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February 5th 2014 - Posted 5:00 PM Eastern Time

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There are two NBA bets risking a total of 4% tonight.


#1: Take Washington Wizards +1.5 spread against the San Antonio Spurs risking 2%

The San Antonio Spurs travel to the Verizon Center to take on the Wizards who have recently amassed an impressive streak of "upset" victories over top competition. Washington most recently knocked off the offensive juggernaut that is Portland Trailblazers on Monday. That win put the Wizard on the plus side of .500 for the first time since October 2009! The Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Golden State, Oklahoma City Thunder and Portland have all come up short against this athletic team. The San Antonio Spurs have been perennial contenders for years and this is another chance for the Wizards to play "spoiler" tonight.

The Spurs are always in title conversations each and every season, but this season they have fallen on some hard times with injuries starting to pile up recently. Both Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard have been out of action for some time, while Danny Green and Thiago Splitter just recently returned but may still not be at 100%. The Spurs have not been as explosive on the offensive side of the ball as in years past and have relied on their veterans to help carry the team to victory. Tonight they face a much younger and more athletic Wizards team that is hard to handle. John Wall, Nene and Bradley Beal are a younger version of a "Big 3". Watching the chemistry that has formed between these players is something special and as they gain more experience they will become more of a force in the years to come. In the meantime however the Wizards have proven that they will not be intimidated by any opponent and always seem to "get up" for these games against the league's elite. We don't expect anything different tonight.

Just like in past matchups, the Wizards appear to be outclassed on paper taking on what is perceived to be the "better" overall team. On paper the Spurs appear to hold the edge on both sides of the ball and own an impressive 15 game winning streak against the Wizards and yet the line-makers only opened up them up as -1 favorites, much like they did with Portland did on Monday night! We all saw how that game played out. Washington comes off as an unassuming team but their recent success can not be overlooked. They held both OKC and Kevin Durant and the Trailblazer to just 35 second half points! Portland is the highest scoring-team in the league and not dealing with the injuries that Spurs are.

San Antonio also finds themselves in what could be a pretty tough scheduling spot as they have to turn around and play Brooklyn tomorrow night in the third game of what is an incredibly long road trip. The Spurs nearly stumbled the other night against the Pelicans before mounting a late rally; the Wizards have shown their ability to close game out against the "good" teams this season and if they have the lead late we expect them to finish the job. It took the Wizards 4 long years to gain a "winning" record and we don't see them slipping back to .500 in their first game out. Washington will be hungry to stop their losing streak to the Spurs and notch another "upset" victory over one of the league's elite. In a battle of youth vs. experience, we feel the confident young Wizards will triumph.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Washington is 11-2 ATS in home games against teams with winning records in the second half of the season over the last 2 years.
  • Washington is 30-17 ATS in non-conference games over the last 2 seasons.
  • Washington is 5-2 ATS after a win by 10 or more points this season.
  • San Antonio is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games.

#2: Take LA Clippers at -1.5 spread against Miami Heat risking 2%

This will be the marquee matchup on the card tonight as the 2 time defending champions Miami Heat travel to LA to face off against surging Clippers in what's sure to be an exciting game. These two teams met earlier this season when the Clippers traveled to Miami and narrowly lost a 102-97 decision. Tonight it's the Clippers chance for payback as the Heat have historically struggled at the Staples Center against the Clippers. In fact, the Heat have been winless in LA since LeBron joined the Heat.
The home team has always held the advantage in this series as the team that has played host is a perfect 10-0 in the last 10 meetings! That should also favor the Clippers as they have been one of the strongest teams at home this season with a 20-3 record at the Staples Center. The Clippers' last loss at home was back on Dec 30th when they hosted the Phoenix Suns. The fact is that LA simply doesn't lose a lot of games in front of their home crowd.

Miami has also come under a lot of criticisms this season as far as their motivation goes. They owned the league's best record last year in search of their second straight championship. This year however, their actions on the court have been somewhat pedestrian at time. They have been "good", but they have not been "great", especially on the road. We have seen the Heat almost "lay down" on the road this season. While we don't expect the Heat to lack any kind of motivation in this game, we do expect the Clippers to be the team who is "hungrier" for the win, especially while looking to avenge their earlier season loss. The Heat are the "measuring stick" in this league and each and every night they are getting their opponents' absolute best in order to prove themselves. This is a chance for the young Clippers team as well as new coach Doc Rivers to prove themselves against the defending champs.

The West Coast has proven to be where a majority of the "elite" teams play and the Clippers have had to face them all this season. Looking at the quality of competition that each team has faced, it's clear that the Clippers are the more battle tested team having to play the likes of Oklahoma City, Portland, San Antonio and Golden State. The Clippers have even faced the Pacers this season, who have been a perennial thorn-in-the-side for the Heat. The Heat are not a team that likes to get physical and the Clippers can be a physical team down low. Blake Griffin is establishing himself as a monster in the post and has "posterized" a number of players already in his short career. On the glass he will be physical, something that the Heat has lacked in recent years. The rebounding edge should go to the Clippers which is a big advantage, especially at home. Being able to limit the Heat to a single shot per possession could be the difference in this game.

The 2 time defending champions are also the underdogs in this game. That simply does not happen very often due to the Heat's ability to win almost each and every time they step on the court. The fact that they're underdogs in this game means there's an extremely good reason for it. The Clippers may have lost Chris Paul but they have still managed to play superbly without him and that's thanks in part to previous "6th man of the year" Jamal Crawford who may again win it this year!
The Clippers are a deep team and the instant offense that Crawford has been supplying off the bench has been key to the Clippers' success. LA also has a veteran coach in Rivers, who in the past has instilled confidence in his players from the sidelines. Rivers is also very familiar with the Heat from his time in Boston and has shown that he has the formula to beat this team. With revenge on their mind in front of what should be a rowdy crowd, we expect the Clippers to come away with a victory. With LA being just a short favorite, an outright win should translate into a cover. Take the home team tonight.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Miami is 0-6 ATS since all 2011 on the road after Dwayne Wade scored at least 30 points in a win.
  • Miami is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games.
  • LA Clippers are 13-5 ATS revenging a loss vs. opponent this season.
  • LA Clippers are 14-5 ATS after allowing 105 points or more this season.



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