• #Knicks @ #Cavaliers

    No line yet, but we already know Sexton and Garland are out for Cleveland, so my guess would be that this line is damn close to a pick, as I have the Knicks slightly ahead of the Cavaliers in power rankings, and home court should pull that sucker back towards zero. Neither team has played all that well this past week, but one thing we know for sure is that the Cavs are trying to win by grinding games out. They’re an auto-Under most nights but I also worry we’re going to see a total just over 200. Probably a pass, though the Knicks did beat the Cavs here in Cleveland on December 29, so maybe there’s a mysterious angle, there?

    #Magic @ #Celtics

    I’m a bit surprised we haven’t seen this one pushed back. I think the NBA is still making up their minds on whether Boston is ready to play a game again. Meaning, basically… has Boston quarantined long enough to know if anyone else on the team got the virus from Jayson Tatum? If this game happens, I expect Boston to be heavy favorites and I’d fade the crap out of them. Sure, they’re rested, but they also haven’t practiced together in at least a week and guys are going to be all out of sorts with their schedule disrupted. Magic are stinking up the joint lately, though, so I need a bunch of points to make it worthwhile.

    #Mavericks @ #Bucks (-6) (227.5)

    Mavs are surging, but will they have enough bodies to really compete with Milwaukee? I’m inclined to say yes. Luka has officially played his way into shape, Porzingis adds a new dimension, though his minutes aren’t up yet, and I like what the Mavs are trending toward. But I’m not sure they’re quite there, yet, and I would venture to guess the Bucks take this game pretty seriously. Given I don’t think the Mavs get blown out, I’d be inclined to lean toward the dog, but I actually think this line is pretty tight to the mark. Perhaps the tiniest bit of value on the home team just based purely on power rankings.

    #Bulls @ #Thunder

    Thunder have dropped two in a row, including an ugly loss to the suddenly mega-dunking Lakers. Bulls have been off for a bit, but not nearly as long as the teams losing a full week to COVID. Chicago was merely a guest against a virus-ravaged opponent that also happened to have a few days off just because of scheduling. If the Bulls had been off longer, I might be inclined to fade them but I think they remain a slightly underrated team, and now they happen to be rested. This will probably be a very short line, and that’s basically accurate.

    #Grizzlies @ #Timberwolves (-3) (224)

    The Timberwolves absolutely had the first half of this Rematch Set in their hands and gave it away with an incredibly poor 4th quarter performance. If you love revenge angles, and I do, you’d jump on the Wolves, but boy that effort late in the last game is hard to shake out of my head. The Grizz really had no business winning that first one, but it could have led to a big confidence boost as opposed to Minnesota thinking they need to get game two. I’m not sure I like the revenge play, here, at least not as much as most.

    #Hawks @ #Jazz

    The Hawks had their last one postponed, so they’re extremely well rested, and honestly, Trae needed it. I’m betting Clint Capela doesn’t mind the rest, either, as he continues to work his way into normal game shape. Make no mistake, he’s not there, yet. The rebounding is great because he’s so much bigger than everyone else, but the dunking is probably about 4-5 games away. As betting goes, the Jazz are home after a SIX game road trip, so this is a clear letdown spot. I like the Hawks on the ML, actually.

    #Pelicans @ #Lakers

    I’m wondering if the Lakers are just going to be road warriors again and feel comfortable outscoring people at home, or if they’re going to clamp down on everyone. I’m tempted to wait and see, though it’s a bit of a Lakers fade spot since you know the Pels are out for blood and there’s still a little bit of that revenge angle. But I don’t think I can step in front of the Lakers until we see them take their foot back off the gas. If we think the Lakers are defending well, maybe the Under is the play. They just look unstoppable right now.

    #Clippers (-6.5) @ #Kings (230)

    The Clippers are having some issues putting teams away, so laying a bunch of points makes for a difficult favorite to bet, but after watching Luke Walton let his team piss away a 20-point lead to the Blazers, I just don’t know if I can trust the Kings on a night-to-night basis with him in charge. He’s truly awful. High likelihood I sit this one out.

    LEANS:

    Cavs, Magic, Wolves, Hawks, Pelicans

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