NBA Basketball Picks - Daily ATS Predictions
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Each team has used its home court to its fullest advantage in the first three games of this series, and I am banking on that trend continuing on Monday night. Boston is a different team in these playoffs when it's playing on the road and James is not about to let his team fall into a deep hole in this series. I have Cleveland evening things up at two games apiece with another win SU win at home, but I am betting that Boston finds a way to keep things closer than the current 6.5-point spread.
We saw Boston in this position in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal match-up against the Milwaukee Bucks. Boston jumped out to a 2-0 lead and Milwaukee came in as a mid-range favorite when they were curating hosting duties in Game Three. The Bucks would thrash the Celtics despite the fact they looked dead in the water in Beantown the game before. History has a funny way of repeating itself. Boston plays at a much lower level on the road, and you can expect King James to take full advantage of that. Swallow the points.
The total stayed UNDER on the closing line in Game 1, but I cashed in on the OVER with a bet on the total line when it first opened at 224. I am backing off that play on Wednesday night, although I do see a high-scoring game. Look for Houston to join Golden State this time around with a total score higher than its current scoring average in the postseason. I also see the Rockets winning this game both SU and ATS to answer Golden State’s victory in the series opener.
Backing Boston sets up takers for a true zig-zag situation. Heading into Game One, the Cavaliers were prone to a massive overreaction after they pulled off the sweep. Now, much of the public will likely head in the other direction given how prolific Boston played against Cleveland. This sets up a situation now to take the Cavaliers who stock plummeted through the fall after the nasty loss. The bottom line is LeBron James showed little concern after the Game One result, so chances are you can expect Cleveland to respond and tie the series up here with the hype off of them.
This is the matchup that NBA fans and bettors have been waiting for all season long. Golden State is back to full strength and playing like the defending champions, but Houston comes into this series as the best team in the league, especially on its home court. My lean is towards the Rockets taking Game 1 at home. However, my ‘best bet’ pick is that both teams put on an aerial display of shooting that takes the total OVER the lower-than-expected 224-point line.
The combination of the media machine hyping up the legacy of LeBron James along with Cleveland's sweep of the East's top-seed is bound to create an enormous overreaction in Game One. Very simply, Boston is considered a formality for many in this series, as the Golden State-Cleveland re-match is the heavyweight bout almost all basketball enthusiasts are waiting and hoping for. The fact remains, Boston has not lost a game at home in the post-season, and they have played at a higher level when they are the hosts. In some markets, we saw Boston positioned as a potential favorite until the heavy steam on King James and his merry men flipped the script in this market. The fact remains, we get the Celtics here at a value price and we'll take advantage.
I bet against the 76ers in their Game 1 loss, and I bet against them again in Monday's Game 4 victory for a variety of reasons. However, I do think they can continue to keep this series alive with a road win on Wednesday night by more than the current 1.5-point spread. Philly could have very easily been up 3-1 in this series without all the self-inflicted wounds in Game’s 2 and 3. Those few moral victories help confirm that the 76ers should have closed as favorites in all four games.
LeBron James is on a mission. His play in this series, in particular, has been the difference between Cleveland dominating this playoff contest as he single-handedly won two games for Cleveland. In competitions of this magnitude with a home crowd behind them, you can expect The King to capitalize here and power the Cavs to another victory. The Raptors are demoralized, and there is excellent chance they can enter this fixture flat. This one could potentially get out of hand quickly if that is the case and thus there is tremendous upside in swallowing the points here.
Veteran leadership and consistent play have Boston on the verge of pulling off the sweep in this series after winning the first three games as an underdog. I am not entirely sure if the Celtics can get out of Philadelphia with the SU win on Monday night, but I do like their chances to cover with the 6.5-point spread. A young and inconsistent Philly team may finally play to expectations for a full four quarters, but down 3-0, it could just as easily quit.
In just the span of one game, Toronto went from spotting seven points to taking back nearly five. As a whole, the swing is 11.5 points that is a superfluous number considering we are dealing with the top seed of the East. Nevertheless, Cleveland’s surge in the first two games has many analysts pondering if the Raptors will indeed get swept. With such hyperbole manifesting, Cleveland takers can find themselves getting caught up in the hype and as a result paying more to back the Cavs. We’ll fade the overlay and take the points.
Targeting overreactions is a significant practice that we preach. The Game One result sets up a scenario where such an overreaction can take shape on Cleveland. Presently, it looks like the public is reluctant to buy into the verity of the Game One result. However, there is a good chance that we will see some late steam pour in on Cleveland as the road points look quite appetizing after their thrilling win in Game One. The media machine speaking about the legacy of LeBron James only further enhances the likelihood of such a scenario. This Raptors team is far better than the Toronto teams that Cleveland has defeated in playoffs past, and they will prove that with an impressive rebound win here.
I was impressed with Utah's play against Russell Westbrook and the Thunder in the opening series, but it is going to have its hand's full trying to slow down Harden and the high-powered Rockets for as many games as this series last. Houston knows that getting wins on the road against the Jazz will be a much more onerous task, so I am expecting another solid effort this Wednesday night at home to cover the current 11-point spread.
Truth be told, neither side offers tremendous equity in this contest. On the one hand, Toronto is prone to being overvalued because they have been a beast on their home court all season long, as well as the top seed. Contrarily, Cleveland is also in a spot where they can have their value inflated, as well. The Cavaliers are the still the top dog of this conference even if they are the lowest surviving seed remaining in the playoffs. This is because they have been the team on top for the last three seasons. Fortunately, we have seen a significant lean on the Under in this contest despite the fact it has all the rudiments to be an explosive offensive-oriented affair. LeBron James alone can catalyze Cleveland's offense, and Toronto's offense has been firing on all cylinders throughout their campaign. Therefore, book the Over.
The 76ers come into this series healthy and well-rested, but it is still going to be tested right out of the gate as slight road favorites. This is still a very young team playing veteran ball club that knows how to defend its home turf. Boston could be a bit worn down given the length of its first series, but I am going to take the 2.5 points and take the Celtics to cover on Monday night to set the tone in this series opener as the higher seed.
LeBron James is one of the most clutch players in NBA history. In fact, no player has hit more game-winning shots than the King himself. With his presence on the court, the Cavaliers have the acumen and know-how to win this pivotal contest. When you couple this with the fact the public is smothering Indiana by virtue of Game Six’s result, the overreaction is setting up a rare value play on a true heavyweight.
Given the fact the Raptors are the top dog of the Eastern Conference it is very easy to jump on them here at a price that looks too good be to true. However, home court advantage has been of the essence in this series, and given the fact Washington will be playing with a sense of desperation here, they offer excellent value spotting just a bucket. The Wizards won both their playoff wins at home by margins of eight and twenty-one, so there is plenty of upside taking them here.
The expectation here is that Cleveland will make the most of this virtual three-game series now that the cobwebs have been removed. The lofty standards that this franchise is held to inflict plenty of premiums on takers who wish to back them. This is why the Cleveland against the spread record is among the worst in the league especially in comparison to how well they have played all year long. We’ll grab the inflated points.
The Timberwolves caused quite a stir with their upset in Game 3, but the balance of power has been restored in this No. 8 vs. No. 1 tilt with Monday’s return to dominance by Houston. The total went OVER in Game 4 with an uptick in scoring by the Rockets that had been missing in the first three matchups. This combination sets the stage for another high-scoring affair that propels Houston to the next round with a victory in Game 5 both SU and ATS.
They called Game Three a swing game because the fact Milwaukee had two games at home afforded the Bucks the opportunity to sway the momentum in this series back in their favor. The Bucks have done just that and in doing so have established a blueprint for success against the vaunted Boston defense. The Bucks are riding a hot hand, and there is an excellent chance here that this team can pull off the upset outright and move into the Conference Semifinals. Milwaukee has not done well on the road this year, but the market has still offered up a number identical to what we saw in Game Two. There is a great chance of an outright win here so we'll trade the bucket for the better odds.
The top team in the NBA got punched in the mouth on Saturday night in that unexpected loss. I fully expect Harden and Co. to bounce back in a big way on Monday night with a performance more in line with the way the Rockets played over the second half of the season to achieve their lofty 65-17 record. Not to take anything away from Minnesota and the deep talent on this team, my ‘best bet’ pick for Game 4 is Houston SU and ATS.