Bet of the Day – Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz, Feb. 5, 2011

Oklahoma City Thunder (+1.5) at Utah Jazz (-1.5), Over/Under 205.5

The Thunder won by 7 in the last match up between these teams in November. Oklahoma City has won 2 straight and now plays their 4th tough game in a row. Utah sits 3 games behind the Thunder in the Northwest division. They won last night in Denver and will be looking for revenge tonight at home.

Oklahoma City (32-17) have been a mediocre road team this year. They are 7-2 in the division. The Thunder average 45.8% shooting with 50 rebounds and 8 steals per game on offense. On defense, they allow 46.7% shooting with 50 rebounds and 7 steals per game. Oklahoma is an average defensive team and doesn’t shoot great on the road. Durant and the Thunder will need a big effort to win in Utah tonight.

Utah (30-21) is working out of a slump. A nice road win last night could kick-start the team. The Jazz average 46.2% shooting with 48 rebounds and 8 steals per game on offense. On defense, they allow 45.2% shooting with 50 rebounds and 7 steals per game. Deron Williams was back in the lineup last night and has played well against the Thunder in the past. Utah is banged up but expect a good effort at home tonight.

The Sagarin Ratings have Oklahoma City 93.09 and Utah 91.21. With the 3,58 home advantage, the fair line is Utah -1.7.

My NBA model has Utah 103.5 over Oklahoma City 101.62 for 205.12 total points. Utah is a better shooting team. The Thunder get to the free throw line effectively and shoot 82.9%. The Jazz are a better defensive team. Oklahoma is vulnerable to the 3-point shot. The key variance contributor is Oklahoma City’s defensive shooting percentage allowed. They have to keep Utah at or below their shooting average to win and cover tonight.

Tonight I am taking the home team minus the points. Here’s why. Utah was beat at home by 7 last time out against the Thunder. Utah won and covered last night. The Jazz have the advantage at point guard. Oklahoma City is a mediocre road team who is vulnerable on defense. I modeled the game at Utah -1.88. Bet Utah Jazz -1.5.

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Bet of the Day – Atlanta Hawks at Utah Jazz, Jan. 5 2011

Atlanta Hawks (+5) at Utah Jazz (-5), Over/Under 190.5

No bet of the day yesterday.  Back to the NBA today.  The Hawks have won 4 of their last 5 games.  They sit 5 games behind division-leading Miami.  The Jazz are trying to cap off a three game home stand with their third win.  The Jazz won the first game in the series this year.  Atlanta swept the series last season.

Atlanta (23-14) finishes up a 4-game road trip tonight.  They have played well during the series winning 2 of 3, but relaxed late in yesterday’s game and almost let it slip away.  The Hawks average 47.0% shooting with 47 rebounds and 6 steals per game on offense.  On defense, they allow 45% shooting with 49 rebounds and 7 steals per game.  Atlanta is a good shooting team that controls the ball well and plays decent defense.  They are fairly healthy and will need a complete game tonight if they want to beat a good Jazz team on the road.

Utah (24-11) has been banged up all season.  Despite that they hold a slight lead in their division.  The Jazz average 46.5% shooting with 48 rebounds and 8 steals per game on offense.  On defense, they allow 44% shooting with 50 rebounds and 7 steals per game.  C Mehmet Okur probably won’t play again tonight (but he hasn’t played much this season); F Paul Milsap will probably play despite a bruised hip.  Expect a good effort from the Jazz tonight.  They play 5 of their next 7 on the road following this game.

The Sagarin Ratings have Utah 93.52 and Atlanta 91.77.  With the 3.38 home advantage, the fair line is Utah -5.13.

My NBA model has Utah 97.35 and Atlanta 91.53 for 188.88 total points.  Atlanta is a slightly better shooting team while Utah is more efficient on offense.  Utah is a better defensive team but they do give up too many points at the free throw line.  The key variance contributors are Utah’s offensive shooting percentage.  If Utah shoots to their average, they will win and cover.

Tonight, I am taking the Jazz minus the points.  Here’s why.  Utah is playing well and needs to finish off this home series with a win.  Atlanta finishes a 4-game road trip tonight and then has a 3-day break.  Utah is a good defensive team; Atlanta doesn’t shoot great on the road.  I modeled the game at Utah -5.82.  Bet on the Utah Jazz -5.

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Bet of the Day – Miami Heat at Utah Jazz, Dec. 8, 2010

Miami Heat (+1) at Utah Jazz (-1), Over/Under 189

Yesterday’s bet, Memphis vs. Kansas, was a winner.  Back to the NBA tonight for the Heat and Jazz rematch.  The Jazz overcame a 19-point deficit to win the game.  Tougher spot for the Heat in Utah.

Miami (14-8) has reeled off 5 straight wins.  But those wins haven’t come against the toughest competition.  The Heat average 47.1% shooting with 49 rebounds and 7 steals per game on offense.  On defense, they allow 42.9% shooting with 50 rebounds and 6 steals per game.  Miami is an excellent shooting team and decent on defense.  They face an equally good shooting team in Utah; their defense will need to improve for a road win.

Utah (16-6) is playing well.  They won 8 of their last 9 games.  In that loss against Dallas, they were completely flat.  They have only played once since Friday.  Expect a rested and motivated team tonight.  The Jazz average 46.4% shooting with 49 rebounds and 8 steals per game on offense.  On defense, they allow 42.9% shooting with 51 rebounds and 7 steals per game.  Utah is slightly more efficient than Miami.  They will need to control the ball and avoid turnovers to win.

The Sagarin Ratings have Utah 94.93 and Miami 94.43.  With the 3.04 home advantage, the fair line is Utah -3.54.  According to pregame.com, 85% of spread bets are on Miami and 78% of the total bets are on the Over.  The point spread has moved from Utah -2 to -1.  The Total opened at 189 and is teetering between 189 and 188.5.

My NBA model predicts Utah 94.7 and Miami 93.1 for 187.8 total points.  Miami is a slightly better shooting team.  Utah gets more attempts.  On defense, they are nearly identical but Utah is slightly more efficient.  The key variance contributors are each team’s shooting efficiency.  Miami will need to shoot above their mean percentage to win the game.

Tonight, I am going against the public and taking the Jazz.  Here’s why.  Utah is playing well and rested.  Utah is very good at home; Miami hasn’t proven they can win big games on the road.  These teams are very even statistically, home court gives Utah an advantage and the betting value.  Bet on the Utah Jazz -1.

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Bet of the Day – Utah Jazz at Miami Heat, Nov 9, 2010

Utah Jazz (+10) at Miami Heat (-10), Over/Under 192

Yesterday’s bet, Steelers at Bengals, was a loser.  Decent day on Twitter picks, 3-1.  Not many big games today, so going with the Jazz and Heat.

The Jazz (3-3) started the season with 2 ugly losses.  They have won 3 of the last 4.  The Jazz are shooting 45.5% from the floor while averaging 51 rebounds and 7 steals per game.  They allow 42.6% shooting with 55 rebounds and 9 steals.  The Jazz have a strong rotation of bigs that will cause problems for the Heat.  The Jazz came back from an 18-point halftime deficit in their last game.  Expect a big effort against the Heat.

The Heat (5-2) are starting to live up to the hype.  There is some fallout from this hype.  They are getting everyone’s best game; that will likely continue tonight.  The Heat average 46.7% shooting from the floor with 50 rebounds and 8 steals per game.  They allow a low 40.4% shooting with 50 rebounds and 7 steals per game.  The Heat have played a below average schedule so far.  Wade and LeBron will get their points tonight; but the Heat need a big game from their post players.

The Sagarin Ratings have Miami 97.48 and Utah 90.40.  With a 2.29 home advantage, the fair line is Miami -9.57.  This is very close to the point spread.

My NBA model predicts Miami 100.6 over Utah 91.6 for 192.2 total points.  Both teams have similar offensive statistics; Miami is a more effective 3-pt shooting team.  Miami is more efficient on defense.  The key variance contributors are Utah’s offense and defensive shooting percentage.  To win/cover, Utah has to play near or above their mean shooting % and near or below their shooting % allowed.

Tonight, I am taking the road dog.  Here’s why.  Utah is improving; they finished their last game very strong and come into this game with confidence.  Utah will be motivated and rested.  Miami is still vulnerable in the post; Utah has solid post players.  Bet on the Utah Jazz +10.  Don’t take the bet below +10.  [Update:  The line has dropped to +9 since I wrote the original post this morning.  If you couldn’t get Jazz +10, here is an alternate bet.  Bet a 2-team teaser with Jazz +14.5 and Knicks +11.  I will use the Jazz +10 for my record keeping on the site.]

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