The NBA doesn’t always work out as we hope it to, and that certainly can apply to NBA betting, as well. That much was made clear on Tuesday night, as the Golden State Warriors failed us for the second time at home – something they hadn’t done for an entire year prior to losing to the Boston Celtics last week.
Yet, here we are, the Dubs wilting in the face of history, and we still need to keep on picking games. Luckily we don’t need to figure out if the Warriors will blow it again tonight, as they don’t play. We do need to keep an eye on teams resting guys tonight, as well as some young talent trying to prove itself as the regular season draws to a close. Tonight gives us a healthy 8-game schedule to work with, so let’s dive in and see where we may want to go with our bets:
Pistons @ Magic
Line: Pistons -2 Total: 208
Detroit still has their eye on a playoff spot as they head to the Amway Center to battle an on again, off again Magic squad. Stan Van Gundy and Tobias Harris take on their former team to fulfill the revenge narrative, but we can’t dismiss the Magic, who have been competitive lately and are a solid 21-17 at their home base. That being said, Detroit won both meetings earlier this year and can’t afford to let this one slip through their fingers.
Pick: Pistons 106, Magic 101
Hornets @ Knicks
Line: Hornets -4.5 Total: 197
Kristaps Porzingis and Jose Calderon remain shelved, so it’s all about Melo at the Madison Square Garden tonight. That hasn’t brought winning results lately (Knicks are 3-7 in last 10 games), while a date with a very solid Hornets team probably spells trouble. Charlotte could be without Nicolas Batum for the second straight game, though, and they’ve lost two in a row. With the Southeast Division still within reach, tonight is a good opportunity for the Hornets to get back on track.
Pick: Hornets 104, Knicks 89
Thunder @ Blazers
Line: N/A Total: N/A
OKC really should be limiting or resting their stars the rest of the way, so we should keep an eye on that happening tonight in what amounts to a meaningless road game in Portland. The Blazers still have some seeding to figure out, as they’d probably much rather face the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs, instead of OKC. We can expect a good amount of points in this one, but as long as OKC doesn’t sit their main guys, a Thunder win is likely.
Pick: Thunder 107, Blazers 103
Clippers @ Lakers
Line: Clippers -11.5 Total: 208
The Black Mamba faces the Clippers for the final time tonight, so he’ll suit up after getting trounced by Lob City just last night. That does put both teams on leveled playing field in terms of rest, but Los Angeles is not playing well right now and as we know, has been awful all year. Bryant may have a gem up his sleave and the Clippers should be resting some guys, but it’s still tough to call an upset here.
Pick: Clippers 109, Lakers 97
Cavs @ Pacers
Line: N/A Total: N/A
Cleveland’s magic number is two more wins to lock up the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, so resting guys probably isn’t something they’re thinking about tonight when they prepare to face the Pacers in Indiana. The LeBron James vs. Paul George narrative has led to three very intense battles this year, but the end result has been a Cavs win every time. Indy is fighting for a playoff appearance at home, so we’d love to pull for the upset here, but the Cavs are red hot with four straight wins and own a very solid 25-14 road record.
Pick: Cavs 101, Pacers 98
Nets @ Wizards
Line: Wizards -14.5 Total: 208
Brooklyn has already shut down Thaddeus Young and Brook Lopez, and tonight they’ll take their stripped down roster on the road. They’ll face the Wiz, who are healthy and battling for an Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Wiz was big at the Barclays Center earlier this year, and with their sights set on making the playoffs, they shouldn’t slow down in a big home win tonight.
Pick: Wizards 115, Nets 96
Pelicans @ Celtics
Line: Celtics -14.5 Total: 208.5
The banged up Pelicans fell to the Sixers last night, so they’ll ented TD Garden hurt, embarrassed and probably even a little tired. Boston is in the playoffs, but they can still get the three seed or tumble down to the 8th spot if they’re not careful. Look for them to go full speed at home in a big win over New Orleans.
Pick: Celtics 108, Pellies 94
Rockets @ Mavs
Line: Rockets -2.5 Total: 207
Houston visits Dallas as the two Southwest Division foes continue to battle for a Western Conference playoff spot. The loser could easily end up being the odd man out when it comes to the playoff picture, while Dallas has turned the jets back on recently with four straight wins. Dirk Nowitzki has especially been good, while Houston’s weak defense and Dwight Howard seemingly checking out make the Rockets a poor bet to finish .500 this year. Houston holds the 2-1 edge on the season series, but with the game in Dallas and the Mavs playing better basketball, we’ll take the mild upset here.
Pick: Mavs 106, Rockets 103