Max is getting a hot hand in NBA and NHL! Will it continue?
Excerpts from Max’s Notes: NBA
Celtics at Sixers Maybe the Celtics were looking ahead to this game and took San Antonio for granted. It’s easy to do when you see how inconsistent the Spurs have been this season and knowing that today’s game features a divisional rival with championship aspirations. Kemba Walker got tossed for the first time in his career and maybe that’s what playing in Boston does to you. The Sixers have been off since Monday’s win over OKC so they should be fresh and ready to go. Boston isn’t bad on the road at 11-7 but winning in Philadelphia is tough. Philly is 17-2 straight up but only 9-9-1 ATS at home. Cavs at Pistons The Cavs head coach might have a speech impediment to add to his list of problems. John Beilein apparently called his bench players thugs but meant to say slugs. Either way, he’s got issues with his bench and he’s got issues with one of his top players in Kevin Love. Maybe he was better off staying in college as a coach. The good news is he gets to go to Detroit today and play a Pistons team that isn’t doing much better than the Cavs at the moment. The Pistons are 3-7 in their last 10 and have lost Blake Griffin indefinitely. Their last win was Tuesday over the Cavs. Cleveland desperately needs a win. They’ve lost 5 in a row and today kicks off a 6 game road trip that’ll put them out West against Denver and both LA teams. Blazers at Timberwolves The Blazers continue their road trip that started on New Year’s Day. They have gone 2-2 so far and hope to win today at end the trip on a positive note. The Blazers beat the T-Wolves in Portland a few weeks back and since then, Minnesota has dealt with an injury to their star player and have gone 4-4. Karl Anthony Towns will miss another game today and that’ll benefit Portland for sure. Minnesota is only 5-11 at home this season but they’ve won their last 2. Rockets at Thunder Russell Westbrook will make his first trip back to OKC after spending 11 seasons there. He will face a Thunder team that has done pretty well without him. Their young talent is gelling well and Chris Paul is providing mentoring and leadership that has helped them win 8 of 10. That improves to 9-1 ATS. Houston has also won 8 of 10 but only are 6-4 ATS in that span. NHL Devils at Rangers After a stretch of surprisingly good play, the Devils have come back to reality. They’ve lost 2 in a row and head to New York where they are a dreadful 2-7-2 over their last 11 games at MSG. Henrik Lundqvist may have passed the torch to his successor Igor Shesterkin on Tuesday in the Rangers win over the Avalanche. Shesterkin might get the start in goal again for the Rangers and get to play an offense that is a lot less dynamic than Colorado’s. Oilers at Canadians Montreal has seen the bottom drop out of their season recently. Tuesday’s loss to the Red Wings was their fourth straight 1 goal decision and dropped them to 0-6-1 over their last 7. Edmonton got a huge win Monday over the Maple Leafs which made them 3-0-1 over their last 4. The Oilers are 13-9-2 on the road this season and Montreal is 8-10-4 at home. Canucks at Panthers The Canucks are waking up and hoping that Tampa Bay has stopped scoring on them. Their 9-2 loss on Tuesday to the Lightning broke a nice win streak and they hope to get back on track against an inconsistent Panthers team. Florida cannot string together consecutive wins. Vancouver is not great on the road with a 9-11-1 record but they have a better goal differential than Florida does and it was even better before Tuesday nights loss. Jets at Bruins The Jets pulled out a good shootout win over the Maple Leafs on Wednesday and continue to show some solid play on the road. But now in game two of their back to back they head to Boston to play a Bruins team that has lost 2 in a row at home but only one in regulation. So that means they are 14-2-9 at home and just almost impossible to beat in regulation in Boston. The Bruins are coming off a 6-2 road win on Tuesday and only have a short stop home before hitting the road again on Saturday. Coyotes at Lightning Here is a battle of some streaking teams. Arizona has won 4 in a row and the Lightning have managed a point in 9 of their last games and are 8-1-1 in their last 10. Tampa is coming off a 9-2 beatdown over Vancouver that improved their home record to 13-7-2. Arizona is actually a better road team than they are a home team but find themselves on the first leg of a back to back as they travel to Carolina after this game. Sabres at Blues The Blues are playing excellent hockey lately and are 9-2-1 over their last 12. The 2 losses and OT loss came last week against 3 Western Conference powerhouse teams. They get to play a Sabres team that has won 2 in a row but are 3-6-1 in their last 10 and are 6-12-4 on the road. Public is slightly on the Blues and money is solidly on them. Predators at Blackhawks Nashville is a frustrating team. They show signs of being a very good team but they go on stretches of awfulness. Only one point separates them from Chicago in the standings despite a +16 goal differential advantage over the Blackhawks. The Predators have given up 22 goals over their last 5 games and they fired their coach to try and spark something for the rest of the season. Public is on the Blackhawks and the money is almost all on Nashville. Wild at Flames Minnesota hasn’t played since their Sunday loss to the Flames. So they will be rested and motivated for a win. Calgary is coming off a close win over the Blackhawks on Tuesday which might be a bit concerning because their offense looked pretty bad after making some progress recently. These are two evenly matched teams but the Wild definitely struggle a bit on the road. Stars at Ducks Dallas pulled off a 2-1 win over the Kings yesterday and now head over the Anaheim to face the Ducks. Dallas has won 5 in a row and improved to 10-8-2 on the road. Anaheim is a dreadful 3-6-1 over their last 10 and have struggled against the better teams in the league. The one thing Anaheim has going for them is that Dallas is not a prolific scoring team so if they can manage to score a couple against their stellar defense, the Ducks might have a chance here. Kings at Golden Knights LA is coming off a close loss last night to the Stars and have to head over the Vegas to play a Golden Knights team that had their win streak broken on Tuesday against the Penguins. That dropped Vegas to 4-1 on their recent homestand but they are still an impressive 14-8-3 at home. LA is the fourth worst team in hockey and dreadful 6-14-3 on the road. Blue Jackets at Sharks The Sharks were having a bad season heading into their last game. It got worse after that. They lost their captain Logan Couture for at least 6 weeks with a fractured ankle. Now they host a Blue Jackets team that has won 4 of 5. Their lone loss in that stretch was a 3-2 loss to the Sharks in Columbus 5 days ago. The Blue Jackets have responded with consecutive road wins out on the West Coast which improved their road record to 9-6-6.