Another big Friday night card brings us another chance to smash the bookies! I’ll start by apologizing for last night. As much as the Mavericks lead by with seconds to go, they threw it away themselves to lose by 3, but the spread at +3.5 would have been a winner. I choose to take the value and play the straight Mavs win. So, that lose is definitely on me, but if I had the same choice tonight I’d take the value again! No harm, we broke even, and it saw us end January on a BIG 44-22 run with a big win percentage and a strong starting ROI. Today, however, February fun begins!
LA Clippers @ Toronto Raptors (12.00am)
There is some huge value right here. The Clippers have been near ravaged by injury, and it’s been pulling their lines right in. Games have been closer than usual but they’ve displayed such an unbelievable level of depth and they’re well back on track. Having blown out Portland and looked comfortable enough in their last outing, they face a Raptors team with little quality on the court tonight. Rudy Gay is a good signing for the Raptors but he will not play tonight. Jose Calderon is obviously a name, but he’s now been traded along with Ed Davis. Lack of depth makes this line one to try and take advantage of. The Clippers have already beaten the Raptors by 20 points once this season. The line was at -10 for that game and both teams were fully healthy. Toronto have won just2 of 10 games, beating the Magic and the Lakers. Despite the fact the Lakers are somewhat revived and the Magic keep games tight, there still teams with poor losing records. Big ask for a Toronto side in transition tonight, and probably a Toronto side I’ll be keen to oppose at least once more over this weekend. Take the Clippers on a small and very coverable spread.
Washington Wizards @ Memphis Grizzlies(1.00am)
The Washington Wizards with John Wall are just a different team. We’ve hit a stage of the season where teams know what’s what with their rosters and their making last minute trades to help them meet their goals. It sees a lot of teams go through transitional periods and I like to play off of that quite often. Here we have a Memphis team – slightly struggling before hand – but now without any real names. Rudy Gay is gone to Toronto so that’s that, but also they’ve failed to really improve much as a result of that trade. And any new names they do have certainly won’t play tonight. You don’t need me to tell you about the Wizards because we all know what they can do. I write the same thing every single week. John Wall is back, the Wizards are back, they can match anyone on their night. Remember their wins over the likes of Atlanta, Indiana, Denver and the Thunder plus plenty of other covers they pulled out for us such as a tight, tight games against the Clippers IN LA – thanks to John Wall. Tonight they’re being afforded too many points for my liking and at huge odds I was tempted to take the straight win. However, I learn my lesson last night. The spread is there for a reason, but I think Washington and Wall will compete all throughout this game. Did I mention.. John Wall!? Value.
Portland Trailblazers @ Utah Jazz (2.00am)
Here’s a funny little bet. The Jazz lost to the Rockets by more than 40 points this week, and then failed to cover the spread against the Hornets last night – despite winning. The Hornets have a losing record and the Rockets had been SERIOUSLY struggling away, and their opponents tonight, Portland, are a +5 point underdog as they bring their winning 23-22 record to Utah. Does that recent scenario necessarily mean Portland cover the +5? No. In the NBA, logic rarely seems logical – if that makes sense. Utah will be very keen to bounce back and after a bounce back win last night, they’ll be looking to cover a straight forward spread at home tonight. Despite their winning record they’re actually just a 7-14 team on the road who often gets bet on the spread, even in some of the games they’ve won.
Miami Heat @ Indiana Pacers (12.00am)
We’ve spoke in depth a few times about the Miami Heat and their desire to play or not to play, and until the playoffs they don’t have a consistent desire to perform. We took them the other night as we felt they had a point to prove against a mouthy and inferior Nets side, and they blew them out. Tonight they have no point to prove, but revenge is on the cards. The Heat MASSIVELY under performed – pretty much because they didn’t care that night – and got beat double digits by this Pacers team. It’s a tough defense and a team that can hang with the Heat, and will do again tonight, but with a view to avenging the blowout lose here not long ago the Heat will be determined to come in and put yet another challenger in it’s place. Why? Because they can, and because they probably want too. Simple one to have a go one for me.
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Detroit Pistons (12.35am)
I like the Pistons, and I don’t like the Cavs. That simple makes for a simple equation. The spread is low with the Pistons only being a -4 favorite but the stats on paper would say the spread could be much more, maybe even double that at -8. Detroit have a strong losing record, but nowhere near as bad as the Cavs. Pistons have a 12-12 home record having seen off some tough teams, while the Cavs are a mere 7-20 on the road and not the best at covering the spreads. Varajeo is once again out and his absence takes a lot of size and strength away from this Cavs teams which could make it harder to compete in the paint at both ends. The Pistons have a pretty strong recent record against the Cavs and I see no reason why they won’t be able to cover a small spread should they play well.
(odds as of 6.15pm. Please see Matchbook for update odds, or use www.bestbetting.com to find the current best odds)
LA Clippers -4 @ 1.97 with Matchbook
Washington Wizards +6 @ 2.04 with Matchbook
Utah Jazz -5 @ 1.99 with Matchbook
Miami Heat -2 @ 2.00 with Matchbook
Detroit Pistons -4 @ 1.93 with Matchbook