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As the football season winds down basketball will become the focus of the sports world over the next month or so.

The NBA season is well into its second month and the disparity between East and West continues. Only three Eastern Conference teams have winning records and Atlanta starts the week at just 11-10.

Indiana (18-3) and Miami (16-5) are distancing themselves from the rest of the conference.

This could result in many lethargic efforts when facing lesser conference foes. This might present excellent wagering opportunities in playing against the Pacers and Heat facing such foes, especially when games against better teams are on deck (which would generally be against Western Conference teams).

The rebuilding Boston Celtics lead the Atlantic Division with a 10-12 record.

Enough said.

The Western Conference has nine teams with winning records and a tenth right at .500. Two more teams are just one game below .500 and a third is two games below break even.

Only Utah (4-18) and Sacramento (5-13) are impersonating Eastern Conference teams nearly a quarter of the way through the regular season.

Meanwhile Portland (17-4), Oklahoma City (15-4) and San Antonio (15-4) are setting the standard for excellence in the West

Thus far Home Favorites are just 87-111-3 ATS (44 percent) and Home Underdogs are just 43-52-1 ATS (45 percent). Home Pick ‘ems are 1-4 ATS.

Totals results are better balanced with 154 games going OVER and 148 staying UNDER the Total through Sunday. The highlight of the past week was Sunday night’s debut of the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant who returned much earlier from his Achilles injury than many expected.

At 10-10 the Lakers have performed better than many expected but it remains to be seen how effective Bryant will be and whether or not he has come back too soon.

Here’s a look at three games to be played this weekend.

New York at Boston (Fri.): Last week it was suggested that the Knicks would be a good play hosting the Celtics last Sunday. It turned out to be an even better spot after the Knicks had seemingly turned their season around with back to back wins of 30 and 38 points. The result? Boston routed the Knicks by 41 points in a game that was decided midway in the first quarter. Gulp!

Quick revenge for humiliating defeats has worked well over the years and thus we have a chance to again back the Knicks just five days after one of the worst losses in franchise history. NEW YORK.

Milwaukee at Dallas (Sat.): Milwaukee is showing signs of being one of the weakest teams in the NBA this season, standing just 4-16 through Sunday. Dallas is likely to be one of several Western Conference teams battling for one of the lower playoff seeds come next spring.

The Mavericks won the earlier meeting last month in Milwaukee, 91-83, and are fresh for this rematch after having last played on Wednesday. They catch the Bucks off of what should have been a physical home game against Chicago on Friday night. It may seem to be a steep price to lay but the gap in talent is truly considerable. DALLAS.

Minn at Memphis (Sun.): Both teams have not performed as well as expected in the early going and each starts the week just below .500. But while Minnesota has at least gone 10-10 ATS Memphis has greatly underperformed at the betting windows with a 6-12-1 ATS record. Both teams are off of Friday night road games as Minnesota had a tough game at San Antonio while Memphis will have been favored to win at New Orleans.

Memphis remains without Marc Gasol while Minnesota’s Kevin Love should be back for the Timberwolves after having missed a few games due to personal issues. Fundamentally Minnesota has the superior roster as these teams meet for the very first time this season. MINNESOTA.

Andy Iskoe, and his Logical Approach, provides his popular and unique handicapping statistics to Gaming Today readers and online visitors. He has been a long time GT columnist, contributing weekly in-season columns on baseball, pro basketball and pro football. Contact Andy at [email protected]

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About the Author

Andy Iskoe

Owner and author of “The Logical Approach,” Andy Iskoe has been a long time GT columnist, contributing weekly in-season columns on baseball, pro basketball and pro football.

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