Rather than go in depth on just three or four games, I’m giving you some quick hits on six games scheduled for tonight in the National Basketball Association. Make sure you pay close attention to the trends and lines because there are some interesting lines on these games.
LA Lakers at Orlando (pick’em) – The Lakers and Magic area a combined 4-16 over their last 20 games (10 each) and now meet in Mickey Mouse World. No wonder the line is a straight pick’em considering how poor these two teams have played. The Lakers are hoping to get Kobe Bryant back after the All-Star break but in the tough Western Conference, that may be too late for a playoff run. I’m going to go with the Magic tonight at home.
Toronto (-6) at Philadelphia – The top team in the Atlantic faces the bottom team in the Atlantic as the Raptors head to Philly. Toronto is 5-5 over their last ten while the Sixers are just 3-7. Philadelphia is 7-18 against the spread in their last 25 games at home against the Raptors. Because of the incredibly poor Eastern Conference, the 76ers aren’t dead in the water just yet. I like the Raptors to win but I like Philly getting the six.
San Antonio (-4.5) at Atlanta – The Spurs come in after losing a tough one at home to Oklahoma City while the Hawks keep battling to stay in the playoff hunt despite the loss of Al Horford for the season. San Antonio is just 1-4 against the spread over their last five games which is something you should keep an eye on. The Hawks are 7-18 ATS in their last 25 games against the Spurs. When these big time teams from the west come into Eastern Conference arenas, teams like Atlanta want to prove something and I think that favors the Hawks tonight.
Milwaukee (+8) at Cleveland – The Cavaliers are 18.5 games behind first place Indiana. Therefore you might think they are in last place. Actually they aren’t by a long shot as the Bucks are 25 games behind the Pacers. Milwaukee has yet to crack double-digits in the win column too. The Cavs are just 4-6 over their last ten games but it’s clear they are a better team with the addition of Luol Deng who came over in a trade from Chicago. Those eight points are pretty large for an NBA game but I’ll take Cleveland giving them tonight.
Dallas (+1.5) at Brooklyn – The Nets have won three straight games and are 8-2 over their last ten games which is fantastic for a team that couldn’t get out of its’ own way when this season started. Tonight they entertain the Mavericks who are 6-4 in their last ten games. Brooklyn has climbed to just 2.5 games behind the Raptors in the Atlantic while the Mavs are hanging tough in the Southwest. They are eight games behind the Spurs. Despite having a much better record, I think Dallas is running into a buzz saw right now. Take the Nets.
Oklahoma City (-6.5) at Boston – No one is hotter in the NBA right now than Kevin Durant who continues to torch opponents with his hot shooting. Because of him, the Thunder has won five straight games and is 7-3 in their last ten games. The Celtics are representative of a bad Eastern Conference as they just 15-29 overall but they are only 7.5 games out of first in the Atlantic. Expect a good battle from Boston this evening but I like OKC to cover.