Handicapping the NBA: Go Big or Go Home
Handicapping the NBA: Go Big or Go Home

This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.

To say I enjoyed I writing this column this season is an understatement, and as I anticipated, it is much harder to nail down NBA bets than I expected, even when selecting the games that stood out the most. We have covered everything from Klay Thompson's 60 points in three quarters, the trainwreck that is the New York Knicks, Drake, rest in the NBA, coach meltdowns and Dion Waiters' MVP moment.

A big thank you and shoutout to Chris Liss, who was the first person I reached out to in terms of writing this weekly piece, and of course Nick Whalen, who has the pleasure of editing the weekly guff I send over to him around 3:00 a.m. Wednesday mornings. If I am forgetting someone, my apologies – feel free to yell at me on social media.

This will be my last submission of the regular season, given my gig at The Young Turks ramps up big time with the NBA Playoffs, Champions League and NFL Draft around the corner. Let's get to it.

Overall: 25-24-1

25-24-1 is pretty much turning to a stranger at the Sportsbook in Vegas who just looks like they know what they're doing and saying: "Hey, you like Heat with the points?"

Heat at Hornets (-2)

The Heat have been one of my favorite second half teams and given that they are getting points and Spoelstra could be eyeing a Coach of the Year award, I can't back down now.

The pick: Heat +2

Raptors at Pistons (-1.5)

Detroit as an underdog this season is 9-22 ATS. The Raptors, on the other hand, are seeing DeMar DeRozan shooting nearly 50 percent (49.5) over their last five games. They also somehow turned DeMarre Carroll into a scoring threat.

The pick: Raptors +1.5

Cavs at Celtics

The spread is not currently available as I am writing this. Having said that, take the under. In this case, the Celtics have been the better defensive team in the second half, and while the Cavs woes on that end of the floor will sort themselves out right in time for the playoffs, I can't imagine this game being an overly high-scoring affair.

The pick: The over/under is set at 219.5. The Cavs are on the second game of a back-to-back. UNDER UNDER UNDER!

Mavs at Clippers (-11)

The Clippers are vying for home court in the first round of the playoffs and need to catch the Utah Jazz. Favorably for Los Angeles, the Jazz have a murderous schedule down the stretch which includes tough matchups with the Blazers and Warriors. It's a big spread, but the starters should be playing well into the fourth quarter to assure victory after earlier collapses this season.

The pick: Clippers -11

Thunder at Grizzlies (+1.5)

Russell Westbrook will be gunning for his record-breaking triple-double. If his shooting is not completely in the gutter, this could make for another one of those head turning 40-10-10 nights. A win for the Thunder here would also pretty much solidify the six-seed in the playoffs. Last two times these teams met, the Thunder had the upperhand by 10-plus points; granted, the Grizzlies took the first game on their home court much earlier in the season.

The pick: Thunder +1.5

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Rubin
Jason Rubin is a sports producer a part of the ESPN social content team where he runs point on the ESPN MMA Show on Snapchat. He had one good season betting the NBA and contributed to Rotowire's NBA content. Previously he broadcasted for TYTSports and contributed to multiple platforms along the way. He is a Carmelo Anthony apologist.
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