There are nine games for us to get after on the NBA betting slate this evening. This slate features a lot of home teams that are favored by more than five points, but don’t fall in love with these favorites—I think road teams will be in for a good night. If you have been following me since the season began, you know I don’t like to bet on a short road favorite, and that is the spot the Suns are in this evening vs. the Pistons. I’m not brave enough to put a full unit on the Pistons, but I would lean that way. The Raptors host the Pacers in Toronto, and Indiana, who has lost three of its last four, is a 6-point underdog in the game. The Raptors have been rolling but be careful backing them tonight, the Pacers have been good vs. the spread on the road. The Hawks are catching 6 points tonight vs. the hapless Timberwolves, yet any time a spread seems too good to be true it likely is. The Wolves suck but I will always fade a trendy underdog, which the Hawks are tonight.
Cleveland Cavaliers at Oklahoma City Thunder: Thunder -12
I’m really not a fan of laying big wood on NBA games, as most double-digit favorites do not cover. But Oklahoma City has been great against the spread this year. The Thunder are 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 games, they are also 14-11 against the number at home this season. Cleveland has lost four games in a row and nine of its last 10, as the All-Star break can’t get here soon enough for the struggling Cavs. Cleveland is not just losing games, it is also 4-6 against the spread in its last 10 games. With the trade deadline looming, I would not be surprised if Tristan Thompson sits out for the Cavs this evening. Laying 12 is a big deal, but if I trust any team to get it done, it would be the Thunder especially vs. what could be a short-handed Cavs team. Oklahoma City already has a 15-point victory over the Cavs this season.
Miami Heat at Los Angeles Clippers: Clippers -6.5
Both of these playoff-bound teams come into tonight’s game on two game-winning streaks. This nationally televised game between two of the league’s top teams should be one of the highest, if not the highest bet on game of the slate. That’s important to know because we want to monitor how this line moves throughout the day. The early ticket count shows a slight public lean toward the Clippers, I’m guessing more public money will start to come in on Miami throughout the course of the day. If that happens and the line doesn’t move, it’s a signal that the books have liability on the Clippers and don’t want to give their backers a better number.
Jimmy Butler has been telling the media that he expected Miami to be this good coming into the season, but no one really did. Miami has been dominating on its home court so far this season, but on the road, it has been an average team. The Heat are 14-14 straight up on the road, and they are 11-12-1 against the number away from Miami. The Heat will be without Tyler Herro and Meyers Leonard tonight, the Clippers have a fully healthy roster and should lay the number.
Season Record: 65-53