5 ATS in the last 19 meetings overall. Bet the Raptors Thursday.
|05-01-19||Blazers v. Nuggets OVER 219||Top||97-90||Loss||-110||10 h 12 m||Show|
20* Blazers/Nuggets TNT Total DOMINATOR on OVER 219
The OVER is 5-0 in five meetings between the Nuggets and Blazers this season. They have combined for at least 223 points in all five meetings, and they’ve averaged 228 combined points in those five meetings.
The Nuggets and Blazers scored their most combined points yet this season in Game 1 with 234 points in a 121-113 victory by Denver. Neither of these teams are known for their defense, but they are both loaded offensively.
A big reason why they can’t stop each other is that they don’t have an answer for two star players. Nikola Jokic is a mismatch, and he had 37 points in Game 1. Enes Kanter can’t guard him. Damian Lillard had 39 points in Game 1 and the Blazers can’t defend the pick and roll because Jokic is so slow on his feet. Basically, both teams can’t defend the pick and roll, and they both run it as much as anyone.
The OVER is 21-7-2 in Blazers’ last 30 games when playing on one days’ rest. The OVER is 7-1 in Nuggets’ last eight games when playing on one days’ rest. The OVER is 7-2 in the last nine meetings in Denver. Bet the OVER in this game Wednesday.
|04-30-19||Rockets +5.5 v. Warriors||Top||109-115||Loss||-108||11 h 42 m||Show|
20* Rockets/Warriors TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on Houston +5.5
Even with the Warriors getting all the calls in Game 1, the Rockets only lost 100-104. And the Rockets shot just 41.9% in the process compared to 50.7% for Golden State. That’s a good sign that the Rockets will win Game 2 with a few more things going their way.
Remember, the Rockets had the Warriors down 3-2 last year in the conference finals before Chris Paul got hurt. They went on to lose the final two games. I think they would have won that series had Paul not got hurt.
The Rockets won three out of four meetings with the Warriors during the regular season with their only loss coming by 2 points. They have clearly shown they are on the Warriors’ level, if not the better team now.
Houston is 8-0 ATS when playing with double-revenge this season. It is bouncing back to win by 15.8 points per game in this spot. The Warriors are 10-23-1 ATS in their last 34 home games. Golden State is 7-19 ATS in its last 26 games off a win. The road team is 4-0 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet the Rockets Tuesday.
|04-30-19||Celtics v. Bucks -7||102-123||Win||100||8 h 9 m||Show|
15* Celtics/Bucks TNT ANNIHILATOR on Milwaukee -7
Everything that could go wrong for the Bucks in Game 1 did. They shot just 34.8% as a team compared to 54% for Boston. Don’t expect that kind of discrepancy again. The Bucks will roll in Game 2 to even this series.
Remember, the home team went 7-0 SU & 6-1 ATS last year when these teams met in the playoffs. The Bucks are 35-9 at home this season. They are scoring 119.2 points per game at home and were held to just 90 in Game 1. That’s nearly 30 points off their season average.
The Bucks are 18-4 ATS off a loss this season. They are coming back to win by 14.8 points per game on average in this spot. Milwaukee is 15-3 ATS off an upset loss as a favorite this year, including 9-1 ATS off an upset loss by 10 points or more as a favorite over the last two seasons. Take the Bucks Tuesday.
|04-29-19||Blazers v. Nuggets -4||Top||113-121||Win||100||12 h 44 m||Show|
20* Blazers/Nuggets TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on Denver -4
The Portland Trail Blazers are getting a lot of respect from the books now after beating the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games. Well, the Thunder basically self-destructed and shot less than 41% from the field in three of the five games. Too many poor jump shots by Russell Westbrook did them in.
Getting Enes Kanter was huge for the Blazers to help make up for the loss of Jusuf Nurkic. But now Kanter has a shoulder injury and said it was difficult to even put his jersey on. It’s a separated shoulder, and I just think that now Jokic is going to dominate in this series, starting with Game 1. Jokic owned the Blazers in the regular season, too.
Getting Denver as only a 4-point favorite here is a nice value when you consider they are 37-8 at home this season. And the Nuggets won three out of four during the regular season. Their only loss came in their fourth and final meeting in a game that didn’t matter to them. The Blazers were 8.5-point home favorites in that game, compared to only 2-point home favorites in their first meeting in Portland.
The Nuggets are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Denver is 5-0 ATS in its last five conference semifinals games. The Nuggets are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven meetings with the Blazers with their only loss coming in that meaningless game. Bet the Nuggets Monday.
|04-28-19||Celtics v. Bucks UNDER 224||Top||112-90||Win||100||2 h 18 m||Show|
20* Celtics/Bucks ABC No-Brainer on UNDER 224
I expect a low-scoring Game 1 between the Celtics and Bucks. These teams are so familiar with one another after playing in a seven-game series in the playoffs last year with the home team winning each game.
Boston is 19-7 UNDER in road games off a win by 6 points or less over the last three seasons. Boston is 11-2 UNDER in road games against good teams that outscore their opponents by 3-plus points per game I the second half of the season over the last two seasons.
The UNDER is 7-1 in Celtics last eight games against a team with a winning percentage above 60%. The UNDER is 4-0 in Bucks last four games playing on three or more days’ rest. Bet the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|04-27-19||76ers +6.5 v. Raptors||Top||95-108||Loss||-102||10 h 16 m||Show|
20* 76ers/Raptors TNT No-Brainer on Philadelphia +6.5
The Toronto Raptors are 2-14 in their last 16 during Game 1 of a playoff series. They are notorious slow starters. They lost to the Magic in Game 1 last series, and Kyle Lowry was held scoreless. He seems to disappear in Game 1’s and that has been the constant.
The 76ers are 39-19 ATS when revenging a home loss over the last three seasons. Toronto is 3-13 ATS in its last 16 during Game 1 of a playoff series. The Raptors are 4-14 ATS off four consecutive wins this season. Bet the 76ers Saturday.
|04-26-19||Warriors v. Clippers UNDER 233.5||Top||129-110||Loss||-110||12 h 27 m||Show|
20* Warriors/Clippers ESPN Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 233.5
It’s Game 6 between the Warriors and Clippers tonight. These teams are obviously very familiar with each other by now, and points will be hard to come by because of it.
I think this number has been inflated after these teams combined for 250 points in Game 5 after combining for just 218 points in Game 4. I think we see a similar output to Game 4 here as there’s no way the Clippers are going to shoot 54.1% again.
The Warriors are 14-4 UNDER in road games when revenging a home loss over the last three seasons. The UNDER is 18-8 in Warriors last 26 games overall. Bet the UNDER in this game Friday.
|04-25-19||Nuggets v. Spurs -2.5||Top||103-120||Win||100||30 h 30 m||Show|
20* Nuggets/Spurs TNT No-Brainer on San Antonio -2.5
The Nuggets managed to end a 14-game losing streak in San Antonio with their victory in Game 4. They followed that up with an 18-point home victory in Game 5. I think they are now being overvalued here, and I expect the Spurs to get a victory in this must-win game and keep this series alive.
This is a very young Nuggets team that hasn’t experienced a close out game outside of Paul Millsap. They are the toughest games to win, especially since they know they have a home game in their hop pocket in Game 7 if need be. The Spurs are going to want this game more, and that will show on the court Thursday night.
As mentioned before, the Spurs are now 14-1 SU in their last 15 home meetings with the Nuggets. They have been one of the best home teams in the NBA this season as well, going 33-10 SU & 25-18 ATS in San Antonio. This is a very short number for them to be laying given those 14-1 & 33-10 numbers.
The Spurs are 24-5 ATS revenging a road loss this season, including 13-2 when revenging a road loss by 10 points or more. Bet the Spurs Thursday.
|04-24-19||Jazz +8.5 v. Rockets||Top||93-100||Win||100||8 h 22 m||Show|
20* Jazz/Rockets TNT No-Brainer on Utah +8.5
The Utah Jazz showed what they were capable of against the Rockets in Game 3 and 4 in Salt Lake City. Nobody in the league can defend the Rockets better than them, and that showed as they held the Rockets to 38.4% shooting in Game 3 and 35.4% in Game 4.
Now, the Jazz have the belief they can win in Houston and extend this series. The amazing part is that the Jazz still haven’t shot up to their capabilities once this series. They shot 39% in Game 1, 39.8% in Game 2, 41.6% in Game 3 and 43% in Game 4. They haven’t shot better than 31.4% from 3-point range in any game, and going 4-for-26 on open looks cost them Game 4.
I think their best shooting performance of the series is still to come. It’s a Jazz team that shoots 46.5% on the season and 35.2% from 3-point range while averaging 111.1 points per game. Yes, the Rockets are a good defensive team, but they aren’t this good. Now that they have some confidence after a 16-point victory in Game 4, expect the Jazz to knock down those open shots in Game 5.
Utah is 10-1 ATS in its last 11 off an upset win by 15 points or more as a home underdog. Bet the Jazz Wednesday.
|04-23-19||Thunder +4 v. Blazers||Top||115-118||Win||100||11 h 56 m||Show|
20* Thunder/Blazers TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on Oklahoma City +4
The Portland Trail Blazers are already talking like they’ve won this series. They have been reflecting back on getting swept the last few years and how much criticism they’ve taken in the media that have fueled them. These are things you’re supposed to be talking about after the series is over, not before.
You can bet the Thunder have heard all the interviews and now will be the team playing with a chip on their shoulder. Russell Westbrook certainly needs quit taking contested jumpers, and he should be wise enough to make the proper adjustments in Game 4. Look for him to be in attack mode and looking to get to the rim every chance he gets, which is when he’s at his best.
Keep in mind the Thunder swept the Blazers in the regular season, going 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS. So they know they aren’t out of this yet. Win Game 4 and get this series back to OKC, and it’s a whole new series. I still believe they are the better team, and with their backs against the wall tonight, I expect their best effort of the season to try and stave off elimination.
The Thunder have shot worse than 41% from the field in all three of losses in this series. They are a much better shooting team than that, and the Blazers aren’t as good as they’ve shown defensively. It’s a Blazers team that gives up 110.1 points per game and 45.5% shooting on the season, and a lot of that was with their best defender in Jusuf Nurkic. Bet the Thunder Tuesday.
|04-23-19||Spurs v. Nuggets OVER 210.5||90-108||Loss||-110||10 h 46 m||Show|
15* NBA Tuesday Total DOMINATOR on Spurs/Nuggets OVER 210.5
Oddsmakers continue to set the bar too low here for this contest between the Spurs and Nuggets tonight. This has quickly become an OVER series as both defenses are struggling to stop the opposition.
Indeed, the OVER is 3-0 in the last three games in this series with combined scores of 219 points in Game 2, 226 points in Game 3 and 220 points in Game 4. Now the total is set at only 210.5 points in a game that should be pushing 220 easily.
The Spurs are 9-1 OVER in road games when revenging a loss as a favorite this season. Take the OVER in this game Tuesday.
|04-22-19||Rockets v. Jazz +3||Top||91-107||Win||100||11 h 30 m||Show|
20* Rockets/Jazz TNT No-Brainer on Utah +3
A lot has been made about James Harden opening 0-for-15 from the floor and the Rockets still winning Game 3. Well, that’s easily explainable that they won when the Jazz went 4-for-26 on wide open shots in Game 3. The Jazz had control of the game the entire way until the final minutes despite that terrible shooting performance.
The Jazz are a prideful team and will not go down without a fight here. They don’t want swept. And they certainly cannot shoot any worse than they have thus far in this series, shooting 39% in Game 1, 39.8% in Game 2 and 41.6% in Game 3. They have better shooters than those numbers, and I have to think they are due for at least an average shooting performance tonight.
Utah has found a way to slow down James Harden, perhaps better than any other team is capable of in the NBA. They have hung their hats on defense all season as they’ve been one of the best defensive teams in the league. And that’s why they have a good chance to get a win tonight with just an average shooting night, because their defense will be good again.
Quin Snyder is 30-16 ATS revenging a loss as a home favorite as the coach of Utah. The Rockets are 6-14 ATS in road games off a road game this season. The Jazz are 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 games following a loss. Bet the Jazz Monday.
|04-21-19||Blazers v. Thunder -6||Top||111-98||Loss||-105||37 h 14 m||Show|
20* Blazers/Thunder TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on Oklahoma City -6
The Oklahoma City Thunder were 7.5-point favorites in a must-win Game 3. I was all over them as my 25* NBA 1st Round GAME OF THE YEAR, and they delivered with a 12-point victory. Now we are getting them in another must-win situation Sunday, but at an even better price. They are only 6-point favorites for Game 4 and we’ll take advantage.
The Thunder are a completely different animal at home. The ‘orange out’ by the fans was sweet in Game 3, and expect another raucous atmosphere here in Game 4. The Thunder have lost 11 straight road playoff games, but it has been a different story at home. And keep in mind that the Blazers are still just 2-11 SU in their last 13 playoff games.
Russell Westbrook promised he’d be more assertive on the offensive end leading into Game 3, and he delivered with 33 points. Look for him to remain in attack mode, especially after Damian Lillard really got under his skin in Game 3. This team took a business-like approach and will do so again in Game 4 against a Blazers team that is still undermanned without Jusuf Nurkic, and that’s just now starting to come to fruition.
The Thunder are 5-2 SU & 5-2 ATS in their seven meetings with the Blazers this season. I stated they’d shoot better in Game 3, and they did just that going 15-of-29 (51.7%) from 3-point range. They are just so much more confident at home. The home team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Oklahoma City is 4-0 ATS in its last four home games. Portland is 1-4 ATS in its last five road games. Bet the Thunder Sunday.
|04-20-19||Rockets v. Jazz -2.5||Top||104-101||Loss||-104||16 h 10 m||Show|
20* Rockets/Jazz ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on Utah -2.5
A little home cooking should do the Utah Jazz wonders after playing terrible in Houston while losing the first two games of this series in blowout fashion. The Jazz are favored for good reason here despite those poor performances because their season is on the line tonight.
The Jazz couldn’t have shot any worse than they did in Houston. They shot 39% from the floor and 7-of-27 (25.9%) from 3-point range in Game 1. They weren’t any better in Game 2, shooting 39.8% from the floor and 8-of-38 (21.1%) from 3-point range.
Now the Jazz are back at home in the friendly confines of Salt Lake City, where they are 29-12 on the season. While the Jazz will be laying it all on the line in this ‘must-win’ game, the Rockets could certainly let up in Game 3, especially after how easy those first two games came for them.
Plays on home favorites (Utah) - revenging a loss by 10 points or more, off two or more consecutive road losses are 52-21 (71.2%) ATS over the last five seasons. Houston is 0-7 ATS in road games after leading their last two games by 10-plus points at halftime this season. The Rockets are losing by 9.3 points per game in this spot. Bet the Jazz Saturday.
|04-20-19||76ers v. Nets +1.5||112-108||Loss||-103||9 h 35 m||Show|
15* 76ers/Nets TNT Early ANNIHILATOR on Brooklyn +1.5
The Philadelphia 76ers were able to overcome the absence of Joel Embiid in Game 3 by shooting lights out. They shot 48.4% from the floor and 40.7% from 3-point range as a team to take a 131-115 victory. Embiid is expected to be out again for Game 4.
The 76ers were way worse without Embiid during the regular season as he proved to be the most important player to any team in the league based on the numbers. And the 76ers aren’t going to shoot this well again, especially Tobias Harris and JJ Redick, who combined to go 11-of-15 from 3-point range.
Conversely, Brooklyn isn’t going to shoot as poorly as it did in Game 3. The Nets shot just 41.1% from the floor and a woeful 8-for-39 (20.5%) from 3-point range. They are looking at this game as a ‘must-win’, and I think they treat it that way while the 76ers know they still have two games at home to finish the series if need be.
The 76ers are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games following a win by more than 10 points. The Nets are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games following a loss by more than 10 points. Philadelphia is 2-13 ATS after covering three of its last four against the spread this season. The 76ers are 7-21 ATS off two more more consecutive wins this season. Brooklyn is 21-10 ATS when revenging a loss this season. Take the Nets Saturday.
|04-19-19||Blazers v. Thunder -7.5||Top||108-120||Win||100||11 h 37 m||Show|
25* NBA 1st Round GAME OF THE YEAR on Oklahoma City Thunder -7.5
The Oklahoma City Thunder’s road playoff woes continued in Portland in Games 1 and 2. They have now lost 11 consecutive road games in the playoffs. But now they’re back home here in a ‘must-win’ Game 3 that should go their way from start to finish in a blowout victory.
Shooting has been the issue for the Thunder as they shot 39.8% in Game 1 and 40.7% in Game 2. They were 5-for-33 (15.2%) from 3-point range in Game 1, and 5-for-28 (17.9%) in Game 2. Obviously, it’s going to be hard for them to shoot this poorly again.
As is the case with most series, role players step up and hit shots at home and miss shots on the road. So guys like Ferguson and Grant for the Thunder will likely start hitting their shots in Game 3 tonight. And Russell Westbrook will be more assertive on offense after saying his play was unacceptable in Game 2. Look for huge games from both Westbrook and George as we see a very inspired effort from the Thunder tonight.
Plays on home favorites (Oklahoma City) - revenging a loss of 10 points or more, off two or more consecutive road losses are 52-21 (71.2%) ATS over the last five seasons. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet the Thunder Friday.
|04-18-19||Nuggets v. Spurs -3.5||Top||108-118||Win||100||10 h 48 m||Show|
20* Nuggets/Spurs NBA TV No-Brainer on San Antonio -3.5
The San Antonio Spurs have controlled this series thus far outside of the 4th quarter in Game 2. They have pretty much led the entire way other than that one quarter, where Jamal Murray went off for 21 points. Look for them to take back control of this series with a win and cover at home in Game 2.
The Spurs have been one of the best home teams in the NBA this season. They are 32-9 on their home floor. The Nuggets have a losing road record, and they just can’t win in San Antonio. Indeed, the Nuggets have lost 13 straight games in San Antonio, a streak that dates back to March 2012.
San Antonio is 7-0 ATS in home games when playing four or less games in 10 days this season. The Spurs are 27-8 ATS when revenging a loss this season. San Antonio is 20-2 ATS when revenging a loss where opponent scored 110 points or more this year. They are winning by 12.2 points per game on average in this spot. Bet the Spurs Thursday.
|04-18-19||76ers v. Nets +3.5||131-115||Loss||-105||8 h 13 m||Show|
15* 76ers/Nets TNT ANNIHILATOR on Brooklyn +3.5
The Nets have really been impressive in this series with the 76ers thus far. They led basically the entire way in their 111-102 win in Game 1. They hung tough in the first half and only trailed 64-65 at the break in Game 2 in what was essentially a must-win game for the Nets. They got blown out in the second half, which is to be expected.
The Nets haven’t been to the playoffs in years, so it’s going to be a raucous atmosphere in Brooklyn tonight for Game 3. And the Nets will be playing with a chip on their shoulder after Joel Embiid was seen laughing about elbowing Jarett Allen in the postgame news conference. They want revenge in a big way here.
The Nets are 23-18 at home this season, while the 76ers actually have a losing record on the road. Brooklyn is 33-16 ATS when revenging a loss this season. The Nets are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games when playing on two days’ rest. Take the Nets Thursday.
|04-17-19||Jazz +7 v. Rockets||Top||98-118||Loss||-107||10 h 53 m||Show|
20* Jazz/Rockets TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on Utah +7
The Utah Jazz are deploying a new strategy in defending James Harden. They are making him go to his weak hand with a trailing defender. They didn’t execute in Game 1, but they should be much more successful in Game 2.
The Jazz shot 39% compared by 50.5% for the Rockets in Game 1, as well as 25.9% and 36.6% from 3-point range, respectively. Utah is one of the best rebounding teams in the NBA, and they were actually out rebounded, too. Look for both of those stats to be swayed more in their favor in Game 2.
Utah is 10-1 ATS off two or more consecutive road losses over the last two seasons. The Jazz are 20-6-1 ATS in their last 27 games following a straight up loss. The road team is 6-2-1 ATS in the last nine meetings, and the Jazz are 3-1-1 ATS in their last five meetings in Houston. Bet the Jazz Wednesday.
|04-17-19||Pacers +7.5 v. Celtics||91-99||Loss||-105||7 h 24 m||Show|
15* Pacers/Celtics TNT ANNIHILATOR on Indiana +7.5
It’s pretty impressive the Pacers only lost by 10 to the Celtics in Game 1 with how poorly they shot the ball. They shot 33.3% from the floor, 22.2% from 3-point range and 57.1% from the free throw line. They certainly won’t shoot that poorly again, and as a result they should be able to stay within this 7.5-point spread in Game 2.
The Pacers are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 conference quarterfinals games. Indiana is 4-1 ATS in its last five games following an ATS loss. Boston is 1-8 ATS in its last nine home games. The Celtics are 1-6 ATS in their last seven home games vs. a team with a losing road record. Take the Pacers Wednesday.
|04-16-19||Thunder +1.5 v. Blazers||Top||94-114||Loss||-105||11 h 43 m||Show|
20* Thunder/Blazers TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on Oklahoma City +1.5
The Oklahoma City Thunder shot just 39.8% as a team and 5-for-33 (15.2%) from 3-point range in Game 1. The Blazers shot 11-for-25 (44%) from 3-point range. Yet, the Thunder still had a chance to win late and only lost 99-104.
Knowing that those shooting percentages will almost certainly turn in their favor in Game 2 as they can’t get much worse, I’m taking the Thunder to bounce back with a victory tonight. They still have several big advantages in this series, not the least of which is the loss of Jusuf Nurkic.
I think the Blazers will breathe a sigh of relief after they ended a 10-game playoff losing streak. And the Thunder will get back to dominating them just as they did in the regular season. The Thunder went 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS against the Blazers in the regular season. Bet the Thunder Tuesday.
|04-16-19||Spurs v. Nuggets -6.5||105-114||Win||100||9 h 19 m||Show|
15* Spurs/Nuggets NBA TV ANNIHILATOR on Denver -6.5
The Nuggets lost 96-101 to the Spurs in Game 1. I was on the Spurs in that game, and they pulled the upset. But I’m reversing courses here and taking the Nuggets to get the win and cover in Game 2 in what is essentially a must-win game.
The Spurs are content with winning one game in Denver, and they were aided by some great performances from their role players in White, Gay and Forbes, who all scored 14-plus points. They were also helped by poor shooting by the Nuggets.
Indeed, the Nuggets shot just 42% for the game and 6-of-28 (21.4%) from 3-point range. That’s not going to happen again as this is one of the most dynamic offensive teams in the league, and the Spurs have the worst defense they’ve had in years. The Spurs shot 48.2% as a team and 46.7% from 3-point range in Game 1, also numbers that will be hard for them to match.
The Spurs are 17-25 on the road this season, while the Nuggets are 34-8 at home. Take the Nuggets Tuesday.
|04-15-19||Nets v. 76ers -7.5||Top||123-145||Win||100||8 h 15 m||Show|
20* Nets/76ers TNT No-Brainer on Philadelphia -7.5
The Philadelphia 76ers shot just 40.7% in Game 1 and were upset as a result. They will come back highly motivated for a victory in Game 2 tonight to square this season. Look for them to get the win and cover at home tonight.
Joel Embiid did play in Game 1 after being questionable leading up to it. He hadn’t practiced before. Now that the 76ers got a feel for playing with him again, they should be much sharper offensively in Game 2. And look for them to get a lot more from Ben Simmons, JJ Redick and Tobias Harris, who weren’t assertive enough in Game 1.
I think there’s value here with the 76ers considering they were 8-point favorites in Game 1, and now they are only 7.5 to 8-point favorites in Game 2. The Nets are simply happy with stealing one game and won’t bring the same kind of effort for Game 2. They will have a hard time matching the intensity the 76ers play with tonight.
The 76ers are 31-15 ATS in their last 46 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. Philadelphia is 31-11 at home this season. Bet the 76ers Monday.
|04-14-19||Pistons +12.5 v. Bucks||86-121||Loss||-103||35 h 20 m||Show|
15* Pistons/Bucks TNT ANNIHILATOR on Detroit +12.5
The Detroit Pistons played about as well as anyone down the stretch just to make the playoffs. They went 19-12 SU & 20-11 ATS in their last 31 games overall to get to .500 on the season and snag the final playoff spot in the East.
And many of those losses came without Blake Griffin, who has an excellent chance to return to the lineup for the playoffs. The Pistons got a break with their Game 1 being on Sunday, meaning they have been off for three days since last playing on Wednesday. That should give him ample time to get rested and ready.
Even if Griffin doesn’t play, the Pistons are still good enough to stay within 12.5 points of the Bucks, who are also banged up. The Bucks are likely to be without Malcolm Brogdon, Nikola Mirotic, Pau Gasol and Tony Snell to start the playoffs. And Giannis is banged up with a calf injury. The Bucks did not play well down the stretch with all these injuries, and it’s asking them a lot to cover a spread this high in Game 1 with all their injuries.
Dwane Casey is 16-2 ATS after leading their previous game by 20 or more points at halftime in all games he has coached. The Pistons are 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Detroit is 8-1-1 ATS in its last 10 games off a win by more than 10 points. The Bucks are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 conference quarterfinals games. Roll with the Pistons Sunday.
|04-14-19||Thunder +3.5 v. Blazers||Top||99-104||Loss||-109||32 h 50 m||Show|
20* Thunder/Blazers ABC Sunday No-Brainer on Oklahoma City +3.5
I’m surprised the Portland Trail Blazers are actually favored against the Oklahoma City Thunder. They shouldn’t be favored in any game in this series, and as a result I’ll take the Thunder as road underdogs in Game 1 of this series.
The Blazers were swept by the Pelicans in the playoffs last year, getting upset despite having home-court advantage. And they are worse off this season with the loss of Jusuf Nurkic. His loss hasn’t been felt to close out the regular season, but it will be felt in the playoffs.
Now, Steven Adams’ job just got a whole lot easier, and he’s going to be a big factor in this series. Lillard and McCollum are two great players, but they aren’t good enough on their own to beat the Thunder without Nurkic, and there just isn’t a whole lot of talent outside those two now.
The Blazers will regret not losing their final game of the season, which meant they’d face the Thunder instead of the Jazz in the first round. The Blazers are 0-4 SU & 0-4 ATS against the Thunder this season, and that one-sided dominance is only going to continue. They have no answer for Paul George and Russell Westbrook, who are better than Lillard and McCollum. Portland is 7-24-2 ATS in its last 33 conference quarterfinals games. Bet the Thunder in Game 1 Sunday.
|04-13-19||Spurs +6 v. Nuggets||Top||101-96||Win||100||15 h 1 m||Show|
20* Spurs/Nuggets ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on San Antonio +6
There aren’t many series that have upset potential, but this is certainly one of them. That’s because the experience and coaching of the Spurs can overcome the young, talented Nuggets in a seven-game series.
I think the Spurs have a great chance to steal Game 1. Greg Popovich once again overachieved based on expectations, and let’s not forget the Spurs still have two of the best players in the NBA in Aldridge and DeRozan. They will be prepared for Game 1 tonight.
The Nuggets will be making the playoffs for the first time in a long time. They barely missed out on the playoffs on the final day of the season last year. They could have used that experience, and I think nerves will be an issue for them in Game 1 of this series tonight.
I also think the fact that Denver recently beat San Antonio by 28 at home has inflated this line. But that was the 2nd of a back-to-back for the Spurs, and nobody throws away back-to-backs like Popovich. In the other three meetings this season, the Spurs won by 8 and 1 at home, and only lost by 3 on the road.
The Spurs are 26-8 ATS when revenging a loss this season. San Antonio is 19-2 ATS when revenging a loss where opponent scored 110 or more points this season. The Nuggets are 0-7 ATS in their last seven conference quarterfinal games. Take the Spurs in Game 1 Saturday.
|04-13-19||Nets v. 76ers -5.5||111-102||Loss||-106||7 h 50 m||Show|
15* Nets/76ers NBA Playoffs Opener on Philadelphia -5.5
We are getting the Philadelphia 76ers cheap because Joel Embiid is doubtful. It would be a bonus if he plays, but I’m not expecting it. I still think the 76ers have enough to win this game by 6-plus points at home over the Nets in Game 1 Saturday.
This is a great story that the Nets have put together this year, making the playoffs after being down in the dumps for years. But that also means they’re inexperienced, and I’m not expecting them to be on their ‘A Game’ in Game 1 tonight because of it. Nerves will be an issue, and by the time they settle down it will be too late.
The 76ers still have four All-Stars and got their much-needed playoff experience last year. They are still the more talented team with the likes of Simmons, Butler, Harris and Redick. And they will get the job done at home today.
Philadelphia is 18-5 ATS after failing to cover four or five of its last six games this season. The 76ers are 20-8 ATS in home games when playing on two days’ rest over the last three seasons. Brooklyn is 14-29 ATS in its last 43 road games after covering the spread in three or more consecutive games. Bet the 76ers in Game 1 Saturday.
|04-10-19||Magic v. Hornets -2||Top||122-114||Loss||-109||10 h 47 m||Show|
20* Magic/Hornets ESPN Wednesday No-Brainer on Charlotte -2
The Charlotte Hornets have to win tonight and have the Detroit Pistons lose on the road to the New York Knicks to get into the playoffs. First things first. They will win at home tonight over the Orlando Magic and handle their business.
The Hornets have fought too hard to put themselves in this position to lose this game tonight. They have gone 8-3 SU & 9-2 ATS n their last 11 games overall, which includes upset wins over the Celtics, Raptors (twice), Spurs and Pistons.
The Magic have already clinched a playoff spot and really don’t care whether or not they lose this game tonight. There is some seeding at stake, but it’s minimal and not important because the top three teams in the East that they’d potentially face are all very formidable opponents in the Bucks, Raptors and 76ers.
Charlotte owns Orlando, going 13-1 SU & 11-3 ATS in the last 14 meetings. That domination continues tonight as the Hornets get the win and cover as short home favorites to keep their playoff hopes alive. Bet the Hornets Wednesday.
|04-10-19||Thunder -3 v. Bucks||127-116||Win||100||10 h 47 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Oklahoma City Thunder -3
The Oklahoma City Thunder still have a lot to play for tonight. If they beat the Bucks tonight, they would be the NO. 6 seed in the West. A loss though, and they could finish anywhere from 6th to 8th. They want to do anything possible to avoid the 8th spot and a matchup with the Warriors in the first round.
The Bucks have nothing to play for. They clinched the No. 1 seed in the East and the No. 1 seed overall, so they will have home-court advantage. They are expected to rest Giannis, Brook Lopez, Malcolm Brogdon, Nikola Mirotic, Tony Snell and Pau Gasol, among others.
We have one motivated team playing all their starters up against a non-motivated team resting all their starters. It’s an easy choice here tonight folks. Take the Thunder Wednesday.
|04-09-19||76ers v. Heat -4||Top||99-122||Win||100||9 h 10 m||Show|
20* NBA Tuesday No-Doubt Rout on Miami Heat -4
The Miami Heat have lost four straight games and now trail the Pistons by one game for the final playoff spot in the East. The Pistons have also lost four straight, opening the door for both the Heat and Hornets to catch them.
No matter what happens, you know that the Heat will be motivated to win what could likely be the final home game of Hall of Fame Dwyane Wade, who is retiring at season’s end.
The Philadelphia 76ers have absolutely nothing to play for. They are locked into the No. 3 seed in the East. That’s why they are resting Joel Embiid and J.J. Redick tonight due to minor injuries. They want nothing to do with winning this game tonight.
Plays on home favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points (Miami) - revenging a loss where opponent scored 100 o more points, off two or more consecutive road losses are 52-21 (71.2%) ATS over the last five seasons. Miami is 15-5 ATS off two or more consecutive road losses over the last three seasons. Bet the Heat Tuesday.
|04-08-19||Texas Tech +1.5 v. Virginia||Top||77-85||Loss||-103||14 h 18 m||Show|
20* Texas Tech/Virginia Championship No-Brainer on Texas Tech +1.5
Wrong team favored here. The Virginia Cavaliers are lucky to be here. They needed four comeback wins in their five tournament games, including their opener against Gardner Webb.
They only beat Oregon by 4 as 8.5-point favorites, needed a buzzer-beater to send the Purdue game to OT, where they eventually won by 5. And they trailed by 4 with under 10 seconds to play against Auburn, yet somehow won that game after a Kyle Guy 3-pointer and another Guy 3 free throws with 0.6 seconds remaining to win by 1.
Their miracle run comes to an end tonight against a Texas Tech team that had been hands down the most dominant team in the tournament and deserves to be here. The Red Raiders are 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in their five tournament games, winning four by double-digits with the only exception being their 6-point win over No. 1 seed Gonzaga.
While Virginia gets credit for its defense more than anyone, it’s actually Texas Tech that leads the country in defensive efficiency. They held Buffalo (58), Michigan (44) and Michigan State (51) to season lows in points in the tournament thus far. Virginia’s great defensive numbers are aided by the fact that they play at the slowest pace in the entire country.
This is a complete Red Raiders team with a star in Culver, four players in Moretti, Mooney, Edwards and Corprew who all shoot 38.8% or better from 3-point range, and three dogs on the inside in Owens, Francis and Odiase who handle all the dirty work and are the main reasons this team is so good on defense along with Culver.
Texas Tech is 14-1 SU & 13-2 ATS in its last 15 games overall. Chris Beard told his team that they were good enough to play on the final Monday of the season before the season started. They bought in, and he’s arguably the best coach in the country with what’s he’s done with this team in his three years here. Look for his players to deliver him a much-deserved title tonight. Bet Texas Tech Monday.
|04-07-19||Hornets +6.5 v. Pistons||Top||104-91||Win||100||7 h 45 m||Show|
20* NBA Eastern Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Charlotte Hornets +6.5
This is a must-win game for the Hornets. They trail the 8th place Pistons by two games and each team has three games remaining. If Charlotte were to go 3-0 and Detroit 1-2, they’d get in the playoffs.
That’s because the Hornets have swept the season series with the Pistons thus far, winning all three meetings. And now they go for the season sweep and are somehow catching 6.5 points against a team they’ve owned.
The Hornets are 6-3 SU & 7-2 ATS in their last nine games overall. The Pistons are starting to feel the pressure of making the playoffs. They are just 2-6 SU in their last eight games overall. Bet the Hornets Sunday.
|04-07-19||Thunder v. Wolves +6.5||132-126||Win||100||6 h 14 m||Show|
15* NBA Western Conference ANNIHILATOR on Minnesota Timberwolves +6.5
The Minnesota Timberwolves are always a tough out at home. And the Oklahoma City Thunder certainly aren’t playing well enough to be laying 6.5 points on the road to the Timberwolves.
The Thunder are just 4-7 SU & 4-7 ATS in their last 11 games overall. The Timberwolves have won three of their last five, including upset home wins over the Warriors and Heat. Minnesota is now 25-14 SU at home this season.
The Timberwolves have owned the Thunder this season, going 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in their three meetings and will be going for the season sweep today. They have won outright as underdogs in all three meetings.
The Thunder are 3-12 ATS in their last 15 vs. Western Conference teams. Oklahoma City is 1-8 ATS in Sunday games this season. The Timberwolves are 7-0 ATS in their last seven meetings with the Thunder. Minnesota is 6-1 ATS in its last seven home meetings with OKC. Take the Timberwolves Sunday.
|04-06-19||Texas Tech +2.5 v. Michigan State||Top||61-51||Win||100||12 h 40 m||Show|
25* NCAA Tournament GAME OF THE YEAR on Texas Tech +2.5
Texas Tech’s last three wins have been mighty impressive. They held a high-powered Buffalo offense to just 58 points in a 20-point wins, then they held Michigan to just 44 points in a 19-point win, and they pulled away late to beat Gonzaga 75-69.
That win over Michigan can tell us a lot about how this game is going to play out as well. Keep in mind Michigan State needed three second-half comebacks to beat Michigan all three times they played this year. They were fortunate to win those three games, so that gives them a common opponent, and the Red Raiders blasted Michigan by 19.
In fact, Texas Tech and Michigan State have seven common opponents this season. Texas Tech is outscoring those teams by 9.1 points per game, while Michigan State is only outscoring them by 6.4 points per game. It’s a great way to compare teams.
Texas Tech just doesn’t have any weaknesses. They are arguably the best defensive team in the country, they have a star in Jarrett Culver who averages 18.9 points per game, they have four 3-point specialists who all shoot 38% or better. And they have unsung heroes inside in Tariq Owens and Norense Odiase who can bang with anyone.
Texas Tech is 13-1 SU & 12-2 ATS in its last 14 games overall. The Red Raiders are 6-0 in their last six Saturday games. Texas Tech is 11-1 ATS in its last 12 vs. a team with a winning record. Bet Texas Tech Saturday.
|04-06-19||Auburn +6.5 v. Virginia||62-63||Win||100||9 h 57 m||Show|
15* Auburn/Virginia Final Four ANNIHILATOR on Auburn +6.5 The Auburn Tigers have beaten Kansas, UNC and Kentucky in the last three rounds to get to the Final Four. I think it’s safe to say they are for real, even though they don’t get the credit they deserve. This team will go as far as electric guards Harper and Brown take them. And I don’t think their run is over just yet. It would be hard to feel good about laying this many points with Virginia. They beat Oregon by just 4 and Purdue by 5 in overtime after they got a miracle buzzer beater to force the extra session. They way they slow it down is conducive to close games. Auburn showed it could win in shootouts, shooting 52.5% in the 89-75 win over Kansas and 54.5% in the 97-80 win over UNC. But the Tigers also showed they could win the grind it out game, shooting just 40% in their 77-71 win over Kentucky last time out. Auburn is 12-0 SU in its last 12 games overall. The Tigers are 7-1 ATS in all tournament games this season. The underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings. Take Auburn Saturday.
|04-06-19||Nets +8.5 v. Bucks||Top||133-128||Win||100||8 h 53 m||Show|
20* NBA GAME OF THE WEEK on Brooklyn Nets +8.5
The Brooklyn Nets are fighting for their playoff lives right now. They are 39-40 and hanging on to a playoff spot, just one game ahead of the 9th-place Heat and two games ahead of the 10th-place Hornets. They need a win tonight.
The Milwaukee Bucks are primed for a letdown. They just clinched the top seed not only in the East, but overall, too. They did so with an impressive comeback against the 76ers in the final minutes. Now, they literally have nothing to play for in their final three games, and they should be resting starters.
Brooklyn also wants revenge form a 121-131 home loss to the Bucks on April 1st earlier this week. They don’t have to wait long to get their revenge tonight. And they come in on two days’ rest, so they are fresh and ready to go.
The Nets are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games playing on two days’ rest. Brooklyn is 4-1 ATS in its last five road games. The road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet the Nets Saturday.
|04-05-19||Celtics v. Pacers +1||117-97||Loss||-105||9 h 43 m||Show|
15* Celtics/Pacers ESPN ANNIHILATOR on Indiana +1
The Indiana Pacers just lost a 112-114 heartbreaker at the buzzer at Boston on March 29th. They don’t have to wait long for revenge now as they play them a week later, but at home this time around. And these teams are tied for 4th and 5th place in the East, so it’s a huge game likely determining which team gets home-court advantage in the first round.
The Pacers have been dynamite at home this season. They are 29-10 SU at home this year, while Boston is just 19-20 SU on the road. The home team has won all three meetings between these teams this season.
The Pacers are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 home games. Indiana is 16-5 ATS in its lsat 21 Friday games. The Celtics are 0-5-1 ATS in their last six games off an ATS win. Indiana is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Take the Pacers Friday.
|04-05-19||Heat -3 v. Wolves||Top||109-111||Loss||-109||9 h 43 m||Show|
20* NBA Non-Conference GAME OF THE WEEK on Miami Heat -3
The Miami Heat are currently in 9th place in the East. They are a half-game behind both the Magic and Nets for the 7th and 8th spots. This is a must-win game for them Friday night in Minnesota, and they should get the win and cover here.
Minnesota has been playing without Robert Covington, Jeff Teague, Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson, and they remain out. The Timberwolves are just kind of going through the motions right now, going 3-8 SU & 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
The Heat are 11-3 ATS in non-conference road games this season. Miami is 26-12 ATS in all road games this season. The Heat are 45-16-2 ATS in their last 63 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Timberwolves are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games. Minnesota is 1-7 ATS in its last eight vs. Eastern Conference opponents. The Timberwolves are 0-5 ATS in their last five games following an ATS win. Bet the Heat Friday.
|04-05-19||South Florida +1.5 v. DePaul||77-65||Win||100||8 h 37 m||Show|
15* South Florida/DePaul CBI No-Brainer on South Florida +1.5
The DePaul Blue Demons have been hit hard by injuries here down the stretch in this CBI Tournament Championship series with South Florida. They will be without both Eli Cain (13.1 PPG, 119 assists) and Devin Gage (8.8 PPG, 129 assists), their top two assist men. And they could be without Jaylen Butz (7.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG), who is questionable.
South Florida was already the better team coming into this championship series. But now they are far and away the best team considering the Blue Demons have lost both Cain and Gage to injury. Look for the Bulls to win Game 3 tonight and take down the title.
DePaul is 1-8 ATS after having won three of its last four games this season. South Florida is 12-3 ATS in its last 15 road games. The Bulls are 7-1 ATS as a road underdog or PK this season. South Florida is 8-1 ATS vs. good offensive teams that score 77-plus points per game this season. The Blue Demons are 0-7 ATS in their last seven home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400. Roll with South Florida Friday.
|04-04-19||Cavs +9.5 v. Kings||104-117||Loss||-104||11 h 35 m||Show|
15* NBA Thursday PLAY OF THE DAY on Cleveland Cavaliers +9.5
The three NBA teams with the worst records in the league get an equal chance at the No. 1 pick this year. Well, Cleveland is basically assured of being a bottom three team now. So they can afford to try here down the stretch. And they’ve done a decent job of that as they are 8-6-1 ATS in their last 15 games overall. They have not packed it in yet.
I know their six-game losing streak doesn’t look good, but when you look at who they’ve played it’s easier to make sense of it. They’ve lost to five playoff teams in the Clippers, Bucks, Celtics, Spurs and Clippers, and they also lost on the road at Phoenix. Now they are rested and ready to go coming in on two days’ rest since that loss to the Suns Monday.
The Kings were recently officially eliminated from the playoffs. They have gone 1-3 SU & 1-3 ATS in their last four games overall, including their 25-point home loss to Houston on Tuesday. I just don’t foresee the Kings being motivated enough to put away the Cavs by double-digits, which is what it would take for them to cover this 9.5-point spread tonight.
Cleveland is 12-4 ATS after failing to cover the spread in two or more consecutive games this season. Plays against home teams (Sacramento) - off a home blowout loss by 20 points or more, in April games are 43-15 (74.1%) ATS since 1996. Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points (Cleveland) - in non-conference games, off three or more consecutive road losses are 38-10 (79.2%) ATS since 1996. Take the Cavaliers Thursday.
|04-04-19||Lipscomb v. Texas -1.5||Top||66-81||Win||100||7 h 30 m||Show|
25* NIT GAME OF THE YEAR on Texas -1.5
The Texas Longhorns have saved their best basketball of the season for the NIT. They have won four straight to get here, and their last two wins were really impressive. They beat Colorado by 13 as 5-point home favorites and then got revenge on TCU with a 14-point win as 1-point favorites.
Lipscomb is very fortunate to make it this far. They beat NC State on a buzzer-beater in the quarterfinals, then erased an 11-point deficit against Wichita State in the final seven minutes and won 71-64, closing that game on a 21-3 run. Give them credit for getting here, but their run stops here against a superior Texas team.
Texas is 7-0 ATS after playing three consecutive games as a favorite this season. Bet Texas Thursday.