The Philadelphia 76ers can secure their playoff position with a win tonight over the New Jersey Nets. What numbers are the sportsbooks offering us tonight, and which side of the lines do we want to be on when it comes time to place our picks?

Philadelphia is a happy place for sports fans right now. Their beloved Flyers are coming off an improbable domination of the state rival Penguins and are advancing to the conference semifinal in the NHL playoffs. The Philadelphia Phillies are struggling right now, but there are other things more important with barely 8% of the season completed. The fans know that the 76ers are the next of the four major franchises that will make the playoffs tonight. Simple. Win and the 76ers are in.

Philadelphia 76ersHead Coach Doug Collins should be up for great consideration as coach of the year. Not only has he taken what was on paper a very weak team and molded them into a playoff team. He and the team endured some very low points in 2012, but are now beginning to put all of it together and are coming off most impressive overtime win at Indiana.

Doug Collins has now created a culture in the template form of the one he played under and was so successful as a 76ers player. It is a team culture that features always looking forward, learning from wins and losses, and looking to improve every time they step on the court. The theme is not basking in what they have just accomplished, but rather what work still needs to be done.

The regular season work can be completed tonight with a win against division rival New Jersey. The Nets are 22-42 on the season, but have the added motivation knowing this is the last game being played at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ before they move the franchise to Brooklyn starting next season.

Simulator Projections

I have decided to set a 10* graded free NBA pick on the Philadelphia 76ers as they take on the New Jersey Nets set to start at 7:05 PM ET.

My NBA betting simulator shows a high probability that Philadelphia will win this game by double digits. The simulator also shows the additional projections that New Jersey will attempt between 77 and 83 shots, will make between 39 and 42% of their total shot attempts, will make between 32 and 38% of their three point shot attempts, and will score between 87 and 92 points.

In past games this heavily favors the 76ers. In past games New Jersey is 40-59 ATS losing 24.9 units per one unit wagered in games where they attempt 77 to 83 shots over the last three seasons;  4-13 ATS losing 10.3 units per one unit wagered in home games when they make 39% to 42% of their shots in a game over the last two seasons; 4-12 ATS losing 9.2 units per one unit wagered when they make 32% to 38% of their three point attempts in a game this season; 4-12 ATS losing 9.2 units per one unit wagered when they grab 48 to 52 rebounds in a game this season; 0-7 ATS losing 7.7 units per one unit wagered in home games when they score 87 to 92 points in a game this season.

Supporting Systems

Supporting this graded play is a system that has produced a record of 43-16 ATS for 73% winning NBA picks since 2006. Play on road favorites after going over the total by 30 or more points total in their last five games and winning between 51% and 60% of their games on the season. Of the 59 games played based on the criteria of this system, 29 of them or 46% covered the spread by seven or more points. This further underscores my beleive that this will by a double digit win by the 76ers.

Game Situation

The Nets are not a good team by nearly all statistical measures in NBA basketball this year. The 76ers have taken care of business when playing against inferior and struggling type teams like the Nets. The 76ers are 16-5 ATS making 10.5 units per one unit wagered when facing poor teams that are being outscored by their opponents by three or more points per game this season.

My Pick: Take the Philadelphia 76ers as a 10* Titan graded play.

Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks (32-29) take their act on the road as the travel across the river to face Kris Humphries and the New Jersey Nets (22-40) in this tri-state battle. Find out why I am all over the Knicks tonight.

Tip-off is scheduled for Wednesday at 7:00 pm ET at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

NBA odds have just been released for tonight’s matchup, and the NBA lines are already showing plenty of movement. Aftr opening at -7.5, NBA picks on the Knicks have pushed the spread to 8.5 points. The matchup’s total has also risen from 192 to 193.

I expected the Knicks to be a big NBA betting favorite on the road as they’re coming off of a huge victory against the Boston Celtics and are resting in the 7th position in the Eastern Conference Playoff Race while the Nets are playing out the string, and they must do so without leading scorer Deron Williams who is sidelined by a calf injury.

Best offensive player in the game?

Carmelo AnthonyCarmelo Anthony has proven that without Amare Stoudemire out of the equation, he’s an “all world” offensive player that can be compared with the likes of Kobe Bryant. Melo is coming off of a triple-double against a tough Boston Celtics team in where he had 35 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. This is also coming after he layed in 42 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists against the Miami Heat.

It’s apparent that Anthony and Stoudemire can’t be on the court at the same time, and the Knicks have a problem. Officially, this is one of Anthony’s worst offensive seasons as it was a lockout shortened season, and most of it was played with Amare on the court.

In the month of April, Carmelo Anthony is averaging 32.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game. He’s clearly the hottest player in the NBA, and he is even shooting 51.3% from the field in April. New Jersey won’t be able to stop him; they can only hope to contain him.

3 point specialist

As you can see from the enthusiasm on Carmelo Anthony’s face, Steve Novak is the perfect complimentary fit for the Knicks. Novak is almost automatic from beyond the arc and has to be considered the best 3 point shooter in the game. Novak has extended short leads in games in the past and has made a huge difference for New York.

In 28 minutes against Boston, Novak scored 25 points on 8 of 10 shooting from 3 point range. Aside from Anthony, it was the difference in the game and it was a close to perfection as you’re going to see. In his last 5 games, Steve Novak is averaging 12.2 points per game and 48.4% 3 point shooting in 22.2 minutes per game.

Although J.R. Smith is an erratic shooter, when he’s hitting his outside shots, the Knicks are unstoppable. You can expect the Nets to have a tough time in this game after New York is flying high after a win over the Celtics.

"The most hated player in the NBA"

How can 6 foot 9 “baby faced” Kris Humphries (a.k.a. “Hump”) be the most hated player in the game? He doesn’t look to start altercations and doesn’t argue calls. It probably has something to do with his appearance on reality television. Nevertheless, Hump has managed to turn a negative into a positive with a huge season.

Humphries is averaging 13.9 points, 11 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game. In games where Deron Williams has been unable to play, Humphries has come up huge. If you’re a fantasy league player, Hump is a “must use” for your team and he’ll be the player that the Knicks defense will focus in on.

In the month of April, Humphries is averaging 17 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. He’s coming off of a 29 point performance against LBJ, D.Wade and the Heat. Humphries has momentum on his side, and this can play a factor in the game. Look for Hump to put up “Melo-like” numbers tonight.

Outcome of the game

There are a lot of questions for New Jersey, as Gerald Wallace is also listed as questionable. Kris Humphries can’t do it all himself, while Carmelo Anthony can. Not to mention, Tyson Chandler has had an outstanding season for New York and is coming off of a 20 point, 7 rebound performance in the victory over the Celts.

New York’s comfort zone is MSG, but look for them to play huge in this spot. The Nets have nothing to play for and Carmelo Anthony is playing like an MVP. Take the Knicks to cover.

My Pick: New York Knicks to cover
Philly (29-27 SU, 27-28-1 ATS) will be out to snap a four-game losing streak when they take on the New Jersey Nets tonight. Game time is 7:30 PM ET at the Prudential Center in Newark. Which way should NBA bettors look in tonight’s matchup?

Less than 30 days ago the Philadelphia 76ers were on top of the Atlantic Division and on cruise control headed to the NBA playoffs. Now two lengthy losing streaks later, the Sixers are holding on for dear life as the regular season draws to a close.

The NBA odds makers have finally made the NBA lines public, and as expected, the 76ers have been installed as the 4.5 point favorites. NBA bettors have already jumped on this line, pushing the spread to 5 points at most betting shops. While the spread has extended, the matchup’s total has shrunken, as it now sits at 186.

76ers vs. NetsThe 76ers are definitely struggling and are costing their backers some money process. Philadelphia is on ATS streaks of 1-5 and 3-7 and without a late spurt could find themselves on the outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture. How they do against New Jersey in the final days of the season could very well be the deciding factor. These teams meet again Friday in Philadelphia before closing their season series April 23 at the Prudential Center.

Sunday, Philadelphia was crushed by the Boston Celtics 103-79. Nikola Vucevic led the Sixers with 14 points and Andre Iguodala had 13. It was their 10th loss in 14 games dropping them into a seventh-place tie with the surging New York Knicks with Milwaukee just 1.5 games back.

New Jersey (21-27 SU, 26-32 ATS) won a thriller on Sunday beating Cleveland in overtime 122-117. Deron Williams had 18 points and 10 assists while Kris Humphries scored 16 to go along with 11 rebounds, but it was reserves Gerald Green and Anthony Morrow who made the difference. Green scored a season-high 32 points and Morrow had 24 as the duo went 8 of 14 from 3-point range. NJ is now on a 5-2 streak both SU and ATS and has won three straight at home.

Including tonight’s game, the Sixers and Nets will meet three times in the final two weeks. In their first and only meeting of the season on January 25, New Jersey posted a 97-90 overtime victory grabbing the cash as an 11-point road underdog. The combined 187 points stayed under the closing total of 192.

Epic collapse

Early in the season, the team was winning at a 72 percent clip and seemingly blowing out every team they played. Now Philadelphia has gone from 18-7 to 29-27, a streak of 11-20. They’ve gone from first to third in the Atlantic Division and no one—not Head Coach Doug Collins nor the players—have an answer to what’s gone wrong.

The 76ers have been limited to an average of 83.0 points and 41.8 percent.

Trends

Since the All-Star break, the Sixers have gone 9-18. They’re 10-15 on the road, (10-14-1 ATS) and as fate would have it, play eight of their final 10 games away from home.

Philadelphia is 4-11 ATS in its last 15 road games while New Jersey is 10-25 vs. the number in its last 35 home games.

The ‘under’ is 7-3-1 in the Nets last 11 overall and the ‘under’ is 7-3 in the last 10 series meetings.

Harvey’s Take: The Nets have a chance to be a real spoiler in the race starting tonight against the struggling Sixers. Philadelphia has simply run out of gas and they’ve become great fade material especially on the road. My money is on New Jersey tonight as they extend the 76ers road woes. Add the Nets to your NBA picks tonight.

Good luck! 

Coming off of a 40 point performance against the Golden State Warriors, Kobe Bryant feels that his team is much improved with the addition of Ramon Sessions in the backcourt. Can they cover the number against the New Jersey Nets?
The Lakers (33-20) lead the Pacific West Division standings and must not let their guard down as any team can lose on any given day. Deron Williams and the New Jersey Nets (19-35) come to town and this should be a good one as the boo birds will be raining down on Kris Humphries.

Tip-off for this matchup is scheduled for Tuesday at 10:30 pm ET at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

NBA odds makers opened the spread with the Lakers favored by 10 and that number has dropped to 9.5 with the total holding at 195.

Bynum note:

He didn’t need an MRI on his moderately sprained ankle and that’s a positive but there’s no assurance that he’ll step onto the court.

Brook Lopez"Hump"

Jokingly referred to as “Hump”, forward Kris Humphries has silenced the critics for his off the court behavior and has come to work with his hard hat and lunch pale everyday as has averaged a double-double on the season at 13.4 points and 10.9 rebounds.

Humphries has also destroyed Lamar Odom in the battle of the former brother-in-laws and that has to make him feel somewhat good. He’s faced a lot of booing and he’ll definitely face a lot of boos tonight in the scene of the crime, Los Angeles. This could be a shaky game for Hump as I remember him having a tough time earlier in the season as the boos came smattering down from a critical L.A. Clippers’ crowd. I think that Humphries has played well under the adversity and I look for a solid performance here. if Bynum doesn’t play, Humphries could have a huge game.

Solid veteran pickup

The Nets have the flash in Deron Williams and the veteran blue collar type of player in Humphries and Gerald Wallace. Wallace has been a great addition to this team as he’s averaged 15.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game. This is a cool customer that knows how to handle the likes of L.A. In his last two games against the Lakers, Wallace has raised his level of play, averaging 19.0 points and 57.7% from the field.

Steal of a deal

Kobe Bryant is certainly elated with the addition of Ramon Sessions to the Lakers squad. The Lakers love Derek Fisher but let’s face it, he’s about to retire fairly soon and doesn’t have nearly the offensive game that Sessions has. This put’s L.A. back into the Championship hunt, a place that people thought that they would never be.

Steve Blake was more of a shooter but Sessions can score and do the number one thing that L.A. need’s him to do and that’s setup Kobe Bryant. 

In his last 5 games, Ramon Sessions played somewhat inconsistently but still managed to average 13 points, 6.6 assists, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal per game. Sessions doesn’t shoot the 3 ball often but he’s 5 for 8 in his last 5 games and can make the big shot. Expect him to be a major part of the offense of in this game.

Pau Gasol

The Lakers can go to a team with 3 men nearing the 7 foot mark from last year to 1 player, Pau Gasol, in this game. That’s all speculation as you should stay tuned by tweets and fantasy league sites that update a players injury status each hour. If you really like LA in this spot and want to bet them, put in the work and stay tuned to these updates as Bynum’s status is key.

Saying all that, Pau Gasol has been playing very well as of late. People were thinking that he was upset about trade talks and his skills were diminishing but Gasol quietly keep’s putting up the numbers and is there for this team when they need him.

In his last 10 games, Gasol is averaging 18.8 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.4 blocks. he’s also coming off of a 26 point, 11 rebound, 6 assist and 3 block performance in a victory over Golden State.

Fantasy leaguers and bettors alike, look for the Spainiard to go huge in this game whether Bynum play’s or not. Bynum shouldn’t be at full force if he play’s but the veteran Gasol has plenty of gas in the tank.

LA or NJ?

The Lakers have never been good at covering the spread when they’re a big favorite. In a situation like this, we just don’t know due to Bynum. If Bynum play’s and the spread is large, I like New Jersey. The Nets are improving talent-wise and the points will be enough. If Bynum doesn’t play, bet slightly less and still take the Nets to cover a spread that will be significantly smaller.

NBA picksNew Jersey Nets to cover
The New Jersey Nets begin a four game West coast road trip as they come off an impressive 16 point victory over a Pacers team and have a chance against a Golden State Warriors team that finds it difficult to win a game.

Tip-off is scheduled for 10:30 pm ET on Friday at the Oracle in Oakland, California.

NBA odds list the Warriors as a 4 point favorite and the total is listed at 196.5.

13th place 

We all know that the number 13 is supposed to represent bad luck but in the case of these two teams, they make their own poor luck, as both teams stand in 13th place in their respective conferences.

The Warriors have never been able to recover from the Monta Ellis trade, as they’ve won just 2 out of their last 10 games. The Nets have injuries as an excuse and although their coming off of an impressive win against a playoff bound team in the Pacers, they have won just 2 of their last 8 games. To top things off, New Jersey has lost 6 straight games in Golden State, going back to 2005. 

A walking MASH unit

For all of you who don’t know what that means, it’s a team that’s full of injuries and very short-handed. That would be the term to define the New Jersey Nets. The Nets will be without the services of Brook Lopez, Shelden Williams, and Jordan Farmar, Jordan Williams is listed as doubtful and Anthony Morrow is supposed to return after missing the prior two games, but nothing is guaranteed in the NBA. Very rarely have we seen Golden State as the NBA betting favorite lately, but the door of opportunity is open for the Warriors, so get your sports picks ready.

Shouldering the load

Nets vs. WarriorsThe Nets will be relying heavily on their best player, point guardDeron Williams. Williams has been a superstar all season in leading this bottom feeder. Williams is averaging 22 points, 8.3 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game. He had a 24 point, 10 assist, and 8 assist game against the Warriors earlier this season.

Look for Williams to take matters into his own hands by finding players like newly acquired Gerald Wallace. Wallace has been consistent as double-double man Kris Humphries has found it difficult to have the integration of a similar positioned player on the team. 

"D Will." is coming off of a 30 point, 9 assist, and 3 rebound performance on 4 of 7 shooting from 3 point range in a victory against the Pacers, which is still shadowed by his season high is 57 points on March 4th against Charlotte. Look for Williams to play well against a team that’s weak at the guard position. 

Solid veteran pickup 

Especially with all of these injuries, a veteran like Gerald Wallace is just what the doctor ordered for the Nets. Wallace brings 10 years of veteran experience to a young team, while providing timely buckets and rebounding to a team that ranks 25th in points and 26th in rebounding.  

With a healthy Brook Lopez, the Nets have a formidable frontcourt of Humphries, Wallace, and, and Lopez. He’s no LaMarcus Aldridge, but Wallace is averaging 13.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 steals. David Lee isn’t one of the best defensive big men in the NBA, so look for Wallace to go big in this game as his minutes will be increased, provided that he stay’s out of foul trouble.

Embarrassing

Golden State sports a semi-respectable 20-29 record, but’s it’s been all down hill since the trade. In their last game, they were embarrassed at home 102-87 by a 13-38 New Orleans Hornets team without Chris Kaman and Trevor Ariza. David Lee was able to capitalize off of the absence of Kaman with 28 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists, but he can’t carry a team by himself.  

Molding the Klay 

One player that Golden State has been able to rely on is rookie guard Klay Thompson. At 6 foot 7, Thompson is at a major advantage and is a productive offensive player. His minutes have increased and in the month of March, and Thompson is averaging 16.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. This is a dramatic increase from his seasonal averages.  

This is a maturing player that should be effective at shooting guard against the Nets. He has a major upside for the future and will keep the interest of the remaining fans that weren’t scared away by the Ellis trade. 

Where do you go here? 

I’m going to use the momentum factor as the Nets are coming off of a strong victory against Indiana and have a solid core of Deron Williams, Kris Humphries, and Gerald Wallace to help their cause. Golden State will need to rebuild their team, and I have no confidence in adding them to my NBA picks. Take New Jersey and the points.

My Pick-  New Jersey Nets +4
The Utah Jazz face off against the New Jersey Nets tonight, and this matchup has been keeping the NBA odds makers busy. After the Jazz opened at -2.5, they now find themselves listed as the 1.5 point dog. Who do we like here?

Free NBA pick on the New Jersey Nets as they take on the Utah Jazz in NBA action set to start at 7:30 PM ET. New Jersey is out of playoff contention, but the Jazz are fighting for their playoff lives. The Nets have had another miserable season and stand at a disappointing 16-34 and are in 13th place in the Eastern Conference standings. Utah is 26-23 for the season and currently hold onto the seventh playoff spot in the Western Conference standings.

Jazz vs. NetsUtah is tied with Houston, but due to the tie-breakers, Utah has the higher seed. However, There is a logjam of nine teams that still have a realistic opportunity to make a playoff run or to suffer a playoff bound collapse. The fourth seed is held by the Los Angeles Clippers with a 27-21 record and are 9.5 games behind conference leader Oklahoma City Thunder. Dallas is tied with the Clippers and hold down the fifth seed and Memphis is just one game behind Dallas holding the sixth seed. Then comes Utah and Houston to closeout the playoff spots.

Then come the group of contenders starting with Denver with the identical record as the Jazz and Rockets at 26-23, but due to tiebreaker conditions would be out of the playoffs if the season had ended Sunday. Phoenix is just one game behind Denver and have won seven of the past 10 games. Minnesota is 2.5 games behind Denver and then Portland, who is trailing Denver by three games. So, the Western Conference final run will be quite exciting for those fans of these teams.

NBA Betting Line

Point is, however, that Utah is installed as a skinny dog of just 1.5 points against a horrid team and it turns on a contrarian signal immediately to this game. The NBA betting lines opened with Utah favored by one point and the sharps sports bettors quickly got down on New Jersey with significantly large bets and the NBA odds have moved 2.5 points. This line has seen 60% of allsports picks made in early action on the Nets and confirms further that the Nets are the correct play. I believe that the NBA betting line will approach 3.5 by game time, so making the wager early is the right move in my opinion.

Only Utah played Sunday and have had to travel from Atlanta where they were defeated in four overtimes, 139-133, and failed to cover as one point dogs. This is only the ninth four overtime game to occur in NBA history, and it takes a ton of energy out of each team, but especially the losing team. I strongly believe that Utah will show significant signs of fatigue in the second half of this game allowing the Nets to take control of the game. 

Simulator Projections and Supporting System

The simulator shows a high probability that New Jersey will win this game by three points. 

Supporting this graded play is a system that has produced a record of 28-6 for 82.4% winners using the money line and has made 22.5 units per one unit wagered since 1996. Play against all teams with a money line of +135 to -155 and is a good offensive team scoring between 98 and 102 points per game and is now facing an average offensive team scoring between 92 and 98 points per game and after 42 or more games have been played and after a combined score of 205 points or more in three straight games. 

Game Situations

There are several game situations supporting a New Jersey victory. Utah is just 27-54 against the money line making 30.4 units per one unit wagered in road games after a combined score of 215 points or more since 1996. 

My Pick: New Jersey with the Money Line

The New Jersey Nets and Charlotte Bobcats meet for the second time in six days, and the Cats are hoping to do a little better at containing Deron Williams. Should NBA bettors expect a different outcome this time around.

This matchup is set to tip-off at 7:00 PM ET from Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte where the NBA odds makers are favoring the Bobcats by -1.5 with the total at 192.5.

Charlotte Bobcats

Sunday in Charlotte, the Bobcats (5-32 SU, 14-23 ATS) opted not to double-team Williams and the three-time All-Star made them pay dearly for their questionable strategy. D-Will went for an NBA season-high 57 points in a 104-101 victory. He was 16 of 29 from the field and made all 21 of his free throws as Williams bested his previous career high of 42 points.

Williams, who averages team highs of 22.4 points and 8.2 assists for the Nets (13-27 SU, 17-23 ATS), attributed much of his scoring to Charlotte’s decision to use one man to try and stop him.

The rest of New Jersey’s starters combined for 20 points on 6-of-19 shooting, with Kris Humphries (11) the only one to score more than six. The lack of scoring from the starting lineup was a key reason why NJ failed to cover as a -4.5 point favorite.

Trouble from downtown

Despite Williams’ scoring exploits, Charlotte had a chance to force overtime, but D.J. Augustin missed a 3-point attempt with one second left. The Bobcats didn’t do themselves any favors missing 12 of their 14 shots from beyond the arc.

Although Silas seemed only worried about stopping Williams, he should make sure his team respects the shooting of Jordan Farmar. If they don’t, maybe a call to the Clippers might help.

In New Jersey’s game against LA, Vinny Del Negro’s team was focusing on Williams, who found a wide open Farmar, who drained a 3-pointer with 2.0 seconds left in a 101-100 win. Farmar finished with 16 points, while Williams had 21 and 10 assists. New Jersey also earned the ATS win as a +7.5 point underdog.

Deron WilliamsUp and down Bobcats

Charlotte bounced back from its loss to the Nets with an impressive 100-84 victory over Orlando on Tuesday. It followed that up, however, with Wednesday’s 99-93 loss to Utah, its 22nd in 24 games. The good news is that the Bobcats covered the NBA betting spread in all three games and going 0-4 ATS.

Where’s Boris?

The Bobcats and Boris Diaw have enjoyed better days. Head coach Paul Silas said he “doesn’t know” if he’ll play again this season and admits he’s frustrated by his lack of effort. Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins says Diaw’s agent recently approached him about a buyout or trade. If one is granted, I can’t for the life of me see why any team would be interested in a whiny, self-centered player who is averaging 7.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.

With Charlotte playing out the string to the season, Silas is giving players like rookie guard Kemba Walker more quality minutes. Walker, the former UConn star, is averaging 13 points and four assists per game.

NBA Picks: New Jersey is certainly no great shakes but with Williams, MarShon Brooks and Farmar, the Nets have three capable scorers. I don’t see that many when I look at the Bobcats bench. It’s a low number, one that I think New Jersey can handle.

Good luck!

The Dallas Mavericks are playing tough defense again and that’s resulted in a charge up the NBA standings. Tonight the Mavs will try to continue their winning ways when they play host the New Jersey Nets. Tip-off is 8:30 PM ET at American Airlines Arena.

NBA odds boards opened with the Dallas Mavericks at -10.5 and a total of 187.5. Early NBA betting action has lowered the spread to -10 while the total has risen to 188.5 at mostsportsbooks.

Find out why we have decided to focus our NBA picks on this matchup’s spread rather than the total. 

Dallas (21-13 SU, 21-14 ATS) won the NBA championship last season with a defensive focus, and their title defense has been built the same way. They are tied for fourth in the league with 90.8 points allowed per game and rank first in field-goal percentage defense at 41.6. Dallas has held seven of its last 10 opponents to fewer than 95 points.

Dirk NowitzkiThe Dallas Mavericks dropped a 96-91 decision to the Lakers in their final game before the break. Dirk Nowitzki had 25 points and 12 rebounds while Vince Carter had 20 to lead Dallas which has seven of their last nine games. After getting off to a slow start and admitting to a letdown after winning the title, Nowitzki appears to be on the way back. In his last 10 games, The Big D is averaging 24.9 points a game and shooting 43 percent from the floor. Nowitzki is leading the Mavericks in scoring this season (19.6 points per game) and field goal percentage (45.4 percent).

This will be the first of nine games in 12 days for the Mavericks who have moved into second-place in the Southwest Division, three games behind San Antonio. Dallas captured seven of its last nine games entering the All-Star break and now is in fourth-place in the NBA’s Western Conference.

The New Jersey Nets (10-25 SU, 15-20 ATS) used its 17th different in a 108-91 home loss to Orlando. Kris Humphries sat out with a calf injury, though he’s expected to return tonight.

Brook Lopez scored 15 points in his second game after breaking his foot just before the start of the season. He played Feb. 19 against Milwaukee but sat out the following night in a win over New York. MarShon Brooks scored a career-high 24 points and Deron Williams added 23, though the Nets’ bench was outscored 42-21 by the Magic’s reserves.

Dwight Howard aced his ‘audition’ for a possible job transfer next month to New Jersey. Orlando’s big man had 20 points and 17 rebounds, threw in a couple of blocks and dunks and had Nets’ fans chanting his name throughout the game in what was likely a showcase for next month’s trading-day deadline.

Trends

New Jersey is 6-2 ATS in their last eight road games and 3-8 vs. the number in its last 11 games overall. The Nets are 7-12 SU but 11-8 ATS on the road. NJ is 2-10 last 12 outings and has the fourth worst record in the NBA Eastern Conference.

The Nets haven’t won since 2000 a streak of 13 games. They haven’t beaten the Mavericks in the last five meetings overall. The Mavericks have won 19 of the last 22 meetings.

Dallas is on an impressive 9-1 ATS streak in its last 10 outings vs. NBA Atlantic Division teams and is 39-18-2 ATS in their last 59 games overall.

The home team is 7-2 ATS in the last nine series meetings.

Harvey’s Take: I’m playing the revitalized Mavericks to cover the double digit spread against the woeful Nets. The ‘under’ will also get some attention as well.

Good luck!

Deron Williams and the Nets look to end a six-game losing streak as they entertain the Grizzlies tonight. Check out who we’re picking in this NBA matchup. New Jersey has had plenty of time to think about their recent play.

The Nets have been off since Saturday when they lost big at home. They fell to the Spurs by 14 points, falling short of covering the 9.5 points they were gifted by sportsbooks

That loss was New Jersey’s sixth in a row and was also their fifth consecutive ATS loss. That leaves their spread record at 12-17 at this point in the season. 

Tonight the Nets have a pretty good opportunity to secure a victory at home against a Memphis squad that’s playing its second game in as many nights. Right now NBA odds makers have New Jersey as 3.5-point underdogs. The O/U is at 188

Memphis goes for two in a row 

The Grizzlies righted the ship with a comfortable win over the Rockets last night, covering the three points they were handicapped in the process. That victory was their third in four games.

Rudy Gay put up 20 points and eight boards in the win while Marc Gasol (18 points and seven rebounds) and Mike Conley (21 points) also came through for Memphis. 

Though it would seem at the surface that the Grizzlies would be the easy pick in this one, it’s amazing how much influence one player can have. Just look at Jeremy Lin for reference. What Deron Williams brings to the table could very well lead New Jersey to a W tonight. 

You’ve really got to admire what Williams is doing with the Nets this season. They may only be 8-21 SU this season, but with the number of injuries they’ve had and the overall talent level of the team he’s leading, without D-Will New Jersey could be winless at this point. 

Deron WilliamsBrook Lopez, Mehmet Okur and DeShawn Stevenson are all out indefinitely for the Nets and Shawne Williams is questionable today due to a shoulder issue. 

The Grizzlies have been hit by the injury bug too, as Darrell Arthur is lost for the season and Zach Randolph is unavailable because of a MCL problem. Sam Young missed last night’s game and is likely to be a game-time decision for tonight.

Who will it be?

As bad as the Nets have been over the past two weeks, I feel as if they’ll keep this game close tonight and that they even have a solid chance of winning outright. 

I’m hoping Anthony Morrow finally comes back to life to help New Jersey here. He hasn’t been close to himself ever since he returned from his grandmother’s funeral. Morrow has totaled only 19 points in those three games after coming back. 

If Morrow can knock down some shots, it’ll really open up some more room for D-Will to do his thing. We know what the former Jazz guard is capable of so I’m expecting a typically brilliant performance out of him again. 

Let’s hope that having the best player on the court translates into a respectable performance at home for the struggling Nets.

PICK: New Jersey Nets +3.5

Folks, remember to check out our NBA handicapping forum and have your say. We’re eager to see which NBA picks you like most going forward. 

TREND BREAKDOWN

Grizzlies are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall 

Nets are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall 

Nets are 5-16 ATS in their last 21 home games dating back to last season

OVER is 7-3 in the last 10 head-to-head meetings

Nets are 5-1 ATS in the last 6 head-to-head meetings