NBA Handicap Betting Preview – Thursday 14th January by @DavAulak

Atlanta Hawks @ Charlotte Hornets

There are times when you look at a spread and can’t quite understand why the line is as it is. This is one of those lines, but I can’t see a reason not to back the Atlanta Hawks to cover it at the Charlotte Hornets, even if I feel a ‘square’ in thinking that way.

There is no doubt that the Atlanta Hawks have been a streaky team this season and had a real slump in form at the end of December and early January. However, they have recorded two big wins since then while scoring at least 120 points in both and the Hawks might be set for another winning run with games against Milwaukee and Brooklyn to follow this one.

Atlanta can’t overlook Charlotte even if the Hornets have lost seven in a row and have been having a difficult time at both ends of the court to find the balance they need to be successful. The absence of Al Jefferson was always going to be a big blow, but the Hornets at least return home off a four game road trip that proved very difficult.

The revenge factor is in play for the Hornets but they are just 2-6-1 against the spread in their last nine games at home against Atlanta. The Hawks have been a solid road favourite being asked to cover three points or fewer and I think they are playing the better basketball so it is hard to ignore this game and I will back Atlanta to cover.

HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Atlanta Hawks -2.5 Points @ 1.85 with 888 Sport

 

Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas

Indiana Pacers @ Boston Celtics

Both teams were playing on Tuesday night, but there is little doubt the Indiana Pacers had the easier night in the office compared with the Boston Celtics. While Indiana were blowing out Phoenix, Boston were in another fourth quarter battle, this time against New York, where they ultimately came up short.

This has been a tough part of the season for the Celtics who were dropped back to 0.500 with their loss on Tuesday, their fourth in a row and sixth in seven games. The players have admitted their frustrations at getting so close to winning games, but failing to close them out and the Pacers will head to the TD Garden looking for their third win this season over Boston.

Indiana had begun to slow down themselves after a really positive start to the season but they have won four of their last six and the two losses in that time have both come with the Pacers blowing leads and falling in Overtime. The Pacers have been enjoying playing on the road against some of the better teams in the NBA, going 7-4 against the spread when playing a team with a winning record, and they will still respect Boston despite the latter’s struggles.

The spread is not a big one, but confidence certainly has to be on the Indiana side of the court. Maybe Boston will get it together considering they have played pretty well on the back to back, but they are just 9-9 against the spread as the home favourite of three points or fewer over the last couple of seasons and I think the underdog can make use of the points.

In fact the underdog is 7-1 against the spread in the last eight in the series between Indiana and Boston and I will look for the Pacers to extend that sequence.

HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Indiana Pacers +2.5 Points @ 1.87 with Pinnacle Sports

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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NBA Handicap Betting Preview – Wednesday 13th January by @DavAulak

Boston Celtics @ New York Knicks – Madison Square Garden at 00:30

The New York Knicks have been in the midst of a very good run of form which has seen them get very close to returning to 0.500. The Knicks have won four of their last five games with the sole loss coming against the San Antonio Spurs by a single point, while the wins over Miami and Atlanta (twice) can’t be seen as ‘easy’ ones.

That will give them plenty of confidence when they look to earn a measure of revenge against the Boston Celtics who have dominated the recent series between these teams. There is never any love lost between teams from New York and Boston and this game is going to be no different as the Knicks look to snap a four game losing run to the Celtics.

This looks a chance for them to do that as they face a Boston team that has dropped five of their last six games since their win over the Knicks and that sole win came against the truly terrible Brooklyn Nets. Boston have suffered a couple of really bad losses too as they have blown some big leads including in their last loss at Memphis, losses that have bothered the players who have accused themselves of not closing games with the right intensity needed.

Boston have thrived as the road underdog this season which does concern me, but the Knicks are playing a lot better basketball at this moment. The Knicks are also 8-4 against the spread when trying to revenge a same season loss and I like them to cover the small spread.

HANDICAP BETTING PICK: New York Knicks – 1.5 Points @ 1.96 with Matchbook

 

Rose & Butler

Rose & Butler

Chicago Bulls @ Milwaukee Bucks – BMO Harris Bradley Centre -at 01:00

There aren’t many 22-14 teams that I think are as divisive as the Chicago Bulls who continue to play up and down to the level of opponent they are facing. Many of the players admitted their disappointment in losing to the Washington Wizards at home on Monday, a game they were favoured to win by eight points, but they have a chance to quickly rectify that by beating the Milwaukee Bucks on the back to back.

Two disappointing losses will have dented some of the Chicago confidence, but their opponent has dropped three of the last four games they have played too. Even the one exception in that run saw Milwaukee just about rally to defeat the Dallas Mavericks at home and they will need to be a lot better to beat the Bulls who knocked them out of the Play Offs last season.

The struggles on the Defensive side of the court show no sign of improving for the Bucks, although Chicago have hardly helped themselves on that side either. The layers have figured that out by putting out a big line for the over/under, but I do think Chicago have more potential Defensively which can show up here.

Milwaukee do have the revenge factor behind them having lost to Chicago last week, but I am not sure they are playing well enough to do that. They are just 3-6 against the spread at home against teams with a winning record, while Chicago are 3-1 against the spread on the road against teams with a losing record so far this season.

The back to back might be a concern for the Bulls backers, but they can focus on this one with Philadelphia next on deck and I like Chicago to bounce back.

HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Chicago Bulls -3.5 Points @ 2.00 with Pinnacle Sports

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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NBA Handicap Betting Preview – Saturday 9th January by @DavAulak

Miami Heat @ Phoenix Suns – Talking Stick Resort Arena at 02:30

The Miami Heat disappointed me as a big home favourite earlier this week, but I am going back to the well with them, albeit this time as a fairly healthy road favourite. I do think they are going to have a little too much for the Phoenix Suns to handle at the moment, even if the home team finally won a game without the injured Eric Bledsoe who has been lost for the season.

That win over the Charlotte Hornets will give Phoenix some confidence, but this has been a poor season for them with off court distractions affecting on court performances. Prior to that win, the Suns had lost nine in a row by an average of 14 points per game although it has to be said they have been more competitive at home.

The problem for Phoenix has been the lack of effort on the Defensive side of the court and that can be a big issue when facing a team like Miami who prides themselves on that side. This is also a Miami team with something to prove on that side after a loss to the New York Knicks which disappointed them so badly and I like the Heat bouncing back today.

Miami have covered in their last seven games in Phoenix and they are 4-2 against the spread when set as the road favourite of six points or fewer this season. I like the Heat to make amends for their last performance and win this with a cover.

HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Miami Heat – 5 Points @ 1.93 with Pinnacle

 

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

Oklahoma City Thunder @ LA Lakers – Sleep Train Arena at 03:30

This is the third time the Oklahoma City Thunder have taken on the LA Lakers this season and the third time I will back them to cover. The Thunder haven’t let me down the previous two times with heavy beatings of the Lakers by at least thirty-five points each time and they are still playing well enough to take care of Kobe Bryant’s team one more time.

The Lakers are coming in off a close loss to the Sacramento Kings when they put in a huge effort to rally from twenty-seven points down. Bryant was rested in the fourth quarter, but many of the rotation might be feeling that on a back to back even if they are 5-3 against the spread in that spot this season.

However, one of those spread losses came against the Thunder and I do think there is too much scoring in the road team to keep this one close. Oklahoma City will expect better from the Defensive side of things if they are going to reach the NBA Finals this season, but their athleticism has shown up against the Lakers who have failed to score more than 85 points in either game against them.

Oklahoma City have cracked at least 104 points in their last six games and I think it will still be difficult for the Lakers to keep up with them. The Lakers are also 1-4 against the spread when given at least 12.5 points as the home underdog over the last couple of seasons and I like the Thunder to dominate again and cover a big number.

HANDICPA BETTING PICK: Oklahoma City Thunder -13.5 Points @ 1.91 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

Prices correct at the time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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