2-0 Monday, 103-98-2 overall.
Nets (+6.5) @ Celtics (219.5)
Pick: Celtics -6.5
It was a tough loss for both us and the Celtics on Saturday night as we backed Boston as a short favorite against Houston only to see the Celtics fall apart in the third quarter and relinquish an 11-point halftime lead and eventually lose in overtime. However, with the Nets rolling into Beantown on Tuesday night’s game presents a great bounce back opportunity for the C’s. Brooklyn has lost five out of six since returning from the All-Star break and our initial assumption that they’d improve sans Kyrie Irving hasn’t quite panned out. The Nets still have a four-game lead on the Wizards for the final playoff seed, but they don’t seem to be trending in the right direction. Boston has not only been a good bet at home, posting a 64.3% cover rate at TD Garden, but the Celtics have been even more of a moneymaker off a loss, as they cover 70.6% of the time in that spot. We get them at home off a loss tonight, so we’ll certainly lay the six and the hook.
Timberwolves (+11.5) @ Pelicans (247.5)
Pick: Under 247.5
This play is simply a numbers bet. The two highest scoring teams in the NBA on a points per game basis are the Milwaukee Bucks and the Houston Rockets. They combine to average 238 points per game. Tonight, we have the Minnesota Timberwolves visiting the New Orleans Pelicans, two teams outside the top five in points per game, and there will need to be 10 more points scored than the combined averages of the highest two scoring teams in the NBA to get the over to cash. That seems to be asking a lot. We wrote yesterday in our Jazz vs Cavaliers handicap about teams not in the playoffs lacking defensive intensity. That might be a little over accounted for here. After all, even a little bit of defense from a New Orleans team battling for the final playoff spot out West would keep this game under such a ridiculously high total.