Around the NBA in 24 Seconds
by Robert Ferringo and Nolan Sinclair - 02/09/2009
The all-star break is just around the corner and this is the time of year that NBA players look forward to as it gives them a chance to rest their weary bones. The first half of the season is just a taste of what we, as fans, have to look forward too. At this point the Cavs, Magic, and Thunder, yes, the Thunder, have been money in the bank for their backers just as the Phoenix Suns and Toronto Raptors have been about as valuable as a nice case of the crabs.
The Cavs, Magic, and Thunder shouldn't be as praise-worthy in the second half as they were in the first. Cleveland will see numerous double-digit spreads as Delonte West should be back soon, and the Magic will be without Jameer Nelson and this is an absolutely HUGE loss. As for the Thunder, they are going to stop seeing the (+) sign before their spread and they will see more and more (-) signs. If that is the case their ATS record will start to fall back to Earth.
As for the Raptors, there is no hope in sight. They just aren't very good. What it really boils down to is Karma. They are being punished for trading for Jermaine "Glass Joe" O'Neal. At best they will finish the second half two or three games under .500 ATS to improve their ATS record to 32-48-2. Nice!
The Suns are in a tough boat. Their ATS record is extremely poor, yet they keep seeing, 8-10 point chalk lines each night. Just this past week they saw lines of 10 and 15.5. This is weird for a team that is just six games over .500 SU, but it also shows you that this team is capable of blowing a lot of teams out. If they get hot be sure to jump on board and let the Suns tan up your skin and fill your wallets with some loot.
With that said I give you Around the NBA in 25 seconds:
24. As I sit and watch the Cavs/Lakers game I have come to the realization that the NBA Playoffs are going to be even better to watch this year than last. The reason isn't that the top teams are that good, but more that each one of them has some deficiencies that some of the middle-of-the-road teams will be able to take advantage of. Look for some really exciting upsets in the NBA's second season and I'm already getting those money line dog tickets ready.
23. News out of Cleveland is that the Cavs are interested in Richard Jefferson. The Bucks are now trying to cut costs as their entire team is sleeping in a Milwaukee hospital bed. Look for the Bucks to try and get Wally Szczerbiak and his expiring contract in a Jefferson deal. If Cleveland can pull this off I would put them squarely in the No. 1 spot in the NBA…and is the type of move that might have long-standing positive effects on keeping LeBron in Cleveland.
22. The dogs took back the night last week after the favorites had their way with them the week prior. The underdogs took back control as they covered the lines in just over 56 percent of the games over the last seven days. That makes the puppies 380-354-13 ATS on the year.
21. The NBA is starting to heat up just in time for the all-star break. Over the last seven days 31 out of 45 games went over the total at a profit-worthy 68 percent clip. Teams are laying it all out knowing that they have a lengthy break on the horizon.
20. The Washington Wizards are taking calls on Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison. These two gentlemen would definitely help any team in the league, but I am positive that it would take a lot to land either of them. Look for both to stay put until this offseason if they go anywhere.
19. Back to the Cavs/Lakers game: the Lakers win on Sunday over the Cavs is more important than many people realize. With this win the Lakers now own the tiebreaker over both Cleveland and Boston giving them home court advantage should these teams finish with the same overall record and meet in the NBA Finals.
18. The Dallas Mavericks took a big hit in their win over the Chicago Bulls Saturday night. Jason Terry broke a finger in his non-shooting hand and will be out for "a while" according to Mavs Coach Rick Carlisle. If Terry is out for an extended period of time the Mavs will look to make a move before the deadline. John Salmons of the Kings is a possibility.
Regardless, I think this would put Dallas in our "bet on teams that just lost a star player" system. The only trouble is that the Mavs are a big public play and I don't know how much the oddsmakers will shade away from them.
17. Good player out = teams cover spreads theory proved right again. The L.A. Lakers are 4-0 ATS without Andrew Bynum including wins over Cleveland and Boston. Also, New Orleans is 2-1 ATS without Chris Paul.
16. Little did we realize that the secret to the success of the LA Clippers offense is Chris Kaman. The only thing is the Clippers score more when he is out of the line-up. The Clip joint is 22-12 against the total when Kaman is out. In all seriousness look for this trend to continue as the Clippers don't have that post presence both offensively and defensively which forces them to push the tempo.
Kaman has plantar fasciitis in his left foot and there is no timetable for his return. Get while the getting is good.
15. Go, go, go Golden State. This team did a hell of a lot of roster shuffling over the past 12 months but they look like they are finding a groove. They are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games and have some nice wins over Utah and Phoenix. They are getting their edge back at home and now have three legit options with Monta Ellis. Steve Jackson, and Jamal Crawford. That said, look for the loss of Andris Biedrins to have a small negative impact.
14. Adam Morrison's life just got a lot better. He gets to move from North Carolina to L.A., after he was traded from the Bobcats to the Lakers for Vladamir Radmanovic. Morrison not only fits well on this Lakers team but also on the streets of Beverly Hills. Can't you see him now, strolling down the Boulevard in his souped-up Pontiac Tempest. I sure as hell can. I have to say that I was always a fan of Radmanovic's work, but I trust The Zen Master knew what he was doing.
13. According to StatFox, Over the past three seasons when two "bad" teams (winning less than 40 percent of their games) meet, the road team covers the line in 55 percent of the games and it goes over the total in 54 percent of the games.
If two good teams (winning over 60 percent of their games) meet and the home team is getting points the home dog covers the line in 59.3 percent of the games.
12. The fact that Mo Williams is not an all-star is a travesty! Mo is averaging 17 points, three rebounds, and four assists on one of the best teams in the NBA. Allen Iverson has no business being an all-star. The Pistons are worse with him on their team and the Nuggets are better off without him. Plain and simple put Mo in and take AI out.
11. Speaking of the NBA All-Star Game, the early noise is that the Western Conference will be slight favorites. If this is the case I will be laying the points as the West should prevail due to their guard play. The West's guards have experience and should be able to take advantage of guys like Joe Johnson and Devin Harris whom may be a little overwhelmed.
10. Scott Wall and Phil Robinson are two officials that gamblers need to take note of. Wall is 24-10 versus the total and home teams are 23-10 ATS in games Robinson officiates.
9. The Oklahoma City Thunder are absolute studs when they are road underdogs. So far this season the Thunder have cashed in at a record of 15-7 ATS as a road puppy. This is also taking into account the last two road games, which were loses for the Thunder. Look for value in the next couple of Oklahoma City road games.
8. The L.A. Lakers are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games and 12-3 versus the total in their last 15 games. Phil Jackson and Kobe understand the importance of home court in the playoffs, and they know that it gets determined in December through February, not March through April.
7. You just had to know that the warm-and-fuzzies in Minnesota weren't going to last. Al Jefferson suffered a torn ACL with less than 30 seconds left in a home loss to New Orleans on Sunday. Jefferson is seventh in the NBA in scoring with 23.1 points per game and sixth in rebounding with 11.0 RPG. Jefferson, Tim Duncan and Dwight Howard are the only three players averaging 20-10.
6. Weekly Syracuse Orange update: my boys are a mess. A complete and total mess. They should have been dumped out of the Top 25 but I see them hanging on at No. 22. They don't rebound, they don't play defense, they don't come to play on the road and they turn the ball over too much. It's great to watch. Oh, and they have a date with Connecticut this week. Yikes.
5. Note to gamblers: Stay away from the Pistons. Detroit is 27-21 SU but just 20-28 ATS including just 2-5 ATS in their last seven games with their only covers coming against Milwaukee in an overtime game and the Timberwolves in a game where they were only favored by one. This team is as shaky as it comes, and they clearly are not going to find a rhythm with their checkered roster and rotation. Stay away - far away.
4. The Philadelphia 76ers found great success once Elton Brand went down as they picked up the tempo and picked up wins. Now Brand is out for the season and the 76ers are 2-0 SU and 1-0-1 ATS since Brand announced he was done. Look for Philadelphia to cover spreads and cover totals until the oddsmakers catch up. Remember, this was a surprisingly good team without Brand last year and managed a solid 43-36-3 ATS mark in 2007-08.
3. The Chicago Bulls are starting to play some solid basketball as of late. The Baby Bulls are 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven games and 7-3 against the total in their last 10. Look for the Bulls to find continued success ATS as they are undervalued and difficult to guard. I really think that this long road trip - seven straight away from home - could be a turning point for this team. I think that it was great for their chemistry and was a perfect bonding board for a team that was struggling to find a groove.
2. The Toronto Raptors are first in the NBA in free throw percentage, 11th in three-point percentage, and 12th in field goal percentage yet they are just 19-32-2 ATS. The reason…they can't rebound or play defense. Which is ironic considering that the acquisition of Jermaine O'Neal was supposed to address both issues.
1. Check back next week for more Around the NBA in 24 Seconds.