NBA Picks Week 11 – Updated Daily!
05 January 2020
Sunday Against The Spread Play
Memphis Grizzlies 14-22 at Phoenix Suns 14-21
Opening Line: Suns -6 and 232
Current Line: Suns -6 and 234.5
Before diving into the Suns game, a note on the rest of the slate. With just five games on Sunday, there aren’t a multitude of options for action. That said there’s at least one other spot you may want to take a look at, and that is the Heat -5.5 at home against Portland. Portland is not a quality team, less so on the road and the Heat are on the short list of the league’s elite at home. The only thing stopping the Heat from being a dedicated play is their recent inability to score. They haven’t cleared 85 points in consecutive games, but they did win one of those. Consider using the Heat as a parlay piece with today’s play.
The Grizzlies travel to Phoenix on a road back to back and the name of this game is pace and scoring. Both of these teams are top 10 in both gross scoring average and pace and both teams are top six in gross scoring average allowed. Both teams allow an average of at least 115 points per contest and bettors quickly noticed the inequity on the total and immediately pushed it up 2.5 points. Despite the movement, there is still value on the over. The Grizzlies are a team that has become quite comfortable playing at a high scoring pace as their most recent 12 games have had an average total output of 236.25 points despite playing just two other high paced teams in that period, none of which in their most recent ten games. The Suns on the other hand generally play at a higher pace but are very much a team that allows their opponents to dictate this factor in most cases, which means Sunday’s spot is going to be an up tempo one. It should be noted the Suns are a six point favorite and the Suns have averaged 123.6 points scored in their most recent five wins and the average total points scored in those games was 239.4. There is very much a trend for the Suns that wins come by outscoring opponents and not necessarily stopping them on defense. This spot additionally brings a pace up element that should be very fun and cruise past the total. Take the over in this one.
Betting Pick: Over 234.5
The Rockets -4 outpaced the 76ers at home. Despite Ben Simmons best game of the season, the Rockets were just too much and held a covering lead for the majority of the second half. It never got to a point where there wasn’t a hint of sweat but the Rockets never felt in any danger either.
The win brings us to 41-33 on the season.
Friday Against The Spread Play
Philadelphia 76ers 23-13 at Houston Rockets 23-11
Opening Line: Rockets -4 and off
Current Line: Rockets -4 and off
The 76ers travel to Houston in the midst of a run where the schedule is giving them fits. This is the fourth of a four game road trip for the 76ers and they have lost each of the first three games and additionally six of their last nine overall. The 76ers remain one of the strongest home teams in the league, but it is now safe to say with the sample size that they are a completely different team away from home. Their 16-2 home record is sterling, but the 7-11 road record is the complete opposite and a trip to Houston is the last thing they need right now. To illustrate the night and day difference for the 76ers, take a look at their home and road averages. They score 111.3 points per game at home, good for a +9.8 average differential. On the road, their offense falls off, averaging 107.8 points per game, but it’s their defense that fails them as their average differential plummets to -1.5. Most teams have a noticeable home/away split but this is really one of the wider ones, and the pace of the Rockets will lead to the 76ers simply being outscored with the 76ers defensive inefficiency on the road. After both teams had their stars miss short time, both teams are expected to be at full strength for the Friday night tilt. This is all the Rockets need as their guards will have their way and Clint Capela does enough to keep Joel Embiid form taking over. Take the Rockets with this gift point spread.
Betting Pick: Rockets -4
My word, this Heat vs Raptors game may have been the ugliest game of the entire season. The Heat -5.5 got the cover in an 84-76 win, but a 160 point NBA game is just misery for fans that don’t watch for gambling purposes. Luckily we are not those fans and could at least profit from as casual fans were put to sleep.
Thursday Against The Spread Play
Toronto Raptors 23-11 at Miami Heat 24-9
7:30 PM EST
Opening Line: Heat -6 and 215
Current Line: Heat -5.5 and 215
We had a couple of days without any plays to attack on the holiday short slates, but we are back with a play today. The Raptors continue to be without three key pieces headlined by star big man Pascal Siakam. They are also missing starting center Marc Gasol and wing Norman Powell. This will be their eight consecutive game without that trio, and have gone 4-3 thus far. While 4-3 doesn’t appear hideous, there are some factors at play. Only two of the games have been on the road, in which they are 1-1. Only four of the games have been against current playoff teams in which they are 1-3. On the Miami side, they are very close to full health and have their stars present. They have quietly become the become the best home team in the league, sitting at 15-1. Upon further examination, it is no fluke this team has run up this home record to where it is. Their home ranks are as follows: fourth in the league in points scored, tenth in the league in points allowed, second in the league in offensive efficiency, eighth in the league in defensive efficiency and second in the league in point differential. The +11.9 point differential mark trails only the Bucks and leads home monsters such as the Clippers and 76ers and is a massively telling figure. The Heat laying mid single digits to the Raptors in Miami would be expected if the Raptors were at full strength and would be a spot to sit out of if that were the case. Since they are far from full strength we get a value spot to attack and get to fire at the Heat to improve to 16-1 at home.
Betting Play: Heat -5.5
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Whew, got the season worst outlier with the Celtics on Saturday and now with Orlando -10.5 in an outright loss to the Hawks, 101-93. Brandon Goodwin scored 21 points in 22 minutes, giving the Hawks a huge spark off the bench. To this point in the entire season, Goodwin had played 31 minutes and scored five points.
The loss brings us to 39-33 on the season.
Monday Against The Spread Play
Atlanta Hawks 6-27 at Orlando Magic 14-18
Opening Line: Magic -12 and 213
Current Line: Magic -10.5 and 208.5
Going back to our Saturday review section, we get another spot with the Hawks playing on the road. This means automatic action with Trae Young out for this game once again. The Magic are a team that is night and day with their home and road splits, being wildly better at home. From a record standpoint, they are 10-6 at home with the road mark being just 4-12. They have a +1.2 point differential average at home, while that mark shifts to -4.6 on the road, and the defensive end is where the change is between home and away. The Hawks are a team that simply can’t score without Trae Young, as they’ve scored 86 and 81 points in the two games he’s missed with this injury, with the first 86 point output being the game he left early. With no offensive output, this defensive sieve of a team is a sitting duck and helpless on the road, and I can’t drive that point home strongly enough. They allow an average of 124.4 points per game on the road, worst in the league. Their -15.4 point differential average on the road is also worst in the league, and lastly their 3-15 road record is worst in the league. Combine all this with the fact that Young is the source of their offense and we have the recipe for blowout after blowout. Even if there is a hiccup where the replacement level players remain competitive in a given game, this is a well we will go back to for as long as Young is out. Take the Magic.
Betting Play: Magic -10.5
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The Celtics -6 and over 216.5 were both derailed by an absolute dud from the Celtics in a 113-97 loss. This was just their second home loss of the season and the first home game in which they failed to get to the century mark. Their previous low gross scoring output in a home game this season was 103 points. Fully an outlier outcome but one that unfortunately undid two bets, not just one.
The Bulls -7.5 rolled on the Hawks 116-81. This Hawks team is the worst in the league overall and by far the worst in the league on the road when Trae Young is in the lineup. They become something much, much worse when he’s out and these road blowouts will continue to be the norm.
1-2 on the day brings us to 39-32 on the season.
TJ Calkins – NBA Picks Expert
TJ Calkins was raised in a gambling loving household. He knew how to handicap horse races and follow line movements well before his tenth birthday.