Once upon a time in the West, there was a guy named Kevin who played basketball. His story and more in our latest basketball betting round-up of the NBA’s Western Conference.
Jason’s record on his early NBA picks for 2013-14, up to January 22 inclusive:
We’ve already reached the halfway mark of the 2013-14 NBA season, but that’s only in reality. The unofficial official midway point is the NBA All-Star Game, coming up in about three weeks in New Orleans. Maybe they should go with a schoolyard draft format like they do in the NHL and now the NFL. I hate that format, a lot, but the Western Conference is hoarding all the talent. That’s hardly fair.
Look at some of these guys that almost certainly won’t get invited. Zach Lowe has already pointed out that Mike Conley (20.8 PER) and Goran Dragic (21.0 PER) are deserving, but they’re playing in small markets and getting little fanfare for their efforts. I’d throw Ty Lawson (20.2 PER) on that pile as well. So many guards, so little space. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make some money off these guys. Hop on board as we take another NBA betting tour around the Western Conference.
It could be worse, Mr. Conley. You could be playing in Vancouver, where the only people that cared about the Grizzlies were the locals. Hmm. Maybe nothing has changed after all. Anyway, the Grizz were slipping out of playoff contention in the West without Marc Gasol (18.4 PER), but they somehow found their stride and went on a 7-4 SU and 9-2 ATS tear. Then Gasol came back from his knee injury – and Memphis can’t beat the NBA lines anymore. They’re 3-1 SU since Gasol’s return, but just 1-3 ATS, as their big man tries to get the spring back in his step. The UNDER is 4-0 in these four games and could be a solid bet for a while longer.
Oh dear. On Tuesday, Rudy Gay (20.8 PER) continued his Sacto rebirth with 41 points in a 114-97 victory over the shorthanded New Orleans Pelicans (+7.5 away). On Wednesday, Gay suffered an injury to his left Achilles’ tendon in a 119-98 loss to the Houston Rockets (–9.5 at home). If that weren’t bad enough, DeMarcus Cousins (26.5 PER) also left the game with a sprained left ankle. X-rays were negative on Cousins, but we’re still waiting for word on Gay as we go to press. Tough break for a team that was 5-3 SU and 6-2 ATS going into Houston.
Eyebrows were raised in Big D when Dirk Nowitzki (23.2 PER) sat out Wednesday’s 93-85 loss to the Toronto Raptors (–3 at home). There was no word of an injury, so we’re assuming this was just a maintenance day, but it was still an unfortunate event for Dallas bettors after their team went 5-2 SU and ATS in its past seven games. At least Brandan Wright (22.9 PER) got to play 25 minutes this time. Wright is like a stealth All-Star coming off the Mavs bench. He deserves more play, but then again, let’s hope they keep a lid on him. It makes it easier for Dallas to beat the NBA odds.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Let’s see, there was something else going on out West… ah yes, Kevin Durant (30.9 PER). He’s almost certainly going to be named MVP this year, partly because LeBron James can afford to coast a little in the East, and partly because Durant has to carry the Thunder on his back as long as Russell Westbrook (21.5 PER) is out. Not that Durant doesn’t have a quality supporting cast, but Oklahoma City is on a 5-0 SU and ATS streak because KD has found an entirely new gear, scoring an average of 40.4 points per game during these five games. Enjoy the ride, folks.