Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 8:35 PM
It’s odd for one of the most exciting sports betting opportunities in basketball to show up on a Monday in January. But, that’s definitely the case on Martin Luther King Day as both the NBA and college hoops have marquee TV schedules.
Here are some quick thoughts on the games you’ll be watching on TV and betting in Las Vegas throughout the day and evening. We start in the NBA, with five games of interest from the nine-game slate.
INDIANA at MEMPHIS (1 p.m. ET on ESPN)
It may be ugly to watch. But, we have two teams who are likely to be top four seeds come playoff time. And, we have two teams who have both struggled recently when stepping up in class. This could be a statement game for either. NETWORK may consider a total here with the very early start time for a pair of teams who like to grind. Indiana is 15-25-1 to the Under this season. Memphis is an even more dramatic 12-26-1 to the Under. As you continue your transition from a football-focused slate to a basketball-focused slate, remember that oddsmakers struggle with Over/Unders!
BROOKLYN at NEW YORK (3:35 p.m. ET on the NBA Network)
This has already turned into a very intense rivalry. You know that emotions will be high when the Nets and Knicks battle for the last time during the regular season. Let’s hope they meet up again in the playoffs. The Knicks will be dealing with jet lag after their trip to London to play the Pistons. JIM HURLEY will be working closely with his New York sources to determine how big an influence that’s going to be. Now that Brooklyn is playing well again under a new head coach (8-1 straight up their last nine under P.J. Carlesimo), they’ve become a much more serious postseason threat. They only trail the Knicks now by two games at the top of the Atlantic Division.
LA CLIPPERS at GOLDEN STATE (4:05 p.m. ET on League Pass)
This wasn’t picked up by a network, but we wanted to mention Clippers/Warriors because it’s also turning into a very nice rivalry. Emotions have been high in the last two meetings. Both teams are soaring past preseason expectations…as the Clippers have arguably become the best team in the league at the moment, while Golden State is deep in the playoff picture. Injuries to the Warriors will be an important issue for handicappers. Be sure you have the latest updates before making a call. JIM HURLEY is aware that the Clippers will be hosting Oklahoma City Tuesday Night, which could create quite a look-ahead scenario here.
SAN ANTONIO at PHILADELPHIA (7:05 p.m ET on TNT)
The ageless Spurs never seem to slow down, unless their purposely slowing down to save themselves for later in the year. Is this a game coach Gregg Popovich will take off? A strong road record this season for San Antonio against the weaker teams in the East suggests not. JIM HURLEY says he’ll only get involved here if his sources suggest a peak performance is coming from the Spurs. Were you aware that the Spurs have the best overall record ATS if you combine this season and last season? Oddsmakers continue to underestimate this dynasty franchise.
LA LAKERS at CHICAGO (9:35 p.m. ET on TNT)
It’s already crunch time for the Lakers! They need to close the season very strong if they’re going to reach the playoffs. But, they now have their “core four” of Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, and Pau Gasol getting minutes at the same time. Is it too late? Or, is this the game where the Lakers show what the second half of the season is going to look like. Expect playoff intensity…and possibly a big side or total from NETWORK. Note that Chicago is an inexplicable 5-17 ATS at home this year! They’ve impressed on the road with a 10-7 ATS mark, but can’t seem to play to expectations on their home floor. Maybe that’s just what the Lakers need.
BIG MONDAY COLLEGE BASKETBALL GRAND SLAM ON ESPN
CINCINNATI at SYRACUSE (3:30 P.M. ET)
The Orange stunned #1 Louisville Saturday afternoon, but now have to come right back two days later to face a dangerous spoiler from Cincinnati. NETWORK’S New York area sources are going to be very busy today and from this point forward in the baskets! Note that this is a DAY game. Big Monday is both day and night for the holiday in the Big East and Big 12. Cincinnati survived an overtime thriller with Marquette Saturday. That was a non-cover though, as they may have been caught looking ahead to this one. Cincinnati us just 2-6 ATS their last eight games, despite their impressive 16-3 straight up mark this year.
OKLAHOMA STATE at BAYLOR (5:30 p.m. ET)
Speaking of the Big 12, it’s been a disappointing season so far…and ESPN may be wondering about future contract years. Only Kansas is a certain national power. Iowa State has impressed, but who wants to watch Iowa State on TV? Both of these teams are capable of stepping forward to become late season or postseason threats. JIM HURLEY wouldn’t be surprised if one steps up big tonight. Clients will get that news well in advance if the green light is given. You know Baylor wants to make up for their dismal Big Monday showing last week when they lost to Kansas 61-44.
GEORGETOWN at NOTRE DAME (7:30 p.m. ET)
The Irish barely survived Rutgers Saturday at home, after losing to both St. John’s and Connecticut. You know they want to right the ship at home tonight…particularly amidst all the headlines about the program’s football hero. Is this the night everyone remembers Notre Dame basketball? Or, is this the night everyone remembers that Notre Dame basketball is often overrated by the markets and the media? Our most recent computer simulations suggest there’s a good chance JIM HURLEY will be involved in this one.
TEXAS at OKLAHOMA (9:30 p.m. ET)
Texas is on the verge of falling out of the top 100 in respected computer ratings…which wasn’t supposed to happen to the team that throttled North Carolina not too long ago. The Horns did play with heart and energy vs. Kansas on Saturday, only to lose a heartbreaker. Will they be ready just two days later on the road against a hated rival? Intangibles suggest Oklahoma is the side. Make sure they have the talent to get the job done, and line value in the markets before you step in aggressively.
Selections from Monday’s slate will be up early in the day here at the website because of all the afternoon tips. Be sure to check out offers for the rest of basketball. What you win today will pay for those! If you have any questions about offers or packages, call us in the office at 1-800-323-4453. Our representatives will explain how you can include the Super Bowl with any basketball special.
Back with you tomorrow to talk more basketball. We already mentioned that Oklahoma City/LA Clippers may be providing a Western Conference championship preview. The college highlight is Michigan State at Wisconsin, though both Louisville and Kentucky are on the schedule too. Be sure you’re with us EVERY DAY in the NOTEBOOK so you know what’s REALLY happening in the world of sports. And link up with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK for BIG, JUICY WINNERS!