The second half of the NBA season is in full swing. I will be looking for potential playoff teams to start preparing for deep runs, while teams in the basement begin to dream about next year. Tonight on ESPN and the last game of the night, the Clippers who are sitting in 4th in the Western Conference, will be taking on the Pelicans who are currently 11th and out of the playoff picture.
If the Pelicans are going to crack the top 8, they need to start winning quality teams now, so I think there will be a sense of urgency tonight with this team tonight. The Clippers who are in the playoff picture, with a win tonight would be in a statistical tie with their rival, the Lakers. I expect both teams to play hard tonight, which should make for a great game.
The Pelicans are playing at home tonight. In the past taking home teams that are underdogs would be the sharp bet to make, as there is that extra motivation to play hard for the fans, and often they keep games close that at first glance would look like potential blow outs by the favorite. We are in the strange times of COVID though, where that home court advantage just doesn't have that same edge.
The Pelicans are coming off a 34 point blowout win, while the Clippers are coming off a close game where they only won by 5. I am a big fan of regression. Teams are never as good as their last blowout might suggest, and teams that underperform, are often better than their last game would suggest. The market reacts though. Bettors that are feeling good about that last blowout win will often continue the streak, while bettors that didn't get the cover they were expecting, will often lay off. So what is the market saying?
Market Watch: Pinnacle opened the line at -5.5, meaning in order to win a bet on the Clippers at a close to 50/50 return on investment, their backers would have to win by 6 points in order to collect a profit. Those who back the Pelicans, just need the game to stay close, and if they win the game or only lose by 5, they would be the ones collecting. The line has since moved to -6, which would suggest the market favors the Clippers in this particular match.
I will be betting the Clippers at -6, risking $110 to win $100. They are the better team, they have the better motivation, they have the regression potential. Even though they are the visitors, there will be a limited amount of fans in the building. That home court spark will be lacking the electricity the Pelicans will need to cover this spread.
I do believe this line will move to at least -6.5 by game time so best to get these type of bets in early. With betting favorites the early bird often gets the worm. If the line gets to -7 I would pass on this play.
The only things in life that are guaranteed, are death, taxes, and bitcoin. So if you fade or follow me, always bet within your means, and be responsible about it.
My play tonight: CLIPPERS -6.