Knicks Over Timberwolves and Wednesday’s NBA Predictions
The NBA was rather unpredictable on Tuesday night, as clear favorites fell left and right. The Clippers were heavy favorites over the Nets, yet fell in double overtime in Brooklyn. Houston was the pick on the road against the Jazz, yet gave up 120 points and lost.
The upsets didn’t end there, as the Magic grinded out a low-scoring win in San Antonio, giving Orlando their first win against the Spurs in 10 meetings. Even the defending champs turned up lame on a wacky night, with the Cavs getting slapped around in Milwaukee by the Bucks.
The underdogs ruled a mild night for NBA betting, but Wednesday brings even more action and hopefully a more transparent NBA schedule. Let’s break down each matchup and see which way you’ll want to be leaning with your bets:
DeMarcus Cousins leads the Kings into Philly tonight, where he figures to meet up with a healthy big man duo in Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor. That could be a tough task, as this could make the Sixers the healthiest they’ve been all year, while they’ll be playing at home, where all four of their wins have come.
It is cause for pause, but that doesn’t mean we should shake off the Kings as the favorite here. In fact, Sacramento could take one look at this fairly close spread and take it as a sign of disrespect by oddsmakers. It shouldn’t be, though, as logic suggests the Kings will have their work cut out for them on the road (just 3-6 away from home this year).
That being said, the Sixers don’t have a ton of talent and even at home they’re still just 4-8 on the year. The Kings are well-coached and have more star power. Anytime there is a light spread against the Sixers, too, you have to take it. The Kings are the better team and should find a way to pull this one out and cover.
The betting info isn’t yet out for this one, as Al Horford missed Boston’s last game. He was out due to his wife having a baby, though, so he’ll surely be back to help the Celtics shoot for their fifth win at home.
Detroit is certainly a threat tonight, as they play stout defense and can slow the pace down to their liking. However, they should be tired after beating the Hornets last night and their success on the road this year (just 2-8) has not come easy.
It’s tough to pick the Pistons winning two straight road games, especially against a solid Boston team that could move into a tie for first place in the Atlantic Division tonight.
The Grizzlies can’t catch a break, as star point guard Mike Conley (back) is slated to miss up to six weeks due to an injury:
Sources: Grizzlies guard Mike Conley suffered a transverse process fracture in the vertebrae. He will miss an indefinite period of time.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA)
The team will also be without Chandler Parsons, while Vince Carter, Tony Allen and Zach Randolph all are iffy to suit up.
With Toronto at home and the Grizzlies having so many ailing bodies, it’s easy to see why online gambling sites like Bovada are giving them such a favorable spread. The Raptors have rebounded from a mild drought with three straight wins and it’s likely they make it a fourth in a row tonight at home.
The Lakers are another badly banged up team, as they’re already without star point guard D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young (Achilles) just went down last night:
Lakers' to have MRI on right Achilles today
— NBA.com (@NBAcom)
Swaggy P is likely out and it’s possible Julius Randle could be rested in the second game of a back-to-back set. With the Lakers so depleted, it’s tough to see them getting a big road win, especially with just a 3-6 mark away from home on the year.
The Bulls probably will have something to say about it, too, as Jimmy Butler is playing lights out and Chicago is looking rather legit at 10-6. They’re a strong 4-1 at the United Center this year, too, so a Lakers upset seems unlikely.
The last time we picked the Knicks they were at home and burned us, but we’re going back to the well, as Melo and co. have a very winnable game in Minnesota tonight. They’re oddly the underdogs despite being the far better team on the young season, but perhaps an ugly 1-6 road record has something to do with it.
Even so, it’s not like the Wolves are crushing skulls at home (just 3-5) and they’re also slumping again with two straight losses. Minnesota can be very explosive offensively, but the Knicks are looking rather good offensively and they could have a field day against a shaky Timberwolves defense. At a minimum, we’d call for the Knicks to beat the spread here, but we like them straight up, as well.
This could be the game of the night, as John Wall and Russell Westbrook face off in a battle of elite point guards and fast-paced offenses. Neither the Wiz or Thunder sport an elite defense these days, while OKC’s 6th ranked pace of play should make this a fun one.
Whatever the Total ends up being (not out yet) we’d shoot for the Over, while it might be tough to bet against Russ, who is on a tear with triple-doubles and tends to play his best at home. The Thunder are 7-4 this year at Chesapeake Energy Arena and with Washington struggling at 6-10, it’s easy to see why they’re the favorites.
That being said, the Thunder do not blow teams out and they actually often play down to their opponent’s level. This should be a back and forth game with a lot of points and a Wizards upset wouldn’t be crazy. OKC is good at home, though, so we like the Thunder straight up and the Wiz to beat the spread.
This might be the safest bet of the night, as the Spurs can’t be happy about losing to the Magic at home last night and Dallas is in a bad way due to a rash of injuries.
Dirk Nowitzki and J.J. Barea are for sure out for this one, while no one ever knows if Deron Williams and/or Andrew Bogut will randomly sit out. Regardless, Dallas isn’t at full strength and doesn’t pose much of a threat to a Spurs team that just had a 9-game winning streak snapped.
Look for a huge game out of Kawhi Leonard as the Spurs start a new winning streak in Dallas.
Atlanta will try to turn things around on Wednesday night, when they head to the desert to stop a three-game skid. Dwight Howard and co. have slipped on defense and have quickly gone from a top contender to a team that looks more like a fringe playoff team.
A big road win over a struggling Suns squad could help change that, and also boost their confidence. Vegas sees that as the likely result, as the Suns are just 2-5 at home and are allowing a staggering 112 points per game.
Look for the Hawks to flourish offensively and get off the schneid, while covering.
Miami continues to be in a bad way, as they’re dealing with injuries to Dion Waiters, Tyler Johnson and Justise Winslow. It’s unclear if any of those players will make it back for Wednesday’s tilt in Denver, but the Heat could certainly use them against a Nuggets team that can score the ball when they’re clicking.
Still, Denver is possibly without Gary Harris, Will Barton and Danilo Gallinari in this one, so they could be just as banged up. With both teams hurting, this could be a great spot to roll with Miami, who could be a fun underdog with Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside doing work with a favorable matchup. At the very worst, you’ll need to consider Miami to beat this spread.
The last game of the night goes down in Portland, where Damian Lillard and co. will look to add to their 5-4 home mark. Indiana could have a tough time pulling off the upset, as star forward Paul George has already been ruled out:
Paul George (ankle), CJ Miles (knee) and Kevin Seraphin (knee) are not expected to play tonight vs. Portland
— Casey Holdahl (@CHold)
Indiana has also already ruled out C.J. Miles, putting a lot of pressure on Jeff Teague, Glenn Robinson III, Thaddeus Young and Myles Turner. It could work out just fine in the end, but Vegas doesn’t seem to think so.
The logic is sound, too. The Pacers aren’t close to full strength and they’re facing a dangerous offense on the road – a spot they’ve gone just 1-5 in this season. This is a good matchup overall for the Blazers, who should take full advantage of George’s absence and get a nice home win. That being said, we can expect almost zero defense in this one, while the Pacers beating the spread against a porous Portland defense (allowing an astonishing 113 points per game) makes good sense.