I bounced back with a nice win on Friday night, as the San Antonio Spurs covered (-110) and returned solid value in a win over the Memphis Grizzlies. That victory pushes my season NBA picks record up to 8-5 on the year and I’ll be looking to make it two in a row ahead of Saturday’s NBA betting slate.
When I first logged on to look at today’s action, I quickly saw the Blazers (-3) as an obvious pick against a Pelicans team that was likely going to be without Anthony Davis. Unfortunately I stepped away from the computer long enough for that line to grow to -6 for tonight and depending on what site you bet on, that number could be even worse.
This is a great example of how important it can be to get in on games before injury news shows up in the point spread. Missing out on that sweet line is indeed a bummer, but Saturday produces a solid 8-game slate, so I think there is still some value to be had.
I still don’t hate taking the Blazers to cover at -6, but a more advantageous bet could be going down at the Barclays Center, where the Brooklyn Nets will be hosting the Atlanta Hawks.
Atlanta Hawks (+5) @ Brooklyn Nets (-5) Total: 218.5
There are a number of ways to go with this matchup, as the Nets are one of the fastest teams in the NBA and neither team plays defense. That certainly makes the Over an interesting bet (-110), but it’s not the one that returns the most value.
Brooklyn has actually been amazing all year against the spread (14-7!) and are even 3-1 ATS as a home favorite. Most people would run away from the Hawks right then and there, while Atlanta hasn’t done themselves any favors this year with a paltry 4-17 overall record.
The Hawks make it even worse with a nasty 2-9 road record, but this team is going to need to take advantage of winnable games when they present themselves and I think one could arrive tonight. Bettors have to remember that while the Hawks lose a lot, they’ve competed a little harder than expected and have a respectable 9-11-1 against the spread record so far this year.
That won’t win any awards, but the Hawks tend to be annoying and hang in games. They just beat the spread against the Cleveland Cavaliers in their last game, too, while they have enough offensive talent to potentially run with the Nets in this one.
The Hawks are just 4-6-1 as a road underdog this year, but the Nets rank 25th in terms of defensive efficiency and continue to roll out lineups that feature guys that would normally be third string talents.
Spencer Dinwiddie has been very good in a starting role, but the Nets are down key players in D’Angelo Russell and Jeremy Lin. Allen Crabbe and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson have also been missing action and aren’t exactly locks to suit up for this one.
The main point I’m driving at is the Nets have been a little better than expected, but they are hanging by a thread. They play a style that allows pretty much any opponent to hang with them, provided they’re making shots. Thanks to Brooklyn’s lack of defense, that’s usually something that happens, too.
A year ago the Nets could really hang their hat on playing at home, but this is a totally different team with all of the injuries. They’re just 4-5 at home this year and I think they’re much more vulnerable to losses that they wouldn’t be if they were healthier.
Atlanta isn’t normally a team I put much stock in, but they have a solid go-to scorer in Dennis Schroder and are slowly unearthing a gem in big man, John Collins. Kent Bazemore, Luke Babbitt and Ersan Ilyasova also help stretch things out with their shooting, so there is some wiggle room for the Hawks to get hot and keep this interesting.
I would love to go hard at the Hawks (+180 at BetOnline), but with Collins sidelined, I’m not quite ready to push for the win. I do think Atlanta can play a tight game and beat this spread, however.