April 1, 2015 (Posted at 5:00 PM ET)
There are 2 picks tonight.
A series of heartbreaking losses meant the month of March didn't go as planned but it did finish on a high note with 3 consecutive winners setting our annual profit right below the 15 unit mark. The first quarter of 2015 has come and gone and despite the inevitable ups and downs, we're on pace to not only match but surpass our impressive profit of the previous 3 years!
The next 9 months will provide many winning streaks and those that are in it for the long run will profit from each and every one! Wagering on sports has its highs and lows but those that put their long-term faith in us have always been rewarded for it. After all, there's a reason very few other handicapping services are 100% publicly transparent with results. That's because they are deep in the hole with no actual profit to show but don't want their lack of expertise to be on display and affect sales!
At the beginning of the year, we set ourselves the goal of reaching 60 units of profit and remain confident of accomplishing that goal! Having weathered the storm, we envision a lucrative period ahead.
#1: Take OKC Thunder at -2 spread against Dallas Mavericks risking 3% of bankroll.
The Dallas Mavericks are not playing good basketball at the moment as they come in having won just 1 of their last 5 games, which includes a 5 point loss at Indiana and a blowout in San Antonio! The Mavericks have been trending downward for quite some time now and are a squad that seemingly cannot get out of its own way. Head coach Rick Carlisle has made some pretty questionable decisions recently and has been experimenting with his lineup over the past few games. In such a closely contested Western Conference with teams jockeying for playoff position experiments would be the last thing a post-season hopeful should do at the moment.
Most recently Carlisle placed veteran Richard Jefferson in the starting five as part of a two small forward alignment with Chandler Parsons. Carlisle played Amare Stoudemire nearly 20 minutes off the bench to protect starting center Tyson Chandler, who is still experiencing back issues. With players being put on the court in varying alignments, it is hard for them to find momentum and consistency. In 16 minutes on the floor, Jefferson went 2 of 6 from the field, scoring only four points. Stoudemire meanwhile was solid, hitting 5 of his 12 shots for 11 points. Yet, since he played fewer minutes, his impact was not as great as it otherwise could have been. Three other Dallas reserves played at least 12 minutes, but could not hit more than one field goal. This expensively assembled roster has definite chemistry issues and often plays as a group of individuals rather than a team!
Oklahoma City has had their ups and downs this season and has been through it all. They struggled at the start of the season but have surged back to take a 2.5 game lead over the Pelicans for the 8th and final playoff spot. A big part of their success this season has been due to the play of Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is having an MVP caliber season and is the catalyst for this offense. He is incredibly hard to defend and is putting up triple doubles on a nearly nightly basis! Given his form, we don't believe there is a player on the Mavericks roster that has the ability to contain him. The Mavs managed to pick up a victory over the Thunder two weeks ago out in Big D which will greatly motivate Westbrook and company to avenge that loss. The last time these two teams played in Oklahoma City, the Thunder managed to win in blowout fashion, coming away with a 104-89 victory and we believe they can even up the series 2-2 tonight.
The Chesapeake Arena is a place where the Thunder have been extremely dominant in recent years. Given how unlucky they've been with injuries all season, it says a lot about their characters that they sport an impressive 27-9 home record! They made some key moves before the trade deadline to pick up players like Enes Kanter who has made an immediate impact down low. The young Turk had been a double double machine and a great compliment to Steven Adams. Even without Kevin Durant in the lineup the Thunder have proven to be a formidable opponent and given the way the Mavericks have looked recently, we believe they will be eager to get revenge. They added to their depth with the acquisitions of Singler and DJ Augustin while the Mavs kept adding one big name after another to a squad that now has too much ego to properly share the ball or defend as a coheisve unit.
This is a tough game for Dallas and their schedule doesn't get any easier after this as they host the Houston Rockets tomorrow night and then square off against the Warriors on Saturday! This is a tough stretch of games for the Mavs and one that will tell a lot about them. At the moment, Dallas is only 3 games ahead of the Thunder for the 7th seed and if the Thunder manage to pick up the win tonight, it puts real pressures on them for the final stretch of the season! Oklahoma City will harbour hopes of sitting in the 7th seed if they can win tonight and need to do so to keep New Orleans at an arm's length anyway. The Thunder realize that they are currently clinging onto the final playoff spot and with the Pelicans playing the lowly Los Angeles Lakers tonight, a team they have already beaten 3 times, Scott Brooks will remind his team that there is no room for error. Home games such as this are exactly the type that playoff teams need to win. With this spread being as short as it is, our interests are aligned with coach Brooks and his players. This is a small number to lay with a quality home side like the Thunder since a victory should bring us the cover
Other notable facts to consider:
- Mavs are just 6-14 ATS as an underdog this season.
- Mavs have covered only once in 10 road games in the second half of the season!
- Oklahoma City is 36-19 ATS in home games revenging a loss vs opponent over the last 3 seasons.
- Mavs are 0-11 ATS since May 2014 as a road underdog after scoring less than 15% of their points from the foul line!
#2: Take NY Knicks at +10 spread against Brooklyn Nets risking 3% of bankroll.
Crosstown rivals square off when the Brooklyn Nets take on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden! This has been a season to forget for the Knicks. Things did not go according to plan with Carmelo Anthony returning to the team as well as the legendary Phil Jackson coming on board to lift this historic franchise back to prominence. They had high hopes entering the season but could not establish any sort of rhythm. Phil Jackson even wrote a letter to season tickets holders yesterday pleading with them to not give up on their team just yet and to stick with them through this rough transitional period. If there is one game left this season that would mean anything to the Knicks, it would be this one! That's because while they can go back to losing games after this, Jackson and management will want to give the fans something to cheer about, a glimmer of hope for the future in a local rivalry game tonight! The Knicks may well be tanking but they have the worst record in the league all but secured and a good performance here will aid business in creating hope and hype for future ticket sales.
New York has already lost 3 games to rivals Nets this season; if they lose again tonight, it would be a humilaiting 4-game sweep! If anything can be salvaged from this season, it is a sense of pride. The players will play with a chip on their shoulders and have a lot to prove. Even if the Knicks don't have enough quality to come away with the outright victory, we believe their efforts will be high enough to keep this game within single digits. The Nets still have hopes of making the playoffs but they have been a very inconsistent team this season and may end up winning but not cover. This is a squad that can show up and give a team like the Cavaliers all they can handle one night only to turn around and struggle against the likes of the Philadelphia 76ers! Their inconsistencies make them an unpredictable bunch and a gamble when laying points with. They are are not a team that can be trusted to win by double digits even when rested and on their home court, never mind on the road and on the second night of back-to-back games!
For much of the second part of the season the Knicks have been a team that the betting public has stayed away from, ourselves included and for good reasons. It's incredibly difficult to back a club that has essentially given up on the season. That being said, successfuly betting on sports is all about finding the right situations and matchups and this is one of them. There have been instances when the Knicks have covered the spread and that has usually been when facing a rival and being underestimated as they recently did against the Celtics. This is a game that means something to these players and the entire organization in front of their passionate home crowd which has had very little to cheer about this season! The Nets are also one of the biggest public bets on the day which goes to show just how many people are blindly betting against the Knicks regardless of the number. Lionel Hollins' roster is an older one and with this game being the second of a back to back schedule in a hostile environment, Brooklyn is laying too many points. This will be the largest spread that they have been asked to cover on the road all season! It's worth recalling that the last two meetings between these NY rivals have been decided by an average of just 4.5 points and we believe this one will be a fairly close contest as well.
Other notable facts to consider:
- Nets are 1-5 ATS after playing 3 consecutive home games!
- Knicks are 2-0 ATS as a home underdog of 9.5 to 12 points.
- Nets are just 5-10 ATS coming off an upset win as an underdog.
- Brooklyn must be tired after battling Indiana for 4 full quarters last night.
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