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NBA Betting News and Notes

NBA Betting News and Notes

NBA Betting News and Notes

Each week, we look back on the NBA betting scene and give you the best –and worst – basketball bets, as well as some spots to keep an eye on with the upcoming schedule.

For the week of March 31-April 6

Hottest ATS

New York Knicks (4-0 SU, 4-0 ATS)

The New York Knicks are riding an 11-game win streak (10-1 ATS) into Oklahoma City on Sunday afternoon. Forward Carmelo Anthony has put up point totals of 50, 40 and 41 for 131 points on 64 percent shooting in the last three contests. In 10 games since returning from a knee injury, Melo has averaged 32.4 points per game.

Coldest ATS

Boston Celtics (1-3 SU, 0-4 ATS)

The Celtics have failed to cover to in four straight and six of their last seven as they continue to plummet down the East standings. Boston is guaranteed a playoff spot, but if its slide continues it could be destined for a date with the Miami Heat in the first round. The Celtics host the Nets Sunday before Brooklyn rolls into Beantown.

Best over play

Phoenix Suns (0-2 SU, 2-0 over/under)

Can it get any worse for the Suns? Phoenix has dropped eight straight and 12 of its last 13 games. The Suns have also played over the number in four straight and six of their last contests. Phoenix hosts New Orleans Sunday before embarking on a three-game road trip.

Best under play

Memphis Grizzlies (2-1 SU, 0-3 over/under)

The Grizzlies’ team dynamic changed after they shipped to Rudy Gay to Toronto, prompting a peculiar amount of overs, but Memphis has returned to its stout defensive ways and has its under bettors cashing again. The Grizz have gone low in four consecutive games and 10 of their last 14 contests. Memphis visits Sacramento Sunday before hosting lowly Charlotte.

Scouting the schedule:

The Milwaukee Bucks have clinched a playoff berth in the East, but moving up from the eighth seed will be awfully tough down the stretch. The Bucks play five of their last six contests away from home, which includes tough stops in Miami, Atlanta and Oklahoma City. Milwaukee is 15-20-1 O/U on the road.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes

Betting on or against NBA bottom feeders
By Teddy Covers

I’ve been writing about college basketball fairly consistently since the Super Bowl.  Now that the calendar has shifted to April, it’s time to shift focus and start writing about the NBA.  With less than ten days remaining in the regular season, most of the prevailing focus is on playoff teams.  That’s why I’m writing this week’s column about the bottom feeders that have already been eliminated from playoff contention.

Can we make money betting on or against these squads down the stretch?  Read on to find out my thoughts on a handful of lottery bound teams before I shift my focus towards playoff squads next week and beyond!  Teams are listed in alphabetical order.

In the 2012 season, the Charlotte Bobcats set a record for NBA futility, finishing the season 7-59 SU.  Their pointspread futility made headlines here in Las Vegas as well, as the Bobcats finished as the single biggest money loser in the league by a wide margin, a woeful 23-43 ATS.

In 2013, the Bobcats didn’t set any records for futility, but they’ve still got the single worst SU record in the NBA entering the homestretch.  And, for the second straight season, the betting markets have been unable to catch up with how bad this team truly is.  Charlotte ranks as the single biggest money loser in the league once again this year; 28-48-1 ATS through the weekend.

That being said, unlike last year, we’re seeing the Bobcats ‘show up’ late in the season. They’ve covered the spread in five of their last seven while pulling off a pair of home upsets against fellow lottery bound squads during that span.

Minnesota has played solid basketball for the better part of the last month.  And when the T-wolves win, they cover – 14-0-1 ATS in their last 15 victories, dating all the way back to December.  Each of their last six wins has come by six points or more, and Minnesota – lowly, lottery bound Minnesota – has a winning ATS mark as a favorite for the season.

The T-wolves are riding a 7-3-1 ATS run over their last eleven ballgames and head coach Rick Adelman just celebrated his 1000th career victory, joining Don Nelson, Lenny Wilkens, Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan, Larry Brown and George Karl.  Interestingly enough, like Adelman, Sloan, Nelson and Karl have never won titles.

It’s surely worth noting that the T-wolves are 5-0-1 ATS following their last six defeats, an emerging under-the-radar trend.  With a healthy Ricky Rubio running the point and center Nikola Pekovic developing into a double-double machine, there’s potential upside supporting the Timberwolves down the stretch and into next year.

Orlando came into the season with a hodgepodge roster in what was a clear rebuilding year.  They’ve battled numerous injuries to just about every solid veteran player on the squad, and first time NBA head coach Jacque Vaughn hasn’t had any semblance of a consistent starting lineup or player rotation all year.

Therefore we shouldn’t be surprised in the slightest that Orlando is battling Charlotte for the worst overall record in the NBA.  Nor should we be surprised that the Magic have gone 2-11 ATS as favorites; not a team to lay points with even in the best of spots.

But the flip side of the coin is that Orlando has cashed again and again in one particular pointspread role – as a double digit road underdog.  The results don’t lie – they’re 12-5 ATS as double digit dogs, including recent pointspread covers at Houston and Atlanta in that double digit dog role on their most recent trip.

Philadelphia was a pretty strong candidate to quit on their coach and their season following a truly dismal post All Star break slide: 1-12 SU over a month long span from mid-February to mid-March.  Head coach Doug Collins wasn’t expecting the skid: “'I sure didn't see this coming. It’s kind of mind-numbing to me.” 

But wing Evan Turner’s quote at the end of that skid spoke volumes about their late season intensity: “I'm not going to sit here and drop my head. I don't think the leaders on this team will, either.”  And that’s most assuredly been the case.  Center Spencer Hawes has responded to his coach’s criticism with a series of strong efforts, as has forward Thaddeus Young.  Lo and behold, suddenly the Sixers are winning games and covering spreads again, 8-6 SU, 8-5-1 ATS in their last 14 ballgames.

Even after Philly’s bad fourth quarter against Miami over the weekend turned a close game into a rout, Collins still had praise for his squad. “We went for a home run and unfortunately it didn't work for us this year. But I will tell you, the guys in the locker room, I'm incredibly proud at how hard they've played every single night. We've competed and we've had some really tough losses but we can only grow from that.''

Phoenix Suns bettors have been cashing Over tickets of late, as the Suns defensive intensity has been sorely lacking for weeks.  Prior to Sunday’s home loss to New Orleans, the Suns had gone 6-1 to the Over in their previous seven games while allowing 113 points per game during that span.

Without injured centers Marcin Gortat (out for the year) and Jermaine O’Neal (in and out of the lineup), the Suns have no low post shot blocker and no strong on-ball defender.  Phoenix shot a season best 61% from the floor and won the rebounding battle last Friday against Golden State and STILL lost the game – no defense plus 22 turnovers doomed their chances.

This quote from point guard Goran Dragic really doesn’t inspire much confidence down the stretch:  “We're not going to make the playoffs, so (we'll) just try to compete until the end of the season.”  ‘Trying to compete’ hasn’t cut the mustard for months – the Suns are just 7-16 ATS in their last 23 ballgames.

Portland fought the good fight this year.  The Blazers starting lineup was solid, but Terry Stotts has been forced to utilize the NBA’s weakest bench on a nightly basis; a team with absolutely no quality depth whatsoever.  Portland pulled the plug on their season about two weeks ago, when leading scorer and second leading rebounder LaMarcus Aldridge missed time with a sprained ankle.  Things were ugly before Aldridge got hurt, but they got significantly worse without him.

Even after his return, the Blazers have continued to lose playing without their injured wing, Nicholas Batum.  The bottom line?  A team that was still very much in playoff contention two weeks ago has now lost eight straight while going 1-7 ATS in the process.  And their ‘home court advantage’ at the Rose Garden has been non-existent of late, dropping five straight both SU and ATS in Portland.

If there was a post-All Star break MVP award, Washington Wizards point guard John Wall would quite deservedly get votes.  And this is a little ‘blow your mind’ stat is certainly worth mentioning following Washington’s blowout win over Indiana at the Verizon Center on Saturday.

With Wall in the lineup, the Wizards are 18-4 SU at home this year; including a 9-0 SU run in their last nine tries.  The only teams with higher home winning percentages than that are all elite squads: Miami, San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Denver. 

And the Wizards haven’t just been beating bottom feeders at home during this extended span of excellence either.  They’ve pulled home upsets over the likes of Indiana, Chicago, Memphis, Milwaukee, Houston, Denver, Brooklyn, New York, the LA Clippers, Atlanta and Oklahoma City since January as part of their truly impressive (and truly under-the-radar) 17-5 ATS run at the Verizon Center.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes

Late Season NBA Betting Tips
By Sam Martin

We're down to the last two weeks of the NBA Regular Season, which brings about some unique handicapping spots to look for that are much different from the rest of the regular season. By now, there are a number of team that have been eliminated from contention and have much to gain from losing out (receiving better odds in the NBA Draft Lottery). We also have some teams that are on the cusp of the NBA Playoffs, while others are jockeying for seeding position.

One of the biggest mistakes NBA bettors make this time of year is blindly backing the teams that "need to win." The theory is that these teams will try harder than their opponent and therefore be much more likely to win the game. That is probably true, however, the linesmakers will oftentimes inflate the line on these teams that the line value is actually on the opposing team. Teams like the Lakers, Jazz, and Mavericks are fighting for that eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, and while their motivation may be higher, they have no motivation to cover a 7 or 8 point spread.

Another handicapping tool to keep in mind down the stretch of this season is to pick out bad teams playing on the road. These teams will sometimes come in with little-to-no motivation and are simply waiting for the season to come to an end. If we can find these teams coming in with bad fatigue spots (three games in four days for example), then this spot becomes even more attractive.

Finally, as we get closer to the end of the season, be careful of the top teams resting their players. These teams also don't have much motivation other than staying healthy just prior to the start of the NBA Playoffs. While a Miami Heat type of team may have dominated an opponent early in the year, they are not going to play their star players extended minutes to earn a now-meaningless victory.

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