Wednesday, January 22

Dallas Mavericks vs LA Clippers, 12:30 pm
Clippers +1.5

The Clippers open as 1.5-point underdogs here and I like them to cover in today’s lone game. I especially like their matchups defensively, particularly if Kawhi guards Luka Doncic.

Dallas don’t really have a 2nd player who can initiate the offence and could easily sputter if Luka doesn’t get going. I’d like this even better if Paul George was playing, but the return of Harkless should provide a solid boost. The Mavericks aren’t fully healthy either, with Porzingis considered questionable here with a knee injury.

Another area where the Clippers can really get after this team is in the defensive backcourt. Beverley and Shamet are two very good perimeter defenders that should limit Dallas’ offensive output.

While they’ve been good offensively this season, Dallas aren’t a great defensive team. They’re particularly vulnerable on the interior and aren’t great at shutting down the 3 either.

This should be a relatively even and fun game, but I think the Kawhi matchup against Doncic will decide this in LA’s favour. I like the 1.5 currently on offer and I’d advise getting on the moneyline if you can get plus money.

Tuesday, January 21

Washington Wizards vs Detroit Pistons, 6 am
Wizards -1

The Wizards are currently laying 1 point here and I fancy them to cover against a relatively unmotivated Detroit side. The Pistons have fallen off a cliff since the Blake Griffin injury and will also be without Reggie Jackson here.

They’re a relatively poor road side to begin with, going just 8-14 on the season. Washington are rounding back into health with Beal and Bertans back and should be frisky in games like this.

Brad Beal is the clear best player on the floor in this matchup and I’m not sure Detroit have what it takes to guard him. Bench players typically play better at home and the Wizards appear to already have the edge in that department.

An early tip-off rarely favours the road side and I expect this to be the case here. Andre Drummond is likely to be traded soon and Detroit don’t seem to be playing all that hard. I’ll take a frisky Washington side laying a single point.

Charlotte Hornets vs Orlando Magic, 9 am
Hornets +4.5

The 15-29 Hornets host the 20-23 Magic here, currently getting 4.5 points. I think Orlando continue to be overvalued on the road and will gladly take Charlotte plus the points.

Orlando are in a truly horrendous spot here. Not only have they just completed a brutal 5-game West Coast road trip, they now have a cross country flight on just a day of rest.

The Hornets enter this one on a significant rest advantage, having not played since last Thursday. The early 9 am start time should also really benefit Charlotte against a team coming off a time zone change.

Orlando are also dealing with several key injuries, with Isaac, Augustin, and Aminu all missing here. Charlotte, on the other hand, enter this clash almost completely healthy.

The Magic are far from a good road team already, going just 7-15 thus far. Factor in the rest and scheduling disadvantage and I really like the Hornets getting 4.5 points.

Monday, January 20

San Antonio Spurs vs Miami Heat, 7 am
Spurs $1.95

I’ll take the contrarian angle here and back San Antonio to win outright as slight $1.95 underdogs. Two thirds of early money has come in on Miami, yet the line has moved in San Antonio’s favour.

This tells me that the sharp bettors who are really betting big money are on the Spurs in this one. Factor in that this is also the day of the NFL Conference Championships, meaning less recreational bettors on the NBA.

Despite a stellar record on the season, Miami are far from an impressive road side. They are just 11-11 straight up and 10-11-1 ATS. The Spurs are actually above .500 at home, going 11-10 thus far.

Miami also have a few key injuries in this one, with Justise Winslow and Tyler Herro both expected to miss. I also like the revenge factor for San Antonio here after they lost a close one in Miami last Thursday.

Dejounte Murray is questionable for this one, which gives me some pause. If he goes ahead and plays, I like the Spurs outright at $1.95.

Denver Nuggets vs Indiana Pacers, 12 pm
Pacers +2

I’m going with another contrarian play here, taking the Indiana Pacers +2 points. A whopping 80% of the early action has come in on Denver, so this line could easily go up before tip-off.

The Nuggets are really banged up here, with Millsap, Harris, and Murray all already ruled out. Save for Victor Oladipo, the Pacers are essentially fully healthy in this one.

They should be relatively well-rested, with this being the first game of their road trip. This is the front end of a back-to-back for Denver, who may not be able to go all out in this one.

Indiana have also been an improving road side of late, moving to .500 straight up and 11-9 ATS. Their bigs should help them hang with Denver in this spot and I’ll gladly take the 2 points of insurance.

Sunday, January 19

Brooklyn Nets vs Milwaukee Bucks, 10 am
Nets +8.5

The Nets find themselves as 8.5-point home underdogs here, which I think is just too many. They’ve been fairly solid at home this season, securing an 11-9 record thus far.

They should also be relatively well rested, having 2 days off and playing their fifth game at home in their last 6. Having Kyrie back is a noticeable boost for this side and should help the offence against a strong Bucks defence.

Having been on such a poor run recently, I think the Nets are also undervalued in the market. They’ve only won and covered twice in their last 10, which is probably leaving a negative taste in punter’s mouths.

This could easily be the nadir in value, especially in a high-profile game that they’ll no doubt be motivated for. I’m not confident they pull off the upset here, but they’re absolutely capable of keeping it under 9 points.

Golden State Warriors vs Orlando Magic, 12:30 pm
Warriors +4.5

I’m taking another home underdog here, with Golden State getting 4.5 points against Orlando. Orlando have been a very ordinary road side this season, going just 7-14 straight up.

While Golden State haven’t been great at home, they’re a middling 10-11 ATS. The Draymond Green injury is notable here, but Eric Paschall can do a capable job in replacement.

Orlando are also likely to be very fatigued here, playing the final game of a gruelling 5-game West Coast trip. This is compounded by cluster injuries at PG and SF, with Augustin, Carter Williams, Isaac and Aminu all out for this one.

The Warriors have looked more competitive at home of late and I think the slightly earlier tip-off will benefit them here. This has all the makings of a close one late and I’ll take Golden State with the 4.5 currently on offer.

Saturday, January 18

Philadelphia 76ers vs Chicago Bulls, 11 am
76ers -7.5

The Sixers have been a dominant home side all season and I think the line of 7.5 points isn’t enough here. They’re an outstanding 19-2 at the Wells Fargo Center, compared to a road record of 7-13 for Chicago.

Even without Embiid, the Sixers have a ton of talented players that they can put on the floor. Chicago are really battling the injury bug. Carter, Porter, and Gafford are all out for several weeks, while they’ve got an additional 4-5 players that are game time decisions.

Especially with a banged-up roster, I can see their 3rd game and plane trip in 4 nights being really fatiguing. A line this low suggests Philly would be favoured by around a point in Chicago, which would definitely get bet up.

Given the early money coming in on Philadelphia, I recommend taking the 7.5 as soon as you can.

San Antonio Spurs vs Atlanta Hawks, 12:30 pm
Spurs -8

The Spurs are currently 8-point favourites against an Atlanta side that have been one of the worst in the NBA. The Spurs themselves haven’t been all that great, but they’re still in with a legit shot at the playoffs.

They have a decent 11-9 home record, compared to a porous 4-18 on the road for Atlanta. The Hawks are also battling a few key rotation injuries and are likely to be short-handed for this one.

This is only compounded by the trade they made yesterday, where the new additions won’t be ready to play. It can also have negative affects on morale in the locker room, which was probably pretty low to begin with.

San Antonio are injury free at this point and have made their living beating teams like Atlanta over the years. They have a bunch of solid Guard defenders, who should really make life difficult for Trae Young.

If they can contain Young, I’d expect his teammates to crumble in what should be a double-digit home win for the Spurs.

Friday, January 17

New Orleans Pelicans vs Utah Jazz, 12 pm
Jazz -4.5

Utah have rebounded after a bit of a slow start, now sitting with an impressive 28-12 record. They’re currently laying 4.5 points here and I like them to win and cover against an injury plagued New Orleans side.

The Jazz are one of the form teams in the NBA, having won 9 of their last 10 to climb the Western Conference standings. They’ve been a better side on the road this year, going 13-9 straight up and 12-10 ATS.

New Orleans are far from a good home side, sporting a poor 7-12 record thus far. They’re also dealing with a ton of injuries, which I think will really hinder them here.

Jrue Holiday and Kenrich Williams have already been ruled out, with JJ Redick, Derrick Favors, Jahlil Okafor and Brandon Ingram all questionable. Utah’s injury luck continues to remain decent, with only Mike Conley missing as part of his extended absence.

I think the injuries to the New Orleans backcourt make it very difficult for them to score here, leading to a Jazz win and cover at this relatively modest line.

Golden State Warriors vs Denver Nuggets, 2:30 pm
Warriors +7

The 9-33 Warriors host the 27-12 Nuggets here, currently getting 7 points as an underdog. Golden State have struggled a lot this season, but I think they’re fairly good value here in this spot.

This is a national tv game, where they’ve tended to perform better this season. They beat Houston on Christmas Day and were competitive against Milwaukee last week.

Their 6-14 home record isn’t great, but it dwarfs their 3-19 record on the road. Denver also just isn’t the same team on the road, going 11-7 compared to 17-5 at home.

They’re on a back-to-back after playing late last night and are dealing with some key injuries. Paul Millsap and Gary Harris didn’t play against Charlotte yesterday, while Jamal Murray left early with an ankle injury. A few of these guys may not be risked here in a game they likely should win.

Overall, the injuries and fatigue for Denver make me think Golden State can compete here. Especially getting 7 points, I’ll take the underdog in what should be a close one.

 

Thursday, January 16

Boston Celtics vs Detroit Pistons, 11 am
Celtics -9.5

The Celtics are currently laying 9.5 points here and I think they’re good value for the win and cover. Given some of the recent spreads in their games, the line value appears to be all on Boston here.

Just last time out, this Pistons side were 1-point home underdogs against the lowly Pelicans. This would translate to a 7-point spread if the game was in New Orleans and this Boston side is clearly 2.5 points better than the Pels.

They possess one of the best home court advantages in the NBA, going 16-3 thus far. Detroit have struggled mightily on the road, finding themselves at 6-14.

The injury bug has hit them hard of late, with Blake Griffin, Luke Kennard, and Reggie Jackson all likely out here. Boston appear to be relatively injury free, with wing Jayson Tatum ruled probable for this one.

Detroit have been competitive of late, but they’ve only won 3 out of 10 against a pretty weak schedule. Boston has a huge edge on the wing and I think they roll to a double-digit victory.

Miami Heat vs San Antonio Spurs, 11:30 am
Heat -5

The 27-12 Heat host the 17-21 Spurs here, opening as 5-point favourites. This is again somewhat of a square play, but I like the look of the home favourite.

Miami are another side that are just elite at home. They’re 17-1 in Miami this year, compared to just 10-11 on the road.

Similarly, San Antonio is a significantly worse team on the road than they are at home. They’re above .500 at home, but have gone just 6-12 on the road.

This is the fourth and final game of their road trip and I can see fatigue being an issue here. Both sides have a relatively clean bill of health here, which should favour Miami with more top-end talent.

Ultimately, Miami has been a great home side all season and consistently cashed tickets for bettors. 5 points seems far too low here and I’ll gladly take the more talented team to win and cover.

Wednesday, January 15

Brooklyn Nets vs Utah Jazz, 11:30 am
Jazz -1

The Jazz have been in much better form of late, winning 9 of their last 10 games to move to 27-12. They’re currently laying 1 point in this one and I think they’re good value for another win and cover here. Brooklyn has been rather underwhelming this season, going 18-20 and winning just 3 of their last 10.

Kyrie returned against Atlanta last time out and I still think his return will require somewhat of an adjustment. He looked good against the Hawks without Trae Young, but they barely qualify as an NBA team at this point.

Led by Center Rudy Gobert, the Jazz are one of the better defensive teams in the NBA. I think they can contain Irving and running mate Spencer Dinwiddie, putting more of a burden on their teammates.

Joe Ingles has been in career-best form of late and star Guard Donovan Mitchell should return from illness here. Laying such a small number, I think Utah has the top end talent in this one, which should propel them to a win.

Memphis Grizzlies vs Houston Rockets, 12 pm
Grizzlies +4.5

The 18-22 Grizzlies have been in such good form that they now occupy a playoff spot. They’ve won 7 of their last 10 to sit 8th in the Conference, showing great development for such a young team.

They’re currently getting 4.5 points at home to Houston here and I’d expect them to keep this one competitive. Ja Morant has been a revelation at Point Guard and should be able to create consistent offense against a porous Houston perimeter defense.

Their frontcourt has been outstanding of late, with both Jackson and Valanciunas providing quality minutes on the interior. They’ve got a few forwards questionable for this clash in Crowder, Anderson, and Clarke, but I’d expect most of them to play here.

Houston have been fairly inconsistent this season, often dropping games they’re expected to win. They’re a good but not great 12-8 on the road this season and I don’t see a cakewalk for them here.

I’d ultimately expect a close game between these two sides, one that could go either way late. With 4.5 points of insurance, I think the value is on Memphis.

Tuesday, January 14

Detroit Pistons vs New Orleans Pelicans, 11 am
Pistons +1

The plethora of injuries in today’s games makes this a very difficult card to handicap. New Orleans appear to be heavily affected, with several key players questionable or worse for this one.

3 of their best players this season in Jrue Holiday, JJ Redick and Derrick Favors are all questionable here. The Pels have also been a dreadful road side this season, compiling a 7-14 record thus far.

Besides Blake Griffin, this Detroit side is essentially fully healthy after Markieff Morris’ return. This is their third straight home game, so I can’t see fatigue being much of an issue either.

The Pistons have been awful ATS this season, compiling a 14-25 record so far. I think punters have undervalued them as a result, especially compared to the relatively hot Pelicans.

If Favors and one of those two guards are out here, I think New Orleans’ rotation really suffers. Dwayne Casey is a good motivator at head coach and I can see Detroit getting the outright win as underdogs.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs OKC Thunder, 12 pm
Thunder -2

OKC have been a pleasant surprise this season, currently sitting 7th in the West at 22-19. I like them to cover a 2-point spread away at Minnesota, provided that Karl Anthony Towns doesn’t play.

The Thunder have cashed tickets for punters all season, going an impressive 26-13 ATS. Minnesota are also a pretty poor home side, going just 6-11 at the Target Center this season.

OKC are essentially fully healthy heading into this clash, with only big man Nerlens Noel expected to miss. Compare this to a Minnesota side that has looked woeful without Towns this season. Him and Jake Layman are expected to miss this one, which will really hinder their frontcourt.

Given how Chris Paul and SGA are playing, I also like this matchup for OKC in the backcourt. I expect them to really control the tempo in this one, with these two combining for a light 40 points.

As long as Towns misses, I’m not sure the Wolves have what it takes offensively to keep up here. At just 2 points currently, I’ll strongly lean towards OKC.

Monday, January 13

Brooklyn Nets vs Atlanta Hawks, 10 am
Hawks +7.5

The Hawks are currently getting 7.5 points on the road in Brooklyn, which I think is just too many in this spot. Trae Young is questionable for this one, although I’d expect him to play. Needless to say, this play hinges on his availability.

Brooklyn have been in some horrific form of late, winning just 2 of their last 10 games. Atlanta has the same record over their last 10, although they were underdogs in nearly all of them.

Kyrie Irving is expected to return here after an extended absence, which I presume is the main reason for the early Nets money. I think his return may be a hindrance early on, as he takes a while to get fully up to speed.

Their rotation will be thrown out of wack and it could easily turn into a rather disjointed game. I’d still expect Brooklyn to get the straight up win, but through the key number of 7, I’ll take Atlanta and the points.

Phoenix Suns vs Charlotte Hornets, 12 pm
Hornets +8

Both of these sides currently have only 15 wins, but the bar for the #8 seed is so low this season that they’re in with a playoff shot. Phoenix are laying 8 points in this one, which is just too many given their home record thus far.

The Suns are a dismal 8-14 at home this season, almost matched by Charlotte’s road record of 7-14. I had success backing Phoenix against Orlando last time out, but I’ve also noticed decent value in fading them of late.

This is the second game of Charlotte’s road trip, so they should be adjusted to the time zone without feeling too fatigued. They’re also essentially injury free, with Marvin Williams returning to the lineup last time out.

Charlotte’s young backcourt has been scoring well this season and I’d expect them to get buckets again here. This is another game that has the makings of a close one late, so I’ll definitely take the 8 points on offer.