Busy NBA Night in SoutheastBy Alex H.
A busy Friday night schedule in the NBA sees all five Southeast Division sides taking to the hardwood, with Miami hosting the Los Angeles Clippers being the pick of the bunch.
Whilst the division itself is in need of assistance from FEMA, bettors – as we shall see – could have a lot of fun with the division tonight.
Los Angeles Clippers at Miami Heat
8:00 PM ET
Winners of three straight, Miami (32-14, 20-3 home) will hope to secure a victory over a tough Western Conference foe on Friday night, something that hasn’t come easy this season. Fortunately for the Heat, this one will be played at American Airlines Arena.
The Pacific Division-leading Clippers (35-16, 15-11 road) has been off kilter of late. The other Los Angeles side has lost seven of 10 games, with Wednesday night’s win in Orlando putting the brakes on a three-game losing skid.
The Clippers defeated Miami 107-100 at Staples Center on Nov. 14, a result the team will look to repeat tonight.
Miami is the favorite. That’s unsurprising given the team has only been an underdog twice this year. The spread is 5.5.
The constant pressure of being the favorite has translated to a poor record against the spread this season. All told, the Heat has gone 22-24 ATS, with a 12-11 ATS record at home and a 20-24 ATS record as favorite.
The Clippers have gone 28-23 ATS, but is only 12-14 ATS on the road. The side has gone 5-3 ATS as an underdog.
The total is 195. The Clippers are 27-24-0 in favor of the over, whilst Miami is 22-24-0, favoring the under.
New Orleans Hornets at Atlanta Hawks
7:30 PM ET
Atlanta (27-21, 17-8 home) will relish the arrival of the Western Conference’s worst side, but bettors should beware in this one.
The Hawks defeated New Orleans (16-33, 8-18 road) 95-86 on Jan. 1, and enter this one as the favorite. The spread is five points, and that’s where this one gets interesting.
Atlanta has not fared well against the spread this season. The Hawks have compiled a 20-26-2 ATS record, which includes a 9-14-2 ATS record at home, and a 13-16-2 ATS record when entering the game as the favorite. Those are not successful numbers.
Shockingly, New Orleans is one of the better teams against the spread. All told, the Hornets are 27-22 ATS. That gets even better when you consider the side is 17-9-0 ATS on the road, and 23-17-0 ATS when playing as the underdog. The Hornets are a longshot straight up, but a very good bet against the spread.
The total is 193.5. Both teams have favored the over this season, New Orleans (26-23-0) more so than Atlanta (24-23-1).
Orlando Magic at Cleveland Cavaliers
7:30 PM ET
In what might be considered one of the worst games on the NBA slate this year (not just tonight), Orlando (14-35, 6-18 road) travels to Cleveland (15-34, 8-13 home).
With two wins on the bounce and five wins from seven, the Cavaliers are favorites entering this one, while the Magic – currently mired in an 11-game losing streak – will be a hefty underdog. But this is another game bettors should be cautious of.
The Magic have hardly been blessed against the spread this season, tallying a 22-27-0 ATS record. However, the side is 14-10-0 ATS on the road and 20-18-0 ATS as an underdog. Meanwhile, Cleveland (24-25-0 ATS) is 8-13-0 ATS at home and 2-5-0 ATS as favorite. Those numbers certainly favor the Magic.
Orlando defeated Cleveland 108-104 in Central Florida on Nov. 23.
The total is 197.5. Both sides have favored the over this season.
Brooklyn Nets at Washington Wizards
7:00 PM ET
Wins over the Clippers and Knicks this week are indicative of how improved Washington (13-35, 10-14 home) is since the return of John Wall. The Wizards will get the opportunity to add another high-profile name to its list of scalps on Friday night.
Brooklyn (29-20, 11-11 road) will look to build on Wednesday’s win in Detroit, hoping to wave goodbye to a poor string of results in the process. The Nets handed the Wizards a 115-113 overtime loss on Jan. 4. Doing likewise on Friday night may be even tougher.
The Nets are a narrow 2.5-point favorite heading into this one. Covering the spread will not be easy.
Despite a poor straight up record, the Wizards (30-17-1 ATS) have covered the spread more times than any other team in the league. The side is 15-9-0 ATS at home, and a whapping 28-14-1 ATS when considered the underdog.
Brooklyn (22-25-2 ATS) meanwhile is about as middle of the road as you can get. The Nets are 11-11-0 ATS on the road, and 19-19-0 ATS when entering as the favorite. You may as well flip a coin there, which means Washington looks like the superior bet, at least in terms of the spread.
The total is 186. Brooklyn is 23-22-2 in favor of the over, while Washington (20-27-1) is more familiar with the under.
Los Angeles Lakers at Charlotte Bobcats
7:00 PM ET
Finally, the worst team in the Eastern Conference will take on the most talked about, and most disappointing, side in the league.
Charlotte (11-37, 5-19 road) welcomes the Los Angeles Lakers (23-27, 8-17 road) to Time Warner Cable Arena, looking to hand the purple and gold side a second straight loss. In doing so, the Bobcats – all too familiar with long losing streaks – will snap a five-game skid.
But that might prove too tough a task for Mike Dunlap’s side. After all, the Lakers defeated the Bobcats 101-100 back on Dec. 18. Of course, a one-point loss could prove to be a buoyancy aid for the ‘cats.
Los Angeles enters the game as the favorite. The spread is six points.
Both sides have been terrible at covering the spread this season, with the Lakers (20-30-0 ATS) marginally better than the Bobcats (18-30-0 ATS). The Lakers haven’t been successful on the road (8-17-0 ATS) while the Bobcats haven’t been successful at home (17-25-0 ATS). The Lakers have stumbled whilst considered the favorite (16-18-0 ATS) while Charlotte has struggled as the underdog (17-25-0 ATS).
With no advantage in sight, your bet might well have to come down to who you actually think will win here.
The total is 204. Both teams have kept the over and under very close this season, with the Lakers (26-23-0) favoring the over, and the Bobcats (23-24-1) favoring the under. Doesn’t look like the sides want to help you out there either.