Jack Maloney

NBA guru

After spending two years working for the NBA, Maloney made his way to CBS Sports. He's been a CBS Sports staff writer covering the NBA on a league-wide basis since 2017. Maloney's analytical approach includes a detailed examination of schedules, injuries and other factors. He lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future.

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Jack's
Picks

Washington -7.5 WAS -7.5

New York 100 vs Washington 101
1/17
NY 100 vs WAS 101
1/17
LOSS
Thu 1/17

The Knicks are awful. They can't score (25th in offense) and they don't guard anyone (29th in defense), which is obviously a bad combination. The Wizards, meanwhile, have been playing some really good basketball since John Wall went down for the season. Their defense has jumped from 28th to 11th, while their offense has gone from 20th to 12th. And it hasn't been a schedule thing either, as they've beaten the Sixers, Thunder and Bucks in that stretch, and lost by just two to the Raptors. This should be a good chance for a motivated Wizards team still pushing for the playoffs to take care of listless Knicks squad.

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Milwaukee -6 MIL -6

Milwaukee 111 @ Memphis 101
1/17
MIL 111 @ MEM 101
1/17
WIN
Wed 1/16

The Grizzlies are in an absolute free-fall. They've lost eight of their last nine games, have numerous injury problems and trade rumors are starting to swirl about their best players. None of that bodes well for them with the freight train that is the Milwaukee Bucks coming to town. The Bucks have rattled off 9 wins in their last 11 games, and have been one of the best road teams in the league this season -- only the Warriors have a better net rating away from home. Plus, they dismantled the Heat so easily on Tuesday night that they were able to get all their starters plenty of rest, mitigating the fact that they're on the second night of a back-to-back.

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Indiana -10.5 IND -10.5

Phoenix 97 @ Indiana 131
1/16
PHO 97 @ IND 131
1/16
WIN
Tue 1/15

The Pacers have been dynamite at home this season, in large part because they simply don't let opponents score. In home games, they allow just 97.9 points per 100 possessions, a defensive rating that would lead the league by a whopping five points. And that's exceptionally bad news for the Suns, who have been a disaster on the road this season -- both in terms of record (4-16) and net rating (-10.4).

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Houston -4.5 HOU -4.5

Memphis 94 @ Houston 112
1/15
MEM 94 @ HOU 112
1/15
WIN
Mon 1/14

The Rockets are on the second night of a back-to-back after a strange loss to the Magic, but I like them to cover here in a bounce back game. They're 7-1 ATS in their last eight games at home, and are facing a Grizzlies team that is not only struggling lately (3-7 in their last 10 games), but has been much worse on the road this season. Plus, the Grizzlies just lost Kyle Anderson -- one of their best wing defenders -- to an ankle injury, which will make it even more difficult for them to contain James Harden.

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