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Sunday, June 14, 2009 (1-0, +$200)
Los Angeles Lakers (80-24) at Orlando Magic (72-33) Line: Magic by 3.
Despite getting all the help from the officials, the Magic couldn't pull out Game 4. I think this series ends tonight. The Magic will establish an 8-point lead or so at halftime, but the Lakers will come back and win.
Los Angeles Lakers (79-23) at Orlando Magic (71-32) Line: Magic by 4.
This Orlando team has really been my downfall. I just can't figure them out. But what I do know is that if they don't get off to a hot start in this game, they're pretty much finished.
NBA Pick: Magic 100, Lakers 96 Magic -2.5 First Half Line (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Sunday, June 7, 2009 (0-1, -$220)
Orlando Magic (71-31) at Los Angeles Lakers (78-23) Line: Lakers by 6.5.
Mike Brown's idiotic coaching has completely thrown me off. I was wrong on every game in the Cleveland-Orlando series because Brown failed to make any adjustments, and thus I've treated Orlando as a better team than it really is. This Magic squad should have lost to the 76ers in the first round or to the Kevin Garnett-less Celtics in Round 2. They're now being exposed for the mediocre team that they are.
Orlando Magic (71-30) at Los Angeles Lakers (77-23) Line: Lakers by 6.
I asked this on my Twitter page - has there ever been a Coach of the Year who was fired the same season?
I'm too lazy to do the research, but Mike Brown should be fired. What a disgrace. He's the reason the Cavaliers were humiliated in that series. He failed to make a single adjustment in the six games.
What did he possibly talk about in the locker room? "Hey guys, you know how the Magic shoot threes really well? Here's my plan - we're going to leave them open just to psyche them out! Yeah! And on offense, we're just going to stand around and let LeBron do all of the work. Let's get 'em!"
I'm still convinced that the Lakers are a lazy team. I think the Magic will win one of these two games.
Cleveland Cavaliers (76-19) at Orlando Magic (70-30) Line: Magic by 2.
Wow... did not expect the Lakers to put forth any effort in a game they didn't need. It's really ridiculous because if they would have played every game with as much intensity as they did last night, they'd be 12-0 in the playoffs.
Cleveland is 4-1 ATS at halftime in this series, so I'm going to ride that here. Orlando will come away with the victory, however, thanks to more B.S. calls and lucky threes.
NBA Pick: Magic 101, Cavaliers 100 Cavaliers +1 First Half Line (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Friday, May 29, 2009 (0-1, -$440)
Los Angeles Lakers (76-23) at Denver Nuggets (64-33) Line: Nuggets by 5.5.
You know, when the Cavaliers were up 35-18 after the first quarter, I felt pretty confident that they'd cover the first-half spread of four. Of course, they blow that lead and eventually build a new one, costing me three units.
This is a big number for Denver, but the fact remains that the lazy Lakers are 2-8 against the spread after a win this postseason. This should be a blowout, setting up an interesting Game 7.
Orlando Magic (70-29) at Cleveland Cavaliers (75-19) Line: Cavaliers by 7.5.
Another playoff game where the officiating is horrific at best. What a surprise.
The Cavaliers are 4-0 ATS in this series at halftime, and I feel incredibly stupid for not backing them with the first-half line after Game 2. My thinking is Cleveland establishes a huge lead here, and Orlando comes back with the help of crooked/inept refs and B.S. three-pointers.
NBA Pick: Cavaliers 100, Magic 99 Cavaliers -4 First Half Line (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
Wednesday, May 27, 2009 (0-1, -$220)
Denver Nuggets (64-32) at Los Angeles Lakers (75-23) Line: Lakers by 6.
Well, I hope David Stern has fun with his crappy TV ratings in the NBA Finals. It'll go along great with his crappy officiating.
I don't know what was worse: A) The moving screen they didn't call on Dwight Howard to set up Rashard Lewis' three at the end of regulation. B) The phantom foul on LeBron to send him to the free throw line to tie the game one play later. Or C) Calling the sixth foul on Anderson Varejao when he wasn't even in the picture. Seriously, why not just have a couple of drunken bums officiate the game? They'll do just as poor a job, and you can just pay them with a beer or two.
I hate going against the Lakers here because they're 5-0 ATS in the playoffs after a loss (compared to 2-8 ATS after a win) but the Nuggets are the tougher team. This game will go down to the wire.
Cleveland Cavaliers (75-18) at Orlando Magic (69-29) Line: Cavaliers by 1.
The wedding was a great time. The "sleeping with dozens of women" plan didn't work out too well because there were only two single girls there. But it was still fun. Getting there? Not so much.
Never use Google Directions! They told me to turn on two streets that don't exist, and then they told me to turn onto Mill Road, which was renamed Ridge Road. I had to call my friend Duff twice to ask for directions, prompting Duff to dub himself "Walt's GPS B**ch."
At any rate, I can't imagine David Stern allowing LeBron to go down 3-1 in this series. I'm 0-3 betting this series, but the fix has to be in here, right?
Los Angeles Lakers (75-22) at Denver Nuggets (63-32) Line: Nuggets by 4.
I'm giving you Monday's play now because I'll be in Hershey for my ex-college roommate's wedding. Believe it or not, this is my first wedding ever, so I'm not sure what to expect. I've seen Wedding Crashers, so I'm expecting to sleep with hundreds of different women afterward. But I'll settle for dozens if "hundreds" doesn't work out.
Anyway, I mentioned yesterday that the Lakers have beaten their opponents by an average score of 107-85 after a playoff loss. But check this out - after a win this postseason, Los Angeles is just 2-7 against the spread!
The Lakers slack off and don't give 100 percent every game. Their goal was to win one in Denver, and they've accomplished that. Now, Denver is desperate for a victory.
Los Angeles Lakers (74-22) at Denver Nuggets (63-31) Line: Nuggets by 3.5.
The Nuggets have covered every game in the playoffs thus far, which makes it really difficult to go against them here. However, the Lakers, known for not trying very hard in every game, have shown us that they like to give 100 percent after a loss. Following their four playoff defeats, the Lakers have beaten their opponents by an average score of 107-85. Still, I hate fading Denver, so this is only a 1-unit play.
Orlando Magic (68-28) at Cleveland Cavaliers (74-17) Line: Cavaliers by 9.
The Magic are not going to hit 50 percent of their threes again. Besides, their goal was to win one game in Cleveland. The Cavs need this much more than they do, and I'll be shocked if this isn't an epic debaclation.
Orlando Magic (67-28) at Cleveland Cavaliers (74-16) Line: Cavaliers by 9.
The Cavaliers are 7-0-1 against the spread in the playoffs. LeBron James, in my opinion, has entered the Michael Jordan territory, where he's just not going to lose. Of course it helps that Cleveland plays the best defense of any team in the league.
Denver Nuggets (62-30) at Los Angeles Lakers (73-21) Line: Lakers by 6.5.
There's no question that both of these teams are talented. The Lakers have the top player in the conference, while the Nuggets have covered EVERY SINGLE GAME in the playoffs thus far. To me, Denver seems hungrier, while Los Angeles just shows up when it knows it has to win. I'll be very surprised if Denver doesn't win one of these first two games.
Houston Rockets (60-34) at Los Angeles Lakers (72-21) Line: Lakers by 12.5.
My neighbor Steve (whom I run Pro Sales Guide with) asked me if I was shocked that the Rockets completely debacled the Lakers in Game 6. I told him I wasn't; the Lakers don't bring their A-game every time they play, and they knew they didn't have to win Game 6 to prevail in the series. Well, they'll bring it here. I really can't envision this contest being close.
Orlando Magic (66-28) at Boston Celtics (69-26) Line: Celtics by 3.
The Magic didn't cover Thursday's first-half line and barely beat the 7-point spread for the entire game because they missed tons of free throws and wide-open threes. I still believe they're the more talented team in this series. I think they'll once again maintain a halftime lead and then blow it in the final quarter. Celtics win, Magic cover the first half.
NBA Pick: Celtics 101, Magic 100 Magic +1.5 First Half Line (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Thursday, May 14, 2009 (0-1, -$220)
Boston Celtics (69-25) at Orlando Magic (65-28) Line: Magic by 7.
Here we go again... can the Magic blow yet another big lead? I think they might just do it. Regardless, they have to come out with more intensity than the Celtics because their season is now on the line. I'd say they'd win big, but they've proven that they belong amongst the biggest choke artists in NBA history. I'll take the first-half line again.
NBA Pick: Magic 105, Celtics 96 Magic -4 First Half Line (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 (1-0, +$200)
Dallas Mavericks (55-36) at Denver Nuggets (61-30) Line: Nuggets by 8.5.
The Mavs somehow pulled through in Game 4, I can't imagine putting up the same resistance again, especially in Denver. The Nuggets have somehow covered every game in the postseason thus far. I expect that to hold up.
Orlando Magic (65-27) at Boston Celtics (68-25) Line: Celtics by 2.5.
I don't know who's going to win this game, but I'm pretty confident that Orlando will establish a moderately sized lead in the first half. It's their style to blow that lead, so it'll be close in the fourth quarter.
NBA Pick: Magic 95, Celtics 94 Magic +1 First Half Line (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Monday, May 11, 2009 (0-0-1, $0)
Cleveland Cavaliers (73-16) at Atlanta Hawks (51-41) Line: Cavaliers by 10.
Can they make it 8-for-8? The Cavs have covered every game in the Doggone Playoff so far, and I don't see how Atlanta can beat the number here after putting everything it had into Game 3.
Boston Celtics (67-25) at Orlando Magic (65-26) Line: Magic by 5.
The Celtics know they have to win one in Orlando. I like them in the first half.
For more, I'm going to let my friend Tom explain why the Magic were able to debacle the Celtics in Game 3:
"Dude, let me tell you why they suck. Tonight is a blessing in disguise. Rafer Alston sucks. All he does is turn the ball over. All series against Philly, he missed layups and threw bad passes. Everyone is like, 'Oh they are gonna get spanked because he's not there.' When he slapped Eddie House, I was like, 'YES hes gonna get suspended now!'
NBA Pick: Celtics 102, Magic 100 Celtics +2.5 First Half Line (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Saturday, May 9, 2009 (1-0, +$200)
Cleveland Cavaliers (72-16) at Atlanta Hawks (51-40) Line: Cavaliers by 8.5.
As in every sport, defense travels. The Cavs have a good chance of sweeping this series because they have the best defense in the NBA. Plus, Atlanta's injuries aren't doing them any favors.
Boston Celtics (67-24) at Orlando Magic (64-26) Line: Magic by 4.5.
We've already established that the Magic aren't a good team. Boston will win one of these two games in Orlando. So, which game will it be? Looking at the last series, the Celtics debacled Chicago in Game 3 and then went on to lose Game 4. I believe the same will happen here. The Celtics are a veteran squad and know they have to take care of business.
Orlando Magic (64-25) at Boston Celtics (66-24) Line: Celtics by 4.
Good lord, the Magic suck. How do you almost blow a 28-point lead? This Orlando team has proven time and again that it cannot hold leads. There's no way a squad like this wins two in a row on the road. I'm taking the Celtics in the first half because they're going to come out with a purpose.
NBA Pick: Celtics 112, Magic 90 Celtics -2 First Half Line (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
Houston Rockets (58-31) at Los Angeles Lakers (69-19) Line: Lakers by 9.5.
Like the earlier game, this contest should be a debaclation of epic proportions. Kobe might put up 60. I like the Lakers in the first half.
NBA Pick: Lakers 117, Rockets 88 Lakers -6 First Half Line (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
Tuesday, May 5, 2009 (1-0, +$300)
Atlanta Hawks (51-38) at Cleveland Cavaliers (70-16) Line: Cavaliers by 11.5.
The Hawks MIGHT steal one game at home in this series, but I can't see this going more than five. I also can't see Atlanta staying close to the Cavaliers in Cleveland, where LeBron has debacled all but one opponent this season.
Orlando Magic (63-25) at Boston Celtics (66-23) Line: Celtics by 2.5.
I don't know what the Magic did to get this much respect, but the Celtics should be favored by more than 2.5. Sure, Boston is missing Kevin Garnett, but Orlando has proven that the team is highly overrated.
Atlanta Hawks (50-37) at Miami Heat (45-42) Line: Heat by 5.
These teams are too evenly matched for this series to not go seven games. The Heat, playing with some desperation, have to live up to their name and come out hot. That's why I'm taking them in the first half.
NBA Pick: Heat 103, Hawks 92 Heat -3 First Half Line (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Thursday, April 30, 2009 (0-1, -$220)
Orlando Magic (62-25) at Philadelphia 76ers (43-44) Line: 76ers by 5.5.
How much are Dwight Howard and Courtney Lee worth? How about 9.5 points? The Magic were 4-point favorites in Philly in Games 3 and 4. Now, they're 5.5-point underdogs. I like the 76ers here in a blowout, though I do think Orlando wins in seven.
Dallas Mavericks (53-33) at San Antonio Spurs (55-31) Line: Spurs by 5.5.
The Spurs are a veteran-laden team. I don't expect them to go down easily. They may not cover the spread for the game, but I like them on the first-half line. They're desperate, and Dallas has the security of playing Game 6 at home.
NBA Pick: Spurs 103, Mavericks 94 Spurs -3 First Half Line (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Monday, April 27, 2009 (1-0, +$200)
Denver Nuggets (56-29) at New Orleans Hornets (50-35) Line: Hornets by 2.5.
The Hornets had to win on Saturday, yet they barely came away with a victory. The Nuggets are clearly the better team in this series. I'm not confident that New Orleans can beat Denver two games in a row.
Boston Celtics (63-21) at Chicago Bulls (42-42) Line: Bulls by 2.5.
Losing two games in a row by two points hurts... I like the Bulls here; the Celtics probably should be down 0-2 right now. They're just so banged up. Chicago is a mad house, especially come playoff time.
Philadelphia 76ers (42-41) at Orlando Magic (59-24) Line: Magic by 10.5.
I don't know if anyone cares about the Magic. Seriously, as the camera panned the stands, the fans looked like they didn't even want to be there. I guess if you commit a crime in Orlando, they send you to a Magic game. Who knew?
At any rate, I'd like to say that I'm a Magic fan today. I'm taking them to cover the touchdown and field goal. They led by 18 in Game 1, but relinquished the lead. They won't be as sloppy in Game 2. They can't go down 0-2.
Utah Jazz (48-34) at Los Angeles Lakers (65-17) Line: Lakers by 11.5.
The Jazz needed to beat a Laker team that had nothing to play for to get out of the No. 8 seed earlier in the week. Not only did they lose; they were debacled. How am I supposed to have any confidence that Utah will win more than one game in this series? Oh, and by the way, the Lakers are 7-1 against the spread versus the Jazz in their last eight meetings in Los Angeles.
NBA Pick: Lakers 119, Jazz 93 Lakers -11.5 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
Saturday, April 18, 2009 (1-0, +$300)
Detroit Pistons (39-43) at Cleveland Cavaliers (66-16) Line: Cavaliers by 12.
A 12-point line is huge, but not as large as the disparity between Detroit and Cleveland. The Cavs always whack the Pistons at home. This shouldn't be any different.
Utah Jazz (48-33) at Los Angeles Lakers (64-17) Line: Lakers by 6.5.
The Cavs won yesterday, so the Lakers don't have anything to play for. Look for Kobe and company to rest. Meanwhile, the Jazz can move out of the No. 8 with a win and a Dallas loss. This means everything to them.
NBA Pick: Jazz 104, Lakers 90 Jazz +6.5 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
Monday, April 13, 2009 (1-0, +$200)
Cleveland Cavaliers (65-15) at Indiana Pacers (35-45) Line: Cavaliers by 4.
No idea what the spread is here, but I like the Cavs no matter what it is. They're on a mission right now to secure homecourt advantage. You can just tell they fell it's really important, and they're playing on such a high level right now.
Charlotte Bobcats (35-43) at Oklahoma City Thunder (21-57) Line: Bobcats by 3.5.
The Bobcats, favored on the road? I don't think so. The last time they were laying points as visitors, they've been debacled. Yes, I know they need to win here, but as a wise man once said, "If you need to win, you're probably not a very good team in the first place."
Minnesota Timberwolves (22-55) at Los Angeles Clippers (18-59) Line: Clippers by 2.
The Clippers are going to be favored here despite having just three wins since March 1. I also like the fact that they just lost a close game to the Lakers. They put a lot of stock into beating their hated rivals, so this could be a letdown.
Cleveland Cavaliers (61-13) at Orlando Magic (55-19) Line: Magic by 3.5.
This is a big statement game for the Magic, who can prove to everyone that they're the best team in the East. Sounds kind of silly because of the records, but that's just how professional sports players think.