The NBA Universe will revolve around two of its brightest stars tonight, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the San Antonio Spurs – and like everyone else, that’s the game I’d choose to watch if I had to pick just one as well. But there are a bunch of other good games on the schedule tonight, including a few I really like from a wagering perspective.
And then there is the comical matchup of the Warriors and the Sixers tonight. Two teams each flirting with history; the greatest and worst two-year records in the history of the NBA. I think the line is settling in around Golden State minus 17 or 18, but frankly, when the numbers get that high and the game is as clearly mismatched as this one, you are more wagering on HOW LONG Golden State continues to try – and that isn’t a place I really like staking my wagers. Could Golden State win by 50? Sure. Or could they just as easily rest a lot of the troops and screw around and win by eight or ten? Possible as well. I’m staying away – both from the wagering window and from the television…
We came up a bucket short last night as the Bucks failed to extend their two-season dominance over Dwyane Wade and the Heat. Let’s focus on tonight’s free pick and get back on track.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Denver Nuggets at Indiana Pacers -8.5
The Pacers may have really discovered something when they decided to insert 19-year old rookie Miles Turner into the minutes rotation. His breakout came against these same Nuggets several weeks ago, and since then, he has played like a bonafide NBA standout. He is averaging nearly 20 points and 7 rebounds a night over his last six games, despite still averaging about 26 minutes a night. He is now a starter, and it gives the Pacers some inside punch to accompany Monta Ellis and Paul George, who generally carry the offensive burden with Ian Mahinmi being mostly a non-factor.
However, they are still scuffling as a basketball team, having lost six of eight games and snapping their three game losing streak two nights ago against a fatigued Atlanta team on the backend of a back-to-back. The Pacers will look to win consecutive games for the first time in a month tonight.
Denver has had a day off since their back-to-back, but is still wrapping up a long east coast road trip. However, they have been very competitive most nights, especially since getting Danillo Gallinari back in the fold. Denver is 5-5 in their last ten games with wins over an impressive group; the wizards, Pistons, Pacers, Hornets and Golden State Warriors. Their losses to the Celtics, Thunder, Grizzlies, Heat and Hawks have been by an average of 6.8 points with three coming by six or less. This is one of the more sneaky competitive teams in the NBA, as evidenced by their 6-1 ATS record over their last seven games.
As long as Denver can find the energy for one more road game tonight, I like a close contest. Very few teams have blown them out since they got (relatively) healthy. Meanwhile, aside from the sluggish Atlanta team Indiana caught Thursday, very few teams have been handled by Indiana in 2016, even with the emergence of Turner.
I like a close game tonight and will take the Nuggets with a healthy supply of points.