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February 9, 2016 (1:54 PM ET)

There are two selections.

Sports Profit System has won 7 of its last 8 basketball picks and aims to extend that streak tonight!
 

1) Take Miami Heat at +7.5 spread against San Antonio Spurs for 3% of the bankroll.

The Spurs are an elite team but they have been far from flawless on their travels. All 8 losses have come on the road and while they might win this game, we doubt it'll come as easily as the betting public expects. This is an inflated spread and there are great reasons to believe that Miami will be competitive in this contest and at least keep it respectable. We'll explore some of them in the following paragraphs.

The Heat have several intangible edges in this matchup and they'll look to take advantage of them. This is their final game before the All-Star break! Therefore unlike their opponents, Erik Spoelstra's side is solely focused on the task at hand tonight. That's because Miami doesn't play again until February 19th, ten days after this game! They have no reason to rest or hold back any players and will be all-in to secure an important victory at American Airlines Arena. The Heat are currently tied atop the Southeast division but with Atlanta having lost last night, this is their opportunity to create some much needed separation and go into the break with the lead.

These are two of the best defensive teams in the NBA but San Antonio's numbers take a hit with Tim Duncan sidelined. Duncan is not as efficient offensively as he has been in years past but he's no doubt the leader of this Spurs defense and is responsible for making sure everyone knows their exact assignment. His absence has coincided with a dip in their defensive stats and led to ugly losses in two recent road games, when facing Cleveland and Golden State. We don't expect the Heat to have the same type of success but we do believe they are capable of challenging for the outright win and keeping this close. Afterall, they not only have revenge in mind against San Antonio, having lost the last 5 meetings between the two sides but they also want to bounce back from Sunday's loss to LA Clippers which was another nationally-televised game! The Heat don't often lose consecutive home games and tend to play with a chip on their shoulder when coming off a defeat. This is a proud veteran squad that does not take losing lightly and will want to head into the break having given it their all. Their efforts may not get them the outright win but it should see them stay within this generous spread.

Hassan Whiteside has a 'questionable' injury status heading into this game and is considered a 'game-time' decision but we expect him to play tonight. He's taken the court in each of the last 3 games and contributed greatly! With Miami getting 9 days off to rest after this contest, we believe their towering shot-blocker is likely to participate and will figure to be a dominant defensive force, as he often is. All-Star veterans Dwyane Wade and Chris bosh have a chance to take their team into the break as the 4th seed in the competitive Eastern conference and will do everything they can to achieve that. This has the look of a game that could go down the wire and be decided in the final minute or so. If that is the case, the 7.5 points are extremely precious and may come into play. It certainly helps TV ratings when prime time contests are close and not blowouts like the second part of this TNT double-header (Warriors vs. Rockets) might be.

Gregg Popovich has often been known to rest players in what he views as 'meaningless' regular season games and while we don't expect him to do that on this occasion, the possibility is certainly there. That's because unlike the Heat, San Antonio does have another game to think about. The Spurs head to Orlando after this game and have that contest to prepare for and keep in mind as well. Back-to-back situations are precisely when Pop has rested players in the past and with Duncan, Ginobili and Matt Bonner already sidelined due to injuries, his options are even more limited at the moment. Tony Parker and company should play tonight but it wouldn't surprise us if the management had internal targets in regards to minute restrictions for certain players. San Antonio does not care one bit if it wins by 5 points of 15 points! If they could do just enough to win the game as opposed to expend extra energy in blowing out the opposition, they would. Saving energy in the tank for tomorrow's matchup while walking out with a W will be their primary focus tonight and one that benefits those taking Miami plus the points. It's also worth noting that the one situation Spurs have not been historically dominant in is when they play a game after 2 days of rest! San Antonio is just 15-20 against the betting line (ATS) after having played 3 days ago, over the last three seasons. They are laying a basket too much in this contest and therefore the value is with the capable home underdog being spotted too many points.
 

2) Take Purdue at -2 spread against Michigan State for 3% of the bankroll.

The Purdue Boilermakers had themselves a tremendous nonconference this season, but this group hasn’t had quite the same type of success in the Big Ten, which is a testament to how tough this conference has been this season. That being said, they are still a very respectable 7-4 in conference play and it's worth mentioning that three of the team's four defeats have come on the road with their lone home loss on the season coming against the first-place Iowa Hawkeyes.

The Michigan State Spartans are a team that has long been herald as the elite of the Big 10 conference. As a coach, Tom Izzo is well respected around the league and always has a team that is always a threat to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. That being said, the odds- makers nearly always inflate the spread when Michigan State takes the court, simply based on the respect that they receive from the betting public. Michigan State had a strong start to the season, rising all the way up to #1 in the polls, however they have also, at times, shown their ability to struggle as evident by their three game losing streak just a few short weeks ago.

Since that losing streak, Sparty has rattled off 4 consecutive victories with two of those coming against a highly ranked Maryland team as well as their in-state rivals Michigan. Their win over Michigan was impressive, since they came away with the victory on the road; however it is certainly worth mentioning that this is not the same Michigan team as year's past, especially without Caris Levert in the rotation. Purdue is a completely different team, especially at home and one that Michigan State cannot afford to look past. The Boilermakers have won 5 of their last 7 games heading into this matchup, with their two losses coming on the highway. They also have a tremendous home court advantage, having gone 13-1 at home this season. The fact that the odds on this game show the Boilermakers as the favorite, is a clear indication as to how they feel this matchup will play out.  

Purdue is a team that ranks well across the board. They are 66th in the nation in scoring, 9th is assists and 5th in total rebounding. The Boilermakers will have the clear advantage in the post today with their height and experience, something that the Spartans are not used to seeing. Michigan State is usually the team who has the better post play and this was something that the Iowa Hawkeyes were able to exploit (twice). Iowa was dominant on the boards and shot well from three which was key in their success in knocking off Michigan State. If Purdue follows that blueprint, they should have similar success tonight. The Spartans have a tremendous backcourt in guards Valentine and Forbes who are averaging 18.6 and 14.3 points respectively. These are tough players to contain for a full 40 mins, however the Boilermakers do rank 15th in the country in total defense which could prove problematic for the Spartan guards.

Michigan State is the bigger named school but Purdue has all of the necessary tools to knock them off and make a deep run in both the Big 10 and the NCAA tournament! At home they have been an incredibly difficult team to defeat. This is one of the more high profile games the Boilermakers will play this season and a victory in this contest would be a huge resume building win for the program. This will likely be a closely contested game; however the Boilermakers should do enough at the end in order to secure a big victory and cover the spread in the process.




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