NBA games review January 22nd

Tonight we got only four games, but at least one, would have been top match even on bigger cards.

Chicago Bulls – San Antonio Spurs

This is a game that matches two teams, that many predicted would reach NBA Finals. But, Spurs are currently in the 7th spot in the West, while Chicago are 4th in the East, both 8 games behind first places in their conferences.
But, despite Spurs being 7th and Chicago 4th, Spurs are on a rise and playing amazing basketball at the moment, while Bulls looks abysmal.
Spurs are 8 – 2 the last 10 games, winning both SU and ATS the last 4 games, while playing really good basketball.
Chicago are 4 – 6 the last 10 games, losing both SU and ATS 4 of the their last 5 games. On top of that, they are 1 – 4 SU and ATS in their last 5 home games, losing to good teams like Hawks and Wizards, but also losing to Utah and Orlando and barely covering against the Bucks, winning by 8 points (line was 6).
Not surprising that rumors are that Thibodeau might not be there by the end of the month. Thibodeau is amazing coach and there is no dispute about that, but many in Chicago are saying that he is too demanding and that his locker room is different from what he used to have before that. Noah is injured, Deng is gone – those two are “his” players and player like Gasol, just not on the same page as Thibodeau as far as characters go, despite giving great season under him.
Spurs, GSW and Atlanta – are the three hottest teams in the league, all from Pop’s school of coaches (Pop himself, Kerr as player – won two titles under him and Budenholzer that was in Spurs system for 19 years, before becoming head coach for the Hawks).
You don’t want to bet against the Spurs.
On the other hand, Bulls play on Friday in Dallas and Tuesday in Golden State, with one stop back home against the Heat. This is almost a must win for them, especially if they want their coach to keep his job.
Road team won SU and ATS 4 of the last 5 meetings between the teams, but still, I find it impossible to fade Spurs in this game, while having zero desire to fade Chicago, in such a spot and as 5 points dogs at home.
If Noah played, I would have probably been on the Bulls, but without him, I’m leaning to the Spurs side.
Easy skip here.

Milwaukee Bucks – Utah Jazz

Bucks had the worst NBA record last season. Even worse than the Sixers. It’s surprising to see them in the 6th place with above 50% record, with 21 – 20 record, even on the weak Eastern Conference.
Kidd must get a lot of credit here, but also Giannis, the Greek Freak and Knight, that took one big step forward.
Bucks lost 5 of their last 7 home games, but their secret is very simple. They beat teams they supposed to beat. Sounds simple, but look around and you will see many good teams, struggling with this simple task. Bucks are 16 – 5 playing teams below 50% and having 21 – 20 record, we can easily see, that it’s more than 75% of their wins.
Bucks are 5 – 0 SU and ATS as favorites by 6 points or more, so while bookies don’t make them big favorites often, when they do it, they have very good reason to do so.
Bucks have a chance to improve their recently bad home record, with a comfortable win and I expect them to do so.
Jazz lost 4 of their last 5 games, both SU and ATS, losing all four games as dogs, putting horrible shows like 69 – 89 loss to the Spurs and winning the only game as favorites, at home against the Lakers.
It’s hard to find a game, where Jazz made a comeback. They usually either start good and stay hot or fall apart pretty quickly.
I believe in the second option here.
Not a big fan of laying a big chalk with mediocre teams, but it’s Bucks or nothing here.

Portland Trailblazers – Boston Celtics

Boston begin tonight their 5 games trip to the West and what’s worst for them, is the fact that they play four of them in 5 nights, so expect a lot of mileage in short time for them.
Boston are scratching and fighting and show the difference between them and their coach and Jazz and their coach for example. They are 2 – 8 SU, but 5 – 5 ATS.
Portland lost Aldridge for still unknown amount of time, so they need to win the games that they can, since without LA, they will struggle in many games.
This is a perfect chance to rebound, from the loss to the Suns last night.
On the other hand, without LA, playing B2B, with pretty long flight in between the games and after all the effort they put in in the fourth quarter last night, they should feel lucky just to win, not think about big win here.
Still, this is the kind of game, that Portland can really explode in, something that won’t happen too often, as long as they are without LA.
Skip here, though Portland should be a good addition to a parlay.

LA Clippers – Brooklyn Nets

Since Rivers brought Rivers Junior to the team, Clippers are 0 – 3 ATS (though 2 – 1 SU). I’m not saying that he is the problem, but this was very problematic move that nothing good can come out of it.
Clippers as favorites between 7 and 13.5 points are 5 -14 ATS. Clippers are struggling ATS this season, while Nets, on the road, are decent with 12 – 8 ATS record.
If Nets would have lost last night, they would have been the play for sure, especially since they played in Sacramento, very close to LA.
But how much fight power is left in Brooklyn players, coming off a win, playing B2B, nobody knows.
I lean Nets here, but easy skip here.
Not a game I would like to bet on.

For those that are interested in my picks this week, can read the details here:
http://betonbasket.com/subscription/nba-picks

For questions, replies, thoughts and suggestions regarding the weekly article, please write to:
bmanidv@gmail.com

Best of luck everybody!!!

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