NBA is Back in Action Tonight

Frank Vogel's Pacers start the stretch run lookng to maintain the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

As I’ve said many times in this exact space, betting is most certainly not an exact science. Case in point; my decision to play the ‘under’ in Sunday night’s NBA All-Star Game. Not only did I miss on that projection, but I missed badly. A-Rod swinging at curveball low and away badly… I really thought we’d see a tad more defense plus I thought the level of overall scorers was down too.

Such is the life of what I do however so back on the horse I go. Tonight the National Basketball Association comes back from the All-Star break with a bevy of games including several I’m going to take an extra hard look at. Let’s go!

Atlanta (+10) at Indiana – The Hawks enter the second half of the season on a five-game skid and have lost seven of their last ten games. They now take their 9-17 road record into Indiana where the Pacers have only lost three times in 28 games this season.

The double-digit number is a bit intimidating but I like the Pacers to cover at home as their quest for home court advantage in the East really gets going.

The health and availability of Dwyane Wade will be a key factor going forward for the Heat.

Miami (-2.5) at Dallas – The Mavericks have done an excellent job of getting themselves back into the playoff hunt after a less than stellar beginning of the season. Currently, Dallas is the sixth seed in the playoffs but is one loss and wins by Phoenix and Golden State from being the eighth spot.

Miami has really just two goals for the second half of the season. They need to find a way for Dwyane Wade to be healthy for the playoffs and perhaps more importantly now, they need to catch Indiana for the top seed in the East.

Take the Mavs and the points tonight as Miami is suffering from ‘All-Star Hangover.’

San Antonio (+5) at Los Angeles Clippers –  The Spurs sit in the second spot in the Western Conference four games behind the Thunder and two games up on Houston, Portland and tonight’s opposition the LA Clippers.

The Spurs are 20-7 on the road while the Clips are 23-4 at home in the Staples Center. The Clippers have won three straight and seven of ten while the Spurs are just 5-5 over the same period. I like the rested Spurs and the five points tonight.

Orlando (-2) at Milwaukee – Two of three worst teams in the NBA hook up in Wisconsin tonight but that doesn’t mean you can’t wager on them. Combined, the two teams have won just five of their last 20 games and neither team has done much to keep from being the team with the number one pick this summer.

The Magic are seven games better overall and for me that’s enough of a difference. Take the Magic and give the two points.

Toronto (+2.5) at Washington – As of right now, this is a potential first-round match-up with three-seed Toronto hosting the sixth seeded Washington Wizards. Chances are that things will move around quite a bit over the final 30 games but it’s never too early to think playoffs.

The Raptors are 6-4 over their last ten contests while the Wizards are 4-6. One thing that stands out to me is that Toronto is a very respectable 14-14 on the road this season. Washington is just 13-13 at home so I think that favors Toronto.

I’m guessing John Wall will have a little more spring in his step following his slam dunk contest win but I really like the Raptors getting the 2.5 on the road in the nation’s capitol.