NBA Handicapping Articles
Free NBA Picks: Friday, April 6, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 4/5/2018
You may not be aware of it, but we have some history in the NBA this season. On Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Clippers rallied to beat the San Antonio Spurs; it was L.A.'s 42nd win of the year, meaning it is guaranteed a winning record. The Clippers thus became the 10th team in the Western Conference (and last) assured of such. That number ties the record for number of plus-.500 clubs in one conference, set in 2000-01.
Free NBA Picks: Thursday, April 5, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 4/4/2018
Villanova just finished off one of the best four-year periods in modern NCAA basketball history with its second National Championship in the three years. What makes Jay Wright's accomplishments amazing is that he is doing this without mega-touted recruits and lock future NBA lottery players like Mike Krzyzewski has at Duke annually and John Calipari at Kentucky. Donte DiVincenzo was the star of Monday's win against Michigan and the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, but do you really think he looks like a starting-caliber NBA player?
Free NBA Picks: Wednesday, April 4, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 4/3/2018
We are at the point of the NBA season where before you bet on teams already basically locked into their playoff seeding, you need to know their head coach's history in terms of resting players and if he cares about momentum heading into the postseason. For example, we all know that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich values rest more than perhaps anyone. Steve Kerr also believes in rest (other than when the Warriors went for the single-season wins record). On the flip side, we have Houston coach Mike D'Antoni.
Free NBA Picks: Tuesday, April 3, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 4/2/2018
With the NBA going dark Monday opposite the National Championship Game, it's a good time to check out futures odds for the last time before the playoffs begin in just over two weeks. The Golden State Warriors remain the -110 favorites to win the West again, although most statistical projections have Houston (+125) emerging from the West. The Rockets are a good fade candidate the rest of the regular season, though, since they have clinched the No. 1 overall seed and clearly have nothing to play for. You have to go way down to +1600 to find the next team in the West: Oklahoma City.
Free NBA Picks: Friday, March 30, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/29/2018
It's not an injury that will make big headlines around the NBA, but it certainly could affect what seed the Portland Trail Blazers get in the Western Conference playoffs and if they can advance past the first round. Small forward Moe Harkless had arthroscopic surgery on Wednesday to "remove a loose body" in his left knee and will be out anywhere from 2-6 weeks (the playoffs start in less than three). Harkless, who has been starting recently after a tumultuous first few months of the season, says he started feeling some discomfort recently.
Expert MLB Betting Advice: Season Hit Totals Props
by Trevor Whenham - 3/29/2018
We have already looked at individual player season totals for pitcher wins and for home runs. Now, with opening day here, it makes sense to finish off by looking at individual hit totals. The guys who pile up big hits don't get the attention that sluggers do in a lot of cases because they aren't flashy. But they are so very important - and typically more consistent and predictable than sluggers, which is handy for our purposes here. Here is a look at seven interesting season hit totals from BetOnline.
Expert NBA Handicapping: Are Portland Trail Blazers a Contender?
by Trevor Whenham - 3/29/2018
It feels like people are rebelling against inevitability a bit in the NBA right now. A very large percentage of people, if asked, would tell you that Golden State and Houston will meet for the Western Conference title, and Toronto and Cleveland will battle in the East. And a lot of people who wouldn't say that are kidding themselves. Because the league is so top-heavy right now, people are looking for any signs of vulnerability - like Golden State's sudden bulk injuries - and trying to find a team that could exploit them and shake things up even a little.
NBA Eastern Conference Futures Odds: the Search for Betting Value
by Trevor Whenham - 3/28/2018
The Eastern Conference of the NBA is shaping up to be much more interesting in the playoffs this year than it has been in a long while. For so long now it just hasn't been much fun. Other teams have scrambled to become the squad that inevitably gets to lose to LeBron's team in the conference finals. It has been as boring as it has been predictable. But this year it feels like there is at least a chance for something different to happen - more of a chance than ever.
Free NBA Picks: Thursday, March 29, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/28/2018
I've heard whispers that Isaiah Thomas isn't the best teammate, often looking to pad his own stats and shedding blame for whenever something goes wrong. But IT was a spectacular player last season with the Celtics. It looked around this time one year ago that Thomas appeared to be a near lock to get max deal as a free agent after the 2017-18 campaign. However, not much has gone right for him since, suffering a serious hip injury during the playoffs, being dealt to Cleveland (but not debuting until January because of the hip) and then being shipped off again to the Los Angeles Lakers when his Cavaliers stint was a bust.
Free NBA Picks: Wednesday, March 28, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/27/2018
The 2018 NBA Draft isn't until June 21 in Brooklyn, but Bovada has released some potential draft props, and I'm here to tell you that this one is easy money: Arizona's DeAndre Ayton "over/under" a position of 1.5 with both options at -120. I don't care who wins the draft lottery in May, but Ayton's going to be the guy going No. 1 overall. He was both the Pac-12 Player and Freshman of the Year, averaging 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. The only other players to win both honors in the same season were Cal's Shareef Abdur-Rahim in 1996 and UCLA's Kevin Love in 2008.
Free NBA Picks: Tuesday, March 27, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/26/2018
Obviously, every team but the Milwaukee Bucks is kicking itself still for not taking unknown Greek teenager Giannis Antetokounmpo in the first round of the 2013 draft - the Freak clearly goes No. 1 overall in an incredibly weak class if there's a redraft; if you are wondering, the player who went No. 14 overall, one spot ahead of the Freak, was Shabazz Muhammad to Utah (but traded to Minnesota and is now on Bucks). I mention this because it's the time of year when college players make their decisions to declare or not for the NBA Draft. The Freak has a younger brother named Kostas, a redshirt freshman at Dayton.
Free NBA Picks: Saturday, March 24, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/23/2018
At this point, I'm waiting on one of the Doc's affiliated sportsbooks to post a prop on whether San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard will play again this season. Frankly, it's getting tiresome talking about it. There were reports that Leonard was going to return from his rather nebulous quad injury last Thursday, but of course he didn't. Just this week Manu Ginobili said of the two-time Defensive Player of the Year: "For me, he's not coming back, because it's not helping (to think that he is). We fell for it a week ago again."
NBA Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Teams
by Aaron Smith - 3/23/2018
It's looking increasingly likely that Toronto and Houston will be the top seeds in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference, respectively. Golden State's injury issues are something to keep an eye on moving forward. If they can get healthy, Golden State will continue to be a big favorite over anyone come playoff time.
Free NBA Picks: Friday, March 23, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/22/2018
The NBA has always been a superstar league, and it probably always will be. If you don't have at least one of them, you aren't winning a title. But what if you are a middling franchise that has never won a championship and probably won't ever lure a superstar through free agency? I ask because the Los Angeles Clippers visit the Indiana Pacers on Friday. Might other general managers see the success these two franchises are having, relatively speaking, after trading superstars Blake Griffin and Paul George, respectively, and change their thinking?
Free NBA Picks: Thursday, March 22, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/21/2018
Not NBA on TNT doubleheader again this Thursday because Turner Sports is involved in the NCAA Tournament, but I may have found the fade candidate of the year on Thursday's pro hoops slate: The New Orleans Pelicans. It has nothing to do with the team the Pelicans are hosting, the Los Angeles Lakers, but the fact that it will be the third game in three nights for the Pels. Yes, third game in three nights. I frankly thought that was outlawed by the CBA and maybe the league had to get the OK from the players' association, but it really had little choice.
Expert NBA Betting Advice: How to Wager the Golden State Warriors with Injuries
by Trevor Whenham - 3/21/2018
It barely seems possible, but the Golden State Warriors are showing signs of, dare I say it, mortality, as the playoffs near. Long viewed as inevitable champions, the team suddenly can't stay healthy at a time when James Harden is playing out of his mind to lead Houston to the top seed in the West, in all likelihood, and Toronto is getting feisty in the East. The Warriors are still serious favorites to win the title - they are below even money at -110 at BetOnline. But as incredibly low as that price is, it has still drifted up in recent weeks while Houston has fallen and is now at +225. Is it actually possible that Golden State could be beaten? Could they be betrayed by their own bodies?
Free NBA Picks: Wednesday, March 21, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/20/2018
We can't go a week without some sort of drama from the Cleveland Cavaliers, but this time it involves nothing to do with LeBron James. Head coach Ty Lue has stepped away from coaching to focus on his health (insert joke here that LeBron is really the head coach). Lue had to leave Saturday's game vs. Chicago will some sort of illness, the third time this season a health issue has kept him from coaching a full game. Apparently, no one is quite sure what's going on with Lue, but chest pains and coughing up blood are obviously never good signs.
Free NBA Picks: Tuesday, March 20, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/19/2018
Always fun to wonder "what if" when it comes to NBA trades. The Boston Celtics are no doubt thrilled with landing Kyrie Irving from Cleveland, and the C's clearly won that deal in retrospect. The Oklahoma City Thunder seemingly gave up little to land Paul George from Indiana, and the Thunder and Pacers both won that deal (at least for this season).
Free NBA Picks: Saturday, March 17, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/16/2018
The Detroit Pistons had an initial burst of success after trading for Blake Griffin, winning their first four games with him in the lineup. But they have fallen off a cliff since, putting Stan Van Gundy's future as president of basketball operations and/or head coach in jeopardy. Detroit is in Portland on Saturday halfway through a six-game trip through the West, and the team could be all but eliminated from the playoffs by the time it gets back home should the trip be disaster. The tandem of Griffin and Andre Drummond has been very good, but Detroit might have the worst backcourt in the East.
Handicapping the NBA Western Conference Playoff Race
by Trevor Whenham - 3/16/2018
The Oklahoma City Thunder currently sit fourth in the Western Conference of the NBA as we cruise towards the postseason. The Denver Nuggets sit 10th. Yet the gap between the teams is as tiny as we have seen in the West in a long while. We are used to the top teams running away with things in the conference, yet this year the difference between hosting a first-round series and staying home on your couch as the playoffs start is just 2.5 games.
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