The Hawks handed us another easy NBA winner last night, taking a 17 point halftime lead and cruising through an east second half to continue their dominance over the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers have been excellent against the spread this year, but with the way the Hawks have been playing (seven wins in a row) and the matchup between the two teams position by position, and that was easy money last night and one of the more generous NBA lines I’ve seen in a while.
We will try to keep it rolling tonight, but before we do, how about a little love for the 76’ers? A week ago we were talking about the record futility. Now, they’ve won two of their last three games and actually have a positive record against the spread. I’m sure that’s of little consolation to the players bearing the burden of all those L’s, but it is worth keeping an eye on from a wagering perspective. As fun as it was to bash the Sixers, I’d take their current roster over at least five or six teams in the NBA. If they can add another piece in this year’s lottery, the grand tank plan might actually start paying some dividends…
Let’s try to tack on a fifth straight NBA winner tonight.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Miami Heat at Phoenix Suns -4.5
Be careful falling into the “their records are similar” trap tonight. Phoenix has lost two of three, but they aren’t just three regular ho-hum losses. They dropped a brutal 121-120 overtime thriller to the Clippers last night on a three-pointer at the buzzer, Lost a close one against Houston Saturday and beat the Mavericks in a good game Friday night. Tonight will be their fourth game in five days, a tough feat for any NBA team to be sure, but they are at home and have to see some refreshing light at the end of the tunnel after a brutal three-game schedule.
Meanwhile, I was high on Miami before the season. I thought they could contend for a top-four seed in the East led by Chris Bosh’s re-introduction to stardom. Well, Bosh hasn’t been the problem but just about everything else has been. Wade is here some nights and gone the next, and despite some decent statistics, they just don’t look as good as they should with him on the floor. Their bench contribution has been minimal, and it’s looking more like a .500 type season in Miami.
Phoenix is a really good team playing at home and most Eastern Conference teams have fared poorly there over the past two seasons. I don’t expect Miami to be an exception tonight. The Heat are playing their third road game in five days and are in danger of dropping their fifth straight game overall. The Heat aren’t scoring enough to win, especially against Phoenix. They’ve been held under 87 points in four of their last five games. It’ll take at least 100 to win tonight, and I don’t think they can get there…
I’ll lay the slim four points and take the Suns to roll at home.