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!
- U (PHI at PIT)
- Larry Ness
- April 1, 2015 - 8:00 PM
- Offered at:
- pinnacle @ Under 5.5 -135
The Flyers arrival in town should also ensure Pittsburgh's full attention since they have defeated them in their last six encounters...
My free play is on Philly/Pitt Under at 8:05 ET.
Pittsburgh will find themselves down a man on defense with both Christian Ehrhoff and Kris Letang out for tonight's Metropolitan Division class between these two in-state rivals. With the Penguins' lacking the salary cap flexibility to call up another defenseman, they will have to resort to relying on a five-man rotation at their blue-line where all five will be expected to log in more minutes. At least in the short-term, that should not impact Pittsburgh's tenacity on its end of the ice. This team has the luxury of leaning on goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury who has bettered his numbers after the All-Star break with a 2.18 goals against average and a .922 save percentage. The Pens have plenty at stake as they fight for home ice advantage for the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Flyers arrival in town should also ensure Pittsburgh's full attention since they have defeated them in their last six encounters. The Penguins average 2.8 goals per game but see that mark fall a half-goal to 2.3 goals per game against division rivals. Pittsburgh has also played seven of its last nine games under the number against teams with a winning percentage below .400.
Philadelphia enters this contest looking to rebound from a 3-2 loss to San Jose in the shootout on Saturday. The Flyers now go on the road where the under is 5-0-2 in their last seven road games against teams with a winning record on their home ice. Much of the "credit" for these unders can go to the Philly offense that scores only 2.3 goals per game away from home which does not reach their 2.6 goals per game average for the season. However, while the Flyers' offense struggles when playing in hostile environments, a pleasant surprise for this team already eliminated from the playoffs, has been the play of Steve Mason. The netminder has a very respectable 2.24 goals against average this season along with a .927 save percentage based on a sensational second-half of the season where he has produced a .939 save percentage and 1.89 goals against average since the All Star break. Take the under.
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