NBA Handicapping Articles
Free NBA Picks: Friday, May 4, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 5/3/2018
Interesting news out of Oklahoma City on Wednesday as general manager Sam Presti said that Billy Donovan would return as coach next season. There were many reports that there might be a parting of the ways, with Donovan perhaps eyeing the Knicks job with his ties to that franchise. Plus, Donovan clearly can't reign in Russell Westbrook - can anyone? - and Carmelo Anthony seemed to throw shade on Donovan's coaching ability in Melo's exit interview with the media. Frankly, no one cares what Anthony thinks any longer.
Free NBA Picks: Thursday, May 3, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 5/2/2018
Quite a public beatdown this week by Heat president Pat Riley on the team's center, Hassan Whiteside: "By the time we got to the playoffs, I don't think he was ready. He wasn't in great shape. He wasn't fully conditioned for a playoff battle mentally. He and we got our heads handed to us." Indeed, Whiteside was schooled by Joel Embiid and played just 76 total minutes in the series. Did I mention that Whiteside has two years left on his four-year, $98.4 million contract?
Free NBA Picks: Tuesday, May 1, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 4/30/2018
My condolences if you bet on the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday in their home Game 7 victory over the Indiana Pacers to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals (I assure you that executives at TNT and ESPN both breathed huge sighs of relief that LeBron James wasn't knocked out. He's a ratings monster). That line closed at most sportsbooks as Cleveland -5. The Cavs led by seven, but Pacers star Victor Oladipo hit a 3-pointer as time expired to make the final score 105-101. Most guys don't even bother taking that shot with the result of the game not in question. "It was probably a swing of $3 million to $5 million in Nevada," said Johnny Avello, head of race and sportsbook for the Wynn in Las Vegas, to ESPN. Here's a look at Tuesday's conference semifinal action around the NBA.
NBA 2K League Betting Advice and Expert Handicapping
by Trevor Whenham - 4/30/2018
This is where I show how old and out of touch I am. I was cruising around the Bovada website the other day just looking to see what was on offer - as I often do. While doing so I was reminded that the NBA 2K League gets underway on Tuesday. I am absolutely fascinated by this league on so many levels. I can't pretend to know anything about it, and you will have to go elsewhere for in-depth handicapping - at least before the games start. But it is so interesting, and potentially influential, that it is worth talking about.
Free NBA Picks: Saturday, April 28, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 4/27/2018
Our first coaching hire of the offseason (at least offseason for non-playoff teams) has happened, and it's Memphis proving rather unoriginal in giving interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff a three-year deal as the full-time guy. David Fizdale, who probably gets a job somewhere, was fired in November, and Bickerstaff took over as interim head coach. The Grizzlies were an ugly 15-48 under Bickerstaff this season, but that wasn't his fault as that team was injury-ravaged and then started tanking. I believe the Grizzlies will be back in the playoffs in 2018-19 with good health to Mike Conley - his early-season injury ruined this season -- and Marc Gasol and nailing what will be a Top 5 draft pick in June.
Free NBA Picks: Friday, April 27, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 4/26/2018
NBA free agency doesn't start until this summer, but one of the biggest free agents is now on the market. It's not a player but Coach Mike Budenholzer, formerly of the Atlanta Hawks. It's well-known that a few teams were interested in hiring Budenholzer but would have had to give the Hawks some sort of compensation. For whatever reason, the Hawks decided to simply let him go - the official line is the sides mutually agreed to part ways. Budenholzer surely didn't want to stick around for what likely will be a long rebuild in Atlanta.
Free NBA Picks: Wednesday, April 25, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 4/24/2018
ESPN's Kevin Pelton was asked this question by a reader, and it got me thinking: Is this the greatest postseason we have ever seen by a rookie class? Now, no one is asking if this is the best rookie class in NBA history, needless to say. Just look at the 2003 class, which had future Hall of Famers LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade. Or the 1984 class led by Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and John Stockton.
Free NBA Picks: Tuesday, April 24, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 4/23/2018
When's the last time an NBA Coach of the Year candidate got fired that same season? That could be the fate of Portland's Terry Stotts, who probably doesn't win that award but surely will get some votes after his team won 49 games and earned the West's No. 3 seed. However, the Blazers were stunningly swept out of the playoffs on Saturday, losing in New Orleans. The Pelicans became the first No. 6 seed (or lower) to sweep its first-round series since the NBA switched from its best-of-five format in 2003.
Free NBA Picks: Saturday, April 21, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 4/20/2018
Unless you have been living in a cave for a while, you surely know that the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule within the next few weeks on potentially legalizing sports gambling across the country. Most believe the state of New Jersey will win its case and that gambling will be legalized in some form. Why do I bring this up? Major League Baseball and the NBA are in discussions to divest their financial interests in daily fantasy sports, and I assure you this has to do with potential legalized gambling. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been front-and-center pushing for it to be legalized and for his league to get a small cut of each bet. Stay tuned. Here are Saturday's playoff games.
Free NBA Picks: Friday, April 20, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 4/19/2018
We won't know the NBA's 2018-19 regular season schedule for months, although you can count on this season's champion being at home on opening night (probably either Oct. 16 or 23). The All-Star Game will be held in Charlotte on Feb. 17, 2019. However, we do know of two preseason games. The Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers will play games in China: Oct. 5 in Shanghai and Oct. 8 in Shenzhen.
Free NBA Picks: Thursday, April 19, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 4/18/2018
Now that the NBA draft lottery order has been set, at least pre-lottery, 5Dimes has unveiled some odds for the lottery, which will be held on May 15. Remember, this is the last year of the lottery as we know it with some changes coming next season that include the teams with the three-worst records all having the same chance of winning the lottery. As it stands now, the Phoenix Suns have a 25 percent shot as the 2017-18 worst team and they are +285 at the site to win the first pick with any other club at -315.
Free NBA Picks: Wednesday, April 18, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 4/17/2018
Unless he makes a miracle comeback, this is the last time you will see me write something about Kawhi Leonard and his incredibly unusual situation. It's apparently now official that Leonard will not make it back for the playoffs as he continues to be away from the team rehabbing that quad injury. Yep, Spurs doctors have cleared him but his own team hasn't. If he wasn't such a good player, the Spurs surely would have cut him by now or at least not paid him. Reports are that many teams will contact San Antonio this offseason, led by the Clippers, regarding a trade.
Free NBA Picks: Tuesday, April 17, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 4/16/2018
I haven't seen one of the Doc's affiliated sportsbooks with a prop on whom the next coach of the Knicks will be yet, but I presume at least one will have it considering it's a marquee job. The Knicks of course fired Jeff Hornacek last Thursday. The team already has received permission to talk with former Knicks coach and current Clippers assistant Mike Woodson. He was fired after two seasons with New York in 2014. How unoriginal would that hiring be? The team is also planning to talk to former Cavs coach David Blatt as well as David Fizdale, Mark Jackson and Jerry Stackhouse. Jackson would be easily the most popular hire as a former Knicks player. Here's a look at Tuesday's Game 2s in the NBA playoffs.
Free NBA Picks: Saturday, April 14, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 4/13/2018
When the 2017-18 NBA season began, the Golden State Warriors were the favorites to win the Western Conference again and the Cleveland Cavaliers were the same in the East. So in that regard, nothing has changed. Yet at the same time, plenty has with both the Warriors and Cavaliers looking very vulnerable and neither even its conference's top seed. Now the Dubs are just +100 to win the West, barely ahead of top-seeded Houston. Cleveland is +125 in the East, barely ahead of top-seeded Toronto. It's also nice to see some new blood in the postseason with the likes of Minnesota (had the longest drought in the NBA), New Orleans and Philadelphia. Here's a look at Saturday's series openers.
NBA Western Conference Playoff Betting Odds and Expert Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 4/13/2018
The NBA Western Conference playoffs are shaping up to be a lot more interesting than they have been in recent years. The Warriors are more vulnerable than they have been in recent years, so their win doesn't feel inevitable. Houston is deadly serious and ready to shake off the embarrassment of last year. And though the rest are far behind the top two, this is the most compelling and tightly-contested first round we have seen in a long, long time.
NBA Eastern Conference Playoff Betting Odds and Expert Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 4/13/2018
Let's be honest - eight teams made the playoffs in the NBA's Eastern Conference, but there are only four that have a real chance of winning it. And really that number is three, but we are only including the fourth out of charity and respect for coaching. Milwaukee has a megastar and does a lot of things well, but not enough. Indiana has had a surprising year behind a breakout star, but they don't have the depth.
Free NBA Picks: Wednesday, April 11, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 4/10/2018
It's not always the good teams that end up being the best against the spread bet in an NBA season. Last year, for example, the Philadelphia 76ers stunk but they managed to lose inside the number more often than not and led the league in ATS cover percentage with a 49-33 mark. This year, your betting king is the Boston Celtics, who are a good team. They have just 29 ATS losses as of Tuesday and 12 on the road. The worst bet this season has been Cleveland because the sportsbooks always overvalue LeBron James.
Free NBA Picks: Tuesday, April 10, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 4/9/2018
It's a little too late to make use of this for the 2017-18 season, but I'll almost always recommend betting against a team that is playing the second of a back-to-back in Denver. Obviously, you have the thin air that takes its toll on visiting players. I didn't even consider the weather factor and the fact that the Denver airport is quite a hike from downtown.
Free NBA Picks: Saturday, April 7, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 4/6/2018
Unless LeBron James decides to leave Cleveland and join Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons with rising powerhouse Philadelphia, the preseason favorite to win the Eastern Conference next season likely will be the Boston Celtics assuming good health. They are going to be loaded for years. The C's have had anything but good health this year, though, losing big free-agent acquisition Gordon Hayward on opening night and now Kyrie Irving will not return for the playoffs after all following knee surgery.
NBA Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Teams
by Aaron Smith - 4/6/2018
Who would have guessed the Philadelphia 76ers would be fighting for the third spot in the NBA Eastern Conference playoff standings? Toronto and Boston will finish first and second, and the 76ers and Cavs are battling it out for the third spot. Houston has the No. 1 spot locked in the Western Conference, and the Warriors are No. 2. Will Stephen Curry get healthy for the playoffs? Even if he doesn't, don't sleep on the Warriors; that team still has a ton of talent.
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