Oklahoma City at Washington: These teams have played some great games in D.C. recently. The Wizards have won three of the last four at the Verizon Center between the pair but three of the games were decided by three points or less. OKC has looked flat on the road so far, going 1-2 SU and 0-3 ATS, with the lone win coming against Orlando in overtime. Washington has had two days to rest after getting diced up in back-to-back road games to the Celtics (118-98) and Hawks (114-99). The Wizards defense has been exposed this season, giving up 108 PPG, which is 10 PPG higher than last season. In the last 10 meetings, OKC has only been held under 99 points just twice and Tuesday’s total is hovering around 217.
Utah at Cleveland: The Jazz have been receiving more attention lately and seeing the Cavs listed as 5 ½-point home favorites shows you the respect the oddsmakers have for Utah. In this spot last season, Cleveland gave 9 ½ points. Utah is 4-2 on the season and outside of a win at Indiana, the Jazz don’t really have a signature win just yet. This is the first of a four-game road trip for the Jazz and certainly a big test against a Cleveland team that has won six straight after losing its opener at Chicago. Utah could catch the Cavs napping since they just played the 76ers twice, Knicks and Pacers. Make a note that Cleveland didn’t cover any of those games. The total on this game opened at 185 and the Jazz have been a great ‘under’ bet (5-1) this season, especially on the road (4-0).
L.A. Lakers at Miami: I’m surprised the Heat (-12.5) aren’t giving more points in this game. Los Angeles has started 1-5 and they’ve only played one team (Timberwolves) with a winning record. The Lakers aren’t good offensively or defensively and should struggle against the Heat’s size and depth. Miami’s scoring defense (90.4 PPG) is ranked second in the league and they’ve faced some quality attacks so far. The Heat are on a 6-0 run to the ‘under’ and this total is hovering around 202 points but that number comes from the Lakers anemic defense (110.7 PPG). Different faces for both squads, but hard to ignore the fact that Miami is 9-1 SU and 6-4 ATS in its last 10 versus the Lakers.
New York at Toronto: This game has me leaning to the Knicks based on situational handicapping. The Raptors return home from a tough four-game road trip that saw the club go 2-2 both SU and ATS. Right after this game, Toronto has to travel to Philadelphia for a back-to-back game on Wednesday. I don’t see the Raptors losing to the 76ers so I’d fade them against New York, who has gone 2-1 SU and 3-0 ATS on the road this season. Total bettors should be aware of the Raptors improved defense (95.1 PPG) this season, which has contributed to a 5-2 ‘under’ mark.
Charlotte at Minnesota: The Hornets opened as 1 ½-point road favorites and the number has gone up to 2 ½, which is a little surprising since Minnesota earned an impressive 117-107 win at Atlanta on Monday. The Timberwolves are 4-0 on the road this season but 0-2 at home and playing on no rest. Even though Charlotte is 2-4, five of its six games were against teams that made the playoffs last season and the Miami Heat were the other team. The Hornets have won five of their last six encounters against the Wolves, which includes a pair of double-digit wins last season.
Boston at Milwaukee: This game looks like a trap with the Bucks listed as one-point home favorites. Milwaukee started 0-3 but has won four in a row but that winning streak came against the Nets (2), 76ers and Knicks. The Celtics are better than that trio and enter this game with three days of rest, plus they should be confident knowing they took two of three from the Bucks last season.