NBA Picks - December 2007
Note: Because I watch line movements and where the money is going, it's impossible for me to post an NBA selection around 5:30 on weeknights.
Orlando Magic (21-11) at Chicago Bulls (11-17)
Line: Magic by 1.5 (1st Half Line).
I'm loving the shady line, as Orlando should be favored by six or seven over the stinkin' Bulls; not three. But Chicago has been playing better ever since Scott Skiles was fired. I'm taking the first-half action here.
Prediction: Magic 88, Bulls 80
Bulls +1.5 - 1st Half Line (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
Boston Celtics (23-3) at Seattle Sonics (8-20)
Line: Celtics by 10.
No weird line movements, but I like how Boston moved up from -8.5 to -10, matching the 94-percent action on its side. I'm taking the game line because this is not an underdog.
Prediction: Celtics 98, Sonics 78
Celtics -10 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Detroit Pistons (20-7) at New Jersey Nets (12-15)
Line: Pistons by 3 (1st Half).
Forum-poster Tyler pointed this game out to me, so I have to give him credit. Why did Detroit open up as mere 6-point favorites at New Jersey? The Pistons are on fire, having covered eight in a row. They should be 9-point favorites. With tons of action on Detroit, the line for some reason moved down to 5.5. This is a clear indication of larcenous activity. I will be taking the first-half line to avoid getting screwed once again.
Prediction: Pistons 85, Nets 83
Nets +3 - 1st Half Line (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
Los Angeles Lakers (15-10) at Philadelphia 76ers (10-15)
Line: Lakers by 1.5 (1st Half).
Why did this line open at only three? And why did it move down to 2.5 despite 84 percent of the money coming in on the Lakers? This game could be Tim Donaghied.
From now on, I'm taking the first-half line in the NBA. I've been burnt way too many times in the second half. For instance, the Timberwolves (+6.5) were up at halftime by eight. I felt confident and left the computer. I come back an hour later to see them outscored in the third quarter by 30. This happens twice a week for me.
Prediction: Lakers 106, 76ers 93
76ers +1.5 - 1st Half Line (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Golden State Warriors (14-11) at Minnesota Timberwolves (3-20)
Line: Warriors by 6.5.
Lots of action on the Warriors (77 percent), yet the line has dropped from -7.5 to -6.5. Minnesota has been a frisky team lately, as they've covered five of their previous seven contests.
Prediction: Warriors 101, Timberwolves 99
Timberwolves +6.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
Indiana Pacers (12-12) at New York Knicks (7-16)
Line: Pacers by 2.
This line is way too low and way too static. Despite 90 percent on Indiana, the spread hasn't budged off two.
Prediction: Knicks 107, Pacers 99
Knicks +2 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
Philadelphia 76ers (9-14) at Cleveland Cavaliers (10-13)
Line: Cavaliers by 7.5.
I'll take 7.5 with the 76ers, who have been playing better ever since Billy King got the ax. This line opened up at eight, and with about 70 percent of the money on the Cavs, the line has dipped to 7.5. It's also a good sign that Pinnacle is holding -7.5 -105, while other shops still have this contest at eight.
Prediction: Cavaliers 89, 76ers 87
76ers +7.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Orlando Magic (16-7) at Charlotte Bobcats (8-12)
Line: Magic by 5.
Let's take a lot at this bizarre line. The Magic are one of the best teams in the NBA. The Bobcats, meanwhile, have only two victories since Nov. 19. They haven't even covered a game since Nov. 24! So, with that in mind, why is Orlando only -5? And why, despite more than 90 percent of the money going their way, has the line dropped to -4.5 in Pinnacle?
Prediction: Magic 94, Bobcats 93
Bobcats +5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
Washington Bullets (11-10) at Miami Heat (6-15)
Line: Heat by 5.5.
With the Heat getting about three-quarters the line has dropped from six by 5.5. I'm taking Washington tonight.
Prediction: Bullets 95, Heat 90
Bullets +5.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
Chicago Bulls (7-12) at Indiana Pacers (10-11)
Line: Pacers by 1.
There's about 70 percent on the Bulls tonight, and the line is moving down; it opened at -3. The Pacers look completely discombobulated in the wake of the Jamal Tinsley situation. Chicago should win tonight.
Prediction: Bulls 99, Pacers 96
Bulls +1 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Indiana Pacers (10-10) at Cleveland Cavaliers (9-12)
Line: Cavaliers by 4.
LeBron James is back, which is why about nine-tenths of the public is betting on Cleveland tonight. If that's the case, why did the line open up just -4.5 over the mediocre Pacers? And why is the spread dropping? I feel the Cavs may be looking for a rusty James to do too much.
Prediction: Pacers 95, Cavaliers 80
Pacers +4 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
Houston Rockets (11-10) at Philadelphia 76ers (7-13)
Line: Rockets by 6.
Granted, the 76ers just beat the Knicks, but it looks like they're playing with energy in the wake of Billy King's firing. This line is dropping from 6.5 to 5.5 in some places despite there being 63 percent on the visitor.
Prediction: Rockets 80, 76ers 78
76ers +6 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
Boston Celtics (16-2) at Chicago Bulls (6-11)
Line: Celtics by 5.5.
This line has moved from -4.5 to -6 in some places, matching the money placed on the Celtics. As of 5:45 p.m., 91 percent of the public is on Boston.
Prediction: Celtics 103, Bulls 91
Celtics -5.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
Denver Nuggets (11-8) at Dallas Mavericks (12-7)
Line: Mavericks by 8.
Walt's Projected Line: Mavericks -6.
Thursday, 8:05 ET
The Mavericks haven't covered a home game since Nov. 15, but I think that changes tonight. With three-quarters of the cash on them tonight, the line has risen from -7 to -8, or even -8.5 in some places.
The Vegas. Edge: Nuggets.
About three-quarters of the public is on Dallas.
Prediction: Mavericks 117, Nuggets 102
Mavericks -8 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
Phoenix Suns (14-4) at Toronto Raptors (10-8)
Line: Suns by 7.5.
Walt's Projected Line: Suns -4.5.
Wednesday, 7:05 ET
I'm not sure if anyone's paying attention, but the Raptors are on fire; they've won four of five and five of seven. This line opened at nine, however, as the public is in love with the Suns. With about 80 percent of the cash on the visitor, the spread dropped from nine to 7.5. Toronto seems like a great value play tonight.
The Vegas. Edge: Raptors.
People always love the Suns.
Prediction: Raptors 113, Suns 110
Raptors +7.5 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
Suns 136, Raptors 123.
Detroit Pistons (11-5) at Atlanta Hawks (7-9)
Line: Pistons by 6.
Walt's Projected Line: Pistons -7.5.
Tuesday, 7:05 ET
Not much to like today... The public's on the Pistons, but the line has risen from five to six.
The Vegas. Edge: Hawks.
The public loves the Pistons.
Prediction: Pistons 102, Hawks 92
Pistons -6 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
Pistons 106, Hawks 95.
Charlotte Bobcats (6-9) at Toronto Raptors (9-8)
Line: Raptors by 4.
Walt's Projected Line: Raptors -7.
Monday, 7:05 ET
I love the Bobcats in this spot. Charlotte has lost five in a row, while Toronto has claimed four of six. With close to 90 percent of the cash being piled onto the Raptors, this line, which was shady to begin with, has dropped from five to four.
The Vegas. Edge: Bobcats.
Everyone's taking this soft Raptors line.
Prediction: Bobcats 98, Raptors 95
Bobcats +4 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
Raptors 98, Bobcats 79.
Phoenix Suns (12-4) at New York Knicks (5-10)
Line: Suns by 8.5.
Walt's Projected Line: Suns -9.
Sunday, 7:35 ET
Who in the world would bet the Knicks today? They were just blown out by 50, and even though they somehow beat the Bucks, I think the public views that as a fluke. Well, 99 percent of the action is on the visitor, yet the line has dropped from nine to 8.5. Hmmm...
The Vegas. Edge: Knicks.
No one in their right mind would bet the Knicks today.
Prediction: Suns 113, Knicks 109
Knicks +9 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Suns 115, Knicks 104.
Philadelphia 76ers (5-10) at New Jersey Nets (7-8)
Line: Nets by 8.
Walt's Projected Line: Nets -7.5.
Saturday, 7:35 ET
The Nets, despite getting three-quarters of the money tonight, have dropped from -8.5 to -8. The 76ers have quietly played better the past week, and have a solid history of covering in the Meadowlands.
The Vegas. Edge: 76ers.
The public is all over the Nets.
Prediction: Nets 83, 76ers 81
76ers +8 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Nets 94, 76ers 92.
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