It's not the easiest thing in the world to handicap a prop in the NBA. That's because the flow of any given game can affect the way that game progresses, what decisions are made, and ultimately what the outcome of that prop is going to be.
What we have is data, and that is a good place to start.
Suns vs. Timberwolves Free Pick
First-half props are interesting to explore, because the fact is, some teams get off to better starts than others. And by the same token, there is sometimes a pattern where teams play better in the second half, and there are reasons for it. They may have a coach who is very good at making second-half adjustments, or they might just have more stamina and staying power.
We're going to take a look at a first-half prop today, because that's the kind of thing that is readily available. But we do suggest that you take a look at some of the data, because you can refer to it when using Dynamic Live at BetOnline.
The Suns' story should be well known to you by now. A team that was struggling and barely qualified to get into the bubble went in a tear once they were in Orlando, winning all eight games and just falling short of getting into the play-in game, which could have made them the #8 seed and them, given how hot they were, who knows?
This year they are 21-11, elevating themselves to the next level with the acquisition of Chris Paul, who is averaging 8.8 assists and just got named to the Western Conference All-Star team. DeAndre Ayton is shooting 61% and averaging 11.7 rebounds. And of course there is Devin Booker, who is at just under 25 points a game.
They are a six-point first-half favorite in their game against the T-Wolves.
If you look at the Suns, you will see that they have outscored opponents by an average of 3.4 points per game in the first half.
All that looks pretty solid.
By contrast, Minnesota has been outscored by 5.6 points a game in the first half. That is dead last in the NBA.
So this one should be pretty simple, shouldn't it?
Consider that this game is being played at the Target Center. And there is a tremendous disparity between what the T-Wolves do in terms of first half output at home and on the road. On the road, they are at minus-8.3 per game, but at home they seem a little more inspired, being out-performed by their opponents by only 2.1 points per contest.
Meanwhile, the Suns have really come on strong in the second halves of games of late, beating their opponents by 13.3 points a game in the last three.
But the Suns have only scored an average of 1.3 first half points per game over their opponents when they are on the road.
And to boot, the Wolves, even in the process of losing their seventh consecutive game, both straight-up and against the number, to Washington on Saturday, They were trailing by only two points at the half.
The atmosphere with Minnesota may be kind of strange right now. But Chris Finch is in the process of taking charge, and team management is hoping that the former Toronto assistant can make some better in-game adjustments than his predecessor, Ryan Saunders.
The Wolves return home after four games (and unsuccessful ones) on the road. We're looking for them to come into this having some energy, and we have value here.
Charles Jay is unlike most analysts associated with
handicapping and the gaming industry, in that he also has had extensive
experience in the so-called "mainstream" media as well.
He has been involved with professional sports industry for
almost two decades, working in all capacities, as a matchmaker, booking agent,
manager, and also as an editorial consultant on USA Network's "Tuesday Night
Fights," which, for a time, carried "Charles Jay's Line" on
upcoming fights. As a broadcaster, he has called world title fights around the
world for various outlets, and has served as a color commentator for Sunshine
Network and Prime Network.
His radio experience includes being the host of numerous
programs, including "Sportswatch with Charles Jay" on KDWN in Las
Vegas, "Total Action" on WAXY 790 in Miami, and "Charles Jay's
Winning Edge", syndicated into 55 markets by the American Radio Networks,
and he's done podcasts on all subjects related to sports, gaming and popular
Working within the casino industry, he has a special events
consultant for Casino Magic in Mississippi, as that venue established itself in
the early 1990s as a hotbed of boxing activity in particular. Prior to this, he
had been engaged as a casino gaming columnist for, among others, Casino Player,
Card Player and Sports Form (now known as Gaming Today), specializing in
blackjack. And later on, his investigative series on boxing, entitled
"Operation Cleanup," won him much critical acclaim, including the
2003 "Dignity" Award, in the category of "Best Sports
Writer," as bestowed by the Retired Boxers Foundation, a non-profit
organization dedicated to rendering assistance to ex-fighters in need.
In 2006 he established a content services division of his
company, which has eventually evolved in JayWords, and he is arguably the
world's most prolific sports & gaming writer, with over 20,000 articles to
his credit, the vast majority of which have been sports handicapping pieces. So
you might say he has analyzed as many sporting events as anyone alive during
this period. He has also brought some interest with his so-called
"gimmick" odds on special events, including the Academy Awards, the
NFL Draft, and the Super Bowl, for which he posted dozens and dozens of
different odds propositions with various sportsbooks.
This renaissance man is a winner of the Retired Boxers Foundation's "Dignity Award" and a member of the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame; graduate of the University of
Miami (Florida) who currently resides in the South Florida area.