NBA Weekend Wagering
The Miami Heat's busy opening week continues on Friday night as they play their third game in four nights at home against their Southeast Division rivals, the Orlando Magic.
The Heat and Magic are expected to battle it out for the Southeast Division crown this season. Orlando has won back-to-back division titles, but that was before LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami. The early season odds to win the Eastern Conference at Bovada have the Heat as huge favorites at -175, while Orlando sits back at +350.
Miami skidded out of the gate this season with an 88-80 loss to Boston as 1-point road favorites, but they rebounded the follow night with a 97-87 win over Philadelphia as 8-point chalk. The Magic didn't get their season started until Thursday when they opened the new Amway Center against Washington.
After Boston's big men had their way with the Heat in Miami's opener it will be interesting to see how they'll stop Orlando's Dwight Howard on Friday. Wade has averaged 29.9 points per game against the Magic in his career (his highest against any team in the league), so expect a big night from him as long as he gets his fair share of shots.
Last year before Miami's upgrade the Magic won the season series against the Heat 5-3 both SU and ATS. The Magic were 2-2 in Miami last season, but in their last nine trips to the American Airlines Arena they're 9-2 SU and 8-3 ATS.
Other noteworthy matchups on Friday night include the Lakers reigniting their old rivalry with the Suns, the Knicks' first trip to Boston with Amar'e Stoudemire, and Kevin Durant and the Thunder at Detroit.
The game of the night on the Saturday schedule is a matchup between Denver and Houston. The Nuggets will be playing the closer of a back-to-back after facing the Hornets on Friday night. Denver started the season with a bang on Wednesday by throttling Chicago 110-88 as 3.5-point favorites. Denver needs a solid start to the season if they're going to persuade Carmelo Anthony to drop his trade demand.
The Rockets will be playing their third game of the season after back-to-back losses on Tuesday and Wednesday. Houston fell to the Lakers 112-110 as a 6.5-point underdog on opening night and couldn't keep up with Golden State in a 132-128 shootout as a 3.5-point 'dog. Against the Warriors Luis Scola netted 36 points to go with 16 rebounds, but Houston didn't have an answer for Warriors guard Monta Ellis who dropped in 46 points.
The Nuggets will likely be a small favorite in this matchup, but the smart money should be on the Rockets. Denver is a lousy 1-5 SU in their last six games at Houston and their record in the second game of a back-to-back is also horrible; in their last 10 back-end games the Nuggets are 3-7 SU and 0-9-1 ATS.