It’s Friday night and the NBA has several hot contests lined up. Only one doesn’t deserve a little attention from sports gamblers, while the rest look like they’re going to be tight. As the second half of the season cranks up, there will be more than a couple upsets.
Nuggets Return From Break
The Denver Nuggets are back from the All-Star Break, heading over to Tennessee to take on the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are coming off a win against the Washington Wizards from Wednesday and are vying for a spot in the playoffs, but won’t have an easy game. Before the break, the Nuggets were on a winning streak that endured for four games, despite playing without some of their best talent.
The Nuggets are getting -148 and three points on Unibet, while the Grizzlies are at +123. The Over/Under of 227.5 (-108) is a little low for the game, and this should be an interesting matchup between Jamal Murray and Ja Morant as the two continue their outstanding performances. Despite being supported by limited attendance at their home court, the Grizzlies will likely fall just short.
Nance Back For The Cavs
Larry Nance Jr. is expected to be in uniform tonight for the Cleveland Cavaliers as they take on the New Orleans Pelicans. Neither team has been performing well this season and both are sitting in 13th place in their respective conferences. Still, this game is worth a little attention.
Despite having Nance back following his injury over a month ago, the Cavs are at a disadvantage. Darius Garland and Kevin Love are listed as questionable, which will continue to cause issues for the team. In a rare sign of faith, the Pels are getting -335 and eight points for tonight’s game, with the Over/Under set at 226.5 (-112). If Garland and Love are able to take the court, this could turn into an upset and the eight points seems a little unrealistic.
Embiid Makes A Return
The Philadelphia 76ers and the Washington Wizards face off tonight and it looks like Joel Embiid will be back for the Sixers. Because of COVID-19 issues, he missed the All-Star Game and will be looking to set the pace tonight. Philadelphia has a slight, half-game advantage over the Brooklyn Nets to secure the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference and can be expected to put up the numbers tonight.
Oddsmakers think the Sixers will pull off the win, as well and have given them -215 and five points. Philadelphia has taken seven of their past nine games and are on track for their fourth consecutive win. However, with Ben Simmons still out, this could end up going to the Wizards. Giving them some attention tonight wouldn’t be a bad move.
Bulls Face The Heat
The Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat meet tonight in Chicago in a game that is going to stay close from the start. Miami has won eight of its last nine, averaging 106.8 points and the Bulls, despite going 4-4 across their last eight, are averaging 115 points. Zach Levine is putting up the numbers, averaging 28.7 points a game, and the Bulls have several players who consistently score in the double-digits.
Oddsmakers give the Heat -137 and just two points, which shows that this is not going to be a runaway game. Because the Heat have maintained a better record, they should be able to walk away with another win tonight. This game, though, could come down to the wire.
Spurs Look To Control Vucevic
The San Antonio Spurs and the Orlando Magic take the court tonight, with Orlando hoping Nikola Vucevic continues his awesome performance for a team that is hurting for talent. He leads the team in scoring, averaging 24.6 points while sinking 41% of his threes. Still, that hasn’t been enough to keep the Magic from being ranked 14th in the Eastern.
The Spurs have had some difficulty off and on, but were doing well before the All-Star break. They’re getting the advantage tonight with a line of -278 and seven points. This shouldn’t be too difficult against a team that is struggling with the fourth-worst record in the Eastern. However, this will be a game to watch, as the Spurs lost four of their last six.
Lakers Still Searching For Success
Here we go again with the LA Lakers trying to get back on track. They’ll face the Indiana Pacers tonight, most likely without Anthony Davis once more. Before his exit, Davis was averaging 22.5 points a game and Kyle Kuzma and Markieff Morris haven’t come close. They were brought in to fill the gap and are averaging 11.5 and 5.4 points, respectively.
The Lakers still have a lot of power, though, and they also have LeBron James. This is why they’re getting -180 and 4.5 points for tonight’s game. The Over/Under sits at 217.5 (-112), which is low. The Lakers will win, but not before the Pacers give them a scare.
The only other game on tap for tonight doesn’t deserve a lot of attention. The Utah Jazz, the #1 team in the league, meet the Houston Rockets, the second-worst team in the Western. No one expects the Rockets to threaten the Jazz, which is why they’re getting +950 to the Jazz’s -2000. Utah is also getting 16 points (at -104), and this game will only be good for its entertainment value.