January 9, 2015

NBA Betting Previews by @DavAulak

NBA Betting Previews

Philadelphia 76ers at Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets have lost three in a row and have a big game on Saturday against the surging Detroit Pistons so there is every chance they are not fully focused on the pretty terrible Philadelphia 76ers. The Nets have struggled to score points over their last three games that have ended in defeat and that could make the number being given to the 76ers look a touch too high.

Don’t get me wrong though, Philadelphia are more than capable of putting together a stinking effort and being blown out- I am just not convinced Brooklyn will give them the full attention with their game at Detroit on Saturday night and that can allow the 76ers to keep this closer than expected.

Recent blow outs that Philadelphia have suffered has inflated this number and it is the highest spread Brooklyn have been asked to cover this season. The Nets should win because Philadelphia are terrible, but the 76ers have played slightly better on the road although only 6-12 against the spread in those games. However, they have gone 4-5 against the spread when playing Eastern Conference teams and Brooklyn haven’t played well enough to deserve this many points to be given up.

PICK: Philadelphia 76ers + 11 Points at 1.91

Atlanta Hawks at Detroit Pistons

There is no doubt that these two teams are the hottest in the Eastern Conference at the moment and arguably the whole NBA, but the Atlanta Hawks have been much more consistent than the Detroit Pistons and I like them to cover in this game.

The Pistons have seen a 6 game winning run put together which has been sparked by the removal of Josh Smith from the locker room and that includes surprising wins at the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks. However, this is their third game in four days and they face an Atlanta Hawks teams that has their own 6 game winning run to defend.

Atlanta top the Eastern Conference for the best record and Mike Budenholzer has brought over the San Antonio Spurs system effectively with the team performing without a standout ‘star’. I think they take the Pistons very seriously considering the recent form displayed by Detroit and Atlanta have the front court to win their share of battles with Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe.

A bit of tiredness can creep into the Detroit legs in this game as they chase the Atlanta shooters and the Hawks are 12-4 against the spread on the road, while Detroit are 1-5 against the spread when playing a team with a winning record at home.

PICK: Atlanta Hawks – 2.5 Points at 1.91

Minnesota Timberwolves at Milwaukee Bucks

Something has to give as Minnesota look to snap their 13 game losing run while the Milwaukee Bucks try and win for the first time in 6 tries at home.

The Bucks have at least played well on the road in that time so the confidence should be there despite being shorthanded in the front court. On the other hand, Minnesota are shorthanded all over with the likes of Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin out with injuries and Mo Williams banged up to the point of being questionable for this game.

Minnesota have only lost 6 of their 13 games losing streak by double digits, but they might not be fully engaged in this game knowing they will be hosting the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday and this being a single road game after playing 4 straight home games and then returning home for another game after this one.

While Minnesota are just 4-8 against the spread when playing teams from the Eastern Conference and 5-12 against the spread playing teams with winning records, Milwaukee are 8-3 ATS as the favourite this season and have feasted on teams with losing records by going 14-4 ATS in those games. The Bucks are also 9-4 against the spread playing teams from the Western Conference and I like Milwaukee despite their big game with the Chicago Bulls which takes place on Saturday.

PICK: Milwaukee Bucks – 8.5 Points at 1.97

Prices correct at the time of writing

By @DavAulak

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