Thursday Free NBA Picks - 4-9-09

Welcome back my followers!  Are you sad that the NBA regular season is coming to an end?  I know I am.  It has proven to be better than a 401K in these troubling times.  TARP money?  Hell, banks should be bettin' with me!  The economy and John Q taxpayer would be in much better shape.  So rather than cry in our beers, let's focus on the short time we have left.  On to the matchups...

Philadelphia 76ers (40-37) vs. Chicago Bulls (38-40)
Chicago is looking to go from #1 draft pick to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.  The Sixers are in, but struggling as of late.  Not only do the Bulls have more to play for in this one, but they'll have the home crowd going big.  They hold a 21-16 record ATS at home, while Philly is 17-20 ATS on the road.  Nothing stands out as a gimme, but go with Da Bulls.
Pick: Chicago -7

Houston Rockets (50-28) vs. Sacramento Kings (16-61)
I was surprised to see that Sacramento, even with only 16 wins, is averaging just over 101 points a game this year.  Scoring was not been their problem.  It's been defense.  Holy moly, they are giving up close to 110 per game.  Looks like they might be missing Artest and his defensive skills.  Fortunately for Houston, they picked up Artest this year and are enjoying yet another 50 win season.  The Kings are a ridiculous 15-23 ATS at home, with Houston an even 19-19 ATS on the road.  I'll be interested to see the spread come out on this I think going the opposite of the crowd (and taking the Kings points) might be the way to go.
Pick: Sacramento if spread in the teens

Denver Nuggets (52-26) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (62-16)
A 1-2 punch matchup in the West that maybe a month ago would have been a big deal.  But with LA a mile away in first place, and Denver just a couple games ahead of San Antonio, Houston, and Portland...the game probably only means something to the Nuggets.  LA might have an eye on Cleveland for the top record in the NBA this season, but I also see them resting starters if things are in the bag late.  These two teams have close to opposite records ATS, with Denver at 21-17-1 on the road and LA at 17-21.  Denver won by 10 at home on Wednesday, and I look for the roll to continue.
Pick: Denver (spread tbd)

So there you have it.  Our last regular season Thursday night.  But as the season limps to a close, keep your chin up, think good thoughts, and let's ride off into the sunset together.  It's been fun...