An early start to the action awaits us today, but both of our NBA picks come in the later games this evening. Which plays stand out most?
Early games today feature Oklahoma City at home to the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers hosting the Chicago Bulls.
With our NBA picks, however, we are looking at one spread and one total play within the night games.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Grizzlies come into Cleveland favored by three points on the NBA odds board. Tonight's total has opened at 186.
Memphis owns a 27-22 SU mark to go along with a 23-25-1 ATS record. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers are 17-33 SU and 20-30 ATS, while covering the spread in only one of their previous seven contests overall.
In terms of injuries, Cleveland could be without Luol Deng, who's questionable due to illness, though Kyrie Irving (ankle) is listed as probable. Memphis is still missing Mike Conley (ankle) and Tony Allen (hand).
It's as simple as this though: when to comes to making our sports picks, we're fading the Cavaliers.
They may have gotten that win over the Wizards the other night, but that was their first taste of victory for close to two weeks. Mike Brown's team has lost six of seven, meaning you can now find them 16 games under .500 for the season.
It helps that the Grizzlies are finding their stride now, with the return of Marc Gasol really acting as a catalyst. Sweetening the pot, they've been even better on the road (14-8 SU) than they have at home (13-14 SU) – Gasol and company are a rock-solid 13-8-1 against the spread away from home.
So, even with the starting backcourt of Mike Conley and Tony Allen missing in action, we're siding with Memphis to win and cover.
NBA Pick: Grizzlies -3
This will be the first meeting of the season between the Wizards and Kings. Sacramento won both matchups last season, but only by a combined three points.
Are we in for another closely-contested battle tonight?
Most likely. Neither of these teams have done much to inspire confidence recently, with Washington losing two in a row and Sacramento at a dreadful 2-8 SU over their last 10 contests. Both of the Kings' wins came at home, over Chicago and then Toronto.
That being said, the Wizards have been the much more consistent team this season and that's one of the reasons they're favored by five points at the top sportsbooks. The total can be found at either 203 or 203.5.
We have a small lean on the Kings to keep it close in the nation's capital, but we're liking the look of a total play even more. We'll be adding the OVER to our collection of picks for the day.
For one, Sacramento has been horrible defensively all season long. They're ranked third-from-bottom in defensive efficiency, having allowed 106.4 points per 100 possessions heading into tonight's matchup. On the year the Kings are allowing 103.7 points per game overall.
You'd have to think the Wizards will be able to top the century mark against this Sacramento defense, especially since they've been on fire, averaging 106.0 PPG over their previous five. Thing is, Washington's been struggling defensively as well (104.2 PPG allowed in same five-game span), another factor in our decision to recommend the OVER.
NBA Pick: OVER 203