Folk, we’re back on track. We had a positive 2-1-1 week last week. Also, our first push of the season, so that’s fun, I guess. This week, we’re hitting a couple of heavy favorites and a surprising underdog. Am I suggesting two bets in what is sure to be the sloppiest game of the night? Yes, yes I am. Just call me Mike Rowe because we’re doing some dirty jobs tonight.
*A formatting note: the “Half-court Shot” section will no longer count for or against our overall record because much like a half-court shot, it’s mostly done for fun. We will simply give it its own record.*
Layups: The bets I really like and feel the most confident in.
Two-Pointers: The bets I like a lot and feel fairly confident in.
Three-Pointers: The bets I like but don’t feel as confident in.
Half-Court Shot: A long underdog I like to win straight-up.
Record ATS this season: 10-10-1
Thunder (-2.5) vs. Rockets: Of all the games to place your hard-earned money on tonight, why would I suggest a game between two of the NBA’s worst teams? Because, dear reader, I say this line is just disrespectful to the Thunder. I mean, c’mon, the Rockets are awful. Having OKC lay just 2.5 seems like a gift, so I’ll happily take it. The Thunder are one of the hardest-playing teams in the league who usually just don’t have the talent to overtake better teams. But the Rockets aren’t a better team… They’re on a 12-game losing streak! Houston is in the bottom tier of teams in defensive efficiency and the Thunder have covered 57% of their games at home. OKC has been battle-tested and has shown fight against good teams, so I think they can get the job done against the lowly Rockets.
*READ INJURY REPORT FIRST* Miami (-8) vs. Pelicans: Are you ready for this analysis? The Heat are a good team and the Pelicans are a bad team. Yes, I said it. This is why you read this column: hard-hitting analysis. The Heat are a very good team at home, covering four of their five games, including three of their four games as a home favorite. The Pelicans? Yikes. They’ve simply been a bad team all around, looking sloppy, out of sync, and apathetic. They crumbled against the Wizards after holding a lead and I expect them to do the same against the Heat–if they even grab a lead at all. But, bettor, be warned. Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler are both questionable for this one, so it might be a good idea to wait until later in the afternoon for the injury report to come out so you can get a clearer picture of who’s playing. If both players are on the court, I would play this number up to 9.5.
Bulls ML +100: Anytime you give me a Bulls plus-money moneyline, I’m like the cookie monster when he eats cookies. I’ll eat it all day long. Is this Bulls team a team of destiny? I can’t say for certain, but yes. They’ve just got everything clicking for them, having beaten the Lakers and Clippers back-to-back at the Staples Center for the first time in a decade. This team is just built different. DeMar DeRozan is playing at an MVP level and being on the road out west hasn’t seemed to slow Chicago down. Hopefully, they’ll stick Alex Caruso on Dame and have an easy time defensively. I think the Bulls can pull out the win on the road.
Pacers (-7) @ Pistons: The 6-9 Pacers (nice) have been the epitome of inconsistency all season. But the one area in which they’ve actually been solid is winning after a tough loss. They’re 5-3 ATS after a loss this year–good for a top 10 mark in the league. Seeing as they’re coming off a killer loss at MSG against the Knicks, I like this spot for a big win against the lowly Pistons.
Thunder/Rockets Under 213.5: Both of these teams are at the bottom of the barrel in terms of offense. They both hover around 100 points per game and both are in the bottom four in three-point percentage. This game will be ugly, it will be gross, but what most likely won’t happen is a lot of points being scored. So call this game a solid masonry house because there’s going to be a lot of bricks.
Half-Court Shot (1-1)
No official long underdog play this week again. We gotta choose our spots wisely here, so I’ll hold off for one more week.