Trailblazers vs. Sixers Pick NBA – January 20th

We recorded a fourth straight NBA winner last night to pull the record to 11-3 ATS over the last two weeks and keep our nice run into the All Star Break rolling.  The Timberwolves needed all 48 minutes, but were able to secure the win late with a big Karl Anthony Towns basket, two of his game-high 37, to take down the battered Clippers.

Speaking of All Stars, the talk of the NBA world will be the “snub” of Russell Westbrook as a Western Conference Starter.  Does he “deserve” a spot?  Sure.  But voting him third behind Steph Curry (the two-time NBA reigning MVP on a team with a 37-6 record) and James Harden (my personal vote for MVP) puts it in a far less egregious context.  The other nine starters are pretty much beyond debate unless you want to argue Isaiah Thomas over Kyrie Irving (I’d listen to that…)

Here’s my remaining All Stars – not that all will make it of course…

EAST:  Thomas, Kyle Lowry, Paul George, John Wall, Kevin Love, Joel Embiid, Kemba Walker (sorry to Melo, Porzingis, and Jabari Parker)

WEST:  Westbrook, Chris Paul (injured, but deserving so I won’t count his spot), Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Boogie Cousins, Marc Gasol, Gordon Hayward, Damian Lillard (sorry to Rudy Gobert, Karl-Anthony Towns and DeAndre Jordan)

Let’s see if we can start the weekend with a fifth straight winner.

Today’s Free Pick:

Portland Trailblazers -2 at Philadelphia 76’ers

So how do you know when emotion is beginning to trump logic?  An easy way is to simply look to good ole Las Vegas.  There is NO emotion in Vegas lines, and the only impact of emotion is when you, the general public, begin to weigh in heavily on one side or another and the line reacts.

That said, I think Vegas is missing something with the Philadelphia 76’ers.  Over the last ten games, only the Golden State Warriors have a better record than Philly.  They are 7-3 with home wins over the Raptors, Hornet, Timberwolves and Knicks.  They have even gone on the road and won at Milwaukee and Denver.  Objectively, right now, this is a solid basketball team and not one to be ignored.

So how in the heck are the UNDERDOGS at HOME to a very pedestrian Blazers team that is 7-17 SU on the road this season?  Cynical much, Vegas??

So lest the fun Philly story interfere with good judgement, here are some cold, hard numbers:

Phily is 8-1 ATS in their last nine games.  They are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games and 5-1 SU in their last six.  Meanwhile, Portland is 2-4 ATS in their last six games, 6-16 SU in their last 22, and 6-14 ATS in their last twenty road contests.

Everything; momentum, analytics, trends, and yes, emotion, screams TAKE PHILLY.  SO why not listen?  I’ll Trust the Process tonight and stake a week-long winning streak on the Sixers.

Free Pick:  Philadelphia 76’ers +2

Chris Scheeren / Author