January 20, 2021, 12:44 am
I didn’t have one of these threads for the short Tuesday card. There were simply too many competing angles, so we went dry for a day. Not this one, though. Plenty of goodies!
#Celtics @ #Sixers
It looked like this line briefly came out at Philly -5.5 but is back off the board, presumably due to contact tracing, though it’s possible Joel Embiid’s status could also be at play. With this being the front half of a rematch set, the simple solution here is to watch the game and make a play on game two. That said, this is actually a Sixers playoff revenge game, if you’re into that sort of thing. There might be some Sixers action with a fade in the rematch.
#Nets @ #Cavaliers
I’m still in fade mode on Brooklyn. I don’t even care that they lit up Milwaukee on an offense-first marquee whopper. These are just the kinds of games where not-quite-chemistry’d superteams doink their way through a series of isolation plays on one end and missed assignments on the other. I’m expecting this line to be near double digits. Give me the Cavs.
#Mavericks @ #Pacers (-1) (219)
The Mavs sure look tired. And yet, only catching one point? The Pacers may or may not have Myles Turner for this game, and that’s the only reason to wait on this number. I like the Mavs either way, though I admit I like them a heck of a lot more against a Pacers team with no interior defense. This is a massive letdown spot for Indy, back home off a long western road trip that, by all accounts, went relatively well, aside from getting beat to a pulp in the finale. That first game back home is always strange, and my only fear is that they had their letdown game against the Clippers.
#Pistons @ #Hawks (-5.5) (220.5)
This feels like a super low number given the Hawks star power, but it seems lines are finally catching on to Trae Young’s issues, and the Pistons aren’t a great match-up for Atlanta, either. Detroit plays hard and the Pistons are actually a fairly physical team. Meanwhile, Trae doesn’t trust his own shot, and they’re not guarding anyone. Basically, Atlanta shouldn’t be laying more than 2-3 points in matchups while they’re letting teams hang around. Lean to Detroit.
#Heat @ #Raptors
This is another one where it looked like the line briefly opened at Raptors -4 and then moved back off the board. The Heat are working some pieces back into the mix and the Raps are slowly beginning to turn a corner, though it’s unclear if they’re all the way around the bend or still getting there. Normal Powell has begun to play better, and more Chris Boucher has created a combination that has seemingly given Toronto a little more confidence. Defensively, there’s still work to do, but if the line really is just 2 possessions, that might be just cheap enough to get me to bite.
#Magic @ #Wolves
I haven’t a clue why this game is off the board. I believe we already know who’s in and who’s out, but regardless, it seemed like the early number was going to be the Magic as a 3-4 point road favorite. And, KAT or not, that’s giving a bad Orlando team a ton of credit. Let’s be clear, I have almost no desire to get into this game on an actual wager, but I don’t see how I could back an anemic offensive team on the road. I guess the superior defense? Meh.
#Suns @ #Rockets
The Suns will likely be a road favorite, and it’s unclear if they’ll have their rhythm back after looking pretty out of sorts in a loss to the Grizzlies. Devin Booker, in particular, had no flow. The Rockets will be playing their second game with Victor Oladipo and John Wall remains out, as far as we know, with a knee issue. I’m going to fade Houston their first game all playing together, but this would be the second game in the current iteration, and I kind of want to fade both teams here.
#Grizzlies @ #Blazers (-2) (222)
If you don’t think this game means everything to Memphis, well… you missed the bubble. Portland bounced Memphis from the playoffs in the play-in game, and you can bet the Grizz had this one circled on the calendar from the second the schedule game out. This is also the front end of a rematch set, so if I had to put a finger on it, I’d say Grizzlies win this one outright and have very little emotional juice left for game two. Dame is a superhero, but Ja gets his revenge here. I only wish the Grizz had Valanciunas.
#Kings @ #Clippers (-10.5) (231.5)
Big number? Not really. This is about right. The Clippers beat the Kings by 38(!) in Sacramento two games back, and somehow that game went over the total of 227 despite the Kings collecting just 100 points on their side. The total here has, wisely, been adjusted up, and the line moved about 3 points due to the home court shift. We’re seeing, as a fun little aside, that home court is only worth about 1-2 points this year instead of the normal 3. I think the teams want fans back. The Kings showed some late fight against the Pels, and I believe that carries over.
#Spurs @ #Warriors (-1.5) (226.5)
I have no feel at all for this one. Full honesty, there. The Warriors had that big comeback win over the Lakers, so there’s a very real possibility of a letdown. But it could work the other way. They could be propelled by the big win. Hard to say. I think I like the Spurs, but I also think I like to not bet on games where I don’t feel strongly that either side has the right formula.