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Second Half Blues

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 3/2/2011 4:43:01 PM

With the NBA All Star in the books and the second half of the season underway, let’s try to get ahead of the betting curve and isolate teams that could have difficult times covering from here on in because of the quality opposition they will be facing.

When wagering on the NBA is sometimes is not all about a team that one likes, but about which teams to stay away from nightly.

Let’s kick it off with the over achieving Portland Trailblazers. Despite injuries to several key players like Greg Oden, Brandon Roy and Marcus Camby, they are still firmly in the playoff picture and in a spot to face the 3 seed in the West.

The bad news is that they have a ton of work to do yet.

Portland was 3 games over .500 against the spread after 56 games but in the final 26 of the season, they will be playing 19 current playoff teams. They also have 6 back-to-back games and only one extended home stand of 4 games.

The pressure to keep up the pace could be overwhelming for the Rose Garden faithful.

It has gotten so bad for the Phoenix Suns that not one player went to the All Star game. They were 6 games under .500 against the spread after 54 games and two road trips left of 5 and 6 games. Like Portland, they also have 6 back-to-back games on the schedule.

They will be life and death to maintain any kind of status.

The Chicago Bulls have had a great run so far this season. Derrick Rose has emerged as the leading MVP candidate, Carlos Boozer has fit nicely into the lineup and they seem to be getting healthy with Joakim Noah now back in the line up.

They have started the season 32-20-2 against the spread and will be fully tested the rest of the way with 9 back-to-back games left. The bright spot for the Bulls is that if they can all stay on the floor, they will come into the playoffs fully battle tested.

The Sacramento Kings could be like a man without a country as they have not been able to solidify a new arena and the word is they may be trying to move to Orange County, which would put three NBA teams in Southern California.

That is only half of their worries. They have a young talented team, but have gotten very little direction from the coaching staff. DeMarcus Cousins is a huge talent, but he’s a baby too.

He pouts, he has been kicked out of practices and he takes possessions off consistently.

The Kings started the year 8 games under .500 against the number, have five road trips of at least 4 games left and also have 7 back-to-backs left on the schedule.

A shaky team and impressionable youth could all add up to a horrible rest of the season for Sacramento.

Before going to the well betting the NBA the rest of the season, astute players check and re-check the taxing schedules of the teams they are considering.

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