• Cavs vs Celtics: How Valuable is LeBron James?

    Written by Rohit Ghosh
    Follow @rohitghosh on Twitter

    How Valuable is LeBron James For The Cavs?

    It's almost the postseason, and AccuScore took some time to look at LeBron James and how valuable one player can be in a game that could decide the winner of the Eastern Conference. Wednesday's top of the Eastern Conference battles could decide home court advantage for the Conference Finals and preview that heavyweight battle if all goes to chalk.

    The Cavs are coming off a back-to-back, and AccuScore ran its simulations prior to the conclusion of Tuesday night’s win, where James ultimately recorded a triple double, so the numbers may not match identically with Wednesday’s simulation results on the site, but the computer’s assessment of LeBron James is clear.

    The Cavs’ go from a 32.4% chance of winning Wednesday's game in Boston without, arguably, the best basketball player on the planet to a 40.1% chance of winning in Beantown with James in the lineup, which is a whopping increase of 26.4%!

    Safe to say, the Cavs are not about to win the Eastern Conference in the regular or postseason without James on the court.

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    Whether or not James gets voted as a top candidate in the MVP race, the fact of the matter is that his impact on the Cavaliers -- in the long run – is immense. In the short run, it’s equally notable.

    The Cavs’ roster has enough talent to sustain wins in the regular season and beat bottom dwellers, but increasing the Cavs’ odds of winning from 32.4% to 40.1% is something no single other player provides against competition of this caliber.

    The Cavs haven't had a whole lot of success with James off the floor - going winless when no. 23 has rested.

    Heading into March, Cleveland is about nine-to-ten points better offensively, per 100 possessions, with James on the floor, and are about three points worse defensively per 100 possessions. He has an impact on both ends. Against Boston in simulations, Cleveland held the Celtics 1.2 points lower on average, which makes a big difference in a close game. Add in that the Cavs score about 2.5 more points with James in simulations, and the game gets a whole heck of a lot more interesting and entertaining with the three-time NBA Finals MVP on the floor.

    This isn't anything new, though. Two years ago, Cleveland went 3-10 without him on the floor. Last year, 1-5

     

    Given that James plays between 37-to-38 minutes per game when on the floor - is this really that surprising? While his usage ratings might not be to the levels of a James Harden or Russell Westbrook, his presence on the floor for that amount of time makes the overall impact just as much, if not more.

    With “the King” on the floor, the Cavs remain the favorite to reach the NBA finals; without him, their winning percentage suggests they could be a lottery team. Ultimately, the computer still likes the Celtics because they come in rested and have the home court, but James gives the Cavs a far better chance to win according to AccuScore’s 10,000 simulations.

    See AccuScore’s Celtics vs Cavs expert picks against the spread and totals + all of Wednesday’s action: NBA Picks

  • NBA 2016-17 - Season Futures

    Written by AccuScore Staff

  • NBA Monday Night: Analyst's Top 2 Picks

    Written by Rohit Ghosh

    Follow @rohitghosh on Twitter

    NBA Monday Night: Analyst Picks

    Monday night features a pair of games that should attract some wagering action, as the Golden State Warriors head to Oklahoma City in Game No. 1 followed by the LA Clippers hosting the NY Knicks.

    GSW @ OKC

    The Warriors opened as 4-point favorites, with the total set at 219.5. At the time of publication, the Warriors are 2-point favorites, with the total up to 221.

    Warriors Betting Trends

    • Golden State is 1-4 against the spread (ATS) in its last five games against a team with a winning record.
    • Golden State is 1-7 ATS in its last eight road games and 3-10 ATS in its last 13 games overall.
    • The UNDER is 35-16 in Golden State's last 51 road games.

    Thunder Betting Trends


    • Oklahoma City is 4-0 ATS in its last four games against a team with a winning record.
    • OKC is 20-6-1 ATS in its last 27 home games.
    • OKC is 5-0 ATS in its last five games overall.

    NYK @ LAC

    The Clippers will look to build from their dominating 108-78 victory over the Cavaliers Saturday as they head into Monday's matchup vs New York as an 11-point favorite. The total is set at 215.5.

    Knicks Betting Trends

    • New York is 1-4 ATS in its last five road games.
    • New York is 0-5 ATS in its last five games following a loss of more than 10 points.
    • New York is 1-4 ATS in its last five games overall

    Clippers Betting Trends
    • LA is 2-5 ATS in its last seven home games.
    • LA is 0-6 ATS in its last six games against a team with a losing record
    • LA is 1-4 ATS in its last five games overall.

    Analyst’s Picks
    AccuScore’s analyst has one pick for each game previewed above, but these two picks are only for members, so MEMBER: Sign in at the top right now! Non-members, use coupon code NBA20 to get 20% off membership: Join Today!

    AccuScore has expert picks against the spread, on the moneyline and on Totals for every game on the calendar on Monday: NBA Picks

  • NBA Monday: Celtics Vs. Clippers

    Written by Rohit Ghosh

    Follow @rohitghosh on Twitter

    Monday Night Basketball: Boston Celtics vs LA Clippers

    The Los Angeles Clippers look to keep things going back at home as they host Isaiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics Monday night at STAPLES Center.

    The Celtics are coming off a tough 109-106 loss in Phoenix Sunday afternoon and a coast-to-coast 115-95 victory of the LA Lakers Friday night. The Suns' Tyler Ulis connected on a buzzer-beater following a steal -- turnover charged to Isaiah Thomas -- as Phoenix (+4.5, +160) scored five points in the final four seconds to stun Boston. With no OT following Eric Bledsoe's initial game-tying layup and Ullis' three, the UNDER hit.

    Boston Celtics vs LA Clippers

    AccuScore has expert NBA picks against the spread and on Over/Unders for every game on the schedule tonight, including a 4-star pick on the Celtics vs Clippers at Staples Center: All of AccuScore's expert NBA Picks

    The Clippers head into Monday night's matchup following a convincing 101-91 road win over the Chicago Bulls Saturday night.

    LA is a 5-point favorite, with the total set at 216.

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    What to Watch For

    Defense with Isaiah: For all the attention IT's offense has received, it's been the exact opposite when debating his defensive impact. He's ranked one of the worst individual defenders in the league, and the Celtics had a 120 defensive rating with Thomas on the floor vs the Suns. The Clippers -- especially Chris Paul -- will feast Monday night.

    Defending the 3-point line: The Celtics connected on 16 three-pointers in their 107-102 victory over the the Clippers in February -- in Boston. The Clippers are No. 9 in the league in opponent three-point percentage, and No. 10 in the league in opponent three-pointers made per game. Last time around, the Celtics made (16) about six-to-seven more shots from the three-point line than the Clippers normally give up.

    FTs and FGs: Keep an eye on how many free throws the Celtics get, especially in the first half. If there's one defensive category the Clippers struggle with is defending without fouling. LA is No. 18 in the league in opponent free-throws attempted per field goal attempted.

    Betting Trends

    • The Celtics are 1-7 against the spread (ATS) in their last 7 games against Pacific division opponents.
    • The Celtics are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games against the Clippers.
    • The Clippers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Monday games.
    • The Clippers are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games playing on one day of rest.

    Final Word

    The Clippers -- prior to the win in Chicago -- were visibly frustrated with their play and made it clear the direction of this season needs to improve. Boston will be playing on the second night of a road back-to-back. Clippers cover, easily.

  • Russell Westbrook for MVP - AccuScore Analysis

    Written by Rohit Ghosh

    Follow @rohitghosh on Twitter

    Russell Westbrook: MVP Simulation Analysis

    How would the Oklahoma City Thunder -- who seem to be succeeding despite being a so-called one-man team -- fare without their ever-so-prolific leader?

    AccuScore simulated OKC's final six games in two sets of simulations: with Westbrook and without Westbrook. Surprisingly, though, there wasn't a noticeable difference with four of the six remaining games being played on the road.

    For example, with Westbrook, OKC is projected to squeeze by the Milwaukee Bucks on 4/4 with a two-point victory; with Westbrook out, that projected win percentage drops about six points and simulates to an approximate tie.

    Let's dive deeper into some of the numbers though, since simply stating Westbrook is important to his team is an exercise in futility.

    See all of today’s Expert NBA Picks

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    Heading into Tuesday's matchup with Milwaukee, the Thunder are 18-26 against teams in playoff positioning. Of Westbrook's 40 triple-doubles, 19 of them have come against playoff teams. So, nearly half of his triple-doubles have come against the top 50-some odd percentage of teams in the league.

    And even more importantly, he has triple-doubles in 12 of his team's 18 wins vs playoff-positioned teams. Although the percentages were a little higher prior to OKC's 110-95 loss to San Antonio on March, the Thunder have won a shade over 40 percent of their matchups with playoff teams.

    When Westbrook notches a triple-double in those games, the winning percentage this season against playoff opponents shoots up past sixty percent.

    He's that important, especially in terms of OKC staying competitive against better opponents.

    How'd he fare against them last time?

    Westbrook finished with 30 points, six assists and seven rebounds in a loss to Milwaukee on Jan. 2.

    OKC has won two-of-three matchups with Memphis this season, with Westbrook averaging nearly 28 points, 8 assists and 10-plus rebounds in those three games.

    Following Memphis, OKC heads to Phoenix - a Suns team that Westbrook has torched this season for 41.7 points, 13.7 assists and 13.7 rebounds per game in three matchups (2-1).

    OKC then finishes the regular season hosting Denver, against whom Westbrook has averaged 34 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists in two wins this season.