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NBA Picks – Rundown For Saturday, April 17th

Posted by Craig Parsons on 4/16/2010 3:15:22 PM
NBA Odds:
Chicago Bulls @ Cleveland Cavaliers – 3:00 PM ET

The Bulls will be a huge online betting underdog in this game and in this series, but they’ll take a couple of positives into the contest. They split four meetings with the Cavaliers this season, and even stole one in Cleveland. However, the Cavaliers managed to rest LeBron James for the last four games of the season, and the likely MVP averaged 25.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists in three games against the Bulls, who will be led by Derrick Rose, the reigning Rookie of the Year who carried Chicago into the playoffs. Shaquille O’Neal will be back in the lineup after a thumb injury, but this game will be all James, all the time.

Pick: Cleveland
Milwaukee Bucks @ Atlanta Hawks – 5:30 PM ET

The Hawks should be favored in your sportsbook after winning 34 games at Philips Arena, which was tied for the second-most home wins in the league behind Cleveland. The Bucks have dropped six in a row in Atlanta, and two of three overall this season, but they did win their final three road games of the year. The Bucks are heading into the postseason without center Andrew Bogut, but the Hawks aren’t a very big team to begin with. Atlanta will have slow down John Salmons, who averaged 30.7 points against them, but the Hawks have a head of steam with four straight wins before the playoffs. We’re going with the home team.

Pick: Atlanta
Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics – 8:00 PM ET

All signs points to the Celtics being favored in this contest, as they won all three of their meetings with the Heat this season, making in nine in their last 10 meetings overall, but it’s not that simple. The Heat may be the hottest team in the league right now with nine wins in their last 10 games, and they’ve won eight in a row on the road, which is important as they’ve dropped five straight in Boston. The Celtics’ defense has been terrible lately, allowing 100 points or more in eight of their last 10 games, but everyone is saying that they were pacing themselves for the playoffs. The Heat have allowed 100 points or more in just two of their last 13 games, and Dwyane Wade has been brilliant down the stretch. We’re calling an NBA betting upset here.

Pick: Miami
Utah Jazz @ Denver Nuggets – 10:30 PM ET

The Nuggets should be favored in what could be the best series of the entire first round, and it featuring a pair of teams that finished 53-29, and both are among the league’s best at home (Denver had 34 home wins, Utah had 32). The Nuggets will be without coach George Karl for at least the first round, but at least they have Kenyon Martin back, which is crucial as the Jazz will go to Carlos Boozer a lot in the post. The matchup at the point will be fun to watch to, as Utah’s Deron Williams will go at Denver’s Chauncey Billups, a former NBA Finals MVP. The Jazz have lost four in a row in Denver, and the Nuggets’ crowd will be amped enough to fire their team to a sports betting win on Saturday night.

Pick: Denver

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