It’s been a while, but I am finally back with some locks tonight. Back on January 29th, I split my four picks, going 2-2. That puts the overall record at 14-7. Gunning for an over .500 record tonight, here are the best bets:
The Warriors will be looking to capitalize against a struggling Magic team. Over their last nine games, the Warriors have gone 6-3 against the spread. Additionally, they are 7-0 straight up when facing Orlando in Golden State. Stephen Curry has been phenomenal as of late, averaging 40.3 points per game over his last 3, including 57 against Dallas on Saturday.
The injury bug has been doing damage to Orlando. They lost both Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac to season-ending injuries and will be without Aaron Gordon and potentially Evan Fournier (questionable) tonight. Over their last 7, they have gone 1-6 against the spread. They have not covered once over their last seven against a Western Conference foe.
The Magic are in the bottom half of the league in both offensive and defensive efficiency. The Warriors are 19th in offensive efficiency but can defend at 7th best defensively. Outside of Nikola Vucevic, the Magic lack legitimate threats. Look for Steph and the Warriors to cover this one.
With Jimmy Butler finally back in action, the Miami Heat are riding at three-game victory into Houston. Over their last eight games against Houston, they have covered six times. Furthermore, they are 7-3 against the spread in their previous ten against Houston. Jimmy is putting up triple-double numbers every night, and Bam is still doing his thing down low.
The Rockets are on a three-game skid after winning 6 of their previous seven. Unfortunately, Christian Wood will be out on Thursday, a devastating loss as he was having his best season in the league. In their last 5, they are 1-4 against the spread. In their last 12 against Eastern Conference teams, they have only covered four times.
John Wall, Eric Gordon, and Victor Oladipo will be no easy task for Miami, but they can defend. They allow the 7th fewest points per game at a measly 44.7% clip. With Wood out, Adebayo faces weaker post defense with DeMarcus Cousins. Tyler Herro and Butler will take care of the perimeter, allowing Miami to cover.
The Pacers have been slumping recently, losing five straight and failing to cover the spread in any of these matches. Over their last six games in Detroit, they have gone only 1-5 against the spread. Indiana ranks 16th in offensive efficiency and 14th in defensive efficiency. Although their defense, anchored by Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner, has been relatively steady, their offense has failed to make up for it.
On the other hand, the Pistons are playing competitive basketball. In the last two games, the Pistons took the Lakers into overtime and beat the Nets by 11 points. Detroit is a solid 5-1 against the spread in their previous six at home. They play well against the Pacers, covering 5 out of their last six matches at Little Caesar Arena.
There is no arguing that Detroit has been one of the worst teams in the NBA, ranking second to last in shooting percentage and 6th worst in scoring. However, with their recent exceptional play and acquisition of Dennis Smith Jr. (available to play), the momentum is on their side. Detroit with the points is the best bet for this game.
(Trends/lines via OddsShark)