It was another busy night in the NBA, highlighted by yet another loss by both the Pacers and the Heat. Miami was at least competitive, but a home loss to Minnesota is never a real good sign heading into the postseason. The only good thing for Miami was that they didn’t lose any ground for the top seed in the East and they were able to steal yet another night of rest for Dwyane Wade.
Meanwhile, the Western Conference race for the final spot remained tight at the Phoenix Suns went on the road and hammered Portland to remain dead-even with Dallas for the 8th spot, with each just a half game back of the Grizzlies for 7th.
We’ve only got a few weeks left before the playoffs finally start, so let’s see if we can build up a few wins and the bankroll for the postseason starting tonight.
Tonight’s Free Pick:
Toronto Raptors -7 at Milwaukee Bucks (Total: 197)
I’m normally a little wary of a road team on the back end of a back-to-back, particularly if that team just came off a hard-fought win over the Indiana Pacers. But then again, most teams don’t get the luxury of the back-end being against a historically bad Milwaukee Bucks team who is also going on zero days rest.
So is the road and fatigue factor enough to give Milwaukee any chance of covering tonight?
Let’s take a closer look at some numbers and trends.
For starters, Milwaukee is an abysmal 11-21 ATS against teams over .500 and an even-worse 3-12 ATS against over .500 teams at home. That’s only covering at a 20% clip, despite the fact that they are almost always getting a handful of points to cushion their misery. Milwaukee is just 2-17 straight up on zero days rest and is averaging losses by 11.8 points. That’s pretty lousy no matter who the opponent is, and tonight’s opponent is a competent team playing pretty good basketball.
It’s hard to find many good things to say about Milwaukee other than perhaps they can get the number one pick in this year’s draft and have him play in Milwaukee for a brief developmental period of time waiting to become a free agent so he can leave. See, I’m an optimist Bucks fans!
This one might be competitive for a while if Toronto no-shows, but even at 85% effort, that should be enough to both outplay and care more than the listless Bucks who have nearly their entire starting lineup inactive with injuries. I’m not even sure who all Milwaukee has left to dress to fill a roster tonight, and you can bet their front office doesn’t care either. Just get this debacle over and give me some ping pong balls….