Three NBA Games I Like Tonight

George
George
Paul George and the Eastern Conference-leading Pacers head to Atlanta tonight.

College Football has come to a close and the National Football League is now well into the playoffs. While I prepare to make my NFL Divisional Round picks later this week, I’m turning my attention today to the National Basketball Association.

The news of the week has centered around trades and potential trades. The Chicago Bulls traded Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andrew Bynum and then immediately cut Bynum after the trade was completed. The move saves the Bulls about $15 million.

This trade happened while there are several others that are or were in the discussion phase. First, the Lakers were trying to trade Pau Gasol for Bynum in an effort to save $20 million but that has obviously fallen through. There has also been a rumor about the Clippers trading Blake Griffin to New York for Carmelo Anthony but that seems to be nothing more than a gossip.

Don’t forget too that Denver has made it known that guard Andre Miller is on the market. Basically, the wheeling and dealing in the NBA has just gotten underway and we aren’t even to the All-Star Break yet.

On to tonight’s games.

Indiana (-6) at Atlanta -The Eastern Conference’s best team heads South to Atlanta with a three-game winning streak and an 8-2 run over their last ten. The Pacers are tied with Miami at 11-5 for the conference’s best road record and have a 12.5 game lead over second place Chicago who just traded one of their best players.

The good news for the Hawks is they are in second place in the Southeast Division. The bad news however is immense. They trail Miami by nine games, have lost three straight and have lost Al Horford for the season due to injury. Despite giving seven points tonight, take the Pacers to cover.

Love
Kevin Love leads the T-Wolves against Phoenix tonight.

Phoenix (+7.5) at Minnesota – The surprising Suns head to the frigid Midwest trailing the Clippers and Warriors by just two games in the Pacific Division. They are coming off a five-point loss to Chicago last night so they’ll be playing on limited rest.

The Timberwolves find themselves 9.5 games back in the Northwest Division, but they rank second in the NBA in scoring with more than 107 points per game and they also rank in the top ten in rebounding and assists per game.

I expect a high-scoring affair tonight in Minneapolis which will be led by Kevin Love and his more than 26 points per game. I like Minnesota to win, but I like the Suns with the points.

Orlando (+12.5) at Portland – The Blazers dropped a 123-119 game to struggling Sacramento last night and I have no doubt that they’ll be re-focused this evening. They sit just a game behind Oklahoma City in the Northwest and got a bit of help as the Thunder lost last night as well. The secret to the Blazers’ success isn’t a secret. They rank first in scoring and third in both rebounding and assists per game. The Achilles’ heel however may be that they rank 27th in points allowed so they can be scored upon.

Orlando enters having lost four in a row and sits in the cellar of the Eastern Conference’s Southeast Division. At 10-24, there isn’t a lot to feel magical about for Orlando as they continue a stretch on the West Coast. The combination of Portland losing to a lesser team in Sacramento last night and weak Magic team coming to Rip City spells trouble in my mind for Orlando.

Although 12.5 is a tall order for any NBA team, I think this is a situation where Portland can handle it. Take the Blazers to cover.

NBA Trade Deadline Winners and Losers

Although some minor deals were completed before the NBA trade deadline yesterday, there wasn’t a lot of action in terms of volume or significance, at least it may seem that way on the surface. The deals that went through under the wire actually may have a larger impact on the remainder of the regular season that some bettors realize. And as always, some teams came out with the short end of the stick, while others took advantage of the better part of the deal. Let’s take a look at a couple of winners and losers from the 2013 NBA trade deadline.

Winner – Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks definitely came out on top in a deal they made yesterday with the Orlando Magic. Both teams gave up and received three players, but the trade was highlighted by J.J. Redick, who was shipped to the Bucks.

The Bucks – currently in eighth place in the East – certainly needed a boost on the perimeter and they couldn’t have picked up someone much better than Redick, who is 11th in the league in three-pointers made. Redick is also having a career year, averaging 15.1 points this season. Big win for the Bucks here.

Loser – Orlando Magic

Sure, the Magic saved some cap space by shipping Redick, but what kind of talent did they get in return? Beno Udrih, Tobias Harris and Doron Lamb. Things don’t quite add up here. Orlando didn’t help themselves much with this trade because none of these guys has much future potential and since the Magic didn’t secure a pick in the trade, don’t expect them to improve much next season either.

Winner – Portland Trail Blazers

The Blazers, who are in 9th place in the West, were also in need of a push and it looks like they got it by bolstering one of their weaknesses – the backup point guard spot. They haven’t had anyone to fill in for rookie sensation Damian Lillard when he needs a rest, that was until they picked up Eric Maynor from the Thunder. The Blazers also won by not having to give up a player and instead sent a $2.2 million trade exception. So, if Maynor doesn’t work out at the position, Portland can consider him a rental and release him at the end of the season since his contract expires at the end of the 2012-2013 campaign.

Loser – Sacramento Kings

Some would argue the Kings came out a winner from their deal with the Rockets on Wednesday after acquiring Houston’s fourth-leading scorer Patrick Patterson, but considering they had to let go of the highly valuable Thomas Robinson to get him, it looks like the Kings’ already bleak future got a little bleaker.

The Kings – who are likely headed to Seattle soon – threw away their 2012 first-round draft pick Robinson to get under the salary cap, which they did, but they also threw away a player with almost unlimited potential. There’s a reason they drafted him fifth overall, but there’s not a good reason for trading him away so soon.

 

 

 

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

Thursday NBA Betting Tips

Kevin Garnett and Carmelo Anthony will get to try out some more of their Dancing With the Stars moves on Thursday night as the Celtics host the Knicks in Boston.

Thursday night sees the NBA resort to its shortened TNT schedule with a trio of games that really could prove to be a mixed bag.

The marquee match of the evening takes place in TD Garden where Boston hosts New York. Meanwhile, Toronto and Orlando will be embroiled in a bottom-dwelling dogfight, while the Clippers look to return to winning ways with a trip to the desert.

Here’s Casino Review’s picks for tonight’s action.

 

Toronto Raptors @ Orlando Magic

7:00 PM ET

The jubilance of Sunday’s win over the Lakers didn’t last long for Toronto (15-27, 4-18 road). The Raptors lost to Miami in overtime on Wednesday night, and now face a second straight Florida night.

Meanwhile, Orlando (14-27, 8-14 home) returned from Detroit with the wrong kind of streak still intact. The Magic has now lost three straight and 14 of the last 16. That streak includes two losses to tonight’s opponent.

The Raptors have proven to be a nightmare for the Magic this season, winning three games, two of which came – as tonight’s game will – at the tail end of a back-to-back.

Toronto enters the game with a slight edge in scoring, and ranks as the No. 3 team in the league when it comes to turning the ball over. Orlando won’t like the sound of that, particular as the Florida side is last in the league in steals.

This Season: The Raptors have beaten Orlando in all three games this season, including a 35-point blowout the last time the two met (Dec. 29).

Odds: Orlando is favorites, with the spread at 4. The over/under is 199.

Take: TORONTO – Whilst it seems implausible that the Raptors will achieve anything of merit this season, the team from north of the border may be able to score a season sweep over the Magic, if for no other reason than the fact that the Raptors (22-19-1 ATS) are one of the better sides against the spread. Take the total to go over as has often been the case with these teams.

 

New York Knicks @ Boston Celtics

8:00 PM ET

New York (25-14, 11-8 road) will look to snap a two-game losing streak with a visit to division rivals Boston (20-21, 13-8 home). The Celtics will be looking to buck their own four-game losing streak, a streak that has seen Doc Rivers’ side drop below .500.

New York’s scoring may have been down of late but the team still averages 101.5 points per game, thanks in many ways to a 39 percent average from behind the arc. Despite their recent woes, the Celtics are one of the better shooting teams in the league, something that will come in handy against a Knicks team that doesn’t give the ball up but allows opponents a high-shooting average.

This Season: Boston defeated New York in the only meeting between the sides this season, the infamous Jan. 7 game in which Carmelo Anthony went in search of the Celtics’ bus and Kevin Garnett after the game, which was quickly followed by a suspension.

Odds: New York is a 1½-point favorite on the road. The total stands at 189.

Take: BOSTON – The Celtics represent another great chance for bettors to make some money off an underdog. Records can be thrown out the window in this one, which could get a little feisty. This is a rivalry game and both teams will play like it. Although Boston (15-23-3 ATS) has been terrible against the spread, take them to upset the bookmakers. Take the total to go over.

 

Los Angeles Clippers @ Phoenix Suns

10:30 PM ET

The Los Angeles Clippers (32-11, 13-6 road) round out Thursday’s schedule with a trip to Western Conference doormat Phoenix (14-28, 10-11 home).

The Clippers have lost two in a row to current conference high-flyers Golden State and Oklahoma City. Those losses have seen the Clippers lose ground on both the Thunder and San Antonio Spurs.

Phoenix has no worries about falling behind the leaders. Instead, the Suns are looking to get ahead of New Orleans just to be off the bottom of the Western Conference standings. If the Suns are to get a second straight win, now’s the best time, with Chris Paul missing from the Clippers.

In all reality, this game represents a much better opportunity for the Clippers to snap their losing streak than it does Phoenix extending its winning streak.

This Season: The Clippers have won both meetings between the sides this season by an average of 22 points. Los Angeles’ last trip to Phoenix (Dec. 23) finished 103-77.

Odds: The Clippers are favorites on the road. The spread is 6½ while the total is 193.

Take: LA CLIPPERS – Phoenix is in need of one series rebuilding program, and coming face to face with one of the best teams in the league isn’t about to change that. Take the Clippers (25-18-0 ATS) to run rampant and cover the spread against the pitiful Suns (17-24-1 ATS). Take the total to go over.

Wednesday’s NBA Betting Tips

Memphis and San Antonio will meet for a third time this season, with both previous games having gone to overtime.

Get your midweek hardwood fix tonight with a 10-game schedule from the Association. Casino Review has fished out the top three games on the slate, and then thrown in some instant picks too. Read on to find out who you should be backing on Wednesday night.

 

Denver Nuggets @ Oklahoma City Thunder

8:00 PM ET

Oklahoma City (30-8, 18-3 home) and Denver (24-16, 9-14 road) meet on Wednesday night for the first of a pair of games this week, and the first of four this season.

The Thunder continues to pace the NBA, becoming the league’s first 30-game winner on Monday night. Winners of four straight and nine of 11, Kevin Durant and Co. will look to make a statement against their division rivals.

Denver meanwhile has won seven of the last eight, but a big portion of that trend has come at the Pepsi Center, as the Nuggets make up for a road-heavy early schedule. The Nuggets defeated the Lakers 112-105 on Jan. 6, the side’s only road game so far this calendar year.

Expect this to be a high-scoring affair as two of the top five scoring teams in the NBA take to the court. Oklahoma City averages 105.1 points per game (2nd) while Denver scores and average of 102.7 points (5th).

Odds: Oklahoma City is favored in this one, with the spread standing at 8½. The total is 208.5

Take: OKLAHOMA CITY – The Thunder has turned Chesapeake Energy Arena into a fortress. That fortress is likely to hold-up against a Denver side that is not as efficient on the road as it is at home. Take the Nuggets to cover the spread, with the total going under.

 

Memphis Grizzlies @ San Antonio Spurs

8:30 PM ET

Division rivals Memphis (24-12, 10-7 road) and San Antonio (29-11, 16-2 home) do battle for a third time this season on Wednesday night. So far, both sides have held their home court advantage.

San Antonio enters the game just two back of Oklahoma City for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. A win will also put the Spurs within a half-game of the Clippers.

Memphis will be looking to gain ground on a San Antonio side that currently sits three games in front. Winning in the Alamo City won’t be easy though; the Spurs have dropped just two home games all season, the last of which came on Nov. 19. The Spurs have won 12 straight at home since.

Memphis’ woes have mainly come on the road this season. The Grizzlies have won just five road games against teams with a winning record. That trend needs to change if the side is to continue to push for a top four finish in the Western Conference. Make no qualms about it, a win in San Antonio would be a huge deal.

Odds: San Antonio is favorites (-4½) with the total at 186½.

Take: SAN ANTONIO – The Spurs simply don’t lose at home. Add to that the fact that Memphis doesn’t play well on the road and you have the recipe for a home win. The Spurs and Grizzlies rank in the league’s top five when it comes to covering the spread, which makes this one a difficult game to pick. Take San Antonio to cover. Take the total to go under. Memphis has been involved in fewer games (13) that have seen the total go under than any other team in the league.

 

Miami Heat @ Golden State Warriors

10:30 PM ET

The question coming into this one should have been, are the Warriors for real? Instead, we’re left scratching our heads and pondering whether Miami is for real.

Miami (24-12, 8-9 road) fell to Utah on Monday, dropping the Florida side below .500 on the road this season. That loss also lent itself to a 1-3 record to start this current six-game road trip. To put it bluntly, Miami is reeling, at least away from South Beach.

Golden State (23-13, 12-5 home) might just be the tonic the Heat needs though. Despite an impressive overall record, one that has surprised most, the Warriors have dropped three of the last four, including a tough home loss to Memphis. Prior to that game, Mark Jackson’s side had won 11 of 13 at Oracle Arena.

Miami pulled out a 97-95 win when the two sides played at AmericanAirlines Arena on Dec. 12.

Odds: Miami is favored, with the spread at just two. The total is 205.

Take: MIAMI – The Heat will take advantage of the Warriors’ mini-slump, but this is likely to be as close as the previous meeting between the sides. Take the Heat to cover the spread (just) with the total going over.

 

Instant Picks…

Take Chicago (21-15, 10-5 road) to win north of the border and cover the spread (-3½) against Toronto (14-24, 10- 8 home). Take the total (184.5) to go under.

Take Indiana (24-15, 9-12 road) to pile some more misery on an Orlando (13-24, 7-12 home) side that has lost 11 of the last 12. Take the Pacers to cover the spread (-1½) with the total going under.

Take Brooklyn (23-15, 8-8 road) – winners of seven straight – to defeat an Atlanta (21-16, 12-6 home) side that has been slipping of late, upsetting the Hawks and the spread (+4) in the process. Take the total to go under.

Take Boston (20-17, 13-6 home) to extend its winning streak to seven with a home win over New Orleans (12-26, 6-13 road). Take the Hornets to cover the spread (+8) with the total (183.5) going under.

Take Dallas (16-23, 10-7 home) to build a four-game winning streak while sending Houston (21-18, 7-11 road) to a fifth straight loss. Take the Mavericks to cover the spread (-4½), and the total (213) to go under; both of these sides rank in the top five in terms of the total exceeding the marker but 213 is simply too much.

After three wins on the bounce, take Washington (7-28, 1-15 road) to slip up on the road in Sacramento (14-24, 11-10 home). Take the Wizards to cover the spread (+4½) though, with the total going over.

Take Portland (20-18, 13-5 home) to defeat Cleveland (9-31, 5-19 road), but take the Cavaliers to cover the spread (+7). Take the total (197) to go under.

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

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.