In search of our NBA totals picks, we review the betting odds on offer this April Fool's Day, keeping in mind that there are just a handful of games remaining in the 2014-2015 NBA Regular Season.
San Antonio Spurs (48-26) vs. Orlando Magic (22-52): Gregg Popovich Knows Everything!!
Dennis Rodman might have disliked the best coach in the NBA, but every move that Pop makes, turns to gold, with an aging and slightly above average team talent-wise.
Duncan is old, Ginobili is old, and Parker is getting old. The Spurs have about 10 guys coming off of the bench (I'm exaggerating) and yet they're only 1/2 game out of 4th place in the Western Conference and 2 1/2 games out of the number 2 spot that belongs to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Spurs are on an 8-2 stretch in their last 10 games and are coming off of an easy win over the Heat.
Normally, I would lean towards a low total in their game against the Orlando Magic, who are done for the season, but the Spurs, who usually don't care about what position that they are currently at in the conference, seem to want to make a statement this season. They are flat out embarrassing the opposition and I wouldn't be surprised to see them in the NBA Finals again.
San Antonio is coming off of a low scoring 95-81 victory over the Miami Heat. I would like to throw that game out due to the Heat's injury situation.
Popovich said that this team will go as far as Tony Parker will take them and ever since he made that statement, Parker has been playing much better. In his last 4 games, Parker is averaging 16.5 points in limited minutes. With the combination of Parker, Kawhi Leonard, and Tim Duncan, I expect the Spurs to blow out the Magic just as the odds makers do. That said, Orlando has some firepower on their team and a a very good center in Nikola Vucevic. Place your NBA picks expecting the Magic to get their share of points in a losing cause as this game goes over the betting total.
NBA Pick- Over 197.5 at 5Dimes
Brooklyn Nets (33-40) vs. New York Knicks (14-60): The Nets Opportunity to Rub It In
These teams are cross town rivals and usually cross town rivals hate eachother. The Yankees hate the Mets and the Knicks hate the Nets.
Right now, New York has nothing to cheer about, on a 7 game losing streak and the worst record in their franchise history, except for next season's draft pick. They better get Towns or Okafor or Phil Jackson's legacy as a legend will certainly drop a notch.
In the meanwhile, you have a Nets team which has won 4 straight games and although they're below the .500 mark, they're also playing their best basketball of the season and have incentive to win games. Brook Lopez has clearly established that he's the center on the Nets and that they were fools for using him as trade bait.
In their last 3 games, the Nets have eclipsed the 106 point mark in each game and it's thanks to the play of Lopez and complimentary players on the team. While Deron Williams has been less than stellar as of late, he plays well against the Knicks, averaging 17.7 points and 5.7 assists per game in their previous 3 meetings. The Nets are a well coached, deep ball club.
Don't Want to Be Embarrassed
The NBA odds underdog Knicks are basically dying for this season to be over. They've accomplished very little as Derek Fisher certainly is no Steve Kerr. It's not all Fisher's fault. He has nothing to play with. Guys like Tim Hardaway Jr. have been a major disappointment and other players like J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert, were traded away to make room for the salary cap. Shumpert and Smith seem to be awfully happy playing with Lebron James. In the meanwhile, you have a bunch of Knicks players looking to play for spots on next season's team.
The desire to remain on the team will be the key to this game in the Knicks being competitive. They don't want to be embarrassed and players are fighting for jobs. The total of 194 seems to be placed correctly and I expect New York to give Brooklyn a fight. Take the over in this spot.
NBA Pick- Over 193.5 at 5Dimes