NBA Betting: Charlotte to keep it tight in Chicago

Few teams will be happier to see the back of 2012 than the Charlotte Bobcats. After 18 consecutive defeats, they’re a long shot to break out of their slump when they visit Chicago on New Year’s Eve.

On Saturday there was a glimmer of hope when the Cats led New Orleans by 21, only to crash and burn. The Bulls will be even tougher foes. Although they’re only 9-7 at the United Center, their defence is capable of strangling Charlotte’s woeful squad. But they’re not a side which racks up big scoring margins so consider backing the Bobcats to lose by less than their handicap of +11.5.

Two defensive juggernauts collide when Indiana host Memphis and it’s no wonder you can bet on these two to stay under 179.0 combined points at 1.91. The Pacers have shown signs of life lately, winning 7 of their last ten games but they’re still only averaging 92 per night. The Grizzlies have cooled off since their hot start, losing two of their last three and failing to score over 100 in their last eleven games. Have a look at a Pacers win at +1.0 on the handicap at 1.91.

The very last game of 2012 sees Oklahoma City host Phoenix and it’s already a cert that the Thunder will end the year with the league’s best record. Much of that is down to 11 successive home wins and an offense averaging a mammoth 105.7 points. That’s unlikely to make it a happy new year for the Suns, who have lost five straight and who are only 2-13 on the road this term.

The Thunder are favourites by -12 on the handicap but over their last ten games, OKC have only won twice by more than that margin while the Suns have only suffered two blowouts all month. Food for thought.

Bet of the day: Go under 187.5 total points in Charlotte-Chicago at 1.96.