Bucks vs. Cavs Pick NBA – Dec 31st

It’s the final day of 2014 in the NBA, and as we move into a hopefully profitable 2015, let’s close the year by taking a look at who has been the best and worst wagers so far in the NBA.

The Best in the East:

Milwaukee Bucks 22-10 ATS: No team in the NBA has been a bigger surprise than the Milwaukee Bucks. Last year they had the worst record in the NBA (yes, even worse than Philly). This year they are above .500, contending for a playoff spot even after the injury to Jabari Parker. They’ve been absolute money at the wagering window as well, returning a ridiculous 68.75%.

Atlanta Hawks 19-12 ATS: No one thought the Hawks would be making a run for best in the East. Especially Vegas

Toronto Raptors 19-13 ATS: People still sleep on the Raps. Do so at your own peril.

The Best of the West:

Portland Trailblazers 20-12-1 ATS: It’s always impressive when a very good team is also a very good wager. That’s the case with Portland thanks to a rapidly impoved defense and an emerging elite point guard in Damian Lillard.

New Orleans Pelicans 18-12 ATS: All of a sudden this team is more than Anthony Davis. Contribuions from Tyreke Evans and Ryan Anderson and Omer Asik have helped the Pels carve their way back to a good wager.

Golden State 19-11 ATS: Same story as the Blazers; dynamic offensive team playing surprisingly good defense. They are 1-2 in the real life standings with Portland, and 2-1 in ATS standings. Good team and a good wager.

Let’s try to put together a nice winning streak to kick off the impending New Year!

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Today’s Free Picks:

Milwaukee Bucks at Cleveland Cavaliers -4.5

This might be a slightly risky play; perhaps LeBron and Kevin Love are both cleared at gametime, come back completely healthy and showing no ill-effects and the Cavaliers decide THIS is the night to finally play defense… but at +4.5 and two superstars looking as unlikely to sit as to play, I really like the young Bucks piling on the Cavs misery tonight.

Cleveland has lost two straight games, neither real close, to Detroit at home (?) and Atlanta. Add in the Heat loss on Christmas Day and the Cavs are 1-3 against a pretty pedestrian slate since Christmas – just about the time this team was supposed to have started figuring it out. It’s clear that they still have some distance to travel, and getting healthy might be an important precursor.

Milwaukee, as mentioned above, leads the NBA in ATS record at 22-10, and it’s precisely because of games like tonight. They have a favorable matchup against a bigger brand-name team, so they are getting a few more points than they otherwise would. If you just saw two teams separated by just two games in the standings with the slumping home team possibly missing two of their three best players and laying close to five, you’d normally jump all over it. That’s exactly what I’m doing with Milwaukee tonight.

Free Pick: Milwaukee Bucks +4.5

Chris Scheeren / Author