Welcome back, NBA bettors, to another Gambling Guru column.
It’s been an interesting start to the season with road dogs dominating in November, and as expected more home teams are starting to win now as the grind of the season starts to take it’s toll.
On a personal note I’ve found the lines overall to be pretty stable. The bookmakers have nailed most of the national TV games, which is a good lesson for you all out there, try and grab the low hanging fruit!
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are the days where you’ll most likely get a few weak lines to pick off as the bookmakers deal with a large number of games and also the distraction of collegiate sports, hockey and football.
Detroit, Phoenix, Oklahoma City and Minnesota are a few teams I like to cover the spread tonight.
Just how good are the Golden State Warriors?
They are incredible. A 70-plus win season looks a very realistic probability even if they do have a few slumps along the way.
So often you will see teams who are garnering lots of public attention and as a result will be dramatically ‘over-bet’ and often win games without covering the lofty spreads the bookmakers set.
Well, not these Warriors! They are an incredible 16-7 against the spread (ATS) so far this season and no doubt giving the bookies in Vegas and around the world an absolute nightmare!
Not surprisingly, either given how smoking hot their offense has been, they are also 14-9 in favor of the OVER on points totals of their games.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are the team I think will be the first to beat Golden State in season 2015/16. Christmas Day should be extra special this year!
As it stands and on my numbers, San Antonio and Oklahoma City are the two teams in the West that are capable of beating a fully-fit Golden State in a seven-game series.
The Dallas Mavericks are 14-9 ATS and a very underrated team, as colleague Jan Hubbard has pointed out. Rick Carlisle is a well-documented favorite of mine but the other unsung hero of this Mavs team at the moment is Zaza Pachulia who is playing 30 minutes a night, averaging a double-double and holding together the starting unit on the defensive end.
The Mavs are the Atlanta Hawks of the West and will likely continue to be a good betting proposition for us going forward.
The Orlando Magic are 15-6 ATS so far this season and one of the league’s real surprises. Victor Oladipo has relished playing in that sixth-man role recently and Scott Skiles has them playing good team defense, and he should be in the early season Coach of the Year conversation.
The Chicago Bulls are 6-13 ATS and the worst in the league in this category currently. They are having issues closing out games and I’m not sold by any stretch on coach Fred Hoiberg. The points total in Bulls games has gone under 13 times in 19 games.
Other things of note: The Spurs (14-9), Raptors (14-8-1) and Jazz (12-7-1) have all performed well ATS this season while the Thunder (8-13), Pelicans (7-14) and Rockets (8-15) have struggled ATS for various reasons.
Bold prediction going forward
Derrick Rose follows the path of Michael Carter-Williams and Victor Oladipo and comes off the bench for the Bulls for a period of time.
He can still get around 30 minutes a night in this role, but it will enable Kirk Hinrich to play with the starting unit some more, and Rose will be able to do what he does best and be the offensive focal point with the second unit.
Rose is shooting 36 percent from the field and a measly 23 percent from 3-point range. He was never going to be a really great shooter but he did have his three-ball well up over 30 percent in seasons ’10-’11, ’11-’12 and ’13-’14.
His PER is at a horrible 9.79 currently, and now looks the perfect opportunity for a little change. Some extra minutes against a few young and inexperienced second-units might be what he needs to recapture some of the magic.
Jake Henson, from Australia, has worked with corporate bookmakers and professional gamblers and will be providing regular NBA gambling advice on Sheridan Hoops throughout the season. Follow him on Twitter and tweet him your thoughts on any betting market that tickles your fancy.