The NBA livens up quite a bit on Tuesday night, as numerous stars like Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and Paul George come out to play on a fun eight-game slate. Depending on availability, we even have a potentially fun, high-scoring night cap with Anthony Davis and The Black Mamba, as well.
Watching the games or even engaging in some daily fantasy basketball will definitely be plenty of fun, but what about the NBA betting side of things? Unlike some of the recent game we’ve looked at, tonight actually offers up some tough calls. Let’s take a look at the entire slate to see if we can’t come away with some reliable NBA picks:
Celtics @ Knicks
Boston took the previous meeting this year and is now fully healthy with Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart back, but things can always change when you’re on the road. The Knicks are also healthy and have been playing quite well lately – even pushing the Spurs to the brink in San Antonio. Boston is reeling with three straight losses, too, so I’m leaning towards the Knicks at MSG.
Pick: Knicks 99, Celtics 97
Bulls @ Bucks
We know the Bulls and Bucks hate each other after watching a surprisingly intense six-game playoff series last year, while they both brought the offense earlier this year when the Bulls won a 117-106 contest at the United Center. I’d give Milwaukee a mild chance because this game is at the Bradley Center, but Greg Monroe has been a defensive sieve and the Bulls are mashing overall right now (7-3 in last 10). They just dropped two in a row, but they could use this game in Milwaukee as a nice game to get them back on track.
Pick: Bulls 106, Bucks 101
Suns @ Pacers
Indiana has been a very strong 12-5 at home this year, while the Suns are falling apart across the board. Phoenix doesn’t defend and has a big chunk of their offense gone for the year with Eric Bledsoe sidelined. I still think we see a good amount of points here, but Indy’s solid defense should prove to be the difference at home.
Pick: Pacers 104, Suns 100
Spurs @ Pistons
San Antonio is on the second of a back-to-back set and the Pistons are a pretty tough, defensive-minded squad, so this could be a bigger challenge than some may expect. The Spurs shouldn’t be overly tired after blowing the Nets out last night, however, while their 8-game winning streak is pretty formidable.
Pick: Spurs 98, Pistons 95
Thunder @ Timberwolves
Minnesota was playing competitive basketball earlier in the year, but they’ve been on quite a slide lately, entering tonight with six straight losses and a 1-9 mark in their last 10 games. They have some quality young pieces and can explode on offense, but they lack consistency and can’t defend. Then you throw OKC into the equation and we probably have a blowout win for the Thunder on our hands.
Pick: Thunder 106, Wolves 92
Rockets @ Grizzlies
Houston seems to randomly place themselves back into the playoff conversation once a week, as they go on tiny runs and then drop back. They’re hot at the moment, though, winning their past three and tonight will have a shot at cracking .500. Doing so in Memphis is easier said than done, however, as the Grizz have turned things back on defensively and also come in riding a two-game run. They’re at home and are up 2-0 over the Rockets in the season series, so the edge lies with them.
Pick: Grizzlies 102, Rockets 98
Cavaliers @ Mavericks
Cleveland heads to Dallas tonight, where they’ll face the Mavs in the first of two inter-conference battles. It’s a weird matchup, as both teams can put up points and are pretty balanced, but Cleveland is a rather pedestrian 11-8 away from home this year. Dallas boasts a better than advertised interior defense, while the Cavs keep things a bit slower on offense, which aids their strong perimeter defense. Something has to break in this one, but the Cavs are the more talented squad. I’ll take them in a bit of a shootout in Dallas.
Pick: Cavs 108, Mavs 104
Pelicans @ Lakers
If you’re looking for a game to chase the Total in, this is it, as neither the Lakers or Pelicans play any defense (both giving up 105+ points per game), yet both can put up the points when they’re on fire. The Brow and Kobe Bryant are both iffy for this one, but both could still play. I like a competitive, high-scoring game if Anthony Davis is out, but if he plays he and the Pellies might win this one going away. Either way, I still will take New Orleans, as the Lakers have won 8 games all year and come in riding a four-game skid.
Pick: Pelicans 109, Lakers 107