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|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|02-22-19||Nuggets -3.5 v. Mavs||114-104||Win||100||16 h 5 m||Show|
Denver is just about at full strength now with the return of underrated shooting guard Gary Harris. The Nuggets hold a solid frontline edge, too, on the Mavericks, who no longer have DeAndre Jordan to protect the rim against emerging superstar Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap. The Mavericks got much worst at the trade deadline. In an effort to set themselves up for the future, the Mavericks dealt four of their five best players. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle is left with star rookie point guard Luka Doncic and a motley collection of role players whose spots in the rotation haven't been fully determined. The Nuggets own the second-best record in the Western Conference. They are clearly the superior team and shouldn't lack for motivation coming off break and with three Western Conference playoff teams looming as their next three opponents. This is a game the Nuggets can't afford to get tripped up on.
|02-22-19||Clippers -116 v. Grizzlies||112-106||Win||100||16 h 50 m||Show|
The Clippers would be in the playoffs if the season ended now. They are better than the Grizzlies and can't afford to take a loss here. The Clippers have a strong track record in this instance going 15-5-1 ATS in their past 21 road games versus an opponent with a losing home mark and being 17-5-1 ATS the past 23 times when playing on three or more days rest. Memphis, by comparison, is 1-5 ATS the last six times when in action after three or more days rest and has failed to cover 17 of the last 25 times when taking on an opponent with a winning record. The Grizzlies are in clear rebuild mode after dealing team cornerstone Marc Gasol at the trade deadline.
|02-22-19||Pelicans v. Pacers UNDER 222.5||111-126||Loss||-110||3 h 53 m||Show|
The Pacers are the No. 1 defensive team in the NBA yielding just 102.9 points a game. The Pelicans are not good defensively, but both teams figure to be rusty coming off break. In Thursday's action, five of the six games went Under the total, all by quite a bit. The Pacers are averaging only 100.3 points in their last three games. The Pelicans have cut back the minutes of star big man Anthony Davis, which hurts their offense.
|02-21-19||Rockets -2.5 v. Lakers||Top||106-111||Loss||-109||20 h 11 m||Show|
James Harden, Chris Paul and returning Clint Capela trump LeBron James. That's the bottom line here. The Rockets are back to full health. Paul is in shape and playing well again. Capela is expected to play after missing the last 15 games with a thumb injury. Harden is the MVP of the league scoring 30 or more points in 31 consecutive games. Houston is 21-10 in those games. While the Rockets are among the five best teams in the NBA, the Lakers may not even make the playoffs. They are 3-8 in their last 11 games. James has been back for five games since missing 17 games due to a groin injury. But Lonzo Ball remains out with an ankle injury. The Lakers learned one thing during James' absence - Luke Walton can't coach. Houston is 3-0 versus the Lakers this season after going 4-0 against LA last season. The Rockets also have covered in eight of their past 10 road games versus the Lakers.
|02-21-19||Blazers -2.5 v. Nets||113-99||Win||100||3 h 20 m||Show|
Now that word has come out that Damian Lillard will play, I'm going to get behind the Trail Blazers. Portland is the better team, plays in the better conference and upgraded its frontcourt recently picking up Enes Kanter, who is quite eager to display his talents having endured a difficult time in New York with the Knicks. Portland is 9-1 ATS following a layoff of three or more days.
|02-17-19||Team LeBron v. Team Giannis UNDER 312||Top||178-164||Loss||-105||32 h 10 m||Show|
The NBA switched their All-Star Game format last season with two superstars picking the teams. Team LeBron James beat Team Stephen Curry, 148-145, last season. This new format has made for more of a competitive game where there is a sliver of defense, especially compared to previous games, as the players seem to care more. The combined total of last year's game was 293. So I see this year's contest also coming under the posted total. There's a chance LeBron's team could be without Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis. Those are two of the top offensive players in the league.
|02-14-19||Thunder -3.5 v. Pelicans||Top||122-131||Loss||-120||18 h 1 m||Show|
A disinterested superstar who scored three points in his last game. A likely soon-to-be-gone head coach. 27th-rated defense. Low morale. Add it all up and you have the New Orleans Pelicans, losers of 10 of their last 14 games. I don't see the Pelicans regrouping for this matchup, their final one before the week-long All-Star break. Anthony Davis, who scored all of three points in 24 minutes during the Pelicans' excruiating painful-to-watch, 118-88, home loss to the Magic on Tuesday, wants out of New Orleans. It's a given the Pelicans are going to deal him. So Davis isn't putting out and the Pelicans are reducing his minutes not wanting to risk him getting injured. Of course this takes a toll on the Pelicans' chemistry. Alvin Gentry isn't going to get through this as the Pelicans are close to falling apart. A 30-point home loss to the 26-32 Magic doesn't bode well for New Orleans. Neither does a 99-90 road loss to the Grizzlies in their previous game. Oklahoma City is an elite team that is a sizzling 11-1 SU, 10-2 ATS. Russell Westbrook is going for his 11th consecutive triple-double and Paul George has been on fire, too, averaging 38.8 points in his last eight games. New Orleans' bottom-four defense isn't going to be able to contain them. The Thunder shouldn't be letting up either since they won't be playing again for another eight days. New Orleans hasn't had much of a home-court edge either losing six of its last seven home games while the Thunder have covered five of their last six away contests.
|02-13-19||Grizzlies v. Bulls OVER 203||110-122||Win||100||18 h 59 m||Show|
Chicago had reached triple-digits in 18 straight games until putting up 99 points against the Bucks this past Monday in their last game. The Bulls have picked up their pace since acquiring Otto Porter at the trade deadline. Porter, Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen are all good offensive players. Discount the 99-point performance against the Bucks and the Bulls are averaging 122 points in their last four games. Memphis is limited offensively, but should play loose with this being its final game before All-Star break. The Grizzlies are breaking in new players and scored 107 points on Tuesday versus the Spurs. They accomplished that without Mike Conley, their best player. Conley may play here after missing the Spurs game due to illness. The Bulls rank 18th in scoring defense and 21st in defensive field goal percentage. Chicago is giving up an average of 120.4 points in its last five games. So it's not like Memphis is going against some stellar defensive club.
|02-13-19||Bucks -3.5 v. Pacers||Top||106-97||Win||100||17 h 0 m||Show|
Indiana lost its first four games after its leading scorer and best player, Victor Oladipo, was lost for the season with a knee injury. Since then the Pacers have rebounded to win their next six games. The teams they beat are the Heat, Pelicans, Lakers, Clippers, Cavaliers and Hornets. Of that bunch only the Clippers are above .500. I don't see the Pacers stepping up in class now that they have to play the Bucks, who have the best record in the NBA and are 13-2 in their last 15 games. The Bucks are "A" level. The Pacers are "C" level. So this point spread is too short in my view. I don't see the Bucks going into All-Star break with a loss. They should have all hands on deck, including superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. He played on Monday when the Bucks whipped the Bulls, 112-99, in Chicago. There are a number of impressive trends pointing in the Bucks' direction such as being 12-3-2 ATS in their last 17 road games, 16-5 ATS when playing on one day's rest and 18-6-2 ATS during their past 26 Eastern Conference games.
|02-13-19||Nets -6.5 v. Cavs||148-139||Win||100||17 h 59 m||Show|
In each team's final game before the week long All-Star break, I trust Kenny Atkinson and the Nets to put forth a strong effort. I do not hold such faith for the Cavaliers especially after the Cavaliers halted a four-game losing skid with a 107-104 home victory against the Knicks. The Knicks, Cavaliers and Suns as the three worst teams in the NBA. Brooklyn is in stop-the-pain mode losing five of its past six games. The Nets are much deeper than the Cavaliers with better young talent. They have the best player on the court in emerging star D'Angelo Russell. The Nets nearly upset the Raptors on the road in their last game, losing 127-125 on Monday. The Nets are 5-1 ATS in their last six road contests, while the Cavaliers are 2-7 ATS after covering in their previous game. The Nets also have added incentive - revenge. They lost 99-97 at home to the Cavaliers in December.
|02-12-19||Spurs -3.5 v. Grizzlies||Top||108-107||Loss||-115||18 h 45 m||Show|
This is the Spurs' final game before All-Star break. They won't play again for 10 days. So you know Gregg Popovich will pull out all the stops to prevent San Antonio from losing a season-high fifth straight game. Lack of defense has really hurt the Spurs on their current road swing. But so has the quality of opposition. San Antonio has faced the Jazz, Trail Blazers and Warriors during its past three games, all on the road. Memphis is 5-18 in its last 23 games, 8-15 ATS. The Grizzlies also are the lowest-scoring team in the league. Despite their losing streak, the Spurs still have covered 69 percent of their last 14 games following a defeat. Memphis is 7-17 ATS the last 24 times it has faced an above .500 opponent. The Grizzlies have won three of their last four. Those wins, however, came against the Knicks, Timberwolves and Pelicans. Those are three bad teams with a combined record of 61-108. The Grizzlies are a worse team, too, after trading Marc Gasol.
|02-11-19||Clippers v. Wolves UNDER 230||120-130||Loss||-110||8 h 56 m||Show|
The Clippers are a top-eight scoring team. But they are an Under team on the road going below the total in 10 of their past 12 away matchups. LA is breaking in four new players into its rotation. Several are defensive players first. So there is an adjustment period. This also marks the Clippers' sixth straight road game and fourth game in six days. So there also is a fatigue factor working against the Clippers. That means they are likely to slow things down. The Timberwolves should play with a great deal of intensity having lost four in a row and trailing the Clippers by five games for the final playoff spot in the West. Minnesota is extremely banged-up at point guard with all four of its point guards not 100 percent. Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose are likely to play, but they have a rust factor. Their ballhandling should be fine, but their shooting could be off.
|02-11-19||Wizards +4.5 v. Pistons||112-121||Loss||-105||9 h 13 m||Show|
Power rating-wise, I just don't see this kind of point spread difference between these two teams. Washington has a winning record in its last 15 games. The teams just met on Jan. 21 and Washington won, 101-87, as 5 1/2-point home favorites. The Wizards got stronger at the trade deadline getting Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker while the Pistons became weaker dealing Reggie Bullock and Stanley Johnson. Detroit has won three in a row, but the last two victories have come versus the pathetic Knicks in a home-away series. Washington isn't a good road team. But the Wizards are capable of beating below average foes away from home even stunning the Thunder in Oklahoma City last month.
|02-10-19||Magic v. Hawks +2.5||Top||124-108||Loss||-105||19 h 46 m||Show|
Orlando is on Cloud 9 after upsetting the Bucks, 103-83, at Milwaukee Saturday night. Even with that great victory, the Magic are just 9-17 on the road this season and 5-9 ATS in their past 14 away contests.The Hawks are in a great spot to get revenge for a 122-103 home loss to the Magic from Jan. 21. Not only do the Hawks draw the Magic in an obvious letdown spot, but also Orlando will be in action for the third time in four days and playing without rest arriving in Atlanta in the early Sunday morning hours. It's the first time the Magic have to play consecutive games since Jan. 18-19. Atlanta is below-the-radar with some excellent young players - John Collins, Trae Young, Taurean Prince and Kevin Huerter. So the Hawks are not at a talent disadvantage against the Magic. The Hawks are a respectable 12-14 in their last 16 games.
|02-09-19||Hornets -2.5 v. Hawks||129-120||Win||100||19 h 17 m||Show|
If the Hornets are serious about making the playoffs they need to win a game like this. Charlotte is a bad road team. But the Hornets can beat bottom tier teams away from home. They have proven this defeating the Suns and Grizzlies during the past 4 1/2 weeks. Charlotte is 4-1 ATS the last five times meeting a foe with a winning percentage below .400. The Hornets are a better team with underrated big man Cody Zeller back from a broken right hand. He's rounding into shape having played the last two games after missing the previous 16 games. Charlotte has covered in eight of its last 11 meetings against Atlanta. The Hawks have a lot of youth and inexperience. They are home until Feb. 25 so complacently could settle in. The Hawks have failed to cover 16 of the last 21 times they have been home versus an opponent with a losing road mark. Atlanta hosts Orlando in a revenge spot on Sunday. That's a matchup the Hawks figure to be targeting more than this game. The Magic embarrassed them in Atlanta winning by 19 points on Jan. 21.
|02-08-19||Bucks -7.5 v. Mavs||Top||122-107||Win||100||19 h 36 m||Show|
Maybe the oddsmaker doesn't quite realize how strong the Bucks are and how weak the Mavericks have become. Because this opening line is way short in my view.It's Milwaukee, not Golden State, that has the best record in the NBA at 40-13. The Bucks rank either first, second or third in points per game, rebounding, field goal percentage and 3-pointers. They are 15-5-1 ATS in their last 21 games. The teams met recently - Jan. 21 - with the Bucks winning, 116-106, at home. Since then, the Mavericks have traded four of their top five players. Gone are DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, Harrison Barnes and Dennis Smith Jr. Dallas is left with Luka Doncic and a bunch of lottery-type players. The Bucks will have at least four of the five best players on the court in Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Malcolm Brodon and Eric Bledsoe. Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle is left trying to sift out the garbage. It's going to take him a while to figure out his rotation and the Bucks are not the opponent to experiment on. This is a kill spot for the Bucks given how well they are playing, five consecutive victories all by double-digits, and how bad and vulnerable the Mavericks are now the day after the trade deadline.
|02-07-19||Spurs +6 v. Blazers||118-127||Loss||-105||8 h 20 m||Show|
I am a buyer at this number. Too much value on the Spurs, who are in stop-the-pain mode after opening their annual rodeo road trip with blowout losses to the Kings and Warriors last night. LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan, the Spurs' two best players, were rested against the Warriors. I expect them to produce strong efforts against Portland. The Spurs are 9-2-1 ATS following a loss and Gregg Popovich is really stressing defense for this game after not being pleased with the Spurs' effort against Golden State. Only once in their past five meetings with the Trail Blazers have the Spurs lost against the spread.
|02-05-19||Lakers -3 v. Pacers||Top||94-136||Loss||-115||11 h 44 m||Show|
LeBron. That's the short answer as to why Lakers in this game. LeBron James is set to play in his second game back from injury after missing the Lakers' 115-101 road loss to the Warriors on Saturday. The Lakers are a fractured team right now. James can pull them through. LA has much tougher games on deck in this road trip meeting the Celtics and 76ers in its next two games. The Pacers carry a much higher fatigue rating than the Lakers. They just finished a four-game, six-day road swing that concluded with a 109-107 win against the Pelicans last night. That victory followed a win against the Heat on Saturday. Indiana was 0-4 since losing its leading scorer and top player, Victor Oladipo, with a knee injury for the season before those victories. Oladipo didn't play either when the teams met in the first meeting this season. James did and scored 38 points in the Lakers' 104-96 win.
|02-04-19||Spurs -120 v. Kings||112-127||Loss||-120||22 h 48 m||Show|
Sacramento is much improved this season as a number of its younger players have stepped up. The Kings have become a playoff contender. But they are not quite good enough to be a playoff team in the loaded Western Conference. They are at least one level behind the Spurs. The Kings are 3-9 ATS the past 12 times when taking on an above .500 foe. San Antonio embarks on its annual rodeo road trip riding a five-game win streak. LaMarcus Aldridge is having a huge season. Rudy Gay is playing well since returning from a wrist injury and DeMar DeRozan is back from injury. Those three reliable pros give the Spurs a veteran edge on the youthful Kings. Not only are the Spurs putting a huge emphasis on starting their eight-game road trip with a victory, but they have revenge motivation. The Kings beat the Spurs, 104-99, at home on Nov. 12. San Antonio had won the previous 14 games against the Kings. The Spurs have covered 73 percent of their last 16 games in Sacramento. The Spurs are the better team, have motivation and the price is right to back them.
|02-03-19||Thunder v. Celtics UNDER 227||129-134||Loss||-110||9 h 52 m||Show|
It's easy to think offense with superstars Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Kyrie Irving on the court. But Oklahoma City and Boston also are strong defensively. The Thunder give up the 12th fewest points in the league. The Celtics rank No. 3 in scoring defense and No. 2 in defensive field goal percentage. The Celtics are giving up just 100.6 points per game in their last six games discounting a 115-point performance that Golden State put up against Boston. There were just 196 points scored during the first meeting, which the Celtics won, 101-95, back in late October. It was the fourth time in the last five in the series that the Under has cashed. Note this is a day game. That's usually a plus for an Under, too.
|02-02-19||Lakers v. Warriors -10.5||Top||101-115||Win||100||17 h 60 m||Show|
No team can hang with the Warriors when Golden State is home and fully motivated. I see the Warriors playing with a great deal of intensity following a humbling nationally televised home defeat to the 76ers this past Thursday. That halted the Warriors' 11-game win streak and occurred right after Golden State had returned home following a 5-0 road sweep. It was a flat spot for the Warriors and the 76ers took advantage. Golden State has dominated this series defeating the Lakers in eight of the last nine meetings. However, the one loss during this stretch came on Christmas Day when the Lakers humiliated the Warriors, 127-101. That defeat still bothers the Warriors, who should be at full strength to face the Lakers. LA has LeBron James back, but could have a serious problem at point guard with Lonzo Ball out and Rajon Rondo questionable with an ankle injury. James had missed the previous 17 games with a groin injury until returning in the Lakers' last game, a 123-120 overtime win versus the Clippers on Thursday. James had to log 40 minutes in that victory and said his groin felt sore after the game. So if the Lakers fall way behind they may limit James' minutes not wanting to risk him getting reinjured. The Lakers showed they aren't much without James going 6-11 in his absence. The Lakers have failed to cover in nine of their last 12 visits to Oracle Arena.
|02-02-19||Clippers +1.5 v. Pistons||111-101||Win||100||14 h 34 m||Show|
I'm usually attracted to the better team getting points especially when the situation sets up. That's the case here. The Clippers begin their six-game road trip with this matchup having lost at home in their past two games. The Clippers have won and covered three of their last four road games and have revenge motivation for a 109-104 loss they suffered to Detroit as seven-point home favorites on Jan. 12. The Clippers can't afford to lose this game with their next game looming at Toronto on Sunday. Detroit is 9-21 in its last 30 games. The Pistons were life-and-death at home against a depleted Mavericks squad in their last game on Thursday. It took two free throws by Andre Drummond, a notoriously bad free throw shooter, with 3.3 seconds left to give the Pistons a 93-89 victory. Dallas was without its four best players in that game as Luka Doncic sat out with a sore ankle and DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and Dennis Smith Jr. all were traded earlier that day.
|02-01-19||Grizzlies v. Hornets -4.5||Top||92-100||Win||100||19 h 38 m||Show|
The Hornets are the epitome of a good home team, bad road club. Charlotte is 17-8 at home, but just the opposite - 7-18 - in its away matchups. One of the Hornets' few road victories came just nine days ago when they defeated the Grizzlies, 118-107. It was the seventh time in the past eight meetings that Charlotte has covered against Memphis. I'm expecting that trend to continue today. Memphis has hoisted the white flag with losses in 16 of its last 18 games, including a 1-10 record in its last 11 games. The Grizzlies, to their credit, have been competitive in their last four games losing by three to the Kings at home, upsetting the Pacers at home, losing by just three to the Nuggets on the road and falling to the Timberwolves by two in overtime this past Wednesday at home. The last two defeats were especially brutal for the Grizzlies as they blew a 25-point lead against the Nuggets and were knocked off by the Timberwolves when Karl-Anthony Towns hit a 20-footer at the buzzer off an offensive rebound to give Minnesota the victory. I don't see the Grizzlies, with their low morale and trade rumors swirling about their two best players - Marc Gasol and Mike Conley - getting up a third straight time even though they do have a revenge factor. The game is much more important for the Hornets, who currently hold the final playoff spots in the East. Charlotte is off a bad 126-94 road loss to the Celtics on Wednesday. This is the first game of a three-game homestand. Charlotte plays with a lot more confidence at home. The Hornets destroyed the Grizzlies, 140-79, at home last season when Memphis had a better team. I see this opening number clearly being short.
|01-31-19||Mavs v. Pistons -125||Top||89-93||Win||100||17 h 48 m||Show|
Dallas is coming off a 114-90 burial of the Knicks Wednesday night. That's impressive until you realize the Knicks are 10-40 with the fewest wins in the NBA and that was just the Mavericks' fifth road win in 25 away games this season. Detroit has a winning home record. The Pistons have short revenge for a 106-101 road loss suffered to Dallas this past Friday. This is the second of a four-game homestand for the Pistons. They lost to the Bucks in their last game. No shame in that. But the Pistons host the Clippers and Nuggets in their next two games. So this is the easiest one. It's a game the prideful Dwane Casey doesn't want to lose. Casey was an assistant coach for the Mavericks before he became the Raptors head coach previous to taking over the Pistons this season. Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond give the Pistons the two best players in the frontcourt.
|01-30-19||Jazz v. Blazers -114||Top||105-132||Win||100||20 h 18 m||Show|
Utah is 9-1 in its last 10 games. Impressive, right? On closer examination not quite. The Jazz have compiled that record against bad teams: sweeping the Timberwolves in a home-and-road series and winning home games against the Magic, LeBron James-less Lakers, Bulls, Pistons and Cavaliers. The Jazz's lone loss during this span happened to be against the Trail Blazers in Salt Lake City. The Trail Blazers defeated Utah, 109-104, as five-point road 'dogs despite a huge discrepancy in free throws. Portland was 11-for-15 from the foul line in that game, while Utah sank 25 of 31 free throws. Portland is very strong at home going 21-7 SU, 18-10 ATS. The Trail Blazers have been pointing to this matchup, too, having been idle since Saturday.
|01-30-19||Nuggets -8 v. Pelicans||105-99||Loss||-105||18 h 48 m||Show|
It is a terrible scheduling break for the Pelicans that they have to play today after stunning the Rockets on the road Tuesday despite missing a number of key players, including Anthony Davis. New Orleans is 1-4 ATS when playing on zero rest. I can't see the Pelicans putting forth another great effort on such short notice and being down so many important contributors. Denver will be the more rested team already being in New Orleans following its 95-92 road win against Memphis on Monday. The Nuggets are 34-15, the second-best record in the Western Conference. The Pelicans are 23-28. Denver has won 13 of its last 17 games. The Nuggets have won by 16 or more points in four of their last six games blowing out the 76ers, Bulls, Cavaliers and Suns during this span. They are certainly capable of crushing the sub .500 Pelicans, too. It's not just superstar Davis who the Pelicans are missing. They also are going to be without Julius Randle, their third-leading scorer, and Nikola Mirotic. Elfrid Payton may not play either. If that's the case, which it was last night, the Pelcians will be down their best player, third-best player, fourth-best player and sixth-best player. The Nuggets won't be taking the Pelicans for granted like the Rockets did either. Denver will be focused being on the road and fully aware of what the Pelicans accomplished last night at Houston.
|01-29-19||Bucks -6 v. Pistons||Top||115-105||Win||100||21 h 17 m||Show|
The Bucks opened their current five-game road trip with a 118-112 loss to the Thunder on Sunday. Milwaukee has yet to lose two consecutive games all season. The Bucks are 12-2 ATS the past 14 times following a defeat. The Bucks have won their next game after a loss by an average of 14.8 points. The Pistons are 2-3 in their last five games, averaging just 97 points during this span. The Bucks rank No. 2 in the NBA in scoring at 117.3. Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond are having tremendous years for Detroit. But the Pistons are getting little from the rest of the players. They have a weak bench made weaker if backup veteran point guard Ish Smith has to miss a fifth straight game due to a groin injury. Detroit is just 1-6-1 ATS the past eight times it has stepped up to face an opponent with a win percentage above .600. The Bucks have owned the Pistons this season winning all three meetings with the average victory margin being 16 points. Big man Brook Lopez has come on making the Bucks extremely dangerous. Lopez's hot shooting from outside has helped free things up for superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. Unlike the Pistons, the Bucks have a deep bench. Lopez scored 25 points - hitting seven 3-pointers - when the teams last met on New Year's Day with the Bucks winning, 121-98, at home.
|01-28-19||Warriors v. Pacers UNDER 226||Top||132-100||Loss||-115||21 h 1 m||Show|
The Pacers rank just 21st in scoring - and that was having their leading scorer, Victor Oladipo, and his 18.8 average per game. This will be the Pacers' second game without their top player, who is lost for the season with a knee injury. Golden State is full of superstars, but the Warriors also have the sixth-best defensive field goal percentage in the NBA. Indiana gives up the fewest points per game in the NBA at 103.2. Only once in their last seven games have the Pacers surrendered more than 106 points. Myles Turner is the top shot blocker in the league. So the Warriors don't figure to get easy baskets. The Pacers are sure to try to control tempo with a slowdown, halfcourt style. The Warriors may not be in track meet mood either since this is their third road game in five days. The Warriors are in transition, too, working DeMarcus Cousins into their offense.
|01-27-19||Bucks v. Thunder -113||Top||112-118||Win||100||16 h 42 m||Show|
Milwaukee owns the best record in the NBA at 35-12. That record is somewhat deceiving, though, because the Bucks are 22-4 at home and a more mortal 13-8 on the road with a 10-9-2 away point spread mark. This is the first of a five-game road swing for Milwaukee. The Bucks have been home for a week. Their previous three road matchups were against the Magic, Grizzlies and Hawks. Those three teams are a combined 37 games below .500. I see the Bucks encountering some cultural and road shock playing at always tough Chesapeake Energy Arena, where they have failed to cover in 12 of their last 17 visits. Oklahoma City is tough again at home with a 16-7 mark. The Thunder have won their last four games, averaging 122.3 points during this span.
|01-27-19||Kings v. Clippers UNDER 231||108-122||Win||100||2 h 18 m||Show|
This isn't an ideal spot for an Over with this being an early start time for two West Coast teams. It's the Kings' last game of a six-game road trip and the Clippers' first game back following a four-game road trip. The Kings have gone Under in their last 10 games, a below the radar trend. The Under is 8-1 in the Clippers' last 9 games.
|01-26-19||Warriors v. Celtics UNDER 230.5||Top||115-111||Win||100||19 h 40 m||Show|
It is easy to think offense with all the superstars involved in the Warriors-Celtics matchup.But these teams also are strong defensively. The Celtics rank second in defensive field goal percentage and surrender the fifth-fewest points per game. Only five teams have a better defensive field goal percentage than the Warriors. This should be an intense matchup - just like last season. The Celtics defeated the Warriors, 92-88, when they last hosted them in November of last season. That was the Warriors' fifth-lowest point total of the season. Golden State forced the Celtics into shooting a season-worst 32.9 percent from the floor in that game. Golden State won the rematch at home, 109-105, last January. It was the fifth straight time the Under has cashed in the series. The Warriors are putting up high scoring marks. But their last four games all were against bottom-10 defenses, including two of the worst defenses in the NBA, the Wizards and Pelicans.
|01-25-19||Knicks +10 v. Nets||Top||99-109||Push||0||10 h 53 m||Show|
The Nets have been a great below-the-radar story winning 18 of their last 23 games to become a solid playoff contender. The Nets have accomplished this with a deep rotation not having any superstars. But now the Nets are laying their biggest number of the season. They are doing this against a long-time division and neighbor rival and they are doing it when they could be without several players to their rotation, one of whom is vitally important. Star reserve Spencer Dinwiddie - who is averaging 17.2 points - is not likely to play because of a thumb injury, Jared Dudley is out with a hamstring injury and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is questionable with a shoulder injury. Dinwiddie scored 25 points when the teams last met on Dec. 8. The Nets beat the Knicks, 112-104, at Madison Square Garden. Despite their turnaround season, the Nets are averaging an NBA-worst 14,258 fans per game. Many of those fans for tonight's game will be Knicks fans. There is a pride element in the NBA. The Knicks upset the Bucks last month. The Knicks will be up for this game. They have covered six of the last seven in the series. The Nets are not a team to lay big points with as 14 of their last 18 victories have been by single digits. Brooklyn has won three of its last four games by an average of three points with one coming in overtime.
|01-24-19||Warriors v. Wizards +10.5||Top||126-118||Win||100||11 h 32 m||Show|
Just like last season, the Wizards are playing much better without John Wall. How well? They are 8-3 ATS since losing Wall for the season. The Wizards are 6-1 SU and ATS in their last seven home games. Included among their victories during this current home span are wins against the Bucks by seven and against the 76ers by 17. Milwaukee has a better record than Golden State. The Wizards' only home defeat during this span came in overtime to the Raptors. This is a rare nationally televised (TNT) game for Washington. The Warriors have a more challenging game on deck playing at the Celtics on Saturday. So the Wizards certainly should be the more motivated team.
|01-23-19||Nuggets v. Jazz -3||Top||108-114||Win||100||21 h 59 m||Show|
Going up against the Jazz in Salt Lake City usually isn't a pleasant experience. It has been especially tough for the Nuggets. Denver has lost seven road games in a row to Utah with the average loss being 14 points.Denver enters this matchup a bit fat and happy following two blowout home victories. Those wins, though, occurred against the Bulls and Cavaliers. Utah, by contrast, is in an angry mood. The Jazz lost 109-104 at home to Portland in their last game this past Monday. The Jazz had won six consecutive games prior to that. Utah is 9-1-1 ATS following a loss. Denver is 2-7 ATS in its past nine road games. Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are having exceptional months for the Jazz. Mitchell is averaging 29.8 points in his last nine games. Gobert has pulled down at least 13 rebounds in his last eight games. Gobert could be the best rim protector in the Western Conference and can bother Nikola Jokic. The Jazz's banged-up backcourt is in better shape now with Ricky Rubio back from a hamstring injury that had sidelined him for six games. Rubio got some of the rust off in the Jazz's loss to the Trail Blazers, which was his first game back.
|01-23-19||Spurs v. 76ers UNDER 225||120-122||Loss||-109||3 h 10 m||Show|
The Spurs have been sharper on defense giving up a respectable 106.2 points during their last four games. San Antonio, though, has been held to fewer than 96 points during two of its last four games. The Spurs could catch a huge break if Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons can't play. Both are questionable. The 76ers have held two of their last three foes to 96 points or fewer. These teams have an Under history, too, with the Under winning 11 of the past 14 times in the series.
|01-22-19||Blazers +6 v. Thunder||114-123||Loss||-107||10 h 28 m||Show|
Portland is playing its best ball going 9-3 in its last 12 games. The Trail Blazers have covered six of their last seven games and have had equally good point spread success versus the Thunder covering six of the last seven meetings. This is a key Northwest Division matchup with both teams trailing the Nuggets by 3 1/2 games. Portland also has revenge for a 111-109 home loss to Oklahoma City from 18 days ago. Some of Oklahoma City's home-court advantage is lost because of the spot. The Thunder had to fly in from the East Coast after defeating the Knicks on Sunday. The Trail Blazers posted a road victory against the Jazz on Monday. Portland was idle the previous two days, though. The Trail Blazers had last played on Friday before Monday's game against the Jazz. The Thunder are playing for the fifth time in eight days and third time in four days - all on different courts. Oklahoma City has its share of stars. But the Trail Blazers' backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum rates as high as any guard tandem and big man Jusuf Nurkic is having a breakthrough season.
|01-21-19||Bulls v. Cavs OVER 213||104-88||Loss||-115||8 h 24 m||Show|
Never mind the early starting time. You put together the two worst teams in the NBA playing on Martin Luther King Day and you're going to get a high-scoring game especially when those two teams happen to be the Bulls and Cavaliers. Not only should this be a loose, fun game, but neither the Bulls nor Cavaliers have been playing any defense. Chicago is giving up an average of 122.2 points in its last seven games. The Cavaliers' defense has been even worse if you discount their 101-95 victory against the Lakers. They are yielding an average of 126.5 points a game during their last nine games, not including the Lakers result. The Over has cashed in seven of the Bulls' last eight games, while the Over is 9-1-1 in Cleveland's past 11 home contests. Both teams are without their best inside defensive players. Larry Nance Jr. is out for Cleveland. So is Wendell Carter Jr. for the Bulls. The Cavs don't have a shot-blocking presence minus Nance while Carter was the Bulls' lone physical inside force.
|01-20-19||Suns v. Wolves -10||114-116||Loss||-113||18 h 34 m||Show|
Minnesota had been playing well. That was before the Timberwolves' last two games - a road loss to the 76ers and home loss to the Spurs this past Friday. But now the Timberwolves drop way down in class hosting the Suns, who are 4-19 SU, 10-13 ATS on the road. This is the Suns' finale of a four-game road trip. It marks their fourth game in six days and second in two days. The Suns don't have much quality depth and they may have lost two players during their 135-115 road loss to Charlotte on Saturday night. Star rookie center Dandre Ayton suffered an ankle injury and reserve forward Richard Holmes hurt his foot. Minnesota is averaging 112.8 points in its last five games. Phoenix is allowing 125.6 points in its last three games. Karl-Anthony Towns is averaging 24.8 points this month. He could be in line for a monster performance if Ayton can't play. The Timberwolves should not lack motivation. They have a revenge factor having lost 107-99 to the Suns in Phoenix on Dec. 15. The teams also meet again on Tuesday in Phoenix. So the Timberwolves understand the urgency of holding court at home.
|01-19-19||Heat -2.5 v. Bulls||Top||117-103||Win||100||17 h 58 m||Show|
Miami is 0-2 on its current four-game road trip. The Heat meet the Bulls here before concluding their road swing against the revenge-minded Celtics on Monday. This is the spot for the Heat to make sure they don't go 0-4 on this trip. Chicago is 0-9 in its last nine games. The Bulls just completed an embarrassing 0-5 road trip with a 30-point loss to the Nuggets this past Thursday. The Bulls come back home for the first time in nearly two weeks at low ebb and suffering a key below-the-radar injury. Chicago rookie forward Wendell Carter Jr. suffered a thumb injury this week that is going to sideline him two-to-three months. The 6-foot-10 Carter was coming on averaging 10.3 rebounds and 7 rebounds per game. More important, he gave the Bulls their only physical presence in the paint. His toughness is going to be missed especially against a rugged, defensive-minded team such as Miami. The Heat surrender the fourth-fewest points in the league. The Bulls are last in scoring. Miami lost 98-93 to the Pistons Friday night. The Heat made 5-of-19 free throws (26.3 percent) in that game setting a franchise-record for worst free throw shooting in a game with a minimum of 15 attempts. Miami isn't a good free throw shooting team mainly because of Hassan Whiteside, the worst free throw shooter in the league. But missing 19 of 24 free throws is absurd. The Heat also didn't have Josh Richardson, their leading scorer, in their loss to the Pistons. Richardson missed the game due to illness. It's obviously a plus if he plays. But even if he doesn't I like the Heat. Their Friday starting group of Whiteside, James Johnson Rodney McGruder, Justise Winslow and Tyler Johnson had only played two minutes together all season. Now they would get to start a second straight game within 24 hours. The Bulls lost to the Heat as four-point home underdogs, 103-96, when the teams met on Nov. 23. The Heat didn't have starting point guard Goran Dragic for that game either. Chicago has lost its last four games at United Center. Three of those losses were by 17 points to the Nets, 28 to the Magic and 25 to the Timberwolves.
|01-18-19||Pelicans v. Blazers -2.5||Top||112-128||Win||100||22 h 39 m||Show|
Both matchup-wise and situationally the Trail Blazers hold key edges. Portland plays better defense than the Pelicans, who rank 27th in scoring defense, and also is the stronger rebounding team ranking No. 3 in the category. The Trail Blazers are playing well, too, winning seven of their last 10. Anthony Davis is an absolute monster up front, but Portland big man Josuf Nurkic is playing the best ball of his career coming off a triple/double and the Trail Blazers hold a backcourt edge with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. As for the spot, Portland has a strong home-court. The Trail Blazers have won 19 of their 26 home games this season covering 62 percent. New Orleans is a bad road club losing 18 of its 24 away matchups while going 9-14 (39%) ATS in those games. This also is the Pelicans' fourth road game in seven days. Being bad on the road and weak defensively is a tough combination for the Pelicans to overcome. The Trail Blazers have defeated the Pelicans in 13 of the last 15 regular-season games, including 132-119 at home on Nov. 1 in the lone meeting between the teams this season. Davis, though, did not play in that game. Don't look for the Trail Blazers to take the Pelicans lightly, however. Portland still has bitter memories of the Pelicans sweeping the Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs last season.
|01-17-19||Kings v. Hornets -3||95-114||Win||100||14 h 3 m||Show|
Charlotte is one of those decent home, bad road teams. The Hornets are 14-8 at home, 6-15 on the road. One of those away defeats came just five days ago at Sacramento. The Kings won, 104-97. So the Hornets have short revenge motivation. Charlotte lost by seven points at the Kings. The Hornets were 13-for-22 (59.1 percent) at the free throw line in that game. They rank ninth on the season in free throw percentage at 78.9 percent. The Kings are 9-11 SU on the road, 10-10 ATS. Sacramento has been far worse than average, though, recently on the road losing and failing to cover during their past four away matchups. The Kings haven't been on the road for nine days. They lost their last road contest, 115-111, to the Suns, who by far have the worst record in the Western Conference. Sacramento is fat and happy with three straight victories - all coming at home. Now the Kings go on the road where they have not looked good.
|01-16-19||Spurs +1 v. Mavs||Top||105-101||Win||100||19 h 44 m||Show|
Gregg Popovich. That's the short answer as to why I like the Spurs here. San Antonio is in circle-the-wagons mentality having lost three of their last four games, including an embarrassing 108-93 loss to the Hornets at home on Monday. I trust Popovich to have his team fired-up. Dallas is tough at home. But the Mavericks are not as good as San Antonio and they have lost 14 of their last 19 games. The Spurs have been excellent in this situation covering 11 of the last 15 times when playing on one day's rest. There is a good chance the Spurs get back Rudy Gay. He has missed the last five games with a sprained wrist. It's an added bonus, too, if the Spurs get back key reserve Marco Belinelli, who suffered a knee injury this past Saturday and is day-to-day.
|01-16-19||Magic +3.5 v. Pistons||115-120||Loss||-108||17 h 17 m||Show|
Orlando is playing its best ball coming off consecutive home victories against the Celtics and Rockets this past weekend. The Magic are rested having been idle the past two days. They catch the Pistons returning home following a four-game West Coast trip that concluded Monday night in Utah. Detroit is 2-8 in its last 10 games and has a losing ATS mark when favored. The Magic have covered seven of the past eight times versus the Pistons, including defeating them, 109-107, as 1.5-point home favorites on Dec. 30. One of the major keys in beating Detroit is slowing down Blake Griffin. The Pistons beat the Clippers for their lone victory during their recently concluded four-game trip because Griffin lit up his former teammates for 44 points. Orlando has the defensive stopper to bother Griffin with Aaron Gordon. He helped hold Griffin to just four field goals and 15 points during the previous meeting.
|01-15-19||Warriors -110 v. Nuggets||Top||142-111||Win||100||20 h 21 m||Show|
Kudos to the Nuggets for owning the best record in the Western Conference at the halfway point of the season. I do believe the Nuggets are legitimate. They've always had a strong offense and now their defense is improved. However ... the Nuggets are not in the class of the two-time defending world champion Warriors especially now that Golden State has Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green all back in the lineup. A motivated Warriors squad can beat any team any where. The Warriors certainly aren't going to lack incentive here trailing Denver by one-half game for best record in the West. Golden State also has revenge for a 100-98 road loss to the Nuggets from Oct. 21. Golden State has won six of its last seven games, including four in a row. The Warriors are averaging 130 points during their las six games. I want them going for me in this pick'em type range.
|01-14-19||Blazers +2.5 v. Kings||107-115||Loss||-103||12 h 20 m||Show|
Yes, the Trail Blazers had to play last night falling, 116-113, at Denver when their huge comeback came up just short against the Western Conference-leading Nuggets. Portland had won four in a row entering that matchup. The Kings are not the Nuggets. They are a 22-21 team that has failed to cover six of the last seven times when going against an above .500 opponent. Sacramento has a much improved backcourt with De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic. But it's trumped by Portland's star guard tandem of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. The Trail Blazers also have the best big man on the floor, Jusuf Nurkic. Portland should dominate the boards ranking third in the NBA in rebounding while the Kings are a bottom-10 rebounding team. The Trail Blazers also have defeated the Kings during the past four meetings going 3-0-1 ATS.
|01-14-19||Grizzlies v. Rockets -6||Top||94-112||Win||100||19 h 57 m||Show|
The Rockets average 10 more points per game than the struggling Grizzlies and are in a kill spot returning home after blowing a 12-point lead against the Magic while suffering a 116-109 road upset loss to the Magic Sunday. Houston is 11-1 SU, 10-1-1 ATS in its last 12 home games, including defeating the Grizzlies, 113-101, on Dec. 31. The Rockets got too lax against the Magic and it cost them. Expect a much stronger effort and focus from the Rockets. Motivation, not talent, is the key for the Rockets against this opponent. And, now, Houston should have that. Based on talent, the Rockets should bury Memphis, which is 7-18 in its last 25 games and 1-7 in its last eight. The Grizzlies have lost by seven points or more in six of their past seven defeats. The Grizzlies are playing short-handed, too, down three of their rotation players with Kyle Anderson, Dillon Brooks and Chandler Parsons all injured. The Rockets are playing without rest, but the Grizzlies are 2-8 ATS when playing on one day rest.
|01-13-19||Cavs v. Lakers OVER 217.5||Top||101-95||Loss||-110||21 h 46 m||Show|
Maybe the oddsmaker doesn't realize how bad Cleveland's defense really is because its season stats show the Cavaliers ranking 23rd in scoring defense. But no team has played worst defense than the Cavaliers during the past two weeks. Cleveland has yielded 117 or more points in seven of its last eight games. During their past four games, the Cavaliers are surrendering a whopping 128.5 points a game. Not helping matters for the Cavaliers is their top shot blocker, Larry Nance, is out. The Lakers are averaging 111.5 points in their past four home games. LeBron James isn't back, but talented scorers Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma are. The Lakers want to light up the scoreboard to prove they aren't just about James especially going against his former team.
|01-13-19||Blazers v. Nuggets -4||113-116||Loss||-109||19 h 16 m||Show|
Denver got caught peeking ahead to this home matchup. The Nuggets were upset, 102-93, on the road by the lowly Suns Saturday night. Even with that defeat, though, the Nuggets still are 7-2 in their last nine games. They own the best record in the Western Conference. The Nuggets are 9-2 ATS in their past 11 games at Pepsi Center. Portland is 4-11 ATS the past 15 times it has played on the road versus an opponent with a winning home mark. The Trail Blazers also enter this matchup fat and happy. They are on a four-game win streak - all home wins. Their last three victories have been against bad teams - Knicks, Bulls and Hornets. This is Portland's first road contest in 12 days. The Trail Blazers are 0-3-1 ATS the last four times playing the Nuggets.
|01-12-19||Hornets +5.5 v. Kings||97-104||Loss||-105||19 h 2 m||Show|
If there was anything positive for the Hornets in their embarrassing 127-96 road loss to the Trail Blazers Friday night it was none of their players had to log big minutes. That should help Charlotte in this matchup. The Hornets have been blown out now in two straight games, having lost 128-109 to the Clippers in LA on Tuesday. However, only once all season have the Hornets dropped three games in a row and that was more than a month ago. The Trail Blazers and Clippers are superior to the Hornets especially when playing them at home. The Kings aren't. Sacramento has lost one fewer game than Charlotte. The Hornets are dropping down in class after facing the Trail Blazers and Clippers. The Kings aren't playing well either losing five of their last seven games. Just two games ago on this past Tuesday, the Suns defeated the Kings, 115-111. The Hornets met the Suns in Phoenix three games ago this past Sunday and beat the Suns, 119-113. Charlotte has the best player in Kemba Walker. The Hornets also have covered in four of their last five visits to Sacramento.
|01-12-19||Spurs v. Thunder UNDER 227.5||112-122||Loss||-110||9 h 31 m||Show|
This total is inflated based on the matchup these two teams had two days ago. The Spurs beat the Thunder in double overtime, 154-147. That was a wild game. This one shouldn't be. Both teams are above average defensive clubs. The Thunder are in stop-the-pain mode having lost three in a row. Oklahoma City ranks eighth in scoring defense and is in the top five in shooting percentage defense. San Antonio gives up the 11th fewest points per game in the league. Until that wild Thursday game, the Spurs had not allowed more than 111 points in 16 straight games. Even with that crazy double overtime game, the Under sitll has cashed six of the past eight times in this series. The Under also has won the last four times these teams have played in Oklahoma City.
|01-11-19||Cavs v. Rockets OVER 216.5||113-141||Win||100||4 h 41 m||Show|
Cleveland ranks last in defensive field goal percentage. The Cavaliers are surrendering 122.7 points in their last seven games and just lost their best shot-blocker, Larry Nance. The Cavaliers, though, just put up 124 points against the Pelicans. The Pelicans are a bad defensive team. But Indiana isn't. The Pacers rank No. 2 defensively in the NBA. The Cavaliers scored 115 against them in the game before New Orleans. The Rockets have permitted at least 101 points during their last 11 games. They are giving up an average of 114.4 points in their last four games.
|01-11-19||Bucks v. Wizards +7||Top||106-113||Win||100||17 h 55 m||Show|
Sometimes facts lead to misperceptions. There are two examples of this in the Bucks-Wizards Friday matchup. The Bucks have the best record in the NBA. John Wall is a great player being a five-time All-Star. Both sentences are facts. However ... there is more than meets the eye in both statements. Knowing them should help lead to a profitable investment by backing the Wizards. The Bucks deserve huge kudos for compiling the top winning percentage in the league through 40 games. But the Bucks have put together their outstanding record mainly at home. They are 10-7 on the road, 8-8 ATS. So spread-wise, Milwaukee is merely an average away club. The Bucks also are in a flat spot after a huge nationally televised road win against the Rockets and James Harden on Wednesday. Proving themselves on national TV is a big deal to the small market Bucks. This game is far from the madding crowd. It's a low-key affair against a 17-25 Washington team that is minus its best player, Wall. Guess what, though? You can make a strong case Washington is better team-wise without Wall. Remember when Wall was injured last season? The Wizards proceeded to play their best ball winning 11 of 14 games. That streak pushed them into the playoffs. It could happen again this season. The Wizards are 4-3 and 5-2 ATS since Wall was lost for the season. There is more to the Wizards than Wall. Otto Porter Jr. has gotten the rust off since returning from a quad injury. Bradley Beal is a top-scoring backcourt threat. Trevor Ariza is an underrated two-way pro. Wall's injury has also brought more prominence to unsung guard Tomas Satoransky and center Thomas Bryant. Washington has won and covered each of its last three home games. The Wizards are below-the-radar and should be highly motivated to prove themselves in this spot. Please note that since I released this game late Thursday night, the line has dropped quite a bit as word is out that Giannis Antetokounmpo is doubtful and Eric Bledsoe is questionable. I would not make this a max unit wager at the current number. However, the handicap still holds. The Wizards are very live here to beat the Bucks straight-up if Milwaukee doesn't have Antetokounmpo.
|01-10-19||Clippers v. Nuggets -6||100-121||Win||100||11 h 3 m||Show|
The Clippers are fat and happy after consecutive home wins against Orlando and Charlotte. Now, though, they have to step up on the road against the Nuggets, who are in revenge mode and have been playing well all season. I don't see it happening for the Clippers. The Nuggets are 6-1 in their last seven games and have covered eight of their last 10 home games. They have the far superior defense and an edge up front with Nikola Jokic.
|01-09-19||Pistons v. Lakers -117||100-113||Win||100||22 h 49 m||Show|
No, LeBron James isn't back. But Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma are. Given those two along with Lonzo Ball and playing at home following a confidence-building road victory against the Mavericks this past Monday gives a buy sign to the Lakers. The Lakers' 107-97 road win against the Mavericks is impressive. Dallas was 15-3 at home entering that game. The Pistons are back in lottery territory following a strong start to the season. They are 4-14 in their last 18 games. Detroit has lost and failed to cover in four of its past five road matchups. The Pistons' lone away victory during this span came against the struggling Grizzlies, who are 0-6 SU and ATS in their last six games. The Lakers have covered seven of the last eight times they have hosted the Pistons.
|01-08-19||Wolves v. Thunder -8||119-117||Loss||-108||18 h 52 m||Show|
Sometimes a team gets a psychological lift in their first game following a coaching change. I don't see that happening, though, with the Timberwolves in this matchup after they fired Tom Thibodeau on Sunday. Oklahoma City is in revenge mode from a home loss to Minnesota just two weeks ago. That was a rare road victory for the Timberwolves, who have played far worse away from Target Center going 5-15 SU, 8-12 in their away games. The Thunder are one of the top-seven teams in the NBA. The Timberwolves are a below .500 club. Motivation is key for Oklahoma City, which has a winning spread mark at home and is 5-2 ATS the past seven times laying 7 or more points. The Thunder lost at home to the Wizards in embarrassing fashion, 116-98, this past Sunday getting dominated on the boards and defense. Those are two of the Thunder's strong areas. The Thunder went into that matchup against the Wizards fat and happy returning home after going 2-0 on a West Coast trip beating the Lakers and Trail Blazers. The Thunder are too professional and have too much superstar talent with Russell Westbrook and Paul George to suffer a second straight home loss to an inferior opponent especially with revenge motivation. The Timberwolves may not have their full focus as the firing of Thibodeau was a surprise coming after the team had blown out the Lakers at home for their second win in a row. Thibodeau not only was the head coach, but also president of basketball operations. It's a distracting and unexpected move. Now the Timberwolves have to play a far superior opponent on the road just two days later. Untested 32-year-old Ryan Saunders is the Timberwolves' interim coach. I don't see him enjoying success in this spot.
|01-07-19||Nuggets v. Rockets -117||113-125||Win||100||19 h 60 m||Show|
Kudos to the Nuggets. It's nearly halfway through the NBA regular season and Denver has the best record in the Western Conference. The Rockets, though, should be ready for the Nuggets at home. Houston has picked up its pace since a slow beginning and is playing extremely well despite being without Chris Paul. The Rockets are 11-2 SU, 10-1-1 ATS in their last 13 games. They just lost, though, on the road to the Trail Blazers this past Saturday, Among the Rockets' wins during this current 13-game span have been against the Celtics, Thunder, Spurs, Jazz, Lakers when they had LeBron James and Trail Blazers. Houston is 8-0-1 ATS in its past nine home games. Denver has won five in a row. But its last four victories have all come against below .500 teams - Suns, Knicks, Kings and Hornets. Those teams are a combined 44 games under .500. The Nuggets have failed to cover five of their last six road games. They have a losing road spread mark on the season.
|01-04-19||Wizards v. Heat -6.5||Top||109-115||Loss||-109||19 h 18 m||Show|
Quietly Miami has been on a monster point spread run covering 13 of its last 16 games. Look for the Heat to cover another game as this matchup against the Wizards sets up well for them. Washington has been terrible on the road lately losing and failing to cover its past seven away matchups. The Wizards have lost by at least seven points in each of their past seven road defeats. This includes lopsided losses to teams much worse than the Heat, including falling to the Pistons by 16 points and 15 points to the Cavaliers. The Heat should dominate the paint against the Wizards, who are a weak rebounding team and rank second-to-last in scoring defense. The Wizards are minus John Wall and thin up front with Dwight Howard and Markieff Morris out. This has drained Washington's bench. The Heat, though, just got Dion Waiters back from injury boosting their rotation. The Wizards are heavily reliant on Bradley Beal with Wall out. Miami ranks third in defensive field goal percentage and give up the fifth-fewest points per game in the league.
|01-03-19||Raptors v. Spurs -120||Top||107-125||Win||100||18 h 41 m||Show|
The Spurs have covered 75 percent of their last 32 home games. They have defeated the Raptors nine consecutive times at AT&T Center going 6-2-1 ATS. San Antonio is playing well going 10-3 in its last 13 games, while the Raptors are 1-4 SU, 0-5 ATS during their past five road games. So it's not too much to ask the Spurs to win this matchup especially considering how bad the Raptors have looked recently on the road. Toronto's last four road defeats have been by 29 points to the Magic, 25 to the 76ers, nine to the Nuggets and six to the Trail Blazers. The Spurs are going to be super motivated, too, for this matchup since it marks the return of Kawhi Leonard to San Antonio. There is bad blood between the Spurs and Leonard following last season when Leonard played in only nine games for San Antonio. The Raptors face San Antonio short-handed without point guard Kyle Lowery, their second-best player, and center Jonas Valanciunas. Lowery has a back injury that has kept him out of eight of the past nine games while Valanciunas isn't expected back for another four weeks due to a thumb injury.
|01-02-19||Heat -6 v. Cavs||Top||117-92||Win||100||20 h 54 m||Show|
Just two games ago, Miami hosted Cleveland. Final score: Heat 118, Cavaliers 94. While I don't expect the Heat to bury the Cavaliers on the road by that much in this short turnaround, I do expect them to cover this spread. The Cavaliers have lost eight of their last nine games, including the past six. They have failed to reach 100 points in five of their last seven games. The Heat rank third in defensvie field goal percentage and seventh in fewest points allowed. Miami is on a nice point spread run covering 12 of its last 15 games. The Heat are 8-1 ATS during their past nine road matchups. The Heat, though, shouldn't lack motivation or being overconfident having lost their last game. That was at home to Minnesota, 113-104, this past Sunday. It was the most points Miami had allowed in its last 15 games. Cleveland is the third-lowest scoring team in the NBA. The Cavaliers are playing at home for the first time in more than a week having concluded a three-game road trip this past Saturday. They could be rusty and unfocused after had a long holiday break following their last game. The Cavaliers are 3-7 ATS on three or more days rest. The Cavaliers have permitted 110 or more points in five of their last six games.
|01-01-19||Jazz v. Raptors UNDER 212.5||116-122||Loss||-114||16 h 11 m||Show|
Down point guard Kyle Lowry and center Jonas Valanciunas, the Raptors have hit a scoring drought. They scored only 87 points against the Magic and 95 points versus the Bulls in their last two games.Now Toronto faces Utah, which has a far better defense than the Magic and Bulls. The Jazz give up the fifth-fewest points in the league. Utah has held five of its past nine opponents to 97 points or fewer. The Under has cashed in eight of Utah's last nine games and five of the Jazz's past six road games. The Jazz rank 24th in scoring. Toronto ranks eighth in defense. The Jazz are reliant on second-year man Donovan Mitchell, who is having a down year so far shooting .41.1 percent from the floor after connecting on 43.7 of his shots last season. Playing on New Year's Day is a plus for the Under, too, following New Year's Eve.
|12-31-18||Hawks v. Pacers -11.5||108-116||Loss||-118||11 h 60 m||Show|
Indiana has the No. 1 defense in the NBA. Atlanta has the worst defense in the league. The difference is the Pacers surrendering an average of 17 fewer points per game than the Hawks. Throw in a strong situational spot favoring Indiana and the possibility the Hawks could be without maybe their third best player, Kent Bazemore, and this spread doesn't seem so high. The Pacers are one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference at 24-12. They are 11-2 in their last 13 games and have won four in a row. The Pacers last played on Friday. They are 7-1 ATS the past eight times when playing on two days rest. Indiana doesn't play again until Friday so a full effort should be forthcoming. The Hawks are in action for the fourth time in six days and third in four days. This is an early start time, too, which does the Hawks no favors almost making this a back-to-back game. Atlanta enters the matchup fat and happy with consecutive victories, including upsetting the Timerwolves in overtime as a 9 1/2-point road 'dog. Atlanta may be without Bazemore. The shooting guard is questionable with an ankle injury.
|12-30-18||Kings v. Lakers +1.5||Top||114-121||Win||100||22 h 51 m||Show|
LeBron James isn't likely to play because of a groin injury suffered on Christmas Day. But the Lakers are going to go all out here after losing their first two games without James. The first game the Lakers played without James was this past Thursday against the Kings on the road. The Lakers built a 15-point lead with 6:44 left in the game. The Kings came all the way back to win, 117-116, with Bogdan Bogdanovic sinking a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Sacramento the victory. Stunned by that loss, the Lakers were buried the next day by the Clippers. Now the Lakers have had a full day to regroup. LA doesn't lack talent without James. They have Brandom Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Kevin Kuzma. The Kings are an improved team, but their young core isn't as talented as the Lakers. The Lakers are home, highly motivated and getting points against a team they are least the equal of without James.
|12-29-18||Rockets -125 v. Pelicans||108-104||Win||100||15 h 20 m||Show|
The Rockets are back playing like the Rockets again. Houston is playing better than anyone winning eight of its last nine. The Rockets have knocked off tough opponents, too, during this span beating the Celtics, Thunder, Spurs, Jazz, Grizzlies, Lakers and Trail Blazers. Houston's lone defeat in this time frame came on the road to the Heat when the Rockets were playing without rest. Now the Rockets draw the Pelicans without rest. New Orleans was super extended in getting past the pesky Mavericks, 114-112, on Friday in a revenge spot. Dallas had defeated New Orleans on Wednesday. Anthony Davis had a huge game on Friday with 48 points and 17 rebounds. He also played nearly 43 minutes. This marks the Pelicans' third game in four days. The Pelicans are one of the weakest defensive teams in the league ranking 26th. James Harden is on fire averaging 40.5 points during the last eight games. Houston is averaging 120 points in its last two games. The Rockets aren't going to lack motivation either. The Pelicans embarrassed them early in the season with a 131-112 home win on Houston's opening night.
|12-28-18||Nets v. Hornets -4.5||87-100||Win||100||19 h 22 m||Show|
The Hornets just have to wait two days to get redemption. That's how long their last game was, which happened to be a 134-132 overtime road loss to the Nets on Wednesday. The Hornets blew an eight-point lead during the final three-plus minutes of regulation. The Nets are improved and playing well. But Charlotte is the better team and has the best player, Kemba Walker. The Nets slowed down Walker in the fourth quarter using a form of box-and-one that might have caught the Hornets off guard. Charlotte will be better prepared this time around. This back-and-back series has a playoff and zig-and-zag feel to it. So I want the Hornets going for me here.
|12-26-18||Nuggets v. Spurs -3||103-111||Win||100||22 h 56 m||Show|
The Nuggets have been a major surprise opening the season with 21 wins in their first 31 games. A regression is coming, though, for Denver. That was evident in its last game, a 132-111 blowout loss to the Clippers on the road this past Saturday. That was Denver's worst loss of the season. Denver is down three starters with Paul Millsap, Gary Harris and Will Barton all out. Big man Millsap is an underrated loss. The Clippers dominated the paint against the Nuggets scoring 80 points down low while shooting a blistering 57.6 percent from the field. The Clippers also outrebounded the Nuggets by 21 boards. The Spurs are coming on after a slow start. They are 7-2 in their last nine games with five of those victories coming by 25 or more points. LaMarcus Aldridge can have a big game with Millsap out. San Antonio has covered 73 percent of its past 30 home games.
|12-25-18||76ers v. Celtics -4||Top||114-121||Win||100||18 h 50 m||Show|
Strong at home, bad on the road particularly in Boston. That's the 76ers, who are 16-3 at home, but 6-9 on the road. Philadelphia has failed to cover during its last four visits to Boston, including getting buried, 105-87, by the Celtics in the season opener at TD Garden. That was Boston's 10th straight home win against Philadelphia. The Celtics have the deeper bench and are inside the mentally fragile 76ers' heads having defeated them in 13 of the last 15 regular season meetings. It's not just the Celtics. The 76ers have been blown out on the road by other quality teams losing by 27 to the Spurs, by 11 and 17 to the Raptors and by 15 to the Bucks. They even were destroyed by the Nets, losing by 25. Boston is coming off an impressive 119-103 home win against Charlotte on Sunday, a much-needed win that snapped a three-game losing streak. The Celtics got two of their key injured big men back for that game, Al Horford and Marcus Morris. Look for the Celtics to build on that victory. Boston has a much tougher defense than the 76ers ranking fourth compared to Philadelphia's 23rd rating and far more depth.
|12-23-18||Hornets v. Celtics -7||103-119||Win||100||15 h 53 m||Show|
This is a circle-the-wagons home game for Boston following three losses in a row. The Celtics held a long meeting following their Friday night home loss to the Bucks. I see the Celtics rebounding in a big way against the Hornets, who are not a good road team. The Celtics have covered 74 percent of their last 31 home games. Charlotte is 4-8 on the road. The Hornets have suffered road losses to the Hawks and Cavaliers. This marks their first away game since Dec. 9. The Celtics swept the Hornets at home during each of the last two seasons going 3-0-1 ATS in those games.
|12-22-18||Nuggets v. Clippers -110||111-132||Win||100||14 h 55 m||Show|
The Clippers are back to winning with the return of key sixth man Lou Williams. Williams helped the Clippers beat the Mavericks, 125-121, at home on Thursday to halt a four-game losing streak. Williams had missed the previous four games - all of which were losses - because of a hamstring injury. The buy sign is on for me here against the Nuggets. Denver is crippled and rusty. The Nuggets have lost their last two road games, falling to the Hawks and Hornets. Denver had to go into overtime to beat the Magic in the road game before those two. All three of those teams are worse than the Clippers. Denver last was in action on Tuesday. This is too long of a layoff between games. The Nuggets are without three opening-night starters, Paul Millsap, Gary Harris and Will Barton.
Saturday Free Play Heat plus 3 hosting Bucks Bad matchup, bad timing. Look for those factors to do in the Bucks. Milwaukee is coming off a huge road victory against the Celtics Friday night. The Bucks hardly had time to celebrate before flying into South Florida to take on the Heat. Not only is Milwaukee playing without rest, but it's the Bucks' third game in four nights and fourth game in six days all at different venues. Miami is a tough opponent for the Bucks. Not only are the Heat playing their best ball with three straight victories - holding the Grizzlies, Pelicans and Rockets all below 100 points in those wins - but they have the defense, offensive rebounding and slowdown style to frustrate the high-scoring Bucks. Miami is 7-3 in its last 10 games, its best stretch. So it's not a fluke the Heat have defeated Milwaukee five times in a row. The Heat held the Bucks to just 88.3 points in sweeping the three-game series last season. The Bucks are flash and offense with today's new kind of superstar in multi-talented Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Heat are old-school slowing tempo with a powerful commitment to defense. This clash in styles has worked in Miami's favor. The oddsmaker has no choice but to open the Bucks a road favorite. Milwauklee is 2-5-1 ATS in that role the past eight times.
|12-21-18||Wolves v. Spurs -4||98-124||Win||100||12 h 37 m||Show|
The Spurs are playing better going 6-1 SU and ATS in their past seven games. The Spurs are a strong home team - 21-8 ATS in their past 29 home contests. Minnesota is 2-12 SU, 5-9 ATS on the road. Minnesota is 1-5 in its last six games. The Timberwolves are below average defensively and rank 25th in defensive field goal percentage. The Spurs are No. 1 in 3-point shooting percentage and in free throw percentage. The Spurs won't lack motivation as this is a revenge spot for them having suffered one of their worst defeats in the Gregg Popovich era, losing 128-89 in Minnesota on Nov. 28.
|12-19-18||Warriors -2.5 v. Jazz||103-108||Loss||-109||11 h 44 m||Show|
I understand that Utah has been dealt a bad early season hand by the NBA schedulemakers. The Jazz have endured a brutal, road-heavy schedule. But they are 1-4 in their last five games, lack consistency, rank 26th in 3-point shooting and are not a top-three defense anymore. So I can't see them defeating a healthy Warriors team that is coming on since Stephen Curry returned to the lineup. Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson all are playing well. Golden State is 6-2 in its last eight games. When focused, the Warriors can destroy any opponent. Golden State doesn't play again until Saturday. So that focus, concentration and effort should all be there.
|12-18-18||Lakers -129 v. Nets||Top||110-115||Loss||-129||19 h 59 m||Show|
The Nets are playing their best ball winning their last five games. But I see that streak ending here. There is zero chance now of the Lakers taking Brooklyn lightly especially after losing in embarrassing fashion to the Wizards, 128-110, this past Sunday. LeBron James was held to a season-low 13 points in that defeat. Look for the Lakers to be much more focused. They are 7-2 ATS following a non-cover. The prideful James should rebound with a strong game. The Nets are a bottom-10 defensive team. LA has by far the better talent and is 12-3-3 ATS during its past 18 visits to Brooklyn.
|12-16-18||Kings v. Mavs -5||120-113||Loss||-103||17 h 38 m||Show|
Quitely, below the radar, Dallas has rattled off 11 straight home victories, going 10-1 ATS in these games. The Mavericks have beaten teams much better than the Kings during this home win streak such as the Warriors, Celtics, Thunder, Rockets and Clippers. It should be an emotional game, too, for the Mavericks as Dirk Nowitzki is set to make his season debut. The Kings are one of the more improved teams in the NBA. However, Sacramento is off a hard-played 130-125 home loss to the Warriors from Friday night. The Kings nearly upset the Warriors in their first meeting against them this season losing, 117-116, on the road. The Kings were blown out by the Jazz, 133-112, in their next game following that loss to the Warriors. Dallas lost in its last game this past Thursday, falling to lowly Phoenix on the road, 99-89, as six-point favorites. The Mavericks should come back strong after that humiliation. They are 6-0 ATS when having two or more days rest between games.
|12-15-18||Lakers -127 v. Hornets||128-100||Win||100||9 h 22 m||Show|
The Lakers are off a bad loss to the Rockets. That was on Thursday. The Hornets suffered a 126-124 home loss to the lowly Knicks Friday night. Charlotte's five starters are logged more than 36 minutes. The Hornets have failed to cover in four of their last five home games and are 5-12 ATS in their past 17 games versus Western Conference foes. The Hornets live-and-die with Kemba Walker and he logged more than 40 minutes last night. LeBron James gets up for this opponent, too. So expect an easy Lakers victory. The Lakers have been playing well until that Rockets loss winning six of their past seven leading into that game.
|12-14-18||Hawks +13 v. Celtics||Top||108-129||Loss||-105||21 h 31 m||Show|
The Celtics have won seven in a row, including getting past the Wizards on the road Wednesday despite missing Al Horford, Gordon Hayward and Jaylon Brown. Now the Celtics draw the lowly Hawks at home with a road game looming against the Pistons on Saturday. Not only is the backdoor open for the Hawks, but so is the possibility they can hang in and make this a game. Horford remains out. Hayward and Brown are questionable. Both are ill. The Celtics have no need to rush either back given their depth and not taking the Hawks as a serious threat. Atlanta has covered its last two games. The Hawks upset the Nuggets at home and lost by seven points as 9 1/2-point road 'dogs to the Mavericks. The Hawks are averaging 112.7 points in their last seven games if you toss out a 94-point performance they had against the Hornets. The 112.7-point average would rank 10th best if computed during the entire season. The Celtics have not been good in this type of role failing to cover 12 of the past 15 times when laying more than eight points.
|12-13-18||Clippers v. Spurs -3||87-125||Win||100||10 h 6 m||Show|
I'm going to poke my toe in the water and test out if the buy sign is on for the Spurs. Indications are it is, at least for this matchup. San Antonio has won and covered its past three games, all at home. The Spurs draw the Clippers playing for the third time in four days and fourth time in six days. The Clippers have cooled off losing four of their last six games. They just got waxed, 123-99, at home by the Raptors on Tuesday. Toronto didn't have Kawhi Leonard in that game either. The Clippers didn't have their star sixth man, Lou Williams, in that game due to a hamstring injury. It's an added plus if Williams can't play tonight.
|12-12-18||Wolves -125 v. Kings||Top||130-141||Loss||-125||22 h 27 m||Show|
The Timberwolves are playing better defense and have improved team chemistry. The result has been a 7-2 ATS mark in their last nine games. Minnesota, though, has dropped the first two games of its current four-game road swing. Those losses occurred to the Warriors and Trail Blazers. Now the Timberwolves step down in class visting the Kings. Sacramento is much improved from last season. But the Timberwolves have more experience and better talent, especially with Karl-Anthony Towns shaking off his early season poor performances. The spot is bad for the Kings. It is their first game back from a four-game road swing that concluded Monday night in Chicago. Sacramento buried the Bulls in that game, while winning three of the four away games during the trip. The Kings are fat and happy. Their focus could be off, too, since they last played at home 11 days ago. Sacramento is 1-6 ATS the past seven times following a road trip of seven or more days. Minnesota also has revenge for a 121-110 road loss to the Kings on Nov. 9 when it still had Jimmy Butler. Since that defeat, the Timberwolves have gone 2-2 SU, 3-1 ATS on the road.
|12-12-18||Knicks -125 v. Cavs||106-113||Loss||-125||19 h 24 m||Show|
The Knicks are in stop-the-pain mode having lost four in a row. That wouldn't mean anything if the Knicks weren't superior to the Cavaliers, but they are especially with the Cavaliers down their best big man, Tristan Thompson. He was having his best season averaging 12 points and 11.6 rebounds per game, but suffered a foot injury in Cleveland's last game and will be sidelined two-to-four weeks. Prior to their last losing streak, the Knicks had defeated the Celtics, Pelicans, Grizzlies and Bucks in a span of 11 days starting from Nov. 21. The Cavaliers can't beat all of those teams. The Knicks should be well rested and prepared. They haven't played since Sunday. The Cavaliers, though, are playing for the fourth time in six days. The Knicks also have played the Cavaliers tough in Cleveland even when the Cavs had LeBron James covering six of the past eight times there.
|12-10-18||Heat v. Lakers -6.5||Top||105-108||Loss||-109||13 h 14 m||Show|
The Heat have opened their current six-game road trip with victories against the Suns and Clippers. I don't expect them to make it three wins in a row. The Lakers have been playing better going 5-1 in their last six games with all of their victories coming by eight or more points. The Lakers rolled past the Heat, 113-97, at Miami on Nov. 18. They hold a huge talent edge. Miami could be without two of its key players. Josh Richardson is dealing with a shoulder injury and Hassan Whitesite has been out for personal reasons.
|12-10-18||Pelicans v. Celtics -6.5||100-113||Win||100||11 h 22 m||Show|
After a 10-10 start, the Celtics have begun to get it going winning five in a row. The Celtics draw the Pelicans at home. New Orleans is coming off a rare road victory beating the Pistons, 116-108, on Sunday. New Orleans is 4-10 away from home, 6-8 ATS. The Pelicans are playing without rest and there is the possibility they may be without Anthony Davis. He's dealing with a hip injury. The Pelicans rank 27th defensively. The Celtics surrender nearly 13 fewer points per game than the Pelicans. The Celtics rolled past the Pelicans in New Orleans on Nov. 26. The Pelicans had Anthony Davis in that game. They also made 27 of 29 free throws yet still lost by 17 points.
|12-09-18||Bucks v. Raptors -5.5||104-99||Loss||-103||8 h 46 m||Show|
The Bucks have cooled off going 9-8 in their last 17 games, including 4-5 on the road, after a 12-1 start. They are off a deflating 105-95 home loss to the Warriors on Friday. That was a season-low in points for Milwaukee and showed the Bucks are not the elite team they were early in the season. The Raptors got caught looking ahead to this matchup gettting upset by the Nets on the road Friday. The Nets nailed the Raptors in a sandwich spot. Toronto had just defeated the 76ers at home and was eagerly awaiting this game. The Raptors have revenge for a 124-109 road loss to the Bucks from Oct. 29 when Kawhi Leonard didn't play. They have the defenders to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo in check.
|12-08-18||Nets v. Knicks -3||Top||112-104||Loss||-108||18 h 47 m||Show|
The timing of this matchup should work in the Knicks' favor. New York was buried by Boston, 128-100, on the road Thursday. Knicks coach David Fizdale ripped his team following that embarrassment. New York has been playing better lately, though, going 4-4 while covering six of its last nine games. This is a rivalry matchup, but the Nets are in letdown mode after stunning the Raptors, 106-105, in overtime at home Friday night. That win halted an eight-game Brooklyn losing streak. The Nets have really missed Caris LeVert, who was their leading scorer. Until upsetting Toronto, the Nets were 0-8 SU, 2-6 ATS in their past eight games.
|12-07-18||Kings -135 v. Cavs||Top||129-110||Win||100||11 h 32 m||Show|
The Kings are one of the more improved teams in the NBA at 12-11. They have young talent and a much improved bench. Sacramento has proven it can take care of business versus lottery teams and play well on the road. ` The Kings are 4-1 ATS in their last five games versus sub .500 opponents. In their last three road games, the Kings upset the Jazz, lost to the Warriors by one point and buried the Suns by 17 points. The Cavaliers' confidence is way down again after getting smacked, 129-105, by the Warriors at home this past Wednesday. Cleveland is in full rebuild mode now with no more talk of trying to make the playoffs. The Kings have been idle for two days. This is the first of three straight road games for them. They should be ready.
|12-05-18||Clippers v. Grizzlies -110||Top||86-96||Win||100||20 h 40 m||Show|
The Clippers have not been a team to fade. They own the second-best ATS mark in the NBA covering 15 of their 23 games. But I'm going to do it here because this spot sets up very well for Memphis. The teams just met on Nov. 23. The Clippers halted the Grizzlies' five-game win streak with a 112-107 overtime win in LA. The Grizzlies blew an 8-point lead with two minutes left. The Grizzlies were hurt by Mike Conley fouling out with 2:51 left in regulation. Now Memphis is home - where it is 10-3 ATS the past 13 times - and has short revenge. The Grizzlies also draw the Clippers in action for the fourth time on the road in six days. Memphis, on the other hand, last played on Sunday. The Grizzlies are 6-0 ATS the past six times when playing on two days rest.
|12-03-18||Wizards -115 v. Knicks||Top||110-107||Win||100||10 h 5 m||Show|
After a 1-7 start, Washington is slowly starting to get back on track going 7-5 in its last 12 games. The Wizards are coming off their best defensive game of the season, beating the Nets, 102-88, on Saturday. That game was at home. The Wizards are 2-9 on the road. Perhaps it's a leap of faith to support the Wizards away from home, but they are better than the Knicks, are in a good spot and have a strong history against New York. The Knicks are in letdown mode after one of their most impressive performances of the season, a 136-134 home overtime win against the Bucks on Saturday. The Wizards have covered eight of the past 10 versus the Knicks. They are 7-1 ATS the past eight times playing at Madison Square Garden. John Wall and Bradley Beal are the two best players on the court. Washington believes it is a playoff team, which it has been the past two seasons. The Knicks are a lottery team. The price is short enough to back the Wizards on the money line. Asking them to flat out just win this game shouldn't be too much.
|11-30-18||Bulls +9.5 v. Pistons||88-107||Loss||-105||18 h 32 m||Show|
The Pistons must be licking their chops as they host Golden State on Saturday. It's the defending world champions lone visit to Detroit. The Warriors are 3-5 in their last eight games. But first up for the Pistons is hosting the lowly Bulls tonight. It's going to be easy for Detroit to overlook Chicago, which has lost eight of its last nine games, including the last four. The Bulls, though, actually have been playing well and should be up for this division matchup and in revenge mode. The Bulls have been sharp in seven of their last eight quarters losing to the Bucks by three points and to the Spurs by one. The Pistons just nipped the Bulls, 118-116, in the first meeting. Detroit has a losing spread record this season when favored.
|11-29-18||Clippers v. Kings +3||Top||133-121||Loss||-110||21 h 47 m||Show|
The Clippers are out of the gates fast going 13-6. Sacramento has been a surprise, too, going 10-10 while covering 60 percent of their games. LA is just a .500 team on the road. The two teams are similar in that neither has a superstar, but each has scoring depth. The Kings have six players averaging 11 or more points a game. Buddy Hield and De'Aaron Fox have become of the better backcourt tandems in the league. The Kings entered the middle part of this week ranked seventh in scoring and first in 3-point shooting percentage. There are unique circumstances in this matchup. The spot is ripe for the home underdog Kings. The Clippers played Wednesday night beating the Suns, 115-99, at home. The Kings have been idle since Sunday. This is Sacramento's lone scheduled national TV matchup with the game on TNT. The Kings are not slated to play on ESPN nor ABC this season. So a strong effort should be forthcoming from the Kings with a rare chance to be on the national stage and show off their vast improvement.
|11-28-18||Suns v. Clippers OVER 227.5||Top||99-115||Loss||-110||21 h 28 m||Show|
It may surprise you to know that the Clippers are the fourth-highest scoring team in the NBA. LA doesn't have a superstar. What the Clippers do have are a number of underrated offensive players. This lists includes Tobias Harris, Danilo Gallinari, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, who is showing signs of having a breakout season averaging 20.9 points in his past seven games. The Clippers are a below average defensive team. Good offense plus bad defense often spells Over. That's what the Clippers are doing going above the total in eight of their past nine games. The Clippers should have another major scoring game on Wednesday facing the Suns, who entered this week ranked 29th in giving up points per 100 possessions and also were second-to-last in defensive field goal percentage. Phoenix permitted the Bulls, who were without Larui Markkanen and Kris Dunn, to shoot nearly 60 percent from the floor while scoring 124 points one week ago. But here's the kicker: The Suns commit the most fouls per game in the league. The Clippers are fourth in free throw percentage and were leading the league in free-throw makes.
|11-26-18||Magic v. Warriors -8||Top||110-116||Loss||-102||21 h 43 m||Show|
It's an added bonus if the Warriors get back Draymond Green back for this game. But if not, the Warriors have the firepower with Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, along with a good situational spot, to roll past Orlando. The Magic are coming off a highly satisfying and intense upset of the Lakers beating them 108-104 on Sunday. In their previous road game, the Magic lost to Denver by 25 points. The Warriors should be focused. Not only did they see what happened to the Lakers, but they go on a five-game road trip starting Thursday following this game. The Magic are playing for third time in four days and second in two days. Golden State has dominated the series winning the past 10 meetings against the Magic with eight of the victories occurring by eight or more points.
|11-25-18||Jazz -135 v. Kings||133-112||Win||100||8 h 33 m||Show|
I'm taking the Jazz here knowing full well that their leading scorer, Donovan Mitchell, won't play because of a bruised rib. The Jazz have been one of the more disappointing teams this season. I realize that, too. But this is short revenge and the Kings are off a hard-played 117-116 road loss to Golden State last night. Utah has won during its past seven visits to Sacramento. The Jazz actually have been settled down in Sacramento before the Kings since they were idle on Saturday. The Kings shot way above their heads making 52.8 percent of their field goals in beating the Jazz, 119-110, this past Wednesday in Salt Lake City. The Kings have made 47.6 percent of their shots from the floor on the season. That is above average. However, they rank last in free throw percentage and are 27th defensively. The Jazz ranked eighth defensively. There is no chance of them taking the Kings lightly.
|11-24-18||Rockets -10 v. Cavs||108-117||Loss||-107||10 h 44 m||Show|
No brilliant insight here. I just want the Rockets off a loss and the Cavaliers off a victory after both teams played last night. The Rockets lost 116-111 in overtime to the Pistons while the Cavaliers stunned the 76ers, 121-112, on the road. Aside from underrated center, Clint Capela, the Rockets didn't play well, while Cleveland played perhaps its finest game of the season. I'm projecting the Rockets to play much better and the Cavaliers to get back to playing at their level, which is being one of the worst teams in the NBA. After a slow start, the Rockets have gotten back on track. They are 8-3 in their last 11 games. They followed up their previous loss - a 96-89 defeat to the Spurs - by blowing out the Pacers 115-103 in the following game The Rockets have won by 10 or more points during three of their last four victories. Cleveland's previous victory came four games ago when it upset Charlotte, 113-89. The Cavaliers had to play the very next day and were blown out by the Wizards, 119-95. The Rockets have dominated this series even when the Cavaliers had Lebron James winning 10 of the last 12 meetings.
|11-23-18||Wolves -125 v. Nets||112-102||Win||100||12 h 1 m||Show|
If the Timberwolves are serious about making the playoffs again they can't lose to teams such as the Nets.Minnesota defeated Brooklyn, 120-113, at home 11 days ago. The Timberwolves should be able to beat the Nets again with newcomers Robert Covington and Dario Saric more settled. Minnesota's chemistry should be better, too, with the Jimmy Butler cloud disappeared following his trade to the 76ers. The Nets can't match the Timberwolves' talent level and haven't been a good home club failing to cover in 14 of their last 19 games at Barclays Centers.
|11-21-18||Suns v. Bulls -125||116-124||Win||100||21 h 40 m||Show|
Phoenix is 0-7 on the road this season. So it's not too much to ask of the Bulls to just win this game. Chicago should produce a strong effort having been idle the past three days. The Bulls have covered 10 of the last 14 times when playing on three or more days rest. The Suns have some young talent, but they don't produce victories. They are 3-13 on the season and have dropped six of their last seven games. Zach LaVine is Chicago's best player. He's expected to return to the lineup after missing the Bulls' last game due to illness. LaVine should be able to take advantage of a Phoenix defense that ranks 29th in field goal percentage.
|11-20-18||Nets v. Heat -3||Top||104-92||Loss||-109||19 h 45 m||Show|
I don't understand this line. Miami should have opened a much higher home favorite. True the Heat aren't playing well. They are a disappointing 6-10 and have lost five of their last six. But the Nets are 7-10 and have lost four of their last five. Brooklyn just recently lost its best player, Caris LeVert. The teams met just six days ago in Brooklyn. The Heat were a two-point road favorite. Now they open only a three-point home favorite. The Heat won that game,. 120-107. Miami is a frustrated team capable of much better. The Heat have the two best players on the court, Josh Richardson and Hassan Whiteside. The Nets aren't capable of better. They are not a playoff caliber team. They aren't playing defense either giving up 120 or more points in three of their last four games.
|11-19-18||Celtics -125 v. Hornets||Top||112-117||Loss||-125||19 h 31 m||Show|
When they set their mind to it, the Celtics can beat any team in the Eastern Conference. They proved that defeating the Raptors, 123-116, this past Friday. But the Celtics were caught flat on Saturday losing 98-86 to the Jazz at home. Brad Stevens wasn't happy with the effort questioning his team's grit. Now, having been idle on Sunday, I see the Celtics getting up to play the Hornets. The Hornets are just an average Eastern Conference team, one that has fallen short of making the playoffs. Boston has far more depth. The question is motivation. The Celtics should have it. They certainly own the talent edge. Boston has dominated the Hornets, too, beating them the past seven times while going 6-0-1 ATS. The Celtics swept three games from the Hornets last season holding them to an average of 94.7 points.
|11-18-18||Blazers -117 v. Wizards||119-109||Win||100||6 h 14 m||Show|
The Trail Blazers have revenge for 125-124 overtime home loss to the Wizards last month. Portland is the superior team and will be up for this matchup not just for the revenge angle but also having lost two in a row. Portland has reached triple digits in all but one of their first 15 games. The Trail Blazers have the backcourt scoring to take advantage of the Wizards' 29th-ranked defense. Damian Lillard trumps John Wall. Aside from their upset win of the Trail Blazers, the Wizards haven't defeated any foe of distinction. Their victories have been against the Knicks, Heat, Magic and Cavaliers.
|11-17-18||Jazz v. Celtics UNDER 208.5||98-86||Win||100||10 h 43 m||Show|
The Celtics got past Toronto, 123-116 in overtime, last night. The Celtics should not be in a letdown mode facing the Jazz, who beat them 123-115 eight days ago in Salt Lake City. Boston will look to clamp down defensively. The Jazz shot an unsustaniable 55.8 percent from the field in that victory. The Celtics did not defend well in that game. Boston also won't be looking to play up-tempo in the second of back-to-back games. The Jazz only scored 68 points in a road game two games ago against the Mavericks. Utah's offense needs Donovan Mitchell to have big performances. Mitchell, though, is in a slump shooting just 33.3 percent in his last four games while committing 12 turnovers.
The Celtics rank No. 1 in 3-point defense and third overall in points given up. Look for a complete reversal from the heavy scoring that was done in the first matchup as the Jazz have to rely on their top-10 defense to hang in.
|11-16-18||Bulls +14.5 v. Bucks||104-123||Loss||-102||10 h 8 m||Show|
You might be interested to know that the highest-scoring player on the court in this game belongs to the Bulls in Zach LaVine. But that's not why I like the Bulls to cover this game. This is a rare nationally televised appearance for the Bulls. They are coming off an embarrassing 111-82 road loss to the Celtics on Wednesday. Chicago gets up for this division rivalry moreso than the Bucks do. So I envision a focused and big effort coming from the Bulls. The Bulls have covered in four of their last five visits to Milwaukee, including the past three. Before the Boston massacre, the Bulls were playing solid defense holding four of their past five foes to 103 points or fewer.
|11-15-18||Spurs +5.5 v. Clippers||111-116||Win||100||22 h 2 m||Show|
Perhaps it's a leap of faith, but I see the Spurs showing up in a big way. San Antonio is in full circle the wagons mode having lost four of its last five games. The Spurs were just embarrassed on the road Wednesday getting blown out by the Suns, 116-96. Good teams beat the Suns by 20 points not the other way around. I don't see Gregg Popovich letting his team get humiliated a second straight night especially with this game being televised nationally on TNT. There is no valid excuse for any team losing by 20 points to the Suns - and that includes the Washington Generals. But the Spurs did rest Rudy Gay and Pau Gasol was out. It's a plus if Gasol is able to play. I will take LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan and Gay against the Clippers' top three players. The Clippers are fat and happy by contrast compared to the Spurs. LA is off overtime victories against the Bucks and Warriors. The Clippers have played their past four games without their two best defenders, Avery Bradley and Luc Mbah a Moute. During this span, the Clippers rank 22nd in points given up per 100 possessions. Before those two injuries, the Clippers were fifth in that important defensive category. There's a due factor waiting to kick in against the Clippers - and I say it comes here.
|11-14-18||Heat -124 v. Nets||Top||120-107||Win||100||17 h 60 m||Show|
It should not be too much to ask of Miami to beat Brooklyn especially with the Nets now without Caris LeVert, who is their scoring and steals leader. The Nets have to be in a shocked and down mood after LeVert suffered a gruesome foot injury in the Nets' last game two days ago. The Heat have the three best players on the court in Hassan Whiteside, Josh Richardson and Goran Dragic. Miami isn't going to lack motivation taking to the road after suffering their third consecutive loss - all at home. The Nets have failed to cover in 12 of their last 17 home games. They also are 4-10-1 ATS in their past 15 matchups against the Heat.
|11-13-18||Hornets v. Cavs +8.5||89-113||Win||100||7 h 19 m||Show|
It seems almost unfair given how bad they are without LeBron James. But the Cavaliers have been one of the hardest hit team by injuries so far this NBA season. Still, I expect the Cavaliers to give an all-out effort here and keep this game close. Cleveland was embarrassed by Charlotte, 126-94, just 10 days ago. That was at Charlotte. Now the Cavaliers get quick revenge. They have beaten the Hornets the past seven times at home although that was with James. Still, it could be a mental barrier against the Hornets. Charlotte is in action for the third time in five days. The Hornets lost in overtime to the 76ers and then beat the Pistons, 113-103, as 2 1/2-point road chalk. I see this as a flat spot for the Hornets, who while certainly a level higher than Cleveland, are not the type of dominant team that can cover huge spreads on the road. The Cavaliers have veterans. They are not happy with only one win this season. Cleveland has played better of late. Since getting blown out by Charlotte, Cleveland lost by two points on the road to Orlando and by one point on the road to the Bulls in their last game this past Saturday.