The NBA odds makers have released the full Monday slate now and there are definitely some hot topics we must discuss.
For one, the Cleveland Cavaliers opened as 2.5-point favorites against the defending champion Miami Heat. The Heat have been getting pounded all day and are now just one-point underdogs.
It's interesting to see how much faith the public has in Miami, even with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade likely to rest. Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem are also out, meaning Chris Bosh, should he play, will be the focal point of the offense this evening.
Thing is, we've come to learn that the Heat can win regardless of who's out there on the court. They have a fantastic system in place on both ends of the court and the results have spoke for themselves.
Elsewhere in the East...
The Chicago Bulls opened up as three-point chalk for their road game with the Orlando Magic, and that game has been bet up 3.5 in some markets.
Jameer Nelson remains out for the Magic, adding on to their extensive injury woes. That's one of the reasons Jordan Sharp believes the Bulls at -3 are the right play with your NBA picks.
Sharp also has two more Eastern Conference battles as part of his NBA Picks of the Day article, and he's gone the total route for both.
He caught an unreliable early number for the New York Knicks' road battle with the Charlotte Bobcats, in which the opening O/U was at 203. If you can believe, the actual number is at 193 now. Sharp liked the OVER at that first number, so he must really love it now that it can be found 10 points lower.
Even with Carmelo Anthony resting, the Knicks have more than enough offensive firepower to score on the hapless Bobcats. New York has locked up the number two seed in the East, so they may not be as motivated to buckle down on the defensive end.
As for Sharp's other pick, he's going the other way for the total in the Brooklyn Nets/Washington Wizards game. The O/U there has moved from 192 to 190 throughout the day, as clearly the public is on the same wavelength, while the spread (from Nets -7.5 to -5.5) has also seen a lot of movement.
And in the West...
The Oklahoma City Thunder play host to the Sacramento Kings, and in our earlier article today we mentioned how they're favored by 16 points at most books. There's been a slight shift in the NBA odds, as the Thunder are now favored by 15 or 15.5 points.
Joe Freda is going in a different direction with his picks though. He like the UNDER at the original number of 213.5, so one must figure he will gladly take the extra point and a half. The O/U as of now stands at 215.
There's been significant movement for the Golden State Warriors/San Antonio Spurs matchup at Oracle Arena. The Warriors opened as very small favorites but are now giving away as many as 5.5 points to Gregg Popovich's team. Why? Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Kawhi Leonard are all out for tonight's game.
With so many players out, there's no wonder Freda likes the look of the UNDER (203) for that encounter.
As for the Dallas Mavericks and their home tilt with the Memphis Grizzlies, Jordan Sharp has sided with the Grizzlies to cover the 3.5-point chalk. He notes that the Grizzlies still have something to play for (a better playoff seed) and that they should be able to take advantage of the Mavericks as long as they don't rest their key players.For our original thoughts on today's NBA action, check out our rundown of the opening basketball odds here.