The NBA has been quiet the past few nights, but it storms back in full force on Tuesday, with a strong nine-game slate to play with. NBA betting fans will come out for tonight’s action, as James Harden and LeBron James get things started at 6 pm ET.
The stars are out to play on this slate, as Harden vs. James is just the beginning to a jam-packed night that includes studs like DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and the Golden State Warriors. Let’s take a look at each matchup and see which way you’ll want to be leaning in our Tuesday night NBA picks:
Houston Rockets (+9.5) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (-9.5)
James Harden and LeBron James usually make for good television when they face each other, and that’s what we’re mostly expecting when the two start tonight’s action off at Quicken Loans Arena tonight. Houston’s offense could make this an exciting matchup, but the Cavs are brutal at home and their schedule has allowed them to come in pretty well rested.
I could possibly see an offensive explosion here, but Cleveland dictates the pace well and plays good defense. Even if it gets out of control, the Cavs still have the offensive fire power to withstand the Rockets. That being said, I think Houston still shows up for this one and give the Cavs a mild fight. It won’t be close, but this is a weird spread given the talent, so Houston barely beating it makes sense here.
Pick: Cavs 109, Rockets 100
Los Angeles Lakers (+9.5) @ Indiana Pacers (-9.5)
This is another rough game when you look at the spread, as the young Lakers still aren’t very good despite a 1-0 start. Indiana is also at home, where they’ve historically been quite good, while Paul George and co. will also want to bounce back from an ugly loss to the Chicago Bulls. Look for that to happen in a big win for the Pacers.
Pick: Pacers 106, Lakers 90
Orlando Magic (-5) @ Philadelphia 76ers (+5)
Someone wins tonight, as the Magic and Sixers are both winless and face off tonight in Philly. This is a very tough game to call, seeing as Joel Embiid is set to get up to 24 minutes tonight and Orlando is truly awful on the road. That being said, Embiid may not be on hand when it counts in this one and Orlando still appears to be the better team on paper.
We expect a close game here, so while we’ll take Orlando to win, we wouldn’t be shocked if this one goes to OT and stays very close. Philly should beat the spread.
Pick: Magic 105, Sixers 102
New York Knicks (+4.5) @ Detroit Pistons (-4.5)
Carmelo Anthony and co. visit Detroit tonight to try to become the first team to beat the Pistons at their home base this year. The Knicks have actually been pretty competitive through two games, but they still haven’t come together all the way and the Pistons feel like the deeper, more well-rounded team. Look for the Pistons to hold down the fort and cover at home.
Pick: Pistons 97, Knicks 92
Sacramento Kings (+4) @ Miami Heat (-4)
The Kings have to be super tired coming into tonight, as they played last night and have played four games in the last eight days. I doubt we need a whole lot more analysis for that, as Miami is fresher, at home and plenty talented in a matchup that should favor them.
Pick: Heat 107, Kings 101
Memphis Grizzlies (+3.5) @ Minnesota Timberwolves (-3.5)
Memphis heads to Minnesota tonight, where they’re oddly the underdogs against a young Timberwolves team that hasn’t won yet this year. News also broke that Ricky Rubio will be out tonight (and for a while), so you have Mike Conley going up against rookie point guard, Kris Dunn.
The advantage lies with the Grizz, especially with them currently listed as the underdog. I’ll chase that all day and at worst play them to beat the spread.
Pick: Grizz 102, Timberwolves 98
Milwaukee Bucks (+3.5) @ New Orleans Pelicans (-3.5)
Anthony Davis hosts the Bucks tonight, in a game where he should devour their souls. Milwaukee tends to struggle on the road and they’re not good this year defensively (or offensively). It’s basically going to be The Brow versus Giannis Antetokoumpo and while that could be fun, this might be the perfect spot for the Pellies to earn their first win of the year.
Pick: Pelicans 105, Bucks 101
Utah Jazz (+10.5) @ San Antonio Spurs (-10.5)
Utah comes into San Antonio still without Gordon Hayward or Alec Burks, and as we all know, being short-handed against the Spurs works out great. Derrick Favors has also been limited (knee), so as decent as Utah should eventually be, they aren’t currently in good enough shape to hand the Spurs their first loss of the new season.
Pick: Spurs 104, Jazz 88
Golden State Warriors (-5.5) @ Portland Trail Blazers (+5.5)
This is the game of the night when it comes to targeting the Over, but given how shaky the Dubs have been so far, it’s a fair bet that could go either way if you’re picking the actual winner. Portland has looked pretty good this year, with their lone loss coming against a very good Clippers team.
I don’t expect Portland to rise up and get the win here, but they should stick with the Dubs and have a good shot at beating the spread.
Pick: Warriors 111, Blazers 107