The beat rolled on last night as we capped off a perfect NBA week with a seventh straight ATS winner, and it was one of the easier winners we notched all year. I thought a dozen points was an absurdly high pile to lay, even on the road with the Suns against the Raptors. But I certainly didn’t expect Phoenix to lay the lumber to them in such extreme fashion. The Suns reversed the spread and covered it in the opposite direction, smoking Toronto on their home floor to give them wins over the Spurs in Mexico and the Raptors in Toronto in the span of a week. Not bad for the “worst” team in the west.
We are entering a little big of a “the world is flat” situation – no one aside from Golden State, Cleveland, San Antonio and probably Houston is definitively “really good” and no one other than maybe Brooklyn and the Lakers are “really bad.” It makes double digit spreads immediately appealing for the underdog, and at least worth investigating a little deeper.
Let’s see if we can start another week off like the last; with a nice winner.
Today’s Free Pick:
New York Knicks at Indiana Pacers -5.5
I feel like I just wrote this column a week ago, but the main tenants still apply. Indiana is ridiculously good on the road despite their overall mediocrity. New York is terrible, terrible, terrible on the road despite their similar mediocrity.
So the Pacers at home at anything in single digits is a pretty good value.
Indiana is 16-5 SU at home this season, 12-9 ATS at home and 4-1 ATS in their last five home games. 7-15 SU on the road and 2-3 ATS in their last five road games. They have managed to cover half their road games, but they have often been sizable underdogs, whereas tonight is a slimmer, reasonable line. Interestingly, Indiana has really dominated the recent head-to-head matchup between these two teams, winning eight of their last ten and posting a +8.7ppg margin.
There is also the whole “this thing is falling apart” issue in the Big Apple. The Knicks have dropped 13 of 16 games overall and are a volatile cocktail of frustration and indifference waiting to explode (D-Rose being frustration, Melo being apathy – especially on defense). The season is going down the toilet and trying to be just the sixth team to win in Indiana all season long is a tough ask.
I think the Pacers control this game at home and win and cover.