Free NBA Picks for Nets vs. Warriors

Jordan Sharp

Saturday, February 22, 2014 2:47 PM GMT

The NBA finalizes this Saturday evening with an inter-conference showdown between two teams struggling for playoff position on their respective conferences. The NBA Odds have the Warriors as big -5 ½ home favorites tonight, with a total of 201. Both teams have really had their own low points and triumphs this season, but with this being their second meeting of the year, will either team play drastically different from the first time around?

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Big men down

The Nets have been playing without Brook Lopez for almost the entire season, but the Warriors have more recently been without Andrew Bogut, and it has really hurt their interior defense. No word has been released on his status for tonight, but he reportedly had to get a shot in his shoulder because of the inflammation, and that does not make his status tonight look optimistic.

If Bogut is not able to go, it’s going to give a big assist to the Nets. Overnight, these NBA Odds dropped from -6 to -5 ½ and even a whole point to -5 at some shops. This indicates to me that Bogut’s status isn’t looking good, but make sure you’re monitoring the news wire for info on his status at shoot around this morning. If he does not participate, it probably means he isn’t going to play tonight either.

Bogut’s potential absence will immediately give a ton of value to the Nets, and I am willing to take points with them in this spot. The Warriors are not playing well right now, and they can’t find consistent scoring outside of Stephen Curry. David Lee has picked up some of the slack, but he is such a defensive liability that it almost takes away his upside on offense. Plus, Lee has a very tough matchup tonight, even at home.

The Sharp Pick

The Warriors are also only 4-5 ATS at home against the East this season, which is horrible compared to the overall records of other West teams playing the East ATS this season. Brooklyn is a better Eastern team despite what their record says, and their defense has been one of the reasons why. They should be able to slow down every member of the Warriors not named Curry, and keep this game within one or two possessions at the end.

In their first meeting, Bogut played over 30 minutes, and Curry had one of his better games of the season, scoring 34 points. Deron Williams and/or Shaun Livingston are going to have no chance tonight against Curry, but the rest of the Nets are solid defensively. I would not be surprised to see a very slow paced game tonight where the Nets force the Warriors to defend for almost the entire shot clock. This strategy should keep the game close enough for a Nets cover.

Both Kevin Garnett and Andray Blatche will be able to stop Lee, and even though a guy like Klay Thompson could have a big game here, it will only be if the Nets cross match their guards against Curry and Thompson. Whoever Williams is defending will have a big game, but other than that, this one looks like it will be well within 5 ½ points by the end for our basketball picks.

NBA Pick: Nets +5 ½