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AprilĀ 4, 2017

College basketball may not have had the finish that we would have liked but was a success overall thanks to a respectable 73-61 seasonal record. With college sports in the rearview, the attention is now entirely on NBA and MLB going forward.

The baseball season officially began this past Sunday and here at SPS, we could not be more excited! Having said that, it is often best to proceed with caution in the early stages as there are currently lots of moving parts for each and every club. The NBA regular season has a little over a week left and is therefore our primary focus for the time being.

 

Take Brooklyn Nets -2 spread against Philadelphia 76ers for 3% of the bankroll.

Brooklyn has been the worst team in the association this year and their woeful 18-59 record proves it! No one will debate that, and yet, if that's the case, you'd have to wonder why a team that is rarely even installed as a home favorite, is suddenly laying two points on the road tonight! It's certainly a strange line and one that requires further examination. Upon further research, it becomes evident that there are good reasons behind this weird point-spread. The oddsmakers opened the home side as very marginal favorites before sharp money moved the Nets from underdogs to slight favorites. We'll side with them as we believe the visitors will surprise Philly tonight.

These two teams are both of the running for playoff positions and have already been eliminated. However, there's a subtle caveat that must be addressed. Brooklyn are already going to have the worst record in the NBA this season and hence don't need to 'tank', especially since they don't even own all their upcoming draft picks. The 76ers, on the other hand, could increase their likelihood of a high draft pick by losing a few games down the stretch, as they currently have a very similar record to teams like Orlando Magic and the NY Knicks! This is an organization that has already shown its willingness to lose in the short run in hopes of a better future with consistent references to 'Trust the Process' which in time became a slogan of sorts for them as well as a nickname for their budding but injured star, Joel Embiid. Brett Brown's squad has fought admirably this year, unlike previous ones, but at this stage of the season, they have more to lose than to gain from victories when considering draft probabilities and lottery picks.

Kenny Atkinson is in his first year as an NBA coach and is no doubt keen to end what has been a miserable season on a high note. His team is starting to play better basketball now that everyone is healthy and gelled well and they've won two games in a row, something they've rarely done this year. We believe they'll make it 3 straight W's, this time against a divisional opponent that has had their number in recent times. Professional players have a lot of pride and don't like to be dominated by another group, so don't make the mistkae of thinking bad teams like Brooklyn don't circle games like this on their calendars. The 76ers have already beaten the Nets 3 times this season and that does not bode well with Brook Lopez and company. For them to have been defeated three straight times by a team in the same division is embarrassing and means they'll be out for revenge tonight. 

This should be a closely-contested game but Brooklyn has the much healthier squad right now and should find a way to win it. Philadelphia has as many as 6 players out injured and is hardly at their best. They're currently evaluating some of the younger fringe players in their squad with one eye on the future and not necessarily winning games right now. Dario Saric, who's been their best player this season after Embiid was shutdown, is also hurting and although he will play, will have his minutes restricted to 24 minutes! The message from the organization is clear. This is a time to evaluate inexperienced players such as Shawn Long and with Brooklyn wanting to avenge those 3 previous losses, we believe Jeremy Lin and company will do enough to seal the victory and cover the short spread in the process.




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