Tonight we have an NBA double header on Sky Sports! Friday’s 4-1 was good, but there’s something sweeter about a 3-0 clean sweep on a Saturday night. Today, we’ll be looking to round off what would be a stunning weekend with hopefully another strong clean sweep. The pick of the bunch comes from what would usually be a showdown between two giants, as Oklahoma City visit the LA Lakers on Sky Sports 2 at 8pm. Prior to this, the Miami Heat will visit the Boston Celtics at 6pm. There are also the usual late games in tonight’s NBA schedule, so please check back at 8pm tonight for my final selections. For now, however, I’ve added what I have already decided on.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ LA Lakers (8pm, Sky Sports 2)
The Lakers have been a team we’ve constantly opposed lately, whilst the Thunder have been a side we’ve continued to back in the past few days and they’ve served us well so far covering the last two spreads. This star studded Lakers side continues to look disjointed and it looks certain now that Howard will be on his way. A Gasol trade is still an outside possibility, and that lingering thought is enough to strike fear in to the Lakers fans as Howard will surely leave at the end of the season regardless. The line is incredibly small in this one because the LA Lakers are at home. What that’s meant to mean in this contest? I don’t really know. But it means nothing to me. The Thunder are straight up the best team in the NBA. The Thunder have already beat them twice this season already and both wins would have easily covered this spread. We all know the Thunder have a solid record this season and what makes them even better is that they have a 26-15 record against the spread set by the bookies as a favorite. The favorite tag doesn’t bother the Thunder here, who will want to make a point of putting in another comfortable victory over this self destructed Lakers mess. This spread is wrong, the odds are a joke, let’s take this piece of value.
Phoenix Suns @ Dallas Mavericks (12.30am)
This is a Mavericks side that has been a lot hotter lately. They were on a strong run winning 5 of the last 6 and covering most of the spreads set for them in the last two and a half weeks, home and on the road. In terms of scheduling we have a Dallas team playing it’s second game in 6 days. So they’ve been rested but not too rested, and they had yesterday to prepare after a narrow 6 point loss at San Antonio Spurs on Friday night. The Suns played the Spurs last night and lost 108-99. It was actually one of Phoenix’s better performances stat wise and energy wise in recent weeks though, yet they were still nearly blown out. They put a serious amount of energy in to yesterdays game and played hard, and tonight they’ll be playing their fourth game in five days. That’s the sort of scheduling spot you can’t ignore and it’s going to be a big, big ask for this Suns team. The only teams to beat the Mavericks in the last 9 games are the Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder by 3 point in overtime, so there’s a motivation factor for the Mavs too who will want to bounce back and re-start a new winning run at home tonight.
Portland Trailblazers @ LA Clippers (2.30am)
This Clippers team played the Trailblazers in Portland last night and lost by 1. No rest, no recovery or practice time for either team who both traveled straight to LA and that means a serious motivational factor for the Clippers who will want to show Portland who’s boss on their home court. The Trailblazers have been a tough side to beat at home but on the road it’s a different story, where they’ll be taking their 7-13 road record to face a Clippers side that have averaged 11 points more than their opponents over 24 home games. . The Clippers still boast a 32-13 record and although their invincible look has long since been lost ever since the Magic won here, leading to their recent run of losses. This one however is just a simple one for me and I think LA will take the motivation of last nights 1 point loss – having lead by 6 points very deep in to the game – and they’ll be looking to give the Trailblazers a heavy beating tonight in front of their own fans.
Detroit Pistons @ Orlando Magic (11.00pm)
We all know where I stand with the under dogs. We’ve had a strong under dog run of 11 wins from 12 tips, and only the Jazz have let us down on a +5 in a double digit loss. Tonight however the Pistons are only an even smaller +2 spread, but I’m expecting the Pistons to roll in their and straight up win this game (priced at 2.15 with Matchbook, at your own discretion) but I’m going to play the safest way and take the set + spread in this one. It’s set at Detroit +2. They’ve already seen off this Orlando side by a score of 105-90 in the last two weeks, as part of a four game losing streak where they were also beaten by 6 points by the lowly, lowly Bobcats – here at home. Not only that the Magic have lost 15 of their last 17 games and although we made a point of backing them against double digit favorites and winning, as they’ve always kept games tight, they just haven’t fared the seem when they’re an under dog on a small points spread. The Pistons are playing as good as ever and they’re on a 9-6 run. They’ve covered the point spread in all 9 of their wins, and failed to cover it in all 6 of their losses. That stat plays in nicely with a very short spread here and in a game that I think they might win. The most interesting trend, as I just touched on about the Magic and short spreads at home, is that Orlando have a 1-9 losing record against the bookies point spread when playing a team with a losing record. The Pistons have a losing record but are playing more like a playoff team. The Magic have only covered in this situation 1 out of 10 times, and I don’t really expect them to win tonight. At least they shouldn’t. Let’s try the Pistons.
Oklahoma City Thunder -3 @ 1.98 with Matchbook
Dallas Mavericks -7.5 @ 1.98 with Matchbook
LA Clippers -7.5 @ 1.97 with Marathon
Detroit Pistons +2 @ 1.95 with Matchbook
Additional: I’ve noticed a number of people lately have been taking upon themselves to turn all my tips in to various multiples. Obviously, this is a risk. Any losing night or even one losing bet out of 5 – as we saw on our 4-1 night the other night – could mean a losing night for you whilst we all profit heavily on singles. However, for the members that do love the double as well as the singles – and I’d like to make it clear this is not a tip at all - but I thought I’d just let you know that you can get odds of 3.82 with Matchbook for the double of OKC -3 & Dallas Mavericks 7.5. Good luck and be it on your own head if you do take your usual double.
Good luck guys and girls!