Wednesday tip-off: Four sensible NBA selections to boost midweek profits
The Pacers should benefit from the comforts of home, and they head our best bets on a busy night of basketball...
Indiana Pacers to beat Charlotte Hornets –
The Hornets have capitulated after a fast start to the season and are now three places away from a play-off spot in the East.
It is hard to see them boosting their postseason credentials against the Pacers, who have a formidable record at home.
They have lost just 10 times in Indiana all season, winning 23.
Charlotte, meanwhile, have only won 11 games on the road, and have lost three of their last four overall.
These teams are relatively evenly-matched, but the Pacers’ home advantage should prove to be the difference.
Utah Jazz to beat Detroit Pistons –
The Jazz have won five of their last six games, and have only lost three of 10 since the All-Star break.
They also have an impressive record of 17 wins and seven defeats against Eastern Conference teams, while the Pistons are 13-13 against the West.
Utah’s impressive defence should prove crucial here.
They have conceded fewer points per game than any team in the NBA, and also have the league’s third-best defensive rating.
Considering their offensive rating is also higher than Detroit’s, there should really be only one winner here.
Washington Wizards to beat Dallas Mavericks –
The Wizards are this week’s banker.
They have won seven of their last nine games, and were on a five-game winning streak before being beaten by the Timberwolves on Monday night.
That defeat was understandable, too, given that it came at the end of a gruelling five-game road trip that included two overtime victories.
Now back at home – where they have won 26 of 35 this season – they should be able to see off the Mavericks.
Dallas have lost two consecutive games and have been beaten in each of their last five on the road.
Given that they have only won eight times away from home all season, it’s difficult to see them leaving Washington with a victory.
Chicago Bulls to beat Memphis Grizzlies –
In a meeting of two teams in terrible form, it’s best to go with the home side.
The Bulls and Grizzlies have each lost four of their last five games, and have each only won twice in March.
Both teams have been good defensively all season – ranking inside the top seven in points allowed per game – while struggling to score at the other end of the court.
Memphis are averaging 101.4 points per game – the league’s fourth-worst mark – and the Bulls are just one place higher with an average of 102.0.
They are very closely-matched.
Chicago are the team to back, though, due to their home record of 19-14 and status as slight underdogs.