In most of my expert NBA betting picks I’ll usually just go with the hot hand. I myself like to track about six NBA teams and see how they’re doing. Without getting in to massive detail: if they’re doing well I bet on them, and I bet against them if they’re in a bit of a bad streak. That being said, there’s something to be said for a matchup play as well. The next four teams I’m siding with are all rough bets overall, but in these specific games they’re worth backing.
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS -6.5 over Los Angles Lakers (7pm EST)
Without Kobe Bean Bryant carrying this sad sack of a team, the Lakers are supposed to bad and holy hell they’ve been awful in the last few weeks. At just 2-8 SU they are getting their cans kicked every single game. However, they’re also a weird cover team. With Steve Nash returning, do you think that ups the value of the Lakers? Even without Pau Gasol?
Cleveland, on the other hand, was never supposed to be as terrible as they’ve become. They’re 2-8 SU after selecting first overall in last year’s draft, and are also just 2-8 ATS during that stretch. You don’t have to be making expert NBA betting picks to know that this is an awful franchise through and through. There’s a reason people still have more faith in the Lakers than the young Cavaliers for this game – the Cavs are absolutely hopeless.
But on a per matchup basis, the Lakers are in real trouble here. Cleveland is a young team that still has some nice pieces involved. I love Luol Deng, and there’s plenty to be optimistic about with Kyrie Irving matching up against Nash or Blake. Honestly, I would never advise a Cleveland bet at any time this year but the Lakers are a wounded duck on the road. The smart money is on the Cavs which is why they’re getting my trust in expert NBA betting picks…even if it is just for this one night.
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS +2.0 over Boston Celtics (7pm EST)
Philadelphia opened the season with a very unexpected win over the Miami Heat, but the good times didn’t last long at all. Those group has picked up just 15 wins all season, and are a brutal 8-16 ATS when playing at home. They’ve also been getting demolished left, right and center with a 2-8 SU and 4-6 ATS run over their last 10 games, which includes losing four straight at home. One of those wins, however, was over the Boston Celtics.
Like the rival Lakers, the Celtics have nothing going for them. They’re mired in a brutal 1-4 SU and ATS run and though they’ve had plenty of rest there just isn’t a lot to really be encouraged by here. Philadelphia at home with a mild cushion is the better take as Boston simply tries to survive the season without making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Portland Trailblazers -2.0 over NEW YORK KNICKS (8pm EST)
The fun run with the up and coming Blazers has come to a bitter end. I’m not saying that this team isn’t solid, because they are, but right now they’re in a horrible betting slump. Portland is a sour 3-5 SU and 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games and their lone cover was against the brutal Timberwolves. With the oddsmakers bearing down harder on them, Portland is no longer a “bet it and forget it” play in my expert NBA betting picks. Instead they’ve become a matchup play and this tilt against New York is one that favors them strongly.
The Knicks are a streaky play at best. In their last ten games, they’ve gone 0-4 SU and ATS, 5-0 SU and ATS and 0-2 SU and ATS in sequential order. Their last two losses were heartbreaking – a blowout at home against Miami and a three-point defeat at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks who are easily the most dysfunctional roster in the NBA. Portland’s defense can stifle the limping Knicks easily, and even if this game turns in to a shootout, the Blazers are more than capable of keeping up. Portland has a terrific 15-9 ATS record when traveling and when New York is slumping you need to bet against them. It’s just the way this team is this year.
Miami Heat -2.0 over LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (10:30pm EST)
The Clippers have actually been a relatively reliable play, but the loss of Chris Paul is starting to catch up tot hem. I’ve reiterated the fact that the Clippers are a fantastic regular season play as opposed to a playoff worthy team in my expert NBA betting picks throughout the year, while saying the opposite about Miami because of their large public factor. So why switch gears here?
Miami only gets two cracks at these Western Conference contenders and even if the “message sending” quality of this game isn’t as huge as people want it to be, LeBron playing in Los Angeles should be a bit enticing. He’ll want to put on a show and with all due respect to Matt Barnes, there’s nobody on the Clippers that can keep with the reigning King. Sometimes you don’t need trends to really qualify a matchup. You just need to understand the nature of a matchup play, which is why the seldom-bet Miami Heat are the play in my final expert NBA betting pick of the night.