Oddball Baskets is on Hiatus

Hello Hoopheads,

Due to time constraints, and a desire to focus more on my work for CelticFanChat, I have decided to put OBB on hiatus indefinitely. If you’re a fan of my stuff, then thank you - and please continue to follow me at CFC, where I’ll be writing with a focus on roster and player development and statistical analysis.

Thank you all for your support over the past year.



NBA Daily Odds for Wednesday, November 5

Yesterday: 5-7
Season: 20-26

Not a great day yesterday for me, but with a full slate of games tonight there is no rest for the weary. Getting right into it…

Orlando (-3) @ Philadelphia (195 o/u) 

…with one of the worst games of the season. Oof. Orlando is fun to watch for stretches, and the Sixers do play with some good pace, but if you like clean, fundamentally sound basketball you should probably flip over to Hawks-Spurs instead.

I think Orlando has more talent, but still not enough talent to be a clear favorite on the road, even against Philly. They are on night two of a road back-to-back, too. Just nothing really working in their favor except for the fact that, you know, they get to play the Sixers.

With all of that information, I’d still take Orlando at like, -6. I just don’t see Philly being able to compete.

Pick: Orlando -3

Miami (189.5 o/u) @ Charlotte (-1.5)

Both teams are on a back-to-back, but Miami’s on the road. Charlotte has looked ugly so far this season, and I think it’s pretty clear that Miami is further along in the process of being a 2014-15 NBA team than the Hornets are.

Even so, this line is fair. It’s hard to win on the road without rest in the NBA, and the Heat aren’t a juggernaut, just a solid team. I’ll take them here because I like any bet where the better team is the underdog.

Pick: Miami +1.5

Toronto (203.5 o/u) @ Boston (-1.5)

I’m going to this game, and I couldn’t be more excited. As you will know if you read this blog even semi-regularly, I love the Raptors. They are so much fun and I try to catch them whenever they come to Boston – Lowry, DeRozan, Ross and Johnson are all among my favorite NBA players.

I’m also a huge Celtics fan, though, and the comeback in Dallas on Monday was SO much fun. Seeing Smart and Bradley harass Devin Harris as he tried to bring the ball up the court was amazing, and exactly what every Celts fan wanted to see this season with that duo in the backcourt. Brad Stevens is a great coach and there is real hope for this team.

They are catching Toronto on a back-to-back, but again – I have this thing about betting against a better team when they are the underdogs. I’m going to take Toronto here, but I’ll be cheering for Boston at the Garden.

Pick: Toronto +1.5 

Minnesota (209.5 o/u) @ Brooklyn (-5)

This one has Stay Away written all over it for me. Both these teams have been all over the map so far this early season, and until I see more from them, I really don’t want to touch either one. Brooklyn currently registers as the #2 NBA offense, for instance, which I find hard to believe will be sustained. Are they even a top 10 offense in this league over a full season? I kind of doubt it.


New York (186 o/u) @ Detroit (-4)

Drummond should FEAST on the Knicks big man rotation tonight, and unless Melo goes off (which is totally a possibility, even though people forget how good Josh Smith can be defensively) then I think New York is in trouble. Detroit isn’t going to lose 60 games this season, and they have to start picking up some W’s at home soon.

I love this line for the Pistons. New York is on a back-to-back on the road, while the Pistons had yesterday off and are playing at home (and with the motivation of their first win still hanging out there).

Pick: Detroit -4

Indiana (187.5 o/u) @ Washington (-9.5)

This one is an easy go for Washington to me. They should absolutely win this game by double digits at home. If they want to be a true Eastern Conference contender then these are the kinds of wins they have to get decisively.

The Hibbert-Gortat match-up is interesting for me, and I can see Indiana hanging around for a while with their toughness and grind-it-out style, but you have to score points when it counts, and they just can’t do that with this active roster.

Pick: Washington -9.5 & Under 187.5

Chicago (-4.5) @ Milwaukee (190.5 o/u) 

I have to take the Bulls here, even with Rose questionable and Noah doubtful. I just think they’re still a much better team and the stakes are higher for them in games like this. The under also intrigues me with neither team having a dominant offensive option and having defensive anchors (Gibson for Chicago, Sanders for Milwuakee) that can really impact the game on that end.

Pick: Chicago -4.5 & Under 190.5

Atlanta (201 o/u) @ San Antonio (-8)

I hate betting against the Spurs, but the Hawks should hang in this game. The tough thing is that the Hawks could be right in it with four minutes to go and still lose by 12 because San Antonio is just so good at executing down the stretch.

I like the over more than I like the spread either way. These are two offensive-minded teams that shoot the ball well and often from deep. Budenholzer-Popovich is a fun coaching match-up, and I’m saving this game on my DVR for tomorrow morning.

Pick: Over 201

Memphis (193 o/u) @ Phoenix (-1.5)

This is a big test for the 3-1 Suns at home, hosting the undefeated Memphis Grizzlies. If Phoenix wants to compete for a playoff spot they are going to have to win quite a few games like this. They also played late last night in L.A., a fast-paced affair that was closer than it should have been.

Memphis had the day off, on the other hand, and should be well rested. This clash of contrasting styles can make for interesting basketball, and I think that it favors the better defensive team in this case.

Pick: Memphis +1.5

Cleveland (-5.5) @ Utah (204.5 o/u) 

Utah has been friskier than most predicted, while Cleveland has been the opposite. If we were going by the numbers and basketball so far this season, Utah would be an easy pick at +5.5. However LeBron, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love play for the Cavs, and just because they haven’t jelled yet doesn’t mean this team isn’t going to be awesome. I predict a BIG Cavs win tonight in Utah, their version of a statement game before everyone panics.

Pick: Cleveland -5.5

Denver (203 o/u) @ Sacramento (-4)

The Kings have been a surprise so far, outperforming expectations, while the Nuggets have been dreadful compared to projections. This collision of teams that are so far off what I expected them to be is interesting, but it’s also incredibly hard to pick. As a gauge, I’m going to pick the Nuggets, which is what I would have done with the knowledge I had prior to the last week of basketball. I want to see if I was really as far off as the first few games have indicated on these two squads, and this is a good way to test it.

Pick: Denver +4

LA Clippers (210 o/u) @ Golden State (-4.5)

One of the best rivalries in the sport reignites tonight by the Bay. This line has really inflated on Golden State’s side because of their early success and the Clipps early struggles, but I’m sticking with my theory that the early season trends have been more anomaly than reality and taking LA on this spread.

Pick: LAC +4.5 & Under 210

NBA Daily Odds for Tuesday, November 4

Yesterday: 3-5
Season: 15-19

Milwaukee (+4.5) @ Indiana (192.5 o/u) 

The under is definitely safe here. These are two lower tier teams that both specialize in defense, if anything. Larry Sanders and Roy Hibbert should protect the rim well at both ends, and neither team features a go-to scorer that really scares you at all. The Bucks play fast, but Indiana doesn’t at all, so I think 192.5 is very safe here.

Pick: Under 192.5 

Oklahoma City (194 o/u) @ Toronto (-11.5) 

I’m all about Toronto in this one. They look like a very good basketball team once again, and one that has a true identity. The Thunder right now have a reckless abandon about them, but that only gets you so far. On the road at a great arena, I have to think the Raptors win easily.

Pick: Toronto -11.5 & Over 194

Washington (-1) @ New York (191 o/u) 

I think this one should be over as well. The line is fun, as it’s basically choosing a winner, but it’s hard to defend either side. I have to say, I think Washington is a far better team at full strength, but New York has looked good so far offensively. I’m really close to talking myself into the Knicks here, which is terrifying. I’ve done a total 180 on Derek Fisher in the span of like, two games. The stuff they’ve run has actually looked like basketball.

Washington hasn’t impressed me, but they also are without a major contributor in Bradley Beal, and transitioning to life with Paul Pierce and without Trevor Ariza. I’ll take the Knicks tonight, but I don’t feel good about it (I never do).

Pick: New York +1 & Over 191

Houston (203 o/u) @ Miami (-1.5)

Houston here all the way, and I don’t feel the need to explain myself.

Pick: Houston +1.5

Orlando (190.5 o/u) @ Chicago (-11)

This is safe on two fronts for me – the under and Chicago.

Pick: Under 190.5 & Chicago -11

Charlotte (189.5 o/u) @ New Orleans (-4)

This one has me evaluating myself big time. Do I really think the Pelicans are a better team than the Hornets? I think I do. Yet I totally picked the Hornets to win 9 more games than the Pelicans this season. The Western Conference is a beast.

Pick: Under 189.5 & New Orleans -4

Cleveland (-2.5) @ Portland (204.5 o/u) 

Too early for me to bet on Cavs games. They scare me on both ends.

Pick: Over 204.5

Phoenix (-6.5) @ LA Lakers (213 o/u) 

This could be PHX -11.5 and it would still be good money.

Pick: Phoenix -6.5

NBA Daily Odds for Monday, November 3

Yesterday: 2-2
Season: 12-14

Not a bad day yesterday, but DeMarcus Cousins’ crazy explosion of a game totally blew my LA Clippers prediction out of the water. The Kings look legitimately decent, while the Clippers continue to under perform. The other major note of last night was the Knicks’ solid performance at home against the Hornets. I have been really impressed by what I’ve seen under new coach Derek Fisher so far.

Finally, Dwyane Wade had a monster game, using his veteran smarts and still elite athleticism to influence the game constantly in Miami. Really great performance by D-Wade yesterday.

Houston (-10.5) @ Philadelphia (202 o/u)

Our first action of Monday night brings us to Philly, where the Rockets roll into town with a questionable Dwight Howard. I don’t really think that matters, though – aren’t the Rockets 11 points better without him anyway? My only concern here is garbage time is likely to play a factor,

Even so, I love Houston and I love the over.

Pick: Houston -10.5 & Over 202

Oklahoma City (192 o/u) @ Brooklyn (-6.5)

I kind of really like OKC in this one. Quick, someone talk me out of it! But Reggie Jackson is coming back, Perry Jones looks like Kevin Durant, Jr. so far this season, and Brooklyn is playing a plodding, ugly style of basketball so far under Lionel Hollins that they don’t really have the personnel to make effective.

I also like the under, because Serge Ibaka is a defensive beast and the Nets just play so damn slow.

Pick: OKC +6.5 & Under 192

New Orleans (187.5 o/u) @ Memphis (-4)

The under is a really good bet here, as these teams have both been good defensively so far. I’m tempted by New Orleans, but I also acknowledge that Memphis is probably still the better team and are playing at home. I wouldn’t pick the spread either way, but the Under is for real.

Pick: Under 187.5

Boston (208.5 o/u) @ Dallas (-9.5) 

Great bet to go over, as the Celtics are #2 in the NBA in pace so far this season. While Dallas is far behind (27th), that is likely an anomaly, and they are still #1 so far in offensive rating by far (118.8 per 100 possessions, more than 5 points ahead of the second place Miami Heat). This game will likely be fast and feature a lot of scoring.

Pick: Over 208.5

Sacramento (201.5 o/u) @ Denver (-6)

So far this young season the Nuggets have been abysmal offensively but brilliant on defense. That’s not quite what people imagined when they looked at this roster and the tradition of Denver Nuggets basketball, but if that’s what helps them win, then so be it. Meanwhile, the Kings are currently sporting a top-10 defensive unit as well, if you can believe it.

This could all be due to a very small sample size – I would be willing to bet that at least one of these teams is below average defensively by year’s end – but it still makes this over/under look puzzling. Traditionally the Nuggets have loved to run at home and the Kings have been a pushover defensively, but so far this season that doesn’t seem to be the case.

I’ll take Denver here on the strength of their home court advantage and the fact that Sacramento is on a back-to-back.

Pick: Denver -6

Utah (205.5 o/u) @ LA Clippers (-9)

Oh man, come on! The Clippers on a back-to-back after a brutal loss at home against the Jazz?! Never mind that the Clippers have killed me so far early this season, but Utah has caught my eye early this season as a fun, intriguing young team. I like the way they look out there, even if the results will likely be poor-to-fair this season.

Do I trust in Doc, Blake and CP3 again, this time against a team I’m over-the-top excited about?!

Yes, yes I do. Because I still think the Clippers are just way, way better than the Jazz.

Pick: Clippers -9

NBA Daily Odds for Sunday, November 2

Thursday: 3-2 (Detroit pushed at +6)
Season: 10-12

Sacramento (205.5 o/u) @ LA Clippers (-9.5)

The Kings have played the Clippers tough in recent years, and DeMarcus Cousins doesn’t hate anyone as much as Chris Paul, so there’s that. However Sacramento relied on a huge Rudy Gay performance against Portland this week, and in their only other game looked dreadful against Golden State.

The Clippers haven’t looked ultra-sharp so far either, though. Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles against a Kings team that looks totally lost would be a great time to start.

Pick: Clippers -9.5

Toronto (197.5 o/u) @ Miami (-2)

A battle of two undefeated Eastern Conference teams that has plenty of intrigue for basketball nerds everywhere. This is the game of the night for me, because I love watching both these squads. They’re also both on back-to-backs, a situation that usually favors the home team.

Whoever wins the games like these is who will rise above the muddled middle of the Eastern Conference. My bet is on Toronto, but that involves going against Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, which is scary any day. The under scares me less – these are two teams that should be able to play solid defense and that aren’t looking to run out of the building anytime soon.

Pick: Under 197.5

Charlotte (186 o/u) @ New York (-3.5)

Charlotte will be so excited to be playing a non-defensive juggernaut after last night against Memphis that I can’t envision them losing this game. They looked so beaten down last night, it was brutal. I also think they’re a better team than New York, even though the Knicks are definitely no lost cause yet.

This should be a fun MSG game, and I’ll definitely tune in for the second half. I’m taking the Hornets, but leaving the over/under alone.

Pick: Charlotte +3.5

Golden State (207 o/u) @ Portland (-3.5)

Golden State may have played last night, but I can’t imagine them being underdogs after what I’ve watched from them so far this young season. Portland is still a good basketball team, but Golden State looks great. This should be fun in Portland tonight.

Pick: Golden State +3.5

NBA Daily Odds for Thursday, October 30

Yesterday: 5-8
Season: 7-10

Washington (-4.5) @ Orlando (188.5 o/u) 

So, I was right in the first game about Orlando not being able to score. This line seems insane to me, but the fact that Washington is on a back-to-back has to something to do with it I’m sure. Just hard for me to believe they can’t win by five or more tonight.

Pick: Washington -4.5

New York (204 o/u) @ Cleveland (-13)

Easy call for me, lock on Cleveland. The Q will be rockin’ tonight, and it’s just way, way too much firepower on the court for the Knicks to handle.

Pick: Cleveland -13 & Over 204

Detroit (205.5 o/u) @ Minnesota (-6)

Okay, again! This line seems INSANE to me. Minnesota played well last night, and Detroit didn’t, but… come on! Detroit is a better team, right?

Pick: Detroit +6

Utah (202 o/u) @ Dallas (-10.5)

This is a pretty solid line, I think. Dallas looked great in game one against San Antonio, though, and Utah is on a back-to-back on the road, while the Mavs had a day off and are at home.

Pick: Dallas -10.5

Oklahoma City (204.5 o/u) @ L.A. Clippers (-13)

I have too much respect for Westbrook and Ibaka to go with the Clippers at -13 here… but I really want to. I like the under, though, because these are actually two pretty good defensive teams when it comes right down to it, and OKC looked challenged offensively by Portland last night, and LAC is much better on that end of the ball.

Pick: Under 204.5