Playing Jockeying Continues on Hardwood

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The NBA’s regular season is down to the last 25 games or so, and the top seeds and the favorites in the two conferences are clear cut. But beyond that the East playoff race consists of eight teams jockeying for seven spots and seeds, and the fight in the West goes 10 deep. That means there are still a lot of games being played that mean something to somebody.

Wednesday’s Association slate includes several interesting matchups. The Portland Trail Blazers, the eight seed in the West at the moment, visit the current five seed in the East, the Toronto Raptors (7 Eastern). And as they sit just 4.5 games behind the first-place Boston Celtics in the Atlantic Division, the Raptors are, as of Tuesday morning, getting +2,500 at to rally and win that division title.

The Orlando Magic, coming off a win over East-leading Cleveland on Sunday and owners of the two spot in the East, visit the Houston Rockets, who sit 2.5 games out of the eight spot in the West (8:30 E).

The Oklahoma City Thunder, recent winners of nine games in a row and owners of the five seed in the West, roll into San Antonio to take on the seventh-seeded Spurs (8:30 E). OKC is 33-21 vs. the pointspreads this season, and as they sit just three games back of first-place Denver in the Northwest, they’re getting +800 to win the division at

The defending league champion Lakers, who lead the West by five games over second-seeded Denver, visit the third-seeded Dallas Mavericks (9 E, ESPN).

And the Charlotte Hornets, who sit just a game out of the eight spot in the East, visit the Utah Jazz (9 E), owners of the four spot in the West. Utah is also a league-best 34-18 ATS this season, and while just one game back of first-place Denver, they’re being offered at +300 to win the Northwest at

Thursday night’s TNT two-fer features Boston hosting Cleveland (8 E) in a battle of the three seed in the East vs. the top seed. The Celtics, however, are just 21-32 vs. the pointspreads this season. And those Nuggets visit the Golden State Warriors (10:30 E), who, while they may be mired deep in the Western Conference standings, are 31-23 ATS this season.

Friday night Dallas visits the Atlanta Hawks (7 E, ESPN), who lead Toronto by four games for the four spot in the East. Also, the Raptors host the Cavaliers (7 E); Charlotte visits the Memphis Grizzlies (8 E), who sit 2.5 games out of the eight spot in the West; the Blazers hit Chicago to take on the Bulls (8 E), owners of the six spot in the East; the Spurs visit Houston (8:30 E); and the New Orleans Hornets, who, while trailing first-place Dallas by five games in the Southwest Division, are getting +1,500 to win the division at, host the Magic (9:30 E, ESPN).

Bettors may also want to check out the updated conference and league championship betting boards at for prices on all the teams mentioned above.

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