2016-NBA-Wednesday night-Betting preview of the most interesting of the 12 games scheduled for tonight
Spurs at Magic – 7:05 PM EST
San Antonio (44-8 SU, 34-18 ATS) plays with no rest after beating Miami as the Spurs face the Magic for the second time this month. Gregg Popovich’s squad pulled away from Orlando at the AT&T Center on February 1 by a 107-92 count, but failed to cash as 15 ½-point favorites. The Spurs have won nine straight matchups with the Magic dating back to 2012, including a 4-0 SU/ATS mark at the Amway Center. San Antonio has dominated on the second of a back-to-back, owning a 9-0 SU and 7-2 ATS mark this season.
The Magic (23-28 SU, 28-22-1 ATS) looks to close out the first half on a high note after pulling off a home-and-home sweep of the Hawks. Orlando rallied from a 20-point deficit to stun Atlanta on Monday in overtime, 117-110 to cash for the fifth time in six games. Scott Skiles’club is holding its own during a difficult stretch, going 3-4 SU and 5-2 ATS against the Celtics (twice), Hawks (twice), Spurs, Thunder, and Clippers the last seven games. Since losing to Philadelphia last month, the Magic have put together a 7-3 run to the ‘over,’ while allowing at least 100 points nine times in this span.
Clippers at Celtics – 7:35 PM EST
Los Angeles (35-17 SU, 25-24-3 ATS) attempts to finish off its four-game East Coast swing at a perfect 4-0 with a trip to Boston. The Clippers rallied past the 76ers on Monday in overtime, 98-92, but failed to cash as nine-point favorites. L.A. has won five straight games away from Staples Center, while finishing ‘under’ the total in seven consecutive road contests. Doc Rivers’ squad has won 19 of 23 games since Christmas, while posting a profitable 15-8 ATS mark in this stretch.
If it wasn’t for Toronto winning 14 of 15 games of late, Boston (31-23 SU, 30-23-1 ATS) could possibly be leading the Atlantic division heading into the All-Star break. The Celtics have won nine of their past 11 games with only two signature victories in this span against Cleveland at the buzzer and Chicago at home. Boston is riding a seven-game winning streak at TD Garden since losing to Detroit in early January, while posting a 3-0 record in its last three home games against Western Conference foes.
Lakers at Cavaliers – 8:05 PM EST
Even though their season is going nowhere, the Lakers (11-43 SU, 25-29 ATS) have turned into a solid ATS team of late. Los Angeles erased a double-digit deficit before falling short at Indiana on Monday, 89-87 as 12 ½-point underdogs, the fourth straight cover for Byron Scott’s club. The Lakers lost by a combined six points to the Pacers and Spurs as double-digit ‘dogs, while going 4-0 ATS in the last four road games overall. Los Angeles has put together an impressive 8-4 ATS in 12 away games against Eastern Conference foes, but has won only three times with the last victory coming at Boston in late December.
Cleveland (37-14 SU, 23-25-3 ATS) is fresh off a pair of home blowouts over New Orleans and Sacramento, while cashing each time as a double-digit favorite. The Cavaliers cruised past the Kings on Monday, 120-100 to bust the 100-point mark for the seventh time in the last nine contests. After starting the season at 0-3 as a favorite of at least 10 points, Cleveland has posted a 5-3-1 ATS mark the last eight games as a double-digit chalk, while winning six straight home contests against Western Conference opponents.
Hawks at Bulls – 8:05 PM EST
Atlanta (30-24 SU, 26-27-1 ATS) is holding onto the top spot in the Southeast in spite of back-to-back losses to Orlando. The Hawks have stumbled to a 4-7 SU/ATS record the past 11 games as a road favorite, including recent losses to Phoenix, Milwaukee, and New York. Atlanta dominated Chicago at Philips Arena in January, 120-105 to cash as 2 ½-point favorites, as Al Horford put up 33 points on 15-of-21 shooting. Mike Budenholzer’s team has dropped four of their last five meetings at the United Center since 2013, but the only victory came as a road favorite last January, 107-99.
The Bulls (27-24 SU, 19-32 ATS) are wheezing to the finish of the first half after learning that leading scorer Jimmy Butler will be sidelined for three to four weeks with a knee injury. Chicago finished its seven-game road trip with a 2-5 SU/ATS record, while allowing at least 100 points in each of the past six contests. Fred Hoiberg’s club has lost four consecutive games at the United Center, but owns a 2-1 SU/ATS record as a home underdog this season.
Rockets at Blazers – 10:35 PM EST
Houston (27-27 SU, 23-31 ATS) has dropped five of its last seven contests to fall back to the .500 mark, capped off by Tuesday’s 123-110 defeat at Golden State. The Rockets have finished ‘over’ the total in seven of the past eight games away from the Toyota Center, while giving up at least 100 points in six straight road contests. One of Houston’s worst offensive performances of the season came last Saturday at home against Portland, shooting 32% from the floor in a 96-79 defeat as six Blazers finished in double-figures.
Portland (26-27 SU, 29-24 ATS) is closing the first half with plenty of momentum, winning seven of their past nine games to close within one game of .500. The Blazers swept a short two-game road trip at Houston and Memphis, improving to 6-2 SU/ATS in their past eight away contests. Terry Stotts’ club hasn’t been bad at the Moda Center either by winning seven of their previous nine home games, including five straight victories against Western Conference opponents.