After a long break for All Star Weekend, the NBA returns tonight with a large slate of games to cap off the final stretch of the season. With less than two months to go this regular season, we have to be on our toes looking for NBA Odds value. For tonight’s slate, I have found two games that really intrigue me, and I am ready to recommend them to you.
Washington and Toronto may be the third and fourth best teams in the East this season, and they face off tonight in downtown Washington, DC. The NBA Odds have the Wiz as -3 favorites, with a total of 195 ½. Even though the Raptors look like the play on the spread, I don’t think it’s as clear-cut. Toronto’s defense struggled going into the break, but tonight I think it returns in DC.
However I am laying off the spread and focusing on the total of 195 ½. This is the third meeting between these two teams this year, and the first two went under the total. In fact, six of the last seven times these two have played the total has gone under.
Washington has been on the bad end for the most part. The Wizards have scored 78, 88 and 88 points respectfully against the Raptors in their last three meetings, and while two of them were in Toronto, the most recent one was in Washington, and two of those three were this season. In fact five of the last seven meetings between these two teams in Washington DC have gone under the total.
Toronto is just as good defensively on the road as they are overall or at home, and I think they will be able to hold down Washington tonight. Kyle Lowry is an underrated defender at the point guard position, and I expect him to slow down John Wall some. The rest most of these guys got during the All Star Break will probably help them on the defensive end tonight as well. Along with the rest, the Raptors have already ben very good against the East this season. Toronto is averaging giving up only 91.9 points per game to East opponents.
NBA Pick: UNDER 195 ½
Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavs
A rematch from the NBA Finals a few years ago kicks off the slate for the Mavs and Heat post-ASB, and the NBA Odds have the Mavs as +2 ½ home underdogs, with a total of 207 ½. These two teams had several participants in All Star Weekend, including the game itself on Sunday night. Unlike the two teams above, this shortened break might affect some of the defense tonight between these two teams. Three Heat starters played in the ASG, as did Dirk Nowitzki.
Going back to the end of their Finals matchup against one another in 2011, the Mavs and Heat have cashed the over in seven meetings in a row. At 207 ½ tonight, the total is a fair price for an over wager once again. Five of the last seven games played in Dallas between these two have gone over the total as well.
Furthermore, the Mavs have been killing it at home this season. Their scoring improves by about 4 points per game from their overall numbers, and they have cashed the over in four of their last six home games.
Against the West this season, the Heat are scoring well at about 107 points per game, however their defense is giving up about 100 points per game. The Mavs should be able to get well past 100 points tonight coming off the All Star Break, and I see a final score of about 109-107, making the over the play for our basketball picks.
NBA Pick: OVER 207 ½