Celtics +2 @ Orlando:
Huge value in this game. Orlando has struggled with Boston all season. The Celtics have been playing better basketball, as of late, and the Dallas trade added more depth, without losing any real scoring prowess. Orlando couldn’t even beat Philly at home, the other night. That doesn’t inspire much confidence from our end. Hard not to ride that Celtics train in this one. We lean toward the over, but the Magic are too volatile to pick that. Stick with the C’s; Celtics 105 – Magic 97.
Wizards -3 vs. Bulls:
Two extremely evenly matched teams. Chicago probably has more depth, and we think this will be a dogfight for three quarters. The issue becomes late in this contest. We just think the Bulls will run out of gas, after last night’s marathon in Chicago. That game, combined with travel to Washington is an issue. Bulls fade late and Wizards survive. Wizards 103 – Bulls 94.
New Orleans -1 @ Indiana:
There’s a couple things not to love here. First of all, New Orleans is 0 – 5 their last 5 games against the spread. Secondly, in our opinions, the Pelicans are soft compared to Indiana. There’s a level of toughness that Donald Sloan, David West, & company bring that the Pelicans lack. The Pelicans especially lack this at guard. Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans better suck it up if the Pelicans win this. That being said, the best player on the floor (Anthony Davis) carries these Pelicans as he dominates Hibbert. Expect David West to get his points for Indy. The difference is A. Dav. & Ryan Anderson’s three’s on the wing. Pelicans win 102 – 95.
Cleveland -13.5 vs. Minnesota:
The T’Wolves aren’t playing well at all. Kevin Love has heard alot of the trash talk coming out of Minnesota about his leaving. Expect K Love to show up in a big way. Cleveland is hot right now. If Dion Waiters and Lebron keep hitting like they have been, this is a total blowout. Minnesota has no business being on the same court with Cleveland. Cavs 109 – T’Wolves 87.
76ers +8 @ Heat:
There’s value in this pick. Hold on, testing, testing, one two…..let me say that again…..there’s value in picking the 76ers on the road! Wow! We just said that! But seriously, No Chris Bosh on the floor. Chances are Dwyane Wade will play, but he could sit out in preparation for the Heat’s big Christmas Day game, which our sources say he will not miss. Josh McRoberts is out, and Chris Andersen is dinged up. The 6ers have looked better their past few outings. MCC and Wroten are starting to find a groove. Miami most likely wins, but it’s a great spot for them to overlook Philly in preparation for their matchup with Cleveland. Heat 95 – 76ers 89.
Hawks -1.5 vs. Clippers:
Both teams coming off back to back games. Atlanta goes home, and are on a red hot tear. We truly believe the Hawks are a top 3 team in the East right now. Atlanta is as efficient as any team in the NBA. Clippers have a tough loss going against them, after losing to the Spurs. The Clippers also have the travel, and shooting in an unfamiliar gym. Atlanta is just another version of what the Spurs do (Buddenholzer), and the Clippers have never come close to figuring out that style of basketball. Hawks win, relatively, easily. Atlanta 103 – LAC 97.
Portland @ OKC Under 200:
We don’t very often bet against this with two teams that play this fast and shoot this well, but we’re going to in this case. Chances are LaMarcus Aldridge doesn’t step on the floor. OKC always puts a premium on defense, especially against buckets at the rim. Portland just played a track meet at Houston last night. They have to be tired legs of some sort. The other issue becomes Portland getting any inside points without L.A. or Robin Lopez on the floor. A team with little bench depth, just got weaker inside. Matthews, Batum, and Lillard are snipers, so it could be interesting how well they shoot from 3, but we’re banking on somewhat weak legs. OKC wins 99 – Blazers 91.
Golden State -8.5 @ Lakers:
Loving the way this line is falling. Yes it’s a back to back for Golden State, but they didn’t even break a sweat in bashing Sacramento, the other night. The Splash brothers are a huge nightmare for Jeremy Lin and Company. Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, and Iguodala bring too much athleticism for an inconsistent Lakers team. Kobe Bryant’s legs are too old for this game, and it sounds like he’s questionable to play on this night. We’ll take the Warriors, BIG! GS 117 – Lakers 93.
Charlotte +6 @ Milwaukee:
Absolutely love this pick tonight! Charlotte is red hot right now, and they got to rest the majority of their team in the 4th quarter, when they bashed Denver last night. These teams are equally as talented, and Al Jefferson is a matchup nightmare for Milwaukee. Kemba Walker and Brandon Knight should go back and forth in an entertaining game. Tons and tons of value in the road team here. Way too much is being made of the back to back travel game for Charlotte. Hornets steal a win in Milwaukee; Hornet 102 – Bucks 95.