The NBA on ESPN is giving us a doubleheader worth changing your Wednesday night plans for, and yours truly is here to dole out the best free picks you can find. Home team is in caps, lines are subject to change and game times are listen in brackets. Check your local listings, and hit up the NBA sportsbook for all the latest on these specific matchups!
It’s really, really easy to pick on the Brooklyn Nets for the way they’ve assembled their team. Logistically it’s a nightmare and the fact that Jason Kidd has been able to hold things together at a reasonable clip as a rookie head coach is somewhat remarkable. Those that ignore Brooklyn for whatever reason are missing out. This team is 7-3 SU and ATS in their last 10 games.
Of course, that record inverts itself to 3-7 ATS when you make it a sample of Brooklyn’s last 10 games on the road against team with a winning record at home. There are also some injury concerns to Brooklyn, namely Kevin Garnett and Andrei Kirilenko. And then there’s the matchup itself in this NBA on ESPN doubleheader free pick.
Emotionally, it’s very hard to bet against Miami at this point in the year. They’re in that mode these days, where every game seems like it matters exponentially to their roster. And coming off a 99-90 win over Washington, which featured a -8.0 handicap for the home bound Heat, helped calm down South Beach after a rough three game losing streak against three playoff teams. The big part to remember is that all three of those losses were on the road.
Miami is still a rock solid play at home, where they’re 5-0 SU and 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games. But there’s a mojo in Brooklyn that I’m starting to enjoy, and it revolves around Paul Pierce’s rejuvenating move to power forward. Don’t forget how much Pierce LOVES playing – and beating – the Heat. Brooklyn has won and covered in the last two matchups. That’s a trend that will continue in my NBA on ESPN doubleheader free picks as these two Eastern Conference contenders wage war yet again.
Tracking the Spurs is nauseating in general because you just never know when Popp is going to pull the plug on his starters or just give up a game because rest is more important than winning on a specific night. But lately, San Antonio has been incredible. They haven’t just built a dazzling six-game winning streak where they’re surprisingly just 3-3 ATS, they’ve won those games by an average of +13.3 points. And if you think that this game won’t matter to San Antonio, then you’re also overlooking the fact that they haven’t lost at home in their last five home stands.
This being said, it’s not like the Spurs are an automatic take for me in this NBA on ESPN doubleheader free pick. Their overall betting record is still really wonky and uneven, but in a statement game against a Western Conference rival, the Spurs should find the motivation. It’s also a bit easier to side with the Spurs when the Blazers haven’t been trustworthy recently.
The Blazers are 1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS in their last 4 games, which includes losses against Houston, Dallas and…the Lakers?! Yup, the Lakers. What’s slightly encouraging about the up-and coming Blazers is that they’re 6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games. What I don’t like is that they’re playing a gnarly and physical Memphis team the night before as the third game of a very long road trip. No matter how good Portland is as a road team bet, they’re going to be hard to side with considering this brutal part of the schedule.
Generally speaking, San Antonio isn’t a great bet at home. They’re just 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games at the AT&T Center and 3-8 ATS when playing a team from the west. They’re also a pretty horrifying 2-7 ATS in their last 9 home games against a team with a winning record.
So why do I like them here? Because the last time I thought that a “game didn’t matter to San Antonio”, they killed Miami by 24 points. Duncan and Parker will be more than ready to prove to LaMarcus and Lillard that they are the team to beat in the west as they become the side to take in this NBA on ESPN doubleheader free pick.