NBA 12/25

Spurs -5 vs. Thunder:

The Thunder struggle, mightily, to beat the Spurs when at full strength.  It usually takes mammoth performances from Westbrook and Durant to knock off San Antonio.  Granted, no Kawhi Leonard is a huge deal for the Spurs.  That being said, the Spurs have the deeper, more team oriented, roster.  Five points may seem like alot, but the value is in a more cohesive San Antonio team, at home.  The Thunder just aren’t the Thunder, without KD.

Washington vs. New York Over 194:

Everyone will jump on Washington in this one, which is a complete trap.  If you’ve followed the Knicks this season you know they suck, at winning games, but they’ve been pretty stellar at covering spreads.  Remember, this Carmelo-less squad covered just a few days ago, in Chicago!  It isn’t out of the realm of possibility for the Knicks to come ready to play today and cover, especially if Melo is in the lineup.  Christmas day always brings fantastic effort from both squads.  The Knicks have no answer for John Wall, and as of late, Tim Hardaway Jr. has been on fire.  The Knicks should get some timely shooting from Jose Calderon, as well.  Play the over, as you should get max effort from both teams today.

Clippers -1 vs. Golden State/Over 218:

A shootout in the Golden State, on Christmas Day, now that’s our idea of a Merry Christmas!  This is can’t miss basketball for any NBA fan.  Golden State is shooting the rock red hot right now.  The Warriors have covered the spread in 5 of these teams’ last 6 meetings.  Even so, we’re riding with the Clippers.  Golden State showed some fatigue, and chinks in the armor, in their last loss to the Lakers.  The Clippers need this one a little more, and we feel like the Warriors are due for their first losing streak of the season.  The under has a decent chance here, but with both teams amp’d up for a Christmas day game, we’ll take some hot shooting and high flying antics to cover.  Clippers 112 – Warriors 103.

Lakers +10.5 @ Chicago/Under 207.5:

This is a bit dangerous with how pathetic L.A.’s defense is and how hot Chicago’s shooting can be.  The reason we like the Lakers is they showed signs of life in a recent win over Golden State, we get Kobe Bryant on Christmas day, and as pumped as the Bulls will be they know they’re playing an inferior team.  It’s not always easy to show up against lesser competition, no matter what the day.  Chicago likes to defend, along with having a lockdown defense.  The over/under just seems too high here.  Final score, Bulls 104 – Lakers 101.

Cleveland -5.5 @ Miami:

Alot of the “wise guys” are riding the Heat here, especially coming off a disappointing loss to Philly.  There’s no doubt the Heat will throw the kitchen sink at Cleveland, but without Chris Bosh Miami will need alot more than just Dwyane Wade.  Too much K – Love, Lebron, and Kyrie.  Dion Waiters has been on fire lately.  Even a return trip to Miami can’t overcome the talent on the floor.  Cleveland wins running away 105 – 93.  Too little scoring on the Heat, to hang around in this one.

NBA 12/23

Celtics +2 @ Orlando:

Huge value in this game.  Orlando has struggled with Boston all season.  The Celtics have been playing better basketball, as of late, and the Dallas trade added more depth, without losing any real scoring prowess.  Orlando couldn’t even beat Philly at home, the other night.  That doesn’t inspire much confidence from our end.  Hard not to ride that Celtics train in this one.  We lean toward the over, but the Magic are too volatile to pick that.  Stick with the C’s; Celtics 105 – Magic 97.

Wizards -3 vs. Bulls:

Two extremely evenly matched teams.  Chicago probably has more depth, and we think this will be a dogfight for three quarters.  The issue becomes late in this contest. We just think the Bulls will run out of gas, after last night’s marathon in Chicago.  That game, combined with travel to Washington is an issue.  Bulls fade late and Wizards survive.  Wizards 103 – Bulls 94.

New Orleans -1 @ Indiana:

There’s a couple things not to love here.  First of all, New Orleans is 0 – 5 their last 5 games against the spread.  Secondly, in our opinions, the Pelicans are soft compared to Indiana.  There’s a level of toughness that Donald Sloan, David West, & company bring that the Pelicans lack.  The Pelicans especially lack this at guard.  Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans better suck it up if the Pelicans win this.  That being said, the best player on the floor (Anthony Davis) carries these Pelicans as he dominates Hibbert.  Expect David West to get his points for Indy.  The difference is A. Dav. & Ryan Anderson’s three’s on the wing.  Pelicans win 102 – 95.

Cleveland -13.5 vs. Minnesota:
The T’Wolves aren’t playing well at all.  Kevin Love has heard alot of the trash talk coming out of Minnesota about his leaving.  Expect K Love to show up in a big way.  Cleveland is hot right now.  If Dion Waiters and Lebron keep hitting like they have been, this is a total blowout.  Minnesota has no business being on the same court with Cleveland.  Cavs 109 – T’Wolves 87.

76ers +8 @ Heat:

There’s value in this pick.  Hold on, testing, testing, one two…..let me say that again…..there’s value in picking the 76ers on the road!  Wow!  We just said that!  But seriously, No Chris Bosh on the floor.  Chances are Dwyane Wade will play, but he could sit out in preparation for the Heat’s big Christmas Day game, which our sources say he will not miss.  Josh McRoberts is out, and Chris Andersen is dinged up.  The 6ers have looked better their past few outings.  MCC and Wroten are starting to find a groove.  Miami most likely wins, but it’s a great spot for them to overlook Philly in preparation for their matchup with Cleveland.  Heat 95 – 76ers 89.

Hawks -1.5 vs. Clippers:

Both teams coming off back to back games.  Atlanta goes home, and are on a red hot tear.  We truly believe the Hawks are a top 3 team in the East right now.  Atlanta is as efficient as any team in the NBA.  Clippers have a tough loss going against them, after losing to the Spurs.  The Clippers also have the travel, and shooting in an unfamiliar gym.  Atlanta is just another version of what the Spurs do (Buddenholzer), and the Clippers have never come close to figuring out that style of basketball.  Hawks win, relatively, easily.  Atlanta 103 – LAC 97.

Portland @ OKC Under 200:

We don’t very often bet against this with two teams that play this fast and shoot this well, but we’re going to in this case.  Chances are LaMarcus Aldridge doesn’t step on the floor.  OKC always puts a premium on defense, especially against buckets at the rim.  Portland just played a track meet at Houston last night.  They have to be tired legs of some sort.  The other issue becomes Portland getting any inside points without L.A. or Robin Lopez on the floor.  A team with little bench depth, just got weaker inside.  Matthews, Batum, and Lillard are snipers, so it could be interesting how well they shoot from 3, but we’re banking on somewhat weak legs.  OKC wins 99 – Blazers 91.

Golden State -8.5 @ Lakers:

Loving the way this line is falling.  Yes it’s a back to back for Golden State, but they didn’t even break a sweat in bashing Sacramento, the other night.  The Splash brothers are a huge nightmare for Jeremy Lin and Company.  Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, and Iguodala bring too much athleticism for an inconsistent Lakers team.  Kobe Bryant’s legs are too old for this game, and it sounds like he’s questionable to play on this night.  We’ll take the Warriors, BIG!  GS 117 – Lakers 93.

Charlotte +6 @ Milwaukee:
Absolutely love this pick tonight!  Charlotte is red hot right now, and they got to rest the majority of their team in the 4th quarter, when they bashed Denver last night.  These teams are equally as talented, and Al Jefferson is a matchup nightmare for Milwaukee.  Kemba Walker and Brandon Knight should go back and forth in an entertaining game.  Tons and tons of value in the road team here.  Way too much is being made of the back to back travel game for Charlotte.  Hornets steal a win in Milwaukee; Hornet 102 – Bucks 95.

NBA 12/22

Charlotte -2 vs. Denver:
Fantastic time to jump back on the Charlotte bandwagon.  Denver is nothing away from their home arena.  Add on to that they just lost Danillo Galinari again.  They’re still short Randy Foye, Javale McGee, and probably Darrell Arthur.  The Hornets are starting to find their groove after winning a couple, recently.  Kemba Walker is shooting over 50% his past two outings, and Al Jefferson has returned to the A. Jeff of old.  Two teams headed opposite ways, and one plays poorly on the road.  Charlotte wins 101 – 94.

Utah +8.5 @ Memphis/Under 195:

Huge value pick here.  Granted, Utah has lost 5 straight at Memphis, but they can lose……we just need it close.  A few great signs here.  The Jazz have size to match Memphis’ (Favors and Kanter).  The Jazz have a wing scorer to take pressure off their bigs (Gordon Heyward).  Memphis is coming off a back to back night, where they just got drubbed by Cleveland.  Their could definitely be sluggish legs after that.  The best part is we have no Zach Randolph on the floor.  Take away, arguably, Memphis’ best player and that has to hurt some.  Memphis is more talented, but Jazz keep it close in a 97 – 91 Grizzlies win.

Portland @ Houston Over 198.5:

We lean toward Portland in this one, but can’t pick them because of the injury to Robin Lopez and uncertainty on Nic Batum.  That being said, there’s value in the over.  Both teams play fast and shoot the lights out.  Dwight Howard can’t guard L.A. when he pulls him off the block, and vice versa, so easy big man points.  Houston picks up some wing depth in Alexey Shved and Corey Brewer.  If Portland shows up we’re looking at a 103 – 100, type game.  If Houston shows up, and Brewer brings a refreshed bench, we’re looking at blowout city, 118 – 90, type game.  Either way, we think this line is set too low.  Lock in this over, it’s a solid play.

Toronto @ Chicago Over 201:

This line keeps going up, and for good reason.  This will be a hotly contested matchup, between two very talented teams.  The Bulls average well over 100 points, per contest, and the Raptors are right around the same area.  Both teams are trying to establish Eastern Conference supremacy, which makes it really tough to pick the spread.  The spread was set perfectly in this one, because this will be a close game and a late 3 could push the line either way.  That’s why the over is fantastic.  We’ll get high quality inside looks and stellar 3 point shooting from Butler, Dunleavy, Lowry, Ross, etc.  We’ve got the Bulls 104 – 101.

Hawks @ Mavs Over 209:

This line is so tough, because Jeff Teague is a gametime call.  The speed and outside shooting lends itself toward the over though.  Both teams want to run and gun, and nobody has been able to stop the Mavs at home.  The Hawks getting points has been stellar all season, that being said, Dallas is phenomenal at home.  If we knew Teague was ready to go we’d rock the +5, but we’ll play it safe and go over.  Dallas 114 – Hawks 107.

Spurs +1 vs. Clippers:

Very tough game to call here, but San Antonio rested all their stars for a reason, and they still almost got Dallas the other night.  This will be a battle, but San Antonio needs this game more, after some really tough losses recently.  Sometimes urgency is the name of the game in sports, and there’s some urgency for the Spurs right now.  Clippers won’t back down, but we’ll take the Spurs in this dog fight 102 – 96.

Warriors -11.5 vs. Kings/Over 210:
The over/under might be the weaker play here, because who knows what the Kings will bring to the table.  We’ve burned betting against the Warriors on these big spreads, all season, but not anymore.  Golden State just hammers teams this year, especially at home.  Demarcus Cousins needs alot more help than he’s getting to change that.  Warriors win, running away, and we’ll take this game to slide over in the process.  Golden State 121 – Kings 91.

NBA 12/20

Teaser of the Day: Phoenix -1.5/Dallas -5.5

The Knicks could play the game of their life, but they still don’t have the firepower to hang with Goran Dragic, Bledsoe, Gerald Green, and company.  Dallas can score the lights out and there’s simply no way San Antonio isn’t absolutely exhausted after two triple over time games.  We don’t even know who will be on the court for the Spurs tonight.  That bench isn’t as deep without Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills on the roster.  Lock city teaser of the day.  You can bankroll this one.

Dallas -10.5 vs. San Antonio:
See above.

Pelicans -5 vs. Portland:

Portland’s the better team, but they’re coming off a 7 quarter marathon against the Spurs.  There’s no way there’s not some weak legs here.  Not to mention, the Blazers are down Batum and Robin Lopez.  An already short bench gets even shorter.  Expect Anthony Davis to own LaMarcus Aldridge, mainly due to fatigue.  New Orleans takes this one 101 – 93.  Don’t mess with the over/under, as both teams can really score and the Pelicans can really struggle at times.

Atlanta +5 @ Houston:

Sheer value all over this one.  Give the star power to Houston in Harden and Howard.  Give team depth and better ball movement to the Hawks.  Dwight Howard’s nothing more than a dunk machine inside.  He has little to no post moves.  Paul Milsap and Al Horford should not only get their 18 and 10 each, but they have the ability to limit Howard.  Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver provide too much for a bad Houston defense to defend.  Even if Atlanta doesn’t win, there’s sheer value in the Hawks.  We’re riding the Hawks train this season.  Mike Buddenholzer has made us believers, and there’s a lot of money to be made on them.

Utah @ Charlotte Over 192:
It’s a little dangerous when you’ve got two teams that have played so many games over the past few days.  At this point, though there’s vengeance for both teams to consider.  Al Jefferson will definitely want to show his old team they should have given him his payday, and the Jazz bigs will want to prove their worth.  In a hotly contested game, we think there’s too many easy buckets for both teams.  Charlotte wins 100 – 98.

Denver -3.5 vs. Indiana:
Absolutely love this pick.  Guard play wins in the NBA and the Nuggets have it in spades over the Pacers.  Back to back will mean absolutely nothing when you have more speed and team depth.  Not to mention the Pacers are coming into the mile high city.  We know Indiana’s bigs will have trouble adjusting to that altitude.  Big man play does not win these games in the NBA when the other team has superior guard play.  Nuggets win walking away 110 – 91.

Bucks +10.5/Under 211.5:
Absolutely love the under in this one.  The Clips not only come off a back to back, but they’re coming home from the mile high city where they were run ragged by the Nuggets.  Milwaukee is banged up and inconsistent on the offensive end already.  The under is a straight lock, especially with Milwaukee’s ability to block shots in the post.  With the fatigue set in we like the Bucks to cover the 10.5, as well.  How are you going to get up for Milwaukee after a tough loss in Denver?  Clips win, but in an ugly fashion.  Final score Clips 99 – Bucks 92.

 

NBA 12/19

Utah +4 @ Orlando/Under 192.5:

Expect a tight back and forth battle between two of the bottom feeders in the NBA.  That’s the perfect scenario to take the points, especially considering Utah is the more talented team.  They’ve got the most talented players on the floor in Burks and Hayward.  They matchup perfectly inside with Favors and Kanter against Vucevic.  The advantage to Orlando goes with how far Victor Oladipo can go with his point to assist ratio, which has been off the charts the past few weeks.  Either way, we’re getting the more talented team getting points.  We love the under, as well as both teams are in the bottom 10 in the NBA in points scored, while the Magic are one of the best in the league defensively.  Orlando wins 97 – 94.

Charlotte -4 vs. Philly:

Philly’s had 4 days off, that’s about all you can really say about Philly right now.  The sixers might be able to hang around if they receive a barrage from Tony Wroten and MCC, other than that they’re severely outmanned talent-wise.  Al Jefferson should have 28 – 12 easily in this one, and Kemba Walker should be able to assert his dominance.  It’s hard loving either of these teams, but how do you bet on a team that’s 2 – 22 right now?

Boston vs. Minnesota Over 211:
Love these big overs in these NBA games.  Rule of thumb is when that over/under is high Vegas is baiting you to take to the under, when the clear play is the over.  We’ve got a Celtics team toward the top of the NBA in scoring.  Rajon Rondo, while their distributor, wasn’t part of that scoring onslaught.  We should see easy buckets and strong play out of Jeff Green, Avery Bradley, Evan Turner, and Jared Sullinger.  Minnesota is still horrible, but the fast play of the Celtics should get them some easy buckets in transition.  The C’s rank toward the bottom of the NBA in total team defense and why would that change all of a sudden? Boston 120 – Minnesota 100.

Detroit +8.5 vs. Toronto:

Every statistical reason, on paper will tell you to take the Raptors.  Toronto has one of the better scoring defenses in the NBA, and they also average one of the higher PPG totals.  That being said, we love Detroit’s inside presence in Drummond and Greg Monroe against a Raptors squad that’s no better inside.  The question is will Brandon Jennings and company show up to give Kyle Lowry and Terrence Ross a push.  At the end of the day, 8.5 is too many points for a home team that has rim protectors like Detroit.  Remember, these scum bags don’t have to win, they just have to cover!  Toronto 98 – Detroit 93.

Washington -6 vs. Miami/Over 189:
Miami’s a whopping 2 – 7 at home this season.  Washington is a top 4 team in the west with scorers in Bradley Beal, John Wall, Marcin Gortat, etc.  We’ve got no Chris Bosh on the floor, and Miami’s guards (other than D-Wade) haven’t been able to throw it in the ocean lately.  To top it off, the Wiz bashed Miami by 20 + points the last time they played.  On what earth is their value in Miami?  Maybe Miami covers through a great D-Wade night, but there’s value in the Wiz and that’s where we’re riding.  Final score Wiz 102 – Miami 93.

Chicago +6.5 @ Memphis/under 191:

Memphis is playing its 3rd game in 4 nights, after two emotional wins over Golden State and San Antonio.  Everybody is making a big deal about Chicago playing last night when they clearly went through the motions against a bad Knicks team, looking ahead to Memphis.  Fatigue sets in after that last triple overtime win.  Too many points are being given to a deep Bulls team that can match up with Z Bo and Marc inside.  Remember Noah is back to help Pau now.  Bulls hang around in a tight game and steal it in the grindhouse.  Bulls 93 – Grizz 90.

Blazers +4.5 @ San Antonio:

Everyone’s riding the Blazers and so are we.  A triple overtime loss is never good, especially when you’re as old as the Spurs.  Too much firepower on the wings for Portland, and without Tony Parker whose going to stop Lillard.  There’s a high chance we don’t see any of San Antonio’s big 3 in this one.  Blazers win 101 – 87 against a beat up Spurs squad.

Clippers vs. Nuggets Over 214.5:

We get two teams that love to push the pace and have scorers all over the map.  The Nuggets are averaging 8 three’s, per game.  Both teams get tons of transition dunks through the Manimal, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.  Either team could pull away with a big spurt, making the spread hard to pick here.  The sheer pace and scoring ability of both teams lends this game toward the over though.  Clippers 109 – Nuggets 107.

Teaser of the Night: OKC -2/Bulls +11.5:
Despite playing last night and not having KD tonight, OKC is a different team with Westbrook, Ibaka, and Jackson on the floor.  Too much high flying athleticism for a bad Lakers squad.  OKC is hungry, they know they lost a tough one last night, which they would have won if KD were on the floor.  The team that has something to play for wins this one outright.  See above on Bulls pick.  We love a Bulls/Tom Thibedeau team getting 11.5 points, all day, everyday.  If you don’t like OKC give the Blazer +9.5, but definitely include the Bulls in your teaser.

NBA 12/18

Knicks +11 @ Bulls:

There’s alot on paper to like the Bulls, especially with Joakim Noah back, but paper doesn’t tell everything.  The Knicks have been fantastic at covering, not at winning, this season.  Carmelo Anthony always gives the Bulls fits and they still have no one to guard him.  If we’re going on talent, the Bulls should own this one and they probably will.  But they won’t own it enough to cover.  A late 15 point lead slips back and the Knicks backdoor cover 97 – 90.

Milwaukee +7.5 @ Sacramento/Under 203.5:

Too much is being made of a close back to back night in Portland.  This Bucks team has showed resolve and the Kings are reeling right now.  Sacramento actually showed up against OKC two nights ago and still couldn’t cover.  We gotta think there’s a bit of a letdown when Milwaukee comes to town.  Not to mention, Larry Sanders and Giannis still provide more force inside.  Sacramento’s speed could be a problem, but we like the Bucks to cover.  We’ll take the under either way, as both teams are pretty much all or nothing on the offensive end.  We’ll go with nothing tonight in a 99 – 95 Bucks win.

OKC +3 @ Golden State:

These two teams play amazing matchups.  You will not want to miss a single minute of this game.  Expect up and down scoring and ridiculous athleticism on both sides.  OKC will jump out early, but Golden State will have a 5 – 8 point lead by Q3.  Like the last couple of meetings, we really feel this will come down to the last possession or two.  The value is in the team getting points.  Thunder hold a 1 point lead late, and a Splash Brothers’ 3 at the buzzer is the difference.  Golden State 104 – OKC 103.  Thunder cover.

Pelicans +5 @ Houston:

The one thing the Pelicans can do is score points.  Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard should neutralize each other.  At that point it’s just who shoots better from the wings, and outside of James Harden New Orleans is just as athletic to get their own on the perimeter.  A little too much travel and a back to back, coming from the mile high, have to play some role in this.  We think Houston wins, but they fail to cover.  105 – 101 Rockets.

NBA 12/17

Dallas @ Detroit: Under 205:

Dallas is coming in on back to back nights of play.  Detroit’s defense has been somewhat respectable all season.  That being said, Detroit’s offense has been terrible.  Well over half of their games have been scored below 100 points.  Timing is everything in life and hoops and the timing is perfect here for an under.

Miami -4 vs. Utah:
Both teams are on back to back games here and clearly Utah has the advantage on the inside.  But guard play wins games and the Jazz are terrible at guard and wing, compared to the Heat.  Miami comes home, after a big upset win in Brooklyn.  We feel like that win propels them over Utah, as Utah comes out tired and deflated from their loss at New Orleans.  Heat 98 – Jazz 89.

Spurs -3 vs. Grizz:

The Spurs absolutely own the Grizz head to head.  Style of play is a huge thing in the NBA and Memphis does not match up with San Antonio whatsoever.  Not only that, but we get them coming off a huge emotional win against Golden State, AND we get them on back to back nights of play.  Rest has always been big for San Antonio.  Fantastic timing to take the Spurs and run with it.  Spurs walk away 101 – 85.

Suns -3 @ Charlotte:

Goran Dragic, or no Goran Dragic the Hornets simply cannot score.  The worst part for Charlotte is Al Jefferson is in a funk.  The big man is averaging 12.7 ppg, over the past two weeks, when they have to have him average 25ppg to be competitive.  Too much speed, too much shooting, and too much quickness for Charlotte.  Suns win 101 – 93.

Atlanta +6.5 @ Cleveland/Over 200.5:

The lock of the night is the Hawks getting 6.5.  Ladies and gentlemen we are finally believers in this new brand of hawks.  Not only are there 4 legit scorers on this team, but they play a pace and brand of basketball that is how basketball should be played.  It’s finally refreshing, coming from some of the turds Atlanta used to put on the floor.  Mike Buddenholzer has truly put his “Spurs” brand of basketball on this team.  The Cavs are obviously great, but these two teams are close in talent.  Atlanta has a clear advantage inside with Milsap and Horford.  Cleveland has no sniper like Kyle Korver.  Obviously, LBJ and Kyrie dominate for the Cavs, as well.  Atlanta has a chance to be in the conference finals this year, and they may even win this one.  We’ll take the Hawks 103 – 99.

Boston -4 vs. Orlando:

On paper, they may look even, but it’s fantastic timing for Boston.  The C’s have better guard and wing play in Rondo, Jeff Green, and Evan Turner.  Orlando is coming off a pitiful performance at Toronto, but the turnaround is too soon to be that competitive.  Not to mention, Boston is still lighting up the nets offensively.  This game is tight for 3 quarters, until Boston pulls away for a 15 point win.  Boston 110 – Orlando 95.

Toronto -12.5 vs. Brooklyn/Under 197:
Brooklyn is old and uninspired.  Brooklyn is just plain awful.  How can you lose, at home, to a Miami team that’s down Bird Man and Bosh?  Miami also has a one legged D-Wade, and an over the hill Luol Deng.  Brooklyn has no heart, no character, and completely no “give a shit” left on their season.  Coming off a back to back, that spells disaster.  Toronto, despite losing Demar Derozan is still playing hard and inspired basketball.  The real problem becomes no inside buckets for Brooklyn in this one.  Raptors walk away with 109 – 82 victory.

Denver +2.5 vs. Houston:
Neither team will stop much in this one, but Denver is a different team at home.  If Dwight Howard were here we might push the Rockets.  James Harden won’t shoot as well on the road, and Ty Lawson is a dominant freak in the mile high.  Nuggs pull out a close one 103 – 97.

Teaser of the Night: Portland -5/Atlanta +11.5:
See above on Atlanta.  Portland is fantastic at home.  Lillard, Matthews, Batum, and Aldridge shoot at an incredible clip pretty much anywhere, but especially at the Rose Garden.  Milwaukee just lost Jabari, but that’s not the biggest factor.  The Bucks just haven’t been playing well lately.  They also win on defense and they simply don’t have the defensive athleticism to hold down one of the most potent offenses in the NBA, on their home floor.  Portland’s fantastic, period.  They’re even more fantastic, at home.  Milwaukee can’t defend, or score enough, to hang around.  Portland most likely covers the 9 points, but why not play it safe, especially when the Hawks have been scoring at the clip that they are.

NBA 12/16

Thunder -8 @ Sacramento:

OKC is on an absolute tear since getting Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook back.  The Kings are in complete disarray.  Once Demarcus Cousins went out this team just absolutely fell apart.  The firing of their coach, along with Tyrone Corbin at the helm, can’t mean much.  Too much of a well oiled machine in OKC.  Not enough chemistry, or give a shit in Sacramento.  Thunder pull away 111 – 91.

Memphis -3 vs. Golden State:
It’s almost impossible to bet against the Warriors right now, right?  Wrong!  Yes, we’re looking at a 16 game winning streak team that just got stronger with Andrew Bogut coming back.  The Grindhouse is a hell of a tough place to win a game though.  Memphis will be out to prove something tonight as they’re only two games back of the Warriors.  The Warriors are probably more talented top to bottom, but timing is a big part of sports.  Wrong place and wrong time to play the Grizzlies.  Warriors fall 103 – 94.

Dallas -7 @ Knicks:
The Knicks play competitively at home, but there’s troubles in their locker room and they simply do not play defense.  That’s a bad combination against a Dallas team that has tons of team chemistry and absolutely lights up the scoreboard on every team in the NBA.  No chance we’re taking the Knicks here.  Dallas smokes NYK 110 – 92.

Jazz vs. Pelicans Under 197:

There’s inside presence on both teams to make scoring inside difficult.  The Pelicans are an all or nothing team, they’re either fantastic from the outside, or they absolutely suck.  We’re betting on them sucking tonight against an uninspiring Jazz squad.   Either way, Utah is nothing special on the offensive end.  If Derek Favors and Gordon Hayward are at all off then this is a lock, because the Jazz simply go as they go.  We can’t see Favors getting much against the likes of the Uni-Brow.  Final score Pelicans 97 – Jazz 95.

Brooklyn -7.5 vs. Miami:

Let’s be honest, Brooklyn has a bunch of gutless wonder Superstars just out for a payday, but in this case, you can’t bet against them.  Miami without Chris Bosh, and most likely without Dwyane Wade (flu)?  We’re talking no chance here for the Heat.  The only scorer on the floor will be Luol Deng.  If we get any effort from Brooklyn it’s a walkaway.  Brooklyn 95 – Heat 79.

T’Wolves +13 @ Washington/Over 203:

We’ve got two teams that can flat out score the rock.  It’s a little nerve wracking with how great the Wiz have been in transition, and how poor Minnesota’s defense is.  That being said, this line is just too high to see the value in Washington.  Either way, the points will be a solid take, because their should be a plethora of points scored, and pace played in this game.  Take both bets though, because theirs a great chance we’re looking at 111 – 101 Wizards type win.  Never hurts to double up in a night!

NBA 12/15

Teaser of the Night: Cleveland -5/Boston Even

Cleveland is one of the highest scoring teams in the league.  As of late, besides when LBJ was out, they seemed to have found their groove.  They’re playing a Charlotte team that simply struggles to score.  The Hornets are shooting a whopping 29% from 3 point range over the last 2 weeks, whereas the Cavs are one of the highest in the league at 44%.  No Dion Waiters might hurt a bit, but too much Lebron and Kevin Love in this one.  Cavs win 100 – 91.

It’s somewhat believable to think Philly could pull this out.  Ever since Michael Carter Williams returned the 6ers have shown signs of life.  The problem is they blew one of the worst defeats in NBA history Saturday Night.  They had a team as great as Memphis on the ropes, and not only give up 8 late threes, but a buzzer beater to go into overtime.  Don’t tell us there’s no lag from that loss.  Losing is perpetual and that takes the wind out of their sails against a Boston team that’s won 3 of 4 at Philly, and is also at the top of the NBA in scoring.  C’s win 117 – 100.

Lakers +5.5 @ Indiana:
It’s not easy to pick LAK this year, but Indiana has lost 8 straight.  There’s no question David West will be a handful for the Lakers.  But you’re looking at an Indiana team that isn’t playing for anything this season and knows it.  The Lakers seem to be inspired after Kobe’s teammate bashing speech the other day.  Despite his age, the Pacers have no answers for the offensive onslaught of Kobe Bryant.   Pacers steal this late, but not enough firepower to cover.  Pacers 102 – Lakers 99.

Orlando +7 @ Toronto/Over 197:

Nikola Vucevic is back and healthy to provide an easy 18 and 10 for the Magic.  That alone is a big factor into taking the +7.  Throw in the fact that Demar Derozan is still out and that Victor Oladipo is red hot, over the last two weeks and the value lies in Orlando.  The Magic have a shot to take this one, and without Derozan there’s chances for Orlando to exploit Toronto on the wings.  Terrence Ross and Kyle Lowry will undoubtedly get there’s, as usual.  At the end of the day, it’s too much Toronto, but in a high scoring affair.  Raptors 107 – Magic 104.

Bulls +3 @ Atlanta:

Even with Joakim Noah possibly not on the floor tonight we’re expecting another tough night for the hawks after blowing a close loss to the magic.  This could be the start of short losing streak for Atlanta, so pay attention to it.  If Noah doesn’t play, it may be even better for the Bulls.  Chicago has a tendency, similar to the Spurs, to play up a level when they sit their stars.  Jimmy Butler has been torching the nets lately.  Taj Gibson will pick up where Noah left off and you still have Derek Rose over Jeff Teague.  Horford and Milsap are a worry, but Pau Gasol balances that out.  In the end, you’re getting the better defensive team (not a bad offense either averaging 102 ppg) getting 3 points on the road.  Stat of the day: Chicago is 10 – 3 on the road this season.  In betting, that’s called VALUE.  The value pick is Chicago, the gut pick would be Atlanta, we’re playing it smart and going with the value.

San Antonio @ Portland Over 193.5:

This is a total trapdoor game and Vegas knows it.  The line is set perfectly at 8 points, because San Antonio is playing is 3rd game in 4 nights.  They just pulled out a low scoring (for them) win at Denver.  Meaning, who the hell knows who Gregg Popovich is going to throw on the floor tonight.  So, that 8 point line is completely useless, because we’ve seen Spurs reserves absolutely dominate, and we’ve seen them lay goose eggs.  Either way, both teams play fast, and Portland will absolutely shoot the lights out at home.  Never bet against the shooting of Lillard, Batum, and Wes Matthews.  If San Antonio plays poorly Portland will blast them and front run to the tune of 119 – 92.  If the Spurs play well we’re looking at a 102 – 101 game.  Either way, we’re not betting against two offensively powered teams.

Pistons +12.5 @ Clippers:

Betting on the Pistons is like jerking off on an airplane, it’s just not a wise choice.  Well, in this case, we’re saying go ahead and do it.  The Pistons are an emotional roller coaster each and every night, but there’s a couple things we know for sure.  Brandon Jennings hasn’t won in his hometown, ever, since he joined the NBA.  Jennings will be out to prove something, that’ll either be really great or really bad, if you know how B Jenn plays.  The other thing we know is Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe, and Josh Smith are one of the few front lines with athleticism to stop DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin in transition.  Detroit’s size will bother LAC in this one.  Lord help us if this becomes a DeAndre Jordan and Andre Drummond free throw contest.  Yikes!! Clippers pull away late 104 – 93.

Milwaukee +5.5 @ Phoenix:

Phoenix is coming off a back to back night game.  The Suns have been terrible in these scenarios all season.  They’ve failed to win the second night yet.  Milwaukee is young and athletic too.  They’ve got a plethora of scorers in Giannis, Brandon Knight, and Jabari Parker.  Phoenix blows this one outright.  Milwaukee 105 – Phoenix 98.

12/11 NBA

OKC -2.5 vs. Cleveland:

Cleveland’s coming off a stretch of playing 5 games in 7 days.  Lebron says he’s got a sore knee coming into this one and may not play.  We think that’s just media hype, but either way, for a team that plays little defense, this stretch has to take it’s toll, at some point.  We think it’s now, especially as Oklahoma City is desperate for wins, to catch up to that 8 spot in the west.  Both teams are on hot streaks.  We’ll take the home team, with the better defense.  OKC 102 – Cleveland 97.

Kings +1 vs. Rockets:

It’s hard to pick the Kings as they’re streaking southward.  This is a team that couldn’t beat the Rockets with Demarcus Cousins.  We feel like last night’s track meet with Golden State is too much for Houston.  James Harden battled through back spasms and still dropped 34.  If Harden is at all dinged up, there’s more value in the Kings.  Sacramento is the smarter play here, even if the Rockets would be the more talented team, on most nights.  Kings win 101 – 95.