Covered by Jordan Sharp
The Lakers were just hit with a double whammy, as Kobe Bryant will miss at least six weeks with a knee issue and Steve Nash will also be out for at least the next month. Pau Gasol is going to have to do some serious heavy lifting for now. It looks like Xavier Henry will step in as the starting point guard until Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake return.
Tonight we've got Los Angeles playing host to the Timberwolves, with Kevin Love again returning to his hometown. The NBA odds have the road team favored by as many as 6.5 points, but Jordan is staying away from the spread.
These two offenses can really score the basketball and that's why our handicapper is recommending taking the OVER, despite the high number.
Pick: OVER 210
Houston Rockets vs. Indiana Pacers
Covered by Jason Lake
The Pacers can't be feeling too good about themselves after choking away that lead to the Heat. They should come out pretty fired up to take care of business against the Rockets tonight.
Houston is coming off a big 109-94 win over Chicago, but they haven't been too convincing lately. The Rockets are an even 4-4 SU (3-5 ATS) over their last eight games and have dropped three of their past four on the road.
Indiana has lost two in a row, but this streak isn't going to last. Jason believes the Pacers are the better play as they try to improve their stellar 11-1 SU (7-5 ATS) home record. It's quite a lot of points to be laying against a solid squad in Houston, but Indiana could easily run away with this thing.
Pick: Pacers -7
Covered by Jason Lake
They've won three in a row and five of their last six (sole loss at Indiana) and tonight the Heat are double-digit favorites against Sacramento. The total, for those wondering, has risen from 205.5 to a current price of 206.
The Kings aren't in a great place right now. They've lost two straight, both of which were on the road, and are 1-4 SU and ATS over their previous five. Rudy Gay's integration has been far from seamless so far, but it's still early in the process.
Instead of taking a chance on this large spread, Jason feels more comfortable with a total play. He's looking for offense to rule the day, making the OVER the best bet in his eyes.
Pick: OVER 205.5
Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Covered Jeff Grant
Depending on the sportsbook, the Nets are favored by either 6 or 6.5 points for this road tilt at Philadelphia.
Deron Williams has returned for Brooklyn and his presence has certainly made a positive impact. The Nets are 4-2 SU (5-1 ATS) over their last six, with a highlight home win over the Los Angeles Clippers. However, there's still a long way to go for the Nets if they want to truly compete come playoff time.
Jeff thinks Philadelphia is a good value play tonight, especially with the impending return of Michael Carter-Williams. It helps that the 76ers have been far better at home (6-8) than they have on the road (1-11).
Pick: 76ers +6.5[gameodds]5/250716/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]