March 1, 2013 at 1:28 PM #48221
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
Game 1: Houston Rockets @ Orlando Magic – Friday, March 1
Whether you want to become a bookie or merely continue to join in the action at premier betting outlets across the country, you are going to find it hard to pick against Houston in this game. The Rockets have gotten great play out of James Harden all season, a level of quality that has silenced any criticisms that have said he is not a star player. Going to Orlando, the Rockets will look to push their lead on the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth playoff seed against one of the worst teams in the NBA. The only competition the Magic find themselves in right now is for the top pick in June’s draft, a fresh start the team desperately needs after the Dwight Howard fiasco. The Rockets have been elite all season at the offensive end of the floor. For a team that shoots the ball as much as it does, it has maintained a high shooting percentage. Against a defense that is the fifth worst in the Association in its composite defensive rating, that should mean lots of high-quality looks and strong efforts from multiple players. Houston should roll here.
NBA Betting Pick: Houston
Game 2: Dallas Mavericks @ Brooklyn Nets – Friday, March 1
When immersed in the world of legal online sports betting, it’s generally recommended to follow trends and carry them to their logical conclusions. The Mavericks have tried to rally since the return of Dirk Nowitzki to the lineup, but they are frankly running out of time as the team continues to sink in the West. Meanwhile, the Nets have their own issues to figure out, primarily their performance against current playoff teams. The key trend to watch here is that the Nets have essentially been bad-team bullies all season with an exceptional record against non-playoff teams. Dallas is another one of those non-playoff teams, so the Nets should be able to exploit the advantage they have against the Mavs. Where Brooklyn is significantly better than Dallas is in the backcourt. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson both will have size and athleticism advantages against their counterparts on Dallas, and should be able to get into the paint all night as a result. The Mavericks have to find some offense around O.J Mayo and Nowitzki over the course of 48 minutes. Vince Carter and Darren Collison both are around 13 points per game but have struggled with efficiency all season. This game may come down to which team gets more help beyond its star player. Brooklyn is more likely to be that team.
NBA Betting Pick: Brooklyn
Game 3: Oklahoma City Thunder @ Denver Nuggets – Friday, March 1
The Thunder give the Nuggets problems because Oklahoma City is one of the rare teams in the NBA which can play the game the Nuggets like to play at a higher level than Denver. Oklahoma City, in an up-tempo game, usually winds up getting Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook hot early. From that point forward, the opposing defense is at Oklahoma City’s mercy. Yet at the same time, Denver wouldn’t benefit from a slowed-down halfcourt game because of the limited shot creators it possesses. Essentially, Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson are the only two people who can score off the dribble. The rest almost always need to be set up or given an open jumper. The Thunder need to keep Kenneth Faried off the glass to keep the Nuggets from generating extra possessions. Otherwise it’s all about going through the star, Kevin Durant, who has shown his prolific scoring touch time and time again against the Nuggets’ defense. Take Oklahoma City here.
Read more on the latest sportsbook odds for NBA basketball in 2013.
NBA Betting Pick: Oklahoma City
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