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February 23rd 2015 (Posted at 5:00 PM ET)

The last time Sports Profit System dropped 5 picks in a row was 13 months ago back in January 2014! 

It isn't something that we're proud of but we will announce it to the world because real handicappers are 100% honest and transparent with results. Long-term clients will recall that over the same period, we've had numerous lucrative runs including three separate 9-game winning streaks! Losses are never pleasant but our strong track record proves that they are rare and that following SPS picks is very much a winning proposition in the long run.

It's also worth remembering that no one suffers more than we do when on a cold streak for two reasons: 1) We wager huge amounts of money on each pick and therefore win and lose with our customers! 2) All results, whether good or bad, are displayed to the public on our nightly updated OUR PERFORMANCE page despite the fact that our honesty greatly reduces sales during poor streaks. 

Sports Profit System is now 39-26 in NBA after LaMarcus Aldridge unexpectedly sat out and the Blazers blew a double-digit lead in the 4th quarter. Some will consider jumping off but that would be a BIG mistake and one that will be regretted! That's because there is in fact no better time to stay on board with the most credible handicapping service than after an unusual stretch. 

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There are two picks today.
 

#1: Take San Antonio Spurs at -5.5 spread against Utah Jazz risking 3% 

The San Antonio Spurs will travel to Energy Solutions Arena to take on the Utah Jazz. The Spurs have struggled since coming out of the All-Star break having dropped their first two games. Losing streaks are not something that we are used to seeing from the champions and there is no doubt they will be determined to turn around their fortunes and get back on the winning track. Playing against a young squad like the Jazz gives them the perfect opportunity to do so. 

While the Spurs come into this game having lost 2 straight; those defeats can only be described as respectable ones. They dropped consecutive games to the LA Clippers and Golden State Warriors, two of the top teams in the Western Conference on back-to-back nights. Having had a few days of rest to sit back and reflect on those losses, they will find themselves in a desperate situation tonight going up against the team that currently occupies one of the bottom spots in the conference. 

The Utah Jazz are coming off what can only be described as an upset of the Portland Trail Blazers. In that game, the Jazz didn't do anything extraordinarily well, it was more about the second half metdown of the Blazers. Utah went 10 for 25 from 3 point range, had 11 steals and only had 8 turnovers, which were all much better than their seasonal averages! Despite those abnormal numbers, the Jazz still only managed to score 92 total points in that victory. Let's not forget that Utah only scored 39 points in the first half before Portland came out completely complacent in the second. A performance like that will likely not be enough against what will be a hungry and experienced Spurs team tonight. The Jazz have been poor at defending the 3-point line and that is bad news against the likes of Danny Green, Manu Ginobili, Boris Diaw, Patty Mills and Marco Belinelli who are all proficient from beyond the arc!

The last time these two clubs met in Salt Lake City, it was the Jazz who came away with the victory in a game that we had backed them. Popovich and his Spurs surely remember that and will not come into this game overlooking their opponents. In the most recent meeting, San Antonio held Utah to their lowest offensive output of the season as the Jazz were only able to muster a total of 69 points! The last three times the Spurs have visited Salt Lake City, the spread was an average of -8.6, so to see them laying only 5.5 points tonight shows quite a bit of value, especially given that they will likely view this as a must-win game after two straight defeats! They are not only in bounce back mode but this is also the 3rd and final meeting between these two franchises this season and we just can’t see the Spurs drop a series to the lowly Jazz. Gregg Popovich recently secured his 1000th victory as an NBA coach and will not tolerate another lackluster performance from his side.

San Antonio has won at least 50 games every year since the 1999-2000 season which is the longest streak in NBA history! That's obviously in jeopardy of ending if the losses continue to pile up. As it stands, the Spurs are just the No. 7 seed in the West but only three games out of the 3rd spot. There is very little separation for the teams in the Western Conference and every game matters moving forward. This is the type of contest against the type of opponent that San Antonio cannot afford to drop. The 3 pointer was key in the Jazz victory over the Blazers, however the Spurs gave up 17 made three pointers to the Golden State Warriors their last time out, which was the most ever under Gregg Popovich! There is no doubt that they will be guarding the perimeter better tonight and should come out with a chip on their shoulders. The level of talent between these two squads is immeasurable. The Spurs are the much better overall team and will be eager to taste their first victory since the All-Star break!

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Spurs are 8-2 against the Jazz in their last 10 meetings! 
  • Jazz are 1-7 ATS in their past eight playing on two days of rest.
  • Spurs are 4-0 ATS in their last four games versus Northwest opponents.  
  • Jazz are an abysmal 0-7 ATS after a division game this season!
     

#2: Take Brooklyn Nets at -2 spread against Denver Nuggets risking 3% 

The Nets and the Nuggets share similar win-loss records and yet the former finds itself in the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern conference while the latter is completely out of contention in the loaded West! Head coach Lionel Hollins has his side right in the thick of a playoff race but has 3 clubs breathing down their necks sitting only a half game behind! The Nets therefore have no room for error and absolutely need to win games such as this if they want to take part in the post-season.

Brooklyn traded away veteran Kevin Garnett who is averaging career lows for Thaddeus Young who will provide an offensive boost. They also managed to keep hold of former All-Star Brook Lopez whom the Thunder and a handful of other franchises were interested in acquiring. The emergence of Mason Plumlee had limited the minutes of Garnett and we believe his departure will change the mood and atmosphere in the dressing room. The Nets have a capable roster and one that somewhat underachieved in the first half of the season after Jason Kidd left them in the off-season for the Bucks. It has taken some time but coach Hollins has finally instilled his strategies on this talented squad and they are starting to play with more efficiency and urgency! 

It has been a season to forget for the rebuilding Denver Nuggets! Their failure to play defense has cost them in every game and even their offense has gone cold and shot under 36% from the field in both games since returning from the All-Star break. It is a worrying sign for a squad that seems to have very much thrown in the towel and just doesn't seem motivated anymore. Brian Shaw is the least impressive NBA coach in our opinion and very lucky to still be in charge! We believe it is only a matter of time before this franchise starts anew with a different leader. The Nuggets once enjoyed great home court advantage under George Karl but now have dropped 6 straight at Pepsi Center! The body language of the vast majority of the players with the exception of Kenneth Faried tells the story of a disinterested group that can't wait for the season to be over.

The Nuggets were blown out in Oklahoma City yesterday and now have a short turnaround before their first game back at home which is always a tricky endeavour. It's worth recalling that Denver is 0-4 ATS (against-the-spread) at home this season when they have played the day before and a miserable 3-13 after a double-digit loss! This is a team that lacks character and leadership and doesn't bounce back as determined clubs do. The Nets on the other hand come into this contest very motivated to create some separation between themselves and the chasing pack! Two games separate 6 teams in the East for the two final playoff spots where Brooklyn currently has a marginal lead over 4 but needs to keep winning to retain it.

The team from Colorado is in freefall having lost 15 of its last 17 games and some of the players don't seem to mind the fact that their coach's job is in jeopardy. Ty Lawson showed up late for the first scheduled shootaround after the All-Star break and scratched from the starting lineup for the game against Milwaukee. He returned to action and played well against OKC but there seems to be a general lack of discipline in this squad which is another sign of mismanagement. The Nets are a more cohesive unit and have a lot to play for! We believe they are not only the more fundamentally sound team but one that is more interested in this game. Look for them to win and cover the short spread in the process.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Nuggets are just 6-14 ATS against teams with losing records! 
  • Brooklyn is 17-6 when facing teams with losing records.
  • Nuggets are winless against Atlantic Division opponents this season!
  • Joe Johnson has averaged 23.8 points in his last 5 games against the Nuggets.



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