Perhaps it was a little Christmas magic, but we brought home a nice 2-0 ATS day yesterday, thanks to the Spurs and Rockets mercifully tucking in just under the 209.5 total at 111-98. The first winner of the day was a much less stressful watch with Oklahoma City going into Gotham and just handing it the pathetic and Melo-less Knicks.
Our two games were both winners, but the best watch of the night was Golden State’s 105-103 thriller over the Clippers in the late game. If you stayed up to watch it, I am sure you were shaking your head and muttering at the television like I was when Blake Griffin got ejected for… well, for… yeah. I’m still trying to figure out for what as well. The guy got grabbed around the head and shrugged it off and put his arms up benignly. Yet after even after an extensive video review, the officials assessed him his second technical and run him from the Christmas festivities. Pretty ridiculous.
David Stern didn’t leave any Christmas presents for the Rockets and Spurs, both of whom get to play AGAIN tonight for the second time in as many days. Happy Holidays guys!
Today’s Free Picks:
San Antonio Spurs -3 at Dallas Mavericks (Total: 209)
I’ve read nor heard anything that suggests that Coach Pop will waive the white flag tonight, but it wouldn’t be the first time he’s thumbed his nose at the league with his personnel decisions when he feels they’ve drawn an unfair back to back assignment. Either way, the Spurs are at a disadvantage tonight, both having to go on the road to a good Dallas team that is tough at home, but also playing on less than a 24-hour turnaround. I’m frankly pretty surprised that San Antonio is not a three point underdog as opposed to a three point favorite.
As mentioned above, Dallas is a good home team at 11-3 this season, and owns a positive six point differential at home. They are fresh off a nice 111-104 road win at Houston that snapped a two game losing streak heading into the break.
San Antonio, meanwhile, is fresh off a home loss to those same Rockets last night. I’m not a big fan of the transitive property for evaluating NBA teams (X team beat Y team, Y team lost to Z, therefore, X is automatically better…etc) but this is a pretty interesting example at the very least. It suggests that Dallas should be more than ready for the huge challenge of defending their home court against the visiting Spurs tonight.
For a bonus nugget, Monta Ellis averages nearly 26 ppg against the Spurs in his career, his third-highest output against any team. For the season he has been efficient at home, shooting nearly 50% in Dallas. Efficiency is key against the Spurs, and I expect Dallas to be the more efficient team, being fresh and at home.