It’s been two straight tough NBA picks for me personally, dropping a pair of games by slim margins with the winner just barely failing to cover. A loss is a loss, and no excuses, but it’s got me a little agitated, so I’m looking forward to getting back on track with a pair of NBA winners tonight.
We are just a day from the New Year, so before we get into today’s picks, here’s some interesting insight into the best and worst NBA teams so far this season from a Vegas perspective.
The best teams against the spread have been Phoenix (20-7-2), Indiana (21-8), and the Clippers, Portland and Charlotte are at better than 60%. Meanwhile, every single Atlantic Division team is at 50% or worse, low-lighted by the Knicks 10-20 ATS mark. However, the WORST team in the league ATS has been the disappointing Memphis Grizzlies at 9-19-1.
Some other wagering oddities and interesting marks for 2013: The Charlotte Bobcats are a mind-boggling 11-1 ATS on the road while the Detroit Pistons have hit the OVER in 23 of 32 games (73%). Will Vegas adjust accordingly and flatten out these edges in 2014? My bet is that you have a few more weeks to take advantage of these trends. I’ll be paying particular attention to Charlotte and Memphis lines over the next few weeks.
Today’s Free Picks:
Charlotte Bobcats at Utah Jazz -2.5
OK, let’s ride with the Bobcats until the numbers tell me otherwise. I mentioned above their insane ATS performance away from home this season. Granted, the Jazz have been playing better basketball but they haven’t even come close to covering in their last three home games and get an opponent who has failed to cover on the road only once all season.
This play is purely based on mathematics versus emotion. Emotionally, I like the improved play of the Jazz and have been a fan of this team since Trey Burke has taken over the point guard position. However, over their last five games, the Jazz have allowed 102.6 points and have a 9+ point negative point differential. Meanwhile, the Bobcats are nearly dead-even. My point is simply that perception of Charlotte as “terrible” have helped the lines stay wide enough to amass a 10-1 ATS road record. The more accurate truth is, they aren’t a bad ballclub.
I’ll take Kemba and the ‘Cats on the road to keep it going.
Washington Wizards at Detroit Pistons -2.5 (Total: 202)
Same rule as the abovementioned statistics. Let’s go with math and trends in this one as well. Detroit is 23-9 OVER so far this season. My theory? Casual fans still think of Detroit as a defensive-oriented ball club. However, this is not the case in 2013. They are allowing 102 points per game on nearly 47% field goal shooting. That’s a lot of points and not a ton of effort to get them.
Washington misses Bradley Beal, but should find enough offense to help Detroit get this game over the 202 threshold. Look for Detroit to play well after getting hammered in Washington two nights ago. I like the Pistons to score close to 110 tonight and get the total over 202.