With the NFL season wrapped up (congratulations Baltimore) and Major League Baseball’s regular season two months away, the NBA takes over as the primary betting sport, for a short while anyway.
Bettors have already benefitted from – and suffered because of – a number of surprising storylines, and that’s set to continue all the way through June, starting with Tuesday night’s schedule.
Casino Review has taken a look at what’s on tap and picked out a few games not only worth watching, but also worth putting some stakes down. Read on for our Tuesday tips.
Atlanta Hawks @ Indiana Pacers
7:00 PM ET
Atlanta (26-20, 10-12 road) will look to rebound from Saturday’s blowout loss to Chicago with a win in Indianapolis. The Hawks have scored a pair of victories over the Pacers this season, but both came at home in Phillips Arena. Indiana (29-19, 19-3 home) is a very different beast when playing at home.
Frank Vogel’s Pacers side has lost just three home games all season, and is currently riding high on a 14-game home winning streak, a streak that dates back to early December. On top of that, Indiana has won three straight games – including wins over Miami and Chicago – to pull even with the Bulls atop the Central Division. The Pacers can take top spot outright over the idle Bulls with a win over the Hawks.
For the Pacers to score a victory, much the same will be needed. The Indianapolis side has slowed games down, maintaining a steady pace and controlling the boards, a category the team leads the league in. Opponents have found themselves limited to a league low .420 shooting, and just 90.1 points per game, a marker that is second only to Memphis.
Atlanta will need to increase the speed of the game with quick passing and three-point shooting, two categories the team is very food at. Then the Hawks’ defense – which ranks in the NBA’s top 10 – will need to hold off the Pacers.
Favorite: Indiana Spread: 5 Total: 183
Take: INDIANA – Whilst the Pacers remain one of the toughest teams at home, the Hawks continue to be as inconsistent as any team around. Atlanta may have won two of the last three on the road, but the side lost six straight away from home before that. Expect Indiana (26-22-0 ATS) to cover, not least because the side is 14-8-0 ATS at home and 18-9-0 ATS as favorite. Despite both sides tending towards the under, take the total to go over as was the case the last time the two sides met.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Brooklyn Nets
7:30 PM ET
With five wins in six games, everybody wants to know if the Lakers (22-26, 7-16 road) have turned the corner. There have been a couple of moments that it has looked like the purple and gold side of Los Angeles had done exactly that, only to implode again. Tuesday could be one of those moments. But then again, it could be that the Lakers have really turned the corner this time.
Brooklyn (28-19, 18-8 home) doesn’t care about the Lakers and their struggles this season. The Nets simply want to continue to make ground in the Eastern Conference, and build on Friday’s win over Chicago. The Nets are 9-1 in their last 10 games at Barclays Center, something that the Lakers will be only too well aware of.
Whether Dwight Howard – who for so long coveted a move to Brooklyn – will get to play at the brand new Barclays Center is unlikely; he’s missed the past two games with a shoulder injury. The Lakers might not mind if he does; the team has won both those games without the impudent big man.
The Lakers actually outrank the Nets in most major categories, including points scored, field goal percentage, rebounds, blocks, and steals. However, the Lakers woes have come at the defensive end of the court, something Brooklyn can take advantage of. The Nets hold opponents to just 94.5 points per game, good enough for fifth in the league, despite allowing .462 shooting (24th). Limiting the Lakers’ scoring will be the Nets’ best chance.
Los Angeles secured a 95-90 win when these two sides met at Staples Center on Nov. 20.
Favorite: Brooklyn Spread: 2.5 Total: 196
Take: BROOKLYN – Although this game really could go either way, take the Nets to build on what has been a very solid home record of late. Kobe Bryant will want to make a big impression in a brand new arena, so expect this one to be close and exciting game. Take the Nets to (just) cover the spread with the total going under.
Golden State Warriors @ Houston Rockets
8:00 PM ET
Houston (26-23, 16-8 home) has won seven of nine games since a season-worst seven-game losing streak, and will look to build on Saturday’s win over Charlotte on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, Golden State (30-17, 14-11 road) will look to win its fifth straight – and eighth in 10 – with this visit to the Toyota Center. The game marks the first of four meetings between these sides between now and the end of the season.
Expect defense to take a back seat in this one as these two offensively-minded teams take to the hardwood. Houston is second (to Oklahoma City) in the league in scoring, putting in 105.1 points per outing. The Warriors scored 101.1 per outing (7th) and are also the league’s top three-point shooting side (.394). Both teams rank in the top 10 in field goal percentage.
Houston will need to get at the Warriors and cause turnovers, something the Rockets have been good at this season – the team’s 421 steals ranks third in the league – while the Warriors will need to restrict Houston’s shooting, again something Mark Jackson’s side has been fruitful at this year – the side restricts opponents to .434 shooting, fourth best in the league.
Favorite: Houston Spread: 2.5 Total: 216½
Take: GOLDEN STATE – The Warriors have beaten the spread 15 times this season as an underdog. Expect the side to do exactly that and more, as the team wins outright in Houston, something the team hasn’t done in more than five years. This is a different Warriors side to those that played during that span, and with Steph Curry and Andrew Bogut on the floor, this is a team to be reckoned with. Despite both teams favoring the over, take the total to go under, simply because 216½ is a huge number.
Remaining NBA Schedule (Tuesday)
Phoenix @ Memphis (8:00 PM ET)
Milwaukee @ Denver (9:00 PM ET)