It was a dramatic night in the NBA with a double overtime thriller in one game and a walk-off three-pointer in another matchup. Thursday’s are usually a night for NBA fans to catch their breathe a bit with a light slate of games, but tonight’s double-header in TNT should keep the action going strong. So without further adieu, let’s keep the winning streak on thesportsgeek.com going with another winner in tonight’s nightcap.
San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trailblazers +7 (Total: 201)
San Antonio was the victim in the aforementioned walk-off three last night in Utah when Moe Williams stuck them with the dagger to protect their homecourt with the 99-96 win. Very quietly, Utah is a team to keep an eye on from a wagering perspective; no team in the NBA has a more misleading record or is more inexplicably dominant at home. Because of a schedule anomaly that had them on the road far more than normal early in the season and fell out of contention early. However, a 9-1 home record is nothing to ignore and makes Utah an interesting home/road wagering option.
Back to the Spurs. Last night’s loss was deflating but the Spurs aren’t usually susceptible to the emotional roller coasters of normal NBA teams. Call is Coach Pop’s calming influence, or chalk it up to the stoic veteran Timmy Duncan (who is averaging over 17 ppg, by the way) – whatever it is, I don’t worry about the Spurs having a hangover.
I am also not as worried about the back-to-back factor, as the Spurs (who are bemoaned for their “old age”) are a near perfect 4-1 in the second half of back-to-backs. Their lone loss was the much-debated game in San Antonio where the only thing recognizable about the Spurs were the jerseys, as all their starters literally STAYED HOME.
Those two things by themselves don’t worry me. But I LOVE the Blazers tonight.
Let me explain.
Portland has owned the Spurs in the Rose Garden the last few years. They have won four of five, and their only loss was a 3-point loss early this season. Portland matches up well, and Lamarcus Aldridge usually comes up very strong against the Spurs interior.
I expect Aldridge to have a good game tonight. They are going to need him to, as the Blazers will likely be without Wesley Matthews. Nicolas Batum was listed as doubtful, but late reports indicate he is quite possible to play.
Either way, tough loss + back to back + old team + home court domination the last three years = enough for me to be willing to take the Blazers AND seven and a half points. None of the factors alone win me over, but add them all up and it is a great value wager.
Free Pick: Portland Trailblazers +7.5