NBA Odds and Betting Preview for Wednesday
by Dave Schwab - 3/4/2014
The elite teams in the NBA continue to battle it out for the top spot in both the Eastern and Western Conference, but the two matchups I want to focus on for this Wednesday’s betting preview involve a couple of teams battling for a spot in the postseason.
First, the Chicago Bulls will go on the road to face the Detroit Pistons in a classic Central Division rivalry. Tip off is slated for 7:30 p.m., and the game will be available on NBA League Pass. In the second matchup as part of an ESPN Wednesday night double-header, the Dallas Mavericks square off against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. That game is set to get underway at 8 p.m.
Chicago Bulls (33-27) at Detroit Pistons (24-36)
The Bulls have once again grown accustomed to life in the NBA without Derrick Rose behind a balanced offense and a gritty defense that is ranked second in the league in points allowed (92.3). They are coming off an ugly 96-80 loss to Brooklyn this past Monday as three-point road underdogs. This snapped a four-game straight up winning streak, and it was the just the second time that Chicago failed to cover against the spread in its last 11 games.
Overall, the Bulls are 31-29 ATS with an even 16-16 record ATS on the road. They have covered in five of their last eight road games, and the total has stayed “under” in four of their last six outings. Chicago is in excellent shape for a playoff spot in the watered-down East. And while it has no chance of catching Indiana or Miami in the standings, it is just a half a game in back of Toronto for the No. 3 seed in the conference.
This is definitely not one of the more dynamic offenses in the NBA with an average of 93.1 points per game and a shooting percentage of just 42.9 from the field, but the Bulls continue to do a good job under the boards with an average of 45.1 rebounds, and they can grind it out with the best of them. Carlos Boozer leads in scoring with 14.5 PPG, and Joakim Noah is still one of the premier rebounders in the league with 11.1 a game.
Detroit’s playoff hopes have been revitalized over the past few weeks despite going 3-7 SU in its last 10 games in light of the fact that Atlanta has lost nine of its last 10 games SU to narrow the gap to three games for the eighth spot in the East. Somewhere along the way the Pistons are going to have to start winning some games to stay in this race.
As far as betting on Detroit, it has been a mixed bad all season long. It comes into this game with a 3-0 record ATS in its last three contests after going 1-5 ATS in its previous six games. Overall the Pistons are 28-32 ATS, including a 14-19 ATS record at home. The total has gone over in 23 of the 33 games.
Detroit has done a slightly better job than the Bulls at putting points on the board with an average 100.9, but there is no comparisons on the other end of the court with a defense that is ranked 26th in the NBA in points allowed (103.4). Brandon Jennings leads the Pistons in points (16.7) and assists (8.0), and Josh Smith is a close second with 16.4 PPG while adding 7.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
BetOnline has opened the Bulls as 2.5-point road favorites in this division clash, with the total set at 193. These two split the first two meetings this season 1-1, with the road team winning both SU and ATS. The total stayed under in each game, and it has now stayed under in three of the last four meetings.
Dallas Mavericks (36-25) vs. Denver Nuggets (25-34)
The Mavericks’ grip on the eighth and final playoff spot in the West has loosened to just one game over red-hot Memphis after dropping their last two games. The good news is that they are tied with Phoenix and just a half game in back of Golden State in the standings. Dallas followed up a 100-91 loss to the Bulls as a 4.5-point home favorite with a tough 112-106 setback against San Antonio as a 6.5-point road underdogs this past Sunday.
Dallas comes into this matchup with a profitable 21-11 ATS record on the road as part of an overall record ATS of 33-27-1. They have been less reliable on the road lately with a 3-3 mark ATS, and the total has gone over in five of its last seven games overall.
Dirk Nowitzki continues to lead the Mavericks in scoring with an average of 21.5 PPG, but Monta Ellis has been a big part of the offense as well with 19 PPG and a team-high 5.8 assists. Dallas has a total of six players averaging at least nine points as part of a team effort that is ranked eighth in the league in scoring with 104.4 PPG. Defense has not really been Dallas’s strong suit as it has fallen to 24th in points allowed (102.3).
The Nuggets chances to make it into the playoffs started to fade with a devastating eight-game losing streak that dragged into the New Year. They have officially been put to rest with just one SU victory in their last 12 games. Denver has covered in its last two games after going 2-12 in their previous 14 contests, but any way you shape it up, this has been a bad team on the court and a bankroll buster at the betting window.
The overall numbers are just as bad with a 24-34-1 record ATS. The Nuggets covered as 5.5-point home underdogs in this past Monday’s 132-128 loss to Minnesota, but it was just the 10th time this season in 30 home games they won ATS. The total has stayed under in 17 of those games.
Injuries have taken their toll over the course of the year after Denver started the season with very little margin of error to become a legitimate playoff contender. The team is ranked 11th in scoring with 102.6 PPG behind Ty Lawson’s 18.3 points, but he has missed 13 starts along the way. The Nuggets have not done themselves any favors with a defense that is ranked 28th in the NBA in points allowed (105.1).
Dallas comes into this matchup as a 4.5-point road favorite, with the total set at 217.5. The Nuggets won the first two meetings this season, but that was in late November as part of a quick home-and-home series. The Mavericks are 3-1 ATS in the last four meetings, and the total has stayed under in three of the four games.
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