Free NBA Picks for October 17, 2017 by Professor MJ



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


Hi guys, I’m super stoked about the NBA season getting under way tonight! We have a couple of interesting matchups tonight, but from a betting perspective I only see one value play.

PICK: Houston Rockets +9.5 at Golden State Warriors (rated 3 stars)

Let’s start with the statistical justification. The consensus line on the number of regular season wins by the Golden State Warriors is 67.5 versus 55.5 for the Houston Rockets. Those numbers translate into win percentages of .823 versus .677. I’ll save you the details, but based on my statistical models a home team with a .823 win percentage facing a road team with a .677 win percentage should win 72.8% of the time. That being said, I have decided to penalize the Warriors by 2% because of injuries/illness to Kevin Durant, Shaun Livingston and Draymond Green. They are all expected to be ready to go, but I felt like their effectiveness may not be the same. So my final win probability for the Warriors at home against the Rockets ends up at 72.8% - 2% = 70.8%. Converting such a number into point spreads yields the following projected lines: Rockets +6.2 versus Warriors -6.2. Since the Dubs are favored by 9.5, I’m taking Harden’s squad.

Note: if you disagree with the 2% penalty, please note that the projected lines become Rockets +6.7 versus Warriors -6.7.

It will be interesting to watch two of the league’s best floor generals on the same team: James Harden and newly acquired Chris Paul. If you combine this acquisition with P.J. Tucker (a very hard-worker), you have a recipe for an improved defense, despite losing Patrick Beverley in the process.

The two matchups between these two teams in Golden State last season ended 132-127 in favor of Houston in double overtime and 107-98 for the Warriors, so in both cases the Rockets would have covered a 9.5 spread.

The public is evenly split on this game as 52% of the bets have gone on the Warriors.

Thanks for reading and I wish you a very profitable and enjoyable NBA season!!


Professor MJ

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