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Tuesday's NBA Action

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NBA TNT Double Header Preview
 
A pair of great, national television games is on tap Tuesday night. The Knicks and Heat are both playoff bound, and fans are certainly excited about the idea of the two franchise butting heads in the playoffs. It’s certainly a different matter in the late game on Tuesday with the Lakers and Mavericks trying to keep their slimming playoff hopes alive. Let’s break down these matchups.
 
New York Knicks (46-23) vs. Miami Heat (58-15)
Tuesday, Apr. 2 --- American Airlines Arena --- 8:00 p.m. ET
NBA Betting Line: Miami -7.5 (196.5)
 
With the streak far behind them, Miami can turn its attention to the playoffs and sending definitive messages to any team in the Eastern Conference foolish enough to think they can hang. Count New York amongst those teams. While Knicks fans will love talking themselves in to a seven game series somewhere down the road, the truth remains that Miami is a strong 7-3 SU and ATS in their last 10 games against New York including a dominant 4-1 SU and ATS throttling in the opening round of last year’s playoffs.
 
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Still this betting line is going to leave some NBA bettors nervous. Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Mario Chalmers will likely rest during this somewhat pivotal matchup in order to be fully prepared for the post season. The Heat have been 4-1 SU and ATS in their last 5 games overall, but they’re also 0-5 ATS in their last 5 home games when playing following an extended road trip. They are deeper than most think, but they’re still not able to fully replace three of their best players.
 
The Knicks will be looking to make their own statement in this game and are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games. They’re also 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall. With plenty of pride on the line, and a hampered Miami team that will strategically rest some important players, the smart bet is on New York with the point cushion. This is a game that Miami will be willing to lose in order to be full strength when it actually matters.
 
NBA TNT Double Header Pick – New York +7.5 (UNDER)
 
Dallas Mavericks (36-37) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (38-36)
Tuesday, Apr. 2 --- Staples Center --- 10:30 p.m. ET
NBA Betting Line: Los Angeles -3.0 (207.0)
 
The Mavericks and Lakers are on the outside of the playoffs looking in, sitting within striking distance of Utah for the final spot in the Western Conference. Nobody really thought Dallas would be competitive this year following some major gaffes in free agency over the summer. They’ve come on strong going 4-1 SU in their last 5 games, but are just 2-3 ATS during that stretch.
 
Dirk Nowitzki has been a mad man lately averaging 25.6 points per game and 7.2 rebounds while putting the Mavericks completely on his back. After overcoming injury, and watching his team rediscover itself with a band of wayward journeymen in tow, the rejuvenated Nowitzki could lead a dangerous team in the playoffs. Anytime you have a player of Dirk’s caliber playing at the level we expect him to, you can hope for the best.
 
The Lakers can sense that the playoff window is closing. Dwight Howard has been statistically steady with 21.3 points averaged over the last three games. Fellow big man Pau Gasol is still working his way in to playing shape and has just 10.4 points. He has been the odd man out this entire season and I am very curious to see what happens to him this off-season with teams like Chicago and Houston actively targeting his services.
 
Kobe Bryant has been a warrior through the stretch, but he is battling injuries as is Steve Nash (hamstring). Metta World Peace, as you know, is out for a while with a major foot injury. The Lakers, especially at home, are not a great bet. They’re just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall and are limping in to the end of what’s been a cataclysmic season.
 
The hot hand in this matchup belongs to Dirk and the Mavericks. Los Angeles is a talented team, but they haven’t been able to pull everything together and continue to be ravaged by untimely injuries. Dallas will smell blood, pounce and secure a footing in the standings that gives them a real chance to catch Utah for a post season berth.
 
NBA TNT Double Header Pick – Dallas +3.0 (UNDER)

  
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