The NBA’s unofficial “second half” begins tonight with a two-game warm-up for a packed weekend of good NBA action. Before we move on to tonight’s free pick, let’s take a quick look at some first half trends and ATS results.
The GOOD: No one comes close to the Atlanta Hawks for value so far in 2014-2015. They are a staggering 37-17 ATS. However, they are both 3-3 straight up and ATS in their last six games. Is it a blip before the Break, or a sign of some regression to the mean? Meanwhile, other top ATS performers include Milwaukee, Golden State, Houston and New Orleans. Only two other teams are more than one game over .500 ATS.
The BAD: This probably isn’t a big surprise, but Knicks and the Nuggets rank third and worst ATS this season. What might be a surprise (or not) is that the Clippers are fourth worst at 22-32 ATS. Their overall record is fine, but against the spread it’s been a losing ticket far too often. Perhaps also surprising is the Spurs, sixth worst at 23-28-1 ATS.
The Perplexing: What do you do with a team like the Mavericks, Bulls and Cavs? Capable of beating anyone any night and equally capable of clunking it up. All three are just under .500 ATS but are a two or three game winning streak of that ceasing to be true.
I suppose we have fallen into the good and bad trap this season as well. Overall, it’s been a decent season, but the highs of a double digit winning streak and blissful 80% month have been tempered by a the recent stretch of agony… Let’s make the most of the second half of the season and hope more winners buoy the record back towards the 60% mark we flirted with for so long…
Away we go – on to the NBA’s second half!
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Today’s Free Pick:
Dallas Mavericks at Oklahoma City Thunder -5.5
Two of the more erratic teams in the NBA face off tonight in a game that really matters for both teams. Dallas is ALL IN after acquiring Rajon Rondo and then Amar’e Stoudemire this week. However, will it be enough to leapfrog/hold-off Portland/Los Angeles/San Antonio to finish in the Top 4? Let alone enough to equal up to the loaded Golden State and Memphis rosters.
Oklahoma City is a whole different story. After the horrible rash of injuries this team has suffered, they finally appear to be healthy rough to make a real run at getting back into the playoffs. Assuming they can do that, would you want to play them in Round One if you were Golden State or Memphis?? Yeah. Me neither.
OKC has won three straight (4-1 ATS) and five of their last six including wins over Memphis, LAC, and @ New Orleans. This looks more like the team that has made three straight conference Finals than the team struggling to get postseason eligible.
I’ll take Westbrook, buoyed off an All Star Game MVP and Durant to combine for close to 60 tonight to outscore the Mavs.