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NBA Play Offs 2018- First Round (April 14-23)

NBA Play Offs 2018- First Round Series The NBA regular season is a little disappointing when you think more than half of those teams wi...

Thursday, 23 February 2017

NBA Picks February 2017 (February 23-28)

The All-Star Game is in the books and this is now considered the 'second half' of the season even though the majority of regular season games are already in the books.

Usually I couldn't care less about the All-Star Game which is a glorified exhibition game, although I do give credit to all the players who get a chance to play in that game. It usually signifies a change in mentality for players as they now want to get into Play Off mode and so I see the All-Star Game as the 'turning point' for the majority of teams.

With the trade deadline just days after the All-Star Game, it does means teams have a chance to sit down and really work out what they want going forward.

This year the All-Star Game and the trade deadline meshed up as the big New Orleans move for DeMarcus Cousins was revealed as the All-Star Game came to a close. That is a huge trade that has a huge potential for the future of the Pelicans franchise with Cousins and Anthony Davis capable of forming part of a 'Big Three' which has become the base for most teams to challenge for the NBA Championship in recent years.

The Pelicans didn't really have to give up a lot to get Cousins either and I do wonder if other teams around the Association are perhaps wondering if they missed out on getting a player with his best years ahead of him. Cousins has been a distraction at times during his years with the Sacramento Kings, but this is a player capable of being in the top 10 players in the NBA and a huge acquisition for New Orleans if Cousins and Davis can bring their off court friendship into a professional setting.

I am looking forward to see if a new power in the West will emerge in the coming years, but this is going to be a learning curve for the Pelicans with the best they can really hope to do is have a First Round series with the Golden State Warriors.

There have been a couple of other moves that have gone under the radar which could be strong moves when looking back at them in the Play Offs, while there is the potential for at least one more blockbuster trade ahead of the deadline on Thursday afternoon.

The picks were in good shape ahead of the All-Star Break and I am looking to pick up from where I left off. I will have all of the remaining February Picks in this one thread with a short month coming to a close next Tuesday.

Thursday 23rd February
Be aware if any late trades that potentially occur which could affect the games being played later today.

Charlotte Hornets @ Detroit Pistons Pick: One of the teams who look like they will be taking calls for a couple of their better players are the Detroit Pistons and I do wonder if that will have an affect on their performance on Thursday. While it looks like the likes of Andre Drummond will not be moved on, that uncertainty can pose problems for a team until the trade deadline is shut and so that will go on until four hours before this game is going to tip off.

The chances are that both the Charlotte Hornets and Detroit Pistons will not have be involved at this late stage of the trade deadline, but you simply just don't know.

Both teams are fighting it out at the bottom of the Eastern Conference Play Off standings and there is a real hope for both Detroit and Charlotte that they can do enough to enter the Play Offs in April. Neither has a real hope of winning the Eastern Conference, but progress comes by earning some Play Off experience.

Going into the All-Star Break, Charlotte had been in really poor form and they have to snap out of that immediately if they will expect to get back into the Eastern Conference top eight standings. I will note that Detroit have been very good at home and this is not a lot of points for them to cover, but I think the Hornets might be a little more settled of the two and that can be important coming off a long lay off.

Charlotte are 9-4 against the spread in their last thirteen games agains the Detroit Pistons and I am going to take the points with them on Thursday.

Houston Rockets @ New Orleans Pelicans Pick: The biggest news of the last ten days at the time I am writing this is the trade the New Orleans Pelicans made to bring in DeMarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings without giving up too much in terms of assets or picks. Most of us out there feel the Pelicans have made a real coup, but it will be a trade that will reveal its true colours in the next few seasons.

Pairing Cousins with Anthony Davis has given the Pelicans the foundation to create a real power in the West, and the NBA in general, for a few years to come and there has to be some real excitement in New Orleans. There should be a real party atmosphere in the city that just hosted the All-Star Game, but Alvin Gentry will be the first to tell you that it will take time for Cousins and Davis to really get on the same page.

They are close off the court already so I am anticipating Cousins and Davis to be dominant together, but it will take time for the rest of the New Orleans roster to work out how to get the best out of them.

When this line first came on, New Orleans were set as a pick 'em with the Houston Rockets but the money has come in on the visiting team. I still think the spread is one that the Rockets can cover with their high-scoring power and the addition of Lou Williams gives them another scorer, although Williams will not be available in this one.

Some rumours also surround Patrick Beverley and whether he will stay with the Rockets through the trade deadline, but I do think this Houston team will have just a little too much scoring power for the New Orleans to compete. The Pelicans can get into the top eight of the Western Conference standings over the next few weeks, but I think they start the 'second half' of the season with a loss and I will look for Houston to increase their 5-2 record against the spread from the last seven against the Pelicans.

LA Clippers @ Golden State Warriors Pick: There was some suggestion that the Boston Celtics and LA Clippers were talking about a potential deal for Blake Griffin, but it does look like the Celtics have moved on and looking elsewhere now. That rumour alone suggests the LA Clippers don't have the belief that their current roster is good enough to win the NBA Championship and one of the main reasons has to be how poorly they have competed with the Golden State Warriors who are the benchmark for the Conference.

Chris Paul and Griffin have both missed prolonged time on the court with injuries, and those have also shown up in the Play Offs in the last couple of seasons. Paul is back from injury but his status for this game at The Oracle Arena is unsure and the Golden State Warriors will be looking to move into overdrive in the second half to build the momentum through to the Play Offs.

There is no distraction of earning the best regular season win record this time around and that might be really good for the Warriors when they get into the last couple of weeks of the season. They will have a chance to rest some of the starters and get them ready for the Play Offs and the Warriors can continue putting out a statement to the rest of the Western Conference by continuing their dominance of the LA Clippers.

The Clippers are 0-3 against the spread when they are set as the underdog of 9 points or greater this season and they have lost all three games to the Warriors this season with each loss coming by 13 points or more. Golden State are 19-7 against the spread in their last twenty-six games when hosting the LA Clippers and I like them to come through with a cover of a big number.

Friday 24th February
I have to be a little irritated by the Charlotte Hornets failing to cover when you think they were outscored 44-23 in the Fourth Quarter and Overtime and only missed the cover by two points. That's a bad beat for sure, but hopefully the only one I will have through the remainder of the month.

Memphis Grizzlies @ Indiana Pacers Pick: This is a big few months for the Indiana Pacers and will go a long way to helping Paul George decide whether his future is with the Pacers or elsewhere. There were rumours about Indiana shopping George ahead of the trade deadline, but he remains here for now as the Pacers try and make sure they don't slip out of the top eight places in the Eastern Conference.

Even if they do make the Play Offs, being as far off the pace as the Indiana Pacers look like they are compared with the top Eastern Conference teams has frustrated George. Instead of bringing in the help that he would have expected, Indiana have stayed stationary at the trade deadline as they come out of the All-Star Game trying to snap a six game losing run.

Another team who stayed with what they have were the Memphis Grizzlies who are hoping they have invested good money in Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and Chandler Parsons, especially if Parsons can get back to full health. The Grizzlies have had some really big wins this season to show they can compete with any teams in the Western Conference but they have been inconsistent which is why they are not in a top four position.

The Grizzlies have gone back to basics by making sure they are stronger on the Defensive side of the court and I think that is going to be a key part of why they can win here. Memphis also have the size to win the battle on the boards and the Grizzlies are 6-2 against the spread in their last eight games in Indiana.

Memphis are 6-3 against the spread when set as a small favourite of under 3 points, while the Indiana Pacers are 3-6 against the spread when given less than 3 points as the underdog. I will look for the Grizzlies to be a little too good out of the All-Star Break and cover in their first game.

Utah Jazz @ Milwaukee Bucks Pick: The Utah Jazz were interested in bringing in some help before the trade deadline and may instead need to focus on the buyout market once that begins to filter out. This is a team that has every belief they are good enough to earn a First Round Play Off series at home and Utah will be confident behind the strong Defensive showings they have produced for much of the season.

They head to the Milwaukee Bucks in their first game in the 'second half' of the season and their hosts are a team that have been sliding in the wrong direction in the Eastern Conference. Losing Jabari Parker for the rest of the season is a big blow for the Bucks but they are still only 1.5 games behind the Number 8 Seeded Detroit Pistons.

The Bucks did win their final three games before the All-Star Break, but none of those came against a team as strong as the Utah Jazz. Milwaukee are still not playing well enough Defensively which is a concern for them as it puts too much pressure on them on the Offensive side of the court, and that might be especially an issue when facing a team as good as Utah are Defensively.

Utah have a big advantage with the size they bring to the court and that should mean they are the winners on the rebounding statistic which should allow them to pull away in this one in the second half.

The Jazz are 8-3 against the spread when they are favoured by 4 points or fewer this season and they are also 4-1 against the spread in their last five games in Milwaukee. I will look for them to cover on the road on Friday.

LA Lakers @ Oklahoma City Thunder Pick: The LA Lakers might not have made the personnel move before the trade deadline to give the fans something to be excited about, but Magic Johnson has come in to oversee basketball operations. Johnson might be a legend in these parts, but that won't mean the fans will continue to let the Lakers slide from the glory days of the franchise and the next two years will be big for their former star.

A young roster will continue looking to make strides, but they have sunk towards the bottom of the Western Conference as the Lakers look lottery bound. The Lakers had taken some heavy losses prior to the All-Star Break and they have also lost Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets who had been providing a big scoring boost for the team.

That makes it tough when they head to the Oklahoma City Thunder who have traded for Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott from the Chicago Bulls to give their rotation a boost. Russell Westbrook is still the biggest name here, but the Thunder do have some size about their team which will make them a tough out for many teams even if they are some way short of where they were twelve months ago.

When Russell Westbrook gets going the Thunder do tend to follow and they may not have been a double digit favourite this season, but I do think they can cover in this spot. The Lakers have gone 0-7 against the spread in their last seven games in Oklahoma City and the last five of those have all been won by at least 10 points each time.

It will need Westbrook to turn on the afterburners at some point, but I do think the Thunder can win and cover a big number.

Miami Heat @ Atlanta Hawks Pick: If the trade deadline had been a month earlier, I have little doubt that the Miami Heat would have been a main player as they would have gutted their roster and prepared for next season. Somehow the Heat finally all got on the same page and a strong run has put them on the brink of the Play Off spots after spending the majority of time at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

Another win over a Play Off rival will get some momentum behind the Miami Heat, but the Atlanta Hawks are another team that decided not to shop the house but instead believe their current group of players can have an impact in the Play Offs. There has been more consistency from Atlanta which means they are chasing the chance to host a First Round Play Off series, but this has proved to be a tough match up for them.

Atlanta are 0-6 against the spread in their last six against Miami and they are 4-10 against the spread when hosting the Heat. The pressure comes from the Miami Heat's ability to beat out the Atlanta Hawks on the boards and that allows them to work into second chance points and also prevent the Hawks being able to do the same.

This will be a tough game though and there really isn't a lot to separate them which makes the mental side of things perhaps more prevalent than in other games. The Hawks have won 2 of their 3 games outright this season which should mean Atlanta believe they can win this one, but Miami are playing much better than when they lost the opening couple of games against Atlanta.

I will take the points with the Heat to keep this one close and continue their strong run of success against the spread when facing the Hawks.

Saturday 25th February
Atlanta Hawks @ Orlando Magic Pick: The Atlanta Hawks laid an egg on Friday as they were blown out at home by the Miami Heat, but I think they can bounce back when they head south to face the Orlando Magic on Saturday. The Hawks will be boosted by the return of Dennis Schroder who was suspended for returning late from the All-Star Break and was forced to sit out on Friday.

They are also visiting a team who have traded away Serge Ibaka before the trade deadline and the Magic are in another transitional season. Orlando are slipping towards the bottom of the Eastern Conference and only the awful Brooklyn Nets are keeping them from having the worst record in the Conference.

The Magic have lost six of their last seven games and the majority of those have been very comfortable as they have struggled at both ends of the court. It has been the struggles to stop teams Defensively which has really hurt them and the Atlanta Hawks should be capable of taking advantage of that.

It has been a real issue for Orlando at home this season and they have a pretty poor 3-9 record against the spread when hosting a team with a winning record. They have been poor as a small underdog too and I do think the Hawks can bounce back from their loss on Friday which saw them give some of the starters a rest with that game out of hand fairly early on.

Atlanta are 11-5 against the spread in their last sixteen games in Orlando and I will back them to cover the number in this one.

Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat Pick: The Indiana Pacers got a much needed win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, but it wasn't all good news as Paul George had to leave the game. It does sound like it was a precaution more than anything serious and it is expected that George will play here.

This is a big game for both Indiana and their hosts the Miami Heat as they are both chasing the Play Off spots in the Eastern Conference. Even though Indiana won last time out, the Miami Heat are the team with a lot of momentum behind them and blowing out the Atlanta Hawks has shown that the All-Star Break is not going to slow them down.

The Heat look like they will have the edge at both ends of the court and that will be magnified if George is out or limited in this one. Miami are also getting a lot of production off the bench which has made them dangerous and I do think they will have a little too much for the Pacers in this back to back game for both teams.

Miami have enjoyed the visit of the Indiana Pacers in recent games as they are 7-2 against the spread in their last nine home games against them. The Indiana Pacers have not been the best small underdog to back this season either, even if they covered in that spot on Friday, and the form the Heat have been displaying makes me confident they can come through with a win and the cover.

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Houston Rockets Pick: Opposing a rested team who have the shooting capabilities of the Houston Rockets with a team who are on a back to back is probably not the best of ideas. It is more of an issue when you think that the Minnesota Timberwolves have really been a young team who have had issues Defensively all season, but I do like the road team with a huge number of points in this one.

It is a number you could easily regret because Houston are a hot three point shooting team who have added Lou Williams to what was already a very strong shooting team. Williams had a solid debut with Houston in a blow out win at the New Orleans Pelicans a couple of nights ago, but the Timberwolves also won out of the All-Star Break and look like a team who still believe they can enter the Play Offs.

The Timberwolves have gone 3-0 against the spread when given double digit points as the underdog this season and they are a team that scores plenty of points which gives them a chance to at least stay with the Rockets in this one.

Minnesota are also 5-1 against the spread in their last six against the Houston Rockets and the key will be to challenge Houston on the boards and not allow them to have second chance points off their three point shooting. The Timberwolves can do that, but this is still dangerous opposing Houston who have been wearing out teams in their last few games.

However, I like the number of points being given to the underdog and I will take those in this one.

Sunday 26th February
Utah Jazz @ Washington Wizards Pick: This is a game between two teams who are going to be playing in the Play Offs in April, but who also have bigger ambitions than merely making up the numbers. The Utah Jazz have been a solid Defensive team all season with players capable of scoring points in bunches, while the Washington Wizards have found a great chemistry over the last three months.

That should make this an intriguing game, but Washington are playing at home where they have been very strong in that time. I like the motivation levels with the Wizards too having lost at Philadelphia a couple of days ago and they will want to build some momentum to take into the home game with the Golden State Warriors.

I do think the Washington Wizards match up well with the Utah Jazz with what they want to do on the court, although the Utah size is a problem for any team that goes up against them. However Bradley Beal and John Wall are capable of opening up the shooting lanes and Washington have been efficient shooting the ball which should give them a chance to move away from the Jazz.

Washington have a very good 8-3 record against the spread when favoured by 3 points or fewer this season and they are also 10-6 against the spread when hosting a team with a winning record. Compared with that, Utah are just 4-8 against the spread when visiting a team with a winning record and the Jazz have lost on their last four visits to the Wizards.

I will lay the points with the home team to bounce back from their upset loss at the 76ers in the first game out of the All-Star Break and I will take Washington to win and cover.

Boston Celtics @ Detroit Pistons Pick: The Boston Celtics didn't use a huge number of assets to bring in a big name player that could be paired with the ones they already have and make them a threat to win the NBA Championship. That was a disappointment to the fans who have been patient in the slow rebuild of this franchise, which has been paying dividends.

Close losses to the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors either side of the trade deadline would not have improved the mood of the fans who may feel this was a big opportunity to close the gap on the injury hit Cleveland Cavaliers. Those losses also showed the Celtics that perhaps they still need to be better to beat the best teams in the NBA and they might be motivated to show they are better than those close losses have.

A trip to the Detroit Pistons won't be easy with the home team chasing a Play Off place themselves, but the Pistons can't afford to work their way into a big hole as they did against the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday. They recovered to win that game in Overtime, but this Boston Celtics team are unlikely to crumble in the same manner as Charlotte did.

Detroit will need more from Reggie Jackson, who has been struggling, and they have to become the latest team to dominate Boston on the boards if they are going to beat them. However Boston have enjoyed playing as a small favourite as they are 8-3 against the spread as a favourite of less than 3 points this season.

The Celtics have been the more efficient shooting team of the two and they are 4-1 against the spread in their last five visits to Detroit. I will lay the small points in this one with the favourite.

New Orleans Pelicans @ Oklahoma City Thunder Pick: The trade for DeMarcus Cousins is surely going to be a winner for the New Orleans Pelicans, but have no doubt that it does take time for top players to work out how to play with each other. We saw that when the 'Big Three' got together at the Miami Heat and I don't think anyone should be surprised that the Pelicans have lost both games played so far with Cousins in their line up.

This is a tough third game for them before they have a few days off where practice will be so important to understand how to get the best out of Cousins and Anthony Davis in the same line up. Now they have to visit an Oklahoma City Thunder team who are much more aware of what they need to do on the court, namely let Russell Westbrook do his thing, and that has helped them win plenty of games.

The Thunder are one of the teams in the NBA that won't be bothered by a Cousins-Davis tandem as they have plenty of energy around the boards and some big players who are willing to battle for the rebounds. Oklahoma City have just been a little better Offensively than the New Orleans Pelicans too and I think that shows up in this one.

Oklahoma City are 13-3 against the spread when hosting a team with a losing record this season and they are 4-1 against the spread in the last five against the New Orleans Pelicans.

This is a pretty big number when you think of the potential New Orleans have, but I think it will take a bit of time to really see the Pelicans at the best and this is the third favourite I will pick on Sunday.

Monday 27th February
Milwaukee Bucks @ Cleveland Cavaliers Pick: The Cleveland Cavaliers dropped to 4-19 in games they have played without LeBron James since he returned to his home team in July 2014. They were beaten without James by the Chicago Bulls a couple of nights ago which means Cleveland are 0-4 without 'The King' this season and they are set to miss James for another game on Monday night.

This time they host the Milwaukee Bucks who are on a back to back, although still desperately chasing a spot in the Eastern Conference Play Offs. The Bucks beat the Phoenix Suns on Sunday which means they are just a game out of the top eight in the East and a surprise win on Monday will certainly give the Bucks a boost.

The loss of Jabari Parker is a big blow for Milwaukee, but the problems have remained on the Defensive side of the court. They have still been able to score points at the other end, and facing a Cleveland team without James, Kevin Love and JR Smith is a huge boost for them, while the Cavaliers might also be focused on working in some of their new players which means chemistry might be lacking a little more than usual.

This is also not a great spot for the Cavaliers who host the Milwaukee Bucks after facing the rival Chicago Bulls and ahead of a four game run where they face Boston, Atlanta and Miami on the road before the Heat come to Cleveland. Milwaukee are shooting well enough to make this number of points count if James sits as expected and I will take the points with the road underdog.

Atlanta Hawks @ Boston Celtics Pick: The Boston Celtics will face the Cleveland Cavaliers at home next, but that game will only mean as much for the Celtics as it could if they can win this game. They are currently 3 games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers in the race for the Number 1 Seed in the Eastern Conference so winning the next two games gives them a very good chance to close that gap.

The Boston Celtics are on a back to back, which is a concern, but they have got a 5-1 record against the spread in their last six in that spot. Of course the game with Cleveland might be taking some of the focus away, especially as the Atlanta Hawks have been struggling coming out of the All-Star Break with two disappointing losses to their name.

Those defeats have seen the Hawks slip to 2.5 games behind the Toronto Raptors for a First Round home series in the Play Offs, but they have to significantly improve in the coming weeks. A home loss to the Miami Heat can be forgiven a lot more than the manner of their loss at the lowly Orlando Magic and the Hawks have now lost four of their last five games.

It does look like the Boston Celtics have the more efficient shooting team of the two and their ability from the three point range could be a difference maker. The one area where Atlanta will feel they can stay close with the Celtics is their ability on the boards and out-rebounding Boston, an issue the Celtics have been having.

The Celtics are now 12-4 against the spread when favoured by less than 5 points this season and I am going to lay those points and look for them to get the better of Atlanta.

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Sacramento Kings Pick: The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Sacramento Kings are both in a position to finish in the top eight of the Western Conference. The Timberwolves are 3 games behind the Number 8 Denver Nuggets and the Kings are 1 game behind, but moves before the trade deadline suggests only one of these teams has a genuine belief they can finish in the Play Off spots.

Sacramento dealt away DeMarcus Cousins and got almost nothing back for one of the top players in the NBA, although they have gone 1-1 in their two games since that move. It is hard to know how the Kings can be consistent enough to finish in the Play Off spots with Cousins in New Orleans and Rudy Gay absent with an injury and it is up to Minnesota to show they are good enough to win enough games to move up the standings.

There is so much talent in Minnesota who have decided to stay with their group for the rest of the season despite rumours linking them with a move for Derrick Rose. Ricky Rubio would have been moved on if Rose had arrived, but Rubio is perhaps a little under-rated despite not being one of the better shooting Point Guards in the NBA.

He facilitates so much for the rest of the Timberwolves, but this team needs to show more effort Defensively if they are going to move into the top eight of a tough Western Conference. However I do think they shoot well enough to win this game in Sacramento and they can improve their 6-2 record against the spread in their last eight games as the visitor here.

Minnesota should have the advantage on the boards now Cousins has been moved on and I think they are the better shooting team. The Defensive concerns always exist when asking Minnesota to cover a number, but I am not sure Sacramento have the consistency to stay with them and I will back the Timberwolves to cover.

Tuesday 28th February
Portland Trail Blazers @ Detroit Pistons Pick: The team that finishes in the Number 8 Seed of both the Eastern and Western Conference is not likely to be long for the Play Offs, but that won't put off either the Portland Trail Blazers or Detroit Pistons. Both teams are desperate to take the next step in their development by getting used to Play Off basketball, although the Trail Blazers are clearly more experienced in that regards.

It does make this a big game for both teams as the regular season enters the final stretch and both teams in a position to finish in the Play Offs.

Inconsistencies has been a part of the season for both Detroit and Portland with the teams looking very good one day and then like a lottery bound outfit on another. Playing at home should be the key for the Detroit Pistons who are 6-0 against the spread in their last six here hosting a team with a losing record on the road and who have bounced back from a straight up loss by going 5-0 against the spread in their next game.

The Pistons have looked a little better Defensively which is going to help them have the chance to move away from the Trail Blazers in this game.

Portland are just 3-12 against the spread when set as the underdog of less than 6 points this season and they have a 1-4 record against the spread in their last five visits to Detroit. They battled hard in a loss at Toronto last time out, but I think the Trail Blazers suffer another one here and I will back Detroit to cover the number.

Phoenix Suns @ Memphis Grizzlies Pick: The Memphis Grizzlies have been a little inconsistent over the last few games and that has prevented them from really moving into the top four of the Western Conference. That is the goal that has been set for the players and they are a big favourite to beat the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.

The Grizzlies will be expected to do that before heading on a tough road trip, but asking them to cover double digits against a Suns team who have been able to score points might be a big ask. This is the first time this season that Memphis will have been set as a double digit favourite and I do think it will be tough for them to cover.

Phoenix are 4-9 against the spread in their last thirteen against Memphis, and they were beaten by 19 points here before the All-Star Break. That should mean they are motivated to show they are better than that and Memphis might also think this is a game they can handle and perhaps have begun to look ahead to their road games coming up at Dallas and Houston later this week.

Since that loss to Memphis, Phoenix have been much more competitive and this is a lot of points for any professional team to cover. That is especially the case for the Memphis Grizzlies who are not built to blow teams out and who will be challenged by the size and solid back court Phoenix bring to the court.

Memphis are just 5-5 against the spread when hosting a team with a losing record this season and I will take the points with the underdog.

Utah Jazz @ Oklahoma City Thunder Pick: I am a little surprised the Oklahoma City Thunder are the home underdog against the Utah Jazz when you think the Thunder have a 22-8 record here this season.

The Thunder are only 6-6 against the spread at home against a team with a winning record, but the Jazz have struggled when visiting a team with a winning record. They have won at Washington a couple of days ago, but Oklahoma City are 7-2-1 against the spread in their last ten home games against Utah.

Oklahoma City have the size to compete with the Utah Jazz on the boards and they have Russell Westbrook who is the best player on the court.

My concern has to be how bad the Thunder have been as a small underdog this season with their 1-6 record against the spread when given less than 3 points. However I do think Oklahoma City have the advantage being at home and I will take the points being given to them as I look for the home upset.

MY PICKS: 23/02 Charlotte Hornets + 4.5 Points @ 1.91 Coral (1 Unit)
23/02 Houston Rockets - 4 Points @ 1.91 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
23/02 Golden State Warriors - 12.5 Points @ 1.95 Sporting Bet (1 Unit)
24/02 Memphis Grizzlies - 1 Point @ 1.95 Betfair Sportsbook (1 Unit)
24/02 Utah Jazz - 3 Points @ 1.95 Betfair Sportsbook (1 Unit)
24/02 Oklahoma City Thunder - 10 Points @ 1.95 Boyle Sports (1 Unit)
24/02 Miami Heat + 3.5 Points @ 1.91 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
25/02 Atlanta Hawks - 3 Points @ 1.91 William Hill (1 Unit)
25/02 Miami Heat - 4.5 Points @ 1.95 Bet Fred (1 Unit)
25/02 Minnesota Timberwolves + 11.5 Points @ 1.91 Coral (1 Unit)
26/02 Washington Wizards - 2.5 Points @ 1.95 Bet Fred (1 Unit)
26/02 Boston Celtics - 1.5 Points @ 1.95 Betfair Sportsbook (1 Unit)
26/02 Oklahoma City Thunder - 6.5 Points @ 1.91 William Hill (1 Unit)
27/02 Milwaukee Bucks + 7.5 Points @ 1.95 Bet Fred (1 Unit)
27/02 Boston Celtics - 4.5 Points @ 1.95 Betfair Sportsbook (1 Unit)
27/02 Minnesota Timberwolves - 5 Points @ 1.91 William Hill (1 Unit)
28/02 Detroit Pistons - 4.5 Points @ 1.91 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
28/02 Phoenix Suns + 10 Points @ 1.91 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
28/02 Oklahoma City Thunder + 1.5 Points @ 1.91 Bet Fred (1 Unit)

February 23-28 Update: 11-8, + 2.21 Units
February 13-16 Final8-4-1, + 3.48 Units
February 6-12 Final8-5-2, + 2.41 Units
February 1-5 Final5-3, + 1.59 Units

February Update21-12-3, + 7.48 Units
January Final26-28-1, - 4 Units
December Final19-23, - 5.51 Units
November Final24-25-1, - 2.92 Units
October Final8-9, - 1.72 Units

Season 201758-62-2, - 8.64 Units

Final Season 2016150-143-7, - 5.37 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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