NBA Betting Roadmap, Week 6
By Al McMordie
Last week was a crazy one in the NBA, as there were several huge comebacks by teams down by more than 20 points earlier in their game. On Monday, LeBron James’ Cavaliers roared back from 23 down to upend the Knicks. Then, on Friday, the Spurs upset the Thunder after trailing by 23, while the Pacers stunned the Pistons after falling behind by 22. Finally, on Saturday, the Warriors spotted the 76ers a 24-point lead before storming back for the win. Let’s take a look at the upcoming week.
The Boston Celtics have certainly been very, very good throughout their 16-game win streak. But Monday’s 110-102 win (as a 6.5-point favorite) was also very fortunate. And not just because they needed the overtime session to cover the point spread. Dallas actually led by 13 points midway through the 4th quarter, and by five points with a minute-and-a-half to go, but could not seal the deal. Boston is now an NBA-best 16-2 straight-up, and 15-2-1 against the spread (including 6-0-1 ATS its last seven).
This week, the Celtics will play the Heat, Magic and Pacers, as they will attempt to stretch their win streak to 19 games, which would tie the longest in franchise history (set in November/December 2008). I’ll be surprised if they succeed, however, as the game vs. the Heat looks like a huge stumbling block. Boston won’t be a big favorite in that game. And since 1990, NBA teams on an 11-game (or greater) win streak have gone just 51-63 straight-up and 46-67-1 ATS if they weren’t favored by more than four points.
Take Miami on Wednesday.
Tom Thibodeau’s Minnesota Timberwolves are starting to reflect the nature of their defensive-minded head coach. After ranking dead-last in October in defensive efficiency, the T-Wolves have played much better this month, and rank an impressive fourth in November in defensive efficiency. Not surprisingly, Minnesota’s Over/Under numbers have taken a 180-degree turn. The Timberwolves were 6-0-1 ‘Over’ the total in October, but are 9-1 ‘Under’ so far this month!
This week, Minnesota will welcome Orlando, Miami and Phoenix to the Target Center. None of those three teams have very good offenses, as the Magic rank 20th in offensive efficiency, while the Heat and Suns are 26th and 24th, respectively. I like the game vs. Orlando to be relatively low-scoring, as the Magic have gone ‘Under’ in eight of their last 11 contests. Even better: Orlando was upset in its last game, 105-97, by Indiana. And the Magic have gone 11-0 ‘Under’ the total off an upset loss over the past two seasons.
The Memphis Grizzlies were dealt a severe blow last week when Mike Conley’s Achilles tendinitis reached the point where he will be sidelined indefinitely. Memphis’ staff will review his progress in two weeks, and issue an update then. So, he could be out for a couple of weeks, or it could stretch into months. Regardless, it is awful news for a Memphis squad which was over-achieving in the early part of this season. The Grizzlies will turn to veteran Mario Chalmers to absorb Conley’s minutes as the starter. But the problem for coach David Fizdale is that he doesn’t have a point guard to then turn to for the 2nd unit.
This season, the Grizzlies have gone 0-4 SU/ATS without Conley on the court, so Memphis’ current hold on the eighth (and final) Playoff position is precarious, at best. This week, Memphis will host Dallas (Wednesday) and Brooklyn (Sunday), with a road game, Friday, in Denver, sandwiched in between.
I like Dallas to rout Memphis on Wednesday. These two teams have already met twice this season, and the Mavericks covered the spread in each — and Conley scored 21 and 22 points for the Grizzlies in those two games. Take Dallas to upset Memphis.
With the Thanksgiving Day holiday break almost upon us, let’s see if we can take advantage of the NBA schedule to make some $$$$.
One thing that I have done for years is go against certain road teams on the night before, or the day of Thanksgiving, as such teams may not have the requisite focus. They may have one eye on the court, but the other eye on the airplane to take them back home to their family. And I’ve found that the best road teams to go against are the complacent ones off a SU/ATS win.
Indeed, since 1990, NBA road teams off a SU/ATS win have gone just 47-68-1 ATS in games played on the eve of Thanksgiving, or on the Holiday. This Wednesday, there are six road teams that “fit the (turkey) bill.” Toronto will travel to Madison Square Garden to take on Kristaps Porzingis & Co.; Boston will be in South Beach to play the Heat; Washington will be at Charlotte; Denver at Houston; Portland at Philly; and San Antonio at New Orleans.
Of those six games, I like the Knicks the most, as they will be playing with revenge not only from a 23-point blowout loss suffered last Friday, but also from eight straight losses in the series. Take New York on Wednesday.
Good luck, as always….Al McMordie. And don’t miss any of my red-hot winners here at Covers.com, as I’m currently on a 96-67 run, including 14-8 my last 22 in Basketball. Join for a week or month today to get all of my award-winning selections.