Bucks +14 vs. Warriors for NBA Picks

Jason Lake

Thursday, March 20, 2014 11:41 AM GMT

Thursday, Mar. 20, 2014 11:41 AM GMT

The Milwaukee Bucks still have the worst record in the NBA. But they’ve also beaten the basketball lines in five of their last seven games. Can the Golden State Warriors cash in Thursday night?

Jason’s record on his early NBA picks for 2013-14, up to March 18 inclusive:

83-68-2 ATS

23-20 Totals

You gotta stay ahead of the curve in this business. Yes, the Milwaukee Bucks are in last place in the NBA. Their roster looks like it should be playing in the First Four in Dayton. But when you bet on basketball, you’re not just dealing with the Bucks. You’re dealing with the market’s opinion of the Bucks. And these days, it’s pretty clear the market has undervalued Milwaukee substantially. Check out that 15-7 ATS record since the start of February. Is it luck?

Milwaukee will get another crack at The NBA lines on Thursday against the Golden State Warriors, who came up golden for us in Tuesday’s 103-89 win over the Orlando Magic (+12 away). Golden with the total (UNDER 206.5), that is. Should we stick with the UNDER again, or should we take the Bucks and the very generous 14 points they’re getting on the NBA odds board?

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Static Cling

Let’s start with that total, which was bet up from 202.5 points at the open. Looking at the consensus numbers in retrospect, the early and overnight action was firmly on the UNDER, right up until about lunchtime on the East Coast, when the pendulum swung in the other direction, for an hour or so. Then it happened again, right around dinnertime – lots of people betting the OVER, up until near tip-off, when the UNDER started getting pounded on the inflated total.

They say hindsight is 20/20. Which is dumb, of course; 20/20 means average vision, not perfect vision. Anyway, in hindsight, these patterns can be interpreted as an object lesson in sharp vs. square NBA betting. The public opened its wallets on the OVER during the lunch break and after work. Overnight, the sharps liked the UNDER, and they liked it even more after the total jumped from 202.5 to 206.5. As one would expect.

Again, you gotta stay ahead of the curve. The picks I’m giving you here are static and based on the overnight line, provided there is one at press time. You should be prepared to wait until closer to tip-off if you think a more profitable situation will arise. Perhaps the NBA lines will move in a favorable direction. Perhaps you’ll get better information about who’s playing and who’s not. Be dynamic about these things – unless you’re content to switch off your brain and settle for whatever ATS/total record you see at the top of this column.

 

Dynamic Tension

Which brings us back to the Bucks. Before the season started, there was a lot of chatter, including in this space, about how the worst teams in the Eastern Conference were primed to tank the 2013-14 NBA betting season. But this historic tire fire had yet to be lit. There was tremendous money to be made fading Milwaukee during the opening month, to the tune of 2-13 SU and 4-11 ATS.

Eventually, we could all see the thick black smoke. There were some good spots to fade the Bucks mid-season, partly related to the fluctuating health of Larry Sanders (14.0 PER). But now the narrative has been set: The Bucks are awful. Casual bettors are flooding the market and fading Milwaukee, and as often happens with a mob, their actions have become self-defeating.

So should we take the Bucks or the UNDER? This would actually be a nice spot for the standard underdog-UNDER parlay. The UNDER is 4-2 in Milwaukee’s last six games, and it would be 5-1 if it hadn’t been for the overtime frame in Tuesday’s 120-115 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers (OVER 206). Andre Iguodala (13.3 PER) is out for the next week or so with tendinitis in his knee, so I’ll take the Bucks, thank you very much. May the sphere be with you.

NBA Pick: Take the Bucks +14 at Bookmaker

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