Even though the Knicks have been eliminated from the playoffs, they still get one last shot at playing spoiler, as they head across town to play the playoff-bound Nets. The NBA Odds have the Nets as -6 ½ favorites, with a total of 192 ½, and I think there is immense value on Brooklyn tonight, as they are still playing for seeding.
With a win tonight, the Nets will have locked up the #5 seed, and they’ll be able to rest tomorrow against the Cavs in Cleveland. Even though a game against their subway rivals is not going to be easy, recent news from New York might suggest otherwise.
Carmelo Anthony is looking doubtful for tonight’s game according to coach Mike Woodson, and still the Nets have dropped in the NBA Odds since they opened earlier this afternoon at -8 ½. Now with the news that Melo is doubtful, the Nets seem to have some great value.
Even with Shaun Livingston’s status up in the air tonight, the Nets have a lot of potential. They could potentially rest some players tonight as well, but I doubt they are bold enough to try and slide to 6th so they don’t have to play the Bulls in the first round.
That scenario is farfetched, as the Nets have gone 16-1 SU at home in their last 17 games in Brooklyn. The Knicks have gone 12-16 ATS as road underdogs this season, while the Nets are an NBA leading 20-11 ATS as home favorites this season.
My Pick: Nets -6 ½
The Clippers are at the point where they can lock in at least a 3rd seed with a win tonight over the Nuggets, and the NBA Odds are sure giving them the advantage. The sportsbooks have the Clippers as -9 favorites tonight, with a total of 219 ½. LA is finally poised for a playoff run with almost their entire deep roster available, and tonight I see them giving this game one last effort to lock in their seeding with a win.
I also don’t think it will be too hard for them to do that, and that’s why I am laying the points tonight. Even though the spread is large, the Nuggets will once again be without Ty Lawson, and this almost kills any chance they had of trying to play spoiler tonight. Without Lawson, Chris Paul will run wild for the minutes he is in the game, and of course the LA big men will dominate one of the weakest post defenses in the NBA.
Even though the Nuggets have covered their last two games in a row against the Clippers, those were both in Denver, and that is a very tough place to play regardless of whom the Nuggets have healthy. However now that they are back in LA, I think the Clippers will have one last good game in the regular season. They would love to win tonight and not have to play their starters against the Blazers tomorrow. Since that game is in Portland, I think it will be even more motivating because the starters might not even have to get on the plane to Portland if LA wins here. I expect a blowout.
My Pick: Clippers -9