NBA Picks of the Day: Best ATS Plays For Thursday Night's Action

Kevin Stott

Thursday, November 12, 2015 6:23 PM GMT

There are three games on the NBA schedule tonight. Let’s take a quick look at two of the games, provide any strong recent Trends and Streaks and then come up with decent NBA picks.

Utah Jazz vs. Miami Heat
Heat -5½, 182 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) [Thursday 00:00] (Sunshine, Directv 653, 7:35 p.m. EST/4:35 p.m. PST): The Utah Jazz (4-3 SU, 5-2 ATS) head to American Airlines Arena in Miami tonight (Thursday) to face the Heat (5-3 SU, 5-3 ATS) in this inter-conference affair from the Sunshine State.

NBA odds makers installed the host Heat as 4½-point favorites, but the line has risen to Heat -5 in most places this morning (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) with the game’s Total set at 182, up a point from its opening 181 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook). The Moneyline odds see Miami priced at -195 (Pinnacle) with the visiting Jazz lined at +175 on the takeback. The First Half Odds see the Heat at -2½ (William Hill).

 

What Can We Expect?
Miami (4-1 SU, 4-1 ATS at Home) comes in here on a 2-game win streak while the Jazz (3-2 Road) lost their last game to LeBron James and the Cavaliers in Cleveland, 118-114, but the Utah Jazz and Head Coach Quin Snyder have done admirably away from the Beehive State with impressive Wins at Denver (96-84), at Indiana (97-76) and at Philadelphia (99-71). With SF Gordon Hayward (15.7 ppg), C Rudy Gobert (11.9 ppg, 8.7 ppg, 3.4 bpg) and PF Derrick Favors (15.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 2.3 spg), Utah should be able to hold their own against Miami in the paint and with SG Alec Burks (15.6 ppg) and SG Rodney Hood (12.4) and PG Trey Burke (13.4 ppg) all with nice starts for Utah from the Guard position, the jazz will be able to score and match baskets with the Heat.

Miami will look to its usual big two—Chris Bosh (18.3 ppg) and Wade (18.0)—for scoring and if the heat are to dominate this game and run away with an easy win—a tough thing against a disciplined Jazz side—C Hassan Whiteside (18.8 ppg, 11.4 rpg) will have to have a great game and dominate underneath against Gobert. The Whiteside-Gobert matchup will be fun to watch here and may ultimately be where this game is decided with Rebounding being the big key. He who controls the boards will likely win this game and get the money.

 

Trends, Reasoning and The Pick
NBA Road Teams were hitting at a remarkable 60.36% clip heading into play on Wednesday night (67-44-1 ATS), and although Miami is 1-7 O/U this year and backing the Under (182) is tempting, the Over is 8-3 ATS in the L11 meetings between these two teams here at the American Airlines Arena in Miami. With Utah a dismal 2-7 ATS in the L9 meetings in this series, it’s tempting to want to back the favorites and host Heat here who have the stronger Roster and more popular NBA players like the aforementioned Bosh and Wade and have a solid G in Goran Dragic who has had a somewhat rough start to the season. The big question here is can Utah (125/1 to win NBA Championship, Sky Bet), playing in Time Zone (EST) two hours behind its own (MST) homecourt, go down to Miami (2-6 TAS L8 Thursday games) and win despite recent problems winning and covering ATS there?

And the answer is yes. Although the Heat are 7-3 ATS over their L10 overall and a strong 4-1 ATS in this series, it just seems the Jazz will keep it close and maybe even shock Miami (40/1 to win NBA Championship, Paddy Power) and blow them out at Home by double-digits like the Jazz have already done to the Nuggets, Pacers and 76ers. Wins early in the season are good for a young team’s head and getting 5 with a fundamentally sound team like the Jazz (3-2 Road) which has received some nice scoring from Guards Burks, Hood and Burke is the call here. Utah can definitely win this one.

NBA Picks: Jazz +5 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook).

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Golden State Warriors vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Warriors -9, 210½ (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) [Friday 01:10] (TNT, Prime Ticket, Directv 693, Directv 245, 8:05 p.m. EST/5:05 p.m. PST): The Minnesota Timberwolves (4-3 SU, 4-3 ATS) and defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors (9-0 SU, 6-3 ATS) will meet at the Target Center in Minneapolis tonight in an intriguing Western Conference game from the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The Point Spread in this game has already ticked up half-a-point (from 8½ to 9) from the start of this assignment and it’s only 8:30 am here in Las Vegas, so we (obviously) know which direction this line is going. Duh. If you want to bet the Warriors, best do so now before this (may) hit double-digits. And who can blame Golden State backers? Oddsmakers opened the Warriors as 8½-point favorites, but the line has risen to Golden State -9 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) with the game’s Total set at 210½ (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook). The Moneyline odds see the Warriors priced at -430 (Pinnacle) with the host Timberwolves lined at +369 on the takeback. The First Half Odds see the Warriors at -4 (-111, Sportingbet) with the Total First Half Points at 106 (Boylesports).

 

What Can We Expect?
Golden State (6-3 ATS) is a on a roll, with an unbeaten 9-0 start and a record-setting clip with possible intentions of topping the Chicago Bulls NBA record 72-win season back when a dude named Michael Jordan roamed the professional playgrounds. The Warriors are an impressive 3-1 ATS away from Home, even with NBA bettors usually backing Stephen Curry and Golden State (31.8 ppg, 5.8 apg, 5.3 rpg) and always driving the line up while Minnesota and Andrew Wiggins (19.8 ppg) are just 1-3 ATS here at the Target Center in Princeville, where Doves cry. Expect the Warriors (+400 to win NBA Championship, Winner) behind Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli to get their share of Rebounds and Points against this still young team which has been going with a nice starting 5 of Kentucky Rookie Karl-Anthony Towns (16.0 ppg), 10.4 rpg, 3.0 bpg) at Center, ageless veteran Kevin Garnett at PF, Tayshaun Prince at SF, the aforementioned Wiggins at SG and Ricky Rubio at the Point.

So this is as good and organized as Minnesota has been in some time and Head Coach Sam Mitchell and Team Manager Milt Newton deserve some credit. One day this team will be in the mix. But you have to be tough to play in the NBA’s rugged Western Conference where it’s eat or be eaten. Expect the Warriors to rush out to a 15-point lead at some point and that’s when the real game—both to go 10-0 and covering ATS—will actually begin.

 

Trends, Reasoning and The Pick
Probably the most significant Trend here is the Timberwolves being 1-10 ATS in their L11 Homes games (0-3 ATS this season), but Minnesota is 10-4 ATS their L14 against Pacific Division teams but these Warriors aren’t your average Pacific Division team. Not even close. Another seemingly solid Trend heading in here seems to be the Under, with Unders doing so well early on the NBA season and the Under 12-5 ATS the L17 Thursday Timberwolves games and a healthy 19-7-1 ATS the L27 Warriors games overall. Associating the Under with the Golden State Warriors seems like sort of an odd thing, but remember that Oddsmakers put these numbers up knowing NBA bettors are much more likely to back the Over than the Under in Warriors tilts. These extra points which are baked into the line combined with the numerical rise of Golden State Overs with money poured into them whenever they play makes for possibly a 6 to 9-point overhype for Warriors Totals. Or at least that what these numbers seem to be reflecting.

The Under is also 15-5 ATS the L20 Warriors games against the Western Conference while back to side POV, Golden State is 9-3 ATS in their L12 overall and with Curry being Harlem Globetrotter in a league of sharp shooters and dunkers, showing off and making “The Shot Of the Year” for yet another night seems par for the former Davidson star. With backcourt mates Klay Thompson (15.2 ppg) and Andre Iguodala (9.2 ppg) doing their thing, the potential for the Warriors to have explosive runs through games is usually too much for average opponents to overcome and that will likely again be the case this evening in Minnesota against a game Timberwolves squad so back Golden State with your NBA picks.

NBA Picks: Warriors -9 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook).

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