We split our NBA picks with Orlando piling on the Philadelphia embarrassment and Brooklyn flat-out embarrassing themselves (and me) with a pathetic effort in Portland, who was playing without LaMarcus Alderidge and still won by 44 points. The “44” wasn’t a typo. Nice work Nets. Thanks.
The most impressive win, aside from the Blazers sheer margin, was the Clippers handing the surging Rockets just their second loss in twelve games. It feels like we could see these two link up again in the playoffs with a little luck; either an epic 4/5 first round matchup or a delightful second round matchup if each can sneak past the Spurs to get into the 2/3 positions. The Clippers get an A for the win, but the win could prove costly if the injury to Jamal Crawford is at all serious.
It’s a small slate of action tonight, as is fairly customary on Thursday, but there are a few good matchups worth taking a look at, so let’s dive on in.
Today’s Free Picks:
Milwaukee Bucks at Indiana Pacers -16 (Total: 197.5)
We see you Philadelphia. We see you coming. But I’m just not sure we can be quite that bad…
It’s a tired refrain to talk about NBA tanking, but as someone who follows the league not just a fervent fan but as an active handicapper, it is impossible to ignore the depths to which some NBA teams (like Philadelphia) appear willing to sink. Lines widen and widen, but it appears there is NO number right now that either can’t get under. Philly lost by double digits at home to a team with a winning percentage under .250 last night.
My point is, tanking is real and it is worth noting whenever approaching a game with one of the NBA’s cellar-dwellars involved.
That said – Milwaukee ain’t winning a road game anytime soon, but they’ve been pretty generous to the gambling folks lately. They’ve covered four games in a row and eight of their last ten. They are still at least feigning to compete on the court. Now, they’ve only won two of their last nine games, but they aren’t getting run out of the gym. In fact they have a recent 130-110 WIN… over…Philadelhpia. Oh well.
A trip to Indiana is a guaranteed loss. But perhaps the Pacers know it’s a lock as well. 15.5 points is a stunning number in an NBA game. This isn’t Duke hosting Davidson, it’s two professional basketball teams in the same division. And as good as Indiana’s season record ATS is, they are only 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight games.
I don’t see this game ever being real tense, but I can see Milwaukee hanging around just close enough to cover against a bored Pacers team that should be looking to get some key players a little rest before the Playoffs.