Fullcourt press: Wednesday's NBA betting notes

Mar 6, 2013 |
Brooklyn Nets at Charlotte Bobcats (+8.5, 190.5)

The Brooklyn Nets are in the early stages of a stretch that has them playing 12 of 15 games away from home, so they will be looking to exploit a matchup with the league's worst team when they visit the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday. Brooklyn has dropped two straight and four of five to fall 3 1/2 games behind the front-running New York Knicks in the Atlantic Division and into a logjam with Chicago and Atlanta in a battle for fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The Nets have won the last five meetings.

Utah Jazz at Cleveland Cavaliers (-2, 200.5)

The Utah Jazz are in the midst of a slump and hope to halt it when they visit the host Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday. The Jazz have lost four of five games and have slipped to eighth in the Western Conference. Utah fell to the Milwaukee Bucks in Monday’s opener of a four-game road trip. Cleveland has lost back-to-back games and is 1-2 during a five-game homestand. The Cavaliers have lost six consecutive games against Utah.

Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers (-9, 184.5)

If the season ended today, the Boston Celtics would visit the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. An early preview of that will take place on Wednesday, when the Pacers host the Celtics. Boston has won three straight games and will be playing the second night of a back-to-back after outlasting Philadelphia on Tuesday. Indiana is playing as well as any team in the NBA not named the Miami Heat.

New York Knicks at Detroit Pistons
(+4, 196.5)

The city that never sleeps was staring at its worst nightmare when New York Knicks star forward Carmelo Anthony crashed to the floor without being touched in Monday's comeback victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Anthony escaped serious injury and was diagnosed with a stiff and sore right knee, putting his availability in question for New York's game at the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday. The league's second-leading scorer said the knee has been bothering him for a while and he recently underwent an MRI exam.

Philadelphia 76ers at Atlanta Hawks
(-8, 189.5)

The Atlanta Hawks will try to stop a three-game slide that has seen them slip to sixth in the Eastern Conference standings when they return home to face the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. Philadelphia lost for the ninth time in 10 games with a 109-101 home loss to Boston on Tuesday and is trying to avoid being swept in a back-to-back set for the seventh time this season.

Orlando Magic at Miami Heat (-15, 204)

The Miami Heat look to extend their 15-game winning streak on Wednesday when they visit the Orlando Magic, who face an uphill battle against their in-state rivals. Ten of Miami’s 15 victories during their franchise-record winning streak have come by double digits, including Monday’s 97-81 win at Minnesota. Orlando is 7-29 against Eastern Conference opponents, but they’re coming off an encouraging 105-102 win over the New Orleans Hornets on Monday.

Washington Wizards at Minnesota Timberwolves
(-3, 188.5)

The banged-up Minnesota Timberwolves will try to avoid a season-worst seventh consecutive loss and a season sweep at the hands of the visiting Washington Wizards on Wednesday. The short-handed Timberwolves have dropped six straight after a 97-81 home loss to Miami on Monday. The Wizards have played much better over the past month, as they've won eight of their last 12 games and are coming off a 90-87 home win over Philadelphia in which they rallied late.

Portland Trail Blazers at Memphis Grizzlies
(-8, 185.5)

The Portland Trail Blazers are desperately trying to get back into the playoff race in the Western Conference and have won three of their last four games. Things get a lot tougher this week with a three-game road trip, beginning Wednesday at the Memphis Grizzlies. The Blazers are 3 1/2 games behind the eighth-place Utah Jazz but own an 8-21 record on the road, where they will play 12 of their last 23 games.

Los Angeles Lakers at New Orleans Hornets
(+1, 205.5)

After working hard to get back to the .500 mark for the first time since late December, the Los Angeles Lakers fell right back below the break-even point by losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday. Los Angeles takes a stab at evening its record again when it visits the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday. New Orleans suffered a humiliating home loss to the Orlando Magic on Monday and is just 11-19 at home.

Houston Rockets at Dallas Mavericks
(-2.5, 222)

The Houston Rockets snapped a nine-game losing streak at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks with a vengeance, rolling to a 33-point victory on Sunday. The Mavericks will have a chance to avenge that rout and extend their home domination of their in-state rival when they host Houston on Wednesday. Dallas has won the last five matchups against the Rockets at American Airlines Center and cannot afford to give up much more ground in the Western Conference, trailing eighth-place Utah by 5 1/2 games.

Toronto Raptors at Phoenix Suns
(+2, 193)

The streaky Toronto Raptors head into Wednesday’s contest against the Phoenix Suns looking to snap a five-game skid and keep their dim postseason hopes alive. The Raptors appeared ready to make a serious push after winning five straight in early February, but they’ve since fallen 8 1/2 games behind Milwaukee for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Phoenix abandoned its playoff dreams long ago, but the Suns have strung together their first three-game winning streak since mid-December.

Chicago Bulls at San Antonio Spurs
(-8, 191.5)

The San Antonio Spurs seek their ninth victory in 11 games when they host the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday. San Antonio has the top record in the NBA and will be playing its second game since losing standout point guard Tony Parker for approximately a month with an ankle injury. Chicago also has ailing players and will be without forward Taj Gibson (knee) and guard Richard Hamilton (back) while point guard Kirk Hinrich (foot) is doubtful.

Sacramento Kings at Golden State Warriors (-11.5, 222.5)

The Golden State Warriors are enjoying their longest homestand of the season and will be playing 15 of their remaining 21 games in their own arena. That continues when they host the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday. The Warriors dropped the final four games of a five-game road trip but returned home on Monday and earned a win over the Toronto Raptors. The Kings are hitting the road after falling at home to Denver on Tuesday.

Milwaukee Bucks at Los Angeles Clippers (-9.5, 203.5)

The Milwaukee Bucks look to extend their four-game winning streak on Wednesday when they visit the Los Angeles Clippers, who have won eight of their last 10. The Bucks have solidified their standing as the eighth and final playoff team in the Eastern Conference, and are in position to move up a few spots with five of their next eight games against teams with losing records.

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