NBA Slate Highlighted by Blazers at Clippers

Evan Turner and the 76ers need to rebound from two straight blowout losses tonight in Utah.

The National Basketball Association has a host of games on tap for Wednesday evening and I’m looking at four that I believe offer some good wagering opportunities. Games in Utah, Houston, Minnesota and Los Angeles feature good match-ups including a big Western Conference showdown between the Clippers and Blazers.

Philadelphia (+6.5) at Utah – When last we saw the 76ers, they were getting blown by 40+ points by Golden State. The game before that they were blown by the Clippers, by 40+ points… Is there any reason we should think this won’t happen again on the road in Salt Lake City?

Actually, yes there is because the Jazz aren’t a whole lot better. While the Sixers are in the midst of a seven-game slide and losers of nine of their last ten, the Jazz have won just four times in their last ten games. A marquee match-up this is not. Because Philly rebounds the ball better at both ends of the court and scores better, I’ll take them getting the points.

Howard and the Rockets have won six straight and welcome the Wizards tonight,

Washington (+9.5) at Houston – Both teams enter tonight’s game sitting in the fifth spot in their respective conferences but there’s a significant difference as well. The Wizards are 14.5 games out of the top seed currently held by Indiana. The Rockets are just 5.5 games back of first-place Oklahoma City.

The Rockets have won six straight and eight of their last ten while the Wizards have recorded five win in their last ten games. Houston is 21-7 at home while Washington is a respectable 12-12 on the road. Anytime you’re giving an opponent almost ten points on your homecourt that says something about how you’re playing.

Against my better judgment, I’ll take Dwight Howard and the Rockets to cover.

Denver (+6.5) at Minnesota – Denver and Minnesota are in a battle. Granted, it isn’t a battle they really want to be in but such is life. The Nuggets and Wolves hold the 10th and 11th spots respectively in the Western Conference which means they are not in the playoff race.

If they needed more bad news, Denver has lost three straight and six of ten while the Wolves have lost four straight and seven of ten. Even though the All-Star Break isn’t quite here, it looks like these two will be playing for pride from here on out.

Minnesota is 14-11 at home while the Nuggets are 10-15 away from Denver. I think this is a match-up that favors Kevin Love and the Nuggets are without some key players so I like the T-Wolves to cover tonight.

Portland (+5.5) at Los Angeles Clippers – The top match-up of the evening features Portland (3rd in the West) and the Clippers (4th in the West). After an outstanding start, the Trail Blazers have come back to Earth a bit and are just 5-5 over their last ten games.

The Clippers have won two straight and are 7-3 over their last ten contests. While LA has an excellent 22-4 home record, the Blazers are 17-10 on the road and will present problems for the Clips even at home. Both teams are relatively healthy so that shouldn’t be an issue. Where Portland has a bit of an advantage is rebounding where they are very good at both ends of the court.

I think that number is a little too large for a contest like this one. I’ll take the Blazers getting the points despite the good play of the Clippers on their home court.