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Wednesday Hard Court Betting Tips
Which NBA bets to make on Wednesday
By Liam Davis
This is a truly interesting line. The Atlanta Hawks haven't been very good since before the NBA's All-Star break, and they're going up against a somewhat hotter Dallas Mavericks team that added Nerlens Noel at the trade deadline.
Dallas doesn't have an answer for Paul Millsap, and that matters. Dirk Nowitzki cannot survive on him; Noel can, but then that leaves Nowitzki to defend Dwight Howard—an easier task given how he's used in Atlanta's offense, yet not a good matchup by any means.
Still, the Mavericks are a smart team, and with the Hawks laboring through a cold(ish) streak, it doesn't make sense to give them the decisive cover here.
The Pick: Dallas Mavericks (+6)
Kyle Lowry's absence changes things for the Toronto Raptors. He is a two-way terror, and the defense, on paper, won't look as good with Cory Joseph-DeMar DeRozan backcourts.
But the Raptors are 3-0 out of the All-Star break without him. Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker are helping them tread water on defense, while the offense hasn't missed much of a beat.
The Washington Wizards, meanwhile, are working off a Tuesday night win over the Golden State Warriors. Their lack of rest could come in to play, carrying this one starkly in the Raptors' favor.
We're nevertheless banking on the Wizards' backcourt prevailing. Without Lowry, the Raptors don't have anyone who can really match up well with either Bradley Beal or John Wall, and the final score should be reflective of that.
The Pick: Washington Wizards (+4.5)
Hello, tough line.
It's fine if you want to steer clear of this game. The Cleveland Cavaliers are missing Kevin Love and J.R. Smith, and we don't know how well Deron Williams will play should he make a debut for his new team. On the flip side, the Boston Celtics are at full strength for roughly the first time this season and have started figuring out things on the defensive end. Having already played the Cavaliers tight on two occassions, this could be the game in which they make the leap.
Here's a cardinal betting rule, though: When there's a one-point spread for a LeBron James-led team facing another Eastern Conference counterpart, you roll with the LeBron Jame-led unit.
The Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers (-1)
Kudos to the Indiana Pacers for rattling off that big-time win over the Houston Rockets the other night. But they have been a borderline terrible team on the road all season, and facing off against the San Antonio Spurs is never the ideal solution to such problems.
Both the Pacers' offense and defense pale in comparison to the Spurs' machinations. San Antonio, it seems, is even more dangerous now with the starting frontcourt of LaMarcus Aldridge and Dewayne Dedmon, while David Lee and Pau Gasol hold things down off the bench.
Keep your eyes peeled for any surprise rest days Gregg Popovich might dole out, but right now, the pick here is San Antonio.
The Pick: San Antonio Spurs (-10)
Chris Paul is back with the Los Angeles Clippers and Blake Griffin is playing out of his mind. At full strength, as they are now, they are one of the league's most balanced teams.
But the Houston Rockets' detonative offense is ridiculous, and as Paul continues to work off the rust from his extensive absence, this doesn't feel like a game they'll have the firepower to win.
And even if Paul plays spectacular basketball, the Clippers don't have the complementary shooters to keep pace with the Rockets' barrage of triples.
The Pick: Houston Rockets (+2)
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