January 13, 2021, 6:47 pm
A huge trade led the day on Wednesday, and postponements shortened the card. Thursdays are always lighter but we still have a couple spots to break down.
#Heat @ #76ers
A rematch! But this time, Philly has most of its team back. It sounds like the Tobias-led protocol contingent is cleared to return, so Philly will be laying some serious chalk. And really, it’s probably the favorite or nothing, here. I know that sounds nuts, but we saw Miami’s best short-handed punch and they came up just shy in overtime. Philly isn’t going to mess around. But let’s be real – you’re not betting this side. Or you sure as heck shouldn’t be.
#Hornets @ #Raptors (-8) (221)
For the life of me I can’t figure why the Raptors continue to get so much love. They’ve basically been an auto-fade all year, and I see no reason why this game should be any different. The Hornets are rolling (written before whatever result happens with the Mavs), and the Raptors just got back to Tampa off a long, tough road trip out west that saw them blow another series of leads. They don’t belong as a favorite to many teams, and even if you argue they should be a short fave in this one, laying 8 is a lot.
#Rockets @ #Spurs
Spurs are back home off a long trip of their own, and the Rockets are officially out from under the James Harden cloud. I expect Houston to play like they just fired a hated coach. Chemistry, speed, focus. This is one of those games where I would bank on 100% effort from Houston. Hard lean in their direction, unless we get a garbage line.
#Warriors @ #Nuggets (-5) (230)
I know what you’re thinking – another team home off a road trip to fade? Not really. The Nuggets were only gone for about 4 and a half days, so there isn’t quite that same letdown. Plus, they just dropped an OT game in Brooklyn, so this isn’t exactly a Denver team feeling calm about life. Still, I like the Warriors’ fight lately, and even if they lose, it’s hard to see it getting away from them. There’s a weird phenomenon taking place that we have to careful of, though, and that is that teams are throwing the entire defense at Steph and the Dubs haven’t fully figured out how to counter that yet.
#Pacers @ #Blazers (-1.5)
The Pacers are solid, man. This line is perfect, though. It’s going to be a showdown. No one is pulling away. Coin flip line; coin flip game. If you want to get into this one, I might say you should think through the pace, and with the Blazers on a back-to-back, they may be inclined to pass on the defensive side a little bit more than usual. Slight lean to the over, but no strong feelings on the side. Maybe the Pacers if you think they play loose with Oladipo gone?