You can just about glorify tonight’s Nuggets/Clippers game as a preseason type of game. It’s going to be played like a scrimmage. Oddmakers in Vegas posted the total initially at 220. Currently the line has shifted down just a smidge to 219.
This coming from the Clippers who are locked in one of the top seeds in the West and the Nuggets who have been long gone from the playoffs. From the Clippers standpoint they’ll just be looking to keep their rhythm intact as the playoffs are just about here. On Denver’s side they’ll play short handed once again. Brian Shaw has to be pleased the way his bench players have played, as they’ve remained competitive and are scoring in bunches.
These are two teams that even in a meaningful game a 220 line would be worth money on. In this position I see it even more advantageous. The Clippers are a willing team on team on the defensive end of the court because they know they’re going to score on the other end. I’d expect both teams to have at least one quarter of high 30′s to low 40 point scoring.
Score on tonight’s late game and play the over.
Media and sports bettors get drawn to decisive games. Tonight the Grizzlies and Suns square off for in all likelihood the 8th seed in the West. With the Grizzlies up a game on the Suns, this puts the Suns in a must-win situation. This point spread opened up at -2.5 and now sits at -3. Before game time it may even creep up another half point.
Bettors are assuming that Phoenix will get the job done, and overlooking this veteran laden Memphis team. On the year already the Grizzlies have won all three games against the Suns. “Memphis is not a good matchup for us,” Dragic said. “They have a lot of big guys under the rim and they attack the paint, Dragic said in their last loss to the Grizzlies.
There are just certain teams that are nightmares to play against, and Memphis is that team for Phoenix. The Grizzlies have played well against all the run and gun teams this year, such as Portland, Phoenix, and Houston. They know how to slow the game down to their liking and prevent four quarters of frenetic play.
There just aren’t many teams in the NBA that can dictate pace like the Grizzlies. Phoenix has had a great season but looks like they’re going to come up just short. By letting leads slip away against Dallas and San Antonio recently, the Suns put themselves in this bad spot.
Look for Memphis to control this game early and win in Phoenix tonight.
As the NBA regular season winds down it can be difficult to gauge where to make a proper ATS selection. Playoff teams are more conscious of the health of their star athletes, and the rest of the league is planning for the lottery. #NBAtankmode has been an ongoing topping all season long.
That’s a particular play I am high on today is the Charlotte Bobcats on the road against the Boston Celtics. This Bobcats team will be in the playoffs this year while the Celtics find themselves out. Talk about an unplanned reversal in the Eastern Conference.
The Celtics had a similar year seasons ago when they let Antoine Walker walk away and eat himself out of the league. Their head GM in Danny Ainge is one of the brighter and business-minded front office’s minds in the game. His stint as head coach was short lived with the Suns but he has great knowledge of on-court personnel.
Currently they are tied with the Orlando Magic for third worst in the league. Lottery implications don’t end there as a couple of other teams are only a victory or two ahead of the Celtics. All of those other teams have head coaches that have been in their position for more than a season; Jacque Vaughn, Mike D’Antoni, and Ty Corbin.
They have their jobs on the line while the Celtics just hired Brad Stevens and obviously didn’t have the on-court talent this year.
More importantly the Bobcats need to keep winning to sustain their seeding in the Eastern Conference. They won a hard fought overtime game against the Wizards just a few nights ago. They’re winning with a three man offense and solid defense.
Look for their A-game to be on display while the Celtics solidify the hashtag of #NBAtankmode.
Right around the corner is the NBA playoffs. The regular season typically translates to the top tier teams rising to the top in the playoffs. Seeding and home court advantage over takes the smaller seeds time and time again. Occasionally though the playoffs are a bit frenetic and open to some surprises.
With the Spurs aging and a questionable Pacers/Heat teams in the East, the door may be open for surprises this postseason.
Landing favorable odds are for the taking right now, and the team I have my eye on are the Golden State Warriors.
They are currently 17-1 to win the Western Conference and 30-1 to win the NBA title. Some may say the style of play they run is better ran by the Houston Rockets. Bigger names with James Harden and Dwight Howard do not give the Rockets the advantage. I think the Warriors are a better defensive team and will have learned from last year’s playoff experience.
There has also been a lot of negativity surrounding head coach Mark Jackson due to two assistant coaches being dismissed. Another key negator for the Warriors has been the health status of their team. Both big men in Andrew Bogut and David Lee have been in and out of the lineup with injuries.
But with them out Jermaine O’Neal has played admirably well, and the bench has developed better with increased minutes. Marresse Speights has shown with the 76ers and Warriors he is a capable 15-20 minute performer.
Notable second year player, Harrison Barnes, has come off the bench this season, and may be a forgotten player to some minds. But I look for him to perform well with the second unit that has done much better with Jordan Crawford on the court.
Of course the main catalysts still revolve around the Splash Brothers in Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Both had good runs last postseason and have hit a plethora of game winners this season.
Most people will likely attack the Heat, Spurs, and Thunder, but don’t be surprised to see a team like Golden State get a title or at least play in the Finals.
Tonight’s game in Washington features the hometown Wizards against the Charlotte Bobcats. The line has held steady at 5.5 points on the Wizards. These are two teams that have talent but are unpredictable due to the youth of their lineups.
Both of these teams are coming off of three days rest which is why this line is as steep as it is. While some may see this as advantageous for the home team, I believe the value is on the underdog Bobcats.
Washington has looked lethargic as a group especially offensively. They’ve had severe droughts in scoring against the Kings, Bulls, and Knicks. Chemistry just seems out of sync.
They won’t roll over at home but I’d expect a low scoring first half that favors the defensive minded Bobcats. The Wizards have the better talent but are playing similar to the Pacers on the offensive end currently.
Grab the Bobcats tonight for high value of 5.5 points.
Squaring off tonight are the 40-1 Kentucky Wildcats vs the 100-1 UConn Huskies. Two proud fan bases that surely put a little money on their teams when seedings were announced. Both teams had their lumps throughout the regular season but were top 15 teams at certain times this season. It just goes to show a team can get hot at the right time, or have the right matchups.
Kentucky is the favorite here but has not been as dominant as the UConn Huskies have been in the tournament. Besides UConn’s first tournament game against St. Joseph’s, they’ve held their ground against Villanova, Michigan State, Iowa State, and Florida. While Kentucky has used their athleticism and let heroics by Aaron Harrison to stay alive.
In a two day window to prepare for the tournament I’d expect Kentucky to stick to their tournament game plan. Utilize their talent and try to wear teams down with it. Against UConn they’ll have a clear advantage inside, but that hasn’t made a difference thus far against the Huskies.
As for the total I like it to go over 135. Kentucky’s defense has not been stellar in the tournament, and they will give up open looks. On the Huskies defensive side of things the talent edge they’ve had on the perimeter with their backcourt will be dwindled here. Kentucky’s guards and forwards should continue to shine with their shooting and leaping ability.
Turnovers and free throws are always a bench mark when taking a total. Kentucky will turn the ball over. Facing a UConn team that has had tough guard play should give the Huskies an advantage in points off turnovers. From the free throw line I’d expect each team to get 20 to 25 free throws each.
Play the over