March 31, 2016 (4:45 PM ET)
There is one NBA pick tonight.
In addition, an above average 4% pick has been released two days in advance for a Final Four matchup on Saturday!
A month ago, back on the final day of February, a detailed statement advised clients not to jump off as that would not be in THEIR best interest. Many listened and reaped the rewards through an incredibly profitable month, which is just the beginning for loyal SPS clientele! Others made the irrational and impulsive decision to look elsewhere despite 4 years of verified excellence and unparalleled expertise. Sports-betting is a long-term investment and when an unusual number of close losses occur, we're not immune to the odd losing month. Those that understand there are ups and downs, focus on the 'Big Picture' and profit year after year! There were 9 winning months and 3 losing ones last year, culminating in a very lucrative 2015 and that is what lies ahead this year as well.
Take Portland Blazers -3 spread (buy half a point) against Boston Celtics for 3% of the bankroll.
These two teams met earlier this month in Boston as the Celtics cruised to a 24-point blowout! Despite that ugly defeat and the fact that the Trail Blazers own an inferior record, they have been installed as 3-point favorites tonight. That may raise some eyebrows but we believe it is warranted. Portland's loss in Boston came at a time when they were on an extended East coast trip and feeling quite tired. They had participated in a number of tough battles going into that matchup and had heavy legs. The schedule-makers had not helped their cause as that game was on the second night night of a back-to-back with travel involved. On top of that, the Blazers had another daunting task ahead of them as they were facing the 2nd best team in the Eastern conference (Toronto Raptors) next. They fell behind and decided to save their energy for the following game. A decision that generally worked out for them in the long run but led to a lopsided result on that particular night. That defeat also came at a time when the Celtics were absolutely unstoppable and were in the middle of a historic home winning streak! These two teams are both quality but also quite evenly matched up. The final score of that prior meeting is not a true indicator of their level and we believe the Blazers will want to put it in perspective. They'll be motivated by revenge tonight and will not want to be swept.
Portland has great home-court advantage as evident by the fact that they have won twice as many (24) games at Moda center as they have lost (12)! Teams find it tough to walk out with a 'W' and we believe the Celtics will be no different. Especially since Boston plays the defending champions, Golden State at the Oracle Arena tomorrow and will no doubt be looking forward to that nationally televised ESPN matchup, and a chance to give the Warriors their first home loss! With a game to think about and plan ahead for tomorrow, the C's may not be fully focused on the task at hand and/or may end up limiting the minutes of key players to keep them fresh for Friday night. The Blazers meanwhile have nothing to look ahead to or save energy for. They'll be solely concentrated on avenging that prior defeat and taking care of business at home.
Small-forward Jae Crowder will likely be back in action for the C's tonight. He's an important part of this team but having missed the last 8 games due to an injury, he'll undoubtedly be rusty! While his return is good news for the postseason aspirations of this team, he's unlikely to immediately help out in his first game back after a lengthy layoff. It often takes player a few games to get into game-shape and find their rhythm, and it wouldn't surprise us if his presence on the court was more of a negative than a positive for Brad Stevens tonight. The Blazers have won 5 straight home games are 16-3 there since January 10th, a record that is the 3rd best in the conference behind Golden State and San Antonio!
Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum were outplayed by Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley in the last meeting between these two clubs and no doubt remember that. The talend back-court duo are both highly competitive and will want to prove a point. They won't be alone as the entire Portland squad realizes that they are far from safe and have not yet clinched a playoff berth. The Blazers currently sit 6th in the Western conference but are only two games above the 9th placed team and still have much work left to do. On the other hand, another motivating factor will come in the form of Memphis' slump. The Grizzlies have dropped 4 in a row and are now within reach. Portland is only 2 games behind in the standings and could catch them. Look for Terry Stotts' team to even the score in the season series and inch closer to a post-season berth as they've set their sights on the 5th seed!
Other notable facts to consider:
- Portland is 9-3 ATS after two days of rest!
- Celtics have a losing road record.
- Portland is 7-2 ATS as a home favorite of 3 to 6 points!
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