New York (23-28 SU, 29-22 ATS) at Detroit (26-23 SU, 26-21-2 ATS)
Injuries have played a major toll for the Knicks recently and they’ve struggled to a 3-8 record both SU and ATS in their last 11 games. They’ve dropped five straight on the road and have gone 1-4 ATS in those setbacks. The backcourt is a mess and the only wins they’ve captured in this span came against teams (76ers, Jazz, Suns) with worse guards.
Tonight, they meet Detroit (-5 ½) and it has two quality point guards. Stan Van Gundy’s team isn’t in great form either, losers in three of their last four but all of the setbacks came by single digits.
The Pistons did fall 102-95 to the Celtics on Wednesday and they are 3-7 SU and 4-5-1 ATS on zero days rest this season. However, all seven losses were on the road and the three wins came at The Palace.
Detroit dropped a 108-96 decision to New York on Dec. 29 as a 1 ½-point road favorite. The ‘over’ (198 ½) cashed in that game and is 4-1 in the last five encounters between the pair.
L.A. Lakers (10-41 SU, 22-28-1 ATS) at New Orleans (18-29 SU, 20-27 ATS)
The highest line of the night takes place in “The Big Easy” as the Pelicans (-10 ½) host the Lakers in the second game of the TNT double-header. New Orleans put up an early fight at San Antonio last night but wound up losing 110-97 while getting outscored by nine points in the final quarter.
The Pelicans had dropped its first seven games on zero days rest this season but has since won three in a row when facing back-to-back situations. Overall, the Pelicans are 6-4 ATS and the ‘under’ is 7-3 in games played on no rest this season.
The Lakers enter this game off a 119-115 win over Minnesota on Tuesday as a 4 ½-point home underdog. The victory snapped an 11-game losing streak for the club. Los Angeles has only earned back-to-backs games twice this season which came during a three-game winning streak at the start of January and against the 76ers and Suns.
New Orleans isn’t in that class and it will be looking to avenge a 95-91 loss to Los Angeles when the pair met on Jan. 12 from the Staples Center. The Pelicans didn’t have Anthony Davis for that game and still led for the majority of that game. Davis is expected to go tonight but Tyreke Evans (knee) is ‘questionable’ and Eric Gordon (finger) remains out.
Total bettors are staring at number between 208 and 209 for this game and it might rise by tipoff. The Pelicans are 9-0-1 to the ‘over’ in their last 10 games and both teams are allowing over 105 points per game. New Orleans has been on point offensively lately, averaging 110.2 PPG in their last 11 games and the 3-point percentage (44.1) has been lights out.
Toronto (33-16 SU, 26-22-1 ATS) at Portland (24-26 SU, 27-23 ATS)
This is the best game tonight and should’ve been part of the national TNT broadcast. You can make an argument that these teams have two of the best backcourts in the NBA with Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan squaring off against Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Oddsmakers sent out Portland as a one-point favorite and that number has dropped to pick ‘em at a few spots. Based on the home-away numbers for Portland (15-10 SU, 14-11 ATS) and Toronto (15-10 SU, 13-11-1 ATS), you can definitely see why the line is so tight.
Toronto enters this game on a 12-1 run its last 13 games but it has burned bettors with a 0-4 ATS mark over its last four. Meanwhile, Portland has won five straight and nine of its last 11 games and this winning stretch started with a great come from behind victory over Oklahoma City on Jan. 10 when they couldn’t miss down the stretch.
The Trail Blazers, known for chucking 3-pointers, have been in great form defensively lately. They’ve held four straight opponents under 100 and that’s resulted in four consecutive ‘under’ tickets. Toronto is no stranger to defense, ranked fifth in scoring (97 PPG) and seventh in defensive efficiency.
The total of 204 is low for Portland at home, which could tell you that this game could be more of a defensive struggle rather than a shootout.
Portland has owned Toronto recently, winning nine of the last 10 meetings and covering eight of those victories. However, the last two encounters in Portland were tight with the Blazers earning five and three-point victories.
Houston (26-25 SU, 22-29 ATS) at Phoenix (14-36 SU, 19-31 ATS)
The Rockets opened as 8 ½-point favorites and the early money dropped the line to 7 ½ at a few books and I’m not sure why. Houston hasn’t been a great road bet (10-13 SU, 10-13 ATS) at all this season but this Phoenix team is a complete mess.
The Suns have dropped five straight and 20 of their last 22 games. They did put forth a nice effort at home Tuesday versus Toronto for interim coach Earl Watson but still lost 104-97 and the reason it was close is because they shot well (47%).
I talked about Phoenix’s backcourt woes this past Tuesday and now they face one superstar (James Harden) and a pair of quality backups (Patrick Beverly, Ty Lawson) tonight. Plus, Harden loves playing in Arizona where he went to school down the block at ASU. His career 26.6 average in Phoenix is his highest in any NBA city.
If Phoenix doesn’t come close to its offensive production that it put up Tuesday, this is more than likely a wire-to-wire blowout. While this matchup doesn’t bode well for the Suns, I would lean to them on Saturday versus the Jazz because Utah’s backcourt is far from great.
Due to the injuries for the Suns, past meetings are a wash here but note that Houston has gone 5-1 both SU and ATS in its last six meetings against Phoenix and the ‘over’ has also produced a 5-1 mark.