NBA Handicapping Articles
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.
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.
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