The NBA comes at us fully loaded for the second night in a row, as the schedule boasts a healthy 10 games on Saturday night. We need to pay special mind to injuries and players being rested, most notably the Spurs and Cavs, who both have already ruled out some key players. Beyond that, of course, there are some very solid bets worth targeting on tonight’s slate.
Instead of betting on every game and hoping for the best, join us as we hone in on just a handful of bets that should help bring you a profit:
Raptors vs. Pelicans
Pick: Toronto Covers -8.5 Line
This is more about the banged up Pellies than it is Toronto, who could actually take this fantastic opportunity to rest some guys. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowly both got tossed last night, too, which is pretty laughable but could factor into them sitting this one out. Even if that happens, I still like the Raptors, who are a decent 20-15 on the road and 18-16-1 ATS on the road, as well. Again, this is more about New Orleans, who is seriously starting the likes of Alonzo Gee and Alexis Ajinca right now.
New Orleans did beat the Clippers three games ago, but has lost to the Heat (by 14) and Pacers (by 8) in their last two. This is actually a pretty soft line when you look at the talent gap, and even a decent 18-17 (for them) home record won’t save the Pels here. Jrue Holiday is probably out again and there just isn’t anything to get excited about in New Orleans. If Toronto doesn’t cover, it will be thoroughly embarrassing.
Pacers vs. Nets
Pick: Indiana Covers -5 Line
Indiana is a mild risk seeing as they only beat an awful Pelicans team by 8 last time out, plus they’re on the road, and the Nets play their best at the Barclays Center. Broolyn still is not very good, however, and Indy has won both of the previous meetings (by 7 and 14) this year. Indiana is fighting to secure a playoff spot and has way more talent – plus Ian Mahnimi can neutralize the impact of Brook Lopez inside. I like this game to be somewhat competitive, but the Pacers should pull away late and cover.
Timberwolves vs. Jazz
Pick: Minnesota Beats -7 Line
This one is a tad dicey with Minnesota potentially very tired (played 2OT last night) but this young team is rather talented and has a ton of fight to them. Utah got smoked by the Thunder in their last game and is on the road tonight, too, so this could be a pretty leveled playing field. I like the Timberwolves to step up at home, as they try to spoil Utah’s playoff bid and win their third straight game.
Winning isn’t the objective here for the NBA bettor, though. All we need is the Wolves to keep it together on their home floor against a less than elite team. Utah does not have a top shelf offense, so this is going to be more about Minnesota scoring on the Jazz. Seeing as the Timberwolves have the series tied 1-1 and have scored at least 90 points in both meetings, there is hope for them to find a little success – especially in front of their home crowd. I do thin Utah wins, but I like a close game until the end, so the Wolves have a shot at beating the spread here. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Utah is just 16-21 ATS on the road this year, while Minnesota is 5-0 ATS in their last five contests.
Blazers vs. 76ers
Pick: Portland Covers -13 Line
This is a super gaudy line, but Philadelphia is all kinds of bad (9 wins on the year, 7 straight losses) and the Blazers are still fighting for playoff positioning. Portland is at home tonight (where they’re 22-12) and the talent gap is obvious, plus they are going to want to make up for a smoke job the Sixers handed them earlier this season in Philly.
I just can’t see the Blazers going down 2-0 against such an awful team – let alone in their own house. Look for huge games from Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum as the Blazers start hot and return the favor with a blowout win.
Pistons vs. Hawks
Pick: Over 204 Total
This game is a true pick-em, so I’d have zero interest trying to figure it out by betting on the Money Line tonight – especially since the previous three games have been pretty well contested. Atlanta holds the 2-1 season series lead, but all three games have been decided by 8 points or less. Detroit probably holds the mild edge with this one in The Palace tonight, where the Pistons have been tough (24-12). The Hawks, meanwhile, struggle a bit on the road (19-17).
The key here is the Total, as all three games have sported at least one team topping 100+ points, with two of the three games having both teams score 100 points. Needless to say, two of the three have bested the week 204 Total tonight has projected, with the lowest produced Total being a flat 200. I like the odds of the Over tonight, as both teams average 102 points per game on the year and this matchup bodes well for a back and forth game.