Believe it or not, there’s much more to the Eastern Conference than the Cleveland Cavaliers. You’ll find your best NBA picks a little further down the standings.
Is there anything more fun than making NBA picks? Well, maybe one or two things. But when it comes to sports betting, the hardcourt is where it's at. The game is fun, the players aren't killing themselves for our entertainment, and there's always plenty of shenanigans going on to distract recreational bettors. Like that whole New York Knicks debacle. The more red meat you throw at the fans, the less attention they pay to the product itself. It's the way of the world.
The Knicks have more important problems now that Joakim Noah (+2.1 BPM) is having issues with his left hamstring, so we're going to recommend some other Eastern Conference teams to keep an eye on as we approach the All-Star break. With the Knicks implosion and the Cleveland Cavaliers soaking up all the headlines, there should be ample betting value on the NBA odds board with these three teams in particular:
It's always Raptors, Raptors, Raptors. This is one rare case where a team that's already riding high ATS is still worth your betting consideration. The Raptors haven't been at full strength all year; as a result, they've lost some achingly close games they probably would have won otherwise. And of course, it's Toronto, so nobody below the 49th Parallel gives a damn.
Here's a more traditional “buy low” opportunity. The Hornets are one of the least profitable teams in the East right now, but there's a lot of talent here, and Charlotte has had even worse luck than Toronto in close games: Try 0-7 SU in games decided by three points or less, heading into Saturday's action.
The Pistons are already closer to a .500 team than their record would suggest, and they seem to be getting their act together at 7-5 SU and ATS in their last dozen games. This might be the healthiest team in the NBA; point guard Reggie Jackson (–0.9 BPM) is still rounding into form after missing the first 21 games, but he's just about there. Also, this is Year Three of the Stan Van Gundy regime – which means it's just about harvest time in Detropia.