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Free NBA Picks: Magic at Hawks Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 11/8/2013
You might be asking why I am picking the Orlando-Atlanta matchup as my recommendation among Saturday's NBA games. Well, there is one main reason: I don't simply pick games that have the most national appeal, but I pick the ones that I feel strongest about from a betting perspective.
Free NBA Picks: Warriors at Spurs Odds
by Aaron Smith - 11/7/2013
Remember the Warriors vs. Spurs playoff series last year? The young Warriors gave the veteran Spurs everything they could handle before finally bowing out to the eventual NBA runner-up. Golden State nearly took a 2-0 lead by winning both road games to start that series, but the Spurs stormed back late in Game 2 to even up the series at 1-1. It seemed like the Warriors wore down a bit late in the series, but you had to come away from that series impressed with Golden State.
Free NBA Picks: Lakers at Rockets Odds
by Alan Matthews - 11/6/2013
The Houston Rockets have entered the Los Angeles portion of their schedule. They played at Staples Center against the Clippers on Monday -- getting thrashed, 137-118 -- in Dwight Howard's return to L.A. Even though you won't catch any true Laker fan saying he or she roots for the Clippers or likely at a Clipper game, Howard was booed heavily in his first game back in L.A. In Thursday night's TNT nightcap, Howard gets his first game against his former Laker teammates.
Free NBA Picks: Mavericks at Thunder Odds
by Aaron Smith - 11/5/2013
The Dallas Mavericks were at the top of the NBA after winning the NBA Finals in 2011. Where were they at the end of 2013? Dallas was sitting at home watching the playoffs after finishing the season at 41-41. It was the first time in 12 years that Dallas wasn’t a part of the playoffs.
Free NBA Picks: Spurs at Nuggets Odds
by Alan Matthews - 11/4/2013
I fully expected the Denver Nuggets to take a step back this season after losing Andre Iguodala and Coach George Karl in the offseason as well as starting the year without an injured Danilo Gallinari. And it's still early, but right now Denver looks like one of the worst teams in the Western Conference heading into Tuesday's home game with San Antonio. In fact, if the Nuggets should lose Tuesday night (they should) and Thursday against Atlanta, they would match their home losses for all of the 2012-13 regular season.
Free NBA Picks: Cavaliers at Pacers Odds
by Alan Matthews - 11/1/2013
I won't pretend that winning a division title means a whole lot in the NBA, other than for playoff seeding, but the Central Division might be the most interesting to watch all season. Obviously the Bulls and Pacers are NBA title contenders. The Pistons look much improved with the additions of Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings. The Cavaliers are going to be a major force if Andrew Bynum actually can play significant minutes. The Bucks? Well, someone has to finish last.
Free NBA Picks: Knicks at Bulls Odds Thursday TNT
by Alan Matthews - 10/30/2013
Already you can see some Chicago Bulls fans emptying the bandwagon after the Bulls looked very sloppy and were pretty much manhandled by the Miami Heat in the season opener on Tuesday night, 107-95 (I recommended giving the points). But I caution you not to read anything into these early-season games.
Free NBA Picks: Bulls at Heat Odds for Opening Night
by Alan Matthews - 10/28/2013
Heat-Pacers is a nice little rivalry. Heat-Celtics was also very good but is dead now with all the relevant Boston players -- other than Rajon Rondo -- now playing in Brooklyn. But clearly the best rivalry in the NBA going right now is Heat-Bulls, and it gets a major jolt on Tuesday's Opening Night when Derrick Rose faces Miami for the first time since April 12, 2012.
Free NBA Picks: Clippers at Lakers Odds Opening Night
by Alan Matthews - 10/18/2013
The Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers have a lot in common. They both play in the Staples Center. They each have won a Pacific Division title in the past two seasons. Both clubs play in front of movie stars -- the Clips' signature star is Billy Crystal, and the Lakers' is Jack Nicholson (Frankie Muniz is the Clippers’ Dyan Cannon). They both exited last year's playoffs losing four straight games.
Free NBA Picks: San Antonio Spurs Futures Odds
by Aaron Smith - 10/16/2013
It’s a series that no member of the San Antonio Spurs will ever forget. Are there any words to describe the feeling of the Spurs after their loss to Miami in last year’s NBA Finals? “Gut-wrenching” may come the closest, but even that doesn’t seem to do it any justice. San Antonio had Game 6 and the series in their pockets, but they let it slip away. The team’s stars, as well as their head coach, have talked about that how tough that one was to swallow.
Free NBA Picks: Dallas Mavericks Futures Odds
by Aaron Smith - 10/9/2013
It was just two seasons ago that the Dallas Mavericks were the defending NBA Champions. Dallas topped the Miami Heat in a very impressive NBA Finals performance. The past two seasons can’t be seen as anything other than a disappointment. Last year, the Mavericks weren’t even able to work their way into the playoffs. Dirk Nowitzki got a late start to the season, and he wasn’t the same player he used to be.
NBA Picks: Utah Jazz Futures Odds
by Aaron Smith - 10/3/2013
The Utah Jazz have been hovering around the bottom of the Western Conference playoff standings for the last few years. The team has been just good enough to finish with a winning record but not good enough to get into the playoffs and do any damage. They were swept in a four-game series by the Spurs two years ago. Last season, Utah was edged out by the Lakers for the final spot in the playoffs.
Free NBA Picks: Philadelphia 76ers Futures Odds
by Aaron Smith - 9/25/2013
The Philadelphia 76ers were a playoff team a couple years ago. This franchise appeared to be on the rise with Doug Collins as their head coach as the team established an identity of playing tough defense and scrapping for four quarters. Something changed before last season that really ruined the 2012-13 season for Philadelphia. The 76ers decided to move Andre Iguodala and put all their hopes on the shoulders of oft-injured Andrew Bynum. We all know how that worked out. Bynum never played a game for the team, and now he is a Cleveland Cavalier.
NBA Picks: Chicago Bulls Futures Odds
by Aaron Smith - 9/18/2013
You have to give the Chicago Bulls a ton of credit for what they were able to do last year without Derrick Rose. The Bulls won a playoff series and were competitive against the Heat despite being without several of their top players. Remember, it wasn’t just Rose that was out; essentially the Bulls were without three or four of their top-five players for much of the postseason.
NBA Picks: Portland Trail Blazers Futures Odds
by Aaron Smith - 9/11/2013
The Portland Trail Blazers franchise has had a great deal of success over the years. Last year’s 33-49 record wasn’t acceptable to anyone involved with this franchise. How bad was the finish last year? Portland lost their final 13 games of the year, which led many to wonder if the team was tanking at the end of the season. During their 13-game losing streak, the Blazers lost by an average of 14.2 points per game. Basically, Portland was annihilated on a nightly basis to finish out the 2012-13 season.
NBA Picks: Cleveland Should Enter Playoff Fight
by Aaron Smith - 9/4/2013
The Cleveland Cavaliers franchise took a major nosedive as soon as LeBron James left for Miami, but there are some real signs of life in Cleveland of late. The Cavaliers have been fortunate enough to get the No. 1 draft pick twice, and you have to think that is going to pay off in the future. The city of Cleveland badly wants a winner. And while this team has quite a bit of room for improvement, it seems clear that they are about to enter the playoff race in the Eastern Conference.
NBA Picks: Clippers Making Moves to Become Best in West
by Aaron Smith - 8/21/2013
The Los Angeles Clippers were knocked out in the first round of the NBA Playoffs last year. It was a bitter pill to swallow for a team that had very high expectations heading into the season. Los Angeles has been a streaky team in the past two seasons. They have looked like the best team in the NBA at some points, and at others they have looked like a borderline playoff team. Unfortunately for the Clippers, they haven’t been able to play their best basketball when it matters the most.
NBA Picks: Bobcats Trying to Become Competitive
by Aaron Smith - 8/14/2013
Not all NBA teams have the same goal at the beginning of every season. For a team like the Charlotte Bobcats, no doubt the goal is to simply be competitive this year. While the players and management might say their goals are set to reach the playoffs, deep down they know that first they have to take baby steps and become competitive.
NBA Picks: Pistons Have Added Excitement
by Aaron Smith - 8/7/2013
The Detroit Pistons were one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference for many years. However, since the 2007-2008 season fans in Detroit haven’t had much to cheer about. The Pistons have gone downhill quickly since that time. Detroit hasn’t won more than 30 games in any of the last four seasons.
NBA Picks: Indiana Pacers Need a Couple Pieces
by Aaron Smith - 7/31/2013
The Indiana Pacers were just a game away from being the Eastern Conference Champions and taking on the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals. The Pacers had been extremely impressive early in the Eastern Conference Finals against Miami, but they couldn’t rise to the occasion in the deciding Game 7. The Heat coasted to a 99-76 victory in the finale of their series against the Pacers before going on to edge out the Spurs in the NBA Finals.
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