While NCAA Men’s Basketball continues to work down to the Sweet Sixteen, producing more than a few upsets in the process, the NBA season continues to progress, as well. Tonight’s lineup, overall, shouldn’t offer any real surprises, although this season has already shown that no game can ever be taken for granted. Several tight contests tonight will give sports gamblers a chance to show off how well their crystal balls are working.
Kings Meet The Cavs In Tight Game
The Sacramento Kings finish their road trip tonight, playing their last of six away games against the Cleveland Cavaliers. They want to rebound after suffering a major 24-point defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers and will certain be out for blood tonight. The Cavs are going into the game on the backend of two straight, which should help give the Kings another edge.
Despite Cleveland’s dismal record, this is not a run-away game for Sacramento. The Kings are getting -165 to the Cavs’ +138 and the spread is only four points (at -112). Taking the spread and the Over on an Over/Under of 225 (-109) should provide some extra bonus cash to the wallet.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have had their ups and downs this season, but are averaging 106 points a game. The downside is that they’re also allowing 112.2 points per game. They take on the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight and hope to raise the first and lower the second. It won’t be easy, as the Timberwolves are going to light up with Karl-Anthony Towns and Malik Beasley once more.
The T’wolves are getting -130 to the Thunder’s +106 and shouldn’t have any problems. The spread is -2.5 (-105), which Minnesota can easily cover. The Thunder will put up a good fight, but don’t expect any miracles.
Jazz Look To Put Down The Bulls
The Utah Jazz are meeting the Chicago Bulls tonight, still leading the league despite a couple of recent – and embarrassing – losses. This will be the first time these two teams meet this season and that should make for an interesting game to watch. Rudy Gobert has recovered nicely for the Jazz since last year, while Zach LaVine is on fire for the Bulls. He’s ranked seventh overall in NBA scoring, at 28.3 points, and this is going to be a tight game.
This game is the last road game for the Jazz, who have gone 2-2 on this trip. They need a win tonight to get things back in order, and are getting -400 right now to get the job done. The -8.5 (-110) spread might actually be a problem, but hitting the Over on the Over/Under of 231.5 (-113) shouldn’t be.
The Boston Celtics have been in a little bit of a slump recently until they found redemption against the Orlando Magic last night. They’ll look to keep the momentum going when they meet the Memphis Grizzlies tonight, hoping to capture just their second win in six games following the All-Star break.
Memphis just took down the Golden State Warriors and are in a different spot now. They have won two straight and, playing at home, are going to be comfortable. The Celtics have the talent to win, but could run into difficulty tonight. The Grizzlies are at -115 to the Celtics’ -107, so expect a close game that the Grizzlies take. The 1.5 spread (-105) highlights the difficult game that lies ahead for both teams.
Antetokounmpo Questionable For Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed as questionable for tonight when the Milwaukee Bucks face the Indiana Pacers. The Bucks are on a solid course for the postseason and are in contention for a top-seed in the Eastern Conference, but that has mostly been because of the Greek Freak. If he’s out, things could go differently. With Caris LeVert back on the court for the Pacers, should Antetokounmpo be out, this is going to be a completely different ballgame.
Currently, with Antetokounmpo not yet written off, the Bucks are getting -240 and the Pacers are at +195. This game will have to be watched closely and, if the Bucks lose their big man, taking the Pacers makes sense. The lines are likely to shift before the game starts but the Over/Under of 229 (-109) can be broken whether Antetokounmpo is in or out.
The Atlanta Hawks upset the LA Lakers Saturday before getting last night off. That downtime was a chance to take a breather before pushing forward with something the team hasn’t done in six years. The Hawks are on an eight-game winning streak and, when they face the LA Clippers tonight, will look for number nine.
The Clippers, who also had yesterday off, recently took a beating at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks before winning Saturday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets. That wasn’t too impressive and they face a superior team tonight. The Clippers are getting the advantage from oddsmakers, at -250 to +205, but an upset win is possible. The Over/Under of 224 (-112) is an easy target, but taking the Hawks to win as underdogs would not be a bad move.