Last Updated: 2019-11-10
The start of college basketball seemed to overshadow the second full week of the NBA season. It can be a real challenge keeping up with all of the sports that are going on at this time of the year. In fact, I talked about that last week on Wednesday’s edition of BangTheBook Radio.
In order to handicap anything and everything, you need an abundance of time. A big ol’ bankroll would help a lot as well. Shortcuts can be really beneficial as well. I’m not talking about shortcuts to making a bet on the game. I’m talking about shortcuts to make sorting through the card just a little bit easier. A starting point. A jumping off point. A game to circle and come back to as time permits.
The NBA schedule gives us a lot of those.
Here are some of those spots to consider for the week ending November 17:
Monday November 11
Minnesota Timberwolves at Detroit Pistons – I typically try to go in chronological order with these. Some spots just stand out more than others and sometimes that doesn’t happen. On Monday, we can go in order of tip-off time, beginning with this matchup in Motown between Minnesota and Detroit. This is a back-to-back with travel for Minnesota. This is the second game in a run of five games in seven nights. The next three games are all at home. This is a standalone, non-conference road game sandwiched between games against Denver and San Antonio. The spot very much favors Detroit here.
Dallas Mavericks at Boston Celtics – The Mavericks play a fourth game in six nights in this one against a Celtics team that hasn’t played a back-to-back since October 25-26, so Boston has been well-rested in most of its games. This is the second game of a three-game roadie for Dallas. The spot certainly seems to favor the Celtics. Dallas has Sunday off, but it is a travel day from Memphis to Boston.
Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs – The Grizzlies also play a 4-in-6 on Monday night against a relatively rested opponent. The Celtics are at least coming back from a road trip to somewhat level the playing field, but San Antonio has been at home the last several days. The spot very much favors the Spurs, as Memphis was in Orlando on Friday, at home on Saturday, and then in San Antonio for this one.
Toronto Raptors at Los Angeles Clippers – The Raptors get a look at old friend Kawhi Leonard in the second game of the Los Angeles double. The Raptors are in a back-to-back here, although there is no travel and the locker room will be the exact same. Three days in Los Angeles can be really tough for a team, as the allures of the LA nightlife can pull players in. The matchup against Kawhi may keep things strictly business, but the Clippers have three days off against a team with no rest, so we have a very big situational mismatch here.
Tuesday November 12
Detroit Pistons at Miami Heat – A night after being in a good spot, the Pistons are in a bad spot on Tuesday. It isn’t a particularly short flight from Detroit to Miami for a back-to-back. The Pistons have two days off after this game and then four days off after they play Charlotte on Friday. Miami is home after a lengthy road trip, but the Heat have three days off before this game to get back on track. The spot definitely favors the home team here.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Indiana Pacers – The Thunder play a 4-in-6 in this one against Indiana. This isn’t a bad spot given the short travel and the Monday off day. Indiana is a little more rested. Sometimes a spot looks worse than it is. The Thunder aren’t a very good team, but the spot isn’t that much of a complication here.
Brooklyn Nets at Utah Jazz – Remember when this would have been a bad spot for Utah? Oh, yeah. That was last season. Utah plays Golden State on the road on Monday and then hosts Brooklyn on Tuesday. Going and playing the Warriors now is like playing a glorified scrimmage. Despite the back-to-back, I find this spot worse for Brooklyn in Game 3 of a five-game road trip with one of the two altitude games that they will play this season.
Wednesday November 13
Los Angeles Clippers at Houston Rockets – In the last two back-to-backs for the Clippers, Kawhi Leonard has sat out the first game. What happens this week when the Clippers play the Rockets and then the Pelicans? The Clippers were fined $50k for not being upfront about their plans with Kawhi this past week. What now? Do they care? Does Kawhi play this huge game on ESPN? Is this a Western Conference Finals preview? A lot of questions, but not many answers as we try to look at this game from afar.
Toronto Raptors at Portland Trail Blazers – Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaade the Raptors in this one. Toronto is playing a fourth road game in six days to finish up a road trip that saw the team spend three days in Los Angeles. Portland is in a back-to-back with travel off of Tuesday night’s game against Sacramento, but I’m not worried about that. Portland has a great home court advantage and it would take a really, really bad spot to compete with Toronto’s situation, coming off of games against LeBron and Kawhi.
Thursday November 14
Miami Heat at Cleveland Cavaliers – We’ve got a head scratcher here. Miami plays a standalone road game in cold and dreary Cleveland on Wednesday night. That comes between games against the Pistons and Pelicans. As much of a draw as Christie’s Cabaret and the JACK Casino Cleveland are, the Heat are unlikely to be distracted in this one. Cleveland, meanwhile, is back home off of a three-game road trip. The Cavs are playing pretty well overall, so if they cover here, it is based on their own merits, not a reach of a spot.
Los Angeles Clippers at New Orleans Pelicans – It doesn’t take a PhD to realize that Kawhi Leonard will either play Wednesday or play Thursday. He will not play both. Bet accordingly.
Friday November 15
San Antonio Spurs at Orlando Magic – This isn’t a great spot for the Spurs. This ends a quick two-game road trip and the Spurs have Portland on deck at home on Saturday. This is sandwiched between conference games. Orlando has been home since November 7 and won’t leave again until November 19. This spot says Orlando or nothing to me.
Detroit Pistons at Charlotte Hornets – I’m not really sure what the deal is here, but the Pistons play one game from Tuesday to next week Wednesday and it is this game against Charlotte. That is a ton of downtime. This isn’t an international game or anything. Maybe the rest will help Detroit? This is the front end of a back-to-back for Charlotte and a flight to New York City awaits after the game. I guess the spot favors Detroit, but this is a pretty unconventional week for the Pistons and I’ll be looking to fade them next Wednesday against the Bulls.
Boston Celtics at Golden State Warriors – In all honesty, this week in the NBA is very light on situational spots. The Celtics are in one here simply because they are out west to play 3-in-4 and 4-in-6 and 5-in-8. This is the first game of a trip that features stops in Sacramento, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Denver. Will the Celtics be able to win by enough margin to cover here with a long trip west? That is really the only question in this standalone home game for Golden State.
Saturday November 16
Milwaukee Bucks at Indiana Pacers – The Bucks will be waiting in Indianapolis on Friday night while the Pacers play in Houston against the Rockets. These spots are always interesting. The road/home back-to-back with the opponent just sitting in town waiting. It always seems like such a good spot for the rested team. The Bucks will be in that role on Saturday. Given that playing the Rockets is no picnic and usually means a lot of lost energy, it would be Bucks or nothing to me here.
Portland Trail Blazers at San Antonio Spurs – Here is another such spot. Portland actually has two days off to wait on San Antonio. Meanwhile, the Spurs are in a back-to-back with travel from Orlando, a 3-in-4, a 4-in-6, and a 5-in-8. Portland, meanwhile, is out to start the road trip on a high note. The Blazers play Houston, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Chicago on this trek heading towards the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s Portland for me here.
Atlanta Hawks at Los Angeles Clippers – Whether Kawhi sits on Wednesday or sits on Thursday, he should be back for this one. The Hawks enter this game following a Friday night off in Los Angeles, which can be extremely dangerous. The Hawks actually play the LA double to finish out the week and I don’t think I’d want any part of them in either game, even if Trae Young is trying to ball out to impress Kawhi and LeBron.
Sunday November 17
Atlanta Hawks at Los Angeles Lakers – I mean, we might as well start here, right? This is the back end of the LA double for Atlanta and it finishes up a 5-in-8 west coast road trip with stops in Portland, Denver, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. The Lakers, meanwhile, have been home most of the week. This is not a great spot for the Hawks.
Philadelphia 76ers at Cleveland Cavaliers – I just might be crazy enough to look at Cleveland on the money line here. This begins a run of 5-in-7 for Cleveland, with the middle three all on the road. For Philadelphia, this is essentially three games in 4.5 days and four games in 5.5 days because this is a 3 p.m. ET tip-off. The Sixers haven’t had consecutive days off since October 31-November 1. The Sixers will have just played the Cavs at home on Tuesday, so the Rapid Revenge Theory is in play here. It will be Cleveland for me based on the spot.
Keep an eye out for these NBA situational betting spots every week at BangTheBook.com!
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