We got back on the NBA winning train last night, notching an easy winner with Charlotte dispatching the Heat at home and earning our fifth cover in our last six NBA picks. It was a pretty unimpressive night for the Heat as the game was never competitive, and it definitely makes me wonder if I am on to something significant (as I noted yesterday) given how insanely home-centric their schedule has been so far in 2015. Now that things are balancing out, there could be a couple of good fade opportunities with the Heat until the lines catch up to the new normal; we will find out soon if this Heat team is a Top Four-type team or just a middling playoff contender with a lot of star power on the roster.
It’s a pretty slim slate of games to choose from tonight with just four games on the docket, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some entertaining games. The Clippers head to Chicago on TNT and the Hawks and Thunder meet up in OKC. If it weren’t for the daunting start of the Warriors, both these games would be FAR more interesting – so for one night, pretend The Dubs don’t exist and enjoy a pair of Top Ten team matchups.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Philadelphia 76’ers at Brooklyn Nets -7
And of course, instead of those two good games I want to talk Sixers and Nets. Ok, ‘want’ is the wrong word, but this is my favorite play on the board. Three weeks ago, it would have been a “maybe Philly can finally get a win” night in Brooklyn, but now? Brooklyn looks like a legitimate basketball team and the Sixers, um, definitely still do NOT.
Brooklyn have won three of their last five games and more importantly, five of their last six games at home. That’s quality stuff. They have already gone into Philadelphia and won. It is hard to see them not consolidating the break tonight in the Barclays Center. As a matter of fact, the lousy start record-wise might have just made these Nets a steal in Vegas. They’ve been more competitive than people realize, even in losses. They are 11-3 ATS over their last 14 games after starting just 1-6 ATS.
Philly hasn’t been as rancid against the spread as one might expect given their terrible point differential. They are 10-11 ATS, but still own a -12.3 point differential. The Nets, who are also near the bottom are twice as good, at -6.7. My point, I think the Nets are a little undervalued tonight, The Sixers are always double digit dogs on the road, a big reason why they have a reasonable ATS record. Tonight, they are expected to be competitive. I think that’s a big ask.
Shed your early season perception of the Nets and instead see a team that is 5-1 SU in their last six home games including wins over Boston, Detroit, Phoenix and Houston and the only loss is to…Golden State. Brooklyn wins this game tonight easily.