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Last night was a weird one in the NBA highlighted by three interesting outcomes.
- In an upset the San Antonio Spurs lost on the road to the Indiana Pacers. This was just a weird game where Monta Ellis of all people went off and the Spurs never really got back in it. They were without their coach, Greg Poppovich, who is out with a family issue so take that for what you will. The Spurs were a -6.5 road favorite in this one.
- The Golden State Warriors were able to get back in the swing of things by beating the Orlando Magic at home 119-113. This one is interesting though because of how close it was and how many turnovers they had. Twenty-four turnovers was their season high and you’d really expect them to play better than that after that ugly loss against the Lakers. The Warriors failed to cover the -15.5 point spread thanks to a +11 fourth quarter from Orlando.
- In the most surprising performance of the night, the short handed Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Grizzlies were without Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Matt Barnes and Chris Anderson and came out to a 33-25 lead in the first and held on. The Grizzlies were a +1050 money line dog in this one.
Just a strange night and a good night to chase the dogs.
There is nothing that jumps off the page quite like that tonight, but there are still some fun match-ups. Portland hosts the Wizards and that one should be fun to watch with two of the best young point guards in the NBA in Lillard and Beal going at it. Carmelo and the Knicks head to Denver in a match-up of rebuilding teams going different ways, as in ending the year on a negative note and ending it on a positive one. Also, the Jazz and Hawks go at it in a battle of two of the best defensive teams in the league right now. There is always good things to watch out for in the NBA.
NBA Betting Tips:
We always worry about back-to-backs in the NBA, but the Spurs are a shocking 13-0 straight up on back-to-backs this season and 7-0 (5-2 against the spread) coming off a loss. Basically, there is no chance in hell that they are losing to the Timberwolves tonight. The T-wolves played them close last time out, but outside of that they have covered the large spread in three of the past four. Let’s make it four out of five. Spurs -10.5.
The Utah and Atlanta total is going to be artificially low because of the defensive reputations of both teams. It currently sits at 190.5 and I think it could go lower than that. This is a mistake and I think it will go over 190.5. These are two very good defensive teams, but they still score points. The last time out this was a 97-96 game and I could see a score similar to that again tonight. Of course, when things are that close overtime is always a threat so we’re definitely looking over in this one.
Portland returns from a grueling six-game road trip tonight and play the Wizards at home tonight. I think we sometimes underrate the effects of those east coast road trips on teams. The games in Portland start at 7:00 local team, but an east coast game for them is at 4:00 Portland time. That’s the time they are usually getting to the arena. A couple games is one thing, a six-game is another and that showed in their last games. I think they will get back on track tonight against the Wizards. Portland beat them by ten on the road earlier this season and they should be out coached. Portland -5 is a strong play.
The Knicks are 3-12 over their past 15 games, the triangle isn’t working and Carmelo is sad. This isn’t going to end well for New York this year. The Nuggets are really flourishing right now with a ton of young players and a bright future. This is an easy pick for me. Denver -3.