NBA Handicapping: Hot or Cold Report
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 2/26/2010
Los Angeles Lakers
What makes Los Angeles hot this week may end up costing them a chance at defending their NBA Title. The Lakers are 36-7 SU against teams from outside of the Top 10 in the NBA. Against the Top 8 in the league, the Lakers are a mediocre 7-8. The Lakers only play two top teams (Denver and Orlando) from now until the end of March and that bodes well for Laker backers.
The exact opposite of the Los Angeles Lakers, the Nuggets have been able to win the big games against the top teams. They are an amazing 12-3 against the best the NBA has to offer, including a 7-2 mark against the top four teams in the West. Remember this stat when the playoffs roll around: Denver is 4-0 SU and ATS against the Lakers and Cavaliers. And almost on cue, Denver travels to play two of the best in the West, the Lakers and Suns, this week.
In terms of value, the Miami Heat are peaking right now. They are clinging to the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference right and coming off back-to-back losses. What makes them an attractive bet at this point is what is lying ahead. The Heat have done a lot wrong this year but they have done been able to win their games at home as of late and they have the best record against division opponents in the Southeast Division. Yes, they are better in their division than Orlando and Atlanta, who are a combined 10-10 against the Southeast while Miami is 7-4 SU against the Southeast. Ten of Miami’s next 12 games are home and four of them are against Southeast division opponents.
As the trade deadline neared, many in the media were calling the Houston Rockets the big winners at the trade deadline. That may still hold to be true next season, as this trade was made for the future, but Houston was also trying to bolster its lineup now and that has apparently failed miserably. The Rockets are mired in a 1-6 stretch SU and ATS. Losing Carl Landry has really hurt Houston this season. The franchise could be better off by trading for New York’s young talent and draft picks and getting rid of Tracy McGrady but Houston is in for a bumpy ride the rest of this year.
New York Knicks
Another supposed trade deadline winner, the Knicks took a bad team and made it even worse at the deadline, bringing aboard some expiring contracts and letting go of plenty of talent. The loss of Jordan Hill will make it even harder for the Knicks to pick up any wins this season. They are in a 1-11 SU and 4-8 ATS tailspin with no end in sight besides this summer’s free agency. If they land Lebron this offseason, then no one will remember this but in the meantime it is going to be tough to watch.
The Celtics have made some curious personnel moves since winning the NBA Finals two years ago. Bringing Rasheed Wallace on was a head scratcher before the season and now not being able to move Ray Allen or add much youth to the team is another misstep by the organization. This team needed to get younger and bringing Nate Robinson to the team for Eddie House just does not accomplish that. Thursday night’s blowout loss at home to Cleveland made Boston 2-9 ATS over its last 11 games. The oddsmakers are continuing to give Boston too much credit.
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