Tuesday, August 4

Miami Heat vs Toronto Raptors, 03:40
Heat +2.5

This isn’t a hugely strong play, but I lean to the Heat here, currently getting 2.5 points.

Toronto already seem very entrenched into the #2 spot out East and they won’t have the same urgency as Miami here.

They also had a huge win over the Lakers on Sunday, in what was a primetime game on national tv.

This game doesn’t have the same vibe to it and is the prime recipe for a letdown spot.

Miami also match up fairly well with this Toronto side, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

They have a bevy of wings that they can throw on Siakam and an excellent closing 5 to play during crunch time.

I think they’re also hugely motivated to win here, cementing themselves in the top 4 and potentially climbing to 3.

2.5 points is solid value, but look to see if you can get 3 closer to tip-off.

Memphis Grizzlies vs New Orleans Pelicans, 08:35
Pelicans -3.5

While they haven’t started well in the bubble, I’m taking the Pelicans -3.5 points here.

They absolutely need to win this game and you could argue that their season rides on it.

They’ve had two games to settle in and should realistically be amping up the minutes for their better players.

This is especially true for Zion, who’s looked good so far in very limited action.

I also like the fact that New Orleans has the rest advantage here.

Memphis are on a back-to-back in this one and I’m interested to see how they play out in the bubble.

The Grizzlies are also 0-2 in their seeding games, but appear resigned to facing a play-in tournament.

Memphis’ 2nd unit has really struggled in the absence of Jones and Winslow and this is an area where New Orleans excel.

If the starters can do their job, I like bench pieces like Redick, Jackson, and Hart to push the advantage.

3.5 points is a bit of a premium, but that’s what you get with the huge motivational mismatch.