NBA Handicapping Articles
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.
Free NBA Picks: Friday, March 16, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/15/2018
The Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder are in action on Friday, and both have had success in hiring college head coaches - Brad Stevens and Billy Donovan, respectively. So, with the NCAA Tournament also going on, that got me thinking about which college coach might make the NBA jump this coming offseason. And I think the answer is crystal clear: Arizona's Sean Miller. Of course, we all know about that ESPN report of Miller reportedly talking about payment for one of his players. ESPN also has corrected that story twice, and now it doesn't seem so rock solid. But where there's smoke there's usually fire.
Free NBA Picks: Thursday, March 15, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/14/2018
With the NCAA Tournament starting in full Thursday, you can probably guess which schools currently have the most players on NBA rosters (stats from the beginning of the season so an occasional number could change slightly if a guy sent to the G-League or released, etc.). No. 1 is the first-round factory that John Calipari has built at Kentucky with 27 current NBA players. I'm sure a few more Wildcats will be first-rounders this summer, although likely none in the Top 10, which is rare under Calipari. Duke is second with 20 and has two 2018 lottery picks for sure in Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. (Gary Trent Jr. is likely a first-rounder if he comes out; and Grayson Allen might be.)
Free NBA Picks: Wednesday, March 14, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/13/2018
OK, here we go: Tanking teams are starting to rule out starters due to convenient season-ending injuries. I'm not saying guys aren't hurt, but if their clubs were in the playoff chase I'm guessing things would be different. Atlanta and Dallas are both 100 percent in the tanking category, and the Hawks have said Kent Bazemore is done with a knee injury, while the Mavs are saying likely the same for Wesley Matthews with a leg issue. Bazemore is a useful player whom the Hawks tried to deal at the deadline and probably will again this offseason.
Free NBA Picks: Tuesday, March 13, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/12/2018
I had presumed that Golden State would eventually catch Houston for the best record in the West, but I'm not sure that Warriors now care all that much about landing the top seed. It's more important they get healthy and in sync before the postseason. The Dubs are on a rare two-game slide. Sunday in Minnesota, Steph Curry missed his second straight game because of an ankle injury. Andre Iguodala missed his third in a row because of a left wrist injury, David West a fourth consecutive because of an arm injury, and rookie Jordan Bell his third straight because of an ankle issue.
Free NBA Picks: Saturday, March 10, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/9/2018
Spurs-Thunder is the ABC Saturday prime-time game of the week on Saturday, but that's not the most interesting matchup of the weekend. No, that would be Cavaliers at Lakers, and it really has nothing to do with this year. Yes, it's Cleveland's first game vs. the Lakers since trading Isaiah Thomas, etc., to L.A. and landing Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance. That's a subplot to the fact that the next time LeBron takes the court at Staples Center, it could be as a member of the Lakers. It's no secret that James can become a free agent this summer, has two mansions in L.A. and wants to build an entertainment empire.
Free NBA Picks: Friday, March 9, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/8/2018
Why is Commissioner Adam Silver singling out the Chicago Bulls? Other teams have been tanking much more obviously this season, yet Silver recently warned the Bulls against tanking even though they have only the eighth-worst record. That came about because the front office coming out of the All-Star break announced that veterans Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday weren't going to be getting regular minutes going forward - if playing at all. Perhaps if the Bulls hadn't been so transparent about that, Silver wouldn't have found a need to warn the franchise.
Expert NBA Handicapping: San Antonio Spurs Struggles
by Trevor Whenham - 3/8/2018
What the heck is going on in San Antonio? The most boringly reliable franchise in all of sports is struggling and full of drama. They are free falling. If the playoffs started now they would not have home-court advantage in the first round, and they sit just 2.5 games out of ninth. They are only a game and a half out of third, so all is not yet lost, but they are certainly not playing like they are a threat to climb up the standings.
NBA Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Teams
by Aaron Smith - 3/7/2018
Not many people would have guessed Toronto and Houston would have the best records in the NBA's Eastern and Western Conferences, respectively, in the month of March. Cleveland is in third place in the Eastern Conference, but they are only four games ahead of the eighth-place Miami Heat. The San Antonio Spurs have had a bunch of injury problems, and they have dropped to fifth in the Western Conference. The Spurs are only 2.5 games ahead of the Clippers, who are in ninth place and looking to fight their way into the playoffs.
Free NBA Picks: Thursday, March 8, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/7/2018
The Charlotte Hornets haven't done much right in recent years other than drafting Kemba Walker at No. 9 overall in 2011. The next year, they lost out on the draft lottery despite by far the worst record in the NBA and had to settle for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist instead of Anthony Davis. In 2013, they took Cody Zeller at No. 4 overall. It was Noah Vonleh at No. 9 in 2014, Frank Kaminsky at No. 9 in 2015, Malachi Richardson at No. 22 in 2016 and Malik Monk at No. 11 this past season - when the Hornets could have had Donovan Mitchell or even Bam Adebayo, Jarrett Allen or Kyle Kuzma. No wonder this franchise is looking for a new general manager (Former Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak remains a front-runner to receive an offer to replace Rich Cho.).
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