Friday NBA Betting Report: Schedule Handicapping Breakdown
by Aaron Smith - 3/29/2012
Can you believe it is less than a month until the end of the NBA regular season? Jockeying for position in the NBA Playoff race is beginning in earnest right now. There are 11 or 12 teams vying for the eight playoff spots in the Western Conference. The Eastern Conference race will primarily be about teams fighting for seeding in the playoffs.
The best angle for NBA handicappers to follow this year continues to be the schedule. The condensed schedule has made this year far from an ordinary season. 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 March 30 Games of Note
New York at Atlanta (-3.5) – 7:30 p.m. EST
No team has been as busy as the Atlanta Hawks of late. Atlanta will be playing its sixth game in eight days on Friday night. New York is playing its fifth game in eight days.
The Knicks will be without Amare Stoudemire, who is expected to miss two to four weeks with a back injury. Jeremy Lin is listed as questionable. The Hawks were embarrassed, 97-78, Wednesday night at home against the Bulls. New York has won eight of nine games heading into this key Eastern Conference battle.
The Knicks are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games following a single day of rest. The Hawks are 5-2 ATS in their last seven following one day of rest. New York is 7-1 ATS in their last eight meetings with Atlanta. Look for this one to go right down to the final shot.
Score Prediction: Atlanta 91, New York 90
Miami (-7.5) at Toronto – 7 p.m. EST
Miami blew out Dallas in a NBA Finals rematch on Thursday night. The Raptors had the night off on Thursday. Toronto is coming off an impressive 105-96 win over the Nuggets on Wednesday night.
Miami has been one of the worst teams in the league in back-to-back situations this year. The Heat are just 4-10 ATS in the second game of a back-to-back situation this season. They are 0-4 ATS in their last four games following no rest. On the other side, Toronto is 7-1 ATS in their last eight games when playing on one day of rest.
This is an emotional letdown spot for the Heat, and traveling to Toronto from Miami is no short trip. It could be tough for Miami to get up for this game. This should be closer than most expect.
Score Prediction: Miami 95, Toronto 91
Philadelphia (-8) at Washington – 7 p.m. EST
At the time of this article, there were no odds available for this game. This is my projected line for the game. Washington finished a period of five games in six days earlier this week, and now they are starting another busy stretch of games. The Wizards will play four games in five nights, starting with a road game at Indiana on Thursday night, which was a close loss for Washington.
Philadelphia has played only once in the last four days. The 76ers have been without Andre Iguodala of late, and he is listed as questionable for this game. Nene recently joined the fold in Washington, but he is questionable for this game due to a back injury even though he played on Thursday.
Washington is 5-8 ATS this year in the second game of a back-to-back scheduling spot. Philadelphia is just 3-9 ATS in their last 12 road games. Washington is only 3-10-1 ATS in their last 14 home games. The 76ers are 12-3-1 ATS in the last 16 meetings between these teams.
Score Prediction: Philadelphia 98, Washington 88
Portland at Los Angeles Clippers (-8.5) – 10:30 p.m. EST
A week ago Vinny Del Negro was squarely on the hot seat. The Clippers have picked up three straight wins, and Del Negro received a vote of confidence from Owner Donald Sterling. I wouldn’t say Del Negro should feel comfortable, but he has to feel a little better than he did last week.
Interim Coach Kaleb Canales is trying to get the Blazers back on track, but this team has been struggling mightily of late. Portland will be playing its third game in four days in this one. They have a game Thursday night against New Orleans, so this will be the second game of a back-to-back. This contest starts a difficult stretch where the Clippers play nine games in 14 days.
The favorite is 23-9 ATS in the last 32 meetings between these two teams. Portland has been getting blown out quite frequently of late.
Score Prediction: Los Angeles 99, Portland 86
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