NBA: Nets (+3.5) Vs Lakers $
Are the Nets better on the road with Kyrie in the lineup than they are at home without him? It’s pretty close but I would still pick home court advantage. The biggest challenge about playing on the road in the NBA is dealing with unfavourable calls from the referees. Teams at home tend to get fouls calls that the same ref may not call in a hostile environment. That value should be worth more than the loss of even a star player like Kyrie Irving, usually.
After their 11 point loss in Minnesota on Sunday, James Harden went on record about his frustrations about the inconsistencies of foul calls. It is not inconceivable to expect Harden to get to the line an extra time or two in their next game at home. It seems like such a small thing but in the long run it makes a big difference.
The Lakers are set to welcome back Anthony Davis after missing 17 games with an MCL sprain. I am taking a wait and see attitude towards AD the rest of this season. Frankly he was not playing up to his own standards even prior to the injury. I’m not expecting him to once again be the dominant forward the Lakers need and expect. Let’s see if he can stay healthy first.
Let’s not forget Kevin Durant is out this matchup with his own MCL sprain. So once again the Nets are down to just one third of their big three. I expect a big game from Harden in this one and for the Nets to pull out a close victory.
NBA: Warriors (+5) Vs Mavericks $
I was a little surprised when I saw the (+5) line posted for this matchup. I had to double check the status of Stephen Curry and make sure he wasn’t injured. Steph was just 5/20 shooting in the Warriors last game, a home win against the Jazz. Even though he hasn’t been lights out as usual, he’s still the guy I want to have the ball at the end of the game. He should be better in this matchup.
It is hard to say anything bad about the Mavericks. They are playing sound defence and have a full lineup to pull from for the first time all season. Luka Doncic is his usual self and Kristaps Porzingis is playing likely the best ball of his career. The line maker has clearly made an adjustment on the Mavericks as they head down the stretch.
This line opened at (+5) and as I write this article the night before the game, it has already moved down to (+3.5). That seems more reasonable to me, but I am still going to back the Warriors as home dogs.
The game has the potential for a low score with both teams playing good defence. There is a high probability the point will come into play in what should be a closely contested affair.
I have faded the Warriors a couple of times recently since the Draymond Green has been out. But this line seems like an overcorrection in favour of Dallas.
NBA: Spurs (-3.5) @ Rockets $
The Spurs are an average NBA team with a bad record. Every year the is a team or two like this who seem to underperform in the win column but do well against the spread. Normally that would mean I want to play on teams like that when they are underdogs, but I will make an exception here. While there is only three wins separating these two teams in the win column, there should be little debate as to who is the better team.
I love the way Dejounte Murray is playing right now. The team is also healthy so there should be no excuse for them not to get this win. If they disappoint me again here, I may have to alter my opinion of them.
The Rockets are just a bad team that lose a lot of games and also fail to cover even when they are getting a big spread. They are just playing out the stretch and it isn’t even the all-star game yet. I have difficulty backing such teams even as underdogs.
NBA: Timber Wolves (-3.5) @ Trail Blazers $
The Wolves are looking good right now. I am beginning to change my opinion of them from perennial NBA door mats to a solid playoff team. They are actually ahead of the Lakers right now and they have their eyes set on chasing down the Nuggets for the #6 spot in the west.
The Blazers are still in trouble with injuries. Norman Powell may return for this matchup, but they are still without Lillard, Nance and Zeller. To their credit, they have played well despite their absences. They have won 6 of their last games playing short handed and I have to admit to being burnt by them a couple of times already during that stretch.
The Blazers return home to Portland after a brutal yet successful six game road trip to the east. Fatigue may be a factor in this matchup as they travel from Toronto on one day rest to face the youthful Wolves. This seems like a better spot for the road team.
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NBA odds provided by Odds Shark. Posted lines are as of writing time.