Road Favorites Highlight My NBA Games for Tonight

Can John Wall and the Wizards turn things around tonight against the Pistons?

Detroit (+3.5) at Washington – Both the Pistons and Wizards have chosen poor times to hit losing streaks. Washington has dropped six straight games and eight of their last ten while Detroit has gone just 5-5 over their last ten and has dropped two in a row.

While the Eastern Conference is the weaker of the two conferences, the playoff race is unbeatable. Right now Detroit is in the 12th spot but amazingly, they are just one game out of the eight and final playoff spot. The Wizards are currently in the fifth spot and despite their poor play shouldn’t fall any further than sixth but stranger things have happened.

Trends: Detroit is 1-5 straight up in their last six games on the road… Washington is 0-5 SU in their last five games… The Pistons are 7-3 SU in their last ten games on the road at Washington… The Wizards are 2-8 against the spread in their last ten games versus Detroit.

The Pick: It’s hard not to like the Pistons tonight getting the points as well.

Toronto (-12) at New York – The Knicks have dropped eight of their last 10 games and as you know are now without Carmelo Anthony for the remainder of the season. I’m glad he was able to get so many minutes in the All-Star Game before shutting it down. Did you sense the sarcasm there?

Toronto is feeling heat right now from both the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers. They have a one half game lead over the Bulls and a one game lead over the Cavs as the teams battle for the second spot in the East. The tight predicament is due to the Raptors four-game losing streak.

Trends: Toronto is 1-4 straight up in their last five games… New York is 1-4-1 against the spread in their last six games… The Raptors are 4-8-1 ATS in their last 13 games on the road… The Knicks are 1-8 SU in their last nine games.

The Pick: This is a good place for the Raptors to get back on track but I like the Knicks getting all those points.

Jeff Teague and the Hawks head to Miami to play the Heat tonight.

Atlanta (-5) at Miami – Lost in all of the discussion about Cleveland’s big win over Golden State is the fact that the Hawks continue to lead the Eastern Conference. They’ve won six of their last ten but they’ve won three straight as they head to South Beach.

The Heat are trying to survive without Chris Bosh as they currently reside in the seventh spot in the East. The problem is that there are five teams within two and a half games of them.

Trends: Atlanta is 21-4 straight up in their last 25 games… Miami is 1-4-1 against the spread in their last six games… The Hawks are 1-5 SU in their last six games on the road in Miami… The Heat are 7-15 SU in their last 22 games at home.

The Pick: I love the Hawks to cover tonight.

Memphis (-5) at Minnesota – Despite winning six of their last ten, the Grizzlies have dropped two in a row and continue to hold down the second seed in the Western Conference. The T-Wolves may have gotten Kevin Garnett back but they have the worst record in the West and Memphis comes in having played well in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Trends: Memphis is 2-4 against the spread in their last six games… Minnesota is 8-17 straight up in their last 25 games… The Grizzlies are 6-2 SU in their last eight games on the road in Minnesota… The T-Wolves are 3-14 SU in their last 17 games versus the the Grizzlies.

The Pick: I like Memphis to cover this evening.

Golden State vs. Cleveland Could be Preview to NBA Finals

Most sportsbooks are calling the matchup on Thursday night in the NBA between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, the most likely matchup for the NBA Finals this season

Most of the shops following the Derrick Rose injury this week, now consider Cleveland an even heavier favorite to win the Eastern Conference.

According to Bovada and, the Cavaliers are currently -180 to make the NBA Finals and Chicago had been dropped to +1500. Out West, Golden State is +220 to take that conference title.

A Finals pairing between the Cavaliers and Warriors is currently paying +250. The pairings next highest include Cleveland/Oklahoma City at +650, Cleveland/Memphis at +800 and Atlanta/Golden State at +1000.

That makes the game on Thursday in Cleveland even that more of a big deal.

If bookmakers are correct in this matchup between Cleveland and Golden State does end up being a preview to the championship, this game would be the only reference point for the matchup.

The first head-to-head game between the two teams cannot be used as a comparison since star forward LeBron James did not play for Cleveland.

Golden State was victorious in that game 112-94. Golden State enjoyed an edge of 36-3 in points on the fast break and recorded 35 assists on 43 field goals.

The loss at the time was Cleveland’s fourth straight and the Cavs would eventually lose six straight. However, since James returned from two weeks on the sideline Cleveland is 17-2.

Nevertheless, Golden State is 21-5 over its past 26 games overall and has won 16 of 19 games against Eastern Conference opponents.

One the MVP front, Stephen Curry remains at -300, the overwhelming favorite. James is third at +500, with Houston’s James Harden sitting second at +350 and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook in fourth at +1000.

With the consistency Curry has played with all season and the way his team had taken the West by storm and leading the NBA with the best record overall, it will be hard to un-seed him from the top.

Curry scored 51 points on February 4 and is averaging 28 points per game during the month. He scored 32 on Tuesday night after sitting out a game over the weekend with a sore ankle.

Kyrie Irving is a great defender for Cleveland, but Curry was not fazed the first time they met this season as he scored 23 points, had 10 assists and just one turnover.

New NBA Championship Futures See Thunder Rise and Heat and Suns Fall

Odds makers have released the latest futures for the NBA Championship. The Oklahoma City Thunder are playing so well the team has moved into third on the odds board, while teams such as the Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns are rapidly going in the other direction.

Only a week ago, the Thunder was sitting in seventh place on the odds board, but has seen their odds shortened to 60 to 1, which is down from last week’s 12 to 1.

The odds makers are showing a great deal of respect to the Thunder, despite the team holding down only the eighth and final postseason spot in the NBA Western Conference. However, the Thunder has won 7 straight games including wins over the Grizzlies, Mavericks and Clippers last week and picked up three players on the trade deadline to add to their roster.

The futures odds shortened for the Thunder even despite the lingering concerns over the health of Kevin Durant who had what was described as a minor procedure to ease some discomfort on his right foot. The soreness has come from surgery Durant had on his foot in October. It is thought Durant will return prior to the end of the regular season.

Amongst the teams in a free fall of sorts this week on the boards is the Heat. After receiving Goran Dragic in a trade last week, the starting five for Miami looked strong. However, the next day, Chris Bosh was lost for the season with blood clots. Without the best player on the Heat, their odds of winning the NBA title fell to 300 to 1 from last week’s 100 to 1. The Phoenix Suns have lost five straight games and 8 of their past 10 to fall out of the eighth spot in the West and into 10th. The Suns also dropped to 300 to 1 from 100 to 1 last week.


2015 NBA All-Star Game Today From the Big Apple

The NBA All-Star game will be played today in the Big Apple at Madison Square Garden. The 64th annual All-Star game will have the West looking to avenge last year’s 8-point loss.

This game is all entertainment. While players are clearly competitive and want to be victorious, there are some that go well above and beyond for these types of games.

Last season, it was the Eastern Conference team led by LeBron James that ended a losing streak of three years with a 163-155 win.

Kyrie Irving, James’ current teammate, won the MVP award, after shooting 14 for 17 for 31 points and adding 14 assists.

This season five players voted to the team have played in 10 or more All-Star games but two Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade are sidelined with injuries. The other three Tim Duncan is playing his 15th, LeBron James his 11th and Chris Bosh his 10th.

Besides Bryant and Wade, Blake Griffin misses the game due to an injury and was replaced by Portland’s Damian Lillard. Kyle Korver and DeMarcus Cousins replaced Bryant and Wade. This will be the first All-Star appearance for both Korver and Cousins. Anthony Davis is injured and was replaced by Dirk Nowitzki who will be playing the All-Star game for the 13th time.

Stephen Curry who received more than 1 million votes for the Western Conference team has led his Golden State Warriors to the top spot in the conference.

According to Bovada and betonline this year’s favorites for the MVP in the All-Star game are:

Stephen Curry 13 to 4

LeBron James 7 to 2

Kevin Durant 7 to 2

James Harden 11 to 2

Carmelo Anthony 6 to 1

According to topbet and the favorites for high scorer are:

Stephen Curry 3 to 1
Kevin Durant 3 to 1
LeBron James 3 to 1
James Harden 6 to 1
Carmelo Anthony 7 to 1

The current line has the West favored by 2 points over the east. NBA fans and bettors know the West is far deeper in talent at the individual and team level. However, it is difficult for that to play out in this type of game since the talents levels are so close when only the top 15 from each conference play.

Pick: West 145-138

All-Star Weekend Three-Point Shooting Competition Odds

NBA All Star weekend continues on Saturday with the three-point contest. Kyle Korver of the Atlanta Hawks is the favorite to win.

This is one of the biggest and most intense competitions during the NBA All Star weekend. The Foot Locker Three Point competition will pit eight of the best 3-point shooters in the NBA against one another.

Odds for this competition were posted on Bovada and topbet with Kyle Korver the favorite at 13 to 5 followed closely by Golden State’s Stephen Curry who is at 14 to 5.

Korver is the only NBA player who is currently shooting over 50% from downtown. He is hitting an incredible 52.3% of his attempts from three-point territory.

Korver is tied with both Curry and Wes Mathews of the Portland Trail Blazers with 161 shots made this season from beyond the 3-point arc. Both Curry and Mathews are hitting 39% of their shots from behind the line. Mathews is seventh in betting in this competition at 9 to 1.

According to betonline and, this is the fourth time Curry will be competing in the 3-point contest but he is still looking for his first victory. Klay Thompson, Curry’s sharpshooting teammate with Golden State who is hitting 44% from long range, has 151 made 3-point shots this season and is at 7 to 2 to win the competition Saturday.

San Antonio’s Marco Belinelli last season’s champion has connected on 38% of his 3-pointers this season and is sitting at 8 to 1 to win. Kyrie Irving the winner in 2013 as a rookie sensation is 7 to 1 to win. This season he has hit 41% of his shots from three-point land.

The Slam Dunk contest, which has lost almost all public interest, does not have odds because of it being an event that is voted upon. The contest does not have any real marquee players competing and that has made the 3-point contest that much more popular this season.

With the way Korver is shooting this season from long range, he will be tough to beat, but Curry is known to come up big under pressure.

Odds for Three-Point Contest

Kyle Korver (Atlanta) 13 to 5
Stephen Curry (Golden State) 14 to 5
Klay Thompson (Golden State) 7 to 2
J.J. Redick (Los Angeles Clippers) 6 to 1
Kyrie Irving (Cleveland) 7 to 1
Marco Belinelli (San Antonio) 8 to 1
Wesley Matthews (Portland) 9 to 1
James Harden (Houston) 9 to 1

NBA Spotlight on Bulls, Cavs Heading into the All-Star Break

LeBron Rose
LeBron Rose
LeBron James and Derrick Rose hook up in Chicago tonight.

The National Basketball Association is a one-man show this evening as all of the focus is on the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers. It also happens to be the last game of the “first half” of the season. Friday evening brings a number of events as does Saturday before it all culminates on Sunday in the annual All-Star Game between the Eastern and Western Conferences.

The first portion of the season has brought numerous storylines to the forefront of the league. From Atlanta’s rise in the East to the rise of Golden State and Memphis in the West.

Today I’m looking at the Bulls and Cavs as the two Central Division rivals hook up with momentum for the second half on the line.

Cleveland (-1) at Chicago (O/U 201.5) – The Cavaliers have been as streaky as any team in the National Basketball Association this season and they’re now in the midst of an upswing but that doesn’t mean there aren’t issues. As I wrote in the blog yesterday, LeBron James tweeting an anonymous, motivational message to teammate Kevin Love was not the way I or many others would have done things but if it works then OK.

Kevin Love responded to LeBron's tweet but will he keep it going?

At 33-20, the Bulls have a solid record and lead the Cavaliers by just a game right now in the Eastern Conference. Chicago is tied with Washington for the third seed but holds the tie-breaker while Cleveland sits in fifth. The fact of the matter is, and this goes for both the Cavs and Bulls, is that they are light years behind conference leader Atlanta who has a lead of 11 and 10 games respectively.

Although the All-Star Game is this weekend, the season is well past the halfway point. What this means for the Cavs and Bulls is that any designs on getting the one seed in the East are futile barring an epic collapse by the Hawks and I don’t see it happening.

If you didn’t think the Bulls and Cavaliers were close enough in just about every way then consider this; they both average exactly 102.0 points per game and defensively Cleveland gives up 99.2 points per game while Chicago gives up 99.1. So far this season, the Cavaliers own a 2-0 record against the Bulls.

Cleveland won the first match-up with Chicago in the Windy City in overtime and then defeated the Bulls in Cleveland by 14.

The Pick: If Kevin Love continues to play inspired and LeBron keeps on being LeBron then the Cavs are going to be difficult on anyone they play. While the Bulls have the advantage of being at home this evening, they also played Miami last evening while Cleveland had an off night. Keep in ind too that the Bulls have better on the road than at home. Take the Cavs to cover and take the UNDER tonight as well.

Trends: Cleveland has won nine of their last ten games (written before conclusion of last night’s game)… Chicago has won three straight games and six of their last ten games… The Cavs are 12-12 on the road… The Bulls are 14-11 at home.

The NBA Slate Offers Some Potential Pitfalls

D.J. Augustin has done his best to replace the injured Brandon Jennings in Detroit.

There are some really interesting lines tonight and just as interesting are some of the trends too. As the Knight of the Templar told Indiana Jones, “Choose wisely.”

Detroit (+2) at Charlotte (O/U 191.5) – The Pistons were playing so well following the dismissal of Josh Smith and then Brandon Jennings went down with his season-ending injury. D.J. Augustin has actually played pretty well in his absence averaging over ten points and almost five assists per game. Still, the Pistons are two games out of the final playoff spot and it’s not going to be easy.

The Hornets are in the seventh seed but have lost two straight despite winning six of their last ten. With Kemba Walker out indefinitely and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist day-to-day, Hornets could be in trouble.

Trends: The total has gone OVER in four of Detroit’s last five games… The total has gone UNDER in six of Charlotte’s last seven games… The Pistons are 5-1 straight up in their last six games at Charlotte… The Hornets are 1-7 against the spread in their last eight games at home versus Detroit.

The Pick: Take Detroit and the OVER.

David Joerger has the Grizzlies in great shape in the Western Conference.

Brooklyn (+11.5) at Memphis (O/U 190) – The Nets are dead even with the Miami Heat for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference but would lose the tie-breaker if the season ended today. Brooklyn has actually been better on the road than they have been at home but I’m not sure that will help here.

Memphis continues to put pressure on Golden State in the West. Right now, the Grizzlies are three games back. What’s gone in Memphis has been impressive and I don’t see this team going away any time soon.

Trends: The Grizzlies have won nine of their last ten games… The Nets have lost six of their last ten games.

The Pick: Take the Nets getting those points and the OVER.

Houston (+2) at Phoenix (O/U 214.5) – The Rockets come to the desert six games out of the first seed in the Western Conference but they have teams breathing down their necks. Portland, Dallas, the LA Clippers and the defending champion Spurs are all within three games of Houston.

The Suns find themselves currently hanging on to the final playoff spot by the skin of their teeth. New Orleans is a game back and Oklahoma City is two games behind. Phoenix must win games at home and needs to try and beat teams ahead of them in the standings.

Trends: The Suns have won four of their last ten games… The Rockets have won seven of their last ten games…

The Pick: Take the Rockets getting the points and the OVER.

Denver (+2) at LA Lakers (O/U 198.5) – These two teams have combined to lose nine straight games and they’ve also combined to win just two games in their last 20. The Nuggets are just 7-19 on the road this season and they are a full eight games out of the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. In other words, they aren’t making the playoffs.

The Lakers are a mess on and off the court as disgruntled players have started to speak out a little more than the Lakers’ front office would like. Between injuries and an overall lack of talent, this has just not been a good run for the purple and gold.

Trends:  The Lakers have lost four in a row and nine of their last ten… Denver has lost five straight and has lost nine of their last ten.

The Pick: I’ll take the Nuggets getting the points and the UNDER.

NBA Championship Futures Show Shakeup Out West

The NBA season is just over halfway through. The league will take a break this weekend for the All-Star Game festivities then return for its stretch run. This week the latest NBA championship futures were released with a slight shakeup taking place out West.

A significant amount of shuffling on the NBA futures board has taken place of late particularly out west where Memphis and Oklahoma City have moved up the board after having their odds shortened since the last futures were listed.

At the same time, the Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers all were moved down with their oddest lengthening for the championship.

According to Bovada and topbet, Memphis is 12-2 over its past 14 games played and was moved up to 12 to 1 from 18 to 1, while Oklahoma City moved to 14 to 1 from 25 to 1.

The Grizzlies are currently boasting the league’s best defense giving up just 95.6 points a game. Even though Marc Gasol will be the only Memphis player at the All-Star game, power forward Zach Randolph and guard Mike Conley have played exceptionally well this season.

Randolph is averaging 16.7 points and 12 rebounds a game, while Conley is scoring 17.4 points while handing out 5.4 assists a game.

Odds makers were quick to point out that Memphis is in control of the Southwest Division as it appears they will be unseating the San Antonio Spurs as the division champion, which will make the seeding for the Grizzlies that much better.

According to topbet and betonline, Oklahoma City appears to be in the thick of things if Kevin Durant stays healthy. The Thunder is playing much better and Phoenix continues to lose games, meaning the Thunder could shortly take over the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.

The Los Angeles Clippers have lost power forward Blake Griffin for at least three weeks and possibly more, making the situation for the Thunder all that better.


CLIPPERS 14 to 1


Four Really Good NBA Games for Sunday

Paul Griffin
Paul Griffin
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin need to right the ship after the Clips have drooped three straight.

I’m sure if I really sat down and looked it over I could probably find another Sunday with four better match-ups in the National Basketball Association but the ones I have for you today are pretty darn good.

LA Clippers (+3) at Oklahoma City (O/U 209) – The Thunder are three games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference and have gone just 5-5 over their last ten games. The Clippers come to town having lost three straight and are dealing with Chris Paul’s comments about a female official.

I don’t think that will linger much longer now that he’s been fined $25,000 but LA needs to be careful. They are after all a half game from slipping into the seventh spot in the West.

Trends: The Clippers are 1-4 straight up in their last five games… The total has gone UNDER in six of Oklahoma City’s last eight games… LAC are 1-5 against the spread in their last six games against the Thunder… OKC is 7-3 straight up in their last 10 games at home against the Clippers.

The Pick: I like the Thunder today and the UNDER.

Atlanta (+3.5) at Memphis (O/U 196.5) – The Hawks have won nine of their last ten games and are coming off a defining win over Golden State. They’ve stretched their lead in the Eastern Conference to eight games over second-seeded Toronto.

Memphis has won eight of their last ten games and is in second out West just three games behind the Warriors. The Grizzlies have also been very good at home where they’ve gone 21-5 this season.

Trends: The total has gone OVER in six of the Hawks last seven games… Memphis is 8-1 straight up in their last nine games… Atlanta is 5-2 SU in their last seven games on the road in Memphis… The Grizzlies are 4-11-1 against the spread in their last 16 games against the Hawks.

The Pick: Don’t be surprised if the Grizzlies win but I like the Hawks getting the points and I like the OVER.

Gregg Popovich's Spurs aren't likely to be a top seed but they will be a tough out for any opponent.

San Antonio (+1.5) at Toronto (O/U 201.5) – The Spurs come to Canada having had some good recent success over the Raptors and they’ve won eight of their last ten games which puts them in the eighth spot in the very competitive Western Conference.

Toronto has had a very nice stretch of 7-3 in their last ten contests but seven of their 17 losses have come against the West. I have no doubts that they’d like to get some quality wins over the better Western teams.

Trends: The Spurs are 1-5-1 against the spread in their last seven games… The total has gone OVER in six of Toronto’s last eight games… San Antonio is 4-1-1 against the spread in their last six games against Toronto… The Raptors are 0-5 straight up in their last five games against the Spurs.

The Pick: Take the Spurs getting the point and a half take the OVER.

Portland (+4) at Houston (O/U 204) – These two teams have combined to win 15 of their last 20 games and are separated by a mere game in the Western Conference. It’s difficult to ignore the success Houston has had against the Blazers in Clutch City.

Trends: Portland is 0-4-1 against the spread in their last five games versus Houston… The Rockets are 6-1 straight up in their last seven games… The total has gone OVER in six of the Blazers last seven games when on the road against the Rockets… Houston has won 20 of their last 25 games straight up against the Blazers at home.

The Pick: I like the Rockets to cover at home and I like the OVER as well.

Latest Odds to Win the 2015 NBA Title

Steve Kerr has done a wonderful job with the Warriors but can he get them to the NBA Finals?

It’s really amazing how things can change over the course of a season in the National Basketball Association. Injuries, coaching changes and just getting hot at the right time can all play a part in the rise and/or fall of fortunes of these teams.

Odds to win 2015 NBA Championship

Golden State Warriors 7/2

Cleveland Cavaliers 15/4

San Antonio Spurs 7/1

Atlanta Hawks 15/2

Chicago Bulls 17/2

Among these top five favorites, I honestly can’t say there’s a sure thing here. We’ve seen the Cavaliers bounce back from a losing streak and right into a nice long winning streak which stands at 11 heading into last night. The Atlanta Hawks just had a 19-game winning streak and had all five starters named “player of the week.”

The Bulls will go only as far as Derrick Rose’s health can take them and the Spurs will have to be healthy as well in order to repeat. Obviously Golden State is the favorite because they are undeniably the best team in the league right now. What worries me is the amount of three-point shots they rely on each night. Will that come back to haunt them in the playoffs when teams start to pick up the defense?

Dallas Mavericks 12/1

Los Angeles Clippers 12/1

Memphis Grizzlies 12/1

Oklahoma City Thunder 16/1

Houston Rockets 18/1

Toronto Raptors 20/1

When you look at the group above, I think the team that stands out is Oklahoma City. I say that because they are one team of this group with two guys that can carry a team for certain periods of time. That said, the Thunder are still on the outside looking in on the playoffs right now.

I can’t see Houston being a legitimate threat if Dwight Howard keeps battling health issues and I’m not sure how serious to take the Clippers. They obviously have loads of talent, but can they make it out of the difficult Western Conference? Dallas is a team that makes me think a little too. Don’t be surprised to see them hanging tough in the end.

The hopes of the Blazers rest on the health of LaMarcus Aldridge.

Portland Trailblazers 25/1

Washington Wizards 28/1

Miami Heat 100/1

Detroit Pistons 150/1

Milwaukee Bucks 150/1

I really liked what Detroit was doing until guard Brandon Jennings went down with a torn achilles. They had been playing extremely well in the wake of releasing Josh Smith but now they are likely looking at a lottery position again unless they can get needed help at guard.

Portland’s fate will ride with LaMarcus Aldridge and his hand. If he can play through the pain and prove to be as effective as always then they have a shot with he and Damian Lillard. Washington will be a really interesting team to watch. They’ve lost seven of ten and their last five games so perhaps the shine on them is wearing off.

New Orleans Pelicans 150/1

Phoenix Suns 150/1

If one player could get his team to the NBA Finals it’s Anthony Davis who has been outstanding in 2014-2015. This will definitely not be his year, but if the Pelicans get some pieces around him then look out in the future.

Boston Celtics 500/1

Brooklyn Nets 500/1

Charlotte Hornets 500/1

Indiana Pacers 500/1

Remember when the Indiana Pacers were on the verge of knocking off the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference? Ya, things have changed that much in Indianapolis. They’ll be more looking for a lucky bouncing ping pong ball come summertime.

Sacramento Kings 1000/1

Utah Jazz 1000/1

Denver Nuggets 2000/1

Orlando Magic 2000/1

Sometimes the sports books in Vegas are just trying to be nice. This is the case here as none of these teams has chance in Hades of winning the NBA Title. The Kings, Jazz and Nuggets would need miracles at this point just to get into the playoffs.

Who I Like?

Atlanta, Golden State, Memphis and Cleveland.