With all the Eastern Conference playoff spots clinched, there’s really only one interesting playoff race that has yet to be decided (eighth spot out West), but bettors will still have a juicy 10-game slate of games to sink their teeth into today and should enjoy some entertaining match-ups as well. Here are our quick picks for eight of the 10 games to help with your wagering.
Cleveland Cavaliers +12.5 at Indiana Pacers -12.5
Surprisingly, the Cavs are the hotter of the two teams at the moment as winners of their last two games, but Indiana has dominated the series recently, including three wins against Cleveland by an average of more than 15 points this season. Still, it’s a big spread to cover and the Cavs seem to be playing better at the moment, so take Cleveland to cover +12.5, but still expect them to get swept in the season series.
Philadelphia 76ers +7.5 at Brooklyn Nets -7.5
Philadelphia won’t be headed to the postseason this year, but it would love to finish the season on a high note. The only problem is, so would playoff-bound Brooklyn, as it looks to improve its East standing. Considering the Nets are 2-1 against Philly this year, they should have no problem winning again. Take the Nets to cover -7.5 in the win.
Washington Wizards +10.5 at New York Knicks -10.5
With the Knicks riding their longest winning streak in nearly 20 years, don’t expect the lowly Wizards to slow them down. New York’s win at OKC over the weekend tells me it can handle the Wiz at home. Take the Knicks to cover -10.5.
Charlotte Bobcats +14 at Memphis Grizzlies -14
The Bobcats may be destined for the number one pick in next year’s NBA draft, but considering the Grizzlies aren’t the type of team that blows opponents out, Charlotte will cover +14 today in the loss.
Phoenix Suns +14 at Houston Rockets -14
Memphis may not be one to blow teams up, but with Houston’s offense, the Rockets are a team very capable of putting big numbers up on the scoreboard. And considering Phoenix hasn’t been able to find the bottom of the net as losers of nine straight, it’s pretty safe to take Houston to cover -14 here.
Oklahoma City Thunder -4 at Utah Jazz +4
With just a half game lead over the Lakers for that final playoff spot in the West, the Jazz certainly have a lot to play for, while the Thunder might be in cruise control mode as one of the top teams in the conference. Utah has already beaten the Thunder once at home this season, so with the raised stakes, they should be able to do it again. Take Utah to cover +4 in the win.
New Orleans Hornets +9 at Los Angeles Lakers -9
Of course, the Lakers have a lot at stake too, and they’ll have a much weaker opponent to deal with than Utah, but they just aren’t playing well enough lately to beat many teams by more than nine points. Take New Orleans to cover +9 in defeat today.
Minnesota Timberwolves +6.5 at Golden State Warriors -6.5
The Warriors are one win away from officially clinching a playoff spot in the West and they should get it today against the beat-up T-Wolves. Take the Warriors to cover -6.5 here.