One of the things I suggested last week was to use the NBA schedule to your advantage. There are a few spots that, with a handicap, can point you in the right direction due to rest, travel, and other factors. Last week’s trio worked well as all three teams are covered.
It won’t always work that way, but it was nice that this topic returns immediately. As I wrote last week, these are NOT the only justifications for a bet. They are a starting point to narrow down the map and see if you think the line is appropriate and if everything went according to plan.
I’ll talk about a few more here to further illustrate some of the angles I’m trying to find.
Raptors at Pistons (Friday) – The Raptors had a really brave performance just at home, outnumbered in the 99-95 loss to the Suns that ended Toronto’s six-game winning streak. The difficulty with this Pistons game is that it’s the front end of a back-to-back and the Raptors play Milwaukee on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. CT.
Detroit is terrible, but with a better opponent on deck, teams can definitely measure up to their competition. While it’s the first game of a five game road trip for Toronto, it feels like a win-and-out spot. If I get enough points with the pistons, that would interest me.
Cavaliers at Thunder (Saturday) – This will be the final game of a six-game road trip for Cleveland as the Cavaliers head home on Monday to pit the Nets in a pretty big dipstick game. This is a back-to-back-off when playing the Spurs. Cleveland will set a street price here that is largely uncharted territory for such a young team. Like Detroit, OKC is just awful, but that’s why the spread is there.
A young team like the Cavs feel very, very prone to stumbling in a place like this.
Warriors at Timberwolves (Sunday) – The Warriors are struggling a little right now but have games against Milwaukee and Chicago on Thursday and Friday to set the ship up in front of the national television audience. Sunday’s game against the Timberwolves marks the end of a road trip of four games, six of seven away.
Following this game, the Warriors start a homestand for seven games. As long as Golden State doesn’t rest anyone, Minnesota should pick up a healthy number of points at home in a game that Golden State may not invest in.
The caveat is that if the Warriors look bad against the Bucks and Bulls, they can allay some frustrations in Minnesota. Therefore, these are starting points for a handicap and not guaranteed picks. The plan needs to be worked out before the game and the spread needs to be a number that you want to take as well.