So yesterday was an accidental lesson in the importance of line shopping. I hit “publish” with the Heat generally listed at -3. I double-checked the line, just to make sure I didn’t have any typos to lead you, the wonderful readers, astray. I noticed immediately that the line had moved to -2.5 on several reputable online sportsbooks. I don’t ever edit the pick portion of the column once I hit “publish” the first time – that would be unethical, but I DID want to make sure you (again, the wonderful readers) knew there was a better line immediately available, ya know, just in case we needed it.
The Heat won by three.
So… it went from ho-hum “push” to ninth winner in 11 NBA games. I hope you benefited from the move and had a nice evening.
Let’s get back on the grind this week after another really positive week of NBA picks. The magic of the Warriors streak is over, so now we can hone in on three big questions to get us through the NBA winter: Can the Dubs win 73, can the Spurs challenge them, and is the East going to start to settle into Cleveland and rest, or are we in for a season-long massive log jam (currently first and ninth are separated by just 2.5 games)??
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Today’s Free Pick:
Philadelphia 76’ers at Chicago Bulls -13
When in doubt, fade the Sixers, right? They are in a bit of a funk, having lost 24 of 25 games and… ok, that was a joke. You know their record. You know they stink. But they are a surprising 11-13-1 ATS, likely because they get treated in Vegas like the way you treated your little brother playing hoops in your driveway, “ok, you get a point for hitting the backboard” It’s been a while since the Sixers were single-digit dogs in a road game. That makes laying 13 and backing the Bulls very reasonable. So does this:
The bad news for Philly is they are on the second night of a back-to-back against a team that is at home, one a day’s rest, and is SUBSTANTIALLY BETTER than are the Sixers. That’s a sure-fire recipe for a blowout if I ever saw one. Might Chicago rest some players and call off the dogs a bit? Might the ghosts of Chicago Prep glory come down and visit Jahlil Okafor? Might Chicago be so damn bored that this lingers as a “game” into the fourth quarter? Sure. I suppose. But the smart money is on a route from the outset and a routine, casual twenty point beating.
I’ll take last week’s momentum and bet we can keep it going with the Bulls cruising easily tonight in Chicago.