Finally - we nailed it. A perfect 3-0 ATS night brings Marco and I to a dead even record through week 1. Here are the numbers:
Overall Record: 11-11 ATS
Top Confidence Picks: 3-2 ATS
Let's get to tonight's action, so I can get some sleep. Yesterday we took three road dogs, but today we're rolling with the favorites and hoping the Pacers can save themselves before it's too late.
Indiana Pacers (-2) over ATLANTA HAWKS: Call me a sucker, but I'm going down with this ship. I believe my lack of understanding as to how a team that began the season winning seventeen of their first eighteen games could not only finish the season dropping nine of fifteen but also lose a first round playoff series to an eight seed after making very public statements all year that home court advantage was the difference between an early exit and a championship trophy last season. Now it's clear there are other differences between this team and a championship run, but we have to believe they'll pull it together in time to win their first round match-up. If that's the case, they'll have to win Game 3. Even though the Pacers are 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games with Atlanta and the home team is 25-11-1 ATS in the last 37, we'll give up the small road chalk and keep our fingers crossed.
San Antonio Spurs (-3.5) over DALLAS MAVERICKS: Here are some interesting and conflicting trends between these two teams. Recent history has the underdog as 4-0 ATS in the series, the road team is also 4-0 ATS (so I guess they've been road dogs), the Spurs are 4-0 ATS in Dallas (so probably one of the four times, the Spurs were road dogs), and San Antonio is 12-5 ATS in the last 17 meetings no matter where they've taken place. Gregg Popavich will not stand let his players tarnish another outstanding regular season with an early playoff exit. His team is far too good and Dallas is far too pedestrian for the Spurs to not win home court back on Saturday. San Antonio is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 following a double digit loss and 11-4 ATS in their last 15 road games. Lay the points in Big D.
Miami Heat (-5) over CHARLOTTE BOBCATS: We were wrong about Game 2 in Miami. The Heat let down their guard and the Bobcats kept things close. That won't happen on the road Saturday. The Heat will come out and make a statement early, take the crowd out of the game, and roll to a 3-0 series lead. Although the Bobcats have been great against the number of late going 6-0 ATS with 2 days of rest and 16-5-1 ATS in their last 22 home games, the Heat are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 trips to Charlotte. Championship teams know when to put their foot on the gas pedal. If you want points, take them in Game 4 when the Bobcats have shaken off the first home playoff jitters and find their backs against the wall. For now, another road favorite.
MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (+2.5) over Oklahoma City Thunder: We have a sneaking suspicion the Thunder find a way to win this game, but staying close throughout and putting a little pressure on Memphis late. We don't, however, suspect they will win convincingly. Much like the Pacers, the Thunder are now under scrutiny as they've found themselves in a 2-1 hole. The home team is 4-1-1 ATS in the last six meetings and the Grizz are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 home games. We see this series going the full seven, so in order for that to happen, KD and Co. will have to find a way Saturday night.
Top Confidence Pick: We'll go with the best (looking?) and emotionally unpredictable coach in the game to bounce back and take home court advantage back for his San Antonio Spurs (-3.5) over the Dallas Mavericks.
May the Spreads Be With Us All,
Vinny and Marco