Jason’s record on his early NBA picks for 2013-14, up to April 20 inclusive:
Is it time for the playoffs already? Amazing. It seems like just yesterday we were talking about the upcoming 2013-14 NBA regular season – which teams would tank, which teams would make surprise runs, all that good stuff. But it wasn’t yesterday, it was six months ago. Six delightfully profitable months. I haven’t added up all the vigorish yet (that can wait until the playoffs have ended), but that record you see up there works out to a 54.8-percent success rate. Not bad for overnight NBA picks. And you got them for free, I might add.
Now that the playoffs have arrived and casual bettors are taking more interest, we’ve got a good chance of seeing even higher profit margins. So let’s wrap up this long weekend with a pair of juicy NBA betting opportunities. May the sphere be with you.
Memphis vs. Oklahoma City (8:00 p.m. ET, TNT)
You might recall these same two teams met in the Western Conference Semifinals last year, with the Grizzlies pulling off the five-game upset. Well, maybe not exactly the same two teams. Russell Westbrook missed that series with a torn meniscus; on Saturday, he dumped 23 points and 10 rebounds on Memphis as the Thunder (–8 at home) won this year’s quarterfinal opener 100-86. Monday’s NBA odds board has Oklahoma City laying seven points with a total of 189.5.
Looking at the past 11 seasons of first-round results, No. 2 seeds were smashing the basketball odds at 63-45-8 ATS (58.3 percent), as were the game-to-game favorites at 60-47-8 ATS (56.1 percent). I’m content to keep following the No. 2 Thunder in this series unless something significant happens in favor of the No. 7 Grizzlies. They already took a bad beat when back-up PG Nick Calathes (12.3 PER) was suspended 20 games for taking a banned substance. Third-stringer Beno Udrih (12.7 PER) was largely ineffective in his 15 minutes off the bench against OKC.
As for the Thunder, they have defensive specialist Thabo Sefolosha (10.4 PER) back in the starting lineup, giving them the deepest lineup they’ve had all season. Oklahoma City is 3-0 SU and 2-0-1 ATS versus Memphis this year when Westbrook has been active. The Grizz have an outstanding frontcourt, but they’re no match for OKC on the perimeter, and losing Calathes just makes it worse.
NBA Pick: Take the Thunder –7 (–102) at Matchbook
State vs. L.A. Clippers (10:30 p.m. ET, TNT)
Oklahoma City was the only home team to survive Saturday’s playoff openers. The Clippers were 7.5-point favorites against the Warriors, but it was Golden State taking care of business in a 109-105 victory. Either team could have won that game; the Clippers had an edge in turnovers and getting to the free-throw line, but they only went 23-of-35 from the stripe, while the Dubs had the overall advantage in shooting and rebounding.
Yes, rebounding. This looked like it was going to be a challenging series for the Dubs with the loss of center Andrew Bogut (17.1 PER) to a rib injury, and it’s going to be a challenge anyway. But Jermaine O’Neal (15.3 PER) can still go up and get the ball. Meanwhile, Draymond Green (12.7 PER) came off the bench and did a little bit of everything in his 22 minutes of work, leading all players at plus-17.
There’s been no first-round advantage for No. 3 seeds over the past 11 years at 61-61-2 ATS, and last year, the Clips were the No. 6 seeds when they swept the No. 3 Denver Nuggets 6-0 ATS. Gosh, I think I’m going to dial up the Dubs again. Golden State is getting eight points on Monday’s NBA lines with a total of 212 – at most outlets, that is. Watch for value on the vigorish as the online sportsbooks compete for your basketball betting dollar.
NBA Pick: Take the Warriors +7.5 (+104) at SBOBET