Two Games Highlight NBA Sunday Schedule

Two great match ups highlight the NBA schedule on Sunday. In one game, the Miami Heat visits the Chicago Bulls and in the other, the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Oklahoma City Thunder.

According to Bovada and topbet, Chicago is favored by 8.5 points over Miami with the point total at just 187.

Miami on the season is 19-24 SU and 19-22-2 ATS. On Friday night, the Heat defeated Indiana 89-87. However, Miami did not cover as a home favorite by 3.5 points.

Chicago is 29-16 SU and 20-25 ATS. On Monday, the Bulls were routed by Cleveland, but defeated San Antonio as a home dog by 5.5 points and then defeated Dallas as road dogs by 6 points.

Miami is on a streak of 10 straight UNDERs. The Heat during that stretch has held eight of 10 opponents to fewer than 100 points.

The first meeting between the two teams this season saw Chicago defeat Miami in Miami 93-75 and easily cash as a road favorite of 7 points.

Joakim Noah has returned for Chicago after missing four games due to an injured ankle.

Chicago has covered only two of its last nine games as a favorite at home.

During that span, Chicago has lost as a double-digit home favorite outright to the Nets, Magic and Jazz.

The Cleveland Cavaliers looked to have awoken. While going through a horrible run while star LeBron James was out injured, Cleveland is currently enjoying a run of 5-0 SU and ATS. The Cavaliers are 5-1 SU and ATS since James has returned.

On Friday, the Cavaliers routed Charlotte 120-90 to cover easily as a favorite by 10 points.

Oklahoma City is 22-21 SU and 20-212 ATS. The Thunder is currently 3-1 on a road trip of five games. OKC beat the Magic, Heat and Wizards in their first three games of the trip but were defeated by the Hawks 103-93.

The Cavs lost to the Thunder in their December game in Oklahoma City 103-94. The Thunder cashed as a 7.5-point favorite at home.

That was the Thunder’s first cover in the last four games versus the Cavaliers.

With LeBron playing, Cleveland is 12-2 SU 8-6 ATS in its past 14 games played at home.

Cleveland is 4-4 against opponents from the Western Conference at home. As the favorite at home against teams for the West, the Cavs are 4-2 ATS.

As an underdog this season, the Thunder is 10-9-1.

This game should be high scoring with a wide-open atmosphere.

Second Half of First Round NBA Series Tip Off Sunday

The first round of the NBA playoffs starts on Saturday with four games on tap. On Sunday, the second half of the first round games tip off.

Odds makers have set the lines, point totals and offered an array of props, but now after four days of rest the teams will tip off their first games on Sunday afternoon and evening.

Dallas vs. San Antonio – April 20 – 1:05 p.m.

The early game on Sunday features the Dallas Mavericks the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference against the No. 1 seed and the team with the best overall record in the league, the San Antonio Spurs.

The game line on Bovada has San Antonio at -9, with the point total on 206.5. For the series, the moneyline has the Spurs at -700 and the Mavericks on +500.

It is tough to see how there is any way Dallas can win this series. History indicates it is unlikely to happen. San Antonio has defeated Dallas in nine consecutive regular season meetings and has covered the spread in each of the four games during the regular season.

San Antonio against the spread at home this season is just 20-21, while Dallas on the road this season is 24-17 against the number.

Series Pick: San Antonio in 4 games

Charlotte vs. Miami – April 20 – 3:30 p.m.

The line at topbet has Miami at -9.5, with the point total on 198.5. The moneyline for the series has Miami at -2500 and Charlotte at +1500.

Miami was 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS in its four games against Charlotte in the regular season. Since Miami’s Big Three have been together, Charlotte has never defeated Miami. Charlotte has won three consecutive games and 8 of their past 9. The large spread in today’s game is a possibility to cover for Charlotte.

Series Pick: Miami in 5 games

Washington vs. Chicago – April 20 – 7:05 p.m.

On betonline, the line for game 1 has Chicago -5 with the point total on 182. The moneyline has Chicago -185 and Washington +165.

Chicago might have the best value at 15 to 1 to win this year’s Eastern Conference. The club has fine-tuned its defense and off their great defense score offensively.

Since February 9, the Bulls are 24-9 straight up and will be tough on the Wizards.

Series Pick: Bulls in 5 games

Portland vs. Houston – April 20 – 9:35 p.m.

The line on has Houston at -5.5, with the point total sitting on 215. The moneyline has Houston at -200 and Portland at +175.

Following a strong run during February and mid March, Houston has only covered the spread in 3 of its past 11 games.

Dwight Howards has played little over the past three games and missed eight games prior to that. Howard played exceptionally well in the four games this season against Portland. Houston was 3-1 straight up against Portland this season. Portland is 5-0 SU over its past 5 games overall.

All four of the games between the two teams finished OVER, so the high total of 215 should not be worrisome.

Series Pick: Houston in 6 games

Heat Looks to Improve Futures Odds with Win Over Portland

Is there a crack in the armor? Is the Heat playing coy with the rest of the league or is the team one step slower than the past two seasons?

Questions are being asked as the Heat are just 4-6 over their past 10 games and have slipped to No. 2 on the latest futures boards of Bovada, topbet and to win the 2014 NBA title.

Miami had been closing in on the top spot in the Eastern Conference. In early March, the Heat was just a game behind the Pacers for the top spot and home court advantage throughout the conference playoffs until they lost 6 of their next 10 games.

Miami is currently 47-21 straight up and 32-35 against the spread. The Heat will host the Portland Trail Blazers who are also struggling having dropped 6 of their past 10 games overall.

LeBron James vented a bit of frustration after the last loss by the Heat to the New Orleans Pelicans 105-95. The reigning MVP said there were too many excuse being made. When something goes wrong, there is always an excuse. If the ball is turned over, it is an excuse. James said it was simple, the team was not playing good enough at this time. He called the situation very frustrating.

After the New Orleans defeat, the record for the Heat dropped to 4-6 SU over their past ten, while on betonline the team is 3-7 ATS over its past 10 games played.

Tonight, James and his teammates look to get back to their winning ways when they meet Portland. The Trail Blazers are 45-25 SU and 37-33 ATS. Portland was considered by many to be one of the top clubs in the Western Conference earlier this season, but over the past month has fallen back to fifth in the conference standings, one and a half games behind fourth place Houston.

Portland is 4-6 SU and 5-5 ATS over its past 10 games played according to data taken from Bovada. LaMarcus Aldridge the team’s leading scorer and rebounder has not played for five straight games, but Portland has managed to go 3-2 without him. With the big man in the lineup, Portland will have a far better chance against Miami.

The Heat still can grab the top seed in the conference as they have two more games head to head with Indiana, who takes on the Chicago Bulls in Chicago on Monday night.

The postseason standing for Portland is not has solid as for Miami. Currently in fifth place in the West, the Trail Blazers should not fall from the top eight, but could drop as far as 7 or 8 if they cannot tighten up their play on both ends of the court.

Heat Laying 4.5 Against Houston

The NCAA might be getting all the hype over this conference tournament weekend but the NBA schedule has a number of good matchups, including the Miami Heat hosting the Houston Rockets.

The Heat have struggle of late and will tip off at home versus Houston at 3:30 pm.

Since the heat last played Houston, nearly two weeks ago, the team has been playing poorly. The current line on Bovada and has Miami favored by 4.5 points.

On betonline and topbet, the point total for the game is currently sitting on 209.

Miami has won 44 of its 63 games SU and 30 of its 63 ATS. The Heat owned a winning streak of 8 games and was 7-0-1 ATS in those same eight, when it played Houston March 4. The Heat lost that head-to-head battle in Houston 106-103 after playing at home against Charlotte the previous night.

Miami losing to Houston at Houston was not all that surprising or alarming. However, what has taken place since certainly can be described as worrisome.

The Heat has lost five of its past six games overall while going 1-5 against the number in those same six games. The Heat lost its last two games overall at home. Brooklyn defeated the Heat 96-95, while Denver won 111-107. In both games, the Heat was at least a 9-point favorite.

Over those same six games, LeBron James is scoring just 20 points per game, while his season average is nearly 27 points per game. James has handed off some of the offense, especially down the stretch in the fourth quarter to teammate Dwayne Wade, but that formula is not working out.

Miami is now three games behind the Indiana Pacers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. With only 19 games left in the regular season, the Heat must find a way out of this funk.

The Rockets this season are 44-21 SU and 33-29-3 ATS. The Rockets have not fared much better losing the first two of a three game road trip. The Rockets lost to Oklahoma City 106-98, as a dog by 4.5 points and to the Chicago Bulls 111-87 as a favorite by 3.5 points.

Before those two losses, the Rockets had won 5 straight and 15 of their past 17.

James Harden is averaging 24.5 points per game to lead Houston, but had only 8 in the loss against Chicago.

Miami is 1-5 straight and against the spread over its last six games. The UNDER has cashed in 4 of the past 5 games Miami has played.

The Rockets are 0-3 against the number in their last three games. Houston has covered 4 of the past 5 games playing at Miami.

The OVER has cashed in 5 of the last 6 games between the two teams.

Pick: I like Miami to cover and the OVER to cash out.

Mavericks Lay Short Price at Madison Square Garden

The Olympics have passed and the NBA has taken center stage once again in betting circles around the world.

The NBA on Monday night has only five games on its schedule. In one of them, the Dallas Mavericks are on the road against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. The Mavericks are laying a short price in the game.

In another matchup, the Golden State Warriors head to the Motor City to take on the Detroit Pistons.

The Knicks and high scorer Carmelo Anthony have one of the worst records against the spread at home this season in the NBA.

New York is 21-35 straight up and 23-33 against the spread. They continue their poor play and are burning bankrolls of bettors across the country.

The Knicks have lost 8 of their past 10 games straight up and 7 of their past 10 against the spread. The Knicks are well off the pace to make the playoffs even in the weak Eastern Conference.

Dallas this season is 34-23 SU and 32-35-1 ATS. The Mavericks have given themselves a cushion of two games in the eighth and final playoffs spot in the Western Conference standings.

The Mavericks are 8-2 SU over their past 10 games played and have been one of the best teams at covering the spread in the league.

Dallas is 20-10 ATS on the road, making them one of the best cover teams on the road in the NBA. The Knicks on the other hand are just 10-20 ATS at home, making them one of the league’s worst cover teams at home.

On Bovada and, the current line has Dallas favored on the road by 3.5 points with the point total sitting on 205.

On January 5, the Knicks won 92-80 in Dallas as 6.5 road dogs, the last time the two teams met. The game finished well UNDER the point total line of 202 on topbet and betonline.

Eight of the past 12 games Dallas has played on the road finished UNDER. The total for tonight’s matchup is higher than the total for the first meeting between the two teams, which was 202 and the teams scored just 172.

The Knicks have one of the slowest paced games in the league. I like the UNDER.

Golden State vs. Detroit

The Golden State Warriors are 34-22 SU and 26-28-2 ATS. The Warriors have won three straight games and have covered in 7 of their past 10 games.

Detroit is 23-33 SU and 25-31 ATS. They have played well at home this season and are 13-18 ATS record at home.

Golden State is 10th in the NBA in scoring. However, they are surprisingly one of the NBA’s best teams on the UNDER. The UNDER has cashed in the past three Warriors games and in 32 of the 56 they have played this season.

The teams played at Golden State back in November with the Warriors winning 113-95, which covered a 9-point spread, while the OVER cashed on a 204.5 line.

The line on this game has not been released, but I like the Warriors and the UNDER.

So You Want to Bet the NBA All-Star Game Huh?

Kobe Bryant was selected to his 16th All-Star Game but will sit this one out with an injury.

The NBA All-Star Game tips off tonight in New Orleans and features a lot of new, young players. Kobe Bryant was selected as a starter, but will won’t play and we can’t be sure just how much Dwyane Wade can contribute either. Regardless, the All-Star Game always features great individual performances and big-time plays as well.

Eastern Conference All-Stars (+4) vs. Western Conference All-Stars – The fact that this spread is not larger considering the overwhelming dominance of the Western Conference this year is a bit surprising. What this speaks to are a couple of things. First, the individual talent in the Eastern Conference is pretty good relative to the talent in the West and secondly; this game features absolutely no defense so that evens the playing field considerably.

The Western Conference has won three straight All-Star Games and four of the last five. This year, the West is again the favorite and rightfully so. The West is loaded with scorers from Kevin Durant, James Harden and Steph Curry to Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge.

The East isn’t exactly without guys who can score the basketball. LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving all can pump in 30 points in a game where defense will be little if at all.

Can an eye on Hibbert who could dominate the game with blocks and rebounding tonight.

The over/under tonight is 293 (over -105/under -115). I find this number very intriguing because only once in the last ten years has this total gone the way of the over. There was once where it hit 291, but most totals still came in far under the 293.

What you’ll need to decide is whether this game will meet all the hype in terms of the scoring that’s expected. Here’s why I think you need to think about the under tonight; Dwyane Wade may start and play but he’ll be limited by the knee that’s hampered him all year. Don’t expect anything out of him.

The East will also feature seven players in their first or second All-Star Game and of that group, I’d really only expect big scoring out of Irving and maybe John Wall.

The West’s issue with scoring is less but still an issue. Kobe Bryant was voted as a starter but will not play because of his leg injury. The guards that will see more action in his absence are James Harden, Tony Parker, Damian Lillard and Chris Paul. Those guys could certainly pick up any slack left by Bryant but to what extent?

I really believe you’ll see 293 threatened but I don’t believe you’ll see it surpassed. Take the under tonight.

As for as the game tonight in terms of the spread, I really like the West despite big scoring games from both Anthony and James from the East. There’s just too much firepower on the Western Conference squad so I like them to cover.

MVP Odds

Your two favorites are Kevin Durant (5/2) and LeBron James (15/4) and there is absolutely no way we should discount either of them. In the case of Durant you might just want to take him and run the way he is scoring but where is the fun in taking the favorite?

Middle of the road favorites include Anthony Davis (13/1), James Harden (15/1) and Chris Paul (18/1). Of that three-pack I really like Harden because he can go off quickly and do it from downtown or by driving to the hoop.

If you’re looking for a real long-shot to lay some money on then consider Joe Johnson, Paul Millsap or Roy Hibbert at 75/1. Of this trio I really like Hibbert because he will be the only guy who will play consistent defense. If he collects a double-double and threatens a triple-double, he’ll have a great shot.