It’s not every day you come across a team that is perfect at home and still totes a miserable 4-8 overall record. The confluence of events; far more road games than home, abysmal road performance countered with perfection at home, it’s a pretty unlikely combination. Yet, that is exactly what get tonight with unbeaten at home Milwaukee the underdog in their own gym. It’s that kind of a year in the NBA. The Cavaliers have a better record than the Celtics and Ryan Anderson is one of the top ten scorers in the league. Yeah, it’s a different season…
Normally, if I can get a team with an unblemished home record playing a slightly above-average opponent in their own gym AND get points in the process, I’d jump all over it. But let’s dig a little deeper into this matchup before hastily throwing our four-game winning streak on the Bucks.
Milwaukee’s 0-8 road record is a reflection of two things; one, most teams play better at home in the NBA. In fact, only elite teams usually finish with above .500 records on the road. Secondly, four of those games in the midst of that streak were without starting center Andrew Bogut. The fifth was two nights ago when Bogut sat out with “concussion-like symptoms.” He is expected to play this evening. The Bucks are 4-3 with Bogut in the lineup, and he would seem to have a favorable matchup with Denver’s slightly undersized frontcourt. However, that is assuming of course he is not still feeling any ill-effects. The injuries and family situations have limited the Aussie’s effectiveness, averaging just 13.5ppg. All in all, I’d mark his return as a plus for the Bucks, but a ‘push’ from a wagering perspective.
Denver has been excellent against the spread as a road team, covering in 20 of their last 26 road contests. To make matters even more convincing, they are 8-0 in their last 8 games against Central Division opponents straight-up.
Bogut is back, and people have had some cause to “Fear the Deer” again this season at home, but I think they struggle defending Danilo Gallinari with their very small starting backcourt and are significantly less deep than the Nuggets. The numbers and the personnel matchups overwhelmingly beg the action to head Denver’s way. I’m inclined to listen. Give me Denver laying the 2.5 on the road.
Free Pick: Denver Nuggets -3 @ www.5dimes.com (get $520 FREE on sign up)