HomeThe Shuffle5 Sports Picks: The NBA Hot List

5 Sports Picks: The NBA Hot List

As the NBA season marches on, detecting patterns of play can help determine your best bets.

We’re a third of the way through the NBA season, and patterns are emerging regarding teams, trends and spreads. Top teams will eventually face spreads that are harder to cover, while weak clubs keep getting more points handed to them in order to entice action. The league’s top clubs are not always winners regarding wagers.

Philadelphia 76ers

  1. The Philadelphia 76ers entered mid-December as the league’s only unbeaten team at home. But the Sixers were an almost pedestrian 58 percent against the spread. These guys play reasonably good defense, but are an outside shooting team with mixed results. Their games have been trending UNDER in the over-under bets as well. Looking ahead, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to believe the Sixers will eventually learn to put more teams away and cover more spreads. Good teams improve throughout the season. The Miami Heat, meanwhile, joined the Oklahoma City Thunder, Boston Celtics and Sacramento Kings as top home performers entering the middle of December.

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OKC Thunder

  1. No rest? No worry for Oklahoma City, the Washington Wizards, the Orlando Magic and the Charlotte Hornets. They have the best covering performance when playing a second game in two nights.

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Brooklyn Nets

  1. Looking for a good home underdog? The Brooklyn Nets were 5-0 in that category heading into mid-December.

Miami Heat

  1. Home favorite? Miami, the Toronto Raptors and Oklahoma City have been the most dependable so far.

Sacramento Kings

  1. Good away favorites? So far, Sacramento’s been solid. Philadelphia has been near the bottom. Away underdogs? The Chicago Bulls have been strong, and even the lowly New York Knicks, a terrible team, have been above .500 on the road as an underdog.

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Dave Bontempo, a multiple award-winning writer and broadcaster, has covered sports for the Associated Press, ESPN, HBO and Showtime and called boxing matches on every major network. Dave is a winner of the Sam Taub Award for broadcast excellence given by the Boxing Writers Association of America, and is a member of both the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame and the Atlantic City International Boxing Hall of Fame. He writes regularly for sportsquare.com and Global Gaming Business magazine.

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