NBA Handicapping: Betting On The Nets (No, Really)
by Matt Severance - 2/23/2010
Any normal bettor in their right mind wouldn’t bet on the inept New Jersey Nets in a game-by-game scenario (they are 21-33-2 ATS entering Tuesday), but you can make some money betting on the future Newark/Brooklyn Nets by predicting if they will be historically inept.
WagerWeb has posted odds on the Nets’ season win/loss total, marking it at eight. The ‘under’ is the -145 favorite, while the ‘over’ is +115. New Jersey enters Tuesday’s home game with Portland at 5-51 – the NBA record for fewest wins in a season is nine set by the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers. So New Jersey has 26 games left to win five more and avoid infamy.
New Jersey isn’t on pace to finish with more than eight. Ah, but there might be a lock win on the schedule: April 12 at home against Charlotte in the penultimate game of the regular season. Don’t laugh, because New Jersey is 2-1 against the Bobcats this season and has won the past two against them.
What the Nets haven’t done since last April is win consecutive games. They had a great chance last Wednesday in Miami, a night after beating the Bobcats. The Nets led by six with less than five minutes left and the Heat were without star Dwyane Wade, who left with an injury in the fourth quarter. But of course New Jersey missed 11 of its final 12 shots to lose by three.
Let’s literally go through the rest of the New Jersey Nets’ schedule and see how many realistic wins are on there:
Feb. 23 vs. Portland
Feb. 27 at Boston
Feb. 28 vs. Washington
March 3 vs. Cleveland
March 5 vs. Orlando
March 6 at New York
March 8 at Memphis
March 10 at Dallas
March 12 at Oklahoma City
March 13 at Houston
March 16 vs. Atlanta
March 17 at Philadelphia
March 20 vs. Toronto
March 22 vs. Miami
March 24 vs. Sacramento
March 26 vs. Detroit
March 27 at Chicago
March 28 vs. San Antonio
March 31 vs. Phoenix
April 3 vs. New Orleans
April 4 at Washington
April 7 at Milwaukee
April 9 vs. Chicago
April 10 at Indiana
April 12 vs. Charlotte
April 14 at Miami
Of course we can’t predict injuries or which teams might be out of the playoff hunt in six weeks, but let’s rule out New Jersey beating a team with a winning record (at the time of the game). The Nets have done that just once this season, and that was last week against the Bobcats, who were only 26-25.
With that said, here are what appear to be winnable games (on the surface) for the Nets: Feb. 28 vs. Washington, March 6 at New York, March 17 at Philadelphia, March 24 vs. Sacramento, March 26 vs. Detroit, April 4 at Washington, April 10 at Indiana, April 12 vs. Charlotte.
So for our betting purposes here, are there four wins in there to go over WagerWeb’s total of eight? I think there are. It seems rather unlikely the Nets win on the road, as they’ve only done so at Charlotte and Chicago (back when the Bulls were struggling). So I might throw out those visits to Philly, Washington and Indiana (although an upset isn’t impossible). Plus those three games are the second of back-to-backs for the Nets.
However, New Jersey most definitely could win across the river at Madison Square Garden, as the Knicks are looking like the worst team in the NBA at the moment. You might even have to favor the Nets when they host Sacramento and Detroit – entering Tuesday, those two are a combined 11-44 on the road. I’d give the Nets a puncher’s chance of beating Washington later this week, although the Wizards are playing better of late. And then you have that game with Charlotte, although the Bobcats could be fighting for playoff position at that point and Larry Brown no doubt will have his guys plenty motivated not to lose a third game to possibly the worst team ever.
And that’s really the problem: The closer we get to the end of the season, the Nets’ opponents won’t want to be embarrassed. At the same time, you would expect New Jersey to also give 100 percent for the same reason.
So what’s the final call? Brook Lopez has been a monster of late and Devin Harris also is playing well. So I believe the Nets land right on nine wins –take the WagerWeb ‘over’.
Most Recent NBA Handicapping
- LA Lakers Could be in Real Trouble with LeBron and AD Injuries
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 1/20/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 1/15/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 1/13/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 1/8/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 1/6/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 1/1/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 12/30/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 12/25/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 12/23/2020 and Opening Line Report