Last Updated: 2018-01-15
Time to start the week with a few plays on this Monday slate. We do have some early games on this 11 game slate, so I’ll be including a couple. Let’s get into it, and remember, you’ll see my picks on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays right here at BangTheBook.
San Antonio (-7.5) @ Atlanta Hawks – o/u 205 3pm EST
- San Antonio hasn’t played a back to back since the 7th and the 8th and they won’t again for a while. They’re coming off a standalone home game route of the Nuggets two nights ago. This game starts a three game road trip where they’ll head to Brooklyn then Toronto, nothing major the Spurs can’t handle.
- The Hawks are playing their second of a six game home stand, coming off two days of rest. They’ll play the spurs then wait a night for New Orleans to come to town.
Marco Belinelli revenge game is in play here as he’s been upgraded to Probable tonight. The Spurs don’t have anyone other than Rudy Gay injured, but always watch out for random rest spots.
Where’s the value at?
Surprisingly I’m going to have to say the Hawks. Getting 7.5 at home seems like a good number but this is a game where I could see Atlanta getting up for. Looking into their advanced stats they are better than the Spurs in offensive eFG%, offensive FT/FGA, defensive TOV%, and basically even in ORB%. Their 3pt Attempt Rate is at 34%, ranking 15th, while the Spurs are ranked 26th. The Hawks also outrank them by 4 spots (15 v19) in True Shooting Percentage. If the Hawks shoot well, which they usually do at home then this game shouldn’t be an issue for the cover.
I’ll be taking the Hawks +7.5 at home today
Memphis Grizzlies -2 vs Los Angeles Lakers – o/u 203.5
- The Lakers are in the middle of a three game road trip where 2 nights ago they beat the Mavericks in overtime, and will head to OKC to play the Thunder on Wednesday.
- The Grizzlies are coming off a road snooze fest of a loss in Denver and have been home the last couple nights to think about it. They’ll play the Knicks at home on Wednesday but nothing much here.
Both Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball are questionable for tonight’s game so that’s something to watch throughout the day.
Memphis has the usuals, Conley and Parsons.
Where’s the value at?
Tonight I believe the value will be on the Grizzlies. They have played the hardest schedule in the league through 41 games and now get to play one of the worst teams. The Grizz are also a team we’ll look at for some positive regression as their Pythagorean W/L record is sitting at 16-25, 3 wins greater than their actual record. Their Net Ratings are both within 0.1 of each other so this game is basically a pick’em with home court advantage. This will be a game of two styles as the Lakers rank first in pace while the Grizzlies rank last.
It’s always worrisome to take a home favorite that’s less than what home court advantage usually is but I’ll be laying the bucket with the Grizzlies -2. NOTE: If Lonzo and Ingram are out I’ll be adding u203.5 as a play.
Golden State Warriors (-5.5) @ Cleveland Cavaliers – o/u 230
- We have Golden State coming into Ohio in the middle of a 5 game road trip. This will be their third game in four nights but swept the back to back in Milwaukee and Toronto. This game will be of focus as their next game is in Chicago in a couple nights.
- Cleveland gets back home after going 1-4 on the road and losing their last three games straight. It’s a big game, and they’ve had two full days to prepare.
Shaun Livingston, Andre Igoudala, and Omri Casspi are all listed as probable, so we’ll see who’s in and who’s out closer to game time but none of them really move the needle for me.
We expect Wade and IT to be playing tonight, while Derrick Rose has been downgraded to OUT, but really, who cares about that.
Where’s the value at?
Tonight’s value I’ll say is on the over. I wouldn’t exactly call it value but 230 is a really high number, and my first though was the under. I’ve been burned on these high totals before because mentally once a number hit’s the 230s it seems like an auto under. I tried that earlier in the season with GS vs HOU and it flew over the total. Both teams are top 5 offenses and the Cavs are a mess on defense. The Cavs will probably play up to the Warrior’s tempo. A fun little trick to try when handicapping that I learned from a friend of mine recently. Take both teams average points allowed and scored, add them up and divide by 2. If it’s off by more than 5 or 6 points there’s something going on. That’s what’s happening tonight I believe. The total by all accounts should be 220.5, but there’s a 10 point difference from this strategy. I’m not saying it’s your golden ticket, but it’s something to watch for. If I gave you an o/u of 251.5 in the Warriors/Raptors game and you took the under, you would have lost.
Under 230 is the play tonight. Expect a high scoring bout tonight on Prime Time Television.
Top System Picks
Only two system plays of note are the Hawks +7.5, and the Cavaliers +5.5. Both of these are worrisome because the Spurs are such a well-rounded team they could rout the Hawks, and all though the Cavs are at home they are not as good as they were last year… at least not yet, and the Warriors could joke them and win by 18.
Good luck however you play them, I certainly will be!
Find me on twitter @manitobamoney for awful takes and some more insight that’s slightly less awful.
-END OF JANUARY 15 PICKS-
Hello again to the BTB audience. I am glad to be back writing again focusing on these large NBA slates! Last season I wrote daily for this website and it was fantastic. I’m glad to have this platform again to share whatever wisdom or insight I may have. Let’s get started. I’ll be writing every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with my picks and thoughts.
Indiana Pacers (+1.5) vs Cleveland Cavaliers – o/u 223
- Cleveland is on a long road trip currently. They started in Boston on the third and last night they played Toronto and got whooped by 34 points. They spent three days in the north and lost focus. They’ll hope on their charter and head straight to Indiana arriving around midnight local. They’ll head home after this game to host Golden State on Monday.
- Indiana is finishing up a long home stand. Nothing outstanding here, they’ll head to Phoenix Saturday.
We will assume that Isaiah Thomas will be scratched for this game as he started last night in Toronto. This should thrust Jose Calderon back into the starting lineup. Myles Turner will be out for this game leaving Domantas Sabonis as the lead option at the center position.
Where’s the value at?
Tonight I have to believe the value will be on the over. Cleveland just got waxed for 133 points and there is no sign of their defense improving. Indiana’s offense is seventh best in the league currently while having a bottom eight defense! Cleveland’s defense is the second worst in the league but their offense is still elite ranking third. This has all arrows pointing at the over. Indiana is rested just enough and ready to turn it up after a loss. Cleveland’s defensive legs should be invisible like most nights but have their offense have a chance to turn up against this week defense.
Over 223 is the play.
Golden State Warriors (-6) @ Milwaukee Bucks o/u 224
- Golden State is starting a five game road trip where they’ll play the likes of Milwaukee, Toronto, Cleveland, Chicago and Houston. Tonight is the first of a back to back where they’ll face the Raptors tomorrow, then the Cavaliers on Sunday.
- Milwaukee is playing its second straight home game before heading down to south beach for a Sunday matchup.Key Injuries:
Stephen Curry is listed as doubtful for tonight’s game while Andre Igoudala is listed as questionable. Milwaukee has nobody of note injured.
Where’s the value at?
Tonight’s value tonight I think will be on the Bucks. They’re wildly inconsistent but they’re 2-1 in their last three home games averaging 114 points per game. The Warriors are in a look-ahead spot of all look-ahead spots, so this could be a game they take off. Remember, when the warriors were on their crazy win streak a couple years back, Milwaukee was the team to shut them down. Both teams have changed quite a bit but Milwaukee has only gotten better, and we know that Golden State is basically using the season as a primer. Then again Golden State is the best team in the NBA and could win by 15, be smart with your wager.
Bucks +6 is the play.
Charlotte Hornets (-4) vs Utah Jazz – o/u 207.5
- Charlotte is home for their second game of three playing Utah in what will be the second of a three in four and the first of a back to back. Tomorrow’s game they face Oklahoma City.
- Utah is playing their last road game of this four game trip before heading home for a standalone home game on Monday with Indiana.
Derrick Favors is probable for tonight’s game but the usuals, Neto, Gobert, and Exum, are all out.
Where’s the value at?
Tonight’s value I believe is on the Hornets. Laying short numbers at home always sneak up on me because you always think it’s an easy win. These teams’ ratings both offensively and defensively are quite similar. Both offense and defensive ratings are within 0.4 points of each other. Charlotte hasn’t been great at home (10-11), but Utah has been even worse on the road (4-17) while losing 6 of their last 8 games total. They’re struggling without Rudy Gobert and that might open up the ability for Dwight Howard to perform well. I would never suggest taking a -180 ML as a straight bet but just ponder it when making your picks
Hornets -4 is the play. Money line if you’re thirsty!
Tonight’s top system picks
As you may remember from last season I have a system that can pop out lines for me and how much my calculations tell me the home team should be favored by, these are tonight’s plays:
Above you’ll see three games, numbers listed from left to right are what the system is telling me the spread should be (i.e. Wizards by 7.06 points), what the line is, and what the edge is for the home team. This is telling me that there’s a 3.4364 point edge if you bet the Magic, a 5.5417 edge on the Pacers, and a 4.1853 edge on the Suns. These are the top three edges of the night but you always have to account for injuries. What is Myles Turner worth? What about Isaiah Thomas? James Harden?
You always have to analyze the situation as well. Houston has been on a plane prior to each of their 5 games this month and head to the desert without James Harden. Phoenix only has the 22nd worst net rating in their past 4 games so technically they’re improving.
Suns +7 (although I could see it getting to 8)
Good luck to all and thanks for reading! Find me on twitter at @ManitobaMoney
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