NBA Picks: Sunday’s Best Plays Against the Spread feat. Sixers

Jason Lake

Sunday, April 5, 2015 11:38 AM GMT

The Philadelphia 76ers money train just keeps on rolling. They’ll be favorites on the NBA odds board when they visit the New York Knicks in one of our featured ATS value plays for Sunday’s slate.

Jason’s record as of Apr. 3: 65-67-5 ATS, 7-13 Totals, plus-1.15 units ML

 

Things are getting a little bit crazy out there. Teams say they’re going to rest players, then they don’t. Teams say players are ready to come back, and they aren’t. It’s all part of the game; sometimes plans change, and sometimes teams throw up smoke screens to confuse opponents – or to hide their own indiscretions. Call it gamesmanship if you like. Just make sure to wait until the lineups are announced before you make your NBA picks.

In the meantime, we’ll keep making our overnight picks to give you some ideas for what plays to make closer to tip-off. Sunday’s slate has some very interesting matchups, including yet another chance to ride the Philadelphia 76ers to glory. Let’s riggidy-roll.

 

Houston vs. Oklahoma City (1:00 p.m. ET, ABC)
We’re not about to stick a fork in the Thunder (42-34 SU, 37-37-2 ATS), but they have lost four of their last five SU and ATS. That includes Friday’s 100-92 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies (–5.5 at home), which, sadly for us, didn’t go OVER the 204.5-point total on the NBA odds board at closing time. Oklahoma City shot 4-of-17 from downtown and 16-of-26 from the free-throw line. Pfffft.

Despite their recent rash of injuries, the Rockets (52-24 SU, 44-32 ATS) have won nine of their last 11 games at 7-4 ATS. Losing Patrick Beverley (11.3 PER, plus-0.8 BPM) hasn’t been too damaging yet; Jason Terry (11.2 PER, minus-0.5 BPM) and Pablo Prigioni (10.5 PER, minus-2.0 BPM) have held the fort reasonably well. In the frontcourt, Terrence Jones (18.7 PER, plus-0.7 BPM) has returned to the lineup, and Dwight Howard (18.3 PER, minus-1.5 BPM) is working his way back into game shape. They should enjoy carving up OKC in the paint.

Free NBA Pick: Take the Rockets at BookMaker

 

Miami vs. Indiana (6:00 p.m. ET)
In case you haven’t heard, Paul George will make his season debut for the Pacers (33-43 SU, 39-34-3 ATS) on Sunday, and they need his services after going 3-9 SU and 4-8 ATS in their last dozen games. We’d normally be wary of picking Indiana in George’s first game back, but expectations have already been lowered – he’s only looking at 10-15 minutes in this matchup. Those should still end up being welcome minutes at a position of need for the Pacers.

Miami (34-42 SU, 33-39-4 ATS) makes a compelling fade candidate as it is, losing four of five SU and ATS to slip out of a playoff position in the Eastern Conference. Dwyane Wade (22.1 PER, plus-1.8 BPM) is playing through a sore knee – he had it drained last week – and was on the floor for 35 minutes in Sunday’s crucial 99-98 loss to the Detroit Pistons (+4.5 at home). Tough gig.

Free NBA Pick: Take the Pacers

 

Philadelphia vs. New York (7:30 p.m. ET, MSG)
Last, but first in our handicapping hearts, the 76ers (18-59 SU, 39-36-2 ATS) nearly pulled off another dramatic NBA odds upset on Sunday before falling 92-91 to the Charlotte Hornets (–6.5 at home). Make it 5-12 SU and 10-7 ATS for Philadelphia over the past month. Also, please give a warm welcome to new starting power forward Furkan Aldemir (13.1 PER, plus-0.1 BPM), who’s second on the team with a plus-2.4 DBPM and looks pretty good next to Nerlens Noel (15.0 PER, plus-4.7 DBPM).

This basketball pick is both a follow on the Sixers and a fade on the Knicks (14-62 SU, 29-44-3 ATS). They’ve pretty much thrown in the towel at this point, losing nine straight games at 2-6-1 ATS, including a 97-81 defeat on the streets of Philadelphia (–5.5). Kick ‘em while they’re down.

Free NBA Pick: Take the 76ers