Happy Tuesday. Yesterday was a positive day. The CBB record was 3-1 with Miami carrying the day with their road win over UNC. I had both spread and ML there. The NBA record was 7-7, which put us down about a unit there. It was a good day overall, and we’ll look to keep it going tonight. But first, a look at yesterday’s action…
- The Cavs got off to a fast start against the Spurs and coasted from there on the way to an eight-point win. Donovan Mitchell dropped 41 to lead all scorers. Cleveland keeps pace at a game back of the Sixers, and they could pull within four games of the Celtics with a Bucks win tonight. The Spurs have now lost thirteen a row and twenty-one of twenty-three, and they’re still just half a game ahead of the Rockets at the league’s bottom. Yesterday provided some separation for those two with a Pistons day off pushing them a full game ahead of the Spurs and a Hornets win moving them a game and a half ahead of San Antonio.
- Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson both dropped 29, and the Jazz finished off the Pacers in Indiana. Tyrese Haliburton went for 30 and 12 to lead the Pacers, who have now lost sixteen of eighteen. They’re two and a half games out of the play-in. The Jazz move back into the 10 seed with the win. They’re still tied with the Trail Blazers. Only two and a half games separate them from the 4 seed.
- The Hornets scored 144 and beat the Hawks. LaMelo (30 and 15!), Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, PJ Washington, Trae, Clint Capela, Dejounte Murray, and De’Andre Hunter all scored at least 20 points. We had a game the other day where just eight players scored 10+ (believe it was Cavs-Bulls). Last night, we had a game where eight players scored at least 20. The NBA is a crazy league. Charlotte now has a half-game lead on the Pistons, which will push them out of the bottom three, at least temporarily. Atlanta isn’t going anywhere with the loss. They’re the 8 seed with at least two games on either side of them. They might stay there the rest of the season the way things have been going. They haven’t been good enough to seriously push the Knicks and Heat, and the teams beneath them haven’t been good enough to seriously push them.
- The Sixers took care of business against the Rockets in Philly. This marks seven straight losses for Houston. They’ll keep their spot as the league’s worst team. Embiid, Harden, and Maxey all scored at least 20 for the Sixers, who move within three and a half games of the Celtics and two of the Bucks. They keep their one game lead over the Cavs.
- The Nuggets outlasted the Heat in Miami to push their lead at the top of the West to 5 games. Aaron Gordon, Jamal Murray, and Tyler Herro were all out for this one. The Heat now have just half a game on the Knicks and the 7 seed, and they’ll still sit a game and a half back of the Nets and the 5 seed. This was the fifth missed game in a row for Murray. He’s out indefinitely with knee inflammation, which isn’t a great sign. We should know more about a timetable after the break.
- The Knicks cruised past the Nets with a great second half. Spencer Dinwiddie dropped 28 for Brooklyn. Jalen Brunson dropped 40 for New York. Josh Hart also scored 27 in his second game with the Knicks. New York will pull within a half game of Miami in the fight for that key 6 seed and its guaranteed playoff spot. Brooklyn holds serve with the loss, sitting a game and a half ahead of Miami in the 5 seed.
- The Magic won in Chicago. The Bulls are just ugly. This is four losses in a row. They didn’t blow it up at the deadline despite having no shot of competing for anything other than the play-in either this year or next with this core. They’re half a game out of said play-in right now. The Magic are still three games out after the win. They would need to go on a tear at some point over their last twenty-four games to get in, and they just haven’t given many indications that they’re capable of that level of consistency. But the door is still open.
- The Pelicans picked up a huge win in Oklahoma City. Brandon Ingram dropped 34 to spark the win. New Orleans is sitting in a tie for the 7 seed right now. They’ve stabilized with four wins in five tries after falling out of the West’s top 10 entirely. But can they stay stable? Zion just re-aggravated his injury, and it’s not clear when he’ll be able to come back. The Pels are going to have to make do without him. The Thunder fall to the 12 seed with the loss. They’re half a game out of the play-in.
- The Timberwolves survived a late rush from the Mavs to win one in Dallas. Kyrie (36), Luka (33), and Anthony Edwards (32) all scored 30+. The Mavs dropped 39 in the fourth, and their scoring ability has looked promising since the Irving trade. Minnesota is tied with New Orleans in the 7 seed after the win. The Mavs are tied for the 5 seed.
- The Wizards started strong and then got smacked by the Warriors. Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis combined for 67 but didn’t get a whole lot of help. The Wizards are tied for the 9 seed and half a game ahead of the Bulls. The Warriors are alone in the 9 seed out West.
- The Blazers rolled past the Lakers. Dame dropped 40 in the win. LeBron didn’t play. The Blazers are tied for the 10 seed with the Jazz. The Lakers are two and a half games out of the play-in. They have plenty of time with twenty-four games remaining, but there’s a lot of work to do here.
- Texas Tech has come alive in recent weeks with wins over Iowa State, Kansas State, and now Texas. They’re still 14-12 (3-10). We’ll see if they can win on the road against West Virginia and Oklahoma before we make any grand declarations. But it’s been an impressive turnaround during a season that looked completely lost not that long ago. The loss stings for Texas too. They had sole possession of the Big 12 lead yesterday afternoon, but that’s no longer the case.
- Baylor is now tied for the Big 12 lead after knocking off West Virginia. I continue to be confused by the presence of 15-11 (4-9) West Virginia on the right side of most bubble projections. They’re not good. What they have done, though, is completely avoid bad losses. Ten of their eleven losses have come in Quad 1 games, and the other was Quad 2.
- Miami won in Chapel Hill. UNC is not good, and they’re in some danger heading down the stretch here. Miami, meanwhile is quite good. I love the Canes.
- Charleston is 25-3 (13-2) after crushing Northeastern. They still have a shot at sneaking in with an at-large bid, but it’d be a nervy Selection Sunday if they don’t win their conference tournament, even if they win out on the way there.
NBA record: 145-126-5 ATS, 25-42 ML, 70-55-1 O/U, 1-7 parlay, 0-1 props, -9.27 units
I have one play for every game tonight.
- Bucks -8.5
The Celtics are going to be really depleted for this one. Tatum, Brown, and Smart are out. Both Williamses are questionable. If there wasn’t so much built-in motivation for Milwaukee, you’d be worried about a bit of a trap game with their ten-game winning streak going. But they should be ready to go tonight. I like them to cover.
- Magic +7
The Magic have won four of five on the road and are really starting to turn it around there. This is a lot of points for an underwhelming Raptors team.
- Kings ML (+115)
Give me the Kings here. A win would really put them in a good spot with the 3 seed heading into the break, and the Suns are still without KD, Payne, and Shamet. I like Sacramento at plus odds. They’re one of the few teams to be above .500 on the road.
- Warriors Clippers O228.5
The Warriors average more than 235 per game. Most of their games have so many points. If you get a total under 230 for them, you have to take a shot on it.
- Wizards Blazers U236
Give me the under. Both teams played late last night. The Wizards average about 227 per game. The Blazers sit around 230. This one falls a little short.
CBB record: 144-136-5 ATS, 30-49 ML, 4-3 O/U, 8-16 parlay, -23.92 units
- Kent State -11
- Southern Illinois -3.5
- Illinois -3.5
- Missouri +6.5
- Akron -9
- Georgia -4.5
- Pitt -9.5
- Michigan ML (+100)
- Kansas State ML (-110) – TWO UNIT PLAY
- Kansas -1.5
- ML PARLAY: Pitt, New Mexico, Utah State, Rutgers, Toledo (-125) – TWO UNIT PLAY