Tonight has been our money night, so we’ll be hoping to have another strong winning card on Friday. Last night was at least useful for one thing; we know not to bother with the Lakers. I don’t very much you’ll see me even mention them again this season now, because in short I’ve come to the conclusion they’re a joke. They really had a chance to fully demonstrate there season was turning, but they just got blown out instead by a Boston team without Rondo and that played the night before, in a tough game.
New Orleans Hornets @ Atlanta Hawks (12.30am)
My first response when I saw this spread was to go on to the Hawks website, check the injury list and see which one of their guards or top scorers or something were out injured, thus explaining the small spread. I found nothing. And unless the bookmakers know something I don’t – and they don’t – then this line is definitely too short for a Hawks team that plays well. Is there a guarantee they’ll play well? No. They’ve been inconsistent, and perhaps that’s the only reason you might be able to factor in, but I don’t see what would make a bookmakers feel they’re in for a below par performance against the lowly Hornets. New Orleans have a 16-33 record and are worst on the road, going 8-18. They won their last game and it’s not often the Hornets put together any sort of winning run, so forget about it becoming 2 tonight. The Hawks are a much stronger 27-21 and despite their undeniable inconsistencies, they’re most consistent at home with a 17-8 records and few slip ups against a team of this quality on their record. Whilst Vasquez is a top, top player and his size and strength has handed him the ability to do it all recently… he doesn’t quite score enough points for my liking and you always hear me use the phrase ‘match ups’. Well, the Hawks will like the match ups here as they look winnable all over the court. Horford and Smith possess more quality than anyone on the Hornets team and the Hawks will want to take advantage of their remaining home games before the All-Star Break next week.
Phoenix Suns @ Oklahoma City Thunder (1.00am)
Despite differing totals at the time of the game, 7 of the last 9 games between the two have gone over the total set for this one and there’s no solid reason to suggest that something will make this a low scoring game tonight. In fact, the Thunder’s games lately have been ever higher scoring than they usually are and we all know they’re one of the most dangerous offensive teams in the NBA averaging a shade above 108 home points a game this season. Tonight I’d be looking for the Thunder to go over the 110 mark, and providing they do, is 95 points too much to ask of the Suns? I don’t think so. OKC will control the pace of the game and make it a fast one, providing lots of scoring opportunities. The Suns might have an obvious lack of quality compared to Durant and co, but their games have actually gone Over the total every single time they’ve come up against a team that averages 99 points or more, and that stat is purely from the Suns playing on the road. This one seems set to be high tempo and high scoring.
Brooklyn Nets @ Washington Wizards
Brooklyn are a good team, we know that. The Wizards on paper are a losing team but we’ve seen in the last few weeks just how good they are with wins over the Bulls, Hawks, Clippers, Thunder, Knicks, Trailblazers and the Nuggets. That’s an impressive host of teams to beat in a row, so it again shows the influence John Wall has on this team. Know what? I’m just going to spare you the preview. We take the Wizards two or three times a week regularly at the moment and it’s because they’re hot. They’ve already faced off against each other once this season and the Nets took a narrow 2 point home win after playing several over time periods. The Wizards are capable of beating anyone in the league at the moment and the bookmakers just keep giving us good lines to bet on. Let’s play the Wizards as always.
George’s Tips (odds as of 17.50pm)
Atlanta Hawks -4.5 @ 1.86 with Matchbook
OKC-PHX Over 205.5 @ 1.95 with Matchbook
Washington Wizards -1 @ 1.95 with Marathon