O'Sullivan's Wednesday NBA Picks: Celtics at Magic, Knicks at Pacers, Clippers at Twolves, Hornets at Warriors
Seattle O’Sullivan 2021-2022 NBA Season so far: 30-40-2, -$171.90
Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic, 7 pm Eastern
The Pick: Orlando +7 (-110), bet $16.50 to win $15
A classic “home dog” scenario. On paper, Boston is clearly better than Orlando. Yet if you use the “eye test,” something’s not quite right yet with the Celtics. First of all, they’re 2-5 (2-5 against the spread) and have lost three in a row; that’s not even an “eye test,” that’s reading comprehension. Watching them, they seem to be having the same trouble they had last season: whose team is it, Jayson Tatum’s or Jaylen Brown’s? Orlando, on the other hand, just beat a pretty-good Minnesota team on the road. Even the Magic’s last few losses have been close. I think they’ll hang with Boston tonight.
New York Knicks at Indiana Pacers, 7 pm Eastern
The Pick: Over 217.0 points
Currently, New York is scoring the third-most points per game in the NBA at 115.0; Indiana is 11th at 111.3. Add that up and it’s well over 217. But what about the defense? you ask. The Knicks adjusted defensive rate is 108.97 (10th); Indiana’s is 112.96 (17th). That’s still over 217. The over has hit in five of New York’s last seven, and nine of Indiana’s last 13. These are two teams that each think they’re better than the other, so it’ll be a scrap. I think that means more points.
Los Angeles Clippers at Minnesota Timberwolves, 8 pm Eastern
The Pick: Minnesota +1 (-114), bet $17.10 to win $15
I think Minnesota is the better team here, plain and simple. I know they just lost to Orlando at home (as someone who had them in a parlay, believe me, I know). But on that same night, the Clippers beat the putrid Oklahoma City Thunder at home by five points. It’s not like they’re covering themselves in glory without Kawhi Leonard. The Timberwolves are out-rebounding the Clippers by almost four per game (46.17 vs. 42.50), and while it’s arguable Clipper Paul George is the best player on the floor tonight, that’s only arguable, and the Timberwolves will definitely have the top two of three in Karl Anthony-Towns and Anthony Edwards, who’s playing great. So I’ll take a point tonight, and speaking of Edwards…
Charlotte Hornets at Golden State Warriors, 10 pm Eastern
The Pick: Golden State -6 (-110), bet $16.48 to win $15; under 226.0 points, bet $10.80 to win $10
Having picked Charlotte on Monday, I watched that game with my hands over my eyes. The Hornets disappointed me, looking listless and tepid in a game they should’ve won over Cleveland. Now they go west to face Golden State in a nationally-televised game. No thank you. The Warriors are overachieving without Klay Thompson, and I think Stephen Curry et. al. can smell how good they’re gonna be once they get their All-Star back. Not to mention, I don’t think Curry is above laying a smack-down on the team his father starred for back in the day. I’ll lay the points as I think Golden State cruises in a blowout where the Hornets struggle to score as they battle jet lag.