NBA toughest and easiest schedules out of the break
Let’s have a look at three NBA teams with generous schedules and three squads dreading their stretch run after the All-Star break:
Teams that should finish strong
Denver Nuggets (33-21 SU, 32-22 ATS, 33-21 O/U)
The Nuggets have been a good bet to this point and there’s no reason to think that will change after the break. Denver has a 22-3 (17-8 ATS) record at home and is one of the best over plays in the Association. The Nuggets will play 16 of their final 28 games at Pepsi Center, where they average 109.2 points per contest. Denver has already played the bulk of its road games and won’t be away from home for more than a two-game stretch at a time for the remainder of the season.
Golden State Warriors (30-22 SU, 27-24-1 ATS, 33-18-1 O/U)
Much like the Nuggets, the Warriors have played a ton of road games early on. Golden State has posted an impressive 16-7 home record (13-10 ATS) and also held its own on the road early on with a 14-15 (14-14-1 ATS) mark. But what bettors really love about the Warriors is their tendency to play over totals. Golden State will be in a perfect position to close out the season strong, as only six of its final 22 games will be played away from Oracle Arena.
San Antonio Spurs (42-12 SU, 30-22-2 ATS, 25-28-1 O/U)
The Spurs limped into the break as Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are dealing with various injuries. The All-Star festivities break up a grueling nine-game road trip for San Antonio, which picks back up in Sacramento on Tuesday. It’s clear sailing for the Spurs after that, with 17 of their final 24 contests to be played at the friendly confines of the AT&T Center. Perhaps no team will benefit more from the comforts of home during the final stretch than the aging Spurs.
Teams that are dreading the stretch run
Boston Celtics (28-24 SU, 21-28-3 ATS, 25-26-1 O/U)
Sure, the Celtics went on a seven-game ATS tear after Rajon Rondo went down with a season-ending ACL injury, but reality should settle in for Boston after the break. The Celtics failed to cover in their final two games before All-Star Weekend and now Paul Pierce is dealing with a pinched nerve in his neck. Boston has only played 23 road games to this point, and will playing a ton of games away from Beantown. The Celtics have been a fade on the road, posting a 7-15-1 ATS record.
Philadelphia 76ers (22-29 SU, 24-27 ATS, 24-25-2 O/U)
NBA schedule-makers were not kind to the Sixers this year. Philadelphia was bombarded with road games to start the campaign and just wrapped up a stretch where it played 12 of 14 games at Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers will once again be banished to the road to close out the season. Philly finishes with a daunting stretch that sees it play 12 of its final 16 games away from the City of Brotherly Love, but that doesn’t mean bettors should shy away from the Sixers, who have been a good under bet (6-14-2 O/U) on the road to date.
Memphis Grizzlies (33-18 SU, 29-21-1 ATS, 21-29-1 O/U)
The team dynamic of the Grizzlies has changed since the departure of Rudy Gay. Bettors were turning a huge profit on defense-happy Memphis prior to the deal, but now the Grizzlies are having trouble stopping opponents from scoring. Memphis is allowing opponents to score 94.7 points in seven games since the deal –roughly five points more than its season average. The usual under-lock Grizzlies have played over the number in six of those seven contests. Memphis has played a league-low 22 road affairs to this point and doesn’t play more than two consecutive home games down the stretch.