DALLAS MAVERICKS (-3.5) @ WASHINGTON WIZARDS
The Mavericks have won 12-in-a-row, including their last two at home by almost 20 points apiece. Dallas hasn’t played since Friday and should be geared-up for the back-to-back two-game east coast trip against the Wizards and Nets. Dirk Nowitzki and Avery Johnson both have discussed their devastating disappointment over last season’s finals collapse during the past week and seem to have their squad playing at a level not normally displayed this early in the season. As for Wizards, they were blown-out by almost 20 by the Bulls in Chicago Saturday and only have one win this season against a team with a winning record (Cleveland). Washington has been a sieve on defense, led by Antwan Jamison who will be matched against Dirk most of the night, and will struggle to contain one of the deepest benches in the NBA…Mavs by 8-14 pts.
ORLANDO MAGIC (+5.5) @ SACRAMENTO KINGS
The Eastern Conference leading Magic had their 6-game winning streak snapped by the Clippers on Sunday, but are still 3-1 so far on their current West coast trip. The Magic have been led by the Man-child that is Dwight Howard (17 pts 13 reb 2 blks) and a backcourt filled will speedsters (Nelson, Arroyo, & Dooling) who are playing with remarkable consistency each night.
As for the Kings, they’re coming off back-to-back loses this weekend against the Mavericks and Spurs, with Ron Artest leaving midway thru Friday’s contest with back spasms (Questionable for tonight). Mike Bibby has been the leader over the past few seasons, but has been banged up this year and is shooing the lowest FG/3-pt% of his career. I just don’t think he’ll have the juice to keep up with Jameer Nelson and Carlos Arroyo, and I can’t figure out how Abdul-Rahim and Brad Miller will contain Dwight Howard…Magic to win by 1-6 points
INDIANA PACERS (+7) @ LA LAKERS
The Lakers have been the surprise of the West this year and have been extremely solid at home winning 9 out of 11. As for the Pacers, their sitting at .500 and are 2-2 so far on their west coast trip. Rick Carlisle has shaken up the starting line-up and now boasts a pretty formidable frontline of Jermaine O’neal, Al Harrington, & Jeff Foster. While the Lakers look like the easy choice on paper, Los Angeles has a young and unproven frontcourt of Kwame Brown, Andrew Bynum, and Ronny Turiaf paired with Lamar Odom, that may struggle on the glass against the Pacers tonight. The Pacers need this win badly and the Lakers are coming off a victory Saturday against the stadium rival Clippers. I look for this one to be closer than expected, especially if Danny Granger, Marquis Daniels, and a healthy Stephen Jackson can contain Mr. Bryant…Lakers by a 1-6 points
DAVIDSON WILDCATS (+1) @ UNC GREENSBORO
The Wildcats are 5-3 so far this season with their loses come against Michigan, Missouri, & Duke. As for UNC-Greensboro, they’re 2-5 with their only wins coming against teams with a combined record of 5-10. In addition, Davidson has covered 8 or their last 9 against UNC Greensboro…Davidson by 4-10 pts.
FAIRFIELD STAGS @ PROVIDENCE FRIARS (-18.5)
The Stags are 2-7 this season with their only wins coming against winless St. Francis, NY and a 3-5 Central Arkansas squad. As for the 5-1 Friars, in their wins they’ve beaten their opponents by an average of 21.5 points (George Washington, Boston College, Rhode Island, etc.) While Providence does have a match-up in Florida Wednesday Night that may be on their mind, their frontcourt is just too big and deep for the Stags to handle…Friars by 26-32 pts.
GREG GAMBLE’S HOOP TOTALS- NBA 14-7 ATS ; NCAA 5-2 ATS