March 25, 2014
By Kevin Rogers
Nets at Bobcats – 7:05 PM EST
Brooklyn: 37-32 SU, 37-32 ATS
Charlotte: 34-37 SU, 40-28-3 ATS
The Nets and Bobcats are meeting for the final time in the regular season as the home team has won the first three matchups. Brooklyn held off Charlotte at the Barclays Center, 104-99 last Wednesday as the Bobcats cashed as 6 ½-point underdogs. The Bobcats had won nine of their previous 10 games at Time Warner Cable Arena prior to Monday’s 100-89 setback to the Rockets, but Charlotte still owns a solid 11-3-1 ATS record the last 15 home contests.
Brooklyn returns home after splitting a pair of overtime games at Dallas and New Orleans on a back-to-back set. The Nets rallied to stun the Mavericks on Sunday night, 107-104 as 4 ½-point ‘dogs, but Brooklyn blew a 20-point lead in Monday’s setback to New Orleans, 109-104. Since losing by 44 at Portland on February 26, the Nets have won 11 of their last 14 games, but all three defeats have come on the highway.
Suns at Wizards – 7:05 PM EST
Phoenix: 42-29 SU, 46-24-1 ATS
Washington: 36-34 SU, 36-33-1 ATS
The Wizards hit the skids on their recent four-game road trip against the Western Conference, losing three times with the lone victory coming over the hapless Lakers. Washington’s defense yielded at least 105 points in each contest, while falling to 1-6 ATS in the last seven games away from the Verizon Center. Now, the Wizards return home for a crucial three-game homestand, as Randy Wittman’s team is just 5-5 SU and 3-6-1 ATS the past 10 games in the Nation’s Capital.
Phoenix is riding a four-game winning streak, coming off Monday’s 102-95 triumph at Atlanta as a 2 ½-point favorite. Jeff Hornacek’s club has covered 12 of its last 15 games on the highway, including an 8-1 ATS mark against the Eastern Conference in this stretch. The Suns will be playing with revenge after getting tripped up at home by the Wizards in late January, 101-95 as 3 ½-point favorites, as Phoenix is just 1-3 SU and 0-4 ATS when avenging a loss this season to an Eastern Conference opponent.
Heat at Pacers – 8:05 PM EST
Miami: 48-21 SU, 30-37-2 ATS
Indiana: 51-20 SU, 35-35-1 ATS
The Heat and Pacers are on a collision course to meet in the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight season, as the two teams hook up in Indianapolis on Wednesday. The home team has won each of the first two matchups, including a 97-94 triumph by Miami back on December 18, but the Pacers cashed as four-point underdogs. Since an eight-game winning streak from February through the start of March, the defending champs are 5-7 SU and 3-9 ATS the last 12 contests, including a dreadful 1-5 SU and 0-6 ATS record in the highway.
The Pacers are stumbling to the finish after a 25-5 start, as Indiana is just 26-15 since January 1. The 26-15 mark is still impressive, but Frank Vogel’s squad has burned backers with a disastrous 3-15-1 ATS record since the All-Star break. In the last nine games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Pacers have cashed just twice, while currently riding a five-game ‘under’ streak overall. The positive for Indiana over the last six weeks has been the defense at home, limiting 10 straight foes to less than 100 points at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Pacers have won three consecutive home meetings with the Heat since Game 4 of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals, while holding Miami to 92 points or less in each victory.
Clippers at Pelicans – 8:05 PM EST
Los Angeles: 50-21 SU, 39-31-1 ATS
New Orleans: 30-40 SU, 31-35-4 ATS
The Clippers embark on their final major road trip of the season, hitting the highway for five games starting in the Big Easy. Things have come easy for Los Angeles of late, winning 13 of its last 14 contests, but the Clips failed to cover as heavy favorites in recent victories over the Pistons and Bucks. During this hot stretch for L.A., the Clips have dominated the Pelicans twice, including a 123-110 triumph at Smoothie King Center on February 24 as 4 ½-point favorites.
The Pelicans have put together a modest three-game winning streak, which includes solid home victories over the Heat and Nets. New Orleans has turned into an ‘over’ team of late, hitting the ‘over’ in six straight games and nine of the last 10, while busting the 100-point mark nine times during this stretch. The Pelicans are holding their own at home, winning five of their past eight at Smoothie King Center, but own a dreadful 2-9 record the last 11 home contests against Western Conference foes.
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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