NBA Betting Picks with Lines & Odds – 2/28/19

Yesterday Results: 1-2
All Time Results: 8-6, +2.5 units

Warriors -4 @ Orlando – (1 unit)

1. The Orlando Magic have been a bit of sharp players’ darling in recent weeks, which makes sense from a big picture perspective: They are exactly the kind of out-of-sight-out-of-mind, small market team that can outperform expectations for weeks on end without a corresponding adjustment in the minds of casual fans & bettors. Most probably think of the Magic as a perennial bottom dweller – but 2019 is the first time in recent memory they actually have a fighting shot at the playoffs this time of year – a goal that would be a great achievement for the organization and is surely motivation for the entire team. golden state warriors

1. Contrary, 2. Correct: these are the attributes of an effective sports bettor. Bettors have started start reaching for value with this Magic team. Although our love for the Magic is understandable, it’s a bit overstated and I’m fading the notion.

2. The Magic’s recent 8-3 ATS run has corresponded with some fortunate scheduling luck: beating the Pacers still adjusting to life without Oladipo, then beating the Nets with the recent loss of Spencer Dinwiddie, blowing the doors of the Bucks playing a rare game without Giannis Antetokounmpo, & finally tackling the Raptors on a Sunday matinee when Kawhi rested and many of the active Raptors seemed to as well.

These results have many people weighing the Magic as an average team – and I think they are significantly worse than that, about 3-4 points worse than an average team. Terrence Ross hot shooting this year, aside they don’t have a perimeter player we can trust to score in tough conditions and break up a run. Their lack of scoring options was evident in a 13 point 4th quarter @NY last game, which saw their 12 point lead evaporate.

2. The Warriors going 1-7 ATS in their past 8 games has lowered their power ranking to more realistic levels. This number says the Dubs are 9 points better than the Magic. I think they are 11. Even with yesterday’s loss, over the course of the season they have dominated Eastern Conference teams on the road, posing an +11.5 net rating.

3. Cousins rested during their loss yesterday, so Warriors remain 11-1 with their 5 All-Star starters in acton. Even when a player has a bad game, like Curry at Charlotte on Monday, they have the humility to just keep the program moving, automatically accentuating the player that has the hot hand or the match up advantage. If Cousins, Thompson, Durant & Curry all have off shooting nights, I’m going to lose my bet. However, if one of them has it going, I have confidence in the Dubs to reorganize and make that hot hand the center piece of any given game. (Update: Durant resting tonight, still going with the play now at -4 instead of -6.  Still think the other 4 starters are poised for a bounce back performance and moving from 6 to 4 presents appropriate value.)

4. Whereas I would be worried that the Dubs might overlook this Magic team – who hasn’t beaten the Warriors since 2012 – their loss last night mitigates those concerns for me.

Russell Westbrook Triple Double & OKC Wins +270 – (1 unit)

An exotic bet and one that presents tremendous value.

1. With an over/under of 240.5 this game is expected to be a fireworks show with tons of back-and-forth action and statistic to be obtained. No Joel Embiid means the 76ers will have to increase the pace to have a shot at winning and that should lead to a lot of long rebounds for Westbrook to grab and a lot of run-outs for Westbrook to find teammates. oklahoma city thunder

2. Westbrook recently had his 11 game Triple Double streak snapped, and has failed to reach the mark in his last 3 games. However, he still is well above even money to get to the mark recording a Triple Double in 14 of the Thunders 24 games since the start of the new year.

Let’s break down the 2 elements of this wager. 1. Thunder win 2. Westbrook getting a triple double. If we agree with the -300 Moneyline Odds for the Thunder to win the game – this play would be a positive EV scenario as long as we think there is a better than 35% chance of Westbrook recording 10/10/10.

Parlay Calculator: -300*+180(i.e. 35% odds) = +273.

Utah Jazz +4 @ Denver Nuggets 1st Half – (.5 units)

1. The Home team in this series is an amazing 10-0 SU & 9-0-1 ATS dating back to 2016. These two mountain teams have two of the best home court advantages in the NBA and have faded when facing elite competition on the road. utah jazz

I think this trend has been factored into the line to a significant degree. On Tuesday, the Nuggets were only a 3 point favorite at home against Thunder, and I have all of 3 of these teams comparable in my Power Rankings. Excluding situational factors, this line should be closer to 4.

Although that 9-0-1 trend has me gun shy about betting the Jazz for the game, I like the value of playing the first half here. I envision this being a great game, a highly competitive game, where the Nuggets at home might pull away late in the 4th quarter.

2. The Jazz need this game more than the Nuggets. The Jazz will be hard pressed to win a playoff series without home court advantage, whereas the Nuggets are all but assured playing the first round at home. The Nuggets might even prefer the 2nd seed where they could avoid possible matchups with the Lakers, Kings or Spurs.

Born in Chicago, born for Las Vegas, Mackenzie is a graduate of Yale University with a BA in English & Creative Writting. Mackenzie runs, which seeks to by-pass the minutiae of commonly cited sports statistics and expose the heart of what drives athletic success. After several successful years investing in Las Vegas real estate, Mackenzie is excited to transition in 2019 into betting on sports full time, as well as documenting his thought process as he further learns the craft.

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