Best Bets as Playoff Positioning on the Line this Weekend

Troy Haliburton

Saturday, February 10, 2018 5:37 PM UTC

Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018 5:37 PM UTC

There are a few pivotal games this weekend that will impact playoff standings in both conferences. With the All-Star break fastly approaching, it is very important for teams to build up momentum for the stretch run and the only way to do that is by taking care of business against inferior opponents. Let’s take a look at some of these matchups and see if we can pick some quality plays for bettors.

New Orleans Pelicans (26-27-1 ATS) at Brooklyn Nets (34-21-2 ATS)

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Free Pick: Pelicans -1.5Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

The Pelicans have struggled mightily since Demarcus Cousins was lost for the season with an achilles injury, having lost five of their last six games, including one of their worst outputs of the season last night in Philadelphia. New Orleans lost 100-82 in Philly and had their lowest scoring output of the season to go along with their worst shooting night as well (34.7 % from the field).

The problem with the Pelicans without Cousins is that their offense is no very predictable with defenses being able to key in on Anthony Davis. New Orleans has fallen out of the playoff standings in the Western Conference and if things don’t change soon, they would have wasted a promising season.

Luckily for New Orleans they will be facing an opponent who has struggled just as mightily recently. The Nets are 1-8 in their last nine games since Spencer Dinwiddie hit a game-winning shot against the Detroit Pistons, and their problem has been defense. Brooklyn has given up 111 points per game during that span and have and have fallen into a spiral of their own.

On the season, Brooklyn has been a bettors dream as they have gone 34-21-2 ATS on the year, good for the best ATS record in the NBA. Looking closer at that record, one will realize that the Nets are a much better team on the road then they are at defending home court. Brooklyn is 18-8-1 ATS on the road, while only 16-13-1. New Orleans is actually one of the better teams at covering road games with a record of 16-12. The Pelicans find themselves in a desperate position and need this game badly in order to stay competitive in the playoff race. Anthony Davis will lead his team to a big cover and an even bigger win.

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Pelicans are posting a -14.2 net rating with Anthony Davis on the floor since Boogie was injured.

— The Bird Writes (@thebirdwrites) February 10, 2018

Washington Wizards (25-30-0 ATS) at Chicago Bulls (30-23-1)

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Free Pick: Bulls +6Best Line Offered: at Heritage

The Wizards were one of the hotter teams in the NBA last week when they went on a five game winning streak in the first games without All-Star John Wall, but have come back down to earth a bit with two consecutive losses to the Sixers and the Celtics. Maybe that will slow down some of the chatter surrounding the team when it comes to them possibly being better without John Wall in the lineup. Yes the Wizards assist numbers have been up since Wall ahs been out, but that’s because no other Wizards is neal.y the ball handler that Wall is and the team has to pass the ball more in order to create the motion in the offense that Wall would normally create with his dribble.

The Chicago Bulls were coming off of a thrilling victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves last night, as they ruined Jimmy Butler’s return to the Windy City. On the season Chicago has been pretty good at protecting their home court with an ATS record of 16-10. Chicago will be without Kris Dunn who has missed extensive time since sustaining a nasty head injury a few weeks back, but in his stead has been Zach LaVine who the Bulls traded for in the offseason. LaVine finished with 35 points last night and was able to lead the Bulls to their first victory since January 20th. Chicago may not win the game outright, but six points may be too much for the Wizards to cover on the road.

Cleveland Cavaliers (15-38-1 ATS) at Boston Celtics (34-21-2 ATS)

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Free Pick: Celtics -5Best Line Offered: at Bovada

The Boston Celtics taking on Cleveland was suppose to be about Kyrie Irving facing his former team and Paul Pierce’s jersey retirement, and then the Cavaliers had to go and steal the headlines for the week with their myriad of trades on deadline day. The new-look Cavaliers will take on the Celtics in what could turn out to be a very pivotal matchup for the standings. Boston has fallen to second in the East after pretty much being in pole position for the entirety of the season. Cleveland is behind Boston in the standings but by only six games so the result of this game could come back to haunt Boston if they blow another game to Cleveland and lose the season series.

Boston has continuity on their side, as they have spent the entire season cultivating their young talent and have allowed Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum to blossom in the absence of Gordon Hayward. Cleveland will have to develop a few young guys of their own now that they acquired Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood, Larry Nance, to go along with veteran Gorge Hill. The new influx of youth will serve the Cavaliers well now that they are no longer the oldest team in the NBA. Cleveland will be at a major disadvantage because either they will be playing shorthanded for having to integrate four new players into their rotation on the fly against one of the better teams in the NBA when it comes to covering spreads. Boston ahs the second best ATS record in the league with a mark of 34-21-2 and will only improve on that record Sunday.

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