WE’RE coming off another mini sweep and look to stay hot with some more big winners.
Here’s our best bets for the action ahead:
Houston Rockets @ Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks are not only one of the coldest teams in the NBA right now, but they’re also one of the most banged up squads in the country.
Atlanta’s injury toll continues to worsen but the good news is key trio Denis Schroder, Marco Belinelli and Mike Muscala are likely to suit up tonight.
Houston meanwhile are slowly finding their rhythm as they get their core team back to full fitness. The absence of new recruit Chris Paul remains the only injury at the moment and without him they’ll be able to resume with their run and gun style under Mike D’Antoni.
Neither side has shown enough consistency on the defensive end of the court to warrant a significant lean either way, but the point on offer are far too high for a team that has dominated this series, and is clearly a far better outfit at home compared to on the road.
The Hawks have covered the line just once in their last seven games overall, however that was at home to Western Conference opponents. Atlanta has had just two home games to start they year and they’ll relish the opportunity to return home in this one.
Atlanta has gone 5-1 against the spread in its last six games versus teams with a winning record of .600 and they’ve covered the line in six of their last eight games at the Philips Arena.
Houston meanwhile have covered just two of their last 11 games against teams with a losing record and haven’t shown that ability to blow teams away with their offence yet this season.
We’ve got a good lean on the home team covering in this one, with our data giving the Hawks a 68% chance of covering an almost double-digit spread. Atlanta has covered the line in the last four straight meetings between the two sides, while the underdog is 5-2 in the last seven between the teams.
Tip: Atlanta Hawks +9.5 @ $1.89
New Orleans Pelicans @ Dallas Mavericks
The Pelicans will look to get back on track when they head to Dallas to take on an unpredictable Mavs team.
Dallas can’t seem to find any consistency on offence at the moment, with the team averaging just 98.2 points per game – a welcome relief for a Pelicans team struggling to slow their opponents down at the moment.
Scoring isn’t the only issue for Rick Carlisle’s side either, with the team allowing 111.6 points per game in their last three losses. Coming up against a side that is arguably the biggest offensive threat isn’t going to help matters either at the moment.
New Orleans’ twin tower presence of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins have proved unstoppable at times this season and they should have their way against this Mavericks front court today.
The issue for New Orleans is getting greater contribution from the rest of the team, and that starts with more consistency at the point guard position from Jrue Holiday.
His matchup with rookie Dennis Smith Jr will be key to sparking this Pelicans team, and his length and size should negate a lot of Smith’s explosive energy on offence.
Dallas currently owns an average margin of -10.1, which is among the lowest in the league. The line here is too generous to ignore and New Orleans should have no problems covering despite being on the road.
They’ve covered the line in their last four starts against teams with a losing record and are 6-0 against the spread in their last six games versus teams under .400.
Meanwhile, the Mavs have failed to cover in their last seven starts against teams with a losing record and are 1-6 against the spread in their last seven home games.
Our data has a big lean on the road team in this one and we expect the physical presence of this Pelicans team to simply be too much for the Mavs in this one.
Tip: New Orleans Pelicans -4.5 @ $1.90
Boston Celtics @ Oklahoma City Thunder
The Celtics are currently the hottest team in the NBA but they will face their toughest test of the year when they travel to OKC.
The thunder meanwhile return from their short East coast road trip going 2-0 against the Bulls and Bucks, but are also yet to show their worth against a top team.
The big news for Boston is the inclusion of new recruit Marcus Morris for the first time this season, with the new no. 13 set to be active for tonight’s game.
It’s not that surprising to see Brad Stevens team own the best defensive record in the league at the moment as they’re giving up just 93.8 points per game.
Oklahoma’s defence is also among the league leaders this season, with Billy Donovan’s team giving up just 95.7 points per game at the moment.
So why are we leaning on the Overs? Simple, the tempo of this game will be a lot higher than either team has played in recent games.
Both sides have been able to control the tempo to suit their needs but both will be aware that if they’re to generate any offence against on another it will involve quick points in transition.
Stevens will know that OKC’s struggles against the Timberwolves this season are down to their high octane offence that team produces, and it’s a matchup that the Thunder don’t enjoying dealing with.
The bench all also be crucial in this one and Boston’s second unit is certainly a far more well rounded team than what the Thunder have in reserve. So, while we do have a good lean on the Overs we can’t ignore the value on Boston +6.5 either.
The team has covered the line in their last five straight games overall and 7-0 against the spread in their last seven road games. The C’s are also 5-0 on the road against teams with a winning record.
The Overs meanwhile has cashed in the Celtics last four games against Western Conference teams, and is 6-1 in the team’s last seven games against the Northwest division.
We’ll split our stakes in this one as we look to take full advantage of a nice double.
Tip: Over 206.5 points @ $1.89 & Boston Celtics +6.5 @ $1.91
Punter Problems NBA multi:
San Antonio Spurs
$2.00 (1.5 units)