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.

Sunday, January 12

Houston Rockets vs Minnesota Timberwolves, 9 am
Rockets -11

Houston find themselves laying 11 points at home and I think they’re good value for the cover here. They had a big loss in an emotional game last time out, one I know they’ll be looking to put right.

They’ve been an elite side at home this season, compiling an impressive 13-4 record thus far. They’re likely to be with their full complement of players here, with both Clint Capela and Eric Gordon probable to play.

Minnesota remain without star big man Karl Anthony Towns, who is doubtful for this clash with his knee injury. His absence would be huge in this one, making the Wolves significantly easier to guard.

Friday’s loss to OKC can’t have felt good for Westbrook and Co and I’m expecting them to take it out on Minnesota here. Especially if KAT is out for this one, 11 points is a relatively short spread that they should have no trouble covering.

Boston Celtics vs New Orleans Pelicans, 11 am
Celtics -8.5

The Celtics are laying 8.5 points at home in this one and I also think they’re good value for the cover. They came off a high-profile loss to Philly on Friday and I think motivation will be high ahead of this one.

Boston is still one of the toughest places in the NBA to play, with the Celts sporting a 14-3 home record thus far. New Orleans is a pretty abysmal road side, winning just 7 of their first 20 road games.

The Pelicans are also battling through another mini injury crisis. Jrue Holiday missed yesterday’s game with New York with an elbow injury, while Derrick Favors left early with a hamstring injury.

Given that their playoff hopes are relatively slim at this point, I can’t see either player being risked for this one. These injuries make the Pels a significantly worse team on both sides of the court, one that Boston should handle with ease.

The Celts are healthy, motivated, and more rested heading into this one. 8.5 points just isn’t enough here and they should win by double digits.

Saturday, January 11

Brooklyn Nets vs Miami Heat, 11:30 am
Heat -3

The 16-20 Nets host the 27-10 Heat here, currently getting 3 points at home. Brooklyn are in the midst of a 7-game losing streak, one which I’d expect to continue here.

They remain without star PG Kyrie Irving and their offense has struggled as a result. Wilson Chandler and Garrett Temple are questionable for this one, while Caris LeVert has just returned from a long-term absence. Miami enter this clash fully healthy, with Justise Winslow returning against Indiana last time out.

The Heat have made their name defensively this season and should be able to stop Brooklyn with relative ease here. We know Butler’s capability as a defender, but Bam Adebayo has emerged as one of the best young bigs in the NBA.

With Brooklyn battling a myriad of injuries on the wing, expect Butler and Co to control the game here. I’d expect this number to go up before tip-off, so get 3 while you can.

Phoenix Suns vs Orlando Magic, 1 pm
Suns -1.5

The 14-23 Suns host the 18-20 Magic here, currently laying 1 point. I think there’s some line value on Phoenix after some poor performances and that they secure the win here.

Orlando have been very ordinary on the road this season, going just 5-12 thus far. Phoenix admittedly haven’t been much better at home, going just 7-14 on the year.

They do enter this one essentially fully healthy, with no-one currently on the injury report. The same can’t be said for Orlando, who have suffered season ending injuries to Isaac and Aminu.

They’re also facing cluster injuries at Point Guard, with MCW ruled out and DJ Augustin questionable for this one. They were already a relatively thin side and I think Phoenix can definitely hang with this depleted version.

The majority of the action has come in on Orlando, but some big bets on Phoenix could push the line even further. At just 1.5 points, I like the home win and cover for the Suns here.

Friday, January 10

Detroit Pistons vs Cleveland Cavaliers, 11 am
Cavs +7

The 14-24 Pistons host the 10-27 Cavs here, currently laying 7 points. It’s tough to lay this many points with Detroit and I’ll look to fade them here.

These two sides played just a few days ago in Cleveland, with the Pistons coming out 2-point winners. This was a game that Cleveland really should’ve won and I’d expect them to come out motivated in the return fixture.

The Cavs also find themselves quite healthy at this point, with Aussie Dante Exum the only player expected to miss. Detroit are still dealing with several key injuries, with each of Blake Griffin, Markieff Morris, Luke Kennard, and Reggie Jackson likely out for this one.

This leaves a huge burden on Andre Drummond, who likely won’t be as motivated due to recent trade speculation. I can see this one being another relatively close affair and I’ll take the security of 7 points with Cleveland.

Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics, 11 am
Celtics ATS

At the time of writing there is currently no line for this game. That said, I’ve still got a few thoughts on what promises to be a good one.

Having lost twice to Philadelphia earlier this season, I’d expect a motivated Boston side here. They were blown out by the Spurs yesterday, likely looking ahead to this game.

Joel Embiid has been ruled out for this one, which is a huge advantage for a Boston side that struggles on the interior. Boston have been dealing with a few key injuries of late, but star PG Kemba Walker made his return yesterday.

Philly is a tough place to play, but Boston are a more than capable road side, going 11-7 straight up and ATS. They’re also in some very good form, winning 8 of their last 10 contests.

The Celtics are definitely live underdogs here, but I’d probably only play it if you can get at least 2.5 points at tip off.

 

Thursday, January 9

Charlotte Hornets vs Toronto Raptors, 11 am
Hornets +4

I had success fading the Raptors yesterday and plan to continue doing so here. This team is super banged up right now and it appears that Siakam, Gasol, Powell, and Van Vleet are all still out.

They enter this one after an emotional back-to-back, just losing at the death to Portland yesterday. The Hornets are essentially injury free, which should provide a massive boost here.

I also like the reverse line movement on this game. 80% of bettors are choosing Toronto yet the line is moving in Charlotte’s favour?

This is because the money of the other 20% is significantly outweighing money from the majority. The people ITK appear to really like Charlotte here, largely due to Toronto’s huge injury list.

It’d be tough to rebound after a nail-biter yesterday and I’d expect Charlotte to hang here. The security of a full 4 points makes this a worthwhile side to take.

Orlando Magic vs Washington Wizards, 11 am
Wizards +10.5

The 17-20 Magic host the 12-24 Wizards here, currently laying 10.5 points. While Washington are without a few key players, 10.5 is just too many points for Orlando to lay.

They are just 16-19 ATS on the season, including a somewhat poor 8-11 at home. Jonathan Isaac is also a key miss for them, making life a bit easier for Washington.

Anyone who watches Orlando play knows that the achilles heel of this team is their ability to score offensively. That’s the primary reason why it is so difficult to back them at this large of a number. The Wizards have a terrible defence, but I’m not sure Orlando have enough firepower to really blow them out here.

Even without Beal and Bertans, the Wizards have been playing some decent ball of late. They managed consecutive home wins against two strong teams in the Nuggets and Celtics.

I can see this being a look-ahead spot for Orlando, with a West Coast trip on the horizon. I don’t see a 3rd win on the bounce here for Washington, but they’ve got enough to keep this within 11 points.

Wednesday, January 8

Toronto Raptors vs Portland Trail Blazers, 11 am
Blazers +1

The 24-12 Raptors host the 15-21 Blazers here, laying just one point. Toronto is absolutely decimated with injuries at the moment and I like Portland in this spot.

The Raptors have five rotation players out injured for this one; Siakam, Gasol, Van Vleet, Powell, and Thomas. Portland are relatively injury free, with CJ McCollum questionable but expected to play.

While the Raptors have looked great this season, I think the injuries will begin to catch up to them here. They’re asking guys like Pat McCaw, OG Anunoby, Rondae Hollis Jefferson and Chris Boucher to play big minutes.

This is also a very important game for Portland as they fight for a playoff spot out West. The absence of VanVleet is especially huge here, as it takes away an option to guard the lethal Portland backcourt.

Portland will have more talent on the floor in this one and I’m predicting a big game from Lillard to give them the road win and cover.

Phoenix Suns vs Sacramento Kings, 1 pm
Kings +6

The Suns have opened as 6-point favourites here, which I think is just too high. This was the line against Memphis the other day, a game they lost pretty comfortably.

These are two fairly evenly matched sides for me and the line should be somewhere around 3 points. As such, I think we’re getting a few decent points of value here with Sacramento.

The Kings are coming off a back-to-back, but a lack of travel should reduce their fatigue. They’ll have most of their rotation players on deck here, with Bogdanovic and Bagley the only questionable ones.

Given their poor 7-12 home record, I just can’t trust Phoenix to lay exorbitant spreads like these. I can see both offences having some success here in a game that should go down to the wire.

In what I’m projecting to be a close one, Sacramento with the full 6 points is the logical play. Don’t hesitate to place a bet on the moneyline either.

Tuesday, January 7

Charlotte Hornets vs Indiana Pacers, 11 am
Hornets +5

The 15-23 Hornets host the 22-14 Pacers here, currently getting 5 points. Indiana are far from a great road side and I’ll gladly take Charlotte plus the points.

While Indiana have been outstanding at home this year, they’re a relatively average 7-10 on the road this season. Their recent form has also noticeably dipped, going just .500 over their last 10 contests.

The Hornets haven’t been anything special this season but they do tend to fight every night. They’re in most of their home games and possess a fairly dynamic young backcourt.

I also really like the contrarian angle in this play, with over 75% of the early action coming in on Indiana. They just haven’t been the same team of late and the Brogdon injury is cause for concern. Especially through the key number of 5, I like Charlotte for the cover.

New Orleans Pelicans vs Utah Jazz, 12 pm
Pelicans +3.5

New Orleans are suddenly playing some decent basketball and they find themselves getting 3.5 points here. Utah have been in some good form of late, but I think the value is on New Orleans in this one.

The Jazz have won 9 of their last 10 games, covering in 8 of those. Punters have been backing them left and right, leading to a few inflated lines. 83% of the early money has come in on Utah, meaning this is another great contrarian spot.

The return of Derrick Favors has been huge for New Orleans, making their defence seem somewhat passable. Jrue Holiday is also expected to play here, giving them their full complement minus Zion.

Mike Conley remains out for Utah and I can see them struggling somewhat offensively as a result. New Orleans are definitely live underdogs here, although I’ll happily take the security of an additional 3.5 points.