Sorry, it’s been a couple days since you’ve last heard from me. If you have been following the @DRosesandThorns Twitter account, you would know that I’m 10-5-0 picking games against the spread since I started seriously studying gambling trends. I accept all major credit cards..
But, like most gamblers say, it doesn’t matter what you do in the past. It’s all about your next move. Luckily for you, you don’t have to go anywhere.
Let’s get moving.
Dallas Mavericks at San Antonio Spurs (-9.5) 12:00 CST- When looking at this line at first glance, one’s initial gut reaction is that 9.5 points is way too many to give an experienced Dirk and solid supporting cast in Monta Ellis, Vince Carter, Jose Calderon and Shawn Marion. But, in Vegas, your gut is usually wrong. Let’s look a little bit closer. Like I noted a couple weeks ago, the Spurs have absolutely manhandled the Mavs as of late. Since March of 2012, the Spurs own a 9-1 record against their Lone Star State Rivals. In terms of scoring margin, San Antonio is +46 against Dallas in their four games this season. That’s an average of 11.5 points per contest. Although Dallas has certainly been good on the road this season (27-14 ATS), this is simply not the series for the Mavs. If you roll with the Spurs every game this series, I think you’re in the green. San Antonio -9.5
Charlotte Bobcats at Miami Heat (-10) 2:30 CST- This one has trap written all over it. I think that Charlotte hangs around the entire series because of one man and his name is Big Al Jefferson. Although Miami swept the season’s series against the Cats, there is reason for optimism for the greater Charlotte Area. And it’s not that Boris Diaw no longer pillages buffets across Carolina. In all seriousness, Charlotte has battled tough with the Heat. Two of the contests were decided in the last 2 minutes, one at the beginning season was a blow out and the other was LeBron’s 61-point game. With Charlotte a whopping 47-32 ATS this season and Miami 18-22 ATS at home, I’ll take my chances this evening and raise up for Carolina. Charlotte +10
Washington Wizards at Chicago Bulls (-4.5) 6:00 CST– Again, first glance has me licking my chops liking the Bulls. Again, not a good sign. Matching up only three times this season, the Whiz actually won 2 out of 3 with a scoring margin of -1. This tells me it’s gonna be a tight, frickin’ series. The Bulls are 8-10 against teams over .500 at the UC, while the Wizards are an impressive 10-7 away from our Nation’s Capital against teams over .500. The numbers certainly indicate where I’m heading. Then, I saw this little tidbit. The Wizards are 0-6 when having three or more days of rest this season. Coupled with the fact that they are participating in their first playoff series since 2007-2008, it is entirely conceivable that Washington is cold out of the gate. But that’s just me trying to find a Bulls-biased stat. In a game predicted to held around 180, 4.5 points is a ton. Washington +4.5
Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets (-5.5) 8:30 CST- After doing some research and talking with the DRoses and Thorns crew, the consensus is that this might be the most competitive series in the first round. I’m starting to believe that bucking the trend is the way to go and thinking Houston wins in five games. In their four meetings this season, the Rockets went 3-1 against the Blazers with a scoring differential of 26 points. In a series where very little defense is expected to be played, I can’t really bank on the Blazers’ turnover advantage to hold much merit with the number of possessions for each team expected to soar. Add in the fact that the Rockets get to the line eight times more a game than the Blazers (31 to 23 FTAs) and you see where I’m leading you. We’re going with Houston, Giddy Up U-Turn. Houston -5.5
So, get to the books, get your action in and get ready for Stavi’s Next Move.