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Monday, 7 December 2015

NBA Picks December 2015 (December 7-13)

It was looking like a good first week in December before two picks on Saturday both failed to make the grade and that means a slight loss from the first week of the month.

It hasn't had a big effect on the season totals though and hopefully the second week is a lot more productive as the end of the calendar year fast approaches. The NBA is still playing second fiddle to the American Football season at this point, although the League will have centre stage on Christmas Day with what has become a traditional feast of basketball to go with the turkey dinner.

The fact that the NBA season doesn't really click into gear until the New Year does lead to some up and down performances, but trying to find the best spots is still the key at this moment in time. I do think I was a little unfortunate with a couple of those last week, but November started slowly before being turned around so hopefully this month will be the same.

Monday 7th December
On Saturday both picks made went down even though the teams I picked both managed to win on the day. That's a little disappointing, while I ran a line through the Sunday games as nothing appealed enough.

Monday looks to be another tough slate of games and I will only make a single pick on a day when plenty of games are scheduled to be played.

Washington Wizards @ Miami Heat Pick: The Washington Wizards have been as inconsistent as any team in the NBA but they could be short-handed for this back to back game on Monday. After coming off a loss to the Dallas Mavericks, Washington might be more concerned that John Wall looks set to miss out on this game at one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

To sum up the kind of inconsistent performances Washington produce you would just have to see this is a team that has won on the road at Cleveland but lost at home to the awful LA Lakers. Now with Wall likely sitting, I do wonder if the Wizards will have enough Offense to stay with the Miami Heat who have thrived on the Defensive side of the court.

I am a little concerned that the Heat have not been an Offensive powerhouse when you look for them to cover what is a big spread. The Wizards have been a strong road underdog when getting more than 6 points, but they are just 1-5 against the spread when playing at a team with a winning record this season.

I also can't ignore the fact that Washington are 1-5 against the spread in their last six games in Miami so will back the home team to come through and cover.

Tuesday 8th December
So I guess I won't be backing against the Washington Wizards as a road underdog, or not a significant one at least, after they beat the Miami Heat to back up their win over the Cleveland Cavaliers last week. It was a surprising win after Miami had fought back to take a third quarter lead, but definitely means I will keep a watching eye on the Wizards in the near future.

Not the most productive start to the month with three straight losing picks, a run I would like to snap as soon as possible.

Houston Rockets @ Brooklyn Nets Pick: After a terrible start to the season cost Kevin McHale his Head Coach job with the Houston Rockets, signs have been much more positive of late. The Rockets have extended their run to five wins in their last six games and they head to Brooklyn to take on the Nets having won three in a row.

It has been an expected inconsistent season for Brooklyn who will be trying to snap a two game losing run which saw them blown out by the New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors in back to back games. Brooklyn have been much better at home and had won four in a row here before running into the Golden State Warriors, but they will need to be better Defensively if they are to knock off Houston for a second time this season.

The Rockets are looking for revenge having suffered a home loss to Brooklyn last month and they are 20-12 against the spread when favoured by fewer than six points on the road over the last couple of years. Houston have also been strong in revenge spots when losing to a team and playing them again in the same season and I do think they are playing with the confidence to win here.

They have enjoyed playing on the road at Brooklyn/New Jersey with a 9-3 record against the spread in their last twelve visits. The revenge factor should keep them focused on the first of back to back games on the road and I will take Houston to find the win and cover.

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Memphis Grizzlies Pick: The Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies are both expected to be contenders for places in the Western Conference Play Offs at the end of the season. Neither has really shown the consistency they would have liked early in this season, but both teams come with winning records albeit with something to prove.

That is because both teams have struggled when facing teams with winning records and that is highlighted by the fact that Memphis are 3-8 against the spread in those games and Oklahoma City are 1-6. The Grizzlies did beat the Thunder when they were missing Kevin Durant last month, but the return of one of the top scorers in the NBA should give Oklahoma City a big chance to earn some revenge.

Visiting The Grindhouse has been tough for the Thunder in recent games and they are just 1-5-1 against the spread in their last seven here. However, Oklahoma City look to have enough scoring power to snap their recent run of losses here against a team that has been beaten easily in two of their last four games at home.

We know that Memphis will look to wear down Oklahoma City by slowing the tempo and using their bigs inside the paint, but the Grizzlies also have some threat from the three point range these days. Unfortunately they are still looking for consistency on the Offensive side of the court and I think the Thunder are capable of making some big stops to help them pick up a big road win.

Wednesday 9th December
There are so many games on slate in the NBA today but I don't think any have appealed to me so I will bypass the action and wait for the Thursday numbers.

Tuesday proved a mixed bag as Houston produced a dud of a performance while the Oklahoma City Thunder blew out Memphis in what was a dominant win.

Thursday 10th December
There were a bunch of games played on Wednesday but nothing stood out as I said- I did have a couple of shortlisted games with one of those winning but the other failing to do so it wasn't anything missed out.

Atlanta Hawks @ Oklahoma City Thunder Pick: The Atlanta Hawks came through a difficult game at the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, but it might be tough to back that up. The Hawks are 3-3 against the spread when playing the second of back to back games, but are also going up against a very impressive Oklahoma City Thunder who destroyed the Memphis Grizzlies on the road last time out.

That was one of their better displays of recent games and it can be hard for teams to produce a top performance in back to back games. Oklahoma City have been stronger at home though and they have a solid record as a big home favourite against the spread.

Neither team has played that well against teams with winning records, but I think the Thunder will be able to take control of this game if fatigue hurts Atlanta. That should give the home team a chance to cover the spread.

Friday 11th December
The Oklahoma City Thunder had a strong first half and did enough in the second to see off the Atlanta Hawks and even up the picks for the week.

Milwaukee Bucks @ Toronto Raptors Pick: Every team in the NBA has to be 'looking forward' to getting a shot at knocking off the unbeaten Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee could get their chance if the latter remain unbeaten on Friday. That game is set for Saturday, but first the Bucks have to focus on challenging the Toronto Raptors.

The Raptors have twice fallen a little short in a bid to beat the Warriors this season but they have bounced back by winning two in a row including upsetting the San Antonio Spurs a couple of nights ago.

This is a big spread for Toronto to be asked to cover, but they are 3-1-1 against the spread in the last five against Milwaukee at home while the latter is also 1-4 against the spread when facing a team with a winning record this season.

Milwaukee have had a difficult time at both ends of the court and even a slow Toronto start shouldn't pose enough problems to prevent the Raptors winning by at least ten points tonight.

Sunday 13th December
The Raptors missed the cover on Friday by a single point, which has dropped the week down. I haven't made as many picks this week because I haven't been overly impressed with the numbers, but I have got at least one for this Sunday.

Philadelphia 76ers @ Toronto Raptors Pick: The Toronto Raptors are clearly the superior team to the Philadelphia 76ers, but this might not be a great spot for them to cover a big spread.

On Monday they are facing the Indiana Pacers and the focus might be to take on one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference rather than one of the worst in the NBA.

The Philadelphia 76ers were recently embarrassed by the San Antonio Spurs, but they have mainly been competitive this season. Considering the Raptors are just 2-4 against the spread when favoured by at least 12.5 points at home over the last couple of seasons and I do think this might be too many again with the Pacers next up for Toronto.

MY PICKS: 07/12 Miami Heat - 7.5 Points @ 1.91 Coral (1 Unit)
08/12 Houston Rockets - 4 Points @ 1.91 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
08/12 Oklahoma City Thunder - 2 Points @ 1.91 William Hill (1 Unit)
10/12 Oklahoma City Thunder - 7.5 Points @ 1.95 Coral (1 Unit)
11/12 Toronto Raptors - 7.5 Points @ 1.91 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
13/12 Philadelphia 76ers + 12.5 Points @ 1.91 Paddy Power (1 Unit)

December 7-13 Update: 2-4, - 2.14 Units

December 1-6 Final: 5-5, - 0.37 Units
December Update5-5, - 0.37 Units

November Final27-22-1, + 2.69 Units
October Final5-4, + 0.57 Units
Season 201632-26-1, + 3.26 Units

Final Season 2015109-108-5, - 6.91 Units
Final Season 201458-72-1, - 16.86 Units
Final Season 2013105-93-3, + 10.49 Units

Final Season 201279-53-1, + 27.48 Units

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