By Doug Upstone of Sports-Watch
The Boston Celtics aging roster has caught up with them, something they managed to put off a couple of years. As the Celtics offensive prowess declined, they were able to make up for it with quality defense and rebounding.
However, even this is no longer good enough to mask their offensive deficiencies. Boston’s 95.5 points a game is good enough to rank in the middle of NBA pack, yet upon close examination, we can easily determine why they 14-17 and one the worst bets in the Association at 10-18-3 ATS (29th overall).
If you study offensive efficiency (the number of points a team score scores per 100 possessions), the C’s slide all the way down to 21st in the league. The loss of Ray Allen has proven to be key to Boston, even at his advanced age. Of the Celtics 95.5 PPG, only 16.7 are derived from three-point shooting (28th) and they are also third from the bottom in attempts from “way downtown”.
Look to Bet On this team
For another publication, I wrote that Denver was only of my favorite futures wagers of the preseason to go Over 51.5 wins. To date, this appears to be a lost cause with the Nuggets hovering around .500. However, there could be a reversal of fortune, since Denver played 22 of their first 33 contests away from home.
In January, the Nuggets play 12 of 15 games at the Pepsi Center, which should help their star players to commence playing up to their reputations. Based on current records, coach George Karl’s club plays the third-easiest slate this month.
Look to Bet Against this club
Oddsmakers projected Portland’s win total to be 33.5 this season and they are almost halfway there already at 16-15. Despite their impressive success, the Trail Blazers could be in for a rugged first month of 2013.
Portland is exceeding expectations relative to points for and against. The Blazers are being outscored by 2.5 points per game, which is exactly the same as Philadelphia and Boston, and at this moment those teams are three games under .500. Also consider in spite of a winning record, Portland is 13-17-1 against the spread, suggesting they are not meeting market expectations. The Blazers are a disconcerting 5-11 SU and ATS away from home and have two other potential issues.
If they are off a SU victory, Portland is 5-10-1 ATS. If the Trail Blazers manage to cover the spread, they are unsightly 3-9-1 ATS the next time out. Finally, six times in January, coach Terry Stotts squad will play with a single day of rest and they are 4-10 ATS in that role.
For basic use, use these NBA Power Rankings to determine point spreads by figuring differentials and adding the listed home court advantage.
|Boston +3.5||117||116||115||Denver +5||118||117||118|
|Brooklyn +3.5||116||118||116||Minnesota +4||115||115||117|
|New York +5||116||120||119||Oklahoma City +4.5||120||121||123|
|Philadelphia +3.5||116||116||115||Portland +3.5||114||115||116|
|Toronto +3.5||113||112||112||Utah +4||115||115||116|
|Chicago +3||116||116||116||Dallas +3.5||116||116||114|
|Cleveland +3||113||112||109||Houston +4||113||117||118|
|Detroit +3||113||112||111||Memphis +4.5||117||120||120|
|Indiana +3.5||117||116||118||New Orleans +3||112||111||110|
|Milwaukee +3.5||114||115||115||San Antonio +5||119||122||123|
|Atlanta +3.5||115||118||118||Golden State +3.5||114||118||119|
|Charlotte +3||112||109||109||L.A. Clippers +4.5||117||120||123|
|Miami +4.5||120||122||122||L.A. Lakers +3.5||119||115||116|
|Orlando +3||111||114||111||Phoenix +3.5||113||113||111|
|Washington +2.5||112||108||106||Sacramento +3.5||113||112||112|