• My Nuggets got worked over in the second half in a truly special and disgusting way and we immediately gave back all our profits from Wednesday on our first big game loss of the year. Ouch.

    #Bulls (-1.5) @ #Magic (222)

    This game already moved through zero, though don’t overreact. That’s the easiest move in NBA betting and a 3-pt swing here is more like 1 or 1.5 elsewhere. The Bulls are coming off a series split with the Knicks and the Magic are coming off getting smoked by Freddy VanVleet while mostly playing lethargic basketball as the season slips away. One of these teams seems more interested in hoops at the moment. This is the front end of a Rematch Set, so you could also sit on the sidelines and hop in for round two. Lean Bulls.

    #Jazz @ #Hornets

    It looked like this line popped up in a few spots near 8, and if that’s the case, that’s a heavy price on the road on the back-to-back. I lean Hornets just from energy levels alone, though Utah is beating up on teams for the most part. But when you win 11 in a row, you tend to give up more points than you should, even by 1-2. It doesn’t seem significant, but if you flat-faded teams off long win streaks, you’d probably profit.

    #Pelicans @ #Pacers (-3.5) (226)

    This number also dropped from the opener already with New Orleans remaining a pretty strong favorite. The Pacers beat the Pels in OT about a month back. Does that stick in anyone’s mind? If not for that revenge angle, I’d probably lean Pacers off their blowout loss, but truthfully, Indy has slowed a little bit. They’re a pretty predictable mid-tier team so this line is likely about right.

    #Bucks (-11) @ #Cavaliers (227)

    That’s a really, really big number to lay on the road. Still, the Cavs are pretty bad offensively right now and couldn’t even get within striking distance of the Clips on a back-to-back in their last one. Before that, they had 2 needlessly competitive games with the lowly Wolves. They’re a rough team to back right now and as much as I love taking double digit dogs in the NBA, this is a pass. Plus, it’s the start of a Rematch Set, so we can probably bet into the second game on Saturday.

    #Raptors @ #Nets (-5.5) (243)

    Don’t look now but Toronto is quietly playing a tiny bit better with Aron Baynes taking up space. They’re not good by any stretch, but they’re more middling than bad. Still, this number sits right in that weird mushy middle zone where a Nets team that still doesn’t play much defense might just be able to outscore an opponent by 5-6 points anyway. You’ve heard me say I want to back the Nets in short spreads and fade them when they’re laying a bunch. If this number comes DOWN I’ll probably get on Brooklyn, but who are we kidding? It’s not coming down.

    #Wolves @ #Thunder

    Great, two teams I like to back playing each other… twice! This has all the makings of a “wait for the second game” situation. The teams are pretty closely matched, though I’d say OKC has a slight edge if SGA plays. I’d expect a short favorite line for the home team and a bit of a coin flip on which team can get it going for long enough to win.

    #Wizards @ #Heat (-6.5) (228.5)

    This is the second half of a Rematch Set that saw the Wizards win the first one outright in a lower-scoring affair. Neither team shot the ball well at all. The teams combined for 30 turnovers and missed a ton of free throws. I had the game handicapped for around 220 points, so it still went Under. What I wonder is whether Russell Westbrook speeds the game up enough to put the total in play. From a game standpoint, his return makes me want to back the favorite.

    #Pistons @ #Suns (-8.5) (215.5)

    The Suns opened as 10 point favorites and everyone knew that was crazy-high and the number is back down to a more reasonable spot. Still, Phoenix isn’t really blowing teams out. At least not lately. A lot of close games. A bunch of games decided by 5, 6, 8 points and the like. And maybe this line is telling me to stay away, it seeming weirdly high, but until Phoenix shows me they can do both offense and defense on the same night, they’re a fade laying this big of a number.

    #Celtics @ #Clippers (-5) (221)

    The Clippers return to LA after 6 on the road to take on Boston in a pretty big game. The Celtics didn’t have enough energy in their loss to the Kings, but they’ll be up for this one. The lack of Marcus Smart is a big deal, but it’s mostly a battle on the wings in this game, anyway. I’m inclined to believe Boston keeps it tight, though the Clips offense has been damn powerful lately and I’m genuinely concerned LA could pull just far enough away in the 3rd quarter to make this number too small. But as schedules go, this isn’t a good spot for the home team.

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