I whiffed on the San Antonio Spurs last night. I really liked their +105 price and with Goran Dragic ruled out just before the tip, I was feeling especially good about my chances of getting another win.
Unfortunately, Hassan Whiteside decided to play out of his mind. He absolutely dominated the game from start to finish, scoring nearly 30 points while racking up over 20 rebounds and blocking nine shots.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the Spurs couldn’t hit a shot all night. San Antonio even closed with a crazy 17-4 run late in the game, but missed more long ball tries to hand Miami the win.
It was a fine pick on the surface, but the Spurs came out flat for the second game in a row and dropped my season NBA picks record to 11-4. I’ve still been running hot and won’t let one blip on the radar deter my focus. Thursday night produces a small four-game NBA betting slate, but there’s still plenty of incentive to lay some money down.
For me, the best wager resides in Golden State, where the Warriors host the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks have looked fantastic en route to a hot 8-2 start and will try to add to a 2-2 road record when they take on the defending champs (6-0 at home) at the Oracle Arena.
This looks like a statement game for the Bucks, who have sent a message to the league in a lot of ways to this point, but have a chance to show they have championship upside by competing with and possibly taking down the top team in the NBA. Is that enough reason to take them as a straight up dog or against the spread? Let’s find out:
Milwaukee Bucks (+6, -109) @ Golden State Warriors (-6, -109) Total: 238 (-109)
I never love to bet against the Dubs in any capacity. They’re 10-1 right now and have yet to lose at home this year, while we all know they’re historically great, both in general and on their home floor. I have no doubt they’ll come to play in front of their home crowd tonight and they’ll probably get the win.
That being said, there is a lot of logic behind the Bucks as an upset pick (+205 moneyline at GTbets) and even more reasoning to consider them to beat a +6 point spread.
So far, Golden State has been impeccable at home and that’s translated ATS as well with them going 7-4 as a whole against the spread, 5-1 ATS at home and of course 5-1 ATS as the home favorite.
I would argue the Warriors have had it pretty easy so far in 2018, though. Their six home wins have come against the Thunder (without Russell Westbrook), the Suns, a seemingly bad Wizards team that didn’t have Dwight Howard, the Pelicans, the Timberwolves and the Grizzlies.
Literally the only remotely impressive win there came against New Orleans, yet the Pels have lost six of their last seven and had an ailing Anthony Davis (elbow) lobbing bricks. Milwaukee is arguably Golden State’s first true challenge at home this year and I’m thinking this may be a great spot to attack them a bit.
The Bucks offer enough value as a +205 straight up pick, but I’m not going there. I’m just going to bet Milwaukee gets up for this one and shows the world they’re truly legit. I think they’ve probably done that already, but there isn’t a better measuring stick than facing the Dubs on the road.
Milwaukee looks the part of a stiff test for the Dubs, too. Obviously The Greek Freak can take over games and match up with Golden State’s death lineup, but the Bucks as a whole can torch you from outside and (gulp) can also swallow you up defensively.
Not many teams can say they’re in the top-10 for pace, offensive efficiency and defensive efficiency, but the Bucks can. Milwaukee also ranks 5th in perimeter shooting and 9th in three-point percentage allowed. They have a plethora of guys that can launch it from deep and attack the rim, while they also have a few bodies that can defend Golden State’s slew of shooters.
Golden State can crush anyone and they’re at home, so you certainly are taking on some risk here. However, this is a great spot for the Bucks to show everyone what they can do and I think they keep this one close.