Free NBA Picks for November 3, 2017 by Professor MJ



University Professor. PhD in stats. Proud dad of 2 boys.



Ouch. We went 1-4 a couple of days ago with our picks. Lost the Hawks pick by 2 points. Lost the Heat pick by 2 points. And lost the Bucks pick by 2 points also. With a little bit of luck, we could have gone 4-1 instead of 1-4, but that’s how things go sometimes.

We all knew I could not sustain a 70% success rate, so we came back to Earth and we are now 13-9-1 (59.1%) for the year. I’ve got three plays for you today, so let’s aim for at least two winning ones!

PICK #1: Dallas Mavericks +4.5 vs New Orleans Pelicans (rated 4 stars)

I have only found arguments going in favor of Dallas in this one. I almost rated it a 5-star play. Maybe I’m being too conservative following a bad day with my picks two days ago. My projected lines are Pelicans -1.2 vs Mavericks +1.2, while the actual point spread is 4.5. I would have rated it 5 stars if the difference had been a bit bigger.

The public is betting New Orleans very heavily, as 85% of spread bets and 89% of money line bets are going their way. And yet, the line has not moved! Sharp action definitely seems to be on Dallas’ side.

The Mavericks are coming off two consecutive beatings, which is why people do not trust them right now. They lost their last game by a 119-98 score at the Clippers and 104-89 at Utah. I do believe they will rebound in front of their fans. By the way, the last time I had a 5-star play was those same Mavs at home against the Grizzlies, and they pulled it off for their only win of the season. Let’s see if we can repeat, but even if they lose they might cover the spread.

Dallas is 4-1 ATS against New Orleans over the past five meetings, and also 4-1 ATS over the last five meetings in Dallas.


PICK #2: Detroit Pistons -1.5 vs Milwaukee Bucks (rated 1 star)

My gut feeling doesn’t like this pick so much, but the facts are telling me to grab Detroit (our instincts are not always right!). First, my statistical models have the Pistons as 4-point favorites in this game. Secondly, I like how Detroit experienced a wakeup call in their last game via a 113-93 loss at the Lakers. After impressive wins against the Timberwolves, and at the Clippers and Warriors, they had a major letdown at the Staples Center. Granted, the Bucks are on a 2-game losing streak so they will definitely put in a good fight, which worries me a little bit.

Notice that Detroit is playing off two days of rest, while Milwaukee will be playing a third game in four nights (also fourth in six days).

Greg Monroe is still out with left calf soreness for the Bucks.

PICK #3: Oklahoma City -5.5 vs Boston Celtics (rated 1 star)

A few days ago I picked the Rockets at the Knicks despite my projections telling me otherwise because I had found many situational factors favoring Houston. It turned out to be a winner, so let me repeat the experience here. My statistical models view OKC as 4.2-point favorites, so normally I should go with Boston (or stay away). Why do I like the Thunder then?

The Celtics are coming off an easy 113-86 win over a weak Sacramento team, and I truly believe that’s not good preparation for your following game, especially when facing a top team like Oklahoma City.

Boston is 7-1 ATS this season, which is probably one of the main reasons why 69% of sports bettors are backing them right now. But guess what, the spread has moved from 5.5 to 6 with some sportsbooks; as mentioned above, I like reverse line moves like this one. It reinforces my confidence in a pick.

The Thunder has beaten Boston in 8 of the previous 9 matchups; they were 6-2-1 ATS in those games.

To top it all off, OKC benefited from two days of rest, compared to only one for the Celtics. Not a major factor, but still another one favoring them.


That’s it for today’s NBA write-up, I hope you enjoyed it and I wish you a great Friday!

Professor MJ