NBA Betting Roadmap; Hayward Who?
Al McMordie is back with the latest edition of his weekly roadmap series to take a look at the betting landscape in the upcoming week in the NBA.
Through the NBA season’s first three weeks, there are several surprises. Out East, Stan Van Gundy’s Detroit Pistons and Frank Vogel’s Orlando Magic are in second and third place, respectively, while Cleveland is 4-6 and tied for 11th place with the Nets and Heat. While in the West, the big surprise is the Memphis Grizzlies sitting in a tie for 4th place, with a 6-4 record. Let’s look at the week ahead in the NBA.
Who needs Gordon Hayward? That might be the thought of Boston fans, as the Celtics have won nine straight games after starting the season 0-2. They had also covered eight straight, before losing against the spread on Monday night in Atlanta.
For the season, the Celtics are second (behind the Warriors) in point differential (+9.1) and second (behind the 76ers) in ATS win percentage (.818).
This week, Boston will host the Lakers, Hornets and Raptors, so it will have an excellent opportunity to stretch its win streak to 12. But the fact the Celtics lost ATS to Atlanta in their last game is, for me, a huge “sell” signal.
Indeed, NBA teams that finally lose ATS, after covering their previous seven (or more) games in a row, typically follow up that initial ATS defeat with a second straight ATS defeat and especially if they’re playing at home (41-76-3 ATS since 1990). Grab the points with the Lakers on Tuesday.
After Week 2 in the NBA saw a preponderance of Unders it was a different story last week, as games went Over the total to a tune of 31-22-1. No team contributed more to this trend than Mike D’Antoni’s Houston Rockets, who sailed Over the total in all four of their games.
Their last game, on Sunday, was also their most impressive (and highest scoring) win of the season, as they blew out Utah, 137-110, as a 6.5-point favorite. Will the Rockets’ high-octane offense continue to light up the scoreboard this week?
Houston will be well-rested when it plays its next game, on Thursday, vs. LeBron James’ Cavaliers (before finishing the week with back-to-back games vs. Memphis and Indiana). That Saturday game versus Memphis has all the earmarks of a low-scoring game.
Indeed, the Grizzlies and Rockets have played twice already this season. And not only did Memphis win both games, but it also held the Rockets to their two lowest regular-season point totals (89 and 90) in D’Antoni’s 93 games as head coach. Not surprisingly, both of those games went Under the total (by 11 and 25.5 points). Look for Saturday’s game to be relatively low-scoring, as well.
The Los Angeles Clippers got their season off to a promising 4-0 SU/ATS start and were the league’s final, remaining undefeated team. But the injury bug bit the Clippers, as point guard Milos Teodosic injured his ankle and is out indefinitely, while forward Danilo Gallinari bruised his hip and exited Los Angeles’ last game, a loss to the Miami Heat.
The Clippers are now just 5-4 SU/ATS and both players will miss Tuesday’s game at San Antonio (another injury-riddled club). After playing the Spurs, the Clippers will continue their road trip with games at Oklahoma City and New Orleans.
Saturday’s game at the Pelicans could be particularly troublesome for the Clippers if they remain short-handed, since they’ll be playing without rest. New Orleans is also 25-12 ATS its last 37 games versus Los Angeles, including 14-4 ATS at home. Take the Pelicans.
Last season, the NBA made a concerted effort to reduce the number of times a team had to play back-to-back games, or several games within a relatively short time-frame. But there are still occasions when a team must play three games in four nights, or five games in seven nights.
Dating back to last season, NBA teams that were saddled with playing five games in seven nights have lost that 5th game (straight-up) 10 times in a row (4-6 ATS).
This Saturday, the Phoenix Suns will be in that unenviable scheduling situation when they host the Timberwolves. To make matters worse, Phoenix will be coming off a Friday night game versus Orlando, while Minnesota will have had the previous two days off.
Since 1990, NBA teams are a wallet-busting 74-107 ATS at home when playing their fifth game in seven days against an opponent which didn’t play the previous two days. Take the Timberwolves. Good luck, and don’t miss any of Al’s red-hot winners at Covers.com. Join for a week or month today to get all of my award-winning selections.