Zach’s Season Record: 24-16
SAYING goodbye to Dry January today with some pint glasses full of IPA money winners for y’all – “IPA” stands for "I Pick Astoundingly," by the way. (Clears throat...)
Following last Monday’s debacle, I came back strong last Wednesday (although the Heat were playing with basically a G League team) and went 3-1 – and I’m looking to stay hot today. At this point with my seasonal record, I’d say today’s picks are looking more believable than Justin Timberlake as an ex-con in that new film Palmer. But overall, it continues to be just a strange season. NBA teams that look unstoppable one night, look like first-round exits the next, so who knows what or who is to blame. All I know is that we all think we’re tough guys out here betting on outcomes, point totals, and parlays but only the
players can make our ships come in. When I say “tough guys” I’m talking like, RODNEY MCGRUDER tough by the way (Where the hell did this guy come from???)
If Klay Thompson’s guest announcing wasn’t the best thing you heard all weekend (Besides Draymond’s press conference where he basically trashed McGruder), then you don’t love the NBA like I do. Scandals like that are exactly what keep teams winning and betting men like you and me grinning. As the late great sportswriter Pete Axthelm once said, “You gotta make at least one bet every day, or else you don’t know if you’re walking around lucky.”
Damian Lillard’s two three-pointers in under eight seconds were the most impressive 8-second sports feat that has taken place since Ty Murray rode some bronco for 8 seconds and broke a world record in 2004. (WHAT? A horse-riding mention?) Anyway, Dame DOLLA is a one-man wrecking crew for Portland right now, and with Nurkić and McCollum currently out, the Blazers are going to need him to put up 44-point nights on the regular to beat teams like the Bucks. Is this a guaranteed thing? Well, Dame can usually be counted on as much as an Antifa riot happening in Portland during the next few weeks, but doing what he did Saturday is going to be a tough ask. Even against the struggling Bucks.
Not sure why Milwaukee is petering out a little bit lately, but it partly seems like they are just relying on Giannis too much. Covington has been “Strugglington” recently. And Jrue Holiday just doesn’t seem to be as comfortable as he did at the start of the season. Still, with a 9-point spread? I think Portland can use their momentum from the Bulls win to keep this closer than people think. Take the Blazers – not necessarily to win, but to lose by less than 9.
Point-total-wise, Milwaukee was my cover for overs all year until the last two losses to the Pelicans (21 3s though) and the Hornets. Maybe they can get back to their winning and high-scoring ways at home… The Blazers like to put up points, but Milwaukee's defense is still too good. 235 seems high for the way Milwaukee is playing lately. I’d stick with the UNDER here.
When your superstar player and MVP candidate Luka Dončić says “Right now it’s looking like we don’t care to win games or not” to reporters about the Mavericks recent woes, you have reason to be concerned. After four straight losses, you have REAL reasons to be concerned, although a couple were to the red-hot Jazz. So, what’s wrong in Dallas right now? It’s the biggest mystery in this city since we wondered WHO SHOT J.R.
The Suns beat the Mavericks by six on Saturday, and I don’t see them backing down today. Deandre Ayton, who Instagram accounts call the “Sam Bowie” of the 2018 NBA draft, is actually a BEAST. His point and rebound totals are very respectable, no matter who you play against him. CP3 and Booker – well, you know what they can do. It’s possible that the Suns could send 3 guys to the All-Star game. But it most likely won’t happen with the fan vote counting as much as it does. So, can the Phoenix Suns beat the Dallas Mavericks again? Yes, they can. The Mavs are missing a shooting guard who can get them 3-5 triples a night. And I’d say they are 2-3 losses away from making a major trade.
Points-wise, Saturday these two teams put up 216 – which I think is very gettable again today. But, unless the Mavericks have figured out some new formula to stop the constant ball movement of the Suns, look for the Mavericks to hover around 103-105 and the Suns to score 110. Let’s go for broke and bet the OVER… Although I’d also consider putting money on Luka to go video game mode and possibly drop 40. He does that when he has shit to prove.
Ahh, there you go. As I pour my first drink of 2021, I hope that I will be comfortable with my picks. Otherwise, I may be on Postmates in an hour or two ordering more booze and cursing at the TV. But you never know, maybe, like Pete Axthelm said, I may be walking around lucky today…