ATL, or should I say ATM, cashed another winner last night, this time over the Oklahoma City Thunder to run their winning streak to 15 straight games and continue the even more remarkable streak of covering EVERY SINGLE GAME in 2015. If one had done nothing more than take $100, bet in on the Hawks every night, taken the winnings from the game and bet THAT on the Hawks in the next game and so on for every win in this streak, they would have turned $100 into roughly $800,000.
Note: I am NOT encouraging that as a wagering strategy, in fact it would be an absolutely foolish and ridiculous strategy because teams do not cover 13 straight games in real-life. Ever. Except this time. I am simply pointing out the mathematical incredulity of this current spread-covering run the Hawks are currently enjoying. The odds are basically the same as winning a 13-team parlay, and most sports books won’t even TAKE that wager because it is ridiculous. So – the point – these Hawks are ridiculous.
A more practical basketball observation from last night’s game. Every single player except ONE who stepped on the floor in a Hawks game averaged more than 1.0 points per FG attempt. Only Kyle Korver, who had five points on five attempts, failed to exceed this efficient metric (and no one is going to complain about Korver’s efficiency in a literally unprecedented season for shooting efficiency, which I have written about several times recently). On the other hand, two of the Thunder’s three best players, Durant and Ibaka scored 34 points on a whopping 38 shot attempts. That ain’t getting it done against Spurs East.
Today’s Free Pick:
Detroit Pistons -2 at Milwaukee Bucks
The Pistons have come a little back to Earth after their crazy post-Josh Smith winning streak. But the regression wasn’t back to their November play, but rather back to what I think they are – a pretty good basketball team in a pretty mediocre conference. They aren’t the Hawks. But they aren’t the Celtics, Pacers, Knicks, or Sixers either. They are about the 6th-8th best team in the East.
Tonight they travel to the current sixth best team in the East, the surprising Bucks. No one could complain if the Bucks miss the playoffs, but after their awesome start, expectation levels have raised a bit. My gut take is that Detroit and possibly even Charlotte end up nudging just past them in the end, but it’s been a great first half to Jason Kidd’s first season.
However, the regression to the mean might already be starting in Milwaukee. They are just 2-4 in their last six home games and the two wins are over the two worst teams in the NBA; Minnesota and New York. Their losses include the Pacers and Jazz.
Detroit has been a great wager post-Josh, and has gone 3-1 ATS and straight up in their last four games. They are 7-1 ATS in their last eight road games, a good sign of a team that is maturing and getting better shots than they were a month ago.
I like Detroit to win tonight, and am not scared away from having to lay two points to back them.