April 6, 2015
As handicappers, our job is to wager on games that have the most betting value. Not ones that are necessarily the most 'exciting' or high profile since many of those have the sharpest lines. Tonight is a prime example of that since the best value comes in the overlooked NBA matchup rather than the national title game which is likely a coin flip and could go either way. We'll watch that game as fans and thoroughly enjoy it but won't have our money riding either side.
Our seasonal NBA record sits at 59-38-1 which is north of 60% winners!
In other news, Major League Baseball has officially kicked off and we are continuing to monitor teams, trades and injuries (much like Spring Training) and will be doing further scouting over the next 10 days to see how teams gel with new personnel. We are excited and fully expect to have a great season like in other professional sports! (NFL and NBA)
Take Brooklyn Nets at -6 spread against Portland Blazers risking 3% of bankroll.
The Nets are surging towards the playoffs having won 6 in a row but hit a stumbling block when they faced the Number 1 team in the East, the Atlanta Hawks! Despite their recent quality outings, they were outclassed in that game which puts them in a bounce back spot tonight. That defeat won't sit well with a squad that had regained its confidence and pride over the last couple of weeks. The Nets had caught fire at the right time and now coming off a loss, we expect them to be motivated and catch the shorthanded Blazers in an unfortunate situation.
Portand is missing 5 consistent contributors, including scoring & rebounding leader, LaMarcus Aldridge, tonight! Other than their star player, they're also without Nicolas Batum, Chris Kaman, Dorell Wright and of course Wes Matthews which severely impacts them in terms of both starting lineup quality and backup depth. The Trail Blazers are currently so thin on talent that guys like Allen Crabbe and Joel Freeland will be starting! Neither usually get many minutes even off the bench as they are way down the pecking order and yet tonight they are thrusted into the starting lineup and have to not only put points on the board but guard the likes of Thaddeus Young and Joe Johnson!
We believe this spread also says quite a bit about how Vegas expect this game to play out. For a 35-41 Eastern Conference team to be not only favored, but a 6-point favorite over a 50-26 side from the Western Conference speaks volumes! The Blazers have been mediocre on the road all season however even with their full starting lineup, going just 19-18! Now without half of their rotation and the Northwest division already clinched; we believe they will struggle tonight. The Nets have won 10 of their last 13 games, with 2 of those losses being to the #1 and #2 team in the East. Those losses can be forgiven especially since they have won 4 in a row at Barclays Center and will have the support of their fans.
Brooks Lopez has been a big reason behind the Nets' recent surge and will be going up against his brother Robin Lopez tonight! He has led the team in points and rebounds almost on a nightly basis and has been a force down low in the post. PG Deron Williams has also elevated his play and has done so by getting his teammates more involved in the offense but also taking the open shot when the opportunity is there. He's more confident now than he has been all season and looks like the old D-Will that was an All-Star! He has been averaging double digit assists over the last month and his ability to distribute the ball has opened up opportunities for veterans like Joe Johnson. Johnson had struggled for much of the season but has seemingly found his groove again.
The bottom of the Eastern conference playoff contention has 5 teams fighting for the final two spots in the post-season! Brooklyn currently holds the number 7 seed but needs to continue to pile up wins in order to secure its ticket. With the Blazers being less than 100%, this is exactly the type of game that the Nets need to win. They also have revenge in mind for an early season loss in Oregon and will want to atone for that performance. Terry Stotts has shown his level of interest for this game by deciding to rest Aldridge, Batum and Kaman! The Nets will be the more enthusiatic side in this one and after a tough loss to the Hawks, we believe they will bounce back and get a convincing win tonight. Barring a late and meaningless backdoor cover, the Nets should cover this number at a venue where they've rediscovered their confidence.
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