ESPN apparently picks games against the spread. Just out of curiosity, I’m going to take a look at some those picks. My picks in bold.
1. Magic + 8 @ Brooklyn and the over 191.
I feel stronger about the side than the total, but that’s as good a sign as a bad one. I think the Nets are fairly porous on defense, and aren’t that good in general due to inept team design. They build a team full of “poor man’s” so and so. Deron Williams used to be a premier point guard. Joe Johnson is a poor man’s version of a good shooting guard. Gerald Wallace is a poor man’s younger Gerald Wallace. Kris Humphries I guess is his own entity. And Brook Lopez is a poor man’s version of Pau Gasol.
Anyways, ESPN puts us on the Magic with an 84% chance of a cover. That’s extreme enough that’s interesting to track.
2. Hawks + 6 @ Clippers and the under 197.5.
This is almost a repeat of what I think about the previous game, except that I think Chris Paul is actually good. The rest still applies. ESPN doesn’t have particularly strong thoughts here, picking the Hawks as well.
3. Heat -2 @ Grizzlies and the under 195.
I’m not responsible enough, or respectful enough of the strong team minded sort of basketball that the Grizzlies play to pick them. ESPN thinks they cover 65% of the time though.
4. Cavaliers +10 @ Thunder and the over 203.
I’m on board with ESPN’s pick of the Thunder here. I’m drinking some of the haterade on the Thunder, but I think Kevin Martin is good enough to help them blow out the Cavs at home.
5. Kings +9 @ Lake Show and the over 191.5.
The Kings are easily the most enjoyable team in the NBA to watch. They’re built in such a hilarious dysfunctional way that you can’t help but root for them. They certainly have moments, but it’s mostly just incoherent backcourt squabling. Plus the whole Cousins thing.