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Wednesday's NBA Tip Sheet

Wednesday's NBA Tip Sheet

Wednesday's Tip Sheet
By Josh Jacobs

We’re already at mid-week and the tail end of the NBA regular season continues to intrigue handicappers, bettors and sports insiders alike. If you haven’t already heard, the Western Conference is where the nonstop action continues to take place as the No. 1, 2 and 3 seeds remain unlocked.

With conference and division titles still at large in the West, Wednesday’s nine-game card should intrigue. But it’s clear as day that a 9:30 EDT all out war between Phoenix and San Antonio will attract the most attention.

The Spurs (53-24 SU, 35-40-2 ATS) are looking to take back-to-back championships for the first time in team history. With San Antonio posting a blistering 32-6 SU and 20-16-2 ATS record inside its own home arena this season, Phoenix (51-26 SU, 36-38-3 ATS) will look to repeat a December head-to-head victory (Phoenix grabbed the 100-95 ‘W’, covering the two-point spread and cashing in on the ‘under’ 204).

After ending a four-game losing streak on Mar. 20 against Chicago (102-80), the Spurs have since manufactured a 9-1 SU and 7-3 ATS record in their last 10. What’s highlighted the recent run is San Antonio’s defensive squad holding opponents to a smothering 85.4 PPG (while the Spurs have produced 95.6 PPG during the same stretch).

Phoenix’s apathetical defense hasn’t been detrimental on the road with the squad posting a 23-15 SU ledger, but an average 18-18-2 ATS profit pull in has been more a deterrent to bettors then an attraction.

With the Suns dropping a 105-98 loss to Dallas over the weekend, a 9-10 ATS performance at home versus teams with a losing record has added more lint to backers’ pockets.

San Antonio has a different story to tell. The Spurs emerged from a dreadful 90-64 defeat in Utah on Friday only to come back in a low scoring victory over Portland (72-65). The win over the Trail Blazers resulted in an ‘under’ play which dipped well below the closing, 176 ½-point total.

San Antonio is now looking to buck a 2-5 ATS trend when coming off two days of rest that has sent gamblers scrambling for the exit doors.

Then there are the always obvious head-to-head matchups to look back on.

Phoenix enters the final tip-off with San Antonio this season posting a 2-1 SU and ATS record. In the last meeting on Mar. 3, the Suns walked away with a comfortable, 94-87 win thanks in part to Shaquille O’Neal’s powerful work on the boards. Phoenix was propelled into the win column with O’Neals 14 points and 16 rebounds. Helping to hold down the total ‘under’ 202 ½ points was an anemic San Antonio offense that shot 44 percent from the field.

With the Spurs just 1 ½ games behind New Orleans in the division, a win on Wednesday could become a major turning point in the race to the postseason.

San Antonio’s Robert Horry has missed a total of eight games with a badly bruised knee, but the team has gone onto accumulate 7-1 SU and 5-3 ATS run in his absence. has listed the Spurs as six-point favorites, while a total of 199 has been installed.

Eastern Conference Rush

Washington (40-37 SU, 43-34 ATS) will get a shot at taking down a Boston team looking to rest its players through the rest of the regular season. In the three meetings that both teams have squared off it’s been the Wizards who’ve had the upper hand in the series. In back-to-back games in mid-January, Washington combined to outscore Boston 173-161, resulting in two straight SU and ATS wins. In all three head-to-head meetings this season, the ‘under’ has been the total play to support with a 3-0 turnout. Combine past meetings with a Celtics team that’s sitting out the “Big Three” and it would seem a home win for the Wizards would be something to look into.

Philadelphia (39-38 SU, 42-32-3 ATS) will get a chance to jump on a Detroit squad also keeping a majority of its starting roster on the bench. The Pistons will be entering this contest with a 10-7-1 ATS record in back-to-back scenarios. For the Sixers, a slim one-game margin ahead of Toronto and one-game behind Cleveland makes this tip-off a must win for advancement (or digression). Installed as an eight-point underdog, Philadelphia was able to squeeze out an 83-82 win over Detroit on Mar. 12. In their last three meetings, the ‘under’ has gone 3-0.

Toronto (38-39 SU, 37-39-1 ATS) is the second team in the East sitting inside the playoff bubble with a losing record (currently as the No. 7 seed). The Raptors are 1-4 SU in their last five and have slide down the financial slope with a 5-16 ATS crash in their last 21. Gearing to face Milwaukee, Toronto is in charge of an 11-8 ATS report at home versus teams with a losing record. The Raptors bulldozed the Bucks in their last meeting, winning 106-75.

Prediction Play

We’ll end this tip sheet with one prediction on Wednesday’s docket. With Houston camping on the No. 5 seed, a contest against Seattle will be just as important as any of the four other games remaining on its schedule. Most books have opened the Sonics as huge 16 ½-point underdogs. Seattle is 4-1 ATS in its last five versus a team with a winning SU record and are 5-1-1 ATS in its last seven head-to-head meetings against Houston. The Rockets are 5-0 SU at home versus the Sonics in the last five meetings but are only 2-2-1 ATS during the same run. It might have to do with perception after a 151-147 OT win over Denver on Sunday, but I’m favoring Seattle to cover this huge spread.

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Re: Wednesday's NBA Tip Sheet

Boston (62-15, 48-27-2 ATS) at Washington (40-37, 43-34 ATS)

Boston, which has begun to rest its Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen for the playoffs, travels to the Verizon Center to take on Washington, which is aiming to maintain – if not improve – on its spot as the fifth seed in the East.

The Celtics, despite resting their stars, pounded Charlotte 101-78 Saturday as a 1½-point chalk, then went to Milwaukee on Tuesday night and edged Milwaukee 107-104 in overtime for their seventh straight win. However, Boston came up way short as an 9½-point road chalk, ending a 6-0 ATS roll.

The Wizards dropped Chicago 99-87 Saturday as a seven-point road underdog for their second straight win after a three-game slide. Washington is 3-5 ATS in its last eight starts overall, though six of those games were played on the highway, including five in the Western Conference. The Wizards currently sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings, just one game ahead of Philadelphia and two clear of Toronto.

Washington has won two of three meetings against league-leading Boston this season, including an 88-83 road upset catching 11½ points on Jan. 14. Just two nights earlier, the Wizards knocked off the Celtics 85-78 as a 6½-point home pup. The underdog is on a 10-3 ATS run in this series.

Despite last night’s non-cover, the Celtics are on a 15-4 ATS tear in their last 19 starts and are on further positive ATS runs of 4-0 on Wednesday, 4-1 against the Eastern Conference, 5-1 against winning teams, 46-18-1 on the road and a sterling 27-9-1 when playing on back-to-back nights.

The Wizards are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 starts against the Atlantic Division, but they are 2-7 ATS in their last nine on Wednesday and 1-5 ATS in their last six home starts.

For Boston, the under is on streaks of 4-1 overall, 7-1 against the Eastern Conference, 7-2 against Southeast Division foes, 4-1 on Wednesdays and 4-1 when playing on no rest. On the flip side, for Washington, the over is on runs of 5-1 overall, 7-0 against Atlantic Division opponents, 8-1 in D.C., 4-1 when playing on three or more days of rest and 19-7 in Eastern Conference play. Finally, the over is 7-2 in the last nine matchups between these two in Washington.


Phoenix (52-26, 37-38-3 ATS) at San Antonio (53-24, 35-40-2 ATS)

Phoenix, playing for the second straight night on the road, heads to the AT&T Center to take on red-hot San Antonio in a battle of Western Conference powers.

The Suns, who blew a big fourth-quarter lead in losing to Dallas 105-98 Sunday as a 4½-point home favorite, traveled to Memphis on Tuesday night and hammered the Grizzlies 127-113, barely getting the cover as a 12½-point favorite. Phoenix, which trails the Lakers by 1½ games in the race for the Pacific Division title, has alternated ATS wins and losses over its last eight games and is just 4-5 ATS in its last nine.

The Spurs held off Portland 72-65 Sunday in a defensive battle, failing to cover as an 8½-point road chalk for its second straight ATS setback. However, San Antonio is on a 9-1 SU run, going 7-3 against the number during that stretch.

Phoenix has taken two of three meetings with the Spurs this season, including a 94-87 home win a month ago as a 1½-point ‘dog. The Suns also posted a 100-95 road win catching two points in December, but the Spurs won 84-81 at Phoenix in January as a 7½-point pup. So the underdog has cashed in all three clashes this season and is 4-1-1 ATS in the last six going back to last year’s contentious Western Conference semifinal playoff series, which San Antonio won 4-2 (3-2-1 ATS).

The Suns are just 5-16-3 ATS in their last 24 Wednesday contests, and they are 2-4 ATS in their last six on the highway and 0-4-1 ATS in their last five when playing on back-to-back nights. But they are on positive ATS upticks of 9-2-1 against the Western Conference and 6-2 against the Southwest Division.

The Spurs are 1-5 ATS in their last six when playing on two days rest, but they carry positive pointspread trends of 4-1 against winning teams, 4-1 at home and 7-3 on Wednesday.

For Phoenix, the over is on streaks of 8-1 on Wednesday, 7-2 against the Southwest Division, 5-2 on no rest and 16-5 against teams with a winning percentage above .600. For San Antonio, though, the under is on runs of 5-1 against winning teams, 6-2 on Wednesday and 4-1 when playing on two days’ rest. Finally, the under is on a 5-1 tear in this rivalry.


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