The back-and-forth Western Conference playoff race continued yesterday as the Lakers rallied late to beat the hornets, ne, ‘Pelicans’ late and the Oklahoma City Thunder went into Utah and knocked off the Jazz. I’ve heard a few outlets suggest the Thunder would be wise to want the Jazz IN the playoffs rather than the Lakers, but I feel pretty confident the Thunder have ZERO fear of the Lakers in the postseason…
Tonight the jockeying and drama continues as the Lakers attempt to do something they haven’t done often this season; go on the road to win the back-end of consecutive games. Fortunately for them, Portland is really banged up and has packed it in for the season, but I imagine they will still give the Lakers a pretty good battle. Elsewhere, Boston and New Jersey meet in a game that will influence the Eastern seeding potentially, and Denver has a HUGE opportunity to stake their claim to the all-important third seed in the West with a home win over San Antonio.
There’s a ton of good matchups to choose from – let’s take a look at one particular to find our good wagering opportunity tonight.
San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets -3.5
No Danillo? No problem. The Nuggets have kept on rolling since the unfortunate injury to one of their key players, winning four straight games since his injury, and have a great opportunity tonight to announce loudly and clearly that they are still challengers in the West.
The Nuggets home prowess is well known, but bears repeating. They are now 35-3 at home – the best mark in all of the NBA, and they have beaten each of the top four teams in the west in their building at least once this season. I like them to add San Antonio to the list tonight.
While it seems like the Spurs would be highly motivated to keep the top seed in the West, history tells us Coach Pop could really care less. Also, somewhere in the back of their collective minds, I don’t think they’d mind sliding to #2 and facing Houston rather than a potential matchup with the Lakers.
Tony Parker has been banged up and is listed as “probable” and is expected to play… but how much will he really be on the floor tonight? With Ginobili, Diaw, and Steven Jackson all out, might this be a night when Pop packs it in early?? I don’t know, but even without that possibility, I’d lean Denver tonight. When you factor in all the injuries; both nagging and serious, it makes Denver the easy pick tonight.
Free Pick: Denver Nuggets -3.5