Nothing gets me in the Turkey Day spirit like watching some NBA basketball on the Wednesday night before it. Because no other sport is synonymous with Thanksgiving quite like the NBA is!
Last week was solid, but it could have been made better by the Bulls NOT blowing a 20-point lead to the Blazers (I’m definitely not salty about that, nope, not at all). As for tonight’s board, I’ve targeted a lot of favorites, so let’s hope the teams that are supposed to win do just that.
I’d also like to wish a happy Thanksgiving to everyone! It’s been really fun writing these every week, and I’m looking forward to continuing it throughout the rest of the season.
Layups: The bets I really like and feel the most confident in.
Two-Pointers: The bets I like a lot and feel fairly confident in.
Three-Pointers: The bets I like but don’t feel as confident in.
Half-Court Shot: A long underdog I like to win straight-up.
Record ATS this season: 13-12-1
Wizards (-4) vs. Pelicans: You know SpongeBob SquarePants’ pal that yells, “Oh brother, this guy STINKS!”? Well, that’s me talking about the Pelicans. Anytime you can give me a reasonable number against New Orleans, you bet your bottom dollar I’m going to take it. The Pels are 2-7 ATS at home and are playing a Wizards team coming off a loss, which is a great spot to bet them.
New Orleans has lost four of its last five games and has to face a Wizards team with a top-10 defensive efficiency rating while being one of the worst offenses in the NBA. Granted, the Wiz have been in a bit of a rut lately, falling behind early to teams they shouldn’t be trailing. But if there’s ever a game to right the ship, it’s this one against one of the NBA’s worst teams.
Trail Blazers (-1.5) vs. Kings: To quote Mugatu: “Those Blazers, so hot right now.” Portland has won four in a row! They’ve actually looked really good after a horrendous start. Dame is back doing Dame things, and the defense…well that’s struggled, but it hasn’t mattered since the Blazers have been scoring so well. I think this can continue against a Kings team in limbo.
Alvin Gentry has taken over as head coach after Luke Walton was fired, and they still couldn’t win at home in the first game after his firing. Yikes. I normally don’t love riding a hot team after a short winning streak because NBA teams are capable of quickly regressing after that kind of a stretch, but this is the Kings, so I’ll happily take a short number with the Blazers.
Grizzlies (-3) vs. Raptors: Toronto is now on the fifth stop of its road trip and faces a Memphis team coming off an exhilarating win against the Jazz. This seems like a great spot at home for the Grizzlies to build off their win and take down a tired, middle-of-the-road Raptors squad. Toronto is also facing injury issues of its own, and the Grizzlies are 4-2 as home favorites this year. We just won’t trust an inconsistent Raptors team at the tail end of a long road trip and ride with the team whose stock seems to be pointing up.
Heat-Timberwolves Under 213: Two top-10 defensive teams face off with each other, with one of them on the second game of a back-to-back. The under has hit in nine of Minnesota’s 11 home games this year, while also hitting 72% of the time for the T-Wolves after one day of rest. I think Miami’s lockdown defense can stifle the Timberwolves tonight, so it could also be a good idea to hit the Heat ML.
Half-Court Shot (1-1 OTY)
Lakers ML +155: Look, I know LA has been all types of bad lately, but they get LeBron back and maybe have the energy to win after being embarrassed on national TV at Madison Square Garden. The unreliable Pacers have won their last two in a row, meaning it’s a good time to fade them. This is a hugely disappointing Lakers team, but with a decent ML price, it might be a good idea to sprinkle a bit on them at their lowest point.