Friday NBA Betting Report: Schedule Handicapping Breakdown
by Aaron Smith - 4/6/2012
It is the final month of the NBA regular season. The Western Conference playoff race is wide open. The Knicks and the Bucks are currently battling for the final spot in the Eastern Conference. Some teams that were struggling at the beginning of the year are now playing great basketball, while some of the top teams from early in the season have slid quickly in the standings.
All year the best situational angle to follow has been the schedule in this condensed season. During the last few weeks of the season, the schedule gets even busier. There will be plenty of strange scheduling spots for everyone from here on out. The goal of this weekly NBA article is to help bettors learn how to take advantage of these unusual situations. Every Friday we’ll break down a few of the games on that night’s slate where some tough scheduling could play a major role in the outcome of the game.
Friday April 6 Games of Note
Memphis at Miami (-7.5) – 7:30 p.m. EST
Memphis has been extremely busy lately. The Grizzlies just finished a grueling back-to-back-to-back with a tough loss in Dallas Wednesday night. The Grizzlies will be playing their fourth game in five days at Miami on Friday. Three of the four teams Memphis has played during this span are elite teams, so this team has had no chance to rest.
Miami is coming off two nice home wins against Philadelphia and Oklahoma City. The Heat trail the Bulls by just two games for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. LeBron James has played two of his best games of the year in the team’s last two contests.
Memphis is 2-8 against the spread in their last 10 games following a single day of rest. The Grizzlies are just 1-7 ATS in their last eight games at Miami. The Grizzlies shouldn’t have much left in the tank for this one.
Score Prediction: Miami 101, Memphis 89
Washington at New Jersey (-8) – 7:30 p.m. EST
Washington will be playing its third game in three days here. In fact, this is the second time in the last two weeks that the Wizards have had a back-to-back-to-back spot. They failed to cover the number in the final two games of their previous period of three games in three nights.
New Jersey will be playing its third game in the past four days. The Nets lost tough games against the Lakers and the Blazers on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Deron Williams missed Wednesday’s game with a stomach virus, but he is listed as probable for this game.
John Wall is in a major slump right now for the Wizards, and he has been turning the ball over at an alarming rate. Jordan Crawford is on fire of late, and he has scored at least 20 points in seven of the team’s last nine games.
Score Prediction: New Jersey 99, Washington 90
Houston at Los Angeles Lakers (-6) – 10:30 p.m. EST
This is an interesting game between two teams with very different schedules of late. Houston has had three straight days off coming into this contest. In this condensed schedule, it has been extremely rare for any team to have three straight nights off this season. On the other side, the Lakers will be playing for the fifth time in the past seven days.
The Lakers have been a tough team to figure out this season. They are coming off a nice win over the Clippers on Wednesday night, but they have been inconsistent all year. Houston has managed to stay in the playoff race despite missing two stars for an extended period of time. Kevin Martin and Kyle Lowry have been out for several weeks, and they will miss this game as well.
The Rockets are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games when playing on three days of rest or more. The Lakers are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 home games. They are also 6-18 ATS in their last 24 following one day of rest.
Score Prediction: Los Angeles 101, Houston 97
Detroit at Atlanta (-9) – 7:30 p.m. EST
Detroit was one of the worst teams in the NBA earlier this year, but they have been quite competitive of late. Atlanta is battling for playoff position in the crowded middle of the Eastern Conference playoff standings. The Hawks are in the middle of a very quiet scheduling period. This will only be the team’s second game in the past six days. Detroit hosts Washington Thursday night, so they will be playing in a back-to-back spot here.
Atlanta is 6-2 ATS in their last eight games when playing on a single day of rest. The Pistons are 9-7 ATS this year on the second end of a back-to-back. Detroit is a young team that should be able to handle the busier schedule better than most.
Score Prediction: Atlanta 95, Detroit 91
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