Before we get started on today's big schedule, a big tip o' the cap is in order for Coach Jackson of the Warriors. Let's face it. The guy was a disaster as a TV analyst, but he sure can coach. He was missing 4 key pieces from his puzzle last night in his team's 4th game in 5 nights, and the Warriors still hammered the Cavs. Golden State isn't going to win a championship this season, but this team is going to be a real handful for any opponent they run up against out west once the 2nd season begins.
THE NBA (1-3 last night and 6-12 so far for the week)
SU WINNERS (2-2 last night and 10-8 so far for the week)
76ERS, PACERS, HAWKS, CELTICS, KNICKS, NETS, BUCKS, Clippers, SPURS, Rockets, Hornets and SUNS
TOTALS (2-2 last night and 11-7 so far for the week)
OVERS - Raptors/HAWKS (198 1/2) and Bulls/BUCKS (192)
UNDERS - Wizards/76ERS (190 1/2), Pistons/PACERS (181 1/2), Kings/CELTICS (194), Magic/KNICKS (200), Heat/NETS (190), Clippers/WOLVES (190), Bobcats/SPURS (202 1/2), Rockets/NUGGETS (218), Hornets/JAZZ (190) and Lakers/SUNS (201 1/2)
BUTTA (no play last night and 0-2 so far for the week)
1. PARLAY: PACERS (-370) over Pistons and KNICKS (-450) over Magic - Normally, I don't like playing a team in their 1st home game back after a long road trip, but I got to really digging deep on the Pacers, and I found that the last 8 times they've returned home after a road trip of more than a week, they're 6-2 ATS. They're also 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games against division opponents. I still am a little skitterish about laying the (-8) hung on them though. The Knicks are at (-10) over the Magic, so the play on that is right out, but this does look like a chippie to go pair with the Pacers and get a (-180) payout. PACERS 88, Pistons 80 and KNICKS 105, Magic 88
2. HAWKS (-300) over Raptors - The Hawks are getting healthy again, and they've dominated the Dinos over the last few seasons, going 6-1 SU. The way the numbers are flowing right now in this "adjustment phase", though, I'm not about to lay (-7) on Atlanta. HAWKS 105, Raptors 100
ALL THE REST
1. 76ERS (-3 1/2) over Wizards - You all know I've been carrying the water for the Wiz over the last couple weeks since John Wall back in the lineup, but the numbers just don't jive with a continued resurgence, at least for this game. 76ERS 93, Wizards 87
2. Kings (+7) at CELTICS - It's going to take a little time to get a clear picture of where the Celts are without Rondo. CELTICS 92, Kings 87
3. NETS (+2) vs. Heat - I'm not at all on board with my numbers for this game. The Nets have been doing just fine, but this is one of those "yardstick" games for them to see how they measure up against the elite teams in the league. With the Heat coming off a loss but rested, my instincts tell me the Nets come up short, even though the projection doesn't agree. NETS 87, Heat 84
4. BUCKS (+1) vs. Bulls - Both teams are chugging right along, and this looks like the best game of the night. The Bulls have dominated the Bucks with a 9-2 SU record against them over the last 3 seasons, so I'm just going to sit it out and watch. BUCKS 104, Bulls 97
5. WOLVES (+4 1/2) vs. Clippers - The Wolves will be getting some key players back tonight, but since none of those are Kevin Love, it's hard to fathom that they'll be able to compete with the Clips if L.A. is focused and plays their game. Clippers 87, WOLVES 86
6. SPURS (-13) over Bobcats - Nothing much has to be said about this game even if Coach Pop sits Duncan again. SPURS 104, Bobcats 84
7. Rockets (+4 1/2) at NUGGETS - There's a lot wrong with the Rocks game, but I don't know. This looks completely possible as the Nugs escaped by the skin of their teeth on Monday night, and it's not uncommon for them to lose a game at home that they probably shouldn't lose. Rockets 106, NUGGETS 97
8. Hornets (+7 1/2) at JAZZ - Last night against the Lakers was the perfect example of what the Stingers are. They never quit. They fell behind by doubles several times in last night's game, but they just keep going. I have no problem rolling the rock up the hill for Nawlins, but I fear they could be in trouble here regardless of what the numbers say. Salt Lake City isn't any more of a picnic on the back end of a b2b at over 4300 feet above sea level than Denver is, but the real key here might be the fact that the Jazz aren't used to losing at home, let alone getting blown out by 45 points as they did their last time out. Hornets 96, JAZZ 91
9. SUNS (+2 1/2) vs. Lakers - It's all smiles in Lakerland after the last 3 games, but now we get to see the next pieces in the puzzle as the Lakers hit the road where they've been totally dreadful so far this season. SUNS 100, Lakers 94
COLLEGE HOOPS (1-0 ATS, SU & TOTALS so far for the week)
Only one game to look at for tonight, and it's the Pac-12's first run of the season on my board.
Usc (+9 1/2, U144 1/2) at UCLA - The Trojans just aren't a very good basketball team, but they might get some assistance tonight with Mr. All-Everything, Muhammad, "questionable" for this game and one of the Wear brothers also due to sit out. Either way, I don't want to make a move with so many "moving parts" in play. UCLA 74, Usc 66
Well, that was fun. I told you that we were in the 70s here in God's Country on Monday. Today, we woke up to snow on the ground. WOW! Have a great rest of your Hump Day, and I'll talk to you again tomorrow.