Happy Friday. We’ve had better days than we had yesterday. On the bright side, North Texas won to give us a two-unit hit on the NIT championship game. That sealed a positive record (+3.3 units) on the NIT. But it wasn’t enough to overcome about four units worth of losses on the Bucks. Milwaukee was absolutely obliterated by the Celtics, and the bottom line took a hit in the process. We’ll do better today. But first, a look at yesterday’s results…
- The Bucks had a chance to deal the final blow in the chase for the East 1 seed, but they lost by 41 at home instead. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 70, the Celtics shot 22-43 from three (+24), and the Bucks managed to shoot just 24-58 (41.3%) from inside the arc in an ugly showing. Milwaukee also shot and made less free throws. Giannis shot just three from the stripe, his lowest total in a game in which he played at least 10 minutes all season, despite totaling 27 shots, which is tied for his sixth-highest output of the year. Antetokounmpo’s whistle obviously doesn’t decide a 41-point game, but it’s a rather concerning sign heading towards the playoffs because it very well could decide a tight Game 5, 6, or 7. So what does last night mean for the standings? Milwaukee’s magic numbers remain at 2 (Sixers) and 4 (Celtics). If they manage to win the East, the magic number to clinch the league’s best record is down to 3 (Nuggets) after Denver’s loss. They have five games to play. So a 4-1 finish locks up the 1 seed regardless of Boston’s performance. Beating the Sixers in Milwaukee on Sunday will be key; going 3-1 against a closing schedule of @Washington, Chicago, Memphis, @Toronto is manageable, but you don’t want to have the pressure of possibly needing all four of those to be wins. The Celtics, meanwhile, need to avoid a letdown spot tonight against the Jazz. Then they need to grab at least three wins from a closing stretch of @Philly, Toronto, Toronto, Atlanta to keep the pressure on the Bucks. Boston isn’t out of this quite yet, but there’s still plenty that they need to go their way.
- The Pelicans picked up a massive win, bouncing back from Tuesday’s blown lead in Golden State with a really strong performance in Denver. They had a shot at a Nuggets team down Jokic, and they took advantage, led by Brandon Ingram’s 31-point triple-double. The win moves the Pels into a tie with the Timberwolves for the 7 seed, one game back of the Warriors and two games ahead of the 11 seed Mavs. Denver still has a three game lead at the top of the conference, but their magic number to clinch it will remain at 4.
- North Texas won the NIT and improved to 3-1 against UAB this year with a good showing in the title game. It was a good season for both teams, but they failed to make any significant at-large noise for the NCAA Tourney after failing to topple FAU and dropping a few other CUSA games here and there. Making the NIT title game is a really good way to respond to that, and both programs should be proud of the seasons they had.
NBA record: 207-178-7 ATS, 31-60 ML, 107-86-3 O/U, 1-9 parlay, 0-1 props, -18.22 units
- Bulls Hornets O225
- Wizards ML (-110)
- Thunder -4
- Sixers -5
- Cavs -3.5
- Nets ML (+105)
- Jazz +10
- Jazz Celtics O229
- Timberwolves ML (-110)
- Pistons +6.5
- Kings -14.5
- Spurs Warriors O241.5
CBB record: 253-229-12 ATS, 56-82 ML, 5-5 O/U, 17-25 parlay, -16.33 units
CBB regular season record: 198-181-8 ATS, 47-75 ML, 4-4 O/U, 12-24 parlay, -30.85 units
CBB conference tourney record: 34-31-4 ATS, 7-10 ML, 0-0 O/U, 4-3 parlay, + 5.87 units
NIT record: 5-5 ATS, 1-0 ML, 1-0 parlay, +3.3 units
NCAA Tourney record: 16-12 ATS, 6-6 ML, 1-1 O/U, 0-0 parlay, +5.35 units
CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT CHAMP PICKS
Record: 11-21 (10 losses in title game)