Tuesday, December 31

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Brooklyn Nets, 12 pm
Nets -1.5

The 11-20 Wolves host the 16-15 Nets here, currently getting 1.5 points. Given the myriad of injuries they’re dealing with, I’m inclined to fade them and back Brooklyn.

Minnesota have been one of the worst home sides in the NBA this season, compiling a dismal 3-11 record thus far. Brooklyn have been fairly competent on the road, with their record hovering around .500.

The Wolves have been battling a ton of injuries of late, most notably to star big man Karl Anthony Towns. He is questionable to play here with a knee injury, with Andrew Wiggins also questionable and Jake Layman already ruled out.

Despite being without Kyrie Irving for a prolonged period, Brooklyn have looked like a more complete team of late. Spencer Dinwiddie has been excellent as the offensive focal point, while the role players have really stepped up.

This is only the second game of their road trip and they’ll get a full two days off afterwards, so I don’t anticipate fatigue being an issue either. They’re a more consistent and talented side than these injured Wolves and I’d expect them to cover a relatively modest spread here.

Utah Jazz vs Detroit Pistons, 1 pm
Jazz -9.5

The 20-12 Jazz host the 12-21 Pistons here, currently laying 9.5 points. Especially with star big man Blake Griffin unlikely to play, I like Utah to win and cover.

They’re still one of the NBA’s most formidable home sides, compiling an early 12-3 record. They tend to dominate lesser sides at home, a moniker which can be applied to this middling Detroit side.

They are close to full health here, with Mike Conley’s long-term injury the only remaining absence. New addition Jordan Clarkson should really help their second unit and I’d expect him to play a key role here.

With Griffin unlikely to play, I’m not sure how Detroit reliably generates offence here. Andre Drummond is a solid offensive Center, but I’d expect him to be nullified by Rudy Gobert.

The Pistons haven’t been that great on the defensive end of late, which doesn’t bode well against Utah’s talented wing players. I can see Donovan Mitchell controlling the pace of play here, with solid secondary contributions from Bogdanovic and Ingles.

Currently set at 9.5 points, I can see this line only going up with the Griffin injury news. Expect Utah to continue their strong home form as they claim this one by double digits.