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Handicapping the Final Week of the NBA Regular Season

By Steve Makinen  () 

The final week of the regular season is upon us in the NBA and as usual there is still plenty left to sort out in terms of the playoff picture. As we look forward to the postseason, many teams will spend this upcoming week jostling for seeding and/or preferred matchups in the first round. While the Western Conference has already filled its playoff field with the eight teams having clinched postseason spots, the East will be trimming 10 teams down to eight over the next week. Let’s take a look at the schedule of games for each of the contenders to see if we can’t pick some spots that might make for good betting opportunities.

BOSTON CELTICS

Wednesday 4/3 - at Miami (BOSTON schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: BOSTON -1

* MIAMI is on a 6-1 ATS run versus Boston

Friday 4/5 - at Indiana (BOSTON schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: BOSTON -1

* INDIANA is on a 5-1 ATS run versus Boston

Sunday 4/7 - ORLANDO (BOSTON schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: BOSTON -6.5

* The L4 games of the ORL-BOS h2h series went UNDER the total

Tuesday 4/9 - at Washington (BOSTON schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: BOSTON -4

* OVER the total is 6-1 in L7 of BOS-WAS h2h series

Steve’s Analysis: All of Boston’s four remaining games are in the one-day rest scenario, which is beneficial because the Celtics are 11 games over .500 outright in that regard this season, and typically score the ball better on standard rest. Boston is currently fighting for the 4th seed with Indiana, a spot which would give them home-court advantage in their probable first-round series against each other. The big game thus is at Indiana on Friday, and it should be noted that the Pacers are just 19-27 ATS this year on one-day rest, which they will have in the contest. That said, the head-to-head edge has belonged to Boston. Furthermore, the week’s opening matchup versus Miami could be difficult as well. If anything is on the line for Tuesday’s game at Washington, it could be a layup for the Celtics, as the Wizards are just 16-31 SU & 19-26 ATS in the one-day rest scenario and are playing out the string.

BROOKLYN NETS

Wednesday 4/3 - TORONTO (BROOKLYN schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: BROOKLYN 3

Saturday 4/6 - at Milwaukee (BROOKLYN schedule scenario: 2DaysRest)

Anticipated Line: BROOKLYN 10

Sunday 4/7 - at Indiana (BROOKLYN schedule scenario: A2A b2b)

Anticipated Line: BROOKLYN 4

* INDIANA is on an 8-1 ATS run versus Brooklyn

* Brooklyn is 3-10 SU & ATS in the second of back-to-back games in 2018-19

Wednesday 4/10 - MIAMI (BROOKLYN schedule scenario: 2DaysRest)

Anticipated Line: BROOKLYN -3.5

* MIAMI is 8-1 ATS in its L9 at Brooklyn

Steve’s Analysis: Brooklyn is in a battle for the last few spots in the East and has a difficult week ahead. On paper, the toughest game will be at Milwaukee on Saturday, but there is a chance the Bucks will have clinched home-court advantage by then and will be resting key players. The other landmine is on Sunday at Indiana, as the Nets have struggled in the back-to-back scenario while faring well in almost every other scheduling situation. Plus the Pacers have owned head-to-head play. All four games figure to have playoff implications, a big test for the young but emerging Nets.

CHARLOTTE HORNETS

Wednesday 4/3 - at New Orleans (CHARLOTTE schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: CHARLOTTE -1

* UNDERDOGS are on a 7-1 ATS in L8 of CHA-NO h2h series

Friday 4/5 - TORONTO (CHARLOTTE schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: CHARLOTTE 4.5

* Six of the L7 games in TOR-CHA series went OVER the total

Sunday 4/7 - at Detroit (CHARLOTTE schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: CHARLOTTE 5

* The L4 games of the CHA-DET h2h series went UNDER the total

Tuesday 4/9 - at Cleveland (CHARLOTTE schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: CHARLOTTE -4

* The L5 games of the CHA-CLE h2h series went UNDER the total

Wednesday 4/10 - ORLANDO (CHARLOTTE schedule scenario: A2H b2b)

Anticipated Line: CHARLOTTE 1

* CHARLOTTE has won six straight ATS hosting Orlando

Steve’s Analysis: Charlotte’s playoff hopes are hanging by a string and the Hornets may need to win all five games to qualify. I expect them to be underdogs in at least two. There isn’t any particular schedule scenario where Charlotte has under- or over-performed this year so that’s not a concern. What is will be that three of the final five opponents are in playoff fights themselves. They may catch a break with the Hornets, Raptors, and Detroit in various player injury or rest situations. Odds are the Hornets will be relegated to the spoiler role by next Tuesday and they could have an impact on Orlando’s chances on the last day of the season, as Charlotte has owned the Magic at home in recent years.

DENVER NUGGETS

Wednesday 4/3 - SAN ANTONIO (DENVER schedule scenario: A2H b2b)

Anticipated Line: DENVER -4.5

* SAN ANTONIO is 8-2 ATS in its L10 at Denver

Friday 4/5 - PORTLAND (DENVER schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: DENVER -6

Sunday 4/7 - at Portland (DENVER schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: DENVER 0

Tuesday 4/9 - at Utah (DENVER schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: DENVER 4.5

* UTAH is on a 9-1 ATS run when hosting Denver

Wednesday 4/10 - MINNESOTA (DENVER schedule scenario: A2H b2b)

Anticipated Line: DENVER -11.5

* ROAD TEAMS are 15-3-1 ATS in L10 of MIN-DEN h2h series

Steve’s Analysis: There aren’t a whole lot of people out there that think Denver has what it takes to either pass Golden State for the #1 seed in the West or beat the Warriors in a postseason series. That said, the Nuggets’ remaining schedule plays into those doubts. While the Warriors face four teams not heading to the playoffs the rest of the way, Denver faces four teams that are. It should be noted that two Wednesday games are the back ends of back-to-back scenarios and the Nuggets are a 10-1 SU & 8-3 ATS in that scenario this season. Expect this team to remain in the #2 spot in the West, despite a week of head-to-head series’ that have trended against the Nuggets in recent years.

DETROIT PISTONS

Wednesday 4/3 - INDIANA (DETROIT schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: DETROIT -3

* HOME TEAMS are 7-1 ATS in L8 of IND-DET h2h series

Friday 4/5 - at Oklahoma City (DETROIT schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: DETROIT 5.5 * UNDER the total is 8-1 in L9 of DET-OKC h2h series

Sunday 4/7 - CHARLOTTE (DETROIT schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: DETROIT -5

* The L4 games of the CHA-DET h2h series went UNDER the total

Tuesday 4/9 - MEMPHIS (DETROIT schedule scenario: OneDayRest) Anticipated Line: DETROIT -7

* UNDERDOGS have won 11 straight ATS in MEM-DET h2h series

Wednesday 4/10 - at New York (DETROIT schedule scenario: H2A b2b)

Anticipated Line: DETROIT -7

* ROAD TEAMS are 5-1 ATS in L6 of DET-NYK h2h series

Steve’s Analysis: Detroit sits in the #6 spot in the East at the time of this writing and could really use the healthy return of Blake Griffin to the lineup for the final week. He is about a 3-point line mover and with him, this team will be significantly favored in its final three games. That said, there is a tricky underdog trend in that Memphis game on Tuesday night to consider. The Pistons have been at their best when rested this season (14-4 SU when playing with two or more days rest), unfortunately, the final week doesn’t afford this playoff contender the luxury of rest.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

Thursday 4/4 - at LA Lakers (GOLDEN STATE schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: GOLDEN STATE -13

Friday 4/5 - CLEVELAND (GOLDEN STATE schedule scenario: A2H b2b)

Anticipated Line: GOLDEN STATE -17.5

* GOLDEN STATE is on a 10-2-1 ATS run versus Cleveland

Sunday 4/7 - LA CLIPPERS (GOLDEN STATE schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: GOLDEN STATE -8.5

* LA CLIPPERS have won four straight ATS at Golden State

Tuesday 4/9 - at New Orleans (GOLDEN STATE schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

NBA COVERAGE 8 AUGUST 30 – SEPTEMBER 3

Anticipated Line: GOLDEN STATE -10.5

Wednesday 4/10 - at Memphis (GOLDEN STATE schedule scenario: A2A b2b)

Anticipated Line: GOLDEN STATE -9.5

Steve’s Analysis: While calling it a cakewalk might be overstating it a bit, the remaining schedule for the Warriors is not very formidable. The problem is that they have underperformed all season long (32-48 ATS), and covering three or more of their remaining games, all of which figure to carry lofty point spreads, seems unlikely. With all of the remaining games showing the Warriors on 1-day rest or in a back-to-back, be aware that they have been extra ineffective (21-32 ATS) in short rest schedule spots. Plus, should HC Steve Kerr’s team clinch the west top spot this weekend sometime, starter rests are probable next week.

HOUSTON ROCKETS

Wednesday 4/3 - at LA Clippers (HOUSTON schedule scenario: A2A b2b)

Anticipated Line: HOUSTON -1

* LA CLIPPERS are 6-1 ATS in L7 versus Houston

Friday 4/5 - NEW YORK (HOUSTON schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: HOUSTON -16

* NEW YORK has won five straight ATS at Houston

Sunday 4/7 - PHOENIX (HOUSTON schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: HOUSTON -15

* PHOENIX has won four straight ATS vs. Houston

Tuesday 4/9 - at Oklahoma City (HOUSTON schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: HOUSTON 0

* UNDERDOGS are on an 8-2 ATS run in HOU-OKC h2h

series Steve’s Analysis: It’s somewhat of a light week for the Rockets who have two games that should end up being wins, meaning they will clinch a spot in the top 4 of the West standings. However, the first three games of the week all have head-to-head trends favoring the opponent, so be careful in laying too much wood on Friday & Sunday. Wednesday’s game is an interesting one in that the Clippers beat the Rockets twice in October but the teams haven’t played one another since. There is a good chance they could meet in the first round.

INDIANA PACERS

Wednesday 4/3 - at Detroit (INDIANA schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: INDIANA 3

* HOME TEAMS are 7-1 ATS in L8 of IND-DET h2h series

Friday 4/5 - BOSTON (INDIANA schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: INDIANA 1

* INDIANA is on a 5-1 ATS run versus Boston

Sunday 4/7 - BROOKLYN (INDIANA schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: INDIANA -4

* INDIANA is on an 8-1 ATS run versus Brooklyn

Wednesday 4/10 - at Atlanta (INDIANA schedule scenario: 2DaysRest)

Anticipated Line: INDIANA -3

* UNDER the total is 5-1 in L6 of IND-ATL series in Atlanta

Steve’s Analysis: Indiana is in the unusual position of pretty much knowing its first round playoff opponent with four games still to be played in the regular season. The Celtics are that foe, making Friday’s game at home an important one on the docket in terms of establishing momentum and setting a tone. The Pacers have played the C’s well of late and would like to be the team hosting Game 1 of that first round series next weekend. Should clinching the #4 spot come down to the last night, note that the Pacers are 14-3 SU & 10-7 ATS this season when playing with 2 days rest.

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS

Wednesday 4/3 - HOUSTON (LA CLIPPERS schedule scenario: 2DaysRest)

Anticipated Line: LA CLIPPERS 1

* LA CLIPPERS are 6-1 ATS in L7 versus Houston

Friday 4/5 - LA LAKERS (LA CLIPPERS schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: LA CLIPPERS -12.5 *

The designated “road” team in the L.A. battle is 8-1 ATS in L9

Sunday 4/7 - at Golden State (LA CLIPPERS schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: LA CLIPPERS 8.5

* LA CLIPPERS have won four straight ATS at Golden State

Wednesday 4/10 - UTAH (LA CLIPPERS schedule scenario: 2DaysRest)

Anticipated Line: LA CLIPPERS -1.5

* UTAH is 6-1 ATS in L7 of UTAH-LAC h2h series

Steve’s Analysis: The Clippers are in the somewhat comfortable position of having a 2 1/2-game lead over the #8 spot in the West with just four games remaining. Of course, no one in the conference NBA COVERAGE 9 AUGUST 30 – SEPTEMBER 3 wants to land that spot and face a probable matchup with Golden State. With that in mind, there is really only one layup game on the Clippers’ schedule the rest of the way. The Rockets’ game on Wednesday night figures to carry plenty of importance, as a win there could have L.A. thinking of moving up in the standings, with a layup game to follow on Friday night. The Clippers could be a good team to back all week long, as all of their games are in 1-day or 2-day rest scenarios, and they are 38-23 SU & 35-25 ATS combined in those spots this season.

MIAMI HEAT

Wednesday 4/3 - BOSTON (MIAMI schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: MIAMI 1

* MIAMI is on a 6-1 ATS run versus Boston

Friday 4/5 - at Minnesota (MIAMI schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: MIAMI -2.5

* MIAMI is on a 6-0 ATS run at Minnesota

Sunday 4/7 - at Toronto (MIAMI schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: MIAMI 7

* MIAMI is on a 4-0 ATS streak at Toronto

Tuesday 4/9 - PHILADELPHIA (MIAMI schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: MIAMI 1

* ROAD TEAMS are 5-1 ATS in L6 of PHI-MIA h2h series

Wednesday 4/10 - at Brooklyn (MIAMI schedule scenario: H2A b2b)

Anticipated Line: MIAMI 3.5

* MIAMI is 8-1 ATS in its L9 at Brooklyn

Steve’s Analysis: Obviously if you look at the anticipated point spreads for the Heat’s upcoming games, it looks like a difficult week. Keep in mind those numbers are based on a full-strength lineup, too, one that includes Justise Winslow returning. The good news is that Miami has favorable head-tohead trend edges in four of the five games. The bad news is that four of the games are against other teams hoping to improve their playoff positioning. It’s almost as if the Heat’s playoff run begins this week, as they look to hold on to the slimmest of leads for the final spot in the East.

MILWAUKEE BUCKS

Thursday 4/4 - at Philadelphia (MILWAUKEE schedule scenario: 2DaysRest)

Anticipated Line: MILWAUKEE -3.5

* The L4 games of the MIL-PHI h2h series went OVER the total

Saturday 4/6 - BROOKLYN (MILWAUKEE schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: MILWAUKEE -10.5

Sunday 4/7 - ATLANTA (MILWAUKEE schedule scenario: H2H b2b)

Anticipated Line: MILWAUKEE -9.5

* ATLANTA is 10-2 ATS in its L12 at Milwaukee

Wednesday 4/10 - OKLAHOMA CITY (MILWAUKEE schedule scenario: 2DaysRest)

Anticipated Line: MILWAUKEE -14.5

* The L6 games of the OKC-MIL h2h series went UNDER the total

Steve’s Analysis: Milwaukee has enjoyed an amazing season and saw its magic number for clinching home-court advantage in the playoffs to just one with their victory Monday night at Brooklyn. In fact, it’s possible they will clinch that goal before even playing their first of four remaining games on Thursday. The Bucks have stated a goal of trying to win 60 games as well, and at 58-20, that would require a split in their final four contests. With a full strength lineup, Milwaukee would be favored in all of its remaining games. Expect some starter rests late should the early part of the week go well. The most favorable schedule scenario is on Saturday, where Milwaukee will carry in a record of 38-10 SU & 32-15 ATS on one-day rest.

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

Friday 4/5 - DETROIT (OKLAHOMA CITY schedule scenario: 2DaysRest)

Anticipated Line: OKLAHOMA CITY -5.5

* UNDER the total is 8-1 in L9 of DET-OKC h2h series

Sunday 4/7 - at Minnesota (OKLAHOMA CITY schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: OKLAHOMA CITY -4.5

* MINNESOTA has won seven straight ATS vs. OKC

Tuesday 4/9 - HOUSTON (OKLAHOMA CITY schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: OKLAHOMA CITY 0

* UNDERDOGS are on an 8-2 ATS run in HOU-OKC h2h series

Wednesday 4/10 - at Milwaukee (OKLAHOMA CITY schedule scenario: H2A b2b)

Anticipated Line: OKLAHOMA CITY 9.5

* The L6 games of the OKC-MIL h2h series went UNDER the total

Steve’s Analysis: Oklahoma City can breathe easier after finally clinching a playoff spot a few days ago. However, that’s where the ease stops, as the Thunder are currently pegged for a matchup with NBA COVERAGE 10 AUGUST 30 – SEPTEMBER 3 Golden State in the first round. While it would be entertaining for those watching, the odds of the Thunder advancing would be much better versus the likes of Denver. OKC will need to move past San Antonio to do so, and the Spurs’ remaining schedule is much more manageable. There isn’t a particular game that stands out in terms of trends so in my opinion, OKC’s success this week will hinge on its focus.

ORLANDO MAGIC

Wednesday 4/3 - NEW YORK (ORLANDO schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: ORLANDO -10.5

Friday 4/5 - ATLANTA (ORLANDO schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: ORLANDO -7.5

Sunday 4/7 - at Boston (ORLANDO schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: ORLANDO 6.5

* The L4 games of the ORL-BOS h2h series went UNDER the total

Wednesday 4/10 - at Charlotte (ORLANDO schedule scenario: 2DaysRest)

Anticipated Line: ORLANDO -1

* CHARLOTTE has won six straight ATS hosting Orlando

Steve’s Analysis: The Magic have given themselves a chance to catch the #7 and/or #8 teams in the East, and they have two relatively easy games to win to improve their positioning on Wednesday and Friday night. From there it gets a little tougher with a date at Boston on Sunday and at Charlotte to wrap the regular season on Wednesday. Orlando’s most successful scheduling scenario in 2018-19 has been the one day rest option (23-21 SU & 26-18 ATS) and that awaits in the first three matchups of the week. A 3-1 finish would probably net a playoff berth.

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS

Wednesday 4/3 - at Atlanta (PHILADELPHIA schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: PHILADELPHIA -5.5

* ATLANTA is 5-1 ATS in its L6 hosting Philadelphia

Thursday 4/4 - MILWAUKEE (PHILADELPHIA schedule scenario: A2H b2b)

Anticipated Line: PHILADELPHIA 4

* The L4 games of the MIL-PHI h2h series went OVER the total

Saturday 4/6 - at Chicago (PHILADELPHIA schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: PHILADELPHIA -12.5

* HOME TEAMS have won five straight ATS in PHI-CHI h2h series

Tuesday 4/9 - at Miami (PHILADELPHIA schedule scenario: 2DaysRest)

Anticipated Line: PHILADELPHIA -1

* ROAD TEAMS are 5-1 ATS in L6 of PHI-MIA h2h series

Wednesday 4/10 - CHICAGO (PHILADELPHIA schedule scenario: A2H b2b)

Anticipated Line: PHILADELPHIA -17

* HOME TEAMS are on a 5-game ATS winning streak in CHI-PHI h2h series

Steve’s Analysis: At this point, Philadelphia has settled into the third spot in the East and is probably thankful to have done so this early, as resting players like Joel Embiid (fatigue) and Jimmy Butler (knee) has become the priority. Keep in mind that all of the lines above reflect a full-strength lineup, and it is certainly not going to be treated that way by HC Brett Brown this week, so be cautious in backing the 76ers. If there is a game that stands out as a potential play on game, it could be on Thursday versus Milwaukee, a chance for Philly to make another statement against the conference frontrunner on national TV.

PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS

Wednesday 4/3 - MEMPHIS (PORTLAND schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: PORTLAND -7

* HOME TEAMS are on a 5-game ATS winning streak in MEM-POR series

Friday 4/5 - at Denver (PORTLAND schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: PORTLAND 6

Sunday 4/7 - DENVER (PORTLAND schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: PORTLAND 0

Tuesday 4/9 - at LA Lakers (PORTLAND schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: PORTLAND -6.5

* UNDER the total is 7-1 in L8 of POR-LAL series in Los Angeles

Wednesday 4/10 - SACRAMENTO (PORTLAND schedule scenario: A2H b2b)

Anticipated Line: PORTLAND -2.5

* FAVORITES have won four straight ATS in SAC-POR h2h series

Steve’s Analysis: It is really a shame what happed to Nusef Jurkic of the Blazers last week, as with him alongside Lillard & McCollum, the roster sure seemed capable of making some noise in the playoffs. As it stands, the Blazers are in and are close to locking up home-court advantage in the first round. Their first four of five games this week are all on a single days rest and that could prove important, with HC Terry Stotts’ team boasting a 34-16 SU & 30-20 ATS record in that scenario so far. Surely the NBA COVERAGE 11 AUGUST 30 – SEPTEMBER 3 Blazers would like to earn at least a split of their 2-game set with Denver, as that has the potential of a second-round playoff matchup.

SAN ANTONIO SPURS

Wednesday 4/3 - at Denver (SAN ANTONIO schedule scenario: H2A b2b)

Anticipated Line: SAN ANTONIO 4.5

* SAN ANTONIO is 8-2 ATS in its L10 at Denver

Friday 4/5 - at Washington (SAN ANTONIO schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: SAN ANTONIO -2.5

* OVER the total is 5-1-1 in L7 of SAN-WAS series in Washington

Sunday 4/7 - at Cleveland (SAN ANTONIO schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: SAN ANTONIO -7.5

* UNDERDOGS are 6-1 ATS in L7 of SAN-CLE h2h series

Wednesday 4/10 - DALLAS (SAN ANTONIO schedule scenario: 2DaysRest)

Anticipated Line: SAN ANTONIO -9.5

* UNDERDOGS are 12-1 ATS in L13 of DAL-SAN series but lost 3/12

Steve’s Analysis: Typically, the Spurs are in the position of resting players at this time of the year. That isn’t the case in 2018-19 as they look to avoid the #8 spot in the west. The schedule is laid out for at least a 3-1 finish, a mark which would put them in good position to close out at #7. That said, I wouldn’t consider San Antonio a great play-on option for the last couple of games, as the underdog trends for those contests are pretty formidable, and surely Dallas would love to throw a wrench into the Spurs’ playoff plans in the season finale should that opportunity present itself.

TORONTO RAPTORS

Wednesday 4/3 - at Brooklyn (TORONTO schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: TORONTO -3 Friday 4/5 - at Charlotte (TORONTO schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: TORONTO -4.5

* Six of the L7 games in TOR-CHA series went OVER the total

Sunday 4/7 - MIAMI (TORONTO schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: TORONTO -7

* MIAMI is on a 4-0 ATS streak at Toronto

Tuesday 4/9 - at Minnesota (TORONTO schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: TORONTO -7

* MINNESOTA has won four straight ATS vs. Toronto

Steve’s Analysis: If past behavior is any indication of which way HC Nick Nurse figures to lean this week in terms of resting his starters, then caution will guide his thinking. Assuming the Raptors clinch the #2 spot in the east early this week, the teams hoping for help from Toronto in the final four games of the season should probably lessen those hopes. Expect to see little of Kyle Lowry & Kawhi Leonard at the least in the closeout games.

UTAH JAZZ

Wednesday 4/3 - at Phoenix (UTAH schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: UTAH -10.5

* UTAH has won four straight ATS vs. Phoenix Friday 4/5 - SACRAMENTO (UTAH schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: UTAH -10.5

* The L4 games of the SAC-UTA h2h series went OVER the total

Sunday 4/7 - at LA Lakers (UTAH schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: UTAH -10.5

Tuesday 4/9 - DENVER (UTAH schedule scenario: OneDayRest)

Anticipated Line: UTAH -4.5

* UTAH is on a 9-1 ATS run when hosting Denver

Wednesday 4/10 - at LA Clippers (UTAH schedule scenario: H2A b2b)

Anticipated Line: UTAH 1.5

* UTAH is 6-1 ATS in L7 of UTAH-LAC h2h series

Steve’s Analysis: It will take either a huge 5-0 run or a disastrous 0-5 finish for Utah to move up or down in the West standings definitively in the final week. Considering the Jazz figure to be a formidable favorite in the first three of those five contests, I would suggest that moving up in the more likely possibility. On top of that, the Jazz have head-to-head angles on their side in the final two games. Plus, they have to be feeling pretty good about having gone 27-20 SU & 26-20-1 ATS thus far against Western Conference foes. On paper it looks like it could be a good week for Quin Snyder’s club

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