Thomas' Return Might Be Spark Cavaliers Need to Improve ATS

Cavs Thomas

Troy Haliburton

Tuesday, January 2, 2018 6:13 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 6:13 PM UTC

There are only five games on Tuesday's NBA schedule, but that doesn't mean we can't find betting values. Check out the Blazers-Cavaliers and Grizzlies-Clippers matchups as we try to dish out a few winners to put cash in your pocket.

NBA Tuesday: Trail Blazers vs. Cavaliers

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3263863, "sportsbooksIds":[169,19,238,43,180], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Free NBA Pick: Trail Blazers +8Best Line Offered: Heritage

The Cavaliers have been of the NBA's weaker teams in terms of starting backcourts, but that changes Tuesday night when Isaiah Thomas makes his debut with his new team. The former All-Star point guard has been out with a hip injury since the conference finals in June. Thomas’ return should do wonders for Cleveland's offense because of his ability to not only create shots for himself and others off pick-and-roll action, but because of his ability to spot up and shoot off Lebron James action.

The Blazers are built around dynamite guards CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard. They have looked like a team ready to pick up with where they left off at the end of last season when a healthy Jusuf Nurkic completely changed the squad. Nurkic allows the Blazers to run more pick-and-roll action with their guards, and the fact Nurkic is a proficient passer allows them to master dribble handoffs between McCollum and Lillard.

The Cavaliers have turned their season around and are winning games, but they might be a bettor's dream with their losing record against the spread. The Cavaliers are being recognized as a supremely talented team and are getting large point spreads against inferior competition, but Cleveland has not had much success covering those spreads. The Cavaliers rank last in the NBA ATS (10-25-1), and look for this trend to continue against the Blazers.

NBA Tuesday: Grizzlies vs. Clippers

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3263875, "sportsbooksIds":[169,19,238,43,180], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Free NBA Pick: Clippers -5.5Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

The Grizzlies are coming off of a season-defining skid of 15 losses in 20 games. Marc Gasol looked to be primed for another big season, but the center has struggled at keeping up with smaller and quicker defenders. The Grizzlies appear to have settled on a rotation that includes James Ennis starting at small forward and Chandler Parsons coming off the bench. Credit to Coach J.B. Bickerstaff for trusting his instincts and playing the best lineup to win based on talent and not salary.

Los Angeles is having a major problem staying healthy, and it completely changes their outlook when they don’t have their guys in the lineup. Depth has always been an issue for the Clippers under Doc Rivers, but at least in years past the bench players were laden with veteran leadership. Now the back end of the bench consists of rookies and second-year players. The Clippers will be without Danilo Gallinari, who has a strained glute, on top of already missing Patrick Beverley. With Blake Griffin back in the lineup, it gives the Clippers a go-to scorer. Griffin returned early from a knee sprain and scored 24 points against the Lakers.

These two teams already met twice this season; the Grizzlies won both, including just before Christmas. The Clippers need this victory if they want to remain in playoff contention.

comment here