Our NBA handicapper looks at the top games from this week's schedule to help you find betting value so you can beat the odds with your NBA picks.
Friday, March 4
Knicks vs. Celtics
The reeling Knicks have lost 10 of their last 12 games, which has made them fall out of a playoff spot. The Celtics on the other hand, have been a pleasant surprise in the Eastern Conference. Boston leads the season series 2-1 so far, and they have been close contests. Can Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks surprise the Celtics here? It will certainly be fun to watch as New York desperately needs to string together wins while Boston wants to defend their home court and improve in the Eastern Conference standings.
Trail Blazers vs. Raptors
This will be a tough test for both teams. The Trail Blazers visit a Raptors team that has won four of their last five games as of this writing. Portland on the other hand is on a roll, with Damian Lillard playing at a high level and C.J. McCollum having a career year as a decent second scoring option. Expect fireworks in what I expect to be an explosive offensive clash with two of the best point guards in the league, Lillard and Kyle Lowry leading their respective teams.
Saturday, March 5
Celtics vs. Cavaliers
Losers of three of five as of this writing, Cleveland is having some chemistry issues but never count out LeBron James and company. This won't be an easy home game though, as the Celtics are playing decent basketball and everyone on their roster has a well-defined role that they fulfill to perfection. Another can't miss game with playoff implications and decent betting value on the road team covering ATS.
Rockets vs. Bulls
Injuries have cost the Bulls their last two games and they're barely hanging on to a playoff spot with a disappointing 30-28 record. Chicago will have Derrick Rose back for this contest and they will host an equally struggling Rockets team with a poor 29-31 record and many underachieving players. It will be up to James Harden to carry Houston on his back if they want to have a chance in this visit to the United Center, even if Chicago is short-handed at the moment.
Sunday, March 6
Warriors vs. Lakers
It's clear that the Lakers are going nowhere, losing eight streak games as of this writing, although they did cover the spread in five of those contests. The Warriors look unstoppable and I don't see how the Lakers can stay within single digits at the end but if the spread is over 15 points then it make be worth to risk a small sum on the Lakers to cover ATS.
Wednesday, March 2
Trail Blazers vs. Celtics
Two surprising teams with playoff aspirations clash in Boston when the Trail Blazers visit the Celtics. Portland has won eight of their last nine games while Boston has won five of their last seven games. Based on recent form alone we can expect a close game with two evenly matched teams. The line opened at 5.5 in favor the Celtics but keep in mind that the Trail Blazers are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games before you place your NBA picks.
Thunder vs. Clippers
The Thunder bounced back from a tough 121-118 overtime home loss against the Warriors with an impressive 131-116 win against the Clippers, who have won three of their last four games. This will be the second meeting of the season between these two Western Conference giants. The Clippers prevailed in the first meeting 100-99 on December 21 and this promises to be another close, high-scoring contest. The line opened at 1.5 on the NBA odds board in favor of the Thunder.
Thursday, March 3
Thunder vs. Warriors
This is a tough back-to-back spot for a Thunder team that has to visit the Clippers the night before. Will revenge be motivation enough to energize the Thunder against the Warriors? Golden State is 24-0 at home as of this writing and it will take big games from Durant and Westbrook to keep pace with the Warriors.