NBA Handicapping Articles
Expert NBA Handicapping: The Cavaliers Post-LeBron
by Trevor Whenham - 11/21/2018
To the surprise on absolutely no one with even a small part of a brain, the Cleveland Cavaliers were left in total and utter disrepair with the departure of LeBron James to the Lakers. I mean, what else could you possibly expect? The guy hates young players, collects old teammates that make him comfortable, doesn't let a coach have a mind of his own, and takes the team on his shoulders when there is heavy lifting of any kind to do.
Expert NBA Handicapping: Toronto Raptors True Contender in East
by Trevor Whenham - 11/16/2018
The Toronto Raptors suffered just their third loss in 15 games on Wednesday night against the Pistons. It's the first time all season that they probably wish things had turned out differently. It was the first time former coach Dwane Casey, who was fired after last year's playoff debacle and subsequently named Coach of the Year, returned to Toronto.
2018 Orlando Magic Predictions with Futures Odds and Expert Picks
by Trevor Whenham - 9/17/2018
Ever since Dwight Howard left town to embark on his quest to play for every team in the league, the Orlando Magic have been so forgettable they are essentially anonymous. They are the last team anyone thinks about - because they give us no reason to think about them. Their biggest claim to fame right now is that they are the team that gave up on Victor Oladipo far, far too soon. They could have had a budding superstar, but instead they have memories of the epic Serge Ibaka era. They believe that they are making progress, but can that possibly be true?
Who Will The Los Angeles Lakers Play On Christmas Day?
by Raphael Esparza - 7/9/2018
It's no secret that Christmas Day in the sports world is all about the NBA. So far this summer the talk in the NBA has been all about LeBron James signing with the Los Angeles Lakers and when I saw that, I was thinking about one day and one day only: who are the Lakers playing on Christmas Day?
NBA Draft: Players That Will Make Biggest Impact
by Trevor Whenham - 6/27/2018
This was a deep and talented class of rookies welcomed into the NBA after the 2018 NBA Draft. There might not be the surefire superstar at the top that we have seen in some years, but the general level of players in the first round feels higher than many years, and so does the number of teams that can reasonably expect a decent impact from their newly-added players this season. It only makes sense that we look at what some of these guys might do this coming year. I don't care about what their whole career arcs can be - that's less interesting from a betting perspective. I'm just focused on what we might expect from them in their first season.
NBA Rookie of the Year Odds with Expert Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 6/26/2018
Now that the NBA Draft is done and we know which young stars will be playing for which teams, we can look ahead to the ultimate prize for the recently drafted players at the end of an NBA season - the Rookie of the Year crown. It's a deep and talented field that lacks a runaway star, and we don't have a guy like Ben Simmons lurking to grab it from another draft class. That makes for an interesting race to handicap. I think there is a clear favorite, but the oddsmakers don't agree with me. How about you? (Odds are from Bovada):
NBA Draft Props: Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 6/20/2018
The NBA Draft is almost here. And the best part of the draft -- aside from the crazy trading action and the silly suits, of course - is the prop bets. To get ready for the draft we are mostly going to look at the most interesting kind of draft prop in my eyes - the draft position totals. The books set a number, and we have to decide if a guy will be selected higher or lower than that number. We'll look at six of those that stand out and then check in on a couple of other interesting props as well.
Betting Odds and Predictions for LeBron James Next Team
by Trevor Whenham - 6/14/2018
We learned two things watching the NBA Playoffs this year - LeBron James is an incredible freak still able to play at an impossibly high level despite so many years of play, and he stands no chance of beating Golden State or other super teams in Cleveland given where they currently sit. The fate of James after this season was a big story before the season began, and that certainly hasn't faded since. And obviously a story this compelling and significant is going to have a big betting interest. Futures odds about where he will wind up are plentiful, and that is what we are going to look at first.
Free NBA Picks: Tuesday, May 8, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 5/7/2018
Has any NBA guy won Coach of the Year honors and been fired in the same season? I couldn't find an example of that occurring - the next season, sure. However, I believe we might see that this week if the Toronto Raptors, as I expect, are swept out of the playoffs Monday night in Cleveland. Dwane Casey is definitely in the running for Coach of the Year - I think it should go to Utah's Quin Snyder, but I don't have a vote - but he has been thoroughly out-strategized in that series by Cavs coach Ty Lue, a relative newbie.
First Female NBA Head Coach Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
by Raphael Esparza - 5/7/2018
Could we soon see history being made in the NBA or in any professional male sport? News broke late last week that Becky Hammon, the first women to serve as an assistant in the NBA, will interview for the vacant head coach position in Milwaukee. Hammon was the first female assistant coach in NBA history, and in 2015 she coached the San Antonio Spurs Summer League team to a championship beating the New York Knicks.
Free NBA Picks: Saturday, May 5, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 5/4/2018
I presumed that Arizona big man Deandre Ayton, who dominated the Pac-12 as a freshman this past season, would be the No. 1 pick in next month's NBA draft regardless of which team won the May 15 draft lottery. Now, I'm not so sure if Phoenix, which has the greatest chance of winning it at 25 percent, has the ping-pong balls go its way. Why? The Suns have found their next head coach, and it's Jazz assistant Igor Kokoskov, who will become the first full-time European head coach in the NBA. In fact, the a native of Serbia is the first head coach born and raised outside North America in NBA history.
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.
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