It was a weird day in the NBA. The Nets beat the Bucks, the Suns beat the Clippers and the Heat beat the Celtics despite Jimmy Butler being a late scratch from the lineup. Still, I picked all of those games right, so I’m not making any excuses for my 4-2 record yesterday. That brings my record overall to 23-5. Today might be the hardest slate of games to pick I’ve seen yet. There’s a lot of big spreads and a lot of teams in unique situations. I’m not feeling optimistic about today’s picks, but I’ll do my best.
Jazz -5.5 over Grizzlies
The Grizzlies have been struggling mightily since the NBA’s return and now those struggles have been compounded by the loss of Jaren Jackson Jr. for the remainder of the season, who’s arguably been their best player in Orlando. Expect the Jazz to take advantage of a completely demoralized Memphis team.
Nuggets -3.5 over Spurs (Bet of the Day)
The Spurs have been playing well, but a line this close with one of the best teams in the NBA is giving them a little too much credit. San Antonio doesn’t really have anybody that can guard Michael Porter Jr., who’s coming off a career game against the Thunder. With another big day from their budding young star, the Nuggets should handily beat the Spurs.
76ers -10.5 over Wizards
It’s a big spread for a Sixers team that hasn’t exactly played at a high level in their first 3 games, but the Wizards are 0-3 and have lost by 13 to the Suns and 8 to the Nets. The Sixers should be able to muster an 11-point win.
Thunder +6 over Lakers
The Lakers can afford to take their foot of the gas after locking up the #1 seed in the Western Conference and the Thunder have a knack for keeping games close. After a loss to the Nuggets, they’ll be looking to regain ground on the Rockets and Jazz in the race for the 4 seed.
Raptors -7 over Magic
The Raptors have been arguably the best team in the bubble so far, while the Magic are still reeling from the loss of Jonathan Isaac. Isaac would’ve been a perfect defensive option to help contain Pascal Siakam too. Toronto should have no problem handling a Magic team still trying to pick themselves up after losing one of their young stars.
Nets +8.5 over Celtics
The Celtics will be completely without Kemba Walker as both teams set to play their first back to back. The Nets are riding high after defeating the Bucks, and should be able to keep things close against an undermanned Celtics team in a game that will likely feature a lot of Brad Wanamaker.
Photo: (Wendell Cruz – USA Today Sports)