With so many games on this weekend I have concentrated on the three most competitive matches through till Sunday, while Anthony will look at the best bets from the remaining games.
Toronto v Indiana – (Sat, 01:05, BT Sport)
Indiana @ 19/20
This is another big match up for the Pacers after they snapped a horrible last six weeks with a narrow, but psychological win over Miami a couple of weeks ago and then played a lot more solid when downing the Pistons 101-94 on Wednesday.
Home advantage has been key in the three match run between these two teams with Indi leading 2-1. Apart from their loss in Toronto on New Year’s Day they have a very good record against the men from the North.
In normal circumstances you would have to favour the Raptors who are playing some great open court ball, but injuries have torn the heart out of them with the likelihood of the pivotal Kyle Lowry, Amir Johnson and possibly DeMar DeRozan who had stitches put in his non shooting hand during the impressive and brave success over Houston.
However, with those injuries and the fact that the Pacers seem to be slowly rediscovering their awesome defensive set-up again as the play-offs loom I fancy the visitors to emerge victorious here.
Houston v Oklahoma – (Sat, 02:35, BT Sport)
Total Points – Over 216@ 10/11
Ordinarily you would fancy that home court advantage would give the Rockets an edge over the Thunder, but at the moment here are two teams at different ends of the psychological spectrum.
Coming towards the end of the regular season Houston are beginning to stutter and are holding a slender one match advantage ahead of Portland for the right to have home field advantage in round one of the play-offs.
Rather like Toronto though, they have been kicked in the teeth by injuries but unlike the Canadians they have been unable to find an option without Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverley.
With Kevin Durant on a high and set to equal Jordan’s 40 consecutive games with 25 plus points there really is only one way this match is going to go as the Thunder hunt down the Spurs in the Western Conference.
Washington v Chicago – (Sun, 00:05, BT Sport)
The Wizards have a tough road trip to the Knicks early Saturday morning your time before this huge match-up against Eastern rivals Chicago and with Brooklyn probably a shoe-in to beat both Detroit on Saturday and then the awful 76ers on Sunday the Wizards will have to play a perfect all-court game to win at least one of these two games.
In contrast the Bulls have a really light schedule for the remainder of the regular season to finish a best case scenario third seeds in the East and should make the series 4-0 against down and out Milwaukee on Saturday morning.
Joakim Noah has been quite outstanding for the Bulls and he is the pivotal player in this match-up. If continuing to run the ball the former Gators’ star should lead his side to a Wizards defeat and push on to that valuable third spot.
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