When you look at odds and lines on a daily basis like I do there are bound to be times when things just don’t go well. Saturday night’s games were a prime example of that as I went just 1-3. Oh sure, I could quit, hang up the keyboard and walk away but the challenge of actually being right is too much to pass up.
Tonight’s games feature three different situations; the Miami Heat are looking to close out the Bobcats, the Pacers and Hawks look for a game five win and in Dallas, the top seeded Spurs are looking to avoid a 3-1 hole.
Let’s get to the games.
Miami (-6.5) at Charlotte, Heat Lead Series 3-0 - Whether LeBron James stared down Michael Jordan during Saturday’s game three win is a topic for another day, but what was clear was that the Heat made a statement to the Bobcats; we are by no means going to let you in this series.
Playoff experience the Bobcats do not have and it was evident towards the end of the half on Saturday when they just couldn’t take care of the ball during a sequence when Miami was turning it on. I have to think that the Heat are taking some solace in the fact that the Pacers and Bulls are struggling right now to advance to the next round.
With that in mind, the Heat would like to finish off Charlotte as soon as possible in order to get the rest they need. I anticipate a strong early effort from Charlotte but I love Miami to cover and get the sweep.
Atlanta (+7) at Indiana, Series Tied 2-2 - The back and forth continued this past weekend as the teams split in Atlanta leaving the series tied at two games apiece. Many wondered if Frank Vogel would sit all-star Roy Hibbert but he did not. In a little less than 25 minutes of action, Hibbert finished with six points and three rebounds.
While Indiana proved that they could win without much of an effort from their big man, the question remains as whether they can win the series in the same manner. The Hawks continue to spread the floor to limit Hibbert’s defensive presence but Atlanta really didn’t do themselves any favors down the stretch in game four either.
The Hawks turned the ball over and suffered from poor shot selection before the Pacers’ David West ultimately put the dagger in. Whether the pattern of wins and losses continues in game five I cannot say but I feel very confident taking the Hawks and seven points.
San Antonio (-4) at Dallas, Mavericks Lead 2-1 - If you ask most casual NBA fans about Vince Carter they’d probably say something like, “he had a nice career.” The reminder that Carter sent about his current status resonate like a bomb going off as he hit an off-balance three-pointer to beat the San Antonio Spurs.
The eighth seed Mavericks now hold a surprising 2-1 lead over the Spurs and this lead has been accomplished in large part without a dominant Dirk Nowitzki. Carter and Monta Ellis have been the key players so far in the series for Dallas.
If you asked most experts they’d tell you that Rick Carlisle has outcoached Gregg Popovich to this point in the series. Everything Carlisle does seems to work while Pop’s moves haven’t panned out quite as well.
Tony Parker knocked down 17 points in the first half of game three and then scored nothing in the second half. That cannot and will not happen in game four in my opinion. While I expect another close game, I like the Spurs to cover and even the series.