After yesterday, my record stands at 13-3 since I started picking games on July 31st. Let’s keep the hot streak going.
Raptors -3.5 over Heat
Both teams are in somewhat similar spots. Both are coming off impressive wins against strong Western Conference opponents and both have schedules that are among the toughest for any team in the bubble. It should be a grinding defensive battle, and Toronto is the better defense and team.
Nuggets +6.5 over Thunder
Giving a team like the Nuggets 6.5 is just absurd. Even with some key injuries, they still have Nikola Jokic. They didn’t look great against the Heat, but expect a bounce back from a well-coached team in a game that has huge implications for the Western Conference standings.
Pacers -8 over Wizards (Bet of the Day)
The Wizards should be about ready to pack it in after an 0-2 start and the Pacers are riding high after TJ Warren’s 53-point game in a win over the Sixers. The 8 points isn’t nearly enough to seriously consider taking the Wizards.
Pelicans -4.5 over Grizzlies
Both teams are off to a bad start, but the Pelicans are more desperate for a win and still have more overall talent. This could be the most important game New Orleans will play, so expect Zion to get a few more minutes than he usually would.
Spurs +7 over 76ers
It’s become abundantly clear that the 76ers have figured nothing out in the last few months regarding how to fix their underachieving team and the Spurs have. San Antonio’s small ball lineup with DeMar DeRozan at power forward has led them to two straight wins, albeit against mediocre competition. It might not be enough to beat Philadelphia, but it should get them close enough to cover the spread.
Lakers – 6.5 over Jazz
The Jazz have looked sluggish so far in the bubble. They’re 1-1 after they barely escaped against New Orleans in the opener with a win, but they’re clearly missing Bojan Bogdanovic. Meanwhile, the Lakers will be looking to bounce back after a loss to the Raptors and you can expect the Jazz to be the collateral damage of a Los Angeles team looking to assert themselves against a potential 2nd round matchup.
Photo: (Lynne Sladky – AP Photo)