I'm at the point where I hate the (current iteration) Bulls, which I never thought I would say. MJ's heyday was my favorite sports time ever. They are a true disaster and now Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan are both out against a bitter rival. Whatever man, just trade them. Someone has to score tonight and Coby White thinks he's a gunner. Should get to this even if it takes 20 shots.
It would be so Chargers .... err Hawks to lose to a team on a 12-game losing streak but this does feel like a bit of a tricky spot for Atlanta following back-to-back double-digit losses to fellow Eastern Conference playoff contenders and the fourth game of a five-game trip with a big one at Milwaukee up next. All the key Spurs have been cleared to play. I truly thought about playing the San Antonio ML, which means Gregg and the Pops will be down by 20 at the first media timeout. Our model has Atlanta by 5.
This time, we agree with Stephen A Smith...at the moment, the Pistons are an abomination. Detroit sure isn't giving us, Stephen A, or anyone else much of a reason to back them, not with things going from bad to worse and the losing streak now at 15 games after being blown out once again last night by the Lakers. That was the third loss in a row by 19 points or more and was further sobering for new HC Monty Williams, who had thought that reading the riot act to his team after a limp effort vs. the Wizards on Monday might resonate; it didn't as the Lakers laid on a 133-107 beating. The go-against Detroit argument is a strong one. Play Knicks
These teams landed on 227 the last time they met more than two weeks ago (118-109 Bucks on Nov. 13), but the trendline for most of this season in Milwaukee games has been to look on the "over" side. That's a direct reflection of less emphasis on defense under new HC Adrian griffin than previously for Mike Budenholzer...and eventually why the Bucks might be more vulnerable in the playoffs than the past two seasons, neither of which ended well. We'll see if the Bulls can capitalize, but would rather stick with the "over" angle that is 4-2 in its latest iteration for the Bucks. Play Bucks-Bulls "Over"
There's a lot more structure in Minnesota's game this season, as the t-wolves mature into a legit NBA force. Wins in 10 of the last 12 suggest as much, and the Wolves no longer resemble a hully-gully offense, reflected in KAT's decreased number of three-point attempts. A potential concern tonight, however, as it looks a good chance that top scorer Anthony Edwards (hip) could be held out. if so, that edge could manifest in a lower-scoring game, which Utah has been playing anyway of late as it dials back the pace with five straight "under" results, and emboldened by a pair of wins vs. the Pelicans within the past week at a slower tempo. Play Jazz-Timberwolves "Under"
I truly hate backing the Heat because they go through such lulls in every game that it drives me crazy. And I tell you this, I am so glad this is not an In-Season Tournament game because Miami's court on TV looked like Satan's bowling alley. I still don't see colors right. Indiana is down at least one big man in Jalen Smith and possibly another in Isaiah Jackson as well as backup point guard TJ McConnell (latter two are questionable). Jimmy Butler is good to go and that's what we were waiting on.
Wemby is a more all around stat filler than we might have first thought. He actually gets steals along with blocks. Let’s take the plus money here.
Miami is desperate and they match up well with a Pacer team that plays an uptempo or bust style. Take the Heat at home.
This seems too high. I project this at 11, giving me 20% margin. Roll under
The Heat have lost three straight, but they are at home tonight against a Pacers team that is struggling to get stops. I think the rest of the NBA isn’t sleeping on Indiana and its run-and-gun style of play anymore. The Heat are experienced and need Duncan Robinson to keep shooting the ball at a high clip. Lay the points.
The oddsmakers are yet to adjust from Chet Holmgren's recent games. We are seeing far more shot attempts from him than we earlier this season. Our model takes those early weeks into account, as in less shot attempts, and we still project him to hit this prop. Of his last 5 games, the only game he did not hit this number was because of a blowout lead where he only played 20 minutes. Holmgren will be able to take advantage of his young legs against a Lakers team coming off a game in Detroit. Look for OKC to run a fast pace game to tire out LA.
Portland has covered three straight, winning two of those outright. In all three games the Trail Blazers were underdogs, and now they're getting 12 points from an inconsistent offensive team in Cleveland. With their tremendous length, the Blazers just held the Pacers to 110, the Bucks to 108 and the Jazz to 105. They should make it tough enough on the Cavs to hang within this number.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis each played 29 minutes in Wednesday's rout of the Pistons, so they should play Thursday night in OKC. The Lakers have won four of their last five road games, while the Thunder have dropped two straight. Grab the points in what should be a high-scoring thriller.
I wish the NBA had runlines or pucklines -- tonight, for example, is awful in terms of any close spreads. Just one game under 5. As I'm sure you know by now, I'm largely a moneyline guy so that somewhat boxes me out as I don't really love any of the underdogs yet, and I'm not the type to bet an NBA spread over a very small number. So let's throw a half-unit down here simply with the limited market. Maybe the Lakers rest LeBron or AD in the second of a B2B at the end of a four-game trip and this becomes value. Because it's the 2nd of a B2B, LA doesn't have to put out its injury report early. OKC is healthy.
Draymond is averaging a combined 10.8 rebounds and assists this season. Hes been held under this line in 7/9 appearances this season. This is a big ask against a Clippers squad that ranks top 5 in Defensive Efficiency and bottom 5 in PACE. This is unlikely to be a game environment conducive to increased ancillary stats. I believe this line should be 11.5 so quite a lot of value on the under even at 13.5.