It can be difficult to get the early months of the NBA in order because of the nature of the season, but I haven't felt it has been as bad as it can get sometimes. I just have to keep trying to find the right spots and hit those, but a bit more good luck and teams finishing games correctly will be perfect to get this month trending in a positive direction.
Monday 16th November
The last picks from last week both saw massive fourth quarter collapses from winning positions to prevent the week finishing in the manner I was looking for. A new week means a new thread.
Indiana Pacers @ Chicago Bulls Pick: Both the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers are looking to change their identity this season and that has meant some inconsistent performances.
However it is the Indiana Pacers who have shown they might have turned a corner following their 0-3 start to the season by winning six of seven since. That makes this number of points being given to them look appealing even if the Chicago Bears have won three of their last four.
Chicago haven't played as well at home as they would have liked and they are 1-4 against the spread in those games. The Pacers don't have a very good record in recent visits to Chicago, but I think this is too many points considering how the two teams have played and I will take those on offer.
Tuesday 17th November
The Chicago Bulls made a fast start, but had to hold on for a one point win on Monday and that was good news for the picks as the Indiana Pacers covered.
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Detroit Pistons Pick: The Cleveland Cavaliers saw their long winning run brought to an end the last time they took to the court, and LeBron James was far from impressed with some of the lack of effort he saw. I think the Cavaliers have a big chance to bounce back against a Detroit Pistons team that has just struggled recently and who are off a long road trip.
My one concern with backing Cleveland at any time is that they are a poor road favourite to back and this Pistons team do have some top shooters that can punish them if they allow them to stay close.
However, the loss to the Milwaukee Bucks might just focus Cleveland even if they host the Bucks in a couple of days with revenge on their mind. Detroit are off that long road trip which can have an affect mentally and physically and the Pistons need to find more scoring to win this one or even make it competitive.
The Cavaliers covered the last two times they faced Detroit and I like them to cover this number tonight.
Denver Nuggets @ New Orleans Pelicans Pick: The New Orleans Pelicans might have got Anthony Davis back in the starting rotation, but they remain ravaged by injury.
That alone makes it difficult to understand how they are a six point favourite to win this game, even if they are facing a pretty terrible Denver Nuggets team. Both teams have big road games tomorrow night so the spot isn't great for either, but New Orleans did at least win their last road game and Denver have lost two in a row on the road.
Denver have gone 4-1 against the spread in the last five games between these teams and they have covered twice in a row on the road here.
The Pelicans are 2-9 against the spread as a home favourite of between 3.5 and 6 points and I think this might be too many for a struggling New Orleans team to cover.
Wednesday 18th November
The picks went 1-1 on Tuesday as the Cleveland Cavaliers put in yet another lacklustre display as a road favourite. Will have to keep that in mind going forward to say the least.
Denver beat New Orleans outright which confirmed my belief that the Pelicans shouldn't be a big favourite to beat anyone at the moment, especially with Anthony Davis absent too.
Toronto Raptors @ Utah Jazz Pick: There are many games scheduled for today, but the only one that might be in a good spot for me and feels comfortable to back is the Utah Jazz to overcome the Toronto Raptors by at least four points.
While the Jazz have had a couple of days rest since completing an Eastern Conference road trip, Toronto were in a very competitive game against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday. The fact they did fall a little short in that one will have taken an emotional toll while the Raptors face the two Los Angeles teams next and could easily overlook this third game in four nights.
Coming off a long road trip can be difficult for teams so Utah have to be careful, but they have played well to open the season and home advantage is key for them here. Surprisingly this is only their third home game of the season and Utah should be ready to go and can take advantage of a Toronto team that has put a lot into their last two games and failed to win either.
Thursday 19th November
A late rally from the Utah Jazz made up for some of the fourth quarter collapses teams I picked had last week. They barely scraped over the spread and puts the week in a good position with four more days to go.
Golden State Warriors @ LA Clippers Pick: You can count on one hand the number of times the LA Clippers have been the home underdog since the 2013/14 season, and never by as many points as this. However, the Clippers are just 2-3 against the spread in those games and look set to miss JJ Redick and Chris Paul for yet another game.
That is a big blow against the defending Champions who remain unbeaten to open the season. The Golden State Warriors have played so well that many are calling for them to perhaps smash the Chicago Bulls record of 72 wins in a single season which was earned twenty years ago.
The last couple of games have been much closer than anticipated for the Warriors, but they have dug deep and found the scoring power when they have needed and also locked up on the Defensive side of the court. Golden State have beaten the Clippers already this season but will still remember this is the team which has been most vocal at describing the Warriors as 'lucky' Champions during the off season.
Without Redick and Paul, it would be that much tougher for the Clippers to stay with the Golden State Warriors who have gone 13-7 against the spread as a big road favourite since the beginning of the 2013/14 season.
Friday 20th November
The way the Golden State Warriors came back and then beat the LA Clippers on the road has to be a warning to the rest of the NBA. The defending Champions have their eyes very much on the prize when it comes to retaining their Championship and they might also be on the road to try and match the Chicago Bulls 72 win season twenty years ago.
Phoenix Suns @ Denver Nuggets Pick: The Denver Nuggets were embarrassed by the Phoenix Suns last week so this is a big chance for them to earn some revenge. However, I still believe the Suns are the better team and this spread looks a little lower than I though as Phoenix look to improve their 7-1 run against the spread from the last eight meetings between them.
The spot looks a decent one for both teams despite coming off losses two nights ago as they can focus on this game. With the revenge factor, Denver shouldn't look past the Suns to when they host the Golden State Warriors on Sunday, while Phoenix are off a home loss and will be looking to bounce back.
My one concern for Phoenix is that they are being favoured on the road for the first time this season and that might change the mindset going into this game. However, they have a strong 8-4 record against the spread when set as the road favourite of three points or fewer and I like them to make it two in a row this season against the Nuggets.
Despite the altitude in Colorado which should give Denver an advantage over visiting teams, the Nuggets haven't been that strong against the spread here. The Nuggets have won three in a row at home, but I look for Phoenix to snap that on Friday and win this by around six points.
Toronto Raptors @ LA Lakers Pick: The Toronto Raptors haven't enjoyed their three game road trip so far having come close to winning all three games but actually losing all three. Two of those defeats came after fourth quarter collapses so this is a big test for the Raptors to try and complete a game and get back to winning ways.
This road trip will end this weekend when the Raptors face the LA Clippers, but their best chance of leaving the West with a win is against the LA Lakers who they face on Friday.
The Lakers should be well rested having had three days since their last game and that means Kobe Bryant should be set to go. However, this is a team that is still learning and remains one in transition from the past few years and they might not be able to match the scoring output that Toronto can provide.
Toronto are 8-3 against the spread in the last eleven games between these teams and they are 4-1 against the spread when playing against the Lakers in Los Angeles. I like Toronto to find a way to cover in this one as a road favourite, even if they are just 2-2 against the spread in that spot so far this season.
Saturday 21st November
The Phoenix Suns came back from a huge first half deficit and the Toronto Raptors managed to hold off the LA Lakers for long enough to bring in both picks on Friday evening. That has made it a very good week and a chance for this month to be turned around with just another week to come.
Atlanta Hawks @ Cleveland Cavaliers Pick: These teams competed in the Eastern Conference Finals last season which was won by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but both the Cavs and Atlanta Hawks are a little banged up for their first meeting of the season.
The home advantage for Cleveland should be the difference here, although I am not convinced I will be backing the Cavaliers too many more times before February if they fail to cover again. Cleveland had failed to cover the spread in eight straight games before beating the Milwaukee Bucks last time out and so they haven't exactly been a team anyone should be rushing to back.
However, the Atlanta Hawks are missing a key figure in Jeff Teague and haven't been in great recent form themselves. They snapped a three game losing run with a win over Sacramento, but the Hawks are not at the level of their regular season run last season.
Cleveland have been criticised by LeBron James for perhaps not being as focused as others in the NBA, but they have won games through their own injury problems and I like them to win and cover.
Philadelphia 76ers @ Miami Heat Pick: Not many would rush out to back the worst team in the NBA especially on a back to back, but I can see a situation where the Miami Heat overlook Philadelphia as they face the New York Knicks next on deck.
Philadelphia are off two blow out losses but they can be competitive in this game as Miami are relying on a strong Defensive shape and not a team that will blow out too many. Of course the Heat are considerably better than Philadelphia but the 76ers have some talent and can at least make this number of points look too many.
The 76ers have gone 1-1 against the spread in their previous back to back games this season and they have a 4-1-1 record against the spread in their last six at Miami.
Miami have blown out a couple of teams, but an improving Knicks team could be on their mind and I like the 76ers to cover.
Sunday 22nd November
It has been a very solid week for the picks which have turned around November and brought the month into a positive.
Two more fairly comfortable winners were put in the bag on Saturday and I have just a single pick from the games to be played on Sunday.
Boston Celtics @ Brooklyn Nets Pick: The Boston Celtics will be enjoying the struggles of the Brooklyn Net with an unprotected Draft Pick coming their way at the end of the season. The worse the Nets play, the better for the Celtics and they will be looking for their home and home series win over the Nets on Sunday.
The Celtics blew out Brooklyn at home and do have the edge in the head to head with three straight wins including their last couple of visits to the Barclays Center. Boston have covered in each game and while they are a rare road favourite of this size in the last couple of years, I like them to come to Brooklyn and come through with another cover.
MY PICKS: 16/11 Indiana Pacers + 6.5 Points @ 1.91 Coral (1 Unit)
17/11 Cleveland Cavaliers - 4 Points @ 1.91 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
17/11 Denver Nuggets + 6 Points @ 1.91 William Hill (1 Unit)
18/11 Utah Jazz - 3.5 Points @ 1.91 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
19/11 Golden State Warriors - 6.5 Points @ 1.91 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
20/11 Phoenix Suns - 2.5 Points @ 1.91 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
20/11 Toronto Raptors - 6 Points @ 1.91 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
21/11 Cleveland Cavaliers - 5 Points @ 1.91 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
21/11 Philadelphia 76ers + 14 Points @ 1.91 Bet Victor (1 Unit)
22/11 Boston Celtics - 5.5 Points @ 1.91 William Hill (1 Unit)
November 16-22 Update: 8-1, + 6.28 Units
November 9-15 Final: 6-7-1, - 1.59 Units
November 2-8 Final: 7-8, - 1.59 Units
November Update: 13-15-1, - 3.18 Units
October Final: 5-4, + 0.57 Units
Season 2016: 18-19-1, - 2.61 Units