NBA Odds and Betting Preview for Wednesday
by Dave Schwab - 2/19/2014
The NBA comes off of its annual all-star break to begin the official start of the stretch run to the playoffs. While there are a number of intriguing matchups on Wednesday’s schedule, the following betting preview will take a closer look at a pair of games involving four teams jockeying for position in the muddled Eastern Conference standings.
Detroit Pistons at Charlotte Bobcats
The Pistons came up short in the first game of this home-and-home series with a 108-96 loss on Tuesday night as 4.5-point home favorites. The total went “over” the 201.5-point line. It was their fourth straight up loss in their last seven games, but even after failing to cover against the Bobcats they are 6-3 against the spread in their last nine outings. Detroit now goes on the road where it is 10-14 SU this season and 12-12 ATS. The total has gone over in 16 of 24 road games this year.
Detroit got a solid effort from its entire starting lineup in Game 1 of this series, with all five players scoring in double-figures, but it could not overcome a slow start defensively that helped open an 11-point lead for Charlotte by the end of the first quarter. The Pistons continue to struggle in that area with a defense that is ranked 25th in the NBA in points allowed (102.7).
Charlotte’s victory opened up a game and half lead over Detroit for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. It is still well below .500 on the year at 24-30 SU, but that is indicative of the entire conference this season with just four teams boasting a winning record. The Bobcats continue to struggle with consistency with a SU loss following a win in their last seven games. They have gone 5-2 ATS during this same stretch as part of an overall record ATS of 30-23-1. Charlotte is an even 13-13 ATS at home, with the total staying “under” in 16 of the 26 games.
Al Jefferson helped fuel the fast start on Tuesday night and he finished the game with 32 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. Kemba Walker kicked in another 22 points to help pace the win. The Bobcats have almost been the mirror opposites of Detroit this season with a defense that is ranked fifth in the league in points allowed (97.1) while ranking 26th in points scored (95.0).
The Bobcats have won both meetings on the road this season after losing seven of their last eight games against Detroit. The road team is now 6-2 SU in the last eight games, and the total has gone over in eight of the last nine meetings.
Chicago Bulls vs. Toronto Raptors
Chicago is currently a game and half in back of the Raptors for third place in the East with an overall SU record of 27-25 (25-27 ATS). It went into the all-star break with a three-game winning streak both SU and ATS, with the total staying under in all three contests. The Bulls are 12-15 SU (13-14 ATS) on the road this season, and the total has stayed under in four of their last six road games.
The loss of Derrick Rose early in the season has once again had a major impact on a Chicago offense that it is ranked last in the NBA in scoring with 92.3 points a game. Its strong suit remains a defense that is ranked second in the league in points allowed (92.3) and ninth in rebounds (44.8). Carlos Boozer leads the team in scoring with 14.8 points, and Joakim Noah leads in rebounds with 11.5.
The Raptors are coming off a 103-93 victory over Washington on Tuesday night as 2.5-point road underdogs to extend their current winning streak to three games. They are now 7-3 SU in their last 10 games with 7-2-1 record ATS. Toronto has been especially tough at home lately with a 9-2 SU record in its last 11 games while going a profitable 8-2-1 ATS. It is 29-24 SU overall and a healthy 32-20-1 ATS.
Balance has been the key to Toronto’s success this season with an offense that is averaging 99.7 points a game complementing a defense that is holding opponents to 96.8 points on the other end of the court. DeMar DeRozan is averaging a team-high 22.3 points, and the Raptors have five additional players scoring in double figures. Jonas Valanciunas leads the team in rebounds (8.8) and Kyle Lowery leads in assists (7.6).
Toronto has been opened by BetOnline as a 2.5-point home favorite over the Bulls, with the total line set at 183.
These two met three times earlier in the season, with the road team winning all three contests both SU and ATS. The Raptors have a 4-1 edge SU and ATS in the last five meetings, and the total has stayed under in the last four games.
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