There are nine games on the NBA’s Wednesday schedule and we are covering three of them including a showdown between East heavyweights Boston and Philadelphia who along with the Indiana Pacers are fighting for the 3rd and 4th spots in their conference.
The Sixers are currently at 3rd but are just 1.5 games ahead of 4th placed Indiana. Meanwhile, the Celtics are lurking at #5 and only trail the Sixers by 2.5 games with still enough games left to catch up.
Houston Rockets vs Memphis Grizzlies
The Houston Rockets visit the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedExForum in Memphis on Wednesday night as Houston continues to zoom up the team standings in the Western Conference.
The Rockets are the hottest team in the NBA with 11 wins in their last dozen games played. Houston has reclaimed the Southwest Division from the San Antonio Spurs whom they now lead by 2.5 games. Next target for the Rockets are the West leaders Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets who are now just 3.5 games away from the streaking Rockets.
James Harden leads the league in scoring at 35.9 points per game. The reigning NBA MVP is also averaging 6.4 rebounds, 7.6 assists and an impressive 2.2 steals per game. Clint Capela is having a double-double season with 16.7 points and 12.5 rebounds per game while leading Houston with 1.6 blocks per game. Eric Gordon is contributing 16.6 points per game while Chris Paul is scoring 15.7 points and serving 8.2 assists per game. The recently acquired Kenneth Faried has been a big help with 14.1 points and 8.9 rebounds in 19 games with Houston.
The Rockets have the 11th best scoring offense in the league at 112.9 points per game. Houston is third from the last in the passing department with only 21.0 assists per game. They are also just 28th in rebounding with 41.6 boards grabbed per contest. Houston has the 12th top scoring defense in the NBA, allowing their opponents to score just 109.9 points per game.
O 216 -110
U 216 -110
Odds from betonline as of 3/20/19
The defensive minded Memphis Grizzlies are out of playoff contention but the team has used its remaining schedule to get their new group together. Memphis triggered a reboot when they traded Marc Gasol at the deadline and their “new” team has been winning as of late, splitting their last 10 games. However, the Grizzlies enter this game having lost two in a row and are faced with the tough task of snapping a skid against the hottest team in the league.
Mike Conley has been brilliant for Memphis this season. The Grizzlies’ floor general is averaging 20.7 points, 6.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Jonas Valanciunas is scoring 17.5 points and grabbing 8.0 rebounds per game in his first dozen games with his new team. Avery Bradley is likewise playing well for Memphis with 16.1 points, 4.0 assists and 1 steal per game through 14 games.
The Grizzlies are the lowest-scoring team in the NBA at only 102.1 points per game scored. They are 19th overall in assists with an average of 23.8 dimes per contest. Memphis is also next to last in rebounding at 40.9 boards hauled per contest. For all their statistical woes, Memphis is the #2 defensive team in the league, holding their opponents to 104.6 points per outing.
The red-hot Rockets are 9-1 SU in their last 10 games. Houston is 4-0 SU in their last four road games. The Grizzlies are 5-5 SU in their last 10 games and Memphis is 4-1 SU in their last five games played at home. Head to head, the Rockets are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games against the Grizzlies.
It has been a frustrating season for Memphis but their revamped lineup has been winning games lately. The Grizzlies won three in a row at home but then lost back to back games on the road and they hope a return to the FedExForum is going to put them back on the winning track.
The Rockets have been red hot and it looks like they are peaking at the right time. They are just 3.5 games off the pace in the West and with still enough games left, you know they are going to continue to push here. This game means much more to Houston than Memphis because the latter is just trying to play spoiler right now.
The Rockets are 18-16 SU on the road this season while the Grizzlies are 18-17 SU at home. Houston is 25-18 against teams from the West and no doubt they are playing better right now.
I’m picking the Houston Rockets to beat the Memphis Grizzlies on 3/20/19.
Houston is 5-4-1 ATS in their last 10 games played. The Rockets are 2-1-1 ATS in their last four games on the road. Memphis is 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games played. The Grizzlies are 4-1 ATS in their last five games at home. Head to head, the Rockets are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against the Grizzlies.
The Rockets are 3-11-1 ATS in their last 15 games against teams with a losing SU record, 2-5 ATS in their last seven games against their Western Conference rivals and 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven Wednesday games. The Grizzlies are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against opponents with a winning SU record, 5-0 ATS in their last five games against teams from the Western Conference and 9-2 in their last 11 home games.The trends point to Memphis but remember the spread is just four points. The Rockets have won their last nine games by an average of 9 points and only twice during that stretch has the winning margin been four points or fewer. I think the Rockets are going to cover this one.
Prediction: Rockets -4
The total has gone under in seven out of the last 10 games played by the Rockets. Houston has seen the total go under is three out of their last four road games. The over is 4-1 in the Grizzlies’ last five games played. The under is 3-2 in Memphis’ last five games at home. Head to head, the under is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings between the Rockets and Grizzlies.
Houston has played under the total in seven out of their last eight games played and in five out of their last six road games. The under is 5-2 in the Grizzlies’ last seven games against opponents with a winning record and the under is also 20-9 in their last 29 games against teams from the Southwest Division.
Prediction: Under 216
Milwaukee Bucks vs Cleveland Cavaliers
The Milwaukee Bucks head to Ohio to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday night.
The Bucks continue to inch closer to clinching the Top seed in the 2019 NBA Playoffs which will give them home court advantage throughout the postseason. The Bucks are 52-18 before Tuesday’s games and are 2.5 games ahead of their closest pursuers, the Toronto Raptors.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is making a strong case for MVP honors. The Greek Freak is averaging 27.5 points, 12.7 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.4 blocks per game this season. First time all-star Khris Middleton is also putting up 17.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. Meanwhile guards Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon are scoring 15.8 and 15.6 points per game, respectively. Brook Lopez leads the team with 2.2 blocks per game while also scoring 12.2 points per outing.
Milwaukee is the second highest scoring team in the NBA behind the Warriors at 117.7 points per game. They are ranked 7th in passing at 26.0 assists per game and the they are also the number one rebounding team in the league at 49.3 boards grabbed per contest. The Bucks have the 10th best scoring defense overall as they allow their opponents to score just 108.6 points per game.
O 227.5 (-111)
U 227.5 (-111)
Odds from betonline as of 3/20/19
The Cleveland Cavaliers are having a terrible season. From being in the NBA Finals in the previous four season, Cleveland has the third-worst record in the league right now at 18-53. But if there’s a silver lining on this disappointing campaign, it’s that the Cavs are going to the lottery with the hopes of drafting their next LeBron James this coming June.
Kevin Love leads Cleveland with 18.3 point and 11.2 rebounds per game. Jordan Clarkson is scoring 16.8 points while rookie Collin Sexton is also contributing 16.0 points per game this season. Meanwhile, Cedi Osman is having a fine year with 13.2 points and 4.8 rebounds while Larry Nance Jr. is doing the dirty work and averaging 9.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.6 block per game.
Cleveland is next to last in team scoring at 104.3 points per game. They are also ranked 29th in passing with 20.9 assists per game and the Cavs are also 26th in rebounding at 42.5 boards hauled per contest. Cleveland is ranked 21st in scoring defense as they allow their opponents to score an average of 113.5 points per game.
The Bucks are 6-4 SU in their last 10 games played and Milwaukee is 4-3 SU in their last seven road games. The Cavaliers are 4-6 SU in their last 10 games played. Cleveland is 3-1 SU in their last four home games. Head to head, the Cavaliers are 6-4 SU in their last 10 games against the Bucks.
The Bucks have cooled down a bit in their last 10 games but they are still playing at a high level. Antetokounmpo continues to push the pace and is showing no signs of let up. My only worry with Milwaukee is if they have peaked too early. Despite that, they are levels above Cleveland in form and talent.
The Cavaliers are looking forward to the draft lottery more than anything else. LeBron left a huge superstar void in Cleveland and it’s something Kevin Love hasn’t filled.The Cavs have managed to put up impressive wins this year but they have been unable to play consistent basketball all-season long.
As I’ve said in out other recent predictions, some teams need the remaining games more than the others And while the Cavs have nothing to lose playing the spoilers role, Milwaukee wants to clinch home court advantage as soon as they can so they will have the luxury to rest their top guns. With better motive,
I’m picking the Milwaukee Bucks to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers on 3/20/19.
Milwaukee is 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games played. The Bucks are 4-3 ATS in their last seven games on the road. The Cavaliers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games played. Cleveland is 3-1 ATS in their last four games at home. Head to head, the Bucks are 5-4-1 ATS in their last 10 games against the Cavs.
The Bucks are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games against teams with a winning percentage below .400, 4-1 ATS in their last five games against an opponent with a losing record and 4-1 ATS in their last five Wednesday games. The Cavaliers are 1-4-1 ATS in their last six games when playing on one day rest and 1-5 ATS in their last six Wednesday games. The Bucks are playing the second of a back to back schedule but the team has enough depth not to mention form to pull of a road win over the lowly Cavs.
Prediction: Bucks -10.5
The over is 7-3 in Milwaukee’s last 10 games played. The Bucks have seen the total go over in five out of their last seven games played on the road. The total has gone over in six out of the last 10 games played by the Cavaliers. The over is 3-1 in Cleveland’s last four games at home. Head to head, the over is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings between these two teams.
The over is 4-1 in the Bucks’ last five games overall and the over is also 9-1 in the Cavs’ last 10 games when playing on one day rest, 5-1 in their last six Wednesday games and 5-1 in their last five games against an opponent with a winning record. 24 out of the last 33 meetings between these teams have also seen the total go over. This one should be no different.
Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers
The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers collide in a showdown between Eastern Conference heavyweights on Wednesday night at the Well Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
The Celtics are coming off a Monday loss to the Denver Nuggets but prior to that, they looked like they were starting to pick things up again. Boston had won two in a row and five of their last six before dropping the game to Denver. Despite the loss, the Celtics are just one game behind the Indiana Pacers for home court advantage in round one of the playoffs.
Kyrie Irving leads the Celtics with 23.7 points and 7.1 assists per game. Jayson Tatum is having a good second season in the league with 16.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per contest. Marcus Morris is providing support with 14.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per outing while Al Horford leads the team with 6.7 rebounds while scoring 13.0 points per game. Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward round up the double-digit scorers at 13.0 and 10.8 points per game
Boston ranks 12th in the league in team scoring at 112.7 points per game. The Celtics are 6th in passing at 26.5 assists per game and they are also #21 in rebounding at 44.5 boards grabbed per contest. Boston has the 7th top scoring defense in the entire NBA at only 107.6 points per game allowed.
O 226 -110
U 226 -110
Odds from betonline as of 3/19/19
The Sixers have already clinched a spot in the playoffs but they are looking at bigger things. Philly is just 4.5 games behind #2 Toronto in the East and if they can finish strong, who knows they can still catch-up.The Sixers beat the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday night and will play the Celtics at Philly in the second of back to back games for them.
Joel Embiid leads the Sixers with 27.3 points, 13.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. Tobias Harris has been an excellent addition with 19.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick are scoring 18.7 and 17.6 points per game, respectively while Ben Simmons is having an all-around year with 17.0 points, 9.1 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
The Sixers rank 4th in the league in team scoring at 115.1 points per game. They are also 4th in passing at 27.1 assists per game and are ranked 4th in rebounding at 47.5 boards grabbed per contest. Philadelphia is 17th in the NBA in scoring defense at 111.7 opponent points per game allowed.
Boston is 6-4 SU in their last 10 games played. The Celtics are 3-1 SU in their last four games on the road. Philadelphia is 7-3 SU in their last 10 games played. The Sixers are 4-1 SU in their last five games played at home. Head to head, the Celtics are 8-2 in their last 10 meetings versus the Sixers.
Joel Embiid sat out the Sixers’ Tuesday game against the Hornets for rest purposes. He should be ready to face their rivals on Wednesday night. On the other hand, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford are listed as day to day and could miss this contest for Boston.
The Sixers have upgraded their roster but at the end of the day, it’s still Boston who has the better lineup. We’ve seen this Boston team struggle all-season long but we’ve also seen them play their best against the elite teams in the league. I think Boston has Philly’s number and with the chance to inch closer in the team standings, they are going to deliver a brilliant effort and pick up the important road win.
I’m picking the Boston Celtics to beat the Philadelphia 76ers on 3/20/19.
The Celtics are 3-6-1 ATS in their last 10 games played. Boston is 2-1-1 ATS in their last four games played on the road. The Sixers are 5-5 ATS in their last 10 games played. Philadelphia is 3-2 ATS in their last five games at home. Head to head, the Celtics are 8-2 in their last 10 meetings against the Sixers.
Boston is 18-6-2 ATS in their last 26 games played on a Wednesday. The Sixers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games against teams from the Atlantic Division. No question, the Sixers are displaying form but the schedule isn’t favoring them here. Philly is playing their third game in four nights and Boston will be the third city on that trip. Likewise, the Sixers have not fared well ATS in back to back games, going 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games when playing on zero days rest. There may be key injuries on both sides but when all is said and done, the Celtics still have the deeper lineup. I’ll take the plus points and the visitors.
Prediction: Celtics +2.5
The under is 6-4 in Boston’s last 10 games played. The total has gone under in 10 out of the Celtics’ last 13 road games. The under is 8-2 in the Sixers’ last 10 games played. Philadelphia has seen the total go under in four out of their last five games at home. The under is 4-2 in the last six head to head meetings between these two teams. The under is also 4-1 in their last five head to head meetings in Philadelphia.
The under is 7-0 in the Celtics’ last seven games against opponents with a winning record above .600, 5-1 in their last six games against opponents with a home winning percentage above .600, 5-1 in their last six road games and 10-3 in their last 13 road games. The under is also 5-1 in the Sixers’ last six games against the East, 4-1 in their last five home games and 8-2 in their last 10 games overall. I think fatigue will be a factor for the Sixers and look for Boston to defend with playoff intensity.
Prediction: Under 226
Quick NBA Picks and Predictions:
- Utah Jazz -850 vs New York Knicks +635, Prediction: Utah Jazz
- Washington Wizards -130 vs Chicago Bulls +110, Prediction: Washington Wizards
- Miami Heat +225 vs San Antonio Spurs -265, Prediction: San Antonio Spurs
- Toronto Raptors vs Oklahoma City Thunder, Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder
- Dallas Mavericks +445 vs Portland Trail Blazers -550, Prediction Portland Trail Blazers