Playing the NBA Stock Market: Buy or Sell
by Josh Nagel - 01/26/2009
Buy low, sell high is a time-honored cliché that oversimplifies the most basic goal of playing the stock market.
Sometimes, sports betting requires a similar approach, although both endeavors are easier said than done. Of course, you'd rather find a team that is about to hit a hot streak than one that is nearing the end of one, and you'd like to dump a cold team before staying too long harms your bankroll.
But since none of us can predict the future, there's only so much you can do. Mainly, making sure you do your homework is always a good idea and it's one thing you can control.
Here's this week's NBA Buy or Sell:
Los Angeles Lakers - although the Lakers have struggled to cover some rather gaudy spreads this year (they are 21-22 ATS), it says here they are about to make up for lost time and lost cash. The way they played in their 99-85 rout Sunday over the Spurs is likely a sign of things to come, and Andrew Bynum continues to develop into a dominant big man. Phil Jackson teams historically start slow, but come on strong in the second half of the season. The Lakers have covered in five of their past seven.
New Orleans Hornets - The Hornets also have struggled to get the money, but better times for their backers could be on the horizon. Although they have split their last five ATS, they play four of their next five at home and they are all winnable games. This is their chance to cement their place as an elite club in the Western Conference.
Minnesota Timberwolves - You never know when the party is going to end, but until further notice, there's no disputing that Minnesota is the most improved team since we flipped the calendar over for 2009. They have covered in 12 of their last 14 and won eight of their past 10.
Philadelphia 76ers - They have been a good story of late and on a great run for bettors, with seven cashes in their recent eight-game winning streak. But they have gone 0-2 ATS since and some tough games are lurking, including road contests against the Rockets and Hornets. Expect a bit of a letdown with this team.
Utah Jazz -- The Jazz have long been erratic but you could usually count on them at home, particularly in recent years. But their 102-97 home loss to Cleveland was indicator something isn't right; this is a game the Jazz should win. They have now lost six of their last seven ATS and four straight for their backers.
Milwaukee Bucks - The Bucks have been a pleasant surprise both on the court and at the cage, with an impressive 27-18-2 ATS mark and better-than-expected 22-25 straight-up record. But this happy story just took a major downturn with the announcement that star Michael Redd will be lost for the season due to injury. New coach Scott Skiles has done a good job of making sure the Bucks don't rely on Redd as much as they used to, but this team will no doubt suffer for losing its only real superstar. Proceed with caution.