For Wednesday’s top plays against the NBA lines – provided the weather holds up – we travel to Charlotte, zip over to Detroit, and then land in Phoenix for a nightcap.
Jason’s record on his final NBA picks for 2013, up to November 26 inclusive:
Betting on the NBA is always easier when you pick your spots. Not every matchup is going to give you sufficient value against the basketball odds; that’s not the case with these three games from Wednesday’s slate. We start things off with everyone’s favorite team: the Charlotte Bobcats. They’re painting the town purple and teal, don’tcha know.
Indiana vs. Charlotte (7:00 p.m. ET)
No, I’m not picking the Bobcats (7-8 SU, 8-6-1 ATS) to beat the spread against the mighty Indiana Pacers (13-1 SU, 10-4 ATS), especially when the Pacers are 5-1 ATS on the road and the ‘Cats are 3-5 ATS at home. But I’m not going to fade the future Hornets, either. This matchup is about the total. Charlotte has the UNDER at 10-4-1 this year; Indiana is 10-4 in that department.
We should see one of those low, low scores right out of 1998 on Wednesday night. At one end of the court, you have Charlotte’s No. 28-ranked offense facing Indiana’s top-ranked defense. Nothing unusual there, but the Bobcats also have the NBA’s No. 6-ranked defense (!), and they’ll be matched up against the No. 15-ranked Pacers offense. It gets better: Indiana is No. 19 in pace, and Charlotte is No. 28. Low totals will not deter me from betting the UNDER here. All we need now are Anthony Mason and Antonio Davis.
NBA Pick: Take UNDER 180.5 at Ladbrokes
Chicago vs. Detroit (7:30 p.m. ET)
Well, now that the Bulls (6-7 SU, 5-8 ATS) have gotten their collective rump roast handed to them by the Los Angeles Clippers, I might have to buy into the idea that they’re emotionally deflated following the loss of PG Derrick Rose for the remainder of the season. We’ll see if they can pick themselves up off the floor and make it into the playoffs regardless, just like they did last year.
This pick has more to do with home/away splits, though. Chicago fell to 2-6 ATS on the road with that loss at Staples Center; Detroit (6-8 SU, 7-7 ATS), meanwhile, is 4-3 ATS at the Palace after beating the Milwaukee Bucks (+7) 113-94 on Monday. The Pistons are also 4-1 ATS at home against losing teams. That’s you, Chicago. Let’s see if guards Brandon Jennings (17.3 PER) and Rodney Stuckey (20.0 PER) can run rings around the Bulls backcourt.
NBA Pick: Take the Pistons –3.5 at The Greek
Portland vs. Phoenix (9:00 p.m. ET)
What’s that? I expect you to choose between the Trail Blazers (13-2 SU, 11-4 ATS) and the Suns (7-7 SU, 10-3-1 ATS), the two most profitable teams in the NBA thus far? No sweat. This is another matchup with home/away considerations; the Blazers are 7-1 ATS on the road this year, while the Suns are a manageable 3-2-1 ATS in the desert. They’ve also dropped their last two home games, against two very bad teams in the Brooklyn Nets (–1) and the Sacramento Kings (+5.5). Maybe the good times are already over.
We got something of a preview for Wednesday’s game when these two teams met in Portland on Nov. 13, with the Blazers winning 90-89 as 7-point faves. Phoenix is 2-4 SU and 3-3 ATS since that contest, while Portland is 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS. The NBA point spread has shrunk to 4.5 points for the rematch. Even better, Suns PG Eric Bledsoe (23 points, six assists in the first game against Portland) is day-to-day with shin splints and may or may not play on Wednesday. Break out your voodoo dolls.
NBA Pick: Take the Trail Blazers –4.5 at BetOnline