Hawks host Wizards, Bulls visit Rockets and More…

The Wednesday night calendar in the NBA has a number of good matchups to choose from and here are three.

Washington at Atlanta

The Atlanta Hawks are looking to start another winning streak after their 19-game streak was snapped by the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.
Atlanta has allowed 100 points or more, only six times over their past 20 games played. However, in its past 5 games played, Atlanta is just 1-4 ATS. The Hawks are 10-0 in their past 10 games played at home including a 31-point rout of Washington in January.

Washington lost two straight at home before hitting the road to Atlanta. The Wizards are 0-7 ATS in their past 7 games overall.

In a 92-88 loss on Monday, the Wizards were only able to score 37 points during the second half against Charlotte. Washington is 1-4 SU over its past 5 games at home.

As a road dog this season, the Wizards are 3-7 ATS, while 1-4 ATS on the road versus teams from the Southeast division.

Chicago at Houston

Chicago has had four days of rest leading up to this game while on a road trip of six games. Chicago will try to break a skid of two games. The road trip started well with an overtime win over Golden State, as 11-point road dogs. However, the Bulls lost consecutive games to the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns. In Phoenix, the Bulls covered the spread as a seven-point dog. The Bulls have yet to lose three straight his season, while going 4-0 SU off two straight losses.

Houston starts a three game stay at home after losing at Detroit 114-101 on Saturday as a favorite by four points. The Rockets loss snapped a winning streak of four games for Houston.

Houston has won six of its past seven home games, while going 6-2 straight up and 4-4 ATS in its past eight home games against opponents from the Eastern Conference.

Oklahoma City at New Orleans

New Orleans is the hottest team against the spread in the NBA at this time covering 6 of its past 7 games. New Orleans ended the 19-game winning streak of Atlanta on Monday with a 15-point victory as a home dog by 3 points.

New Orleans won the first two head-to-head games vs. the Thunder this season, with two underdog outright wins. The teams will conclude a home and home set on Friday in Oklahoma City.

Kevin Durant has a toe injury and is doubtful. The Thunder is 2-4 SU and 0-6 ATS in its past six games.

Miami Looks to End Series with Game 6 Win over Indiana

Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals will take place tonight in south Florida when the Indiana Pacers visit the Miami Heat. The Heat is leading the series 3-2 and can eliminate the Pacers with a win tonight.

If Indiana can will at American Airlines Arena, the series will return to Indiana for a seventh and deciding game on Sunday.

The current line at Bovada and topbet has Miami favored by 7.5 points. At sportsbook.com and betonline, the point total for the over/under has settled in at 183.5.

Miami could have eliminated Indiana in Game 5, but could not close out Indiana at Indiana on Wednesday. The Pacers were able to win 93-90 thanks to a superb second half by shooting forward Paul George.

Miami is 3-2 ATS in this series but are playing at home were they have dominated in the regular and postseason. Miami in the postseason over the last three years is 12-2 SU and 9-5 ATS at home. However, over the past three years, Indiana has a record of 5-1 ATS when taking part in a Game 6 during the postseason. Indiana is 3-0 ATS during this postseason when they have faced elimination.

However, they are playing a Miami team that has a record of 39-19 ATS when revenging a loss against the same opponent over the last three seasons.

This is the first time in three rounds that Miami has been extended to a sixth game in a series. In round one, they swept Charlotte in 4 games and defeated Brooklyn in 5 games in round 2.

The Heat hopes to get Chris Andersen back after the big man missed the past two games due to a thigh contusion.

The Pacers were helped in Game 5 by center Roy Hibbert who scored 10 points and grabbed 13 rebounds while playing 38 minutes. In Game 4, Hibbert was held scoreless but was not forced the ball in Game 5 and seemed to be more into the flow of the game.

Lance Stephenson played solid for Indiana in Game 5 but it was the play of George that helped Indiana to its win. George scored 31 of this game high 37 points during the second half of play. He also scored 21 points during the final quarter including two key 3-pointers

Miami came close to ending this series Wednesday and did so without LeBron James being a factor. James picked up two early fouls in the game and ended up playing  just 24 minutes while scoring a career playoff-low 7 points.

However, at home James has averaged over 27 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals per game during the postseason.

The Heat will look to finish off the series tonight and not have to travel and face Indiana on the Pacers home court in a seventh game.

I like the Heat to win straight up in this but will take the Pacers and the points to cover.

Three Game 6 on Tap in NBA on Friday

Friday night’s NBA playoff schedule features three Game 6 matchups. The San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors and Portland Trail Blazers can all advance to the second round with wins tonight.

The Houston Rockets backs are against the wall trailing to Portland Trail Blazers 3-2 in their best of seven series. On Bovada and topbet, the Trail Blazers are favorites by 3.5 points at home.

Houston won game 5 in Houston after holding LaMarcus Aldridge to just 8 points. He was double teamed early and often, as Dwight Howard would help Omer Asik as soon as Aldridge touched the ball.

Houston controlled the boards, received another solid game from Howard and Jeremy Lin filled in at the point and scored 21 points.

Pick: Houston 104-99

The Toronto Raptors visit the Brooklyn Nets in a game 6 matchup. The Nets at home are a 5-point favorite on betonline and sportsbook.com.

Both teams have complained about the officiating in the series. The Raptors hold a 3-2 edge in the series but Nets head coach Jason Kidd complained during a call on Thursday about his team’s loss on Wednesday 115-113. He said his team might have to start flopping more to get more calls from the officials.

In this series according to data from Bovada, the dogs have covered the spread in 4 of the 5 games. As a favorite at home, Brooklyn is 0-2. If the Nets are to win and force a seventh game, they will need better play from veterans Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

Pick: Toronto 97-91

The San Antonio Spurs visit the Dallas Mavericks and are favored to win on the road. A win for San Antonio will close out the series. The Spurs said Tony Parker their star point guard sprained an ankle in Game 5 but played through the pain. He is scheduled to play tonight. The Spurs won Game 5 at home 109-103 to take a 3-2 lead in the series.

On many books, such as topbet and betonline the Mavericks were able to cover for the fifth consecutive game versus San Antonio.

Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter led Dallas on offense once again.

While Dallas has kept games close and won two of the first five games, the Spurs seem to be getting their swagger back as before this series, San Antonio had defeated Dallas eight consecutive times.

Dallas just does not have the guns to stay with the Spurs. The Spurs have three veterans in their 30s – Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and the ageless Tim Duncan. Those three along with the recent fine play of big man Thiago Splitter has helped the Spurs.

Pick: San Antonio 109-98.

Miami Double Digit Chalk at Home, Houston Giving a Half Dozen to Portland

Wednesday night NBA playoff action tops the sports betting calendar. Houston looks to salvage a split at home, while Miami looks to take 2-0 lead in its series.

Charlotte vs. Miami

Odds makers have Miami at -10.5, with the point total on 186. On Monday, Al Jefferson a starting forward for Charlotte was wearing a walking boot on his injured foot. He has said he will suit up and play Game 2, but how effective he will be remains to be seen.

According to data taken from Bovada, sportsbooks.com and topbet, Charlotte has lost 17 straight games to Miami. The current line reflects that as it has increased from Game 1’s line of -9.5 for Miami.

Game 1 ended with a Miami 11-point victory, but was closer than the score of 99-88 indicates. The Bobcats trailed by just five during the final quarter, while Jefferson had to play through pain to score 18 points and grab 10 boards. The Bobcats outrebounded Miami by 6 on the night.

Betonline data shows that Charlotte has covered the spread in just 2 of its past 10 games versus Miami.

Miami in game one was led by LeBron James with 27 and Dwayne Wade with 23. The Heat hit 10 more free throws than Charlotte on the night.

Miami cruised through the majority of the regular season. However, the Heat has turned it up near the end especially at the defensive end.

The rest Wade received sitting out 28 games seems to have rejuvenated the veteran. Miami once again is playing like the best team in the East and possibly the entire league.

One observer says the best bet on this matchup is the UNDER as 186 is exceptionally high. He calls the UNDER play on this game, one of the best of any of the offerings for the three Game 2’s tonight.

Portland vs. Houston

The Houston Rockets are favored -6 over the Portland Trail Blazers with the point total on 214.5 for Game 2 of their best of seven first round series in the Western Conference.

Portland received 46 points from LaMarcus Aldridge to defeat Houston in overtime in Game 122-120. According to Bovada, home teams that come off a loss in the playoffs are 103-75 ATS since 2005.

The past 8 head-to-head games between the Blazers and Rockets have all ended OVER, with an average of 227 points scored.

In Game 1, overtime was needed to push the total over, but triple digits have been reached by both teams in each of the past eight games between the two.

In Game 1, Aldridge did damage from everywhere on the court, including going 2-for-2 in three point shots.

Houston managed to hit just 8 of its 35 shots from three-point range but missed 14 of its 40 free throws.

Houston has covered the spread in just 3 of its past 12 games played.

The OVER is a definite play in this matchup and I like Houston as well less the 6 points.

Bulls laying 4.5 at home to Wizards, Rockets Giving 5 to Trail Blazers

The NBA first round playoffs series opening games continue with two late games on Sunday featuring the Washington Wizards visiting the Chicago Bulls and the Portland Trail Blazers visiting the Houston Rockets.

WashingtonWizards vs. Chicago Bulls

Washington this season was 44-38 straight up and 43-38-1 against the spread. Chicago was 48-34 SU and 41-40-1 ATS.

Current line: Bulls -4.5 Point Total: 180.5

Washington leapfrogged the Brooklyn Nets on the last day of the regular season to take the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. Bovada data shows that this is Washington’s first visit to the playoff since 2008, while Chicago qualified for the sixth consecutive season.

Topbet shows that Washington won two of the three regular season games between the two teams. They defeated Chicago, in Chicago 102-88 in January as a road dog by 2.5 points.

The teams split their two games played in the nation’s capital. Chicago won the most recent matchup 96-78 earlier in April, holding the Wizards to only 26 points in the first two quarters combined.

As a road dog, the Wizards were 17-8 against the spread through February, but over their final 5 games as a dog on the road, the Wizards were just 1-4 against the number.

Chicago was 27-15 straight up at home this season, but only 20-21 against the spread. Chicago was 10-3 SU to end the season and has won 8 of its past 10 games at home.

As a favorite at home since the start of the New Year, the Bulls covered 12 of their 19 games, including a record of 6-3 SU and ATS while a favorite of five or less points.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets

Current line: Rockets -5 Point Total: 214.5

Portland this season finished with a record of 54-28 SU and 44-38 ATS. Houston straight up was also 54-28, while against the spread finished 40-40-2.

This season the teams played head to head four times with Houston winning 3 of the 4. Portland lost both games played at Houston this season.

Each of the four head-to-head games between Houston and Portland finished OVER on the point total. In one game, on January 20 Houston won 126-113 and hit 16 three-point shots.

Portland has a losing streak of 8 straight games on the road against playoff teams from the Western Conference. During March, the Trail Blazers were just 3-8 SU and 5-6 ATS, according to data taken from sportsbook.com and betonline.

Houston was at home was 33-8 SU and 22-17-2 against the number. Since the beginning of February, the Rockets were 9-6 against the number, but faced just four playoff teams from the Western Conference during that period beating Portland, Oklahoma City and San Antonio.

Over the past 14 games Houston has played at home, the OVER has cashed in 12, while the Rockets scored 100 points or better in all 14.

Four NBA First Round Series Tip Off on Saturday

The NBA Playoffs start Saturday with four first round series tipping off and another four on Sunday. The first round series do not always present attractive opportunities to wager as postseason upsets, most notably in the opening round, rarely occur.

According to data from Bovada and topbet, only two series in the first round this season have a favorite opening at under 2 to 1 odds.

The Brooklyn Nets might attract some bettors. The Nets are the only team that is favored to win their series against an opponent, the Toronto Raptors, that is a higher seed.

Here are the games on tap for Saturday

Brooklyn vs. Toronto – April 19 – 12:30 p.m.

The opening line for Game 1 has Toronto -2 with the point total on 194. The moneyline on the series is Nets -130 and Raptors +110.

The two teams split their 4 games during the regular season. However, betonline and sportsbook.com show that Brooklyn is 0-5 against the spread in its last 5 games. Each team won one game at home and one on the road in their 4 head-to-head games.

Series Pick: Nets in 6 games

Golden State vs. Los Angeles Clippers – April 19 – 3:30 p.m.

The opening line for Game 1 is Clippers -7, with the point total sitting on 211. The moneyline has the Clippers at -380 and the Warriors at +320.

While there might be some value to the Clippers at 10 to 1 in the NBA futures, this series could be a dangerous one for Los Angeles.

If Golden State can get three-point output from Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, Los Angeles could find themselves in trouble. In close games, the foul shooting of DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin could hurt the Clippers. However, with the experience of head coach Doc Rivers, it is hard to bet contrary to the series line in this one.

Series Pick: Clippers in 5 games

Atlanta vs. Indiana – April 19 – 7:05 p.m.

The line for Game 1 is Indiana -7.5 with the point total sitting on 186. The moneyline has Indiana at -600 and Atlanta at +450.

The series will be closer than many would expect. In each of the four games head to head this season, Atlanta has played Indiana tough, winning twice. Earlier in April, the Hawks routed the Pacers 107-88.

However, since the rout, Indiana is 3-1 SU and ATS. Atlanta however is 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS over its past 5 games.

Series Pick: Indiana in 6 games.

Memphis vs. Oklahoma City – April 19 – 9:35 p.m.

The current line on Game 1 is the Thunder -7, with the point total on 192.5. The current moneyline has Oklahoma City at -360 and Memphis on +300.

Last season Memphis eliminated Oklahoma City from the postseason. However, this season is different as Russell Westbrook is healthy and playing well.

Memphis is not as good a team as it was late season, but has won 5 straight entering the series. Oklahoma City has the league’s top scorer in Kevin Durant and the explosive Westbrook.

Series Pick: Oklahoma City in 5 games

Some Really Good Games on the Docket Tonight in the NBA

Durant
Durant
Kevin Durant and the Thunder welcome the lowly Sixers to OKC tonight in the NBA.

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.

Wade
Dwyane Wade's resurgence has been a key for the Heat's seven game winning streak.

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.

NBA Monday: Grizzlies Short Chalk on the Road, Bulls Road ‘dogs

The NBA has just one quarter of the regular season left and teams are jockeying for position. Certain teams are fighting for the best record in the league, others for home court advantage in the postseason and some for any one of the eight spots available.

On Monday, two games highlight the NBA lineup and both involve teams with a chance to make the postseason.

Grizzlies vs. Wizards

Memphis visits Washington in a matchup of two teams with similar records. The Grizzlies are 33-25 SU and 26-30-2 ATS, while the Wizards are 31-28 SU and 33-25-1 ATS.

Washington is riding a winning streak of six games and returns home after two wins on the road against Philadelphia and Toronto.

The Wizards defeated Philly in a rout as a favorite by 11 points on Saturday. Since a skid of four games ATS, the Wizards are 12-5-1 ATS over their past 18 games. However, the Wizards per Bovada are just 1-9-1 ATS over their past 11 games as a favorite at home.

Memphis was a strong UNDER play in January when center Marc Gasol returned. However, on topbet, betonline and sportsbook.com, the Grizzlies are on a current run of six straight OVERs.

Memphis has alternated between a win and a loss over its past five games played including a comeback win over Cleveland on Saturday in which they outscored the Cavs by 25 points during the second half.

The teams played head to head last month with Memphis winning 92-89 but the Wizards cashed, as they were an underdog by 4.5 points.

Bulls vs. Nets

The Bulls have improved their position in the playoff race in the Eastern Conference. Chicago routed the New York Knicks on Sunday by 19 points as a favorite by 6.5 points.

Chicago has won 9 of its past 10 games overall including a run of 4-1 SU and ATS on the road during that period.

This season the Bulls have won both head-to-head meetings with Brooklyn including a Christmas Day victory in the Big Apple 95-78.

The Nets have not played at home in three weeks and were 4-2 SU and ATS on their recent six-game road trip. The Nets covered the number on Saturday winning by 9 points over Milwaukee as a favorite of six points.

The Nets have won four straight at home, while covering on three occasions of late with wins over New Orleans, Charlotte and San Antonio.

As the postseason approaches, Chicago sits in fourth place and Brooklyn in sixth in the Eastern Conference. If the season ended today, the Bulls would open the postseason at home against Washington and the Nets on the road against Toronto.

Rockets, Clippers Focus of Big Night in the Association

Griffin
Griffin
Blake Griffin and the Clips host the red-hot Rockets tonight in LA.

Fans often forget that the NBA season can be grueling. It’s one thing to be able to sleep in your own bed and drive into the arena in your own car but being on the road is another thing altogether.

Each year teams like the Rockets get kicked out of their homes for as much as two weeks or more because the rodeo or some other event is in town. Right now, it’s the Golden State Warriors who can relate to this and their game with Chicago is on my slate for tonight.

Houston (+5.5) at LA Clippers – The Rockets are coming off a game late last night in Sacramento so my number will be a little off heading into their showdown with the Clippers this evening.  The Rockets have strung together an impressive nine wins in the last ten games and they find themselves in the third spot out west a half game up on tonight’s opponent.

The Clippers may be pulling things together at the right time as they’ve won two straight and six of their last ten. LA went into New Orleans on Monday night and defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 123-110 behind 13 assists from Chris Paul.

The assist numbers aren’t surprising considering they are 3rd overall in the NBA in that category. Houston defeated Phoenix 115-112 behind 25 points and nine rebounds from Dwight Howard. I like the streaking Rockets and love them getting the points tonight as well.

 

Lillard
The Blazers have had a great season behind the play of Damian Lillard.

Brooklyn (+3.5) at Portland – As difficult as the Knicks are to figure out these days, the team across town isn’t much different. The Brooklyn Nets are just a half a game from falling from the sixth spot to the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. Then again, they are just 4.5 games from being the third seed. Such is life in the East these days.

The Blazers are finding themselves in the fifth spot in the Western Conference but could just as easily be in the third spot by the end of the night. The good news is that they have a spread of 3.5 games between them and Golden State who is currently sixth.

The Nets come to Northern California off a 108-102 win against the Lakers. Deron Williams poured in 30 points for Brooklyn in the win. Portland returns home after a game on the road in Denver last night.

Either way, I expect the Blazers behind their top scoring and top rebounding team in the league to cover.

Golden State (-3) at Chicago – You have to hand it to the Chicago Bulls. Derrick Rose goes down again with a season-ending injury yet they refuse to pack it in for the second straight year. Granted, the horrific Eastern Conference has a lot to do with them being able to be where they are but still…

The Bulls are currently the fourth seed in the East and have a 1.5 game lead over fifth seed Washington. Chicago has won six of ten and did lose their most recent game against the Heat in Miami although they did tip off last night against Atlanta.

When they return home, they’ll have the Golden State Warriors waiting for them. Golden State will have to deal with the NBA’s second best defensive unit in Chicago and will look to use their offense to generate just enough.

The Warriors most recent win was a 104-96 win over Detroit in which Steph Curry led the team with 19 points.  This is the second of a six-game road trip for Golden State and is arguably their toughest game outside a trip to Indiana.

Despite playing pretty solid defense themselves, I like the Bulls getting the points tonight.

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 sportsbook.com, 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.