1/6/2010 5:00 PM EST
By The Team at SportsInsights.com
Welcome to the NBA edition of Sports Marketwatch, wherethe Team at SportsInsights gives sports fans an unprecedented glimpse into the NBApoint-spread marketplace. If you ever wanted to know what was really happeningon the sportsbook side, you now have an all-access pass with Sports Marketwatch!Initially, the NBA Edition of Sports Marketwatch will be a weekly columnpublished on Wednesdays, normally around 5PM, Eastern Time.
The staff at SportsInsights.com analyzes the marketplace, and especially thesports betting industry’s largest and most reputable sportsbooks, to identifywhich games the public is chasing and which ones the Sharps are pounding. Let’stake a look at what’s in store for tonight’s NBA games.
SportsMarketplace – NBA Edition
Our NBA edition of Sports Marketwatch finally posted a perfect week lastWednesday, leaping closer to the mendoza line. With the game tied at 101,seventeen seconds left in regulation and the shot clock almost expired,Cleveland’s defensive-minded forward Anderson Varejao made his first career3-pointer. The Cavaliers went on to win, but thankfully the miracle shotdidn’t disrupt our cover, as the final tally hit 106-101. In our otherfeatured game, Boston got a solid performance from Eddie House, who was 5-7 fromlong range, but they were simply missing too many stars to injury. Phoenixdefeated the undermanned Celtics 116-98, covering easily.
2009-10 NBA Games to Watch: 9-12, 42.9%*
New Orleans Hornets +5 over Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder have been favorites of Marketwatch recently. They’ve beenknown for a few years as a beleaguered franchise with a revolving door forinconsistent young players. That they recently struck NBA Draft gold withKevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook was beside the point untilrecently, when a 5-game win streak included victories over Phoenix and Utah androughly coincided with a 7-game, 69-assist stretch for the young point guard,Westbrook. Aside from moving to Oklahoma City, the team also put itself ina nice position to be public darlings, as the 3 aforementioned players were allfaces of elite and storied college basketball programs (Texas, Georgetown andUCLA respectively). All this is just to say that Oklahoma City is set toimprove and succeed in a major, long-term way… But it may soon become harderthan a frozen diamond to find value in betting on them.
Westbrook is touted as being a great defender, but he’ll have his hands fulltonight with Chris Paul, whose Hornets have rebounded from a disappointing startto win 3 in a row against the likes of Miami, Houston and Utah. NewOrleans opened at CRIS at 5-point underdogs, and despite only receiving 38% ofspread bets, the line now sits at +4.5 at most offshore books. There hasbeen quite a bit of negative steam on both sides, and the number has been movingbetween 4 and 5 all day. However, we’ve also triggered a Smart Money playon New Orleans from Matchbook (+4.38 Units Won). Play on the Hornets tokeep this one tight with the young Thunder. You can still find an extrahalf point at a few books, including CRIS, BetUS, BetJamaica and BetOnline.
New Orleans +5
Memphis Grizzlies +5.5 over Utah Jazz
Memphismanagement is largely responsible for the NBA’s current power structure, astheir gift of Pau Gasol to the Lakers (yes, Pau once played for another team) acouple of seasons ago for draft picks and expiring contracts has done much todetermine recent playoffs and championships. However, they aren’t lookingquite as gullible or silly now, as another once-trampled-upon franchise is goingthrough a bit of a resurrection. Rudy Gay was never quite enough to carrythem, but surrounding him with O.J. Mayo, Zach Randolph and the younger Gasolhas the Grizz off to a 17-16 start, more than respectable in the competitiveWest and only 1.5 games out of the playoff picture. Tonight they’ll face aUtah team without their star point guard, Deron Williams, who suffered a wristinjury on Monday in a loss to New Orleans.
Utah opened as 7-point home favorites at CRIS and are getting a solid publicbacking, with 64% of spread, 58% of moneyline and 57% of parlay wagers.The Deron Williams injury news, which broke this afternoon, certainly has a partin the reverse line movement we’ve seen, as the Jazz are now -5.5 virtuallyacross the board. However, we also have recorded a positive Smart Moneyplay on the Grizzlies from Bet Jamaica (+6.36 Units Won). Zach Randolphhas averaged 26.8 points and 16.1 rebounds over the last eight games, seven ofthem Memphis victories. That’s a hot streak we’re ready to ride.
Games to Watch: 9-12 = 42.9%
New Orleans +5
It should be an exciting night in the sports marketplace. Keep SportsMarketwatch picks handy and your browser pointed to SportsInsights.comfor thelatest real-time updates, using our exclusive Sports Investing tools.We’ll be back next Wednesday with the new edition of the SportsMarketwatch –NBA Edition.
Enjoy the games!
The Team at SportsInsights.com