Happy Martin Luther King day to our Americans members! It’s been 45 years since the Doctor was assassinated and it’s been observed as a national holiday by all US States since 2000. It’s long since been a tradition for sports fans to take the day off from work and enjoy a fest of US Sport, and although we may not observe the holiday ourselves, it certainly makes for a full and interesting NBA card as we have 9 games today, 3 of which will be shown live on UK Television.
Please note this is just up at this time to make you aware of my earlier tips. The first NBA game is getting underway 1/2pm US time, which of course is early evening for us and 6 hours earlier than our usual start time. Please make sure you’re aware of this when placing your bets, and check back for my full list of tips in the next hour.
Featured Play: 5* Underdog value!
Washington Wizards @ Portland Trailblazers – 2am
You aren’t going to want to miss this value! No winner is guaranteed but I know my underdogs and this spread is far too large to ignore. With a 5/5 record on Underdogs on the + going in to tonight’s game, we’ll look for the Wizards to make it 6/6 whilst covering themselves and for us for the third time. After we took the Wizards +10 against the Nuggets, only to see them win the game, we also had this team on Saturday as they held the Clippers to a tight game and covered the +13 spread quite comfortably! Ever since John Wall returned they’ve been hot. They’re a strong side and they actually look like a dangerous team with Wall back in the fold. They can hit points and they have some size in the likes of Nene that can compete. The Trailblazers are a good side but after they let us down on a small handicap yet again this week, they’ve become a team to oppose having lost their last 5 to all sorts of teams. In the same time the Wizards have beaten the Thunder, the Nuggets and the Hawks whilst covering the spread in their last 6 straight games! +6.5 points is far too much here and this is one of the best value bets of the NBA season. Again, no guaranteed winner, but you CANNOT ignore this value!
Washington Wizards +6.5 @ 1.98 with Matchbook
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Atlanta Hawks – 7pm
Both of these teams are really banged up right now and have injury concerns, and it’s had an effect on their scoring ability at times. It wasn’t too long ago the Hawks couldn’t even manage 60 points as they were on the receiving end of the one of the biggest blowouts of the season. The Timberwolves managed 92 points last time out, at home, against the Houston Rockets. Impressively they hold a Rockets side that averaged 105 points to just 79 that night. Love and Pekovic are out for the Wolves whilst the Hawks lost Lou Williams who has averaged 14 points a game. Their scoring averages for the season aren’t too bad, but since the injuries hit it’s worth noting in the last 5 game their averages are well done. Atlanta are averaging a shade under 87, whilst the Wolves are averaging a shade under 90. If those averages are true to their word tonight and we don’t see those teams go above them, it’d bring a 177 point game and that would mean an easy cover. Totals are always risky but there’s still the potential it could go even further under. The Wolves can’t play their usual basketball and their best chances of a win have been to slow the game down and be a big tighter on D. Being that the Hawks are at home, maybe they can put up a bit of resistance too, or more preferably another low scoring horror show would suit me just fine. Let’s see how this one plays out!
Under 187 @ 1.88 with Marathon
Houston Rockets @ Charlotte Bobcats – 7pm
This one kind of ties in with our last bet. That Minnesota game we talked about that went so far under was against the Rockets. The total was set at over 100 and of course barely reached 170. Tonight the Rockets are on the road so we can expect a bit of resistance from the Bobcats as a home side, but in reality they shouldn’t be able to keep with a Rockets side that has serious scoring power. I went back and forth over this total, and I realised the only risky factor was will the Bobcats match their 95 ppg average, will they go over at home, or will they just get blown out by an angry Houston team looking to bounce back on their rare low scoring outing last time. Whilst it was their lowest scoring effort of the season, shooting only 34%, it really did seem a one off and the only time they’ve failed to drop over 100 in 2013 – so I’ve decided to back the Rockets Total Over/Under tonight!
Houston Rockets: Over 106.5 points @ 1.90 with Coral
LA Lakers @ Chicago Bulls – 1.30am (Live on ESPN)
This is a tight spread. There’s only one point in this one and the bookmakers are making the Chicago Bulls just -1 favorites. What that’s basically saying is it will be tight. However, we thought the Raptors +6 might of been a tight bet… but then the Raptors went and BLEW OUT the Lakers in a not so surprise victory. Spending a day in a different time zone clearly took it’s toll on a Lakers side that technically played at 10am according to their body clock, and traveling back to the US today gives the Lakers no time to try and change anything. The only factor here is motivation for a now fully fit Lakers side. They have Howard back, however he proved little use after being ejected from last nights game during the first half for two ridiculous technical fouls. The Bulls won three straight and back to back at games on the road before a cruel overtime defeat on the weekend, and although you never really know what you may get with this Bulls team they do seem to work in patches. Whether its a good run or a bad run, but right now they look like getting on a good one and they’ll certainly be confident about extending their home record when the struggling Lakers visit. The problem for LA is their shooting has been poor and Kobe has been dragging them through. Yesterday, however, and quite worryingly – the Lakers sucked, and so did Kobe. Let’s hope the same can be said for tonight’s performance.
Chicago Bulls -1 @ 1.95 with Matchbook