Pelicans vs. Cavs
This game could be unwatchable due to all the potential injuries, but there is comfort knowing that while it may be a bad game, it might have better value than any other play on the board tonight. The NBA Odds have the Cavs as -1 ½ favorites, with a total of 197 points. We already know about the injuries to the Pelicans, however the Cavs are dealing with injuries to two of their best three players tonight.
Luol Deng and Anderson Varejao did not practice yesterday, and are currently considered game time decisions for tonight’s game against the Pelicans. Watch both of their practice statuses heading into the afternoon, because that would give us a pretty good idea on if they play tonight.
With all of the injuries, it potentially means more run for the benches this evening. This could lead to the total of 197 being extremely valuable, especially if Deng and Varejao can’t play. Those two are the only members of the Cavs that play any resemblance of defense, and even with them both in the game for the most part, the Cavs have still struggled on that end of the floor as of late.
The last three times these two teams have played the total has gone over, including once already this season. Since then New Orleans has really fallen off defensively. The Pelicans are giving up 105 points per game when playing on the road this season, and with all the potential of short benches for both teams tonight, I think a faster and more offensive game is in store.
My Pick: OVER 197
Celtics vs. Knicks
With only a few front court players left for the Knicks, even the Celtics will likely put up a good effort on the boards tonight, as the NBA Odds have the C’s at +5 ½ road underdogs in Madison Square Garden, with a total of 192. Boston has won and covered their first two games against the Knicks this season, and considering the injuries on both sides, I think they are undervalued on the road.
Even with Rondo only playing 20 minutes, it will be enough to stay close with the Knicks. They didn’t have the luxury of Rondo for either of those first two games, and even though the C’s are struggling mightily SU recently, (2-14 SU) I think they can cover tonight against a Knicks team that is once again overvalued.
Boston is 4-1 SU in their last five games overall against the Knicks, and they are 15-7 SU in their last 22 trips up to the Garden. New York on the other hand is 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games at home against Boston.
This season, Boston has a better road defense than the Knicks do at home, and they have gone 4-2 ATS against their division, while the Knicks have only won two of their eight division games this season. Also, Boston has gone 4-1 ATS in their last five road games.
My Pick: Celtics +5 ½