NBA Line Betting: Boston will get serious against Cleveland
Time to get your head down - Boston are battling to reach the playoffs
"Boston will be very difficult to beat and should be backed with the -3.5 handicap at around [2.0]."
There are some very important games on Tuesday as basketball resumes following the All-Star break. Nick Shiambouros previews three key games and provides handicap betting advice.
Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers
The Celtics are 15-17 and have lost their last five. Boston need to pick up the pace in a hurry or they may not make the post-season.
Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have each missed games through injury but all three are ready to go. These are tough times for this veteran team but I firmly believe they have the ability to make the playoffs at the very least.
The Cavs are 13-18 and are struggling. Rookie sensation Kyrie Evans scored 34 points in the Rising Stars Challenge at the weekend and is a star in the making. He will score points but needs some support to have a realistic chance of winning this game.
Boston will be very difficult to beat and should be backed with the -3.5 handicap at around [2.0]. They should have way too much game for the Cavaliers.
New Orleans Hornets v Chicago Bulls
The Hornets are 8-25 and have the worst record in the Western Conference. Since the departure of Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers last year this franchise has lost its way. They are only averaging 88.2 points per game which will not get the job done against the Bulls.
Chicago is 27-8 and has a healthy roster to start the second half of the season. Point-guard Derrick Rose has fully recovered from back spasms and is raring to go.
The Bulls are serious championship contenders and will try to end the regular season with the best record in the Eastern Conference. I think they have the components to win the East and should give Miami a run for their money in the playoffs.
Defeat is out of the question for Chicago and they should be backed at around [1.9] with the -13.5 handicap.
Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Clippers
The Timberwolves are 17-17 and are in with a chance of making the post-season. Last Wednesday they overcame a 16 point deficit to beat Utah in determined fashion. Point-guard Ricky Rubio is getting better with playing time and Kevin Love is having a breakout year. This Minnesota team is peaking at the right time and will be looking for a second straight victory over the Clippers.
Los Angeles is 20-11 and is poised to make the playoffs for the first time in six years. This talented team is in third place in the west and is playing some outstanding basketball. Point-guard Chris Paul is averaging nearly 20 points per game and has already decided to extend his contract to 2013.
This is a fascinating encounter between two improving teams. The Timberwolves could cause the upset and are well worth an interest with the +6.5 handicap at around [2.0].
Back Boston Celtics at [2.0] with advertised handicap -3.5 1pt
Back Chicago Bulls at [1.9] with advertised handicap -13.5 2pts
Back Minnesota Timberwolves with advertised handicap +6.5 1pt
Read More US Sports
Doc Rivers men may already be thinking about the postseason, says Nick Shiambouros, and that's good news for the Knicks. Meanwhile, the San Antonio vets can march on and the Timberwolves face a grizzly end......
There are some very important games taking place on Friday as the race for the post-season continues. Nick Shiambouros previews three games from today's action....
With less than three weeks to go in the regular season the playoff picture is far from complete. Three games with post-season implications take place on Tuesday night. Here's hwo to approach the respective handicaps....
Every game is important when you're chasing the post-season action. Nick Shiambouros looks at a trio of match-ups with playoff ramifications in his weekend preview...