Free NBA Picks for October 30, 2017 by Professor MJ



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



Good Monday NBA fans! Following my research and statistical analyses on all nine games from tonight, I was disappointed to discover so few good plays. I’ve got three bets to recommend, but none gets a higher grade than 2 stars.

PICK #1: Orlando Magic +7.5 at New Orleans Pelicans (rated 2 stars)

Prior to the start of the season, Orlando was projected to have a .402 record (based on Vegas’ lines); based on their 4-2 record so far, including impressive wins against Cleveland, San Antonio and Miami, I have adjusted their projected record to .450. As for the Pelicans, it was estimated they would finish the season with a .482, which seems reasonable to me. Based on these pieces of information, I am getting a 38.6% chance of winning by the Magic tonight.

That being said, more adjustments needed to be made. Elfrid Payton will miss tonight’s match for Orlando, while Rajon Rondo is still out for New Orleans (although they did pick up Jameer Nelson). I have decided to penalize Orlando by 1.5% for that. Finally, the Magic will be more tired since they will be on the second leg of back-to-back games. My final estimate winds up being 30.8%, which corresponds to a 5.7 spread. Since the actual line is 7.5, I’m taking Orlando.

I also like the fact that New Orleans is coming off a big 123-101 win against LeBron James and the Cavs; they might letdown a little bit tonight when facing a less “sexy” team. Too bad Elfrid Payton is not playing tonight for the Magic because he is a New Orleans native and would have been pretty motivated for this game.

PICK #2: Denver Nuggets -4 at New York Knicks (rated 1 star)

Both teams will be playing a second game in as many nights, and neither has injuries worth of note. It’s interesting to note that the Nuggets have beaten the Knicks in the last five meetings, not only straight up but also against the spread. Let me also make an identical statement to the first pick above: the Knicks are coming off one of their biggest wins in recent history, a surprising 114-95 victory against Cleveland. They could relax a little bit tonight.

One thing that worries me in this game is how Denver’s three wins occurred against weak teams: Sacramento, Atlanta and Brooklyn. The team has not lived up to expectations thus far, so I’m taking advantage of the public not perceiving them as good as they truly are (in my humble opinion).


PICK #3: Miami Heat +3.5 vs Minnesota Timberwolves (rated 1 star)

The bad news is Hassan Whiteside is still very doubtful to play because of a knee injury. He would have been very helpful in defending Karl-Anthony Towns. However, I do believe the Heat have more depth than Minnesota.

I like two things about this pick: 1) Miami is 8-2 against the spread over the past 10 meetings with the T-Wolves; 2) the Heat held a team meeting following two straight losses and pointed out to a lack of physical play and effort. I expect them to come out very strong. As a matter of fact, I suggest grabbing the Heat +1 (or +0.5) for the first quarter.

A few notes on a couple of games, in case you were considering betting them:

  • At first sight, I was going to bet the Spurs in Boston for many reasons. First, they have won 11 straight meetings with the Celtics (8-2 against the spread over the past 10). Secondly, they are coming off two bad losses and will be plenty motivated, while Boston has won four straight. Both teams are missing key pieces (Leonard + Parker for the Spurs, Hayward + Morris for the Celtics). However, San Antonio will be more tired because of back-to-back games (also 3 games in 4 nights, and 4 games in 6 nights). My projected lines turned out to be Spurs +5.2 vs Celtics -5.2, so with a 3.5 spread I cannot take San Antonio under such circumstances. I’m staying away from this one, but I thought you would appreciate getting more insight into this interesting matchup.
  • You might have heard about the Rockets winning the previous eight meetings with the Sixers. Be aware that Houston is 3-5 against the spread against Philly in these games, though (3-7 over the past 10) so don’t pull the trigger too fast.

I hope you fund this report insightful; I appreciate you taking the time to read it!

Professor MJ

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