Sixers (-9.5) @ Knicks (222.5), 7:35 pm; Grizzlies (+2) @ Bulls (209), 8:05 pm; Warriors (-3) @ Trail Blazers (234.5), 10:35 pm
Sixers (-9.5) @ Knicks (222.5), 7:35 pm
Pick: Knicks +9.5
The Action Network had a good trend today in an article that pointed to teams on the second leg of a back-to-back headed into the All-Star break. Since 2005, betting against those teams against the spread would have resulted in a 77-52-3 record which is about a 60% hit rate. Four teams are in that spot tonight in the NBA and we’re fading three of them. The first team is the Sixers who have been a mess all season against the number as a favorite on the road and did not look good for most of last night’s 112-109 loss against Boston. It might have been a competitive game, but the Celtics did what they usually do against the Sixers taking Joel Embiid out of his element and Brad Stevens outcoached Brett Brown. This feels like a look-ahead spot for the Sixers now after a disappointing loss at home, our guess is they’re ready to pack it in for the break and recharge the batteries for the stretch run. Besides, they could probably win this game with a C effort anyway. But, even if they do, it won’t be by double digits.
Grizzlies (+2) @ Bulls (209), 8:05 pm
Pick: Bulls -2
Memphis fought hard for 48 minutes last night against San Antonio but it wasn’t enough to win as the Spurs escaped on the road with a 108-107 victory. The Grizzlies are going nowhere this season and traded away Marc Gasol at last year’s deadline so efforts like that are probably few and far between. After all, with 22 wins, Memphis has a slew of teams breathing down its throat in the lottery standings with 1-3 more wins. We’re getting close to the time of year in the NBA where “injuries” start popping up to players on lottery teams. Chicago has been firmly entrenched in the top five of the inverse standings for a while and doesn’t have as much to worry about. The Bulls are just bad, but they’ll be less bad than the Grizzlies tonight. While this pick is selling Memphis more so than buying the Bulls, it all counts the same at the window.
Warriors (-3) @ Trail Blazers (234.5), 10:35 pm
Pick: Trail Blazers +3
Golden State has found itself in lots of close games recently despite winning 16 of its last 17. But most of those 16 wins have required the Warriors to expend more energy in the second half than what would normally be expected as they’ve gotten behind early in games. Portland has played very well on its home floor all season and Golden State usually gets a big time effort from its opponents. A team like Portland, sitting in the fourth position in the West right now, would love to send a message to the rest of the West tonight on national television. We think Golden State gets a little tired here after needing to come from behind in the second half against Miami on Sunday and Utah last night. DeMarcus Cousins sitting out for the Warriors might be an indication of the fatigue already coming into play. Portland wins this game outright.