Happy Saturday. Yesterday was essentially a wash, and it was the same trend it’s been all week. The NBA record was strong at 4-1. The CBB record pulled us down. It was 2-3, but one of the losses was another five unit parlay. New Mexico got smashed by an Air Force team that had been 3-9 in conference play. We’ve gone all the way downhill on college ball. It’s time to fight back. But first, a look at yesterday’s action.
- The Pistons topped the Spurs in 2OT. Jalen Duren dropped a career-high 30. Zach Collins dropped a career-high 29. Malaki Branham dropped a career-high 27. Every quarter was won by at least eight points. It was a wild, back-and-forth game. With the win, the Pistons move into a tie with the Hornets for the third-worst record in the league. The Spurs move into the second-worst record, half a game behind both. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 32, and it will be interesting to see if the decision to not trade him this week could end up giving the Pistons a few more wins than they want by the end of the season.
- The Suns didn’t have many issues with the Pacers in Indiana. They have sole possession of the 5 seed with half a game on either side after the win. They shouldn’t have to play many more games without KD, who figures to be back soon after the All-Star break. The Pacers are 2-14 in their last sixteen. They’ve fallen a game and a half back of the play-in. The wheels have come off completely, and they might be okay with falling a little further down the standings at this point.
- The Sixers outlasted the Knicks in Philly. Joel Embiid, Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson, and Tyrese Maxey all dropped at least 27 points. New York led by a point after three quarters, but they couldn’t score in a 15-27 fourth quarter. They have a game and a half on either side of them in the 7 seed. The Sixers keep pace at three games back of the Bucks and four games back of the Celtics. The Cavs are just one game behind them.
- Jayson Tatum and Derrick White combined for 74, and the Celtics took care of business against the Hornets. They’ll hold on to their one game lead over the Bucks ahead of their Valentine’s Day showdown. Boston does have a game with the Grizzlies tomorrow, so they’ll have a chance to push their lead to one and a half games with Milwaukee off until Tuesday. Charlotte falls into a tie with the Pistons for the league’s third-worst record. The race for the bottom three continues to be tight.
- The Jazz outscored the Raptors 39-20 in the fourth to pick up a huge comeback win. Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton, and Walker Kessler all scored at least 20 points. Pascal Siakam had 35 to lead a Raptors team playing without OG Anunoby. The Raps have been wildly uninspiring all season, and this is a brutal loss. They’ll fall half a game back of the Wizards for the East 10 seed. The Jazz are back to the West 10 seed, where they sit in a tie with the Thunder. They’re just three games back of the 4 seed.
- Tyler Herro dropped 31, and the Heat just snuck past the Rockets. Houston still has the league’s worst record. Miami now has a game and a half on the Knicks for that key 6 seed, and they’re only two and a half back of the Nets.
- The Grizzlies blew out the Timberwolves to spoil Mike Conley’s debut. Ja put up 32, 9, and 9 in the win. Memphis is back within three and a half games of the Nuggets after two straight wins. Their lead over the Kings is back to three games. Minnesota is in a three-way tie for the 7 seed. Moving on from D’Angelo Russell made sense, especially given concerns about the next contract. Conley likely doesn’t make them any worse either. But a Timberwolves team that kind of needed to get better didn’t do that.
- Kyrie put up 25 and 10, and the Mavs dropped 45 in the first and never looked back in a win over the Kings. They even did it without Luka. The win pulls Dallas within a game of Sacramento and the 3 seed. They have a half game lead over the Suns. It’s going to take some time to reach any consensus on the Luka-Kyrie fit. We still haven’t even seen them on the court together. But the early returns from Irving have been good.
- Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley combined for 58, and the Cavs rolled to a commanding win over the Pelicans. The Cavs keep pace with the Sixers and now have a one and a half game lead on the Knicks. The Pelicans are sitting in that three-way tie for the 7 seed. This loss broke a three-game winning streak for them. Important road games against the Thunder and Lakers await before the break. They won’t have Zion for either.
- The Thunder won in Portland to move into a tie for the 10 seed and push the Blazers down to the 12 seed, where they sit a half game out of the fold. SGA (44) and Dame (38) duked it out, and the Thunder used a strong fourth quarter to walk away with the win.
- The Bucks have won ten straight after getting past the Clippers last night. Giannis dropped 35. The Clips are alone in the 6 seed out West. The Bucks have a huge game with the Celtics coming up. It’s in Milwaukee. They have three days of rest and game-planning. This is about as big as a regular season game can get for title contenders.
- Xavier lost to Butler. That’s a brutal one. No sugarcoating to be done. Xavier is just fine in terms of making the tournament, but seeding is on the line. So is a Big East title; Marquette is now tied with Xavier ahead of their game on Wednesday. Marquette also plays today (Georgetown), but that result, however it goes, won’t change the fact that they can now walk away from the game with Xavier with the conference lead.
- Kent State is 10-2 in MAC play and sitting atop the conference after beating Buffalo and seeing Akron fall to Ohio.
- Dayton took care of St Louis. We are likely past the point of at-large bids for the A10 this year, but these two (and VCU) are the favorites entering the conference tournament. This should provide a bit of a confidence boost for the Flyers.
- Nevada took care of Fresno State to move to 20-6 (10-3). They’re in pretty decent shape.
- New Mexico might not be after a loss to a bad Air Force team. They’re right on the bubble. Beating Wyoming and San Jose State next week (both games they should win) is a must.
NBA record: 139-123-4 ATS, 25-41 ML, 65-49-1 O/U, 1-7 parlay, 0-1 props, -9.07 units
- Sixers Nets O224.5
The Nets have been scoring at a good rate lately. I like this one to get there.
- Wizards -5.5
I like how Washington has been playing lately. At home, with Indiana coming off a game last night, I think they take care of business.
- Nuggets Hornets U238
Both teams are about seven or eight points below this on average. I like the under.
- Knicks -6
Both teams played last night. I like the Knicks to bounce back from their loss.
- Spurs Hawks O240
Give me the points with these two. They’ll score. They both average at least 232 per game, and the Spurs are up near 235.
- Lakers Warriors O238.5
Same story here.
- Kings -1.5
This is a really tough spot for the Mavs. It’s hard to beat the same team two nights in a row. Sacramento will be ready to go with their hold on the 3 seed at stake.
CBB record: 136-131-4 ATS, 25-47 ML, 4-3 O/U, 8-14 parlay, -29.6 units
- ML PARLAY: Marquette, Providence, Pitt, Kentucky, NC State, Texas (+520)
- Kansas ML (-159) – TWO UNIT PLAY
- Southern Illinois +5.5
- Indiana State -2.5
- Clemson +7
- Alabama ML (-140) – TWO UNIT PLAY
- UConn +4.5
- Virginia -6
- Baylor -1
- Wisconsin -3
- Missouri +12
- Mississippi State +6.5
- Kansas State ML (-110) – THREE UNIT PLAY
- ML PARLAY: Arizona, Gonzaga, Texas A&M, Utah State (+170)
- Seton Hall ML (+170)
- UCLA ML (-140) – TWO UNIT PLAY