This Week's Potential NBA Letdowns

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LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) - The NBA is loaded with average teams that can't seem to get over the hump because they can't consistently play with the same focus and intensity, night-in, night-out.

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Even the top teams have bad games, which is understandable when you have an 82-game schedule. Now that we're getting into the second half of the schedule, this is where players tend to hit the wall due to the excess travel and amount of games per week.

When teams face one of the elite squads in the league, they tend to letdown the game afterwards. That's just a reality in the NBA, but when betting pro hoops, you can use that to your advantage if you take a look ahead in the schedule. I'll give you a few examples of teams that could be in for a letdown, because they are facing an extremely important game in the previous contest.

1) Atlanta (25-21 SU) has been one of the more pleasant surprises in the league this year as they have consistently overachieved despite playing without All-Star center Al Horford and several other injuries. On Tuesday, Feb. 4, the Hawks take on the team with the best record in the NBA-Indiana. They actually beat the Pacers on Jan. 8 (97-87), so they shouldn't be intimidated. But right after the Pacers, the Hawks have a trap game against New Orleans (20-27 SU) on Wednesday, Feb. 5. The Pelicans are 11-12 at home so they are extremely dangerous and should be a slight favorite at best.

2) Washington (24-23 SU) finally got over the .500 mark for the first time in five years. They just beat Portland and Oklahoma City on back-to-back games at home. Now the Wizards take on San Antonio at home on Wednesday, Feb. 5. If they beat the Spurs, they'll be two games over .500 and their next game takes place on Friday, Feb. 7 against Cleveland at home. That's a serious letdown game for the Wiz, who should be at least a six-point favorite if they beat the Spurs. The Wizards also lost to Boston and Detroit recently at home, they can beat anybody or lose to anybody on any given night.

3) Denver (23-23 SU) is another example of an average team, coming off upsetting the Los Angeles Clippers at home, 116-115 on Monday night. The Clippers go facing one of the better teams in the league, to taking on the absolute worst in Milwaukee (9-39 SU). That games takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 5 and the Nuggets should be a double-digit favorite. They also could have a letdown and may not cover the big number at home against a Milwaukee team that did shot New York at home on Monday, getting 8.5.

Remember to look at the injuries before taking on teams coming off letdowns and good luck!

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