NBA Odds: Atlanta Hawks vs. Miami Heat Betting


NBA BettingThis Saturday a potential playoff preview will take place in sunny Miami when Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat host Joe Johnson and the Atlanta Hawks.

Atlanta Hawks (39-21, 3rd in Eastern Conference) @ Miami Heat (31-31, 8th in Eastern Conference)

NBA Odds

Spread: Atlanta -1.5

Over/Under: 191.5

Money Line: Atlanta -135, Miami +110

Key Storylines

Bronze Medal: Michael Beasley

  • While Dwayne Wade was out with an injury, Michael Beasley stepped up and filled in admirably as the primary scoring option. Now with Wade back, Beasley hasn’t just been replaced as a scoring option, he has been benched in 4th quarters of the past three games. The reasoning has been Beasley’s poor defense and decisions with the ball. Udonis Haslem has taken his place as he is a better defender and foul shooter. It is hard to tell a guy to take over the offense and when Wade is back for him to go back to giving the ball up and play second-fiddle again.

  • Beasley, the second overall pick last year, will be a very good player in this league and has shown flashes of brilliance and extreme athleticism. His inability to be counted on late in games significantly hurts the Heat, especially against a team that is physical like Atlanta.
  • Advantage: Hawks

Silver Medal: Jamal Crawford

  • Jamal Crawford is the odds on favorite for NBA Sixth Man of the Year. Coming off the bench, Crawford is playing 30.8 minutes a game averaging 17.3 points (2nd on the team) and just fewer than three assists. Crawford is shooting 45% from the field and 37% from three point land.

  • Crawford will be big in this bout as he is the both the leader of the second unit and a lethal clutch performer at ends of games. The Gregg Popovich theory of starting one of the team’s best players on the bench (like he has done with Manu Ginobili for almost a decade) and have him come in when the other team’s starters are tired or out of the game, has worked wonders for Crawford this year. Miami does not have a strong second unit, in fact without Wade; they are below average in general. Wade will play most of the game, but look for Crawford to takeover in those periods while he rests.
  • Advantage: Hawks

Gold Medal: Dwayne Wade vs. Joe Johnson

  • Coming off a duel with Kobe Bryant in Miami where Wade and the Heat came away with a 114-11 OT victory. Wade had 27 points, 5 rebounds and 14 assists including a big assist to Quentin Richardson with Kobe guarding Wade in the final seconds to give the Heat a two point lead (Kobe tied it on a sick fade away J to go to OT). Wade is in a pantheon of stardom in the NBA that really only includes the likes of him, LeBron and Kobe with Durant and Dwight Howard at the doorstep.

  • One more step down the stoop is Joe Johnson. Johnson is a free agent at season’s end and is expected to get a lot of big money offers for his services. Johnson has averaged 21.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists a game this year and was named to the All-Star team. Johnson is a strong defender and an excellent shooter and is the main cog in the Hawks offense.

  • This battle will likely be close, but Wade is the better player. Johnson however, has a significantly better supporting cast and Wade may have trouble driving to the hole against the likes of Al Horford and Josh Smith. Even so, you have to like Wade over Johnson
  • Advantage: Heat


The Heat has beaten the Hawks twice this season by more than 15 points, with the Hawks having an early season 15 point victory of their own. I feel this game will be a bit closer, but with Wade leading the way at home, expect the Heat to win and take the season series.

Sportsbook Rating: Final: Heat 91 – Hawks 85

NASCAR Betting – Can anyone stop Jimmie Johnson?


Nascar OddsNASCAR betting players are used to seeing Jimmie Johnson dominate in the Chase, which he’s done during his four-year run as the Sprint Cup champion, but he’s off to a blazing start to the year, winning the last two races. Johnson will go for a third straight win at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Kobalt Tools 500, and Kobalt is the sponsor of….you guessed it, Jimmie Johnson.

NASCAR Betting – Sunday, March 7, 2:00 PM ET

Jimmie Johnson (+400): the No.48 team is just out of control good, and you’ve seen why over the last couple of weeks. In California, it was Johnson’s skill to a late-charging Kevin Harvick and some luck in the pits not to get caught a lap down as they went on to win. In Las Vegas, it was a call from crew chief Chad Knaus to get four tires, which allowed him to take over the lead from teammate Jeff Gordon. Oh yeah, Johnson’s 8.8 average (and a win) in the Atlanta spring race is the best among active drivers.

Jeff Gordon (+800): Gordon was a sitting duck with two tires last week, and it was just a matter of time before Johnson went past him. Still, that was the best the No.24 car has looked in a while, leading 219 laps along the way, so that must be encouraging. His 10.5 average in 17 Atlanta spring races (nine more than Johnson) is second only to Johnson, with wins in 1995 and 1999.

Kevin Harvick (+1000): Harvick has had chances to catch Johnson in the last two weeks, but he ran into the wall in California, and he ran out of laps in Las Vegas after passing Gordon for second place. We’re betting management at RCR is preparing for a return to Victory Lane soon, and Harvick is the most likely driver to get them there. He has three top-10s in nine spring races here, with a win in 2001.

Tony Stewart (+1400): Stewart won this race in 2002, and he has a 10.8 average in 10 spring races at Atlanta. He’s also great at Atlanta any time he races here with a 9.2 average in 18 races, which is tops among active drivers. His seventh-place run last week at Las Vegas makes it two in a row.

Matt Kenseth (+1400): It won’t be a good week for longshots, so it looks like it’s Stewart and Kenseth, who has finished in the top 10 in half of his 10 Atlanta races. Kenseth finished fifth at Las Vegas last week, and he’s one of four drivers to finish in the top 10 of all three races so far this season.

Pick: Honestly, Kenseth was going to be picked, but Johnson is great in this race, and he’s great in Charlotte at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, who also sponsors him. Johnson loves to entertain his sponsors, so look for him to be a popular handicapping pick this week.

NBA Odds for Tuesday Betting Games


NBA PicksThis Tuesday four games are on the slate in the NBA and each one appears to be a mismatch. This usually leads me to throw an extra glance at a four-team parlay. Of course nothing is a sure bet, and for parlays of this size and larger I recommend using money lines rather than the spread. That being said let’s take a look at the games on the docket.

Boston Celtics (36-21, 4th in Eastern Conference) @ Detroit Pistons (21-38, 12th in Eastern Conference)

Spread: Boston -9

Over/Under: 185

Money Lines: Boston -330, Detroit +245

Boston lost to the now 6-53 New Jersey Nets last week, at home. Boston has been without all-star forward Paul Pierce since February 18th and has gone 2-3 without him. Celtics Coach Doc Rivers said he is optimistic about Pierce practicing Monday and Pierce will likely play in this one. Even without Pierce, I like the Celtics in this game. Boston is actually a better road team (20-10) than they are at home (16-11).

Final: Boston 96 – Detroit 83

Sports Betting: Take the Celtics Money Line and the under.

Golden State Warriors (17-41, 14th in Western Conference) @ Miami Heat (29-31, 9th in Eastern Conference)

Spread: Miami -5

Over/Under: 206

Money Line: Miami -190, Golden State + 150

The Miami Heat slipped out of the last playoff spot by a half a game with a loss to Orlando on Sunday 96-80. Miami did get G Dwayne Wade back from injury in that game but his 21 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds not nearly enough in a game that was totally dominated by the superior Magic. Golden State however, is not superior to Miami with Wade back. Take Miami in this one as Golden State is a 4-23 road team.

Final: Miami 109 – Golden State 92

Bodog review: Take the Heat Money Line

Sacramento Kings (20-39, 13th in Western Conference @ Oklahoma City Thunder (35-23, 6th in Western Conference)

Spread: OK City -8.5

Over/Under: 208

Money Line: OK City – 225, Sacramento +170

Kevin Durant had his streak of consecutive games of 25 or points snapped at 29 games last week at San Antonio. He has since started a new streak in 2 games in consecutive blowout wins against Minnesota and Toronto. The Kings have added Carl Landry at the trading deadline for Kevin Martin and he may be helpful in guarding Durant. Durant however has looked unstoppable for most of the season now and the Thunder should be prohibitive favorites and should be able to win big.

Final: Thunder 116 – Sacramento 108

NBA Betting: Take the Thunder Money Line and the over.

Indiana Pacers (20-39, 14th in Eastern Conference) @ Los Angeles Lakers (45-15, 1st in Western Conference)

Spread: Lakers -15.5

Over/Under: 202

Money Line: Lakers -800, Pacers +480

The Lakers are coming off an impressive victory against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night. Ron Artest was able to get Carmelo Anthony into foul trouble and Carmelo fouling out helped as the Lakers with Kobe struggling mightily (3-17 FG). Don’t expect the light defending Pacers to be able to defend quite like J.R. Smith did on Kobe as the Lakers will cruise.

Final: Lakers 115 – Pacers 99


Four-team Parlay: Heat, Lakers, Thunder and Celtics on the money line.

March Madness Battle - Illinois vs. Ohio state Predictions


Illinois vs. Ohio state PredictionsRed hot teams from the Big Ten square off in Tuesday night showcase NCAA basketball betting battle from Champagne, IL where the Ohio State Buckeyes will go to war with the Illinois Fighting Illini.

Ohio State is 13-4 in league play after winning 12 of its last 13 games following a 1-3 start to the league schedule. A win vs. the Illini will ensure Ohio State at least a share of the NCAA Tournament Projections , the third in six years for head coach Thad Matta at Ohio State.

Is there any hope for our beloved Illini after such an overall dud performance against Minny?

Not since Coach Fred Taylor led Ohio State to five-consecutive titles from 1960-64 has an Ohio State coach led the Buckeyes to three titles in a six year span. Matta has led Ohio State to a school record six-consecutive seasons with at least 20 March Madness Picks wins and five years in a row with at least 10 conference wins, which ties Taylor's stretch from 1960-64. Overall, Ohio State has won 17 Big Ten titles, 12 outright.


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