January 11, 2021, 8:08 pm
This feels right. I’m putting these thoughts on paper for my betting Tweetstorms anyway, so we might as well dump them into an article for folks that can’t scroll through a timeline.
#Heat @ #76ers
Miami is down Adebayo, Butler, Bradley, Dragic, and a few more guys that don’t factor in much until you’re missing the four names we already mentioned. The fact that the NBA is still trying to make this game happen is fairly surprising, and we might see it postponed. If we don’t, and Embiid rests while Simmons comes back, I’d expect the Sixers to be small-to-medium favorites in a game that should terrify you. If you’re betting, you probably look at the shorthanded Heat and expect the subs to go as hard as they can for as long as they can.
#Jazz @ #Cavaliers
Utah has been playing a bit better their last couple, but with the Cavs on a back-to-back I reckon this line is going to be too rich for my blood. I think we probably see Collin Sexton’s return for Cleveland since he was scratched just moments before tip on the front end of Cleveland’s back-to-back set. He’ll be spry after sitting out a week, but Cleveland has serious issues scoring against good defenses. I might consider the Under if we think Utah is even marginally focused, but on the side you probably look at the large underdog or nothing at all.
#Nuggets @ #Nets
It sounds like Kyrie is still out, KD is getting back into the swing of things, and Brooklyn still can’t guard anybody. They’ll get up for this game a bit more than the previous ones, and that loss to the Thunder was pretty dang ugly. This will be a short line, so I’m thinking you likely gravitate to whichever team you believe wins the game. I’d have to take a long hard look at the Nuggets, who appear to be warming up to the season’s rigors, even beginning to try a little on defense. Gary Harris’s recent strong play has been a big piece of it. I know, I’m as confused as you are by that development.
#Spurs (-2.5) @ #Thunder (216.5)
The Spurs continue the less exciting part of their long roadie with a trip to OKC after splitting a rematch set in Minnesota, and they’ll again be without DeMar DeRozan, here. The Thunder have been a massive surprise and are getting better fast, with SGA settling in nicely and the veteran pieces keeping the train on the tracks. The Thunder just completed a 4-1 road trip and come back home rolling. But, oddly, such is a perfect time for a letdown. The Spurs will miss DeMar but they have more than enough to take this one, and I like the public side in a rare twist.
#Lakers (-6) @ #Rockets (223)
This is a rematch of a game from Sunday where the Lakers mysteriously woke up and completely smashed Houston for most of the 48 minutes. I have mixed feelings on this one. On the one hand, you’d expect a decent team like Houston (who might be without John Wall due to migraines) to come out focused and wanting that split. On the other, the Lakers got a talking-to from Anthony Davis, it sounds like, and they came out focused and ready to stomp. This might have been the Lakers wake-up moment, and that’s scary if it was. It’s rare to have such a public team that covers so consistently as LA did last year and if they’re about to start one of those angry runs, it’s unwise to get in the way. A lot to consider, here, as they did continue to double Harden and Houston still had no solution.
#Pacers @ #Warriors (-2) (228)
This is game two of Indiana’s long road trip, and the back-to-back moves this from a pick to where we find it now. I expect Steph to bounce back nicely from his record-setting awful performance against Toronto, and a shootout is very much within the realm of possibility. I’m guessing the Warriors put Draymond on Sabonis to limit his post ability, which means Myles Turner should have an edge, but overall this is going to be a pretty good ballgame. I would lean to the home team as of now, but seeing how Indy plays in Sacramento will also factor into our decision-making.