March 8, 2013 at 5:29 PM #48693
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
Game 1: Atlanta Hawks @ Boston Celtics – Friday, March 8
When immersed in the world of legal online sports betting, it’s generally recommended to take the team with more overall talent, but there are certainly some teams that fail to maximize the gifts they have, while less skilled teams often overachieve. This is just such a case. Atlanta has more raw athletic ability than Boston, but the Hawks just can’t be trusted to win in Beantown against a cagey Celtic squad that knows how to overcome its limitations.
The Celtics have picked up their play in the wake of Rajon Rondo’s injury and have the mindset that they will chase down Atlanta and Brooklyn before the season is over to get better playoff positioning. Meanwhile, Atlanta has shown very little this year against quality opponents, going 13-17 in games against current playoff teams. The Celtics do a good job of moving the ball for baskets and have been a pretty tough team at home most of the season. The combination of Kevin Garnett’s defense inside, with Avery Bradley locking down opposing guards on the perimeter after missing a bunch of time earlier this year, should make the Celtics tough to beat at home. The Hawks aren’t a very bright basketball team, and while Josh Smith makes highlight-reel plays over the course of a game, he constantly takes ill-advised shots. Against a team like Boston which is finding its offensive stride, you have to value every possession you get, and Atlanta simply doesn’t do that. Take the Celtics over the Hawks.
NBA Betting Pick: Boston
Game 2: Utah Jazz @ Chicago Bulls – Friday, March 8
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 few convincing reasons to pick the Jazz in this contest. The Jazz have just been two completely different teams at home and on the road in 2013. They must find a way to get their act together on the road if they plan on holding onto a playoff spot. With the Los Angeles Lakers at home against Toronto on the same night, this game could keep the Jazz from losing part of their lead on the Lakers. The Bulls’ front line and defense have been the strengths of the team, allowing Chicago to overcome Derrick Rose’s ACL injury without falling off the map. One area in which the teams differ by a wide margin is field goal percentage. On offense the teams are somewhat close, but on defense, you get to see the biggest difference between these clubs. While Chicago is one of the NBA’s best at defending the opposition, the Jazz give up easy buckets far too often. In a game between two close teams, will those four or five easy possessions make a difference? The frontcourt battle should also be a key in this tilt; neither team is stellar in the backcourt and likes to run its offense through the post. The Bulls are a tough enough matchup as it is for Utah. That’s ignoring the fact Utah hasn’t been good on the road. Chicago clearly emerges as the smart choice on Friday.
NBA Betting Pick: Chicago
Game 3: Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors – Friday, March 8
Most basketball pundits figured the Warriors were playing a bit over their heads earlier this year, but few commentators anticipated the freefall the Warriors have endured. The Rockets sit just one game back of the Warriors for the sixth seed in the Western Conference; under James Harden, they have become perhaps the most entertaining offensive team in the NBA. This game will entirely come down to which team is making shots, since both teams like to push tempo and shoot the three-ball. Golden State would appear to have an edge inside with David Lee. How often the Warriors give him touches in the post could be a difference-maker on Friday. This is a pretty close game anyway you cut it, but when in doubt, roll with the best player, Mr. Harden, and the Rockets.
Read more on the latest sportsbook odds for NBA basketball in 2013.
NBA Betting Pick: Houston
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