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Friday NBA Betting Report: Schedule Handicapping Breakdown
by Aaron Smith - 12/30/2011

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Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks

There were many questions as to whether there would be an NBA season at all this year, but the season is finally here. However, it won’t be business as usual for the league this year. The shortened length of the season will cause numerous difficult scheduling situations throughout the year.

Doc’s Sports is all about helping the average bettor get an edge over the books in any way possible. Finding those situational advantages is crucial to having success over the course of the season.

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A sport like the NBA is a widely-followed sport where the NBA odds are very tight, so examining every possible angle is essential.

The goal of this Friday schedule breakdown will be to give you gambling tidbits that help you make this NBA handicapping campaign more profitable.

Friday, Dec. 30 NBA Games of Note

Miami (-7.5) at Minnesota - 8:00 p.m. EST

The Miami Heat fell short in the NBA Finals last year, but this team is still the most talented team in the league. Can the Heat work together as a team and figure out their roles this year?

Miami is off to a nice 3-0 start, but there is a bit of a reason for concern. The Heat have been playing inconsistently inside the game so far this year. In the team’s first two wins they had huge leads and had to hold on to win. In their win over Charlotte on Wednesday they slept through the first half before charging back to win 96-95 in the last minute.

The Timberwolves are a tough team to figure out because of the puzzling moves the front office continually makes. Clearly, this team has plenty of point guards, but do they have enough talent everywhere else on the floor? Minnesota is 0-2, but they have been highly competitive in their first two games, and they did cover the spread in both contests. The Wolves come into this game off a rare (at least this season) two-day break without a game.

LeBron James and Dwayne Wade haven’t attempted a three-point field goal all season, and I’m of the belief that this is a very good sign for the Heat. If James and Wade are being more aggressive inside the arc this team will be very tough to stop. The Heat basted Minnesota in both matchups last year, and I expect more of the same in this one.

Toronto at Dallas (-8.5) - 8 p.m. EST

It’s hard to imagine a more heartbreaking loss than the one Dallas suffered last night against Oklahoma City. Kevin Durant drained a long three-pointer as the buzzer went off to propel Oklahoma City to a 104-102 win over Dallas.

The Mavericks had come back from down five with 45 seconds left to take the lead on Vince Carter’s jumper with 1.4 seconds remaining, but Durant’s long bomb was the dagger. The Mavericks are the first NBA Champions to start 0-3 since the 1969-1970 Boston Celtics.

Dallas will be playing its fourth game in six days, while Toronto will be playing its third game overall.

The NBA odds show the Mavericks as 8.5 point favorites here. Dallas has actually been poor at covering the spread at home the last couple years. The Mavericks are 39-55 ATS in their last 94 home games.

Will they come out with a point to prove or listless after last night’s tough loss? My guess is the veterans step up for Dallas and they pick up a big first win.

New Jersey at Atlanta (-11.5) – 7:30 p.m. EST

This is an interesting game from a betting perspective. Atlanta blasted New Jersey Tuesday night in the Nets home opener. 

The Nets started the season with a nice road win in Washington, but they have been drubbed in their last two games. This will be the Nets fourth game in the last five days, so fatigue could definitely be an issue here.

Atlanta is 2-0 with two big blowout victories. The Hawks look a little different this year without Jamal Crawford in the backcourt, but the nucleus of the team is still together. The Nets are 2-9 in their last 11 games on the back end of a back-to-back. They are also 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games in Atlanta.

The Hawks should roll in this one.

Doc’s Sports has opened up their NBA picks season with three straight winning nights. They have a 6-Unit NBA Game of the Month going on Wednesday (Clippers/Spurs, 8:30 p.m. EST tip) and will have more winning NBA handicapping picks on Thursday and Friday and through the weekend. Also, check their Insider’s Page daily for free NBA picks.

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