The Gambler’s NBA Power Rankings – 12/30/16

We’re a little over a quarter of the way through the NBA season, and James Harden just dropped his 7th triple-double (just FYI). It’s been over a month since the last Gambler’s NBA Power Rankings (sorry for slacking) but it’s back, and better than ever…

Biggest Riser: Cleveland Cavs – Up 17

Biggest Faller: Atlanta Hawks – Down 17

*Note: Rankings account for against the spread records. Records, and Strength of Schedule valid as of 12/29. 7 games have gone final, and no, I’m not adjusting the records.

The Gambler’s NBA Power Rankings
1. San Antonio Spurs (Last Rank: 3)

Record: 26-6 (2nd)

Record ATS: 18-13-1 (5th)

SOS: 2

The Spurs just continue to do Spurs ish… They’ve won (and covered) in 8 of their last 9 games – Granted, it was a rather light stretch, and took an epic 4th quarter collapse from the Rockets to get there… Semantics.

2. Toronto Raptors (Last Rank: 2)

Record: 22-10 (5th)

Record ATS: 20-11-1 (2nd)

SOS: 4

Not gonna lie, no clue who Pascal Siakam is. I do know he starts for the Raptors though, and I also know they just lost 2 straight games for the 1st time in over a month. Therefore, by the transitive property, I guess it’s safe to assume Pascal is nice.

3. Houston Rockets (Last Rank: 4)

Record: 24-9 (4th)

Record ATS: 22-11 (1st)

SOS: 6

While on the topic of losing 2 straight, the Rockets haven’t done so yet this season. They’ve also won 13 of their last 15, and covered the spread in 10 of those 13 wins.

4. Boston Celtics (Last Rank: 10)

Record: 19-14 (T-10th)

Record ATS: 18-13-2 (6th)

SOS: 3

Winners of 6 of 8, the Celtics are finally getting healthy, and are starting to come together. They’re a pretty safe bet, but need to step it up defensively, and get more from Horford to make noise in the Playoffs.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers (Last Rank: 22)

Record: 24-7 (3rd)

Record ATS: 15-14-2 (10th)

SOS: 11

I knew their low ranking wouldn’t last. Since the last edition, the Cavs have gone 12-7-1 against the spread, and 15-5 overall – including wins against 2 of the about 5 teams who can present any form of real competition come playoff time: Toronto and Golden State.

6. Golden State Warriors (Last Rank: 14)

Record: 28-5 (1st)

Record ATS: 16-16-1 (T-14th)

SOS: 5

The Warriors fall victim to over-inflated spreads, and that won’t change any time soon (They’re 17.5 point favorites tonight). The good news (if you’re a Warriors fan), they’ve stepped it up defensively after struggling out of the gates, and currently sit 2nd in defensive efficiency.

7. Utah Jazz (Last Rank: 13)

Record: 20-13 (T-7th)

Record ATS: 17-15-1 (T-8th)

SOS: 16

The Jazz might just finally be healthy. Problem is, every time I think that, someone else goes down. It really hasn’t mattered (outside of their recent 3 game L fest), as they hold the 5th best record in the West. It helps to be one of the best defensive teams the league has to offer.

8. New York Knicks (Last Rank: 19)

Record: 16-15 (12th)

Record ATS: 19-12 (3rd)

SOS: 19

I think the pain meds are kicking in… The Knicks in the Top-10?! Yikes. The fan in me says, “Nah fam, won’t last”, but reality is, they’ve covered the spread in 10 of their last 15.

9. Sacramento Kings (Last Rank: 16)

Record: 14-18 (T-21st)

Record ATS: 17-14-1 (7th)

SOS: 9

The Kings stink in the real life, buy hey, they’ve won 4 of 5. They’re on the come up! Tough schedule, plenty of covers… The seemingly absurdly high ranking is justified.

10. Los Angeles Clippers (Last Rank: 1)

Record: 22-12 (6th)

Record ATS: 16-18 (T-18th)

SOS: 15

Injuries, so many injuries. Part of me wants to buy this year’s Clippers. I mean they do own a combined 4-1 record against Golden State, San Antonio, Toronto, and Cleveland… But, when are they not good in the regular season?!

11. Memphis Grizzlies (Last Rank: 12)

Record: 21-14 (9th)

Record ATS: 18-17 (12th)

SOS: 20

I can’t lie – I still can’t figure out the Grizzlies. They’re probably a Top-10 “who is that guy?” having guys team, haven’t been healthy, yet they’re only a game and a half out of the 4th seed in the West… Pop is coach of the year, every year. However, if I had to stray, it’s David Fizdale. Easy. (D’Antoni gets no love. I’m a bitter Knicks fan)

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (Last Rank: 21)

Record: 20-13 (T-7th)

Record ATS: 17-15-1 (T-8th)

SOS: 26

The other night we received a crystal clear picture of the issue with betting on the Thunder… Westbrook gets ejected, or just so happens to not be himself for whatever reason, and the entire team folds. Fortunately, that’s a rarity.

13. Charlotte Hornets (Last Rank: 9)

Record: 19-14 (T-10th)

Record ATS: 16-16-1 (T-14th)

SOS: 28

They’re the NBA’s Houston Texans. They look good record wise, maybe even statistically, then you look at their schedule… And it all makes sense.

14. Denver Nuggets (Last Rank: 8)

Record: 14-18 (T-21st)

Record ATS: 16-16 (13th)

SOS: 12

Finally healthy, and facing an easy stretch, the Nuggets have strung together a few wins (6 0f 8)… They head to Golden State Monday, interested to see how they hold up.

15. Washington Wizards (Last Rank: 25)

Record: 15-16 (16th)

Record ATS: 16-15 (11th)

SOS: 27

The Wizards are finally starting to look like the Wizards I expected to see this season. After their 2-10 start, they’re 7-3 in their last 10. A bunch of stuff happened in between, but suffice it to say, they pulled a 180.

16. Brooklyn Nets (Last Rank: 11)

Record: 8-23 (29th)

Record ATS: 17-12-2 (4th)

SOS: 17

Listen, professional athletes are professional athletes for a reason – They’re the best of the best. And last time I checked, the Nets do in fact have professional athletes… Just not as many of the good ones. They compete though.

17. Detroit Pistons (Last Rank: 20)

Record: 15-19 (T-18th)

Record ATS: 16-18 (T-18th)

SOS: 8

The Pistons have played a tough schedule, yes, but that doesn’t describe their multiple personalities. Some nights, they look like a contender in the East. Other nights, lottery bound. They’ve lost 6 of 7. Naturally, the win came against Cleveland (sans LeBron).

18. Miami Heat (Last Rank: 15)

Record: 10-23 (T-26th)

Record ATS: 16-17 (16th)

SOS: 14

This is about the point where I check out with these NBA Power Rankings, but I’ll tough it out… Miami has actually fared better than I thought they would, for whatever that’s worth. They’re a scrappy, defensive minded team. They’re also young, and inconsistent.

19. Los Angeles Lakers (Last Rank: 5)

Record: 12-24 (24th)

Record ATS: 16-19-1 (23rd)

SOS: 10

Since the last rankings, the Lakers have gone 5-19, and 8-16 against the spread… It was only a matter of time.

20. Chicago Bulls (Last Rank: 7)

Record: 16-16 (T-13th)

Record ATS: 15-17 (20th)

SOS: 25

Since the last rankings, the Bulls have gone 9-12, and 8-13 against the spread… This one is a bit tougher to explain, however, so I won’t try.

21. Milwaukee Bucks (Last Rank: 28)

Record: 15-15 (15th)

Record ATS: 14-16 (22nd)

SOS: 21

The Bucks show signs of goodness, then they don’t. Love Giannis at the point though.

22. Dallas Mavericks (Last Rank: 24)

Record: 10-23 (T-26th)

Record ATS: 15-18 (24th)

SOS: 1

The other Curry looks like he’s going to stick in the league, and that makes me happy. I like his game, and I’m always a fan of the “other” brother.

23. Atlanta Hawks (Last Rank: 6)

Record: 16-16 (T-13th)

Record ATS: 14-18 (26th)

SOS: 23

Oh look, another team that fell off the Earth since the last NBA Power Rankings – 7-14, and 6-15 ATS since we last spoke. Of the 3 thus far (ATL, LAL, CHI), they’re the most likely to bounce back… I think.

24. Phoenix Suns (Last Rank: 17)

Record: 10-23 (T-26th)

Record ATS: 15-17-1 (21st)

SOS: 18

Pretty much always a good bet on the over (23-10, 69.7%, 1st).

25. Portland Trailblazers (Last Rank: 17)

Record: 14-20 (22nd)

Record ATS: 13-21 (T-29th)

SOS: 7

Maybe George Karl is right? Naaaah.

26. New Orleans Pelicans (Last Rank: 30)

Record: 13-21 (23rd)

Record ATS: 15-18-1 (25th)

SOS: 22

The return of Jrue Holiday has helped, a lot. Chances are, they’ll continue to rise, but I don’t see them hitting the teens.

27. Minnesota Timberwolves (Last Rank: 28)

Record: 10-22 (25th)

Record ATS: 13-19 (28th)

SOS: 13

I hope they can keep this team together. A lot of young talent, and ‘Tibs is a good coach… Just need time to develop, maybe.

28. Indiana Pacers (Last Rank: 23)

Record: 15-18 (17th)

Record ATS: 12-21 (T-29th)

SOS: 24

I still don’t get it.

29. Philadelphia 76ers (Last Rank: 27)

Record: 7-24 (30th)

Record ATS: 15-16 (17th)

SOS: 30

#FreeNerlens

30. Orlando Magic (Last Rank: 29)

Record: 15-19 (T-18th)

Record ATS: 14-18-2 (27th)

SOS: 29

Welp.

As always, be sure to check me out on Instagram/Facebook: maximizeyourodds, and Twitter: maxingyourodds or shoot me an email: leonard@maximizeyourodds.com and subscribe to stay up to date with all of my betting picks, and fantasy advice.

 

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