Saturday NBA Slate Has Some Big Spreads

Anthony
Anthony
I have to wonder what goes through Carmelo's mind when he laces them up for this Knicks' team each night.

With the NFL taking a break this weekend, the NBA is in my focus. Here are four games I like for you tonight.

New York (+9.5) at Charlotte – The lottery-bound Knicks are dead last in the Eastern Conference and I see little help on the way. I expect Phil Jackson to continue dumping as much salary as he possibly can.

The Hornets have won eight of their last ten and have pulled within a half game of the eight spot in the Eastern Conference. Strangely enough though the Knicks come in on a three-game winning streak.

Trends: The total has gone OVER in five of the Knicks’ last seven games… The total has gone UNDER in six of Charlotte’s last seven games at home… New York is 3-7 against the spread in their last ten games against the Hornets… Charlotte is 4-1 straight up in their last five games at home.

The Pick: Take the Hornets to cover and the OVER.

Kidd
Jason Kidd has made the Bucks competitive despite the loss of Jabari Parker.

Detroit (-2) at Milwaukee – The Pistons have won seven of their last ten games as they continue to play well in the weeks since Josh Smith was sent packing. Although they are currently in the 10th spot in the East, they are just a game behind Brooklyn for the all important eight spot.

The Bucks sit at 21-21 and not surprisingly they have gone 5-5 over their last ten games. The loss of Jabari Parker to his ACL injury was a tough blow but Jason Kidd has kept this team competitive with good defense.

Trends: The Pistons are 12-3 straight up in their last 15 games… The total has gone UNDER of 12 of Milwaukee’s last 13 games… Detroit is 0-5 against the spread in their last five games against the Bucks… The total has gone OVER in five of Milwaukee’s last seven games against the Pistons.

The Pick: With the Pistons being better on the road then at home, I like them to cover and I like the UNDER.

Philadelphia (+16) at Memphis – At 8-35, the Philadelphia 76ers are going nowhere and now they have to try without guard Troy Wroten is out with a knee injury. The Sixers have lost four straight and are just a half a game ahead of the New York Knicks who have won three in a row.

Memphis has won six of their last ten and currently resides in the second spot in the Western Conference. Although the Grizzlies have been good at home (17-5), the Sixers are actually better on the road than they are home.

Trends: Philly is 1-8 straight up in their last nine games on the road… The total has gone OVER in five of Memphis’ last seven games… The Sixers are 2-4 against the spread in their last six games when playing on the road in Memphis… The Grizzlies are 5-1 SU in their last six games at home against Philadelphia.

The Pick: Take Philly getting the points and the OVER.

Washington (-4.5) at Portland (O/U 195.5) – The story here is obviously “life without LeMarcus” in Rip City. Portland’s all-star big man is out six to eight weeks with a hand injury. Portland currently resides in the third spot in the West but common sense tells us that won’t last. The question is just how long can the Blazers hang on without Aldridge?

For the Wizards, they are in the second spot in the Eastern Conference and trail the Atlanta Hawks by six and a half games. Washington needs to pay closer attention to Toronto and Chicago who are just a game behind them. The Wizards will go as John Wall goes and he’ll be challenged by good guard play in Portland.

Trends: The total has gone UNDER in four of Washington’s last six games… Portland is 1-5 straight up in its’ last six games… The Wizards are 3-6 against the spread in their last nine games in Portland… The Blazers are 2-4 SU in their last six games against the Wizards.

The Pick: I like the Blazers to halt their two game skid and take the UNDER.

Wednesday NBA Quick Picks: Feb.20

With the NBA back from its All-Star break, there will be a lot for bettors to keep track of today. There are 11 games in action in the Association today, but don’t worry. We’ve made it easy by providing you with the winning quick picks. Check ’em out!

Memphis Grizzlies +1.5 at Toronto Raptors -1.5

The Raptors may have one of the worst records in the NBA, but they’ve stepped up their game since acquiring Rudy Gay in a trade from Memphis as winners of their last five games. However, the Grizzlies have also continued to win despite losing Gay and are currently on a four-game streak of their own. This will be the first meeting between the teams since the trade.

The Raptors got the better end of the trade, but the Grizzlies are still be far the better team. Take Memphis to cover +1.5 today.

Detroit Pistons -3.5 at Charlotte Bobcats +3.5

The Bobcats only have 13 wins on the season, but one of them came against the Pistons in the teams’ only other meeting this season. This time around, the Bobcats will have the home floor, but the last time they won back-to-back games was back in November. Go with the better overall team and take Detroit to cover -3.5 on the road.

New York Knicks +4 at Indiana Pacers -4

These two will renew their long-standing rivalry for the third time this season, as the Knicks and Pacers have split the previous two games between each other. The Knicks are coming off a two-game losing streak, but should be refreshed after the break, while the Pacers have dominated opponents at home with a 21-5 record. Look for Indiana’s defense to be the difference and for the Pacers to cover -4 today.

New Orleans Hornets 0 at Cleveland Cavaliers 0

Since both teams have been equally horrendous this season with similar records coming into tonight’s game, the odds makers are going easy on us and giving us an even line. Honestly, this one really is a toss-up though. Since Cleveland has the home floor, take the Cavs to win this one.

Miami Heat -5 at Atlanta Hawks +5

The Hawks have been superb at home this season (17-9), but the Heat have been superb everywhere and they are playing their best basketball of the season at the moment, as they are currently on a seven-game winning streak. Look for the Heat to make it eight in a row by covering -5.

Brooklyn Nets +3 at Milwaukee Bucks -3

The Bucks have gotten the better of the Nets so far this season, winning two of the previous three match-ups, but Brooklyn is coming in with plenty of momentum as winners of its last three. Look for the Nets to keep it going by winning on the road and covering +3.

Oklahoma City Thunder -2.5 at Houston Rockets +2.5

This match-up should be the highest scoring of the day, as it boasts the league’s top two scoring teams, but it’s a match-up the Thunder have dominated lately, winning the previous two meetings this season by more than 20 points on each occasion. Even on the road, take the Thunder to cover -2.5.

Philadelphia 76ers +3.5 at Minnesota Timberwolves -3.5

Although Minnesota has played better at home than on the road, they haven’t fared well without Kevin Love in the lineup, losing eight of their last 10 games. Look for the 76ers to take this one, covering +3.5.

Orlando Magic +10.5 at Dallas Mavericks -10.5

Yes, the Magic are 1-9 in their last 10 games, but the Mavericks haven’t been fantastic either, making their massive favoritism in this one unwarranted. Orlando should be able to cover +10.5 in the loss today.

Boston Celtics +7 at Los Angeles Lakers -7

I’m sorry, but the Lakers shouldn’t be getting seven points against anybody right now, much less a Celtics team that has won eight of their last 10 games. This should be easy money. Take Boston to cover +7 against the floundering Lakers.

Phoenix Suns +8.5 at Golden State Warriors -8.5

Normally I would love the Warriors here against the Suns, but as losers of their last six games, the Warriors confidence is obviously shaken. Their last win was in fact against Phoenix a couple of few weeks back and they did win by more than 8.5, but that was then and this is now. The Warriors should have enough to snap the streak, but they aren’t playing their best ball right now, so take the Suns to cover +8.5.

 

 

Tuesday Betting Tips: NBA Basketball

The Celtics and Nuggets go head-to-head Tuesday night in a game that could shine the light on what to expect from both teams for the rest of the season.

Feeling a bit deflated by All-Star weekend? You’re not the only one. Those things used to be fun, right? Alas.

Well, the good thing about the All-Star break is that with its climax the NBA begins for real and everything is up for grabs. By the end of Thursday’s trade deadline we’ll know who has gone where and more importantly, who hasn’t gone anywhere.

After that, we’ll have eight weeks to find out if the Lakers can turn it around; if San Antonio can keep ahead of the rest of the West; if Miami is about to win a second title; and all those other questions that have been brewing over this first half.

Let’s get things started then with the NBA’s return to action on Tuesday night. As usual, Casino Review has picked out three games that should be of interest. Today though, we start with one you’re probably planning on avoiding.

 

Charlotte Bobcats @ Orlando Magic

7:00 PM ET

With seven combined wins between them this calendar year, a skirmish between the Bobcats and Magic isn’t exactly appealing. Even fans of the two teams are planning on boycotting this one.

But, for Casino Review at least, there’s something uncomfortably alluring about watching the two worst teams in the league square-off. Maybe it’s the thought that these two could end up with the No. 1 and No. 2 pick in June’s draft, although with the luck these sides possess, they’ll probably fail at the lottery as well. Regardless…

As far as futility goes, Orlando (15-37, 9-18 home) has topped the Bobcats of late. Since earning a win over the Wizards on Dec. 19, the Magic has gone 3-24 (.111), tallying losing streaks of 10 games and 12 games during that period. The Central Florida side is 2-12 (.143) at home during that time.

Orlando has the added hassle of dealing with Hedo Turkoglu’s suspension.

It doesn’t read much better for the Bobcats. Charlotte (12-40, 5-21 road) has lost 15 of the last 18 games. The side has failed to exceed 100 points in each of its last nine games – 41 of 52 all told this season – and has succumbing to seven straight road losses. The last time the Bobcats won on the road was Jan. 18. However, that night the side defeated Orlando.

While most won’t care who comes out of this one with the ‘W’, both teams have the opportunity to start afresh following the break.

Favorite: Orlando Spread: 6 Total: 202.5

This Season: Orlando defeated the Bobcats 107-98 in Charlotte on Dec. 15. That was the 11th loss of what would turn out to be an 18-game losing streak for the Bobcats. Charlotte defeated the Magic 106-100 on Jan. 18, handing the Florida side its first loss in what would become a 12-game losing streak.

Take: CHARLOTTE – Orlando has home advantage but it hasn’t made anything of that this entire season. The Magic looked like it had lost the plot before the break, and there’s little to suggest that they’ll find it again. If the side trade J.J. Reddick going forward, it will become the bottom of the barrel. The Bobcats can score an upset on Tuesday night, but take the total to go under.

 

Boston Celtics @ Denver Nuggets

9:00 PM ET

Once the bad taste of Charlotte-Orlando is out of your mouth, tune in for the best game on Tuesday’s schedule as the Nuggets host the Celtics.

Having navigated key injuries for the three weeks or so, Boston (28-24, 8-15 road) is about to find out if it can keep afloat in the playoff race. The Celtics play 10 of the next 12 on the road, starting with this trip to the Mile High City.

The Celtics won seven straight following Rajon Rondo’s season-ending injury (six of which were at home) and have taken eight of the last nine. Their road record is less desirable though. The Celtics have lost four of the last five on the road and have tallied just three road wins this calendar year.

Meanwhile, Denver (33-21, 22-3 home) will be looking to put the skids on a three-game losing streak. Prior to that trifecta of losses, the Nuggets had won nine straight, 15 of 17, and looked like the hottest team in the league. The side will be happy to be home on Tuesday night.

The Nuggets have won seven straight at home and 12 of the last 13. The side has dropped just three games at the Pepsi Center all season. That trend has seen the side enter this game as a healthy favorite.

Favorite: Denver Spread: 7 Total: 205

This Season: Boston scored a 118-114 overtime win over the Nuggets in Bean Town on Feb. 10.

Take: DENVER – The Celtics’ road woes could illuminate their fragile roster in this upcoming road stretch. They certainly will against Denver. The young Nuggets will run at the Celtics and keep the tempo high, and even Boston’s solid defense will leak points. Take the Nuggets (32-22-0 ATS, 17-8-0 ATS home) to cover, with the total going over – mainly thanks to Denver’s scoring.

 

Golden State Warriors @ Utah Jazz

9:00 PM ET

The third of our picks features a side looking to rebound from a pre-break slump and one looking to remain consistent.

Golden State (30-22, 14-15 road) dropped five straight heading into the All-Star break, compelling many to ask if the honeymoon season the Warriors have been enjoying is about to go south? Mark Jackson’s side will look to return to winning ways in Salt Lake City on Tuesday.

Golden State has found it tough on the road of late, dropping four straight and seven of the last nine.

Meanwhile, Utah (30-24, 20-6 home) continues its consistent play. Having won two straight, four of six, and six of nine, the Jazz is just one-game back of the Warriors for the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference. With five wins from the last six home games, the side – which has been linked to Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe via the rumor mill – will fancy its chances against the Warriors.

Favorite: Utah Spread: 4 Total: 203.5

This Season: Golden State defeated Utah 94-83 in Salt Lake City on Dec. 26.

Take: GOLDEN STATE – With a refreshed squad, the Warriors will pull off the upset here but whether the team can return to its earlier form remains to be seen. Take the total to go over.

 

Remaining NBA Schedule (Tuesday)

Toronto @ Washington

Milwaukee @ Brooklyn

Memphis @ Detroit

Chicago @ New Orleans

San Antonio @ Sacramento

LeBron James Enjoys Career-Best Shooting Night in Heat Win

The Miami Heat have already proven that they are the team to beat in the Eastern Conference this season, but on Monday night LeBron James showed that he and the Heat are on a mission to not only win the East again, but to repeat as NBA champs.

Sure, they were playing one of the worst teams in the NBA – the Charlotte Bobcats – but the Heat still looked impressive in their 99-94 win at home, and James undeniably stole the show as he scored 31 points and drained 13 of 14 field goals, a new personal career-best.

Even for LeBron, 13-14 is pretty good

“I didn’t plan it that way, I was just attacking when I could, got into the paint and was able to make some shots,” said James, via ESPN.com.

James hit nine shots within two feet or closer and tied for the third best shooting performance in NBA history with at least 14 attempts in the last 18 years.

Although James led the way, the other two-thirds of the Big Three chimed in as well. Chris Bosh scored 23 points and Dwyane Wade put in a huge effort with 20 points and a season-high 12 rebounds as the Heat improved to 19-3 at home this season.

“I got a lot of my own misses, too. I was missing a lot of chippies, but I was just trying to be aggressive,” said Wade, who tied his career-high with six offensive boards. “When your shots aren’t falling you have to find some way to affect the basketball game and give your team a chance to win.”

The Heat won their ninth game in their last 10 contests and by the end of the night, remained atop the East standings by a half game over the Knicks, who also won against Detroit in the same evening. The victory also kept the Heat atop the futures odds – not just for the East, but for the entire NBA at 19/10 to win the title.

With the way they are playing, there’s little doubt they are the favorites to win the East, but with the bevy of talented teams coming out of the West this season, can they realistically be considered the overall favorite?

Based on records alone, there are three teams better than the Heat at the moment, including the Clippers, the Spurs and the Thunder, but of course, playoff time is a different story. When you have James, Wade and Bosh on your team, it’s hard to bet against you.

However, the Heat will definitely get some serious competition come playoff time and if they do make it to the finals, they’ll have to face a more than formidable opponent. I think 19/10 is a bit too generous for the Heat, even though they looked fantastic in their most recent win.

Monday Night Football and Basketball Tips

Having beaten Philadelphia and Dallas over consecutive weeks, Washington looks to make it a trifecta of division wins against the Giants on Monday Night Football.

Monday night serves up a big NFC East divisional encounter as well as a six-game slate in the NBA. CasinoReview’s got you covered with our pick of the action on this first Monday of December.

 

NFL: New York Giants @ Washington Redskins

8:30 PM ET

Washington (5-6, 2-3 home) welcomes the New York Giants (7-4, 3-2 road) to FedEx Field tonight for Monday Night Football. This storied rivalry has some added flavor to it thanks to the compact NFC East standings.

A win for Washington will mean that both the Redskins and Cowboys are just one game behind the Giants with four to play. That means a small margin for error for all involved.

The two sides met earlier this season, with the Giants narrowly emerging victorious in a contest that ended 27-23. That game saw Robert Griffin III tally 258 yards through the air and 89 yards on the ground. A similar performance and we could be seeing another upset to go with the six that emerged from Sunday’s slate.

That Giants victory snapped a two-game Washington winning streak in the head-to-head series. However, it is New York that has had the run of this rivalry of late, winning 10 of the last 13 and 12 of 15 since Tom Coughlin arrived in town.

The Giants’ fairly sturdy rush defense will be up against the best rushing team in the league; Washington averages 163½ yards on the ground per game. The Redskins have won two straight games, scoring a total of 69 points. Both teams know how to pile the points on, ranking No. 5 and No. 6 respectively in scoring this season.

Odds: The Giants opened as 2½-point favorites, a number that has since risen to three. The over/under is 51.

Take: NY Giants – As much as it would be a great storyline for the Redskins to take a hat-trick of wins against division opponents in three weeks, the Giants will prove to be a little too much tonight. Take the Giants to cover the spread, but don’t be surprised if this is decided by a field goal. Despite both teams being high-scorers, take the total to go under; 51 points is a big ask in a tight divisional game.

 

NBA: Portland Trailblazers @ Charlotte Bobcats

7:00 PM ET

It may not be one of the NBA’s glamor matchups, but this could be a chance to make a little cash at the expense of your bookie.

After a very surprising start to the season, Charlotte (7-8, 5-4 home) has lost three straight, falling below .500. Meanwhile, Portland (7-10, 3-7 road) has lost five of the last seven and is floundering at the bottom of the Northwest Division. It’s highly unlikely that this will be a pretty game, but it’s one that the Bobcats can win. After all, Portland is the one and only casualty of the not-very-formidable Washington Wizards.

Odds: Portland is a two-point road favorite heading into Time Warner Cable Arena, with the over/under at 195.

Take: Charlotte – The fact that Portland is considered favorite plays into your hands here. The Bobcats may not have the best home record in the league, but that record is better than the Blazers on the road. Take the total to go under; points may well be at a premium.

 

NBA: Orlando Magic @ Golden State Warriors

10:30 PM ET

Orlando (6-10) took down the Lakers on Sunday night, claiming some bragging rights of sort in the wake of the debacle that was the Dwight Howard trade. That victory gives the Magic six wins on the season, enough to beat out four teams in the East. Basically, Orlando has had and will continue to have a tough time of it this season.

The Magic will visit Oakland on Monday night to take on the Golden State Warriors (10-6). After years of bottom-feeding, the Warriors are top of the Pacific Division, and whilst it’s far too early to get overly excited about that fact, the Warriors’ recent play – seven wins in nine games – suggests this may be a team about to turn the corner. And a team the Magic is not going to want to face.

Odds: Despite Sunday night’s win over the Lakers, the Magic are underdogs (+9½) with the over/under at 196.

Take: Golden State – The Magic will struggle in the second night of a back-to-back, giving the high-octane, hard-rebounding Warriors the advantage. Take the Magic to cover the spread though, and the total to go under.

 

Remaining NBA Fixtures (Favorites highlighted)

Cleveland @ Detroit | Milwaukee @ New Orleans | Toronto @ Denver | LA Clippers @ Utah

Monday Night Football, Basketball Betting Tips

Chicago QB Jay Cutler is out. San Francisco QB Alex Smith may be too. Expect a defensive display on Monday Night Football.

There’s a big ol’ battle brewing out on the West Coast tonight as the Chicago Bears travel to San Francisco. We already know Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler (concussion) is out, but we’ll have to wait until closer to game time to find out whether his San Francisco counterpart, Alex Smith (concussion), will be absent too.

Monday Night Football closes out Week 11 of the NFL just in time for Thursday’s Thanksgiving festivities and football kicks off.

Meanwhile, the NBA hosts a seven-game slate Monday night headlined by a showdown between early Western Conference frontrunners San Antonio and the L.A. Clippers.

Read on to pick-up a few handy tips that could be the difference between a payout and an empty wallet come Tuesday morning.

 

NFL: Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers

8:30 PM ET

Monday night’s ‘Concussion Bowl’ resonates with serious implications, both in terms of game results and the health of players. Whichever team loses – providing there is a loser; take note San Francisco – will be facing a loss of momentum thanks to last week’s results: a loss for the Bears and a tie for the Niners.

It’s unlikely that Chicago (7-2, 3-1 road) would have been favored heading into this one even if Cutler was taking the field, but the Bears’ defense always ensures there’s a chance. The offense is a different story though.

A victory for San Francisco (6-2-1, 3-1-1 home) will open up some valuable daylight between the Niners and the trailing Seahawks, who are idle this week.

Odds: San Francisco opened as 4½-point favorites but news of Cutler’s absence has increased the spread to seven with some bookmakers. The over/under is a paltry 36½.

Take: San Francisco – Yes the Niners potentially have an advantage with Cutler definitely being out and Smith maybe absent. But forget that. Here’s a reason to bet on the Niners; the Bears have not won in San Francisco since October 13, 1985. Yes, 1985! That period encompasses seven straight losses, and while this sort of record was meant to be broken, don’t expect it this season. Take the Bears to cover the spread in a close game, with the total going under; this could easily end up 14-10 or similar.

 

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks @ Charlotte Bobcats

7:00 PM ET

Let’s be honest, Milwaukee and Charlotte aren’t the first two names you expect to see on a list of intriguing NBA match-ups but welcome to the 2012-13 NBA season.

The Bucks (6-2, 3-0 road) are actually one of the Eastern Conference’s frontrunners so far this season, leading the Central Division and one of only six teams with a winning record in the East.

The Bobcats (4-4, 3-2 home) meanwhile are one victory from having a winning record in a season that has looked, well, not terrible so far this season. They’ve beaten the Pacers, Mavericks and T’Wolves, so it’s not all about beating up on the Wizards – they’ve done that too – so there’s a little hope floating around North Carolina.

Odds: The Bucks are a rare road favorite on Monday’s NBA slate, with the spread at 3½ in Milwaukee’s favor. The over/under is 193½.

Take: Milwaukee – Expect Monta Ellis and the Bucks to take their unbeaten road streak with them to Miami on Wednesday, whilst covering the spread in this one. Take the under on the total; while the Bucks are high-scorers (5th in the league), the Cats won’t keep their end of the scoring bargain.

 

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers @ San Antonio Spurs

8:30 PM ET

After an impressive start to the season, the Los Angeles Clippers (7-2, 2-0 road) faces a first tough road trip of the season, a four-gamer that commences in San Antonio (8-2, 4-1 home).

The Clippers knocked off the Spurs at Staples two weeks ago so there’ll be a waft of revenge in the air. The Spurs lost a close game to New York on Thursday before bouncing back on Saturday against the Jekyll and Hyde-like Nuggets.

Odds: The hometown Spurs are favorites (-5) with the over/under at 199½.

Take: San Antonio Spurs – Five wins on the bounce for the Clippers, including victories over the Spurs, Heat and Bulls, would suggest that an upset here wouldn’t be the biggest surprise, but San Antonio is a tough place to go and get a win (the Spurs had the league’s best home record last year). Expect this to be close though, with the Clippers covering the spread, while the total goes under.

 

Remaining NBA Fixtures (Favorites highlighted)

Indiana @ Washington | Orlando @ Atlanta | Denver @ Memphis | Golden State @ Dallas | Houston @ Utah

Tuesday Night in the Association

Mike Brown is gone; Mike D'Antoni is in waiting; the Lakers need to beat the Spurs.

Did you notice the NBA prize some of the limelight away from the NFL this past weekend? Mike Brown’s exit in Los Angeles certainly caused more than a few pairs of eyes to glance away from football in the direction of the soap opera that was – emphasis on the was – the search for a new Lakers head coach.

Tuesday night there’ll be more eyes on the Association as it hits television screens across the country almost unimpeded – there is the small matter of a 24-hour NCAA basketball marathon – and sure enough, those headline-grabbing, attention-seeking Lakers are on the bill.

Here’s a look at some of Tuesday’s notable match-ups and how they may well pan out.

 

New York Knicks @ Orlando Magic

First up, New York (4-0, 1-0 road) puts its undefeated streak on the line with a trip to Orlando (2-4, 2-1 home).

Since starting the season a surprising 2-0, Orlando has shown its true colors with a four-game losing streak, including a home-and-away series with Brooklyn this past weekend. Magic fans need to get comfortable now; long losing streaks are going to be a trend this season.

New York meanwhile has performed better than expected. This isn’t a case of beating league doormats either; the Knicks have played solid teams. The Knicks look to move to 5-0 for the first time since 1993-94 and for only the third time in franchise history. Both teams that previously hit that mark went to the Finals, with the 1969-70 Knicks winning the title.

Odds: New York enters the game as favorites (-7) with the over/under at 188½.

Take: New York – It would be silly to think that this is an unstoppable Knicks team (it isn’t) but the Magic simply don’t match up well. Expect Carmelo Anthony to have another strong performance as New York covers the spread again. Take the total to go under.

 

Washington Wizards @ Charlotte Bobcats

Next up, Washington (0-5, 0-3 road) looks to win its race with Detroit, scoring a first victory of the season before the lowly Pistons. To do so, the Wizards will need to knock-off Charlotte (2-3, 2-1 home) on Tuesday night.

Despite a slew of injuries, the Wizards will be hoping to better last season’s 0-8 start, coincidentally the same record Detroit currently has.

Charlotte’s overtime win over Dallas on Saturday put the stopper on a three-game losing streak. Predicted to finish last in the league again this season, a second win on the bounce would do wonders for the team’s confidence.

Odds: Winless Washington starts as underdogs (+1½) with the over under at 189½.

Take: Charlotte – The Bobcats might not have been the most impressive team on the court this season, but they certainly have enough to take down the Wizards. Take the Cats to cover the spread, with the total going under in a low-scoring affair.

 

San Antonio Spurs @ Los Angeles Lakers

After that, it’s time for the big one. San Antonio (6-1, 3-1 road) returns to the scene of its one loss this season, Staples Center, looking to pile some more pressure on the Los Angeles Lakers (3-4, 3-2 home).

Los Angeles will be without new head coach Mike D’Antoni, who is not expected to be on the sidelines until Friday – against Phoenix, fittingly enough – so Bernie Bickerstaff (2-0) will look to guide the Lakers to another victory.

The Spurs meanwhile will be looking for a third win on the bounce, and a third victory in four against the Lakers.

Odds: Los Angeles opened as favorites but San Antonio has nipped ahead to a 1½-point advantage. The over/under is 194½.

Take: San Antonio – Steve Blake joins Steve Nash on the trainer’s table meaning the Lakers are shallow at the point. That means Tony Parker will have the green light to run all over the Lakers. The Spurs’ deep bench will also be a decisive advantage over the Lakers’ very shallow bench. Take San Antonio to cover the spread, although a win all but assures that, with the total going under.

 

Tuesday’s Full Schedule (Favorites highlighted)

New York @ Orlando (7 PM ET)

Toronto @ Indiana (7 PM ET)

[email protected] Charlotte (7 PM ET)

Cleveland @ Brooklyn (7:30 PM ET)

Portland @ Sacramento (10:00 PM ET)

San Antonio @ LA Lakers (10:30 PM ET)

Picking NBA Division Winners

 

We’re less than one week away from tipoff in the 2012-13 NBA season. While much of the next six days will be taken up with the World Series, now’s the time to get ahead on your NBA betting.

Over the past two weeks, here at CasinoReview we’ve provided you with the latest odds to aid you picking Eastern and Western Conference champions, the MVP, as well as individual props for scoring, rebounding and assists.

Now we’ll give you the inside scoop on which teams to pick as division winners. Some might surprise you. Some certainly won’t. And remember, while you might not make a lot of money on one single bet, a parlay of all six winners could score you a bucketload [pun most definitely intended!].

 

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Deron Williams and the Brooklyn Nets have a new identity and outlook, something that could take them to the top of the Atlantic Division.

Atlantic Division

2011-12: Boston (39-27) | New York (36-30) | Philadelphia (35-31) | Toronto (23-43) | New Jersey (22-44)

The Atlantic looks set to be a bit of a crapshoot this season, with four of the five teams (sorry Toronto) realistically having a shot at winning the division. Whether that’s a sign of improvement within the division is debatable.

Boston certainly doesn’t look improved, and whilst losing one ‘team player’ rarely makes a huge impact, Ray Allen’s departure could do just that. Is New York better? Maybe. The Knicks are certainly older. How about Brooklyn? Joe Johnson makes the side better for sure, as does a stable lineup – no more Dwight Howard talk, yet – so yes. Philadelphia has Andrew Bynum, who could own the division, if he wants.

Odds: Boston (11/10) | New York (9/4) | Brooklyn (4/1) | Philadelphia (9/2) | Toronto (100/1)

Take: Brooklyn — This might be considered bandwagon jumping, but the Nets are certainly better than last year’s record suggests. A new identity and outlook could do wonders for this team. Philadelphia’s another dark horse that could make some noise.

 

Central Division

2011-12: Chicago (50-16) | Indiana (42-24) | Milwaukee (31-35) | Detroit (25-41) | Cleveland (21-45)

Like last season, the Central will be contested between Chicago and Indiana. The remaining three sides have very little hope of achieving anything this season.

Chicago will have to face ‘X’ amount of time without superstar guard Derrick Rose, something that hurt the side badly last season. Preseason results have gone the way of the Bulls though. Indiana meanwhile has undergone very little change and will be hoping experience and familiarity carry through.

Odds: Chicago (5/6) | Indiana (1/1) | Milwaukee (22/1) | Cleveland (50/1) | Detroit (50/1)

Take: Indiana — Without Rose, the Bulls look very ordinary and unless Carlos Boozer is prepared to show up, very beatable. Indiana is deep, not with big name players, but with consistent players. Expect the Pacers to jump out to an early lead in the division. If and when Rose returns, then the Bulls may challenge.

 

Southeast Division

2011-12: Miami (46-20) | Atlanta (40-26) | Orlando (37-29) | Washington (20-46) | Charlotte (7-59)

The Southeast is likely to be a snorefest this season. Miami has improved with the addition of Ray Allen and will garner national attention all the way to the playoffs. Nobody can dispute that. The rest of the division though, well…

Atlanta is worse. Orlando is worse. Washington is, well, an unknown. Charlotte could be better, but that starts with coaching. One thing’s for sure; Michael Kidd-Gilchrist won’t find his introduction to the NBA quiet as plain-sailing as Anthony Davis in New Orleans (not that things look easy for the Hornets).

Odds: Miami (1/25) | Atlanta (10/1) | Orlando (50/1) | Washington (50/1) | Charlotte (150/1)

Take: Miami — It may be an obvious choice, but this is a division that will be lucky to have two teams make it to the postseason. If you’re looking for an exciting bet, take both Washington and Charlotte (yes, Charlotte!) to finish above Orlando. There’s nothing magic about the Magic this year.

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE

With the addition of Dwight Howard, the Lakers are favorites to win the west but they'll face stiff competition from cross-hallway rivals, the Clippers.

Northwest Division

2011-12: Oklahoma City (47-19) | Denver (38-28) | Utah (36-30) | Portland (28-38) | Minnesota (23-40)

Oklahoma City has been the talk of the northwest for a couple of years now and that looks no different this season. With pretty much the same roster in place, this is a team that is built for long playoff runs.

Elsewhere in the division, Minnesota looks to make huge strides on last year, providing injury allows such. A second-year Ricky Rubio may well be the point guard to watch this year. Meanwhile, the jury’s out on Denver – Andre Iguodala may not be the answer – and Portland, while Utah looks to have made zero improvement this offseason.

Odds: Oklahoma City (1/9) | Denver (6/1) | Minnesota (30/1) | Utah (30/1) | Portland (40/1)

Take: Oklahoma City — Like the rest of the west, the Northwest is unlike to herald a new division winner. Simply put, the Thunder looks better that the rest. Fans of those other four may want to start praying for injuries.

 

Pacific Division

2011-12: LA Lakers (41-25) | LA Clippers (40-26) | Phoenix (33-33) | Golden State (23-43) | Sacramento (22-44)

The Lakers made big moves. The Clippers made small, but vital, moves. The Suns almost took a complete overhaul approach. The Warriors and Kings made few moves of note. The Pacific looks like it’ll be a two-horse race again this season.

Odds: LA Lakers (1/4) | LA Clippers (3/1) | Golden State (50/1) | Phoenix (75/1) | Sacramento (75/1)

Take: LA Lakers — In fairness, the Pacific could be the most competitive division in the west. A cross-hallway battle between the Clippers and Lakers will almost certainly be close. The overall result may well depend on how quickly the new-look Lakers are able to gel as a team. Take the purple and gold in the long-term, but expect a tough fight.

 

Southwest Division

2011-12: San Antonio (50-16) | Memphis (41-25) | Dallas (36-30) | Houston (34-32) | New Orleans (21-45)

San Antonio certainly didn’t make a huge splash in the free agent market this summer but the front office did make the one move they needed to; re-signing Tim Duncan. Dallas meanwhile wished it could have made a big splash. With Deron Williams committing to Brooklyn, the Mavs now look like a ragtag assortment of ill-fitting pieces. Rick Carlisle has worked with worse though. Houston signed Jeremy Lin, hoping that ‘Linsanity’ will propel the team forward. Don’t hold your breath just yet. Memphis will quietly go about business and be there when the postseason comes calling.

Odds: San Antonio (5/8) | Memphis (3/1) | Dallas (7/2) | Houston (20/1) | New Orleans (50/1)

Take: San Antonio — There’s a reason the Spurs have won nine division titles in 14 seasons (the Tim Duncan era, if you will). As with the rest of the west, it’s an obvious pick but it’s all but impossible to see beyond Gregg Popovich – the best coach in professional basketball – and his battle-proven team.

NBA Eastern Conference Preview

The revamped Miami Heat are favorites to win both the Eastern Conference and the NBA Championship heading into the upcoming season.

Following on from Tuesday’s Western Conference Preview, today CasinoReview weighs in on all things Eastern Conference.

The right coast came out on top last year as the Miami Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 4-1 in the Finals, earning the franchise its second championship and Lebron James his first.

This year, the Heat will look to repeat, something no Eastern Conference teams has done since Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls completed the three-peat in 1998. In fact, the Eastern Conference as a whole hasn’t won two straight championships since Jordan’s famous jump shot in Salt Lake City. Can Miami’s superstar team buck that trend?

 

The Beast of the East

It should come as no surprise that oddsmakers have made the Miami Heat, at 5/8, the favorites to win the Eastern Conference. Actually, at 9/4, Miami is favorites to win it all, ahead of the Lakers and Thunder in the west.

Miami managed to add more talent to its roster this offseason, signing free agents Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. Allen is looking for a second NBA Championship – having won one with Boston in 2008 – and apparently likes his chance more in South Beach than Bean Town. Who wouldn’t? About to enter his fifteenth year in the league, Lewis is looking to win his first.

The addition of the two former Seattle Supersonics teammates undoubtedly makes Miami a better side. Allen proved invaluable for Boston again last season, despite having to sit out a chunk of the season with injury. Lewis has always had talent, but played for some terrible sides. He follows in the footsteps of the likes of Juwan Howard, Jerry Stackhouse and Mike Bibby, journeymen who all arrived in Miami with championship hopes.

But is the East really a one horse race? Sadly, it appears so. A retooled Miami looks to have stepped up another rung on the ladder, while the rest of the conference, as we shall see, may have taken a step back. Whether Miami can win the NBA Championship is a question for another day though.

 

Stormy Times in the Windy City

Somehow, oddsmakers seem to believe that the Chicago Bulls (6/1) are the second best team in the East. If that’s the case, there’s no hope for those wanting to see somebody, anybody, challenge the Heat.

Chicago’s offseason has been a rough one. Derrick Rose’s ACL injury will keep him out until at least January, and if the team proceeds cautiously as it has suggested it will, that date could be pushed back much later. Will Rose miss an entire season? It’s not beyond imagining, although it I unlikely.

Without Rose, the Bulls look beatable. Carlos Boozer has not proven to be the leader he needs to be. He’ll be further thwarted by the absence of Omer Asik, who bolted for Houston. The Turk played well last season and his replacement Nazr Mohammed isn’t up to scratch. Then there’s the signing of Vlad Radmanovic, who has pretty much failed at every stop of his career. Things really aren’t looking good in the Windy City.

 

Rounding Out the Top Five

The thing is, it’s not just Chicago that could have problems in the East this year. The entire conference – Miami aside – looks a little worn. That shows up in the next three picks in oddsmakers rankings.

Boston (8/1) is third favorites to take the East crown. But just how good will the Celtics be?

We all know of the C’s aging roster, and we saw how it caught up to the team last season. Why would this year be any better, especially with the loss of Ray Allen?

A full training camp may get the team better prepared for the start of the season – something wildly lacking last year – and the signing of Jason Terry from Dallas is a good move, although at 35-years-old, he’s hardly a spring chicken. But can this side compete? Will we see the front office pull the trigger midseason and begin rebuilding? We’ll find out, starting in just three weeks.

After Boston, the rebooted Brooklyn Nets and the retooled New York Knicks close out the Top Five, both with odds at 12/1 to take the East.

Brooklyn is certainly the ‘hip’ team coming into the season, but having Jay Z in the owner’s meetings and a bunch of players weighed down by truckloads of cash doesn’t make a team. Only on-chemistry will do that, and that’s an uncertainty coming into the season. The addition of Joe Johnson is a good move. The resigning of Deron Williams is a very good move. Passing on Dwight Howard? That might be the best move for a team that doesn’t need off-court distractions. The Nets may well be the most interesting team in the East.

The Knicks aren’t going to shy away from water-cooler talk either. So fans are upset that Jeremy Lin will ply his trade in Houston, but the chances of Lin succeeding under the spotlight of MSG were slim at best. Veterans Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby and Ronnie Brewer suggest the team is looking to win now, but the only way that will happen is if somebody finds a way for Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire to play together. Raymond Felton at the point could be a disaster waiting to happen as well.

 

In Brief

Indiana (14/1) made the moves it needed to this offseason – basically resigning Roy Hibbert, who may not be the league’s best center, but he’s the best center for the Pacers – and will be better than advertised.

Orlando (60/1) – considered better than Cleveland, Toronto, Washington (all 100/1), Detroit (125/1) and Charlotte (200/1) – are worse than advertised and will be lucky to finish above two of those sides listed.

Philadelphia (18/1) will be an interesting watch, if nothing more, as they try to woo Andrew Bynum, who arrived as part of the blockbuster Dwight Howard to the Lakers deal. Philly looked good at the tail end of last season and into the playoffs, and are potentially better this year. Bynum’s less-than-professional-at-times attitude could prove costly though.

 

So there you have it. Now’s the time to get your preseason bets in. Unsurprisingly, the Heat, Lakers and Thunder are currently taking the most money, but could 2012 be a season where a surprise team comes from nowhere and wins it all? It doesn’t look like it on paper, but sometimes those papers lie. That’s why we watch the NBA.

 

Eastern Conference Odds

Miami 5/8 | Chicago 6/1 | Boston 8/1 | Brooklyn 12/1 | New York 12/1 | Indiana 14/1 | Philadelphia 18/1 | Atlanta 35/1 | Milwaukee 60/1 | Orlando 60/1 | Cleveland 100/1 | Toronto 100/1 | Washington 100/1 | Detroit 125/1 | Charlotte 200/1

 

NBA Championship Odds

Miami 9/4 | L.A. Lakers 5/2 | Oklahoma City 5/1 | Chicago 12/1 | Boston 18/1 | San Antonio 18/1 | L.A. Clippers 22/1 | Brooklyn 30/1 | Dallas 30/1 | Indiana 35/1 | Memphis 35/1 | New York 40/1 | Philadelphia 40/1 | Denver 66/1 | Atlanta 75/1 | Houston 75/1 | Minnesota 90/1 | Golden State 100/1 | Orlando 100/1 | Phoenix 100/1 | Portland 100/1 | Utah 100/1 | Milwaukee 125/1 | New Orleans 150/1 | Cleveland 200/1 | Sacramento 200/1 | Toronto 200/1 | Washington 200/1 | Detroit 250/1 | Charlotte 300/1

 

*Odds correct as of October 9, 2012, provided by Bovada.