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NBA Picks - January 2008

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.
Last Week's Winnings (Feb. 11-17): 3-2, +$430
2007-08 Season Winnings (as of Feb. 3): 44-41-2, 51.8% (-$380)


Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008 (1-0, +$200)


Cleveland Cavaliers (25-19) at Seattle Sonics (10-35)
Line: Cavaliers by 3.


This seems a bit easy. The Cavs have won five in a row on the road, and only have to cover three? Every n00b out there is picking them tonight.


Prediction: Cavaliers 97, Sonics 96
Sonics +1.5 1st Half (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200




Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008 (0-1, -$330)


Chicago Bulls (18-26) at Minnesota Timberwolves (8-36)
Line: Timberwolves by 4.5.


An 8-36 squad as a favorite? As you'd expect, people are jumping on the Bulls. Yet, despite that, the line has risen from -4 to -4.5.


Prediction: Timberwolves 104, Bulls 94
Timberwolves -2.5 1st Half (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330




Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008 (0-1, -$330)


Boston Celtics (34-8) at Miami Heat (9-34)
Line: Celtics by 6.


This line makes no sense. The Celtics were just -8.5 over a Knicks squad that has a better record than Miami. And keep in mind that this spread is dropping (opened at -7) despite tons of action on Boston. The Heat are playing really well right now, and should be able to give the Celtics all they can handle.


Prediction: Celtics 94, Heat 93
Heat +3 1st Half (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330




Monday, Jan. 28, 2008 (0-1, -$220)


Charlotte Bobcats (17-27) at Los Angeles Clippers (13-27)
Line: Clippers by 3.5.


The Clippers are intriguing here, as they have a worse record, yet are favored and seeing the line move in their direction despite slight action on the other side. I have no idea if that sentence made any sense to you, but it did to me.


Prediction: Clippers 94, Bobcats 88
Clippers -1.5 1st Half (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220




Sunday, Jan. 27, 2008 (0-1, -$220)


Utah Jazz (25-18) at Houston Rockets (24-19)
Line: Rockets by 3.


I'm really not confident in Utah's ability to go into Houston and win. The Jazz simply suck on the road.


Prediction: Rockets 96, Jazz 84
Rockets -3 1st Half (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220




Saturday, Jan. 26, 2008 (1-0, +$100)


Los Angeles Clippers (13-26) at Memphis Grizzlies (12-31)
Line: Grizzlies by 3.


Weird line, as Memphis is struggling, yet favored over a team with a better record. I like Memphis just a bit here.


Prediction: Grizzlies 105, Clippers 94
Grizzlies -1.5 1st Half (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100




Friday, Jan. 25, 2008 (1-0, +$200)


Philadelphia 76ers (16-27) at New York Knicks (13-28)
Line: Knicks by 2.5.


I feel as though I know the Seventy-Suxers more than any other team. A week ago, they were playing hard. Now they're not. The Knicks are going to slaughter the Overpaid Contracts tonight, causing the fans to care less about the squad.


Prediction: Knicks 99, 76ers 93
Knicks -1.5 1st Half (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200




Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008 (0-1, -$220)


Indiana Pacers (19-24) at Milwaukee Bucks (16-26)
Line: Bucks by 4.5.


Fading the Pacers again on the road. I like Milwaukee coming off its second-half meltdown against the Suns. The Bucks will be out for blood, and should crush Indiana.


Prediction: Bucks 100, Pacers 90
Bucks -3 1st Half (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220




Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2008 (1-0, +$100)


Indiana Pacers (19-23) at Chicago Bulls (16-24)
Line: Bulls by 4.


I can't give you a good explanation as to why I like the Bulls. I just do. Call it a gut instinct - or at least my disliking of every other game on the slate.


Prediction: Bulls 104, Pacers 95
Bulls -2 1st Half (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100




Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2008 (1-0, +$200)


New Jersey Nets (18-22) at Sacramento Kings (17-22)
Line: Kings by 6.


With about equal action on both sides, this line has moved from -5.5 to -6 (and even -6.5 at Bodog). The Kings seem like the right side, especially considering that the Nets have been slumping recently.


Prediction: Kings 104, Nets 93
Kings -3 1st Half (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200




Monday, Jan. 21, 2008 (0-1, -$440)


Utah Jazz (23-18) at Los Angeles Clippers (12-24)
Line: Jazz by 3.


A very short line that looks too inticing for its own good. Who's not taking the Jazz at only -3 today? With tons of action on the visitor, the line has dropped from -4 to -3. I like fading Utah on the road, where they are just 6-15 against the spread. Oh, and by the way, I hear the n00b bettor likes the Jazz.


Prediction: Clippers 94, Jazz 90
Clippers +1.5 1st Half (4 Units) -- Incorrect; -$440




Saturday, Jan. 19, 2008 (0-1, -$330)


Golden State Warriors (24-17) at Milwaukee Bucks (16-23)
Line: Bucks by 3.


An odd line - it seems weird that the Bucks are favored over the Warriors. People are taking Golden State, and this line has risen.


Prediction: Bucks 109, Warriors 95
Bucks -1.5 1st Half (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330




Friday, Jan. 18, 2008 (1-0, +$200)


Philadelphia 76ers (15-24) at Boston Celtics (31-6)
Line: Celtics by 10.5.


The 76ers are playing well right now for some reason. Remember what they did last year? They went on a tear, lost their only meaningful game and missed the playoffs just by a bit, ruining their shot at Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. Well, they're going to do the same thing this season - mark my words. The Celtics sleepwalk through this contest and barely win it.


Prediction: Celtics 98, 76ers 94
76ers +6 1st Half (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200




Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008 (0-1, -$220)


Orlando Magic (24-16) at Charlotte Bobcats (14-23)
Line: Magic by 1.5.


This has sucker bet written all over it. All the Magic need to do to cover is beat the Bobcats. With tons of action coming in on Orlando (about 80 percent), the line dropped in Pinnacle from 1.5 to 1. Very strange. I'm taking the first-half line, of course.


Prediction: Bobcats 102, Magic 98
Bobcats +0.5 1st Half (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220




Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008 (1-0, +$300)


Philadelphia 76ers (14-24) at Houston Rockets (20-18)
Line: Rockets by 9.


Being a former fan of the 76ers - I renounced my fanhood when they traded away Kyle Korver for no good reason - I know when this team is going to play well. Three of their previous four contests have been close. They're getting tired of losing; today's headline said, "0-8 in '08." That's right - Philadelphia has yet to win since New Years Eve. I think they can keep this game close in the early going.


Prediction: Rockets 96, 76ers 92
76ers +5.5 1st Half (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300




Monday, Jan. 14, 2008 (0-1, -$220)


Portland Blazers (22-14) at New Jersey Nets (18-18)
Line: Nets by 5.


I thought 19-17 Toronto being favored by 4.5 over 22-13 Portland was strange. But why are the 18-18 Nets -5? It doesn't make any sense. The public is pounding the Blazers.

The Raptors first-half line pushed yesterday because Portland made a running 3-pointer from halfcourt at the buzzer. Let's hope nothing crazy like that happens tonight.


Prediction: Nets 98, Blazers 91
Nets -2.5 1st Half (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220




Sunday, Jan. 13, 2008 (0-0-1, -$20)


Portland Blazers (22-13) at Toronto Raptors (19-17)
Line: Raptors by 4.5.


Let me get this straight... one of the hottest and most publicly backed teams in the NBA is an underdog against a 19-17 squad? This seems like the kind of game the n00b bettor would pick. Too bad I have to post this early, as this contest begins at 12:35. That's like before the football games. What is David Stern thinking?


Prediction: Raptors 99, Blazers 90
Raptors -2 1st Half (2 Units) -- Push; -$20




Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008 (1-0, +$200)


Boston Celtics (30-4) at Washington Wizards (18-16)
Line: Celtics by 7.


This seems a bit easy, doesn't it? All the Celtics need to do is beat the 18-16 Wizards by seven. No big deal. That's why everyone is on Boston. Curiously, the line has dropped from seven to 6.5 in some places.

It feels dumb going against the Celtics, who are 23-11 against the spread. But the Wizards are 21-12 themselves. They're playing a lot better right now.


Prediction: Celtics 100, Wizards 97
Wizards +4 1st Half (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200




Friday, Jan. 11, 2008 (1-0, +$200)


Charlotte Bobcats (13-21) at Cleveland Cavaliers (18-18)
Line: Cavaliers by 8.


I don't think the crappy bettor is taking anyone tonight, so I'm left alone in deciding whom I'm going to pick. The Cavs look good in this spot; the Bobcats just beat the Celtics the other night, and may have partied and celebrated a bit too much. Cleveland, coming off a loss, may look to get itself going again.


Prediction: Cavaliers 95, Bobcats 83
Cavaliers -4 1st Half (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200




Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008 (1-0, +$200)


Phoenix Suns (25-10) at Utah Jazz (19-17)
Line: Jazz by 6.5.


I have no conversation for you tonight, but I know the n00b bettor considered Utah but backed off because of his recent string of bad luck. How can Phoenix not cover this game? Underdogs of 6.5 after the line moved up from three? Vegas is dying for you to take them. I don't care if Steve Nash is out; this seems like a sucker bet.


Prediction: Jazz 110, Suns 96
Jazz -3.5 1st Half (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200




Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008 (1-0, +$400)


Cleveland Cavaliers (18-17) at Atlanta Hawks (15-16)
Line: Hawks by 2.5.


This is another bookie special. My friend didn't give me a conversation unfortunately, but I know his client is taking the Cavs. Here's what the exchange may have went like:

  • Client: Wait... the Cavs are underdogs against the Hawks?
  • Bookie: Yes.
  • Client: But they have LeBron and they've won six of their last seven!
  • Bookie: I know.
  • Client: The Cavs are gonna win by 30!
  • Bookie: Maybe.
  • Client: OK, I'll take $200 on the Cavs.

    Taking the Hawks here. First-half play, of course.


    Prediction: Hawks 86, Cavaliers 80
    Hawks -1.5 1st Half (4 Units) -- Correct; +$400




  • Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008 (1-0, +$200)


    Miami Heat (8-26) at Minnesota Timberwolves (4-29)
    Line: Pick.


    No hilarious bookie stories today, unfortunately. Miami does seem like a sucker bet though. I mean, the Heat are struggling, but they can easily beat Minnesota, right? The public loves Miami today (90 percent), but the line has gone from Heat -1 to Timberwolves -1 in some places. I'm going with the first-half line as usual.


    Prediction: Timberwolves 93, Heat 90
    Timberwolves PK 1st Half (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200




    Monday, Jan. 7, 2008 (1-0, +$400)


    San Antonio Spurs (23-9) at Golden State Warriors (19-15)
    Line: Warriors by 3.


    Here's a real conversation between my friend (a bookie) and one of his clients.

  • Client: Is the Spurs line really +3?
  • Bookie: Yes.
  • Client: That seems a bit fishy to me.
  • Bookie: Why?
  • Client: Spurs are too good to be underdogs.
  • Bookie: I guess.
  • Client: OK, I'll take $200 on the Spurs.

    Wow... Looks like Vegas is setting the public up for a fall after the Titans failed to cover yesterday. Everyone is on San Antonio, yet the line has gone from -2 to -3. I'm going with the Warriors, and put me down for the first-half line because I always get screwed in the second half.


    Prediction: Warriors 108, Spurs 98
    Warriors -1 1st Half (4 Units) -- Correct; +$400




  • Friday, Jan. 4, 2008 (0-1, -$220)


    Houston Rockets (15-17) at Orlando Magic (22-12)
    Line: Magic by 4.5.


    No line or spread implications here... I just think that Houston's battle with the Celtics two days ago, which concluded in a 4-point loss, may have tired the team out. The Magic would love to beat a solid opponent here.


    Prediction: Magic 104, Rockets 95
    Magic -4.5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220




    Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008 (0-1, -$220)


    Portland Blazers (19-13) at Chicago Bulls (12-18)
    Line: Bulls by 4.


    Let's see... the Blazers have won 14 of 15, own the better record and play a squad with a much worse record that had a game last night on the road. So, why are the Bulls favored by four? And why, despite a bit of action on the visitor, has the line jumped from three to four?


    Prediction: Bulls 99, Blazers 89
    Bulls -4 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220




    Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008 (1-0, +$200)


    Chicago Bulls (11-18) at Charlotte Bobcats (11-18)
    Line: Bulls by 1.


    There's plenty of action on Chicago, so the oddsmaker matched, as the line moved from Bobcats -1 to Bulls -1. Why the movement? Well, they know Chicago is playing sharp ball right now in the wake of Scott Skiles getting fired.


    Prediction: Bulls 92, Bobcats 86
    Bulls -1 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200




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