Now that the 'over' isn’t the best NBA pick on the board, it’s time to look for value on the point spread. There are some under-the-radar teams playing on national TV this weekend.
Season Record: 4-1 ATS
You can’t expect deals like that to last forever. After whipping the NBA odds to start the 2016-17 campaign, the 'over' has finally run out of gas, going 27-26 over the past seven days. Who knows, maybe the parade to the pay window will crank up again, but here at the ranch the point spread is our specialty. So let’s see what’s on the menu for this weekend. Hmmm ... I think the key word here is “counter-programming.”
Friday: Los Angeles Lakers At Philadelphia 76ers (8 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Two rebuilding programs collide at the WFC, and it looks like another year of high draft picks for both teams. Actually, the Lakers owe their first-round pick to Philadelphia as part of the way-back Steve Nash trade with Phoenix unless it falls in the Top 3 – and then the Suns have to flip that pick to Philadelphia as part of the 3-way deal that sent Michael Carter-Williams to Milwaukee. Anyway, Los Angeles got off to a decent start before injuries hit, and most of those players are back in the lineup now. The Sixers, meanwhile, are still trusting the "process" post-Sam Hinkie.
Saturday: Portland Trail Blazers At Golden State Warriors (10:30 p.m. ET)
So the Warriors are destroying everything in their path now that Kevin Durant (+7.4 BPM) has found his place on the team – as their best player. Stephen Curry (+6.7 BPM) is still the motor on offense, but Durant’s two-way play makes him more valuable to the New Dubs. Either way, don’t be blinded by all that talent, because there’s only one ball to go around and Golden State is sub-.500 ATS thus far. Then again, the Blazers have taken a step back this year. Maybe this will be a good spot to put the 'over' in your NBA picks after all.
Sunday: Sacramento Kings At Dallas Mavericks (7 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
Speaking of taking a step back ... the Kings and Mavs are both in freefall, but Sacramento already have lowered expectations, so it has managed to make a betting profit heading into the weekend. Dallas is simply a mess of injuries and rumor has it Dirk Nowitzki (strained Achilles) might retire at the end of the season instead of subjecting us to a Kobe-like reunion tour. We’ll always have 2011, big guy.