NBA Odds & Dogs: LeBron James vs. Father Time
NBA Picks: LeBron Looking Mortal
Father Time remains unbeaten throughout the history of the NBA. Robertson, Russell, Bird, Jordan and Kobe succumbed to the relentless passing of time, as will LeBron James. He’s delayed the inevitable longer than any superstar in the sport, but this year he admitted feeling out of shape. If LeBron doesn’t return to elite status, the resulting shakedown will alter the league more than the Butler, Melo, Paul and George trades combined.
Teams still adjust to the shock of the 2017 offseason, which is partially responsible for most of the bizarre upsets early this season. As the schedule progresses towards December, squads will become familiar with new personnel, establishing more reliable wagering trends. Take advantage of struggling favorites like Cleveland, who won’t play at full strength until 2018.
NBA Odds Courtesy of Sports Interaction
- Toronto Raptors at Denver Nuggets: Raptors Beat +1.5 Spread
- Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers: Pacers Beat +10 Spread
- Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Clippers: Clips Beat -10 Spread
- Orlando Magic at Memphis Grizzlies: Grizz Maul -4 Spread
- Houston Rockets at New York Knicks: Rockets Blast -5.5 Spread
NBA Spreads: Dimes On The Lines
Raptors At Nuggets (Toronto +1.5)
Despite big men Valanciunas and Ibaka on the sideline, the spread remains slim because of the Raptors surprising depth. Miles, Wright, Nogueira, Anunoby and Poeltl have made big contributions, especially in their own end of the court. Nikola Jokic will face a steady stream of energetic defenders with exceptional length, reducing Jokic’s ability to distribute. Since 2013, the Raps are 6-3 against the Nugs, including a 3-1 record in Denver.
Pacers at Cavaliers (Indiana +10)
Forget about LeBron for a moment, and consider the rest of the Cavs: Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade and Jose Calderon can’t contribute on defense, while Jae Crowder, J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson look lost with their yet-to-be-defined role. Cleveland has the fourth worst PPG allowed and rank the same in turnovers. Now toss in LeBron’s lack of conditioning, and the ten-point spread appears much more uncertain against a warm Pacers squad with nothing to lose.
Mavericks at Clippers (Los Angeles -10)
Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan don’t seem to miss Chris Paul at all. All due respect to Point God, but Clippers bigs might be having fun on court for the first time in years. Griffin’s shooting 5.5 threes per game at a .424 pace, which should be a concern for the rest of the western conference. L.A. ranks top ten in PPG and points allowed per game, playing at home against the weakest team in the west. Dallas no longer has what it takes to compete in the association.
Magic at Grizzlies (Memphis -4)
Either Orlando or Memphis will fall from the top spot in their conference tonight, a symptom of early season randomness in the NBA. However, the Grizzlies have been grinding for years, far more likely than the Magic to maintain this pace. Gasol and Conley have been playing out of their minds, while the rest of the lineup helps to solidify one of the best defenses in the league. Orlando enters the Grindhouse playing three in four nights, a tough assignment for any NBA squad.
Rockets at New York (Houston -5.5)
Sure, the Knicks should pat themselves on the shoulder for beating the Cavs, but Cleveland’s self-defeating, so don’t get carried away by hype. The Rockets play much better ball, returning to last year’s patterns while Chris Paul’s on the mend. Harden will carve Jarrett Jack, Ramon Sessions, or whoever else the Knicks toss at him. Porzingis will be a pleasure to watch, but the Knicks don’t have the perimeter players to deal with Houston bombing away from deep.
Nutmeg Of The Night - High Risk/Reward
Pacers Beat Cavaliers Straight Up (+425)
On paper, there’s absolutely no way the Indiana Pacers should beat the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena, but the Cavaliers are playing their worst basketball since LeBron returned to Ohio. This includes the general lack of urgency the Cavs display through the regular season, because of relatively thin competition in the east.
Last season was already difficult for Cleveland on defense, and this year appears worse. The Cavs remain vulnerable to upset until they start to show some sort of defensive cohesion, or begin to score 115 points per night.
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