Tuesday night in the National Basketball Association there are three really good and exciting contests for your consideration as well as one that isn’t quite so tempting. That doesn’t mean that we can’t wager on it though now does it?
Philadelphia (+19.5) at Oklahoma City – The Philadelphia 76ers have lost 14 straight games. A nuclear physics degree you will not need to know this team is awful. At 15-45, only the Orlando Magic are worse.
Tonight, the 76ers will be in Oklahoma City where the Thunder have righted their ship after going 0-3 to open the post All-Star Break session. OKC has won two straight and six of their last ten and every win has been needed as the San Antonio Spurs are now within a game and a half of them for the top seed in the Western Conference.
I have a very hard time going with any team that is giving up almost 20 points to an opponent and as much as I’d like to tonight I can’t. I expect Philly to play hard in an effort to end this long losing streak. They’ll lose but they’ll keep it within 20.
Miami (+1) at Houston – I expect this to be a very good match-up tonight in what used to be called ‘Clutch City.’ The Heat are currently on a seven game win streak and have won nine of their last ten games while the Rockets have gone 8-2 over their last ten game stretch.
This is the point where Miami caught fire a year ago and was in the midst of their 27-game winning streak so perhaps it shouldn’t surprise us they are playing well early in March.
The Rockets find themselves in the fifth spot right now in the West but just a game behind Portland for the third spot. Every game for them has huge meaning as the season winds down. The same can be said for Miami who sits just two and a half games behind Indiana in the Eastern Conference.
Both teams have good home and away records respectively but I like the Rockets tonight in their own building to put an end to the Heat’s streak.
LA Clippers (-3) at Phoenix – This is another really good game taking place in the Western Conference this evening. The Suns just keep doing the unexpected and find themselves in the seventh spot in the West. They have won two in a row and six of their last ten games.
The Los Angeles Clippers have won four in a row and seven of their last ten as they ride Blake Griffin’s exceptional play. Griffin has played so well that analyst Reggie Miller believes he trails only LeBron James and Kevin Durant in terms of the league’s best players.
I think you’ll see a game that goes down to the wire tonight in the desert and I like the Clippers to cover but just barely.
New Orleans at LA Lakers (Even) – While the above three games offer some great action from teams with very high expectations, this one isn’t exactly in the same realm as those are. New Orleans travels to La-La Land where the city is fresh off another big Oscar night. Priorities change I guess when the Lakers are the second worst team in the Western Conference.
The Lakers won their last outing but have won just three of their last ten games overall and now have players and coaches squawking at each other through the press. This is of course what happens when high expectations meet poor outcomes.
The Pelicans are 12 games under .500 on the road and the Lakers are eight games under .500 at home. In a match-up that is nothing more than a toss-up, I’ll take the home team Lakers in this one.