|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|03-25-19||Suns +14.5 v. Jazz||92-125||Loss||-103||13 h 1 m||Show|
This isn't a kill spot for the Jazz. It's actually a flat spot for Utah. The Jazz haven't played at home in nine days. They've been on the road during their past four games and are coming off a 31-point road win against the Bulls from Saturday night. It's going to be easy for the Jazz to overlook the Suns, who have multiple injuries and haven't been competitive versus Utah this season. The Jazz just rolled past the Suns, 114-97, at Phoenix on March 13. The Jazz, however, are 2-4 ATS in their last six home games. The Suns have covered their past six road games and are 9-4 ATS during their last 13 overall games.
|03-24-19||Spurs v. Celtics UNDER 220||115-96||Win||100||17 h 27 m||Show|
San Antonio has been one of the top defensive teams since the All-Star break. The Spurs have held nine of their past 12 opponents to 105 or fewer points. The Under is 10-2 in San Antonio's last 12 games.
The Spurs, though, are in stop-the-pain mode having dropped two in a row. Boston is in worse shape. The Celtics have dropped three in a row with the third one coming in unbelievable fashion on Saturday night. The Celtics blew an 18-point fourth quarter lead in a 124-117 road loss to Charlotte. The Celtics scored five points during the final 8:21. Brad Stevens called out his team's lack of toughness following that Boston loss. The Celtics return home now for this matchup. You have to believe the Celtics are going to play intense defense. Boston could get back injured center Aron Baynes. That would be a plus for the Under as Baynes offers toughness underneath but little offense. There's a possibility, too, Boston could be minus Jayson Tatum, its second-leading scorer. Tatum suffered a bruised lower back against the Hornets.
|03-23-19||Suns v. Kings UNDER 231.5||Top||103-112||Win||100||12 h 35 m||Show|
We know neither the Suns nor the Kings are strong defensively. Of course the oddsmaker is well aware of that, too, hence the hight total here. But lately both of these teams have been going Under the total a lot. The Under has cashed in five of Phoenix's past six games. The Kings have gone Under in 12 of their last 17 home games. There are reasons for this. The Suns have scored 102 or fewer points in four of their last five games. This can be accounted for their many injuries. The Suns are minus T.J. Warren, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Tyler Johnson. Josh Jackson isn't likely to play either after suffering an ankle injury in the Suns' last game. Without those players, the Suns lose their No. 2., No. 3, No. 5 and No. 6 scorers. The situation is so dire for the Suns they signed Jimmer Fredette. I'd love to have Fredette on my rec league team. But as for the NBA, well no. Fredette is not NBA quality. Sacramento has played two lottery teams during its last three games - the Mavericks and Bulls. They held Dallas to 100 points and Chicago to 102 points.
|03-22-19||Clippers -6.5 v. Cavs||110-108||Loss||-108||8 h 24 m||Show|
Break up the Cavaliers? I don't think so. Cleveland has won two in row beating the Bucks and Pistons. Milwaukee was minus Giannis Antetokounmpo and Detroit didn't have Blake Griffin when Cleveland posted those victories.The Clippers are at full strength and going for playoff seeding. LA should be fully focused having been idle the past two days and realizing the Cavaliers have won two straight. Collin Sexton is having a strong rookie season, but Cleveland doesn't offer much else. Kevin Love, the Cavaliers' best frontcourt player, may not play due to a concussion. The Clippers average 10 points more per game than the Cavaliers. Cleveland has had problems matching up when taking on opponents from the superior Western Conference going 0-8 SU, 1-7 ATS the past eight times.
|03-20-19||Wizards -2 v. Bulls||Top||120-126||Loss||-113||18 h 9 m||Show|
The youthful Bulls may not be fully focused for this home matchup as they just concluded three games on the West Coast with a 116-101 win against the Suns on Monday. Motivation shouldn't be a problem for the Wizards. They are in must-win mode trailing the Heat by 4 1/2 games for the final playoff spot in the East. The Wizards are a respectable 8-10 since trading Otto Porter to the Bulls for Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis. Porter has done well with the Bulls, but sat out Chicago's victory against Phoenix with a sore shoulder. Zach LaVine, the Bulls' best player, has been gutting things out with a thigh and knee injury. There are no guarantees Porter and LaVine play against the Wizards. Washington handled the Bulls, 134-125, at Chicago last month. The Wizards have covered seven of the past eight times when meeting a sub .500 opponent.
|03-20-19||Rockets v. Grizzlies +4||125-126||Win||100||18 h 7 m||Show|
Great spot for the Grizzlies here. Memphis is playing well at home covering nine of its last 11 at FedEx Forum and draw the Rockets carrying a heavy rating and in a look-ahead spot. This marks the Rockets' fourth game in six days and second in two days. Houston took care of Atlanta, 121-105, as 7 1/2-point road favorites on Tuesday. Following this game, the Rockets host the Spurs on Friday. Houston leads San Antonio by three games in the Southwest Division. A loss to the Spurs in that matchup obviously would tighten up the division. Houston already is holding out Eric Gordon against the Grizzlies for rest purposes. Perhaps the Rockets might even sit James Harden and Chris Paul, too. Unlike the Rockets, the Grizzlies are fully rested. They have been idle the past three days. Memphis hasn't lost by more than six points at home during the past 11 times.
|03-19-19||76ers v. Hornets +1||118-114||Loss||-105||15 h 21 m||Show|
This may be Charlotte's game of the year. The Hornets are two games out of the final playoff spot in the East and have triple revenge against the 76ers, losing three times to them this season by an average of only two points per game. The Hornets play much better at home with a 21-14 mark compared to 10-24 on the road. The 76ers have covered just 42 percent of their road games this season going 14-19. Philly is in a sandwich spot, too. The 76ers just upset the Bucks on the road in a nationally televised game this past Sunday and host the Celtics on Wednesday. So it's easy for the youthful 76ers to look past the Hornets. The 76ers already have said they will sit out Joel Embiid in order to rest him for the Celtics. Philly has failed to cover five of the past six times when meeting a below .500 opponent.
|03-18-19||Pistons v. Cavs +7||119-126||Win||100||7 h 15 m||Show|
Great win by the Pistons on Sunday against the Raptors. However, Detroit doesn't have much time to savor its victory. The Pistons begin a five-game road trip here. So not only is a letdown possible, but Detroit's concentration and focus may off, too. The Cavaliers should not lack for motivation as this is a triple-revenge spot for them. Just 16 days ago, the Pistons easily handled the Cavaliers, 129-93. That victory was achieved on the Cavaliers' home floor. Cleveland didn't have Kevin Love in that embarrassing loss. The key question is are the Cavaliers good enough to cover this mid-size spread? Detroit is clearly a tier higher than Cleveland. But the Pistons are far from elite. They have stumbled, too, when playing in Clevland covering just once in their last six trips. The Cavaliers are 7-4-1 ATS in their last 12 games. They are 2-0 during their last two home games beating the Magic by 14 points and Raptors by 25 points.
|03-17-19||Nets +6.5 v. Clippers||116-119||Win||100||9 h 13 m||Show|
The Nets are in stop-the-pain mode being 0-2 on their seven-game road trip with losses to the Thunder and Jazz. That used to not mean anything. It does now because the Nets aren't a bottom feeder anymore. They are a legitimate playoff team entering today just one-half game behind the Pistons for the sixth seed in the East.The Clippers are a level below the Thunder and Jazz. They don't have the stars Oklahoma City and Utah has. Brooklyn is not outclassed here. I would give the Nets an advantage in the backcourt with their trio of D'Angelo Rusell, Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert. The Nets should have beaten the Clippers in the first meeting this season. They blew a 15-point lead in a 127-119 home loss. I'm not fond of the Nets as chalk, but I lke them as 'dogs because they are well-coached and can usually be counted on to play hard. They have covered six of their last eight road contests versus opponents with a winning home record.
|03-16-19||Suns v. Pelicans -2.5||138-136||Loss||-107||6 h 29 m||Show|
It's smaller, but there is still a gap between these two teams. New Orleans is better and at home. So this spread is short. Anthony Davis is expected to play He's backed by Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton, a pair of underrated players who are playing at high levels. On the flip side, Suns star rookie center Deandre Ayton could be hitting the wall. He scored a career-low two points on 1-for-9 shooting against the Jazz two games ago. The Suns are playing without rest having lost to the Rockets, 108-102, on the road. New Orleans is 2-0 versus Phoenix this season winning 119-99 at home on Nov. 10 and 130-116 on the road March 1. The Suns have failed to cover in their last six games against the Pelicans.
|03-15-19||Knicks +13.5 v. Spurs||83-109||Loss||-109||12 h 34 m||Show|
Believe it or not, the Knicks buried the Spurs, 130-118, when the teams met at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 24. So the Knicks are capable. I fully realize, though, the Spurs are playing much better now and the Knicks rank at the lowest level. But I'm going to take advantage of what I perceived as an inflated line. New York has lost by more than 11 points once in its last 11 games and only once in their last 24 games have the Spurs won by more than 12 points and that was by 14 points. The Spurs are too savvy to go all out here knowing they host the Trail Blazers on Saturday and Warriors on Monday. That's two big look-ahead challenges. It wouldn't be shocking if Gregg Popovich rested a key starter here, or reduced the minutes of his starters.
|03-15-19||Lakers +11.5 v. Pistons||97-111||Loss||-110||8 h 38 m||Show|
The Pistons can't be laying double-digits. Not after back-to-back scoring games of 74 and 75 points. Reggie Jackson is questionable, too, with an ankle injury. The Lakers are going to show some pride with LeBron James playing. The Lakers also have several former Pistons and players from the Detroit area, who will be motivated for this game. LA handled the Pistons when the teams met earlier, 113-100, on Jan. 9. Kyle Kuzma scored 41 points in that game and did a good job defensively on Blake Griffin.
|03-14-19||Thunder v. Pacers UNDER 222||Top||106-108||Win||100||17 h 7 m||Show|
Indiana is the No. 1 ranked defensive team in the NBA permitting just 103.9 points a game. The Pacers have held six of their past 10 home foes to fewer than 99 points. One of those 10 opponents was the Bucks, who rank No. 2 in the league in scoring. The Pacers held Milwaukee to 106 points, 11 points under its average. Oklahoma City has held its last two opponents, the Nets and Jazz, to a combined average of 93 points. The Thunder has gone Under in seven of its last nine games. Don't expect Russell Westbrook and the Thunder to play at breakneck speed either as this is Oklahoma City's third game in four days and second in two nights. There is more intensity than normal for a nonconference matchup because of Paul George, who starred for the Pacers for seven seasons before getting traded to the Thunder in 2017. George was jeered loudly when he played at Indiana against the Pacers last season. Indiana won that matchup, 100-95. George hasn't been shooting well either since returning from a right shoulder injury. George has made just 34.4 percent of his field goal attempts in his last five games.
|03-13-19||Jazz -7.5 v. Suns||Top||114-97||Win||100||13 h 50 m||Show|
It happened on Sunday, but the Suns still could be celebrating their stunning 115-111 upset win of the Warriors. Phoenix was 17-point road 'dogs. It was the first time the Suns had defeated the Warriors in 19 games having lost 18 in a row to them. The Jazz have won the past four meetings against the Suns by an average of 24.4 points. They whipped Phoenix, 116-88, as 15-point home favories in the previous meeting on Feb. 6. But no way now do the Jazz take the Suns lightly. Utah is in stop-the-pain mode have losting three of four, including two in a row. Utah's defense has been there. But the Jazz's shooting has been off. They hit just 36.4 percent against the Thunder at home on Monday in losing, 98-89. That was the fewest points the Thunder had scored in 27 games. Unfortunately for the Jazz too many of their normally reliable scorers were cold in that game. Donovan Mitchell, who is approaching superstar status, Jae Crowder and Joe Ingles were a combined 15-for46 from the floor in that loss to Oklahoma City. Expect the Jazz to shoot much better against a Phoenix defense that ranks 28th. The Suns have yielded 116 or more points in 18 of its last 22 games. The Jazz are 15-5-1 ATS the past 21 times following a loss and have played better on the road lately covering four of their last five away matchups.
|03-13-19||Pistons v. Heat -120||74-108||Win||100||10 h 19 m||Show|
Both teams are coming off bad losses. The Heat were routed at home, 125-104, by the Raptors this past Sunday. The Raptors, at least, are one of the elite teams in the East. The Pistons had their bubble burst losing, 103-75, on the road to the Nets Monday. The Pistons shot a season-worst 27.8 percent from the floor. I see the Heat bouncing back at home in this matchup. Not so for the Pistons. Detroit only has two reliable scorers, Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. The Pistons are facing the No. 3 ranked defense and carry a fatigue factor being in action for the third time in four days. The Heat can't afford home losses to mediocre Eastern Conference foes in their quest to make the postseason. Miami had won four in a row until falling to the Raptors. The Heat haven't played since that Sunday loss. I expect them to have a lot of energy and for Erik Spoelstra to have a solid defensive game plan.
|03-12-19||Blazers -2.5 v. Clippers||Top||125-104||Win||100||20 h 43 m||Show|
There are reasons why Portland opened a road favorite against the Clippers. The Trail Blazers are the superior team holding a huge starting backcourt edge with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum and also have the best big man in Jusuf Nurkic. It's a strong spot, too, for Portland. The Trail Blazers last played on Saturday while the Clippers are in action for the third time in five days and are playing without rest. LA is in danger of letting down after consecutive impressive home victories versus the Thunder and Celtics. The Trail Blazers have been sharp on the road covering in six of their last seven away contests. Portland also is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings versus the Clippers, while covering in their last four visits against the Clippers.
|03-11-19||Thunder v. Jazz -3||98-89||Loss||-110||20 h 22 m||Show|
Want to know the coldest NBA team from a point spread perspective? Hint, it's not the Knicks. Congrats if you came up with Oklahoma City. The Thunder have covered just once in their last 10 games - and that one was in overtime. Now the Thunder enter their sixth straight different venue to take on the revenge-minded Jazz, who lost a wild 148-147 two-overtime game to Oklahoma City on Feb. 22 when Paul George hit a game-winner with less than a second left. The Jazz trail the Thunder by 2 1/2 games for the No. 4 playoff spot in the West. Utah has the superior defense and has the best inside player of the two teams with Rudy Gobert. Russell Westbrook and George are superstars, but Donovan Mitchell is rapidly reaching that elevated level. He is outscoring Westbrook on the season. The Jazz got caught peeking ahead to this matchup falling, 114-104, to Memphis as a 4 1/2-point road favorite on Friday. Look for Utah to be ready for this key home matchup. The Jazz have covered 76 percent of the past 22 times the following game after not covering in their previous game.
|03-10-19||Raptors -113 v. Heat||125-104||Win||100||4 h 57 m||Show|
Miami finally has gotten healthy, is home and riding a four-game win streak. So because of that we have around a pick'em game. That puts me into play backing the Raptors, a much superior team. Toronto hasn't been good as chalk, but it's certainly not too much to ask the Raptors just to win. Miami's four game win streak is against the the Nets, Hawks, Hornets and Cavaliers. Only the Nets have a winning record of those four teams at 35-33. The Raptors got their confidence back up by rolling past the Pelicans, 127-104, on Friday after a road overtime loss to the hot Pistons and a home loss to the elite Rockets. A significant development in that win against the Pelicans was newcomer Jeremy Lin producing 14 points for the Raptors. Toronto has fortified its rotation picking up Marc Gasol and Linn in recent moves. The Heat have played better on the road than at home where they are 15-18 SU, 14-19 ATS at American Airlines Arena. The Heat have failed to cover in seven of their last 10 home games.
|03-09-19||Suns v. Blazers -12.5||120-127||Loss||-102||20 h 43 m||Show|
Break up the Suns. Phoenix has won three in a row. That doesn't change the fact the Suns own the worst record in the Western Conference at 15-51 and would like to land the No. 1 overall draft pick for the second year in a row. Closer inspection shows the Suns' three-game win streak occurred at home with two of the victims being the free-falling Lakers and Knicks, owners of the worst record in the NBA at 13-52. The Suns did stun the Bucks, which has caught the Trail Blazers' attention and should prevent them from taking the Suns lightly. The Suns have lost 13 of their last 14 road games, going 5-9 ATS in these contests. Portland has defeated Phoenix seven times in a row with the last coming, 120-106, as 8 1/2-point road favorites on Jan. 24. So I consider this line fair and I love the spot for Portland. The Trail Blazers are off a 129-121 home overtime loss to the Thunder on Thursday. That was Portland's first home game since Feb. 13. The Trail Blazers had played seven consecutive road games. Now they are settled back at home where they have covered 69 percent of their past 55 games. The Trail Blazers don't play again until Tuesday when they begin a three-game road trip. So expect the Trail Blazers to be motivated for a kill spot win here with zero chance of overlooking the Suns based on the situation and Phoenix riding a three-game win streak.
|03-08-19||Thunder v. Clippers -120||Top||110-118||Win||100||20 h 53 m||Show|
This is the monster of all situational edges. The Clippers last played on Monday. They are going for a playoff spot and are rested and ready.
The Thunder are playing for the fifth time in seven days and just had to play a late night overtime road game against the Trail Blazers on Thursday in which they won. Until beating Portland, the Thunder had failed to cover in their last eight games.
|03-08-19||Nuggets v. Warriors -6||105-122||Win||100||13 h 58 m||Show|
When the Warriors are at full strength and really want a game, no opponent can beat them. That's the way I see this matchup. Klay Thompson is back for Golden State after missing the past two games with a sore knee. Golden State is home, has been idle since Tuesday and its next game is against the Suns at home on Sunday, which should be an easy victory. So the Warriors should be fully focused. The Warriors lead the Nuggets by only one game for the No. 1 seed in the West. Golden State also has had two full days to stew about its last game, an embarrassing 33-point home loss to the Celtics. Denver is for real this season. However, the Nuggets do not play that well on the road. They are 16-15 SU, 13-18 ATS on the season in away games. They are 4-7 ATS during their last 11 away matchups with straight-up losses to the Suns and Nets during this span.
|03-07-19||Thunder v. Blazers UNDER 233||129-121||Loss||-106||13 h 21 m||Show|
Expect the Thunder to play better defense after they surrendered 131 points to the Timberwolves in their last game two days ago. Paul George is back for Oklahoma City. That is a double-edge sword for the total as George is strong on both ends of the court. He still could be rusty, though, after shooting just 8-of-25 versus Minnesota in his first game back from a three-game absence caused by a shoulder injury. The Thunder have gone Under the past five times when giving up triple digits in their past game. Portland is home for the first time since finishing a seven-game road trip with an embarrassing 120-111 loss to the Grizzlies on Tuesday. The Trail Blazers' intensity should be up, too, especially with triple revenge motivation. The Under has cashed in four the past five meetings between the two teams.
|03-06-19||Jazz -4 v. Pelicans||114-104||Win||100||17 h 15 m||Show|
Short revenge situations don't happen too often in the NBA. They are even more rare when the better team gets upset at home by blowing a huge lead. But that's what occurred to the Jazz this past Monday. They blew a 17-point lead and fell, 115-112, to New Orleans. Now Utah gets a rematch with New Orleans just two days later. Expect a much different result. The Jazz are 16-4-1 ATS in their last 21 games after losing their previous game. They are playing for playoff seeding. The Pelicans are playing for the future. They are returning home fat and happy after four consecutive road games, having won the last three. Donovan Mitchell is reaching superstar status. He had an off-game against the Pelicans missing 16 of 24 shots from the floor and committing six turnovers. He has scored 20 or more points in 23 of his last 25 games. Rudy Gobert is the dominant big man with Anthony Davis playing less than half the game these days. Gobert had 19 points and 19 rebounds in the loss to the Pelicans. Davis played just 22 minutes. The Jazz have dominated the Pelicans in New Orleans going 9-1-1 ATS the last 11 times, including winning the past five times.
|03-05-19||Thunder +2.5 v. Wolves||120-131||Loss||-110||8 h 8 m||Show|
It's a huge plus if Paul George can play for Oklahoma City. He has missed the past three games due to shouder soreness. But I like the Thunder as a 'dog even if George doesn't play. The Thunder still are the better team and have double revenge for a pair of close losses to the Timberwolves. Oklahoma City got out of its funk - a four-game losing streak - by coming from 13 points down to beat the Grizzlies, 99-95, at home. The Thunder have three tough road games following this game - Trail Blazers, Clippers and Jazz. So focus shouldn't be an issue. Minnesota has dropped three in a row. I'm far from sold on Timberwolves interim coach Ryan Saunders.
|03-04-19||Hawks v. Heat -8||113-114||Loss||-110||9 h 8 m||Show|
The Hawks are headed to the lottery. So there aren't many letdown spots for them. This is one of those rare situations. The Hawks lost to the Bulls in a crazy four overtime game on Friday. Atlanta got its revenge on Sunday defeating the Bulls, 123-118, in Chicago. It was a chippy game with a lot of intensity. Atlanta achieved that victory without its leading scorer and rebounder, John Collins. He is ill and not expected to play today. The Hawks also are down two other big men with center Miles Plumlee out with a knee injury and power forward Omari Spellman sidelined with an ankle injury. The Hawks are 2-7 ATS following a victory. They also are 2-8 ATS when playing without rest. Both of those angles are at work here. The key, though, is trusting the Heat. Miami has been disappointing this season. Right now the Heat are outside of a playoff spot. The Heat have not played well at home. So can they be trusted? I believe they can for this matchup. The Heat are coming off a 117-88 home victory against the Nets from Saturday. That was Miami's most lopsided victory of the season and should provide some confidence. The Heat have added incentive, too, being in triple revenge mode against the Hawks. Yep, the Hawks are 3-0 versus the Heat this season. If Miami fails to make the postseason it could point to its multiple losses to the lowly Hawks, who have the fifth-worst record in the NBA at 22-42. I'm not expecting Goran Dragic to play. There is a possibility Hassan Whiteside returns to Miami's lineup. Both are game-time decisions. I'm fine laying points if neither plays. The Heat didn't need them when they destroyed the Nets by 29 points. Power forward Kelly Olynyk stepped up scoring 25 points versus the Nets and Bam Adebayo is an underrated backup center.
|03-03-19||Magic -6.5 v. Cavs||93-107||Loss||-100||8 h 33 m||Show|
Often it's not who you play, but when you play them. That's the case in this matchup. Orlando upset Golden State on Thursday and then came back to knock off the Pacers on the road Saturday night. Those victories moved the Magic into a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. This is really heady stuff for Orlando. The Magic have another big game on Tuesday facing the 76ers on the road. But first comes this away matchup versus the lowly Cavaliers. I don't see this being an easy game for Orlando, which is in a major letdown spot. The Cavaliers has a winning record in its last seven games sparked by the return of Kevin Love. Cleveland rested Love on Saturday and were embarrassed at home, 129-93, by the Pistons. Love is slated to play here and the Cavaliers won't lack motivation after laying an egg at home last night. The Cavaliers are 5-1 ATS following a non-cover and have covered 10 of the past 15 times when playing without rest. The first meeting between the teams was very close with the Magic coming from five points down in the final 40 seconds to pull out a 102-100 home win back in November. Evan Fournier hit a jumper at the buzzer to win the game.
|03-02-19||Bucks v. Jazz -3.5||111-115||Win||100||10 h 16 m||Show|
Surprised by this line considering the Bucks have won seven in a row and 19 of their last 21? Don't be. This is the mother of bad spots for Milwaukee. The Bucks are coming off a Friday night victory against the Lakers in which they had to rally late to win in a game that was far closer than the 131-120 final indicates. This marks Milwaukee's fourth road game in six days and this one is in high altiutde. The Bucks have a horrible history, too, playing at Salt Lake City. They are 1-4 ATS the past five times they've visited and haven't won there since John Stockton and Karl Malone roamed the court. Utah is playing well, too. The Jazz are 17-6 in their last 23 games and have won three in a row, including defeating the Nuggets, 111-104, on the road Thursday.
|03-02-19||Warriors -5 v. 76ers||120-117||Loss||-103||7 h 45 m||Show|
Enough is enough. The Warriors aren't going to lose three in a row after getting upset by the Magic and Heat.The 76ers are not in the Warriors' class. They aren't close to their level without Joel Embiid, who remains out. The 76ers also will be without their other rim protector with center Boban Marjanovic out, too. Golden State is in stop-the-pain mode and also has revenge for a home loss suffered to the Warriors. The Warriors will be missing Klay Thompson, but get Andre Iguodala back in the lineup.
|03-01-19||Blazers v. Raptors -5||Top||117-119||Loss||-109||19 h 23 m||Show|
Kudos to Portland on a great road trip - so far. The Trail Blazers are 4-0 on their road swing following a 99-92 victory against the struggling Celtics on Wednesday.So you can't blame the Trail Blazers if they feel fat and happy right now. Now, though, Portland draws Toronto. The Raptors went 8-1 in February concluding the month with an impressive 118-95 home blowout victory against the Celtics on Tuesday. Toronto is 26-6 at home. The Raptors draw the Trail Blazers playing in their fifth road game in nine days. So the Trail Blazers have a fatigue factor working against them, which isn't helped by swingman Evan Turner and center Enes Kanter not available to play. Portland has lost in its last three visits to Toronto going 1-2 ATS with its losing margin being 11 points. The Raptors have added motivation for this nonconference matchup. They lost 128-122 to Portland on Dec. 14. Point guard Kyle Lowery missed that game.
|02-28-19||Jazz v. Nuggets -6||111-104||Loss||-109||21 h 34 m||Show|
Denver owns the best home record in the NBA at 27-4. The Nuggets have covered 71 percent of those games, too, going 22-9 ATS at Pepsi Center. Next up for Denver is Utah, a team it has dominated at home. The Nuggets are 5-0 SU and ATS the past five times hosting the Jazz, including whipping them, 103-88, at Pepsi Center this season. The Jazz are weak on the road at 14-16. The Nuggets have a strong frontcourt with Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap. Their backcourt is solid with lots of depth due to the return of Gary Harris and Isaiah Thomas. The Nuggets have more scoring weapons and their defense has improved enough to be on par with Utah's. Each team gives up 106 points a game. The Jazz have to play a second straight night in high altitude while the Nuggets were idle Wednesday.
|02-27-19||Pacers -110 v. Mavs||101-110||Loss||-110||18 h 3 m||Show|
Indiana is 19 games above .500. Dallas is a bottom feeder now after trading away four of its five best players. The Mavericks are 0-5 SU and ATS in their last five games, losing all of those matchups by nine or more points. So I find this number very cheap. The Pacers don't have their leading scorer, Victor Oladipo. But they have proven they can win without him going 8-2 in their last 10 games. Myles Turner has returned from a hip injury. He should be less rusty since this will be his second game back. The Pacers also have had recently acquired Wesley Matthews for the past five games. Matthews is averaging 17.3 points in his last three games. Matthews was one of the Mavericks' five best players this season until getting dealt. He knows Dallas well having been with the Mavericks for the previous four seasons. The Pacers are coming off a frustrating four-point road loss against the Pistons. Indiana has covered 67 percent of the time following a loss during the past 52 instances. The Pacers also have defeated the Mavericks in six of the past nine meetings, including 111-95 as 7 1/2-point home favorites on Jan. 19.
|02-27-19||Bulls v. Grizzlies -3||109-107||Loss||-109||18 h 32 m||Show|
Even in a down season such as this one the Grizzlies have two things going for them: Strong defense and a noticeable home-court advantage. The Grizzlies give up the second-fewest points in the NBA. They also have covered in six of their last seven games at FedEx Forum. Memphis has plenty of motivation for this matchup. The Bulls defeated the Grizzlies, 122-110, in Chicago two weeks ago in the final game before the All-Star break. Otto Porter was huge for Chicago in that win scoring a career-high 37 points. Porter is questionable for this game because of a leg injury. The Bulls also could be minus point guard Kris Dunn due to a migraine. Both players missed the Bulls' last game. Mike Conley didn't play well against the Bulls. He's having a strong season, though, and has been hot scoring 25 or more points in five of his last nine games. Conley gives the Grizzlies a key backcourt edge especially if Dunn is out. The Grizzlies have an underrated frontcourt with recently acquired Jonas Valanciunas and former Bull Joakim Noah, who has produced three consecutive double-doubles, averaging 17.3 points and 10 rebounds in those games. Noah should be psyched to meet his former team. The Grizzlies give up seven fewer points per game than the Bulls. They are home. Have a backcourt edge and short revenge motivation.
|02-26-19||Magic -6.5 v. Knicks||Top||103-108||Loss||-110||18 h 26 m||Show|
The Knicks pleased Spike Lee by upsetting the Spurs on Sunday halting an 18-game home losing streak. But they didn't necessarily please New York management, which is angling for their team to get the No. 1 overall draft pick. I question the Knicks' motivation especially after putting a stop to the worst home losing streak in franchise history. New York has failed to cover the past five times after covering a spread. The Knicks also are 1-8 ATS the last nine times when playing on one day's rest. Orlando usually is in tank mode, too, at this stage of the season. Not this year, though. They are just one-half game behind Charlotte for the final playoff spot in the East. The Magic have achieved this by winning their past five road matchups, including knocking off the Raptors, 113-98, this past Sunday. That pushed the Magic's record to 8-2 in their last 10 games. Unlike the Knicks, the Magic are 7-0 ATS when playing on one day's rest. They have covered five of the last six times against the Knicks, including burying them by 26 points during their last visit to Madison Square Garden on Nov. 11. It's an added plus for the Magic if Knicks center DeAndre Jordan has to miss another game with an ankle injury.
|02-25-19||Mavs v. Clippers -3.5||112-121||Win||100||6 h 58 m||Show|
I want the Clippers going for me here and the price is right to back them. LA is off a 123-96 road loss to the Nuggets on Sunday. Dallas has become a bottom feeder after dealing four of its five best players at the trade deadline. That signalled the Mavericks clear intent to play for next season. The Mavericks are 0-4 in their last four games with all the losses coming by double-digits. Luka Doncic is back in action for Dallas after missing the past two games with a sore ankle. Doncic could be rusty, though.
|02-25-19||76ers +1.5 v. Pelicans||Top||111-110||Win||100||22 h 17 m||Show|
No Joel Embiid and Anthony Davis probably plays. Know this going in. But don't be intimidated by it. The 76ers have had several games to adjust to Embiid's absence. They still have other stars - Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons - and won't lack for motivation coming off a 130-115 embarrassing home loss to Portland on Saturday. Philadelphia is 4-1 ATS the past five times coming off a defeat. The Pelicans are not going to make the playoffs. Davis wants out, the team ranks 27th defensively, morale is shot and they don't have much of a home-court advantage anymore. New Orleans is a little fat and happy, too, off a 128-115 home win against the Lakers on Saturday in which Davis didn't play. Even when Davis suits up he doesn't play many minutes anymore because of his trade request issued last month. The Pelicans know Davis won't be with them next season so they don't use him that much. The Pelicans are 3-12-1 ATS following a victory. They are just 3-5 SU, 4-4 ATS in their past eight home contests even with that victory against the Lakers. The 76ers have become more respectable on the road winning and covering four of their last six away matchups. This includes a nine-point victory against Golden State.
|02-25-19||Spurs +2 v. Nets||85-101||Loss||-113||9 h 20 m||Show|
I see the Spurs bouncing back on the final game of their hellish Rodeo road trip after am embarrassing 130-118 loss to the Knicks Sunday. Fatigue isn't a problem for the Spurs following the long All-Star break and they get Derrick White back for this game to help the point guard situation. The Nets are trying to work in Caris LeVert and D'Angelo Russell back together. They are not in sync yet. The Nets are trying to work in Caris LeVert and D'Angelo Russell back together. They are not in sync yet. The Nets are minus 11 in their first two games that Russell and LeVert have been on the court together since LeVert returned from injury.The Spurs have won the last seven meetings in the series and are 15-3 ATS in their last 18 visits to Brooklyn.
|02-25-19||Pacers +3 v. Pistons||109-113||Loss||-112||21 h 28 m||Show|
I am often attracted to the better team getting points. That's the case here. Indiana is 8-1 in its last nine games. The Pacers surrender nearly five fewer points per game than the Pistons. Indiana has covered in eight of its last 11 games versus Detroit, including smashing the Pistons, 125-88, in its first meeting this season on Dec. 28.Detroit is playing well, too. The Pistons are 6-1 in their last seven games. This spurt has elevated them into a playoff spot right now. So they actually could have a letdown after burying the Heat, 119-96, on the road Saturday. Among the Pistons' past six wins were two victories against the Knicks, one versus the Hawks and one against Miami. The Pistons don't step up well. They are 3-9-1 ATS the past 13 instances when facing above .500 opponents.
|02-24-19||Magic +9.5 v. Raptors||Top||113-98||Win||100||13 h 20 m||Show|
Unlike the past few years, the Magic come out of All-Star break very live to make the playoffs. Orlando is playing well going 7-2 SU and ATS in its last nine games. The Raptors do not have a good history in this type of spot and have failed to cover in two previous meetings versus the Magic, winning 93-91 as seven-point road favorites on Nov. 20 and losing 116-87 as five-point road favorites on Dec. 28. Nikola Vucevic had 30 points and 19 rebounds in that Orlando victory. Vucevic gives the Magic the best big man on the floor. Toronto may not have its full intensity coming off an emotional, 120-117, home win against Kawhi Leonard's former team the Spurs this past Friday. The Raptors have failed to cover 11 of the last 16 times when meeting a foe with a sub .500 record. Toronto also is 10-20 ATS the last 30 times when favored. Orlando has covered in six of its past seven road contests.
|02-23-19||Kings +7 v. Thunder||119-116||Win||100||18 h 15 m||Show|
First off, Sacramento is one of the most improved teams in the league. The Kings have played 58 games - 70 percent of the season - and are above .500 just two games out of a playoff spot. The Kings have emerging young talent and they bolstered that at the trade deadline picking up solid pros Harrison Barnes, Alec Burks and Corey Brewer. So the Kings are capable of hanging in against Oklahoma City. But Sacramento also catches a break because the Thunder just nipped Utah, 148-147, in double overtime at home in a game that concluded late Friday night. The Thunder had four of their starters log more than 40 minutes with Paul George playing 50 minutes. The Thunder won in dramatic style on a basket by George with less than a second left. Sacramento has a strong recent history versus Oklahoma City covering in six of the last seven meetings. The Kings also are 6-1 ATS the past seven times playing in Oklahoma City.
|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.