Friday’s seven-game NBA schedule has enough action and excitement to keep pace with the college kids in March Madness. Because of the collegiate games, NBA TV will be handling a lot more of these nationally-televised slates in the coming weeks. Tonight’s doubleheader includes the Denver Nuggets at Memphis Grizzlies & Indiana Pacers at Los Angeles Lakers.
Philadelphia 76ers (-4) at Washington Wizards – Total: 234.5
PHI: back-end b2b (@CHI yesterday) WSH: normal rest, front-end b2b (vs. MIL tomorrow)
One night after picking the underdog 76ers to beat the Bulls, I’ll come right back against them on Friday. Philly did play last night, which isn’t a good thing considering it hasn’t covered a game all season (0-5 ATS) on the back end of a back-to-back set. The Wizards have been a pesky bunch for opposing teams, and I think they take advantage of the rest advantage here.
While the 76ers have won each of the last four meetings against the Wizards, they have only covered one of them. I could see a close one-possession game that comes right down to the wire.
I have to make amends for picking against the Bulls last night, even though it turned a profit. Both teams are on the back end of a back-to-back set, but Chicago didn’t have to travel for tonight’s game. Miami, on the other hand, played at home and now has to make that long travel into The Windy City.
The Heat weren’t overly impressive last night against the Magic, particularly in the second half. Look for that funk to continue over into tonight’s game.
Betting Pick: Bulls (+2)
Orlando Magic at San Antonio Spurs (-7) – Total: 215
ORL: back-end b2b (@MIA yesterday) SA: normal rest
In what I believe will be the second biggest blowout of the night (read below for the first), the Spurs have some favorable trends on their side. For one, the Magic played a tough road game in Miami last night and will be visibly worn down this evening. The other, is Orlando’s lack of success (5-9 ATS) against Western Conference teams. On the flip side, San Antonio is 6-1 ATS against the East.
Oddly enough, each of the last four games between these more defensive-minded teams has gone over the total. If that’s the case again, I’d imagine that’s because the Spurs are running up the score.
Betting Pick: Spurs (-7)
Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz (-17) – Total: 228.5
HOU: back-end b2b (@SAC yesterday) UTA: 1st game since ASB
For the first time in this article, I won’t be taking a spread. Instead, I’ll be going under the Rockets team total (105.5) in hopes they’ll fall flat on their faces. We have plenty of reason to be optimistic about that, considering Houston will be playing its second game in as many days. Meanwhile, a well-rested Utah team will be playing its first game since the All-Star break. The Jazz own the NBA’s third best defensive efficiency (106.3) and a distinct homecourt advantage. This season, the Jazz are 13-3 ATS as a home favorite.
The total has gone under in five of the last six Jazz-Rockets matchups, so I’ll be inclined to believe the defense shows up for the heavily favored team here.
Betting Pick: Rockets team total – Under: 105.5 points (-107)
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