Pacers ($2.01) host the Celtics ($1.75) in an important game for both teams, with Pacers vying for a top 4 seed whilst Boston will be looking to guarantee their playoff position with a win. Brogdon is a big loss, but Pacers are 2-0 after his injury against the Bucks including an impressive win on the road against Doncic and Co. Celtics will be without an important player in Brown who averages over 20 for them, and for that reason, I am tipping Pacers to consolidate their 21-10 home record.
Next up Wizards ($1.53) take on the Knicks ($2.4). Washington is surprisingly the 6th best offensive team in the league whereas the Knicks are second last. Although conversely, the Wizards have the worst defensive rating in the league so it’ll be interesting to see whether the Knicks can score enough to beat the Wizards. Much drama has surrounded the Knicks of late (what’s new?) in regards to Spike Lee and fans being kicked out for chanting ‘Sell the team’. However, the Knicks have been much improved under Miller and have been competitive against top teams. Look for Knicks to beat Wizards and quieten the noise.
Rockets ($1.11) vs Timberwolves ($6.2). I seem to have cursed Houston with my recent Small Ball article, with the team going 0-4 in their last 4 games including losses against below .500 teams in the Knicks, Hornets, and Magic. Timberwolves have been more impressive as of late, however, this is simply a must-win for the Rockets who must get back on track and ready for the playoffs. Rockets to win.
Cavaliers travel to Chicago to take on the staggering Bulls. Lavine is the Bulls barometer, and it is evident they have struggled without him being unable to finish off games, losing their last 4 games marginally. Cavaliers, on the other hand, seem to have found a new wind, upsetting the Nuggets and defending home court against the Spurs off of a 28 and 17 double-double from Drummond. This game should be close, however, Cleveland has all the momentum and it is hard to pick Bulls over them. Cavs to win.
Spurs host the Mavs. Aldridge is listed as doubtful for Tuesday, affecting the Spurs chances of stopping the Mavs as they haven’t been able to beat a team over .500 since his injury, even dropping a few games against below .500 teams in their shocking loss against the Cavs and a 19 point defeat at the hands of a Lavert triple-double. Last time these two teams played, Doncic managed to get a triple-double and Porzingis has a 28 and 12 double-double. Look for a similar narrative to take place as the Mavericks march closer towards a home-court advantage in the playoffs.
Memphis ($1.72) hosts the front-court in Vucevic and Gordon in a game that seems difficult to tip. Memphis are 17-9 against teams below .500 whereas Orlando ($2.05) struggle, boasting a 6-26 record against teams over .500 (Memphis are at 32-32). Coupled in with a 13-20 away record, Memphis should be better primed to knock off the challengers and separate themselves further from the 9th seeded Pelicans.
Pheonix is coming off an impressive win against the Bucks off the back of a 20 point first quarter from Booker and will be looking to continue their winning ways as they travel to Portland. These two teams have met in the past week, with Suns reaping the win. However, the absence of Ayton allowed Whiteside to have a 23 and 20 double-double If Ayton misses again, I expect a similar game from Whiteside, and expect the Suns to struggle on the road against such dominance on the glass. Suns to win.
Warriors take on the Clippers in a game that is likely to miss Curry as he recovers from the Flu. The Warriors looked like a much better team with him on the court, which has me with the potential of a Curry, Thompson, Wiggins and Green lineup next season. However, they will miss Curry for their gamer against the Clippers who were on the receiving end of a dominant display from AD and Lebron, combining for 58 points. Expect Clippers and Kawhi, to bounce back and do so convincingly. Clippers to win and cover the line.
Lakers ($1.13) take on a Brooklyn ($5.5) team that is 8-21 against teams over .500. The Lakers and Lebron are on absolute fire, who put up a dominant 38 point game against the Championship favorites Bucks, and then backed it up with a 28 point game against a Clipper team that has been the talk of the town since acquiring Morris and Jackson. Lebron has reminded everyone the caliber of the player he is and has put teams on notice. Unfortunately, Nets are tasked with beating the Lakers in the middle of this hot streak. Nets have their internal issues going on, with rumors swirling about the potential firing of Atkinson and I simply don’t see them being competitive against the Lakers at this point in the season. Lakers to win and cover the line.
Pacers to beat Celtics
Knicks to beat Wizards
Rockets to beat Timberwolves
Cavaliers to beat Chicago
Mavericks to beat Spurs
Memphis to beat Orlando
Portland to beat Suns
Clippers to win and cover the line against Warriors
Lakers to win and cover the line against Nets