January 2, 2021 | Posted in: Sports

Published for a friend

Six games scheduled

Sacramento Kings @ Houston Rockets (-5.5)

Charlotte Hornerts @ Philadelphia 76ers (-10)

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Orlando Magic (-5.5)

New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers (-9)

Toronto Raptors @ New Orleans Pelicans (+1)

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Atlanta Hawks (-5.5)

Truths to be self evident

Does a team organizing a block buster trade for their best player, who is out of shape by the way, seem like a team winning many games by six points? There’s sharp money on the Kings and the computer agrees.

Double digits in a NBA contest is often too many. Charlotte lost outright last night to Memphis, missing their best player Ja Morant, while the Sixers are covering at home and on the road and playing good defense. Charlotte shot 9/31 (29%) from three point range and 40.7% overall from the field. The Hornets are double digit underdogs, under valued, on a back to back, while the sharp action is on Philly.

The Thunder are getting 5.5 at Orlando, who were crushed thoroughly by the Sixers in their first loss of the season two days ago. Oklahoma City lost by 33 in their last outing. Is there value in this line?

The Knicks are facing an Indiana team without their best player, T.J. Warren, who is out indefinitely with a foot injury. The Pacers without their best player for one game, a 20 point win against the Cavaliers, is one thing, the Pacers without their best player indefinitely will not be giving their opponent nine points, a virtual double digit spread, very long.

Toronto faces the Pelicans in a virtual pick-em between the two most defensive teams in the NBA, though a small sample size. Toronto is not the same team without Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol while the Pelicans are playing slow paced, defensive basketball. There’s value on the Knicks line because Toronto rallied late to win by 17 two days ago. The sharp money is on the Pelicans and while 99% of the money is on the over, currently 215.5, sometimes, it could be fun to make a bet where you want the house to win.

Finally, the hapless Cavaliers face the Atlanta Hawks who beat the Brooklyn Nets, a perceived NBA heavy hitter last night, and lost a close, high scoring games two nights ago. Atlanta is playing their third game in four nights. The sharp money on the Cavaliers is weighing this factor too heavily.

The computer

We value the computer’s opinion and trust the source of the data widely available to the public for a small monthly fee. The computer contends underdogs Sacramento, Charlotte, Oklahoma City, and the Knicks will all cover the spread tonight.

The computer has been red hot the past few days, including the last six of seven, and an insane 11-4 the past two days. Is it time to fade the computer?

Do we make bets based on small data samples collected over the previous two seasons and nothing more? Nah, we watch the basketball games, as many as we can, and try to formulate our opinions based on what we see, incorporating factors like the Atlanta Hawks are at a disadvantage playing their third game in four nights. However, they are the home team and Cleveland is missing too many players to keep up.

Easiest money on the NBA Slate

Atlanta -5.5. Sure, Andre Drummond will get his twenty points and rebounds. Sexton and Garland might play lights out but Trey Young + Cleveland Cavaliers, who should be faded until at least Kevin Love returns, equals easy money. But, you can make a bet with real money fading the sharps and agreeing with the computer and some random guy on the internet.

The Cavs are still over valued from beating the Sixers, at home, by 24. The Sixers sat Embiid, and the Cavs promptly lost outright while being favored to the equally challenged New York Knicks as 3.5 point favorites in their next game. The Cavaliers are a team who will struggle to score 100 points in a NBA contest.

The pick seems so easy, certainly the smart bet is Cavaliers +5.5? What about Oklahoma City? A bet on Orlando (-5.5) is fading 99% of the money, 72% of the public, and the computer while a bet on Atlanta (-5.5) is fading just 32% of the money and 42% of the money while agreeing with the red hot computer who’s due to cool off. Which contest would you fade?

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