NBA: Cavaliers (+3.5) @ 76ers $
The Sixers pulled the huge trade yesterday for James Harden, but he isn’t going to help them tonight. James is not yet expected to play with his hamstring injury. Although Charles Barkley hilariously declared Harden to be 100% healthy following the trade announcement. But we do know who also will not be in the lineup for the Sixers and that is Seth Curry and Andre Drummond who are both leaving town in the same trade. Their absences will be noticeable especially in the short term.
The Cavaliers expect Darius Garland back in the lineup tonight along with their recent addition Caris Levert. This makes them a better team than they were last week while their opponents tonight are noticeably worse. I do not need a big push to back the upstart Cavs. This looks like a good opportunity for them to get a quality road win against a team they are battling against for playoff ranking.
NBA: Pelicans (-6) Vs Spurs $
I don’t know what to make of the Spurs right now. They did not get better shipping out their starting SG in Derrick White. The team had already underperformed most of the season, but last night they rolled into ATL and beat up the Hawks.
Dejounte Murray could be the most underrated player in the NBA right now. Last night he pulled off the crazy line of 32/10/15. Dejounte is the Spurs’ primary, and perhaps the only, option for the time being. Opponents will need to game-plan for Dejounte moving forward. But the Spurs remain an enigma. Are they a playoff team or in rebuilding? It is hard to say.
This pick is more about the Pelicans, however. I will be looking for reasons to back NO down the stretch and this looks like a good matchup for them. They dropped their first game with CJ McCollum in the lineup to MIA. But after a day off to regroup, I expect a strong game from them tonight against the Spurs who had to play and travel yesterday.
NBA: Raptors (-3.5) Vs Nuggets $
The Nuggets let a double-digit lead slip away last night against the red-hot Celtics. Their schedule doesn’t get any easier tonight as they travel to Toronto to face the Raptors who are playing as well any team in the NBA. The Nuggets were getting (+6) in Boston last night so my immediate thought was this line should be at least seven or eight. Fred VanVleet is listed as questionable for this matchup and this is the main reason the line isn’t much higher.
The Nuggets have overperformed all season and I still feel there is value fading this team. Nikola Jokic is as good as ever but does not have the support needed for this team to be a contender. The Raptors are a much more balanced team than the Nuggets. The addition of Thadeus Young also helps their bench depth which has been a soft spot for the Raptors. This balance will allow the Raptors to effectively game-plan and contain Jokic tonight.
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Legend $$ – two unit bet $ – one unit bet
NBA odds provided by Odds Shark. Posted lines are of writing time.