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Wednesday's Betting Tips

Wednesday's Betting Tips

NBA Sports Betting Odds and Capsules: April 17

This is the final night for the NBA before the playoffs start on Saturday, April 20.  There are several matchups tonight that have playoff implications. In the Western Conference, the only thing that is really set is the top two seeds with Oklahoma City and San Antonio.  Check out a preview from the top two games of the night below from each conference.

Washington Wizards (29-52 SU, 44-35-2 ATS, 33-45-3 O/U) at Chicago Bulls (44-37 SU, 36-45 ATS, 36-44-1 O/U)

Chicago is tied with Atlanta for the fifth seed in the East, but they have tiebreaker
Washington has lost five straight games
Washington may be looking at a better draft spot

Last game: (4/2/13) Washington (-2.5) over Chicago, 90-86.

Keys to Success: The Bulls have an opportunity to claim the fifth seed with a win here. They own the tiebreaker over the Atlanta Hawks but they aren't playing their best basketball. They lost  two of three on the road and four of their last six overall. At least they are playing the Wizards, who are sitting six key players due to injuries including Nene and Brad Beal. Chicago is almost full-strength now and the only question is whether star guard Derrick Rose will return from his year-long absence from a knee injury. With Luol Deng, Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah healthy, the Bulls will be a very dangerous team in the Eastern Conference playoffs, with or without Rose.

Washington lost at Brooklyn, 106-101, getting 4.5 on Monday. The Nets rested most of their starters and Washington blew a 17-point lead. Chicago beat Orlando, 102-84 on Monday, giving 5.5 on the road.  Washington is 0-7 ATS last 7 road games. Pro Basketball Odds: Chicago is an 8.5-point betting odds favorite. Total: 186.0.

Houston Rockets (45-36 SU, 41-39 ATS, 41-40 O/U) at Los Angeles Lakers (44-37 SU, 33-47 ATS, 43-37 O/U)

The Lakers need a win or a Utah loss to make the playoffs
The Lakers have won seven of eight games
Houston will fall to the eighth spot with a loss

Last game: (1/8/13) Houston (-8) over LA Lakers, 125-112.

Keys to Success: Houston has won two of three in the series this year but if they lose tonight, the series is tied and the Lakers have the tiebreaker. The Rockets were shocked by the lowly Sunday on Monday and now they need to win just to keep the seventh seed. Houston has lost two of its last three games and three of five. The Lakers have managed to win seven of eight, but if they make the playoffs, will have to do so without Kobe Bryant, who ruptured his Achilles tendon against the Warriors last Friday. This will be the Lakers second game without Bryant and they'll also be playing without Steve Nash (hip), who is expected to be ready if the Lakers make the playoffs,

The Rockets are coming off a 119-112 win over Phoenix on the road, giving 7.5 on Monday. The Lakers upset San Antonio, 91-86, getting 3.5 at home on Saturday. Steve Blake, who averages 6.9 points, scored a season-best 23 points against the Spurs. Pro Hoops Odds:The Lakers are a 2.5-point betting odds favorite. Total: 203.5.

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