A tough 1-2 record last night.
The Pelicans -5.5 ended up losing outright at home to the Knicks. New York entered this game with the worst road record in the league. New Orleans had a seven point lead entering crunch time, but then allowed the Knicks to come back and beat them. The Pelicans are in a slump right now and clearly have some figuring out to do.
Cleveland -2.5 also lost outright to the Jazz on Lebron James’ birthday. This one was decided in the third quarter as the Jazz won the quarter 52-38. They didn’t do a great job protecting the ball as the Jazz grabbed 12 steals in this one. The Cavs seem to be doing a bit of regression right now after that long winning streak where the numbers didn’t quite show them to be as good as they were playing.
Thanks to the Heat -2 for saving our night at the Magic. This one looked worrisome early, but the Heat came back with a huge 67-45 second half to grab the win.
Chicago Bulls vs. Washington Wizards Betting Tips:
The Bulls have won 10 of their past twelve games and come into this one playing some really great basketball. They’ve been moving the ball well, cleaning up the boards and playing some great defense in the month of December. It feels like there is really something to this team.
They play the Wizards tonight in Washington and while we expect the Wizards to get things done here, this line is way too high. The Bulls have played too good for too long to get this many points against a middling East team. Give the Bulls some respect and bet Chicago +7.5.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Indiana Pacers Betting Tips:
While the Timberwolves haven’t been what we expected them to be, they have quietly been a really tough team this year. The shift of focus from Wiggins to Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns has really unlocked some great things and I think this team will be a tough win all season.
The Pacers have defined the term tough win this year, but today they should once again be without Victor Oladipo. He is the engine that makes that team run and without him it is hard to get too excited about this team. They simply lack the scoring and the Wolves are a scoring machine.
Timberwolves -2 is a nice value today.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Phoenix Suns Betting Tips:
Here’s an easy way to tell how much we like the Philadelphia 76ers in any particular game: is Joel Embiid playing? They have just two wins all season without Embiid and 14 with him. They are a completely different team with him out there and a far more dangerous one.
Tonight they face the lowly Suns who rank near the bottom in most defensive categories. They are 27th in Defensive Rating and 24th in Offensive Rating, they are a bad team that is heading for the lottery.
With the big man on the floor and the Suns on the other side, it’s hard not to love the Sixers -2.5 tonight.