Friday, February 21

Atlanta Hawks vs Miami Heat, 11:30 am
Hawks +5.5

I like the Hawks here, getting 5.5 points at home. Both teams are nearly fully healthy after the break, which benefits a thinner team like Atlanta.

They haven’t been great at home this season, compiling a 9-17 straight up record. That said, going 15-10-1 ATS suggests that they’re doing a good job outperforming the market.

Likewise, Miami’s 13-16 road record is nothing to write home about. They are just 12-16-1 ATS on the road, winning only 4 of their last 10 overall.

Atlanta have a few matchup edges here, especially with Trae Young on offense. Clint Capela is also a useful addition on the interior and should help this one close. Especially through the key number of 5, I’ll take Atlanta plus the points here.

Philadelphia 76ers vs Brooklyn Nets, 12 pm
Sixers -9

The Sixers are currently 9-point favourites and I’m expecting a relatively comfortable win here. They’ve proven themselves to be one of the best home teams in the NBA, going an outstanding 25-2 thus far. This is backed up by a strong 15-10-2 ATS record.

Brooklyn have been pretty poor on the road all season, going just 9-16 straight up and 10-15 ATS. They’ll be without Kyrie Irving here, which should really hurt against a strong defence like Philly.

They were in some good form before the All-Star break, but I think a long layoff got rid of those benefits. Philly enter this clash fully healthy and should look to dominate on the interior.

Given the factors listed above, I only see this line increasing before tip-off. If you also like the Sixers, I suggest getting in soon at the -9 number.

Friday, February 14

New Orleans Pelicans vs OKC Thunder, 12 pm
Thunder +2

It’s slim pickings today, with only a 2-game slate on the last day before All Star weekend. Boston/LA looks very tough to call, but I like the look of OKC as road underdogs in this one.

They’ve been fairly strong on the road all season, putting up an impressive 15-10 record thus far. Their record against the spread is even better, going an outstanding 20-5. New Orleans don’t tend to have the greatest of home court advantages, evidenced by an early 11-16 record.

OKC have been in some solid recent form, winning 7 and covering 6 of their last 10 games. They didn’t weaken their roster at all before the trade deadline and appear to be firmly eyeing a playoff spot.

This is also a hugely contrarian play, with 86% of the early money coming in on New Orleans. Given the number, this would suggest that the public thinks the Pelicans are the better team, which I don’t agree with.

OKC are a deep team and they’ve been the more consistent of the two all season. Given the early action, this number could move to 2.5 or even 3 points before tip-off. I think they’ve got a good shot at the win here and will gladly take them plus the points.

Thursday, February 13

Indiana Pacers vs Milwaukee Bucks, 11:30 am
Pacers +1.5

I like the look of Indiana here, currently getting 1.5 points as home underdogs. Milwaukee will be without both Giannis and George Hill, two absences which I expect to be crucial.

Indiana have slipped a little of late, but they’re still one of the stronger home sides in the NBA. They’ve gone a solid 18-10 at home this season, compared to an average .500 record on the road.

Milwaukee hasn’t had to play too much without Giannis and his absence should really matter here. The Pacers are back to full health here and now look to have the matchup edge on the perimeter.

They’ve been dominated by Milwaukee in recent seasons, so I’d expect them to look for revenge here. This is definitely a contrarian play, but I think the value is on Indiana as underdogs.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Charlotte Hornets, 12 pm
Hornets +7.5

While they’ve now got DLo to pair with KAT, I’m not sure the Wolves should be laying 7.5 points against anybody. They’ve completely shaken up their team in the last week and it’ll take time for everything to come together.

Their recent form is nothing short of horrendous, only winning and covering once in their last 10 games. Home court advantage has meant nothing all season, where they’ve compiled a miserable 7-19 record.

The Hornets are far from a strong team, but their road record is better than Minnesota’s at home. Especially with Minnesota’s atrocious defence, I think their backcourt can really get going here.

They’re relatively injury free and fatigue doesn’t appear to be an issue. With this being their last game before the All-Star break, they can really go all out.

For me, these are two relatively evenly matched sides. Especially through the key number of 7, I’ll happily take Charlotte plus the points.

 

Wednesday, February 12

Washington Wizards vs Chicago Bulls, 11 am
Bulls +3

I’m opting for a contrarian play here, taking the Bulls +3 points. 89% of early action has come in on Chicago and I’m simply going in the opposite direction.

Neither of these teams are particularly good and this game looks like a coin flip on paper. The Wizards do have home court here, but I’d assess the Bulls as the slightly better team.

Chicago have received a recent injury boost, with each of LaVine, Satoransky, Gafford, and Arcidiacono expected to play. They are the deeper of these two sides and I think their second unit can push past Washington here.

They’ve also got a few options on the perimeter that should be able to at least contain Brad Beal. In a game that could go either way, I’ll take the contrarian angle and the points with Chicago.

Houston Rockets vs Boston Celtics, 1:30 pm
Rockets -2.5

As a fan of small ball, these are two of the more intriguing teams in the NBA. I would mark Houston as the slightly better side and like them laying just 2.5 points at home here.

They’re 18-8 at home this season and will no doubt be motivated after an emotional loss. They suffered a minor injury blow recently, with 6th man Eric Gordon set to be out until the All-Star break. This pales in comparison to Boston’s injury report, which includes a bunch of starters.

Houston have essentially nothing on the interior right now, but I’m not sure Boston can really punish them. Guys like Enes Kanter are essentially unplayable against a small-ball lineup, favouring Houston here.

I also don’t think Boston have the perimeter defenders to contain Houston’s backcourt. In a game that should be close late on, I’d expect James Harden to be the difference and will his team to a win and cover.

Tuesday, February 11

Indiana Pacers vs Brooklyn Nets, 11 am
Nets +7

Without a huge selection today, I like Brooklyn getting 7 points away at Indiana. They will be without Kyrie Irving here, but they’ve actually performed well in his absence this season.

He is the only one injured for this matchup and I’d expect them to be relatively rested after 1 game in 5 days. Their road form has been rather pedestrian this season, but they appear to be improving of late.

Indiana have really regressed recently, losing each of their last 5 games and narrowly winning in OT before that. Oladipo’s return seems to have messed up the rotation a bit and they’re struggling to find their footing.

This has all the makings of a game that Indiana should win, but I’d expect Brooklyn to keep it close. Especially through the key number of 7, I’ll take Brooklyn plus the points.

Denver Nuggets vs San Antonio Spurs, 1 pm
Nuggets -7

I also like Denver here, laying a relatively modest 7 points at home to San Antonio. The Nuggets appear to have dropped off a bit lately, but a lot of this can be attributed to injuries.

They’ve got their starting five back together here and could be poised for a strong second half run. They are a very strong 20-6 at home, especially when compared to San Antonio’s abysmal 8-18 on the road.

This is the 4th game in a gruelling 7-game road trip for the Spurs, where they’ve already lost the previous 3 by 8 or more points. They’ve let up over 120 points in each of those games, indicative of a team that is now old and slow.

I expect them to really struggle in the altitude environment and can see Denver pouring it on here. This line probably goes up before tip-off, so get in quick if you also like Denver.

Monday, February 10

Houston Rockets vs Utah Jazz, 11 am
Jazz +4.5

I’m going with the contrarian play here, taking Utah +4.5 points. A ton of early action has come in on Houston, but I see Utah sticking around here.

The Rockets have gone all-in on the small ball movement, which works well against some teams. That said, it doesn’t look like a great strategy against Rudy Gobert and the Jazz.

I think Utah can punish them on the interior here, getting second chance points and winning the rebound battle. Utah also expect to be fully healthy here, while Houston look to be without the services of Eric Gordon.

You can make the case that Utah are the better of these two sides and that 4.5 points is too many here. They’ll be motivated to avenge their playoff loss and I expect this one to go down to the wire.

Portland Trail Blazers vs Miami Heat, 1 pm
Blazers -3

I’m working under the assumption that Jimmy Butler will be out injured for this one. Miami have had a huge roster shake-up over the last week and it’s tough to know what we’ll see out of their rotation.

Portland, on the other hand, should enter this matchup extremely motivated. They had a controversial loss to Utah last time out and should be looking to right that wrong here.

They’ve been much better at home than away this season, picking up a 14-11 record thus far. Despite their high standing out East, life on the road has been tough for Miami, going just 12-14 on the season.

Especially with Miami decimated on the wing through injury, the matchups favour Portland in this one. I expect big games from both Dame and CJ here, propelling their team over the line and covering a modest 3-point spread.

Sunday, February 9

Orlando Magic vs Milwaukee Bucks, 9 am
Magic +9

I’m going with a major contrarian play here, taking Orlando +9 points. Despite 80% of the action coming in on Milwaukee, the line has moved in Orlando’s favour by half a point.

This suggests to me that the sharps think the Magic are undervalued here, which I’m inclined to agree with. They aren’t world beaters by any means, but they’re still above .500 at home.

Their recent form has been nothing short of terrible, which could mean they’ve hit their nadir in value. Milwaukee also had a very high-profile win last time out, meaning they’re primed for a letdown game here.

I also like some of the matchups for Orlando in this one, particularly in the frontcourt. I expect them to do enough to limit Giannis here, ultimately keeping this one close and within 9 points.

Indiana Pacers vs New Orleans Pelicans, 11:30 am
Pacers -2.5

Another play I like here is the rock-solid Pacers laying 2.5 points at home to New Orleans. Indiana have been one of the best home sides in the NBA this season, going an impressive 18-7 thus far.

In the midst of a relatively poor season, New Orleans are only 11-15 on the road. Moreover, this is the final game of a gruelling 4-game road trip, which could lead to some fatigue issues.

The only notable injury for Indiana is T.J. Warren, while both Zion and Ingram are questionable for New Orleans. A line of 2.5 points would suggest that the Pelicans are the better team on a neutral court, something I don’t agree with.

Indiana has some favourable matchups here and a very strong home court advantage. They’re the better of these two sides and the value is on them covering a very small line here.

Saturday, February 8

OKC Thunder vs Detroit Pistons, 12 pm
Pistons +12

Nobody is giving Detroit any hope right now and that’s part of the reason why I’m taking them here. Teams can perform well the first few games after a big trade, largely due to the Ewing theory.

I think they’ll be motivated here after the Drummond trade and we’ll see a ton of energy from most of their young players. Their injury list is relatively small here, with Derrick Rose and Markieff Morris the two expected absences.

There may also be a few in the OKC camp that aren’t too happy about not being traded. Especially coming up against a poor Detroit side, I don’t expect huge levels of motivation here.

Detroit has looked somewhat better of late, getting impressive wins over Denver and Phoenix. I think they’ll play hard here and likely come within the current 12-point line.

Sacramento Kings vs Miami Heat, 2 pm
Kings +1.5

The current line is set at Miami -1.5, which I can see changing drastically before tip-off. Miami have made a ton of changes to their roster this week, which could mean they struggle here.

They traded each of Dion Waiters, James Johnson, and Justise Winslow away, really impacting their wing rotation. Jimmy Butler is officially doubtful for this one, while Andre Iguodala won’t play pending a physical.

This significantly worsens their depth against a Sacramento side that is largely injury free. Moreover, the Heat haven’t been an impressive road side all season, actually registering a below .500 record of 12-13.

The Kings are far from a good home side, but they are healthier and less fatigued than their opponents here. I like them as outright underdogs and can see them being favoured before tip-off, bet this early.

Friday, February 7

Chicago Bulls vs New Orleans Pelicans, 12 pm
Bulls +4

I’m going with the contrarian Chicago pick here, after 80% of early action came in on New Orleans. The Pelicans are far from a great road side, going just 10-15 straight up on the season.

They’re also dealing with a few potential absences here, with Zion questionable and Holiday part of trade talks. The Bulls have a few players on the injury report themselves, however most of these are to lower-end rotation players.

While they’ve been nothing special this season, Chicago has a passable 11-15 record at home. They can compete against the average to below average sides, a category which New Orleans has to fall into.

Either of these sides could make a big trade before tip-off, which makes the underdog more valuable here. This is probably a coin flip type of game, and I’ll gladly take the 4 points of insurance with Chicago.

LA Lakers vs Houston Rockets, 2:30 pm
Lakers -5.5

No official line is out for this game, although early indications suggest it should be around 5.5-6 points. I like the Lakers at this number, especially with the busy week of transactions Houston have had.

Both Robert Covington and Jordan Bell are expected to play here, although there will be an adjustment period in their first game. Russell Westbrook is questionable for this one, which could make their depth even weaker.

The trade of Clint Capela signalled an intent to go small from Houston. While that can work against a lot of sides, the Lakers probably aren’t one of them.

They’ve dominated on the interior all season and I can see a big night from Anthony Davis here. If they can do an effective job containing Houston’s backcourt, I like the win and cover for LA at this proposed number.

Thursday, February 6

Toronto Raptors vs Indiana Pacers, 11:30 am
Raptors -5.5

The Raptors have quietly had an excellent season thus far, winning 36 of their 50 games. I like them to win at home against Indiana here, covering the -5.5 line in the process.

Indiana aren’t nearly the same team on the road, going just 13-12 on the season. Toronto are an elite 18-7 straight up at home, also going 16-9 against the spread.

The injury report for Toronto doesn’t look too bad, with only Marc Gasol confirmed out and Norman Powell questionable. The absence of T.J Warren should be big for Indiana here, especially with Oladipo still not back to full health.

I think Toronto have a pretty sizeable edge on the wing here, with Indiana lacking any real defender to stop Siakam. The majority of backers are also on Toronto here, so I’d recommend taking the 5.5 before it increases.

Dallas Mavericks vs Memphis Grizzlies, 12:30 pm
Grizzlies +5

The Mavericks have gotten the overwhelming amount of early action here, with 79% of bettors picking Dallas. I’m opting for the contrarian approach and I’ll take this plucky Grizzlies side getting 5 points.

Memphis have made a ton of comments in the media about how strong they are in the media, even bashing former Finals MVP Andre Iguodala in the process. This puts a ton of pressure on them to perform, which should mean they have the motivational edge here.

Dallas are also far from healthy, dealing with several key injuries to their playmakers. Luka Doncic is out for at least the next week, while Barea and Seth Curry are both questionable.

This doesn’t bode well against a Memphis side that has looked increasingly dynamic of late. They’ve gone 7-3 in their last 10 and shouldn’t have trouble scoring on Dallas here. Especially getting 5 points, I’d expect them to at least keep this competitive.