I am sure the NBA and David Stern are grateful for the Miami Heat’s flair for the dramatic and their continuing streak. If not for the Heat, it’d be really tough to get anyone but the most die-hard NBA fan to pay much attention to the Association with March Madness gripping the nation.
However, Friday nights usually mean a pretty loaded slate of good NBA matchups, and tonight is no exception. So let’s take a quick breather from the Tourney and take a look at a few good matchups on the professional side.
Detroit Pistons at Miami Heat -16
How many times can the Heat escape certain losses? Some of their recent exploits have been pretty amazing. For example, the last 2,000 games in which an NBA team trailed by 27 points in the second half, only SIX came back to win. That’s 0.3% of the time.
Yet for the Heat? The 27-point hole was a mere gnat to be swatted away on the way to win #24. However, as amazing as their win streak has been, it hasn’t been a bonanza for Heat betters. The have failed to cover by a lot in their last two games and have only covered in four of their last nine. They are winning, but they aren’t crushing the souls of lesser opponents the way they could and probably should.
For that reason, and that reason ONLY, I’ll take the Pistons tonight. It hasn’t really been the Heat’s M.O. to win by twenty – but win they shall to pick up victory #25.
Free Pick: Detroit Pistons +16
Minnesota Timberwolves at Phoenix Suns -3
If an NBA game is going to pull eyes away from the NCAA Tourney… this one ain’t it. But it does present a good wagering opportunity. Both teams are just 3-7 in their last ten games and both teams are have long since turned their attention from “playoff run” to “lottery bound” and “building for the future.”
Minnesota’s decline was hastened by the Kevin Love injury. For Phoenix, it is just a lousy roster that can’t compete with most of the big-boys in the NBA. However, they are at home tonight playing a lousy opponent who is coming to town on the back-end of a road bak-to-back.
Add it up: Bad team, short rest, back to back road games, injuries, nothing to play for… it feels like a nice losing formula to me. I’ll take the Suns at home laying the three.
Free Pick: Phoenix Suns -3