The winning streak may be over in Atlanta, but that doesn’t mean that the “winning” is. The Hawks will try to pick themselves up off the mat for the first time in 2015 tonight, hosting the Washington Wizards. It is fortunate timing for Atlanta, as the game is at home and the Wizards are slumping. As the calendar turned years, it looked like Washington was a legit contender to win the East. Now, they have dropped seven of their last ten games and are a scant one game ahead of Chicago and just two ahead of the scorching Cavs for third place in the East. Assuming a loss tonight, they could wake up and find themselves just a game away from having to go on the road to begin the playoffs…
Meanwhile, the Blazers averted disaster last night with a 103-102 win at home over the Jazz. The Blazers are just 3-7 over their last ten games and have found their comfy seeding in the West all but evaporate. Even with the heroic play of Aldridge and the inspired play of Lillard, without a reliable third option and the injury to Batum it is looking more and more like the Blazers are in the second tier; behind Golden State and Memphis (at least).
It’s been a tepid few weeks for me after a scorching double-digit winning streak in NBA picks. Let’s stabilize the ship tonight and notch a nice winner.
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Today’s Free Picks:
Oklahoma City Thunder at New Orleans Pelicans -3
If there was ever a HUGE game with thirty games still to play in the regular season, tonight is it. The Thunder are currently tenth in the West and two games behind ninth place New Orleans. A loss tonight would be a death blow to the Thunder’s fading playoff hopes (who would have thought you’d ever write that sentence before the season started??)
NOLA is flying high after clipping the Hawks wings Monday night, ending the fifth longest win streak in NBA history. But, as is life in the West, there is little rest or time for celebrating. Tonight they will get a tough matchup in the Thunder, but one in which they have fared well. The Pels have won their last three games against OKC, and making matters even more favorable tonight is the likely absence of Kevin Durant. The Thunder are just 10-17 this season without the reigning (it feels appropriate to start saying “former” already) MVP.
I like this line at -3 for NOLA WITH Durant. So for once I am eager to jump on a morning line. I would imagine this will swell a few points if they make Durant’s absence official, making -3 a steal.
The Thunder are 0-6 ATS in their last six games overall. They are 0-4 ATS on their last four games with one days rest. I expect those numbers to grow even more dismal tonight.