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NBA Betting: Thunder, Lakers Showdown Highlights Busy NBA Sunday

Written by Michael Gordon   
Thursday, 19 April 2012 07:11

NBA Week 16 OddsThe stage is set for an exciting finish to the NBA regular season, and with the playoffs right around the corner, the bubble teams are still fighting to lock down a top-eight spot in their respective conferences. The New York Knicks and Houston Rockets are among those teams fighting for a shot at the postseason, and heading in to a busy Sunday in the association their contests will rank right below a showdown between two of the top teams in the Western conference.

New York Knicks @ Atlanta Hawks
Sunday, 1:00 PM ET

The Knicks have settled in to life without Amare Stoudamire and Jeremy Lin, and while they appear to have enough remaining to clinch a playoff spot, it’s unlikely they will be able to do much once they are there since they don’t have two of their biggest superstars. Meanwhile, if there is one team in the NBA that understands what it means to be a consistent playoff team but never do anything once you get there it is the Hawks, who have put together quality teams for the better part of the last decade but have never been good enough to make a finals appearance.

Atlanta has once again been excellent at home all year and is still in contention for home court advantage in at least the opening round, so look for them to come out flying against a Knicks’ team that is just looking to survive until the sports betting postseason.

NBA Betting Pick: Atlanta Hakws

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Los Angeles Lakers
Sunday, 3:30 PM ET

In what could very well be a betting preview of this year’s Western conference finals, the Thunder travel to Los Angeles to take on a Lakers’ team that still feels it has what it takes to contend for a title. Kobe Bryant has missed some time with a shin injury of late, but that may be a blessing in disguise for a Los Angeles team that has seen center Andrew Bynum come in to his own as one of the top centers in the game with the extra touches. Bynum, Bryant, and Pau Gasol will be the key trio once again for the Lakers this postseason, and every chance they get to play the Thunder should be considered a test of merit against the team they will likely have to beat to get to where they want to go.

NBA Betting Pick: Los Angeles Lakers

Houston Rockets @ Miami Heat
Sunday, 6:00 PM ET

The sports betting news experts will be the first to admit it makes no sense to bet against the Heat at the AmericanAirlines Arena regardless of the number, as Miami has been excellent all year building the best home record in the NBA. The Heat will host a Houston team desperate for a win as they fight for their playoff lives in the Western conference, but that won’t mean anything to Lebron James and company as they continue their quest for the top spot in the Eastern conference and the corresponding home court advantage throughout the playoffs that would come with finishing in first place.

NBA Betting Pick: Miami Heat

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