NBA Picks: Saturday Value Plays

Darin Zank

Saturday, March 9, 2013 6:45 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 9, 2013 6:45 PM UTC

It's approaching crunch time in the NBA, as teams jockey for playoff positioning with just 20 games or so to go. Saturday's NBA slate offers up a three-some of games that match playoff contenders.

NBA Betting: A Saturday Two-fer

Here's our take on a couple of the NBA odds lines with free picks.

At least you can't argue about the price.

Jazz at Knicks (7:30 pm ET)

Utah has lost three games in a row by a combined five points. The Jazz just lost a tough one in Chicago Friday night 89-8, falling on a Bulls 3-pointer with six seconds to go.

At the moment Utah owns the eight seed in the Western Conference, but only leads the surging ninth-place Lakers by a half game.

New York has played its last two games without Carmelo Anthony, who's dealing with a sore knee. His status for Saturday's game is still uncertain.

Sans 'Melo the Knicks beat Detroit Wednesday 87-77 then lost to Oklahoma City Thursday 95-94.

On the season New York is 4-5 both SU and ATS in games Anthony has missed.

Big picture, the Knicks are in third place in the East, but they've got to be careful, because four teams are within four games of them.

Bettors might want to check on Anthony's status for this game before getting down. But with or without him, we've got a lean toward Utah in this spot. Yeah, the Jazz have lost six of their last seven games, but it's not like they've been getting blown out. Two of those losses came in overtime, and two more came by one and three points. We like Utah's chances of keeping this one close, too. 

Free NBA Pick: Take the Jazz at the +7.5 points offered at 5Dimes.


Bucks at Warriors (10:30 pm ET)

Milwaukee lost at the Clippers Wednesday 117-101, but is 4-2 since trading for JJ Redick. At 30-29 the Bucks still own the eight seed in the East, and luckily for them nobody is sneaking up from behind. 

But unless it can make up three games on either Atlanta or Boston Milwaukee is headed for a first-round series loss to Miami.

Golden State, meanwhile, just lost Friday night at home to Houston 94-88, shooting just 38 percent from the floor in breaking a mini two-game winning streak. Before that, the Warriors had lost four in a row.

So Golden State sits in sixth place in the West, six games out of fifth place and only three games ahead of the ninth-place Lakers.

By the numbers the Bucks have allowed opponents to shoot better than them this season, and they're getting out-rebounded by about three boards per game. The Warriors, on the other hand, are out-shooting and out-rebounding foes, on average.

On the injury front Milwaukee F Ersan Ilyasova (12 points, six boards per game) bumped a knee earlier this week and is listed as questionable for Saturday night.

In the first meeting this season between these teams the Bucks, with 18 and 12 from Ilyasova, beat the Warriors in Milwaukee 109-102 back in January. But with Ilyasova potentially out, we expect Golden State to return the favor Saturday night for our NBA betting action.

Free NBA Pick: Take the Warriors at the -3 points offered at 5dimes


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