March 2, 2014
By Kevin Rogers
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Grizzlies at Wizards – 7:05 PM EST
Memphis: 33-25 SU, 26-30-2 ATS
Washington: 31-28 SU, 33-25-1 ATS
The Wizards are one of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference right now, riding a six-game winning streak. Washington returns home following a pair of road victories at Toronto and Philadelphia, capped off by a 122-103 rout of the slumping 76ers as 11-point favorites. Since suffering a four-game ATS skid at home in January, the Wizards own a stellar 12-5-1 ATS record the last 18 contests, while Washington is 3-1 ATS the last four opportunities as an underdog at the Verizon Center.
The Grizzlies were a strong ‘under’ play when Marc Gasol returned to the lineup in January, but Memphis is currently in the midst of a six-game ‘over’ run. Memphis has alternated wins and losses in its last five contests, coming off Saturday’s comeback victory over Cleveland, outscoring the Cavs, 56-31 in the second half of a 110-96 triumph. The last time the Grizzlies and Wizards met up at FedEx Forum last month, Memphis held on for a 92-89 win, but Washington cashed as 4 ½-point underdogs.
Bulls at Nets – 7:35 PM EST
Chicago: 33-26 SU, 31-28 ATS
Brooklyn: 28-29 SU, 29-28 ATS
The Bulls are building up their seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs by the day, as Chicago routed a lifeless New York squad on Sunday, 109-90 as 6 ½-point favorites. Tom Thibodeau’s club are rolling by winning nine of its past 10 games, including a 4-1 SU/ATS record away from the United Center in this stretch. Chicago has had its way with Brooklyn this season, dominating the Nets twice, including a 95-78 triumph at Barclays Center on Christmas afternoon.
The Nets return to the Empire State following a 4-2 SU/ATS road trip since the All-Star break, as Brooklyn took care of Milwaukee as six-point favorites on Saturday, 107-98. Jason Kidd’s squad allowed 99 points or less in four of those six games, as Brooklyn looks to continue its winning ways at the Barclays Center. The Nets are riding a four-game hot streak at home, while covering three times in recent wins over the Pelicans, Bobcats, and Spurs.
Bobcats at Heat – 7:35 PM EST
Charlotte: 27-31 SU, 32-23-3 ATS
Miami: 42-14 SU, 26-28-23 ATS
The Heat goes for the four-game season sweep of the Bobcats on Monday, as Miami looks to extend its winning streak to eight games. In the previous meeting between these Southeast Division foes, the Heat needed overtime to hold off the Bobcats, 104-96 to pick up a front-door cover as 6 ½-point road favorites in mid-January. Miami has completely dominated Charlotte over the years, winning 15 consecutive times over the Bobcats, as the Bobcats last won at American Airlines Arena in January 2010.
The Bobcats may not be a threat in the Eastern Conference, but Charlotte is currently the seventh-seed in the playoff race. Charlotte’s four-game winning streak went up in flames in Friday’s 92-82 defeat at San Antonio as 8 ½-point underdogs, as Steve Clifford’s club trailed by two with 90 seconds left in regulation before falling apart late. The Bobcats have performed well in the role of a road underdog against teams off consecutive wins, posting a 7-2 ATS record in this situation, including outright victories at Golden State, Denver, and Toronto. Charlotte has responded off a straight-up loss since mid-January, going 7-1 ATS the last eight games off a defeat.
Wolves at Nuggets – 9:05 PM EST
Minnesota: 29-29 SU, 31-27 ATS
Denver: 25-33 SU, 24-34 ATS
Minnesota has slowly come back to life on its current five-game road trip, winning three of the first four contests to pull back to the .500 mark. The Wolves rallied past the Kings on Saturday night as 4 ½-point favorites, 108-97, while also getting back two of their top players, Kevin Martin (26 points) and Nikola Pekovic (20 points) back from injuries. Rick Adelman’s club has drilled the ‘under’ in three straight games, all with closing totals of 211 ½ or higher. Minnesota finally figured out Denver following two early-season losses to the Nuggets, as the Wolves ripped up Denver at the Target Center prior to the All-Star break, 117-90 as 6 ½-point favorites.
The Nuggets have spiraled out control with five consecutive defeats, but Brian Shaw’s team managed a cover as 12-point underdogs at Portland in a 102-96 setback on Saturday. Denver is 0-4 SU/ATS at the Pepsi Center since the All-Star break, while breaking the 100-point mark just twice in the last nine games. In the last eight contests at the Pepsi Center, the Nuggets have hit the ‘over’ just twice, as one of those ‘overs’ needed overtime in a 112-107 loss to Phoenix in the first game after the break.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.
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