Where will you find Wednesday’s basketball betting value? Maybe in Sacramento, where the Kings are about to unleash their new three-headed monster on the Utah Jazz.
Jason’s record on his final NBA picks for 2013, up to December 10 inclusive:
There is truly never a dull moment in the NBA. If your team is winning, you’re excited. If your team is losing a whole lot, you’re still excited, thanks to the 2014 NBA Draft. So how do you feel, Toronto Raptors supporters? You won’t have Rudy Gay to kick around anymore, but the Raptors may have improved their short-term future more than their chances of winning the Andrew Wiggins Sweepstakes. And the Sacramento Kings? We’ll take a closer look as we run down Wednesday’s best NBA betting situations.
Orlando vs. Charlotte (7:00 p.m. ET)
As we go to press, the Bobcats (10-11 SU, 13-7-1 ATS) are the most profitable team in the Eastern Conference, cashing in five times in a row against the basketball lines. They’ve also won back-to-back games at home over Philadelphia (+7) and Golden State (–6). Charlotte may actually benefit short-term from the absence of SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (11.7 PER); he’s out 4-6 weeks with a broken left hand and has been replaced by Anthony Tolliver (6.8 PER), who can stretch the floor at 37.8 percent from the perimeter.
The Magic (6-15 SU, 10-11 ATS) are definitely getting a handle on their tanking efforts. Orlando has lost six games in a row at 2-4 ATS; SF Tobias Harris (17.0 PER) remains out with a high-ankle sprain, and he’s been joined on the sidelines by center Nikola Vucevic (19.8 PER). Both are listed as day-to-day. No rush, gentlemen. Take your time.
NBA Pick: Take the Bobcats –6 at Bookmaker
Utah vs. Sacramento (10:00 p.m. ET)
In case you missed it, the Kings (6-13 SU, 7-11-1 ATS) traded PG Greivis Vasquez, PF Patrick Patterson, PF Chuck Hayes and SF John Salmons to Toronto for Gay, SF Quincy Acy and center Aaron Gray. It’s a definite “win now” move by the Kings, who reportedly will plug Gay (15.9 PER) into the 4-spot alongside center DeMarcus Cousins (26.1 PER) and elevate PG Isaiah Thomas (24.0 PER) to the starting lineup, where he rightfully belongs.
The Kings did just fine without Gay on Monday, beating the Dallas Mavericks 112-97 as 4-point home dogs to improve to 4-1 ATS in their last five games. Putting Gay in as a stretch 4 may work out swimmingly, or it might be an unmitigated disaster. Fortunately for Sacto, the Jazz (4-19 SU, 9-13-1 ATS) are in full-on Tank Mode and have dropped four straight SU and ATS. Center Derrick Favors (18.3 PER) and PF Marvin Williams (15.6 PER) are both iffy to play Wednesday. This is a statement game for Sacramento – as in bank statement.
NBA Pick: Take the Kings –7 (–102) at Pinnacle
Dallas vs. Golden State (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
It’s all gone a bit pear-shaped for the Mavericks (13-9 SU, 11-11 ATS) of late; they’ve dropped six of their last eight ATS, but they’ve also picked up solid road victories over New Orleans (–2.5) and first-place Portland (–5.5). There’s a lot to like about the Mavs, but defense isn’t one of those things. They were No. 24 in efficiency (103.8 points allowed per 100 possessions) heading into Tuesday’s action.
You’ll normally have to do better than that against the Warriors (12-10 SU, 10-10-2 ATS), but they’ve fallen back after a hot start, going 4-7 SU and 4-6-1 ATS in their last 11 games. This roughly coincides with the loss of SF Andre Iguodala (17.2 PER), who remains on the shelf with a hamstring injury. One of his fill-ins, forward Draymond Green (11.0 PER), sprained his left ankle in Monday’s loss to Charlotte and is listed as questionable for Wednesday. Fade them while they’re down.
NBA Pick: Take the Mavericks +6 at BetDSI