Jason’s record on his final NBA picks for 2013, up to November 20 inclusive:
We’ve got one month of basketball betting under our belts, and so far, the underdogs have been the story. They’re 86-74-4 (53.75 percent) as we go to press, and even better at 59-48-3 ATS (55.14 percent) when they play on the road. That’s some old-school NBA betting for you right there. Road dogs are about as fundamental as value picks get.
But that’s not the direction I’m pointing you in for Friday’s games. The NBA odds haven’t come in yet as we go to press, but there are some ugly looking matchups out there for the road teams. Let’s look instead at three (four, if you include the Charlotte Bobcats) of the most profitable teams in basketball this year. As with last week’s picks, if the NBA lines come out funny, amend your bets accordingly.
Phoenix at Charlotte (7:00 p.m. ET, FSN)
Laugh at the Bobcats at your peril. They’re 6-6 SU and 7-4-1 ATS after dumping the Brooklyn Nets 95-91 as 3-point home dogs on Wednesday night. Before that contest, Charlotte was ranked No. 28 in the league in offensive efficiency (92.9 points per 100 possessions), but a feisty No. 9 in defensive efficiency (99.1 points allowed/100). They’ve covered four of their last five games with the UNDER at 4-0-1.
The Suns were on top of the Pacific Division for a while there, but four straight losses have dropped them to 5-6 SU and 8-2-1 ATS – still the best ATS record in the NBA. The most recent loss was Wednesday’s 113-106 final at the hands of the lowly Sacramento Kings, who cashed in as 5.5-point road dogs. Phoenix is No. 16 on offense (100.0) and No. 5 on defense (97.1), and although the UNDER is only 5-6, I think it’s a stronger play than the spread in this case.
NBA Pick: Take the UNDER
Brooklyn at Minnesota (8:00 p.m. ET, FSN)
Something is rotten in the borough of Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Nets fell to 3-8 SU and 4-7 ATS after the loss in Charlotte, their sixth loss in seven games after such a promising start to the season. Brooklyn was No. 20 on offense (99.1) and No. 22 on defense (103.9) heading into Wednesday’s action. Perhaps Jason Kidd has a few things to learn as an NBA head coach. Center Brook Lopez missed the Bobcats game with a sore ankle; PG Deron Williams sprained his left ankle in the first half and may have to sit out a while.
The Timberwolves (7-6 SU, 8-5 ATS) were doing quite well for themselves, but they’ve gone 1-3 SU and ATS in their last four games, dropping a 102-98 decision to the L.A. Clippers (+2 away) on Wednesday. The Wolves were No. 10 on offense (103.5) and No. 6 on defense (98.7) before losing to L.A.; they only hit five of 22 trey attempts in that contest, which is both unusual and unlikely to happen again versus Brooklyn.
NBA Pick: Take the Timberwolves
Chicago at Portland (10:00 p.m. ET, CSN)
Remember those pesky Bobcats? They got paid Monday against the Bulls (6-3 SU, 4-5 ATS), losing the game 86-81 as 12.5-point road dogs to snap Chicago’s 4-0 ATS streak. The Bulls were 0-4 ATS in their previous four games and looking like premium fade candidates with PG Derrick Rose (9.2 PER) performing well below MVP level. Chicago ranks No. 25 on offense (97.9) and No. 3 on defense (92.1) with the UNDER at 6-3.
The Bulls are playing the nightcap of Thursday’s TNT doubleheader in Denver, so the Trail Blazers (10-2 SU, 9-3 ATS) will have an added advantage Friday night at the former Rose Garden. Portland’s refurbished lineup was No. 3 in offense (107.4) and No. 20 on defense (102.7) before beating the Milwaukee Bucks 91-82 as a 5.5-point road chalk. That’s eight wins in a row for the Blazers at 7-1 ATS. I’m on board.NBA Pick: Take the Blazers