Game 1: Los Angeles Clippers @ Atlanta Hawks – Saturday, November 24
No matter which online bookie you trust, you should feel that the Clippers are an attractive choice in this game. However, are you ready to place your full trust in a team that is in the midst of a long and sweeping cross-country road trip? This might be the kind of game that trips up the Clips, who played at San Antonio on Monday and then had to play at Oklahoma City on Wednesday night before going to Brooklyn on Friday night. Will Los Angeles have anything left in the tank for an Atlanta team that, while not always intelligent and not always consistent in its halfcourt sets, brings a lot of energy to the building on most occasions? It’s hard to find many road trips that are more demanding than the one in which the Clippers are immersed. This certainly feels like a game that will be influenced by the schedule maker. Atlanta isn’t as good as the Clippers, but the sense here is that the Hawks will be able to come through in this game.
The betting websites that focus on basketball will tell you that back-to-back road sets matter, especially when they’re separated by so many miles. If the Clippers were traveling from Brooklyn to New York City for a game with the Knicks, they might be able to recuperate. A game against Philadelphia would probably offer a better matchup and a similarly small commute, one that would enable the Clippers to regain their legs. A trip from Brooklyn to Atlanta, though, is brutal, and the Hawks are likely to benefit from it.
NBA Betting Pick: Atlanta
Game 2: Los Angeles Lakers @ Dallas Mavericks – Saturday, November 24
It’s difficult to bet on sports, and when looking at bet online reviews, you have to think that the game between the Lakers and Mavericks this weekend is a very hard nut to crack. The Lakers are without a healthy Steve Nash, and the Mavs are without Dirk Nowitzki. The Lakers have not been a good road team this season, but the Mavs haven’t been very strong at home. This is the first full week of Mike D’Antoni’s tenure as the new coach of the Lakers, so on one hand, Los Angeles will have to make lots of adjustments to a new coach’s style. On the other hand, the presence of D’Antoni on the bench is likely to motivate his players to perform at a higher level.
The D’Antoni dynamic can work either way for the Mavs as well. Dallas won in Los Angeles on opening night when Mike Brown was still leading the Lake Show. Dallas might not be ready to take on a Laker team that will play differently in the halfcourt. On the other hand, the knowledge that the Lakers have retooled their coaching staff could give the Mavericks some added motivation. In what is a toss-up, lean to this latter interpretation and pick the Mavs in Dallas.
NBA Betting Pick: Dallas
Game 3: Utah Jazz @ Sacramento Kings – Saturday, November 24
When you realize that these two teams played the night before in Salt Lake City, a situation in which the Jazz are almost certain to win, the follow-up act in California should tilt to the Kings. Utah remains a poor road team and should not be given the benefit of the doubt on the road unless the dynamics clearly work in the Jazz’s favor. Take Sacramento here.
Read more on the latest sportsbook odds for NBA basketball in 2012.
NBA Betting Pick: Sacramento