Washington Wizards at Charlotte Bobcats (-5, 191)
The Wizards, winners of two consecutive road contests, should have Gilbert Arenas back in their lineup Wednesday after he missed Saturday’s game. Arenas is leading his team in scoring with more than 22 points per contest and is also registering more than two steals per outing.
Washington, 8-3 against the spread (ATS) in its last 11 road outings, has covered the spread in two of its last three road meetings with the Bobcats.
(Update: Arenas will not play tonight in order to rest his surgically repaired knee. Washington, winner of five straight, has covered in back-to-back outings without its star guard. Following today's news that Arenas will sit, the line jumped from Bobcats -5 to -6 ½. That makes our Washington pick an even stronger wager.)
Pick: Wizards +5
Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics (-10, 214)
The Celtics, winners of eight of their first nine games, are coming off a narrow setback to the Orlando Magic. Boston fought back from a 19-point deficit but fell short of stealing the victory.
Boston, owner of the league’s most stifling defense, should respond with a strong performance against road-weary Golden State. The Warriors, losers of two of their last three against the Celtics, are 1-4 ATS on the road.
Pick: Celtics -10
Atlanta Hawks at Miami Heat (-8 ½, 190)
Atlanta, loser of its first four road games, should get the winless monkey off its back against Miami.
Hawks athletic forward Josh Smith registered three blocks and two steals – just under his season average in both categories – in Saturday’s game against Milwaukee. Smith is also scoring more than 19 points per contest and should be a tough matchup for the aging Heat.
Miami, winless at home, is also 1-10 ATS in its last 11 home contests.
Pick: Hawks +8 ½
Dallas Mavericks at Houston Rockets (-2, 189 ½)
Houston, loser of four straight, could get a boost versus the Mavs. Rockets star Tracy McGrady, who is averaging more than 26 points per contest, is a game-time decision against Dallas. McGrady, who has missed the last two games, scored 35 points and added eight assists in the Rockets’ first meeting with the Mavericks.
His possible return is key to this game. The Rockets, 2-3 on the road, have lost two straight home outings without McGrady. They are undefeated at the Toyota Center with McGrady in their lineup, including an 89-90 SU and ATS victory over the defending champion Spurs.
New York Knicks at Detroit Pistons (-12, 193 ½)
The Pistons, following back-to-back road losses, should take out their anger on the struggling Knicks tonight. Detroit, 2-0 at home, is holding opponents to less than 95 points per contest on 43 percent shooting. The Pistons allowed more than 100 points in each of their last two road setbacks, but are limiting opponents to fewer than 85 points at the Palace.
The home team is 12-5 in the last 17 meetings between Detroit and New York.
Pick: Pistons -12
Los Angeles Lakers at Milwaukee Bucks (-1 ½, 205 ½)
The Lakers, winners of eight of their last 10 meetings with the Bucks, take their stifling defense to Milwaukee. Los Angeles is forcing opponents to shoot less than 42 percent, something that should disrupt a Bucks offense which centers on jump shots.
L.A. has also covered the spread in three of its last five meetings against Milwaukee.
Pick: Lakers +1 1/2
Toronto Raptors at Memphis Grizzlies (-2 ½, 213)
The Raptors, 3-1 outside Canada, are winless versus the Western Conference. Toronto has been inconsistent offensively, shooting an NBA second-best 42 percent from the three-point line, compared to a mediocre 44 percent from the field. Raptors star Chris Bosh, who is averaging less than 17 points per outing, is also shooting less than 41 percent, which is nine percent below his average from last year.
Toronto is 1-11-1 ATS in its last 13 meetings with Memphis.
Pick: Grizzlies -2 ½
Indiana Pacers at New Orleans Hornets (-7 ½, 195 ½)
The Pacers, 1-3 on the road, could register back-to-back road victories for the first time this season against the potentially shorthanded Hornets. New Orleans could be without integral starters Chris Paul and Tyson Chandler as both players nurse leg ailments.
Indiana, winner of three of its last four games against the Hornets, is also 6-1 ATS in its last seven contests against Southwest Division opponents.
Pick: Pacers + 7 1/2
Cleveland Cavaliers at Minnesota Timberwolves (+4, 192 ½)
Cleveland should dominate the Timberwolves. The Cavaliers, winners of three straight over Minnesota, have covered the spread in two of their last three meetings.
LeBron James, who is leading the league in scoring with more than 29 points per outing, also filled the stat sheet in the Cavs’ last victory against Minnesota.
Pick: Cavaliers -4
Orlando Magic at San Antonio Spurs (-5 ½, 189 ½)
The Magic, owners of a 7-0 road mark, should improve to 8-0 on the road tonight, against the Spurs. Orlando, 13-3 ATS in its last 16 road outings, has covered the spread in four of its last six meetings with San Antonio.
Magic center Dwight Howard, who is averaging more than 22 points and 14 rebounds per contest, holds an athletic edge over the Spurs’ Tim Duncan, which should give Orlando a significant advantage in the paint.
Pick: Magic + 5 ½
Sacramento Kings at Phoenix Suns (-13, 218)
Sacramento, winless on the road, is not athletic enough to contain Phoenix’s high-octane assault.
The Kings, conceding more than 104 points per contest on 47 percent shooting, conceded 108 points to the struggling Timberwolves last Wednesday. Sacramento is also 1-4 ATS in its last five meetings with the Suns.
Pick: Suns -13
New Jersey Nets at Portland Trail Blazers (-3 ½, 183 ½)
Portland, winless in its last four road games, should get back on track tonight versus the struggling Nets at the Rose Garden. The Blazers, 4-0 at home, have toppled elite teams such as the Pistons, Mavericks and Hornets in Portland. The Trail Blazers, averaging fewer than 94 points per contest on the season overall, are scoring five more points per outing when at the Rose Garden.
Portland is also perfect at home against the spread this year and 4-0 ATS in its last four games against the Nets in Portland.
Pick: Blazers -3 1/2
Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Clippers (+6, 206)
The Nuggets, winners of their last two road outings, have covered the spread in three straight contests against the Clippers. The success is thanks to a strong offense. Denver is averaging more than 109 points per contest on 47 percent shooting, and is also shooting the lights out from behind the arc.
The Nuggets are 3-2 ATS outside Colorado and 5-0 ATS in their last five outings overall.
Pick: Nuggets +6