April 14, 2014
By Kevin Rogers
Heat at Wizards – 7:05 PM EST
Miami: 54-26 SU, 37-41-2 ATS
Washington: 42-38 SU, 41-38-1 ATS
These two Southeast Division rivals could potentially meet in the opening round of the playoffs later this week, but seedings won’t be decided for three days. The Heat got tripped up in Atlanta on Saturday night, 98-85, the third loss in the last four games. That defeat by Miami may have put them in the second spot in the East behind Indiana, as the Heat fell to 2-4 ATS in the past six contests.
The Wizards are fighting it out with the Bobcats for the sixth seed in the East, as Washington has posted a 6-3 SU and 5-4 ATS record the last nine games. Washington’s defense has stepped up of late, holding nine of the past 10 opponents to less than 100 points, while hitting the ‘under’ nine times in this stretch. The home team has won all three meetings between the Heat and Wizards this season, as Washington ripped Miami in its last matchup at the Verizon Center in January, 114-97 as 5 ½-point underdogs.
Bobcats at Hawks – 7:35 PM EST
Charlotte: 41-39 SU, 46-31-3 ATS
Atlanta: 37-43 SU, 36-43-1 ATS
Both teams are headed to the playoffs, as Atlanta is assured the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks have won and covered five of their past six games, trying to put together some momentum prior to their first round matchup with either the Pacers or Heat. Atlanta has had tremendous success against Charlotte over the years, winning 11 straight meetings, including all three matchups this season.
Since getting tripped up at Orlando in overtime in late March, the Bobcats have won six of their past seven games to forge above the .500 mark. Charlotte continues to be a threat on the road by winning five of its last eight on the highway, including a pair of outright underdog wins at Washington. However, the Bobcats have beaten just three playoff teams on the road this season (Wizards, Warriors, and Raptors), as Charlotte has won 13 away contests against teams heading to the lottery.
Spurs at Rockets – 8:35 PM EST
San Antonio: 62-18 SU, 45-35 ATS
Houston: 53-27 SU, 39-39-2 ATS
The Spurs have wrapped up the top seed in the Western Conference, but are looking to avoid the season sweep to the rival Rockets tonight. Houston has covered just two of its last nine games overall, while cashing the ‘over’ in seven consecutive contests. The Rockets own a half-game lead over the Blazers for the fourth spot in the Western Conference, as Houston beat San Antonio in each of the first three matchups this season, all in the underdog role.
San Antonio erased a 21-point deficit in Friday’s 112-104 home victory over Phoenix in a potential first round matchup, while improving to 15-3 ATS the last 18 games overall. The Spurs have allowed at least 100 points in four of their last five away contests, while giving up at least 111 points twice to Houston this season.
Grizzlies at Suns – 10:05 PM EST
Memphis: 48-32 SU, 35-42-3 ATS
Phoenix: 47-33 SU, 51-28-1 ATS
The Grizzlies are on the doorstep of clinching the final playoff berth in the Western Conference, as a Memphis victory tonight sends them to the postseason. In three matchups with the Suns this season, the Grizzlies have won all three times, including a 99-91 road triumph at Phoenix back in early January as 5 ½-point underdogs. Last night, the Grizzlies avoided a letdown by holding off the Lakers as 12-point road favorites, 102-90 to win their third straight contest.
The Suns need to win their final two games to qualify for the playoffs, coupled with Memphis losing to Dallas on Wednesday. Regardless of the outcome, Phoenix has outdone any expectations with its incredible run this season, but consecutive losses to San Antonio and Dallas have dented the Suns’ hopes for the playoffs. Since late February, the Suns own a 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS the last 10 games in the Valley, which includes a pair of home victories over Oklahoma City.
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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