Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Brooklyn Nets
The Timberwolves and Nets have only met up once this season, with Minnesota rolling to a 30-point victory at home. Will Brooklyn exact some revenge tonight?
This time around, Paul Pierce and the Nets will be at home and are favored by four points. They've certainly picked up their play since that first meeting all the way back in November, so we should see a much different result.
Brooklyn comes in on the heels of a 108-97 home win over Cleveland, which was great relief for Jason Kidd's team after consecutive overtime losses on the road to New Orleans and then Charlotte. The Nets have still been excellent overall over the last couple of weeks, winning five of their last seven.
The Timberwolves have cruised to consecutive blowout wins over the Hawks (107-83) and Lakers (143-107) at home. Obviously they covered as favorites in both victories.
Minnesota just got Nikola Pekovic back and that's a boost, especially since the team also found just how good Gorgui Dieng is in his absence. That's a luxury to have if you're the Timberwolves, especially against a Brooklyn team that will be without Kevin Garnett.
Nonetheless, we still feel as if the Nets are the right side. Brooklyn is playing great team basketball, especially on the offensive end where they're averaging 108.8 PPG over their last five. They're sharing the basketball and getting results because of it.
The Nets are a rock-solid 24-11 SU and 21-14 ATS inside Barclays Center this season and we believe they're the team worthy of a selection against the spread tonight. Look for Brooklyn to improve to 6-2 over their last eight.
Pick: Brooklyn Nets -4
Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics
Chicago still has a lot to play for, so you know they're going to come out focused for tonight's game in Boston.
Current NBA odds show the Bulls favored by 4.5 points, while the total is available at either 182.5 or 183. Chicago is 40-32 SU and 35-37 ATS on the year, with Boston sitting at 23-49 SU and 36-35-1 against the spread.
In terms of recent form, the Bulls lost their last time out (74-91 at home to Portland) and will want to swiftly bounce back, while the Celtics have suffered three consecutive defeats, falling twice to Toronto and once in Brooklyn. Boston is just 1-8 SU over their past nine.
For tonight, we're confident in Chicago covering the chalk.
The Bulls have been terrific defensively all season, but they've taken it to an even higher level as of late. They've given up only 86.8 points per game over their last five, holding opponents to 40.8 percent shooting in the process.
What's more, this should be a game Joakim Noah completely dominates. The Celtics have had a lot of trouble stopping bigs and Noah has taken his game to a whole new level this season. Throw in the likes of Carlos Boozer and the always improving Taj Gibson and the Bulls should completely control the paint here.
We look for Noah to inspire Chicago to the win and ATS cover tonight. We're backing the Bulls against a Boston team that's just 16-20-1 ATS on their home floor.
Pick: Chicago Bulls -4.5