The Miami Heat’s win streak cruised along, but the Denver Nuggets ended emphatically with a twenty four point loss at New Orleans. With the Nuggs favored by 7 points (it closed at 7.5) it made for a nice, tidy 31.5 point cover for the soon-to-be Pelicans. Bad news for George Karl and crew, but good news for us at the Sportsgeek, as we had New Orleans. Coupled with BYU’s easy win over Mercer in the college ranks we posted a nice 2-0 ATS day to get back to our normal winning ways.
Let’s keep it going tonight with an interesting NBA matchup on TNT.
Los Angeles Clippers -1.5 at Dallas Mavericks (Total: 203)
It’s pretty unlikely that Dallas will be able to claw their way into the Playoffs, but at just one and a half games back of the Lakers, they still believe they have a chance. Tonight is a huge game, not just in the standings but because of the fact they haven’t played well against the top teams in the West this season.
Dallas is hot, winning seven of their last ten and 23-14 in the second half of the season to get back into the playoff picture. They’ve struggled with the Clippers this season, losing both meetings by an average of 14 points. However, both those contests were on the road. At home, Dallas is a respectable 20-14, with again, most of their losses coming during a miserable two month opening stretch when they were playing without Dirk Nowitski and still adjusting to the losses of Jason Kidd and Jason Terry. They have come together lately, and should provide a good challenge at home tonight.
The Clippers seemed to be part of a “Big Three” in the West most of the season, but have seen their cushy third seed evaporate with the surge of the Denver Nuggets and the Memphis Grizzlies. After Denver’s winning streak was snapped last night, they sit tied with the Nuggets in third and just a slim game ahead of Memphis. There is an enormous difference between the three seed, having home court in the first round against most likely the Warriors, and playing in the dreaded 4/5 matchup against another top tier opponent. So every game is very important down the stretch for the Clippers.
LA has struggled in two areas of late; beating top-flight opponents and winning on the road. The Mavericks don’t qualify as “elite” but they are formidable, certainly more so than Sacramento, Portland, Phoenix and Washington – all places the Clipps have lost in the last month.
I like the momentum of Dallas over the last four weeks and think they’ll get the job done at home tonight. It should be a good game, but I’ll take Dirk and company making one last heroic push to keep their decade-long playoff streak intact.
Free Pick: Dallas Mavericks +1.5