NBA Odds & Dogs – DeMar DeRozan vs Modern Basketball
NBA Picks: Will The Raptors Pluck The Pelicans?
The Raptors offense performed well in last night’s match against the Rockets, but Toronto’s still mired in old habits and patterns that prevent them from making the most of their all-star guard combo. Watching DeRozan miss two isolation plays to close out a loss against the Kyrie-less Celtics displayed the Raps prehistoric, Kobe-era offense.
DeRozan can hit jumpers from anywhere within the perimeter, but the moment he goes beyond the three-point line, his shooting percentage dives into the dumpster. Ironically, power forwards Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins shoot the three better than DeMar, who plays the two. The Pelicans experiment with a pair of all-star big men has been fascinating, and they’re ready to upend the Raps this evening.
NBA Odds Courtesy of Sports Interaction
- Toronto at New Orleans – Pelicans Beat -3.0 Spread
- Cleveland at Charlotte – Hornets Beat +2.0 Spread
- Philadelphia at L.A. Lakers – 76ers Beat -3.5 Spread
- Utah at New York – Knicks Beat -4.5 Spread
- San Antonio at Minnesota – Spurs Beat +5.0 Spread
NBA Spreads: Dimes On The Line
Raptors at Pelicans (New Orleans -3.0)
The Toronto Raptors earned a solid road win against the Rockets last night on the strength of a superb first half. They outscored Houston 76-64 and fended off a couple of runs to finish off Harden and the Rockets with a 129-113 result. Toronto will play their second consecutive game this evening, which reduces the odds of another strong performance.
New Orleans almost beat the Raptors in Toronto the first time they met this year, losing by four points. Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and the Pelicans will ride home advantage to beat a one possession spread.
Cavaliers at Hornets (Charlotte +2.0)
King James is the sole reason the Cavaliers haven’t plummeted to the bottom of the eastern conference, propping up the worst defense in the league with signature, hall-of-fame performances. Injuries to Thompson, Thomas and Rose sap the Cavs depth, and Cleveland won’t be whole until December at the earliest. Charlotte’s Nicolas Batum returns from injury, and the Cavs don’t have a big man capable of hanging with Dwight Howard. Expect the Hornets to snap a four-game losing streak and earn a rare W against LeBron.
76ers at Lakers (Philadelphia -3.5)
Considering Joel Embiid’s massive performance against the Los Angeles Clippers, it’s tough to see how the Lakers will put up more of a fight against The Process. Ben Simmons is the rookie of the year thus far while Lonzo needs more time to adjust to playing ball in the association. Dario Saric of the 76ers looks like another nightmare to matchup against, giving Philly a third big man with guard-like skills. The Lakers will put up a fight, but they don’t have the talent to compete with the second most improved team in the eastern conference.
Jazz at Knicks (New York -4.5)
Rudy Gobert’s out for a month after Dion Waiters dove into the knees of the Stifle Tower, and the Jazz are in big trouble without their all-star center. The Knicks nearly knocked off Cleveland again in New York, but LeBron James single-handedly helped the Cavs roar back to an amazing comeback victory. Without Gobert, Kristaps Porzingis will run wild and free, splashing threes and slamming dunks against the limping Jazz. New York should be able to win by more than two possessions, especially with home advantage at Madison Square Garden.
Spurs at Timberwolves (San Antonio +5.0)
At first glance, this game between the Spurs and Timberwolves appears like a mismatch because Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker haven’t returned from serious, lower-body injuries. However, Pops has been getting the most out of his team as usual, guiding an underpowered San Antonio to third place in the west, half a game above Minnesota. LaMarcus Aldridge has stepped up to fill the void admirably, and the Wolves have yet to figure out how to play solid defense.
Anticipate a close matchup based on the fact that Gregg Popovich is the best coach of all time.
Nutmeg Of The Night – High Risk/Reward
San Antonio Spurs Beat Minnesota Timberwolves Straight Up (+175)
On paper, the San Antonio Spurs have no business hanging with a team as talented as the Timberwolves. Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Town and Andrew Wiggins are supreme athletic talents, but they haven’t learned how to collaborate on their own end of the court, despite coach Tom Thibodeau’s reputation as a defensive genius.
Unfortunately for Minnesota, coach Thibodeau earned his rep before the explosion of three-pointers in the NBA, running a scheme that overloads the strong side of the ball while opening the perimeter. Wiggins and Towns haven’t converted their athleticism into professional defense yet, and Jimmy Butler can only do so much. This is a recipe for an upset, especially if LaMarcus Aldridge is given free rein to pop smooth jumpers all night long.
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