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NBA Scheduling/Situation Spots (May 11th-May 16th)
Here’s a look at some of the relevant scheduling and situational spots for a few teams in the NBA this week that you should be aware of before placing a wager. All projected lines below were made using Mackenzie Rivers' NBA Power Ratings, and the bolded game in each team’s schedule for the week is the relevant spot. I'll also publish an additional article every Monday listing all key injury news to watch with relevant player prop and DFS analysis. Any questions or thoughts? Hit me up on Twitter @G_Frank6:
The Indiana Pacers have had an up and down season, to say the least. They’re likely to end up in the play-in round barring a cataclysmic collapse in the final week of the regular season. However, they’re in a bad spot early in the week when they host Philadelphia on Tuesday on the tail end of back-to-back. The Sixers won’t yet have the East’s top seed clinched and should be able to handle Indiana with ease. Our projected line as of last week was the Sixers as 3.5-point road chalk, and the line has actually opened as Philly -6.5.
Pacers schedule this week: Mon @ CLE (Won 111-102), Tues vs PHI, Thurs vs MIL, Sat vs LAL, Sun @ TOR.
The New Orleans Pelicans end a five-game road trip that spans three time zones on Friday. The trip started this past weekend in Philadelphia and Charlotte and ends in the Bay Area against the Warriors. We like this spot regardless against Golden State, but we actually like it more if the Pelicans (currently 11th in the West) are mathematically eliminated from cracking the play-in round by the end of the week. Our power ratings project Golden State as a 2.5-point home favorites and against the weary Pelicans in this one.
Pelicans schedule this week: Mon @ MEM (Lost 115-110), Wed @ DAL, Fri @ GS, Sun vs LAL.
The Denver Nuggets embark upon a four-game road trip this week, and I’m simply willing to bet that by the end of it they’ll have their sights set on the postseason. Denver opens the week four games clear of Dallas for the fourth seed in the West which ensures the Nuggets open the playoffs at home. By the end of this road trip, the Nuggets’ playoff fate will likely be sealed as well. Denver finishes the trip against Portland, a team that might still be fighting to avoid the play-in round. It’s a home-run spot to fade the Nuggets, too, but just understand that the caveat here is the Nuggets may opt to sit some key players which could swing the line too much to Portland. Our power ratings would have the game as a pick ‘em if both teams are at full strength, but the seeding motivation (or lack therof) will be the key to look out for here.
Nuggets schedule this week: Tues @ CHA, Thurs @ MIN, Fri @ DET, Sun @ POR
The Los Angeles Clippers are also on the road all week with four games in the Eastern and Central time zones upcoming. After the Clippers lost at home on Sunday against the Knicks, they’ll probably want to pick up a win or two before the playoffs. But if there’s a few convincing decisions in the Clippers' favor early in the week, then they could be a good fade late in the week. We’re projecting the Thunder to be a 16-point home underdog on Sunday against Los Angeles as the Clippers conclude the regular season, and this could be another spot in which OKC has more motivation because they could lock up a top three draft pick by then and not care whether they actually win or lose the game, potentially against Clipper backups.
Clippers schedule this week: Tues @ TOR, Thurs @ CHA, Fri @ HOU, Sun @ OKC
The Minnesota Timberwolves, although they're one of the worst teams in the association, have actually played well as of late, but it might be too little too late. We’re going to the opposite end of the spectrum for a lottery spot with Minnesota here early this week. After Sunday’s win against Orlando, Minnesota is now in a four-way tie for the third-worst record in the league with Cleveland, Orlando and OKC. If the Wolves' first-round pick falls outside the top three, it goes to Golden State. Minnesota is walking an awfully fine line right now and could greatly benefit from a loss against the Pistons on Tuesday. Detroit comes into the week with the second-worst record in the league, 1.5 games clear of the aforementioned four teams in third place in the lottery standings. The Wolves simply need to start losing games and could bring Detroit into the third-worst record cluster with a loss on Tuesday. Our power ratings make the game a pick ‘em.
Timberwolves schedule this week: Tues @ DET, Thurs vs DEN, Sat vs BOS, Sun vs DAL
A few of our earlier spots involved teams that have nothing to play for at the end of the regular season, as their playoff seeding is either determined or just not worth playing for in the first place. Keep an eye on the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, 76ers and the Milwaukee Bucks as the week unfolds. All of these teams are battling for the top seed in their respective conferences and unlike the Nets, who are also still alive (mathmatically) for the No. 1 seed in the East, have been playing at full strength with more regularity. Therefore, a few players resting for any of these top teams might be a little trickier for the market to adjust to and as a result could make them good fades with no motivation but with an inflated price tag/ATS.