NBA Handicapping: Hot or Cold Report
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 4/9/2010
The final week of the NBA season brings us teams with all kinds of different situations. Motivation is a major factor right now heading into the playoffs as is resting players. Some teams are jockeying for playoff position but most have their fate sealed already. Playoff teams are resting key players in games while eliminated teams all seem to take different approaches to this week. Here are three teams who could be hot bets this week based on the previously mentioned criteria and three teams who might be destined for a cold end of the regular season.
Golden State Warriors
Addition by subtraction at its best is on display with Golden State. Monta Ellis one of the top scorers in the entire league and guard C.J. Watson are both questionable nursing various ailments and Vladimir Radmanovic has been out for the last 14 games with an Achilles injury. Since Radmanovic left the lineup the Warriors have been 9-5 ATS, without Ellis they are 12-4 ATS and with Watson they are 8-1 ATS. The reserves for Golden State have been remarkable and they will make up the majority of the lineup the rest of the season.
Despite being eliminated from the playoffs for a few weeks now, the Houston Rockets have been playing like a playoff team. In the past week they have big wins at Boston, at Memphis and against Utah. They have covered three of their last four games and with back-to-back games coming up against playoff teams, the Rockets are poised to continue playing spoiler.
The Suns are surging and covering all the numbers the books are throwing at them. The Suns have won 11 of 12 and covered nine of the 12. They have even done it against steep spreads, covering spreads of nine or higher four times in the past three weeks. Of the Suns next four opponents they are 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS in their last meeting against them.
Perhaps the coldest team in the league at any point this season. The Raptors are quickly fading out of playoff contention just a month after getting to within striking distance of the Boston Celtics for the Atlantic Division title. And now after Chris Bosh fractured bones in his face, they will be without the services of their best player. If the Bulls win any games the remainder of the year, Bosh would have likely played his last game with Toronto. In the eight games Toronto has played without their star power forward they are 1-7 ATS.
The Cavaliers have called off the dogs yet they are still managing to win. They are on an 18-4 SU run but since clinching the conference they have only been 1-6 ATS. With Lebron James and Mo Williams listed on the official injury report because of rest, bettors might want to wait until the playoffs to start backing the Eastern Conference No. 1 seed.
The Kings have hit rock bottom, it seems, after their latest eight-game losing streak. They are 2-5-1 ATS during that stretch but the only lines they have covered are double-digit lines (except they covered as chalk last night against the lowly Clippers). Of their final three games the Kings will not be getting that many points, they will have to find a way to win or keep things close, two things they have shown they are incapable of doing over these last few months of basketball.
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