Although the NFL gets most of the sporting world’s attention as the Super Bowl draws near, the NBA continues to provide both entertainment and betting opportunities as the regular season approaches its midpoint.
Just two teams have yet to show double digit losses. Oklahoma City has the NBA’s best record, 29-8, followed closely by the continually improving Los Angeles Clippers at 28-9.
That “other” Los Angeles team, the Lakers, continues to struggle especially against good teams. After losses last week at both Houston and San Antonio, followed by a home defeat last Friday to Oklahoma City, the Lakers finally snapped a five-game slide. That win on Sunday night came against the 9-30 Cleveland Cavaliers.
As a new week begins the Lakers are 16-21 with just four games remaining until their schedule will be half complete. Presently the Lakers are seeded eleventh in the Western Conference, four games behind Portland for the eighth and final playoff seed. Utah and Minnesota are also ahead of the Lakers.
The overall pointspread results thus far show outstanding balance with home teams covering 269 games and road teams 272. There have been 13 pushes.
Interestingly, in the nine games that closed ‘pick em’ at the LVH, the road team has won six.
Home favorites (191-183-9 ATS) have actually outperformed home underdogs (75-83-4). Through more than 500 games the UNDER holds a slight 273-270-11 edge in posted totals.
Just two teams are covering more than 60 percent of their games with Oklahoma City having the distinction of owning both the best SU and ATS mark in the league at 23-13-1 ATS mark (64 percent). At 21-13-1 ATS is Memphis (62%) percent. The Clippers, Denver and Golden State are all at 5% covers.
At the bottom of the ATS standings is Charlotte, whose 13-22-1 mark has the Bobcats covering in just 37% of their games. The next weakest team may be a surprise to some as Chicago’s 13-21-1 mark has the Bulls covering just 38% percent. Atlanta comes in next with 40% (14-21-1 ATS).
Just two teams have seen more than 60% of its games OVER the Total, led by Sacramento (23-13-1, 64% OVER). Golden State is (22-14, good for 61% OVER.
Memphis Grizzlies have seen the greatest percentage of its games stay UNDER (21-13, 62%). Indiana has played 61% UNDER (15-23) and Chicago is at 60% UNDER (14-21).
Brooklyn Nets are the league’s hottest team starting the week as its coaching change has had a positive effect. The Nets have won six in a row and are 8-2 in their last 10 games, nine of which have been played since PJ Carlesimo replaced Avery Johnson.
Milwaukee Bucks also made a coaching change as assistant coach Jim Boylan replaced Scott Skiles last week and the Bucks have won three of four since.
Here’s a look at three games this weekend.
Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics (Fri): These teams are meeting for the third time this season with each winning once in games played in Chicago. Neither team has played very well thus far with each just a handful of games above .500. Boston sits in third place in the Atlantic, while Chicago trails Indiana by 1½ in the Central.
Both teams continue to emphasize defense as the key to success although the two games in Chicago each went OVER the posted total. Boston is the healthier team and off a pair of teams near the bottom of the standings. Both teams are rested after having last played two nights earlier. BOSTON.
San Antonio Spurs at Atlanta Hawks (Sat): This is a back to back spot for both teams as each played Friday night. Atlanta was on the road at Brooklyn while San Antonio hosted Golden State. The Spurs have fared well against a more talented Hawks team in recent seasons, winning their lone meeting last year by 22 points and sweeping the series a season earlier with wins of seven and 16 points.
Spurs head coach Greg Popovich has long been one of the best at managing his personnel and should be better prepared for his team to play better in a second straight game for both teams. SAN ANTONIO.
Okalhoma City Thunder at Denver Nuggets (Sun): Both teams are rested after having last played on Friday. Each continues to play well with Denver finally getting to play more home games where they are now 14-2. This is a quick rematch of a game played on Wednesday in OKC. That game will be the Thunder’s lone home date in a three week stretch, preceded by three road games and followed by 6 more away.
Denver is in a stretch of playing 15 of 18 at home. DENVER.
Andy Iskoe, and his Logical Approach, provides his popular and unique handicapping statistics to Gaming Today readers and online visitors. He has been a long time GT columnist, contributing weekly in-season columns on baseball, pro basketball and pro football. Contact Andy at [email protected]