Tonight is going to be a quieter night of NBA Tips off of our 4-1 success yesterday, as I’m just going to take it a little easy and pick what I think are my best plays to publish today, as we wait for the real action on Sunday which contains a better schedule and three games between 6pm & 12am live on UK television. Jazz were the only team that let us down last night, getting blown out after staying with the Lakers for a lot of the game and being within 5 fairly late on. Tonight there are two bets I straight up can’t resist or ignore. These odds are accurate as of 19.20pm.
Brooklyn Nets @ Houston Rockets (1.00am)
As good as the Nets are, they were destroyed last night. My preview said that the heavy schedule would show a clear affect on them in a game where the Grizzlies should pull away, but I didn’t expect them to be up double figures so early, 23 up at half time and then go on to win the game by 24 points after little to no resistance from this Nets team. It doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll get the same again tonight, the NBA is a funny thing, but a double digit win for a Rockets side that has a perfect chance to get back on track at home would not surprise me. It’s the 4th time the Nets have played on the road in six days. I said yesterday playing their 3rd road game in 5 days would cause them problems, so a 4th in just a day extra can cause equal problem. Although Houston had lost eight of it’s last nine before tonight, they did blowout New Orleans on the road last night 100-82. Still only 2 wins in their last 10 outings, and although stats like that would make you mad to bet on Houston if they were a football team say, the NBA is very different and takes in-depth understanding of so many factors. Motivational factors such as revenge, the opportunity to play a tired team, schedules, injuries from night to night and even series history. My reports are often put in to quite simple and non technical terms for any fan or non-fan to understand and enjoy all the same, but the numbers for tonight’s game are scarily in favor of Houston both this season and over the past few years. 11-0 run against the Nets has seen them cover the point spread set by the bookies 9 times, whilst Brooklyn is just 1-6 against the bookies spread when playing a road game having played a day before. Also factor in Houston WON last night and will have more confidence traveling back home to play tonight and having had a lot more rest than the Nets in the past week. Momentum and confidence is everything in the NBA, but being on the tough road trip the Nets are on it can go both ways. They’re losing, so all they’re feeling right now is heavy legs and pressure. Let’s go with this Rockets side boasting some big talent that’s gonna get back on track.
Chicago Bulls @ Washington Wizards (12.00am)
The most important thing in this one? We’re backing an underdog. Regardless of how I go about justifying my pick here, I’m a HUGE 10/11 so far when backing the underdog. But still, come on – how can I not back the Washington Wizards tonight? Quite frankly I wouldn’t have a problem backing this team +2 against the Clippers right now, let alone a banged up Chicago Bulls team without lead player Derek Rose and Luol Deng. For the Wizards as we keep saying though, John Wall is back, and so is their form. This team is 9-0 in it’s last 9 games when it comes to covering the point spreads set by bookmakers. They did play last night but the back to back situation doesn’t seem so bad considering they’re also 4-0 against the spread playing a day after no rest. The Bulls aren’t a bad defense but John Wall has the tools to unlock them or any team on his night, and it’s certainly been his night the last 9 outings the Wizards have had. Not only that but with Rose and Deng out it obviously puts a dent in both the starting strength and scoring ability of the Bulls, as well as hitting their depth on the bench considering two more starters need to come in and replace them. Granted, Rose hasn’t played much anyway with the long term injury, but Deng’s hamstring injury flaring up again is a blow. The Wizards are a match for anyone at home now and they could easily be -1 favorites here, so we’ll take the +1.5.
Sacramento Kings @ Denver Nuggets (2.00am)
Finally, this one is the riskier of the three but the way I see it we’re taking it for similar reasons to what made us oppose the Kings yesterday. OKC beat them on the road by 10 points, easily covering our -8.5 spread, and tonight the Kings will play their 6th game in 9 days when they go from a home game to a road game, traveling to face a Nuggets side with a solid 16-3 record when playing in Denver. This team is near unbeatable at home and averages 108 on home court. Sure we know the Kings can score, they kept it fairly close with OKC last night – although note in my preview I acknowledged this is an OKC side no longer currently at it’s best, but they still covered in a double digit win. You also have to factor in the Kings are tired and looked it last night, so a trip down to Denver to play the next night can only leave them heavy legged in the second half of this game. The Nuggets last played Wednesday, winning 105-95 IN Houston. They’ve had a nice two day rest to travel back home and prepare. Two days is the perfect rest for this one too. As it allowed a day of travel and recovery, followed by a solid day of practice and preparation for tonight’s home stand. They should be hungry to take their record to 17-3 in a game against a team that they easily overlook and underestimate, leading them to fall through the trap door and not cover the big spread, but personally I think this Denver side is too strong at home and I just question what motivation the Kings have to play such a tough game, at the end of such a tough schedule when they face a week long stretch coming up of 5 straight home games – all winnable ones. Sometimes in the NBA also, there doesn’t have to be some number orientated reason and long explanation to everything – on the face of it you can also look at it and just say I think the Nuggets are a much better team and the Kings don’t match up to them. Let’s hope Denver plays hard and covers the spread.
Houston Rockets -3 @ 1.95 with YouWin
Washington Wizards +1.5 @ 1.97 with Matchbook
Denver Nuggets -13 @ 1.99 with Matchbook