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Pluck a few NBA plums

Mar 25, 2008 6:00 PM

Diamondís Gems by Sid Diamond | We are down to the last couple of weeks of the NBA season. Many unusual betting opportunities will arise during this period.

The most obvious, of course, is who has the best chance of landing the No. 1 draft pick this year. Without question Miami is the favorite, and in order to keep their position, they may not win another game this season.

Pat Riley, the Hall of Fame coach, canít even bear to watch his decimated club, so heís called on his assistant, Ron Rothstein, to take the hits for him. Pat is out scouting potential draft picks that may be able to help him next season.

The reality of the situation is that there is no college player out there good enough to bring Miami back as a contender for next season. Pat just canít stand the losses, or the heat (no pun intended) attached to a disastrous season.

The point here is bet against Miami in all remaining games. You may also include other cellar dwellers, such as Memphis, New York and the Clippers in your loser bracket for the final 10 or so games, regardless of the opposition.

Within a few games the Celtics will clinch home court throughout the playoffs, and surely will rest at least two of their big three superstars each game with phantom injuries.

The West Division figures to be competitive throughout the last two weeks, at least at the top, but a few teams will slide into an unmovable position, and those teams will also rest key players. As a bettor you should be aware of these possibilities on a daily basis in order to receive your full value from your selections.

How sweet it is

Now, to the Sweet 16, and the culmination of the Big Dance. As a bonus this week Iíll speculate on the totals, but keep in mind Iím not aware at this time of the over and under numbers.

East Regional:

Washington State vs. North Carolina: Washington State will control the tempo, but Carolina will control the game. NC and under.

Louisville vs. Tennessee: Louisville is on a huge roll, and will find many opportunities for cheap baskets here. Louisville and over.

Midwest Regional

Kansas vs. Villanova: Thereís no contest here as Kansas will be too tough for Nova. Look for a blowout. Kansas and over.

Wisconsin vs. Davidson: Upset special here as Wisconsin needs 3ís to win and Davidson can defend them. Davidson and under.

South Regional

Memphis vs. Michigan State: Memphis has too many good athletes and can stop Stateís outside game. Dorsey is a big factor in clogging up the middle. Memphis and over.

Stanford vs. Texas: The Cardinalsí 7 foot brothers will control the boards and are always a factor by blocking lay-ups. Stanford and under.

West Regional

UCLA vs. Western Kentucky: Iím in love with Love. Heíll be the difference here as UCLAís defense prevails. UCLA and under.

Xavier vs. West Virginia: Itís the toughest match-up of the week here, but Iíll have to go with the Big East entry and the best Coach. West Virginia and under.

Now weíve got the Elite 8, and these match-ups are very dangerous for the bettors. My final four will consist of Louisville, Kansas, Stanford and UCLA, with UCLA losing to Louisville in the championship game by a long 3 at the buzzer.

Some quick NBA picks.

NBA

Tuesday: Bobcats at Jazz: Lay as many as you want here. Jazz are the strongest home team. Jazz by a mile.

Wednesday: Heat at Knicks: Would you go to this game for free? Under.

Thursday: Dallas at Denver: Go with Denver, they are on a mission and Dallas looks tired.

Friday: Memphis at Lakers: Kobe shows no mercy in this spot Ė Lakers.

Sunday: Dallas at Golden State: Do you remember last yearís playoffs? Over.