Excerpts from Max’s Notes:
Cavs at Sixers
The Sixers dropped 3 in a row before getting a much-needed win over the Hornets. A part of the Sixers struggles has been a mix of Embiid being suspended and Ben Simmons being injured. Ben will miss another game tonight. The Cavs have not been as bad as expected and have won 2 in a row and sit at 4-5 on the season. Kevin Love is having a good season as are Colin Sexton and Tristan Thompson. I’m seeing this as Cavs plus 11 but it seems to be changing.
Thunder at Pacers
The Pacers have won 4 of 5 mostly because I was critical of them early on. They drew inspiration from my criticism, and I respect them for that. They are playing better because everyone is stepping up. Sabonis is playing great lately and free agent pickup Malcolm Brogdon is showing off why the Pacers signed him. The Thunder have been surprisingly not bad.
Pistons at Heat
The Pistons lost last night and now on a back to back head to Miami to play a well rested Heat team. Miami is dealing with Gummy Bear-gate as Dion Waiters has been suspended for having a panic attack from eating a THC infused edible on a team flight. The Pistons welcomed back Blake Griffin and Derek Rose last night but it’s unclear if either will play tonight. This looks like Detroit +7. I wish it was a tad lower because you never know which Heat team shows up on a given night.
Knicks at Bulls
The rumor is that the Knicks are eyeing to scapegoat Coach Fizdale and further cement themselves as the joke of a franchise that they are. Only a game separates them from the Bulls as neither team can find consistency. After a win they seam to get blown out or go on a losing streak. The Knicks got a win over Chicago a few weeks back and now it’s the Bulls’ turn. But no way I’m betting it. Lean Chicago.
Hawks at Nuggets
The Hawks have lost 3 straight and just don’t look good. It all started with Meth Curry’s injury and was followed up by Collins’ suspension. The Nuggets have won four in a row but haven’t been stomping on teams. Most of their wins have been close including a couple of game winners from Jokic against Philly and Minnesota.
Lakers at Suns
Both teams have won 4 of 5 but recency says the Suns are hotter. That’s because Phoenix stomped Brooklyn by 26 on Sunday while the Lakers lost on the road to the Raptors. The Suns are 8-1 against the spread and 5-1 against the spread at home. They are also 5-0 against the spread as underdogs.
Nets at Jazz
Utah won and covered last night against the Warriors. Brooklyn has been underperforming so far. They are 4-5 straight up and 3-6 against the spread. On the road, they are 1-3 and that doesn’t spell success against a Utah team that is a perfect 5-0 at home.
Blazers at Kings
The Kings have won 3 of 5 and are coming off a big win over Atlanta. The Blazers continue to play subpar team basketball and are staying afloat based on an MVP effort by Damian Lillard and his 33 points per game. The Kings will be without De’Aaron Fox who sprained his ankle during practice yesterday.
Panthers at Bruins
Boston is on a bit of a skid. They’ve lost 3 in a row including a rough on to Detroit. A lot of the issues are due to injuries and are defenseman Torey Krug is the latest Bruin who will miss time. The Panthers have been playing really well and their losses have been very close.
Coyotes at Blues
I bet on Arizona yesterday and they won a nail biter in Washington in OT. Now they travel to St. Louis for a matchup against a red-hot Blues team. This is their 6th game in 9 days. They are bound to be a bit tired. The Blues have had some issues offensively and while their defense has been great, they also give up a lot of high probability shots – which is bound to catch up with them. A big strength is their power play and while Arizona doesn’t get a lot of penalties, a tired team makes mistakes and the Blues could capitalize.