The Lakers pulled off an enormous win at home against the San Antonio Spurs to move within a win in their final game or a Jazz loss in either of their two final games from clinching the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot. We had the Lakers +5 for an easy win and cover, running our NBA record to 4-1 ATS for the week. I know I have been relatively cautious with my NBA wagers this week, and I will continue to be during the final four days of the regular season. Be careful to look and see WHO IS and ISN’T playing as teams with widely disparate goals weigh the rest/don’t rest decision with their star players.
In particular, I’m staying light years away from betting Spurs games this week. With last night’s loss, it seems the second seed is the likely destination. With Parker and Ginobili already banged up, I find it unlikely that Coach Pop will play Duncan as many minutes as he did last night (Duncan was SPECTACULAR by the way – if you haven’t seen him play this year, your eyes will pop at how good and effective he is at age 37).
It is a full slate of games on tonight’s NBA schedule, so let’s pick out one with some relative importance and see if we can tack on our fifth win in six games.
Memphis Grizzlies -3.5 at Dallas Mavericks (Total: 186)
Dallas has every reason to muddle through the last few weeks of the season. Afterall, they have already been eliminated from the playoffs and will spend the postseason at home for the first time in 13 years. However, Dallas has done the exact opposite; they’ve played hard and they’ve played well. They have won four of their last five games and pulled their record to an even 40-40. It may not seem like much to most people, but finishing over .500 actually means something to this Dallas team and their players. I expect them to play well and play hard this evening.
This game is back-against-the-wall time for Memphis, who are now a game behind both the Clippers and Denver after their loss to the Clippers yesterday. However important this game might be, it won’t be easy for Memphis. The home team has won the last six games between these two teams, and Dallas has covered in five of their last six games overall.
Dirk Nowitski is still effective, and had he been healthy all season, these two teams would both be prepping up for the Playoffs. Unfortunately for Dallas fans, the hole was dug too deep without Dirk the first half of the season. But fortunately for bettors, it lends us an undervalued team to cash in on.
Give me the Mavs at home with the points.
Free Pick: Dallas Mavericks +3.5