The gambling gods giveth, the gambling gods taketh away…
If I am going to whine about the half-point loss in the NCAA Kansas vs. Kentucky game, than it is only fair that I also give alms for the half-point Celtics cover that extended my NBA winning streak to four games. It’s been a streaky season for me personally; I’ve amassed a few in each direction, but hopefully we can ride these flames for a little while longer.
It was a quiet night in the NBA with only three games. The Celtics extended their winning streak to 13 games, despite Kyrie’s questionable status heading into the game. The Raptors were impressive on the road, beating down the Rockets in Houston to give them just their fourth loss of the season, and the Spurs handled their business against the worst Mavericks team since Jason Kidd’s rookie season (2-13 overall, and just 1-7 at home. Yuck).
Tonight, the league ramps back up with a full slate of action highlighted by Spurs and Timberwolves measuring stick game (more for Minny) and the late-night ESPN rookie extravaganza between the Sixers and Lakers – both of whom are playing pretty good basketball.
Today’s NBA Pick:
San Antonio Spurs at Minnesota Timberwolves -5
This pick is solely predicated on the schedule. The Timberwolves are rested. The Spurs are on the back-end of a road back-to-back. Coach Pop’s reputation proceeds him, and the Spurs are not noted for putting forth the most outstanding efforts in these type of scheduling situations.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room; San Antonio OWNS the Timberpups. They have beaten them ten straight times and covered seven of them. They enter tonight winners of five of their last six SU and 4-2 ATS. However, they are still playing without Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker and they are playing a really good team on the road while on short rest. If Minnesota is ever going to exorcise the Spurs demon, it is tonight.
Minnesota has won six of eight and also covered four of their last six games. Their last three wins have been by double digits, though they are sandwiches around a “you aren’t even close yet” reminder from Golden State and a perhaps-hangover loss Phoenix afterwards. However, they rebounded with an 11-point win over Utah two nights ago.
San Antonio is a surprising T15th in Offensive efficiency this season and their defense has been saving grace. They rank fifth in the NBA to Minnesota’s dismal T26th. However, if one thing is going to wane on a back-to-back on the road, it is the defensive intensity. I like Minnesota to exploit that scheduling advantage tonight and get a big home win.
Today’s NBA Pick: MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES -5