Free NBA Picks for Spurs vs. Celtics

Jason Lake

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 12:37 PM GMT

A string of injuries has caused the San Antonio Spurs to come up lame against the NBA betting lines. The feisty Boston Celtics will try to add to their misery Wednesday night at the Garden.

Jason’s record on his early NBA picks for 2013-14, up to February 10 inclusive:

62-49-1 ATS

16-13 Totals

Did you know the Germans have a word for schadenfreude? I can’t remember what that word is, but the idea of taking pleasure in the misfortune of others is definitely catching on. Like certain German engineering companies with an international legacy of bribery and corruption – or, on a happier note, like certain NBA betting enthusiasts who’ve been fading the San Antonio Spurs the past few weeks. Thanks to a spate of injuries, the Spurs are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games. Ausgezeichnet.

The fact that the Spurs are hobbling through their annual Rodeo Trip just makes their misery even sweeter. Next stop is the Boston Garden, where the Boston Celtics are lying in wait after thumping the Milwaukee Bucks 102-86 on Monday. That was yet another cover for the C’s with Rajon Rondo taking a maintenance day off. How will they fare now that he’s back? Wednesday’s early NBA lines have Boston getting 5.5 points with a total of 195.5.

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The Rodeo Song

I used to love the Spurs, too, the way they would make money hand-over-fist. They had it all: small market, boring team-first attitude, international players – and the belief that Tim Duncan (21.9 PER) was past his expiry date. But I suppose the NBA betting market had to adjust at some point. The Spurs went 39-41-2 ATS last year, and they were 22-21 ATS this year before hitting the skids.

San Antonio has been fighting the injury bug all season, but things finally reached a tipping point on Jan. 23 when Kawhi Leonard (17.6 PER) broke the ring finger on his right hand. One week later, Manu Ginobili (19.3 PER) strained his left hamstring. It’s been a mess ever since, and it only got worse during Monday’s 109-100 loss to the Detroit Pistons (+3). Danny Green (12.5 PER) sprained a knuckle on his shooting hand, and Patty Mills (18.8 PER) sprained his ankle.

Both Green and Mills are expected to play Wednesday, but they’ll be just two more Spurs who are playing hurt. Tony Parker (19.8 PER) has a bad back and only played 21 minutes against Detroit. Marco Belinelli (14.9 PER) recently missed a game with back spasms, and on top of all that, Tiago Spillter (16.6 PER) is iffy for Wednesday after sitting out two games with a bruised calf. It’s going to take a lot of topical analgesic to get San Antonio through this road trip.

Special Update: Parker will sit out Wednesday’s game.

More Johnson-Related Humor

Meanwhile, back in Boston, the Celtics are 4-1 SU and ATS in their past five games. Rondo (14.2 PER) has played much better basketball in his past three games, shaking off the rust from his extended layoff, and the C’s have also gotten a boost from rookie swingman Chris Johnson (14.9 PER). The former Dayton Flyer (hey, Rick) was signed for the rest of the season after performing with energy and hustle during a pair of 10-day contracts. Hmmm… sounds a lot like our friend James Johnson (19.0 PER) with the Memphis Grizzlies. Except their Johnson is three inches bigger. Boston’s is only 6-foot-6.

The smaller Johnson’s arrival takes some of the sting out of the departures of Jordan Crawford (16.1 PER) and Courtney Lee (14.9 PER), and he’ll probably be getting more minutes against the Spurs after Avery Bradley (12.3 PER) was held out of Monday’s game with a sore ankle. Bradley is considered unlikely to play on Wednesday and could be out for a while, depending on the results of his latest MRI.

Brandon Bass (15.0 PER) is also questionable after getting poked in the eye against Milwaukee, meaning we might see more of rookie Kelly Olynyk (12.4 PER) against the Spurs. But Kris Humphries (17.7 PER) has also been playing well with the minutes he’s been given, so I’ll stick with Boston in this situation. Wir fahren fahren fahren auf der Autobahn.

NBA Pick: Take the Celtics +5.5 at BetOnline