Surprises at the Half Way Point
Each month since the season started, I've taken a quick look at some of the surprises in the NBA. With the All-Star break less than two weeks away, I thought I'd take another glance at some of the more interesting sub-plots around the league.
From the outset it's been a race between the Knicks and Nets, and each team is neck and neck heading into the break. The Knicks are 30-15 SU as of writing, while the Nets are 28-19. Neither side has been particularly profitable for bettors overall this season though, as New York is 24-20-1 ATS, while Brooklyn is 21-23-3 ATS. If there was a surprise in this division, it would be Boston at 23-23 SU. The C's have struggled with consistency all year, but after losing Rajon Rondo for the remainder of the season to injury, have rallied and gone a perfect 4-0.
Another tough division. Chicago has a slim lead over Indiana right now. The Bulls are 29-18 SU, and the Pacers are 28-19. Chicago is just 20-27 ATS, while Indiana is 25-22 ATS. The Bulls will get a big boost when Derrick Rose returns to the lineup after the break, while the Pacers are also anxiously awaiting on top-scorer Danny Granger to make his debut this year as well. Milwaukee is firmly in third at 25-21 SU and 24-22 ATS.
This is a two-horse race, with Miami at 29-14 SU and Atlanta at 26-20. The Heat are 21-22 ATS, while Atlanta is just 19-25-2 ATS. Washington sits in a two way tie for last place with Charlotte at 11-35 SU. The Wizards though are 27-17-2 ATS, while the Bobcats are 17-28-1.
San Antonio has finally started to distance itself from Memphis, sitting at 38-11 SU, compared to the Grizzlies 30-16. The Spurs are 27-20-2 ATS, while the Grizz are 27-18-1 ATS. Houston is nipping at their heels at 26-23 SU, while Dallas stumbles into the mid-way point at 20-27.
Oklahoma City (35-12 SU), has not been able to pull away from Denver (30-18), and Utah is right behind at 26-22. Both leaders have been delivering the goods for bettors as well this year, with OKC at 27-18-2 ATS, and the Nuggets at 28-20. Utah though is a sub-par 23-24-1 ATS.
The LA Clippers have stumbled of late without All Star guard Chris Paul in the lineup, but still lead the division at 34-14 SU. Golden State remains in second at 30-17. The Clippers are 27-21 ATS, while the Warriors are 27-19-1. But the Lakers at 21-26 SU continue to be the talk of the division, and of the league. The Lake Show has also failed to get the job done for bettors this year, sitting at 19-27-1 ATS thus far. So do the Lakers have a big second half push in them? Only time will tell, but one things for sure, it's going to be interesting to watch!
- O (TEX at NYY)
- AAA Sports
- June 28, 2016 - 7:05 PM
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The visitors hand the ball to ace Cole Hamels (8-1, 2.79 ERA) who comes in off a dominant outing vs. the Reds on Wednesday, allowing just one run off five scattered hits over six innings in the 6-4 win. Hamels’ peripherals are ugly though and it’s now just a matter of time before the baseball gods come back to strike him down as his 1.40 HR/9 and 3.44 BB/9 are both career worsts, while his 4.57 FIP is horrible. Hamels will be opposed by Yanks veteran CC Sabathia, who like his counterpart today, has opened the season strong, but who has also shown some “cracks in the armor.” Sabathia (5-4, 2.20 ERA) is approaching 36 years old and while he’s been superb to this point, like Hamels there’s plenty of tell tale signs that the southpaw is about to take a step back, as his FIP is a full point higher than his ERA and his xFIP (which is considred by most experts as being the best predictor for future ERA) is more than two runs higher. Also note that he’s a rather pedestrian 1-2 with a 3.58 ERA in front of the home town crowd this year. We’re going to recommend a play on the OVER in this one.
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