An 0-2 night last night that should’ve been 0-1.
When I wrote up the tips yesterday, Giannis Antetokounmpo was not on the injury list and because he wasn’t on the injury list, the Bucks were favored by -11.5 and I laid those points. Later in the day, Giannis was scratched and that line just started dropping and eventually landed at -6.5. I was oblivious to all of this at the time, but there is no way I would’ve taken the Bucks for a double-digit spread without Giannis. That’s like the Packers without Aaron Rodgers, that’s like taking the Legion of Doom without Road Warrior Hawk. I just wouldn’t do it and I hope that while I lost money on this one, that you didn’t.
Our other game was the Raptors over the Knicks. We laid the big -14 here and the Raps won by five. This felt like one of those games that the Raptors could’ve blown out, but they felt like toying with some new lineups and tinkering with some things instead. A loss I don’t like, but understand in the context of this league.
There is a short five-game slate here tonight and not a ton that I am liking. I have one pick and then I’ll go through a few leans and let you all decide what you think about today.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Portland Trail Blazers Betting Tips:
The Mavericks at home getting points is probably my strongest lean of the day. Dallas has been great in games with a 19-8 record in the big D this season, both straight up and against the spread. Luka Doncic is listed as probable for this one and as long as he plays, Dallas looks like a strong play. This team has had a strong bench unit this year and with the trades at the deadline, this is firmly Doncic’s team now.
They are +4.5 here and this is the only the fourth time that the Blazers have been a road favorite this season. That should tell you something about their road play as they are just 10-13 overall. I can see them winning this game, but I think it will be a battle and the earlier start favors the home team.
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Los Angeles Lakers at Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid is once again listed as questionable here which always gives me pause when it comes to this team. The addition of Tobias Harris really opened this team up and they really showed it on Friday. That said, +7.5 for LeBron James feels like a lot. He also showed his powers on Friday and I just don’t want to go against him with such a big number.
Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks: I don’t like to bet on teams like the Hawks, but this is Orlando’s third game and four nights and the second half of a road back-to-back. They are probably feeling themselves right now after the big win in Milwaukee, but I don’t think they should underestimate John Collins, Trae Young and the boys here.