It’s hard to even begin talking NBA without talking about the ankle of Lebron James. IF, and I repeat IF, he is healthy enough to suit up tonight and take the floor for the Miami Heat, the season’s second edition of Heat vs. Pacers should be appointment telelvision. It is still an important game if he is sidelined, but obviously it loses a little bit of its zip. Because of the uncertainty surrounding the entire situation, I’m staying away from this game in today’s column. I’d wait until very close to tip-off if considering making a play on this game…
However, regardless of Lebron’s ankle there is still a ton of fantastic NBA action tonight, and lot’s of great games to choose from.
Let’s dig in.
Today’s Free Picks:
San Antonio Spurs -3.5 at Phoenix Suns (Total: 201.5)
I know, I know, I am the one who frequently warns against dismissing the Spurs. So let me just say this isn’t a ‘dismissal’ as much as it is a statistical valuation of tonight’s line. Phoenix may be exceeding everyone’s expectations, but at this point, more than a quarter into the season, it is time they be taken for real. And a real team is rarely a three and a half point dog at home when they are not coming on short rest. It is a rested and healthy playoff team playing at home against a team who is missing their point guard and best player.
Phoenix’s strength is their dynamic backcourt. San Antonio is going to have find way to shore up their own backcourt issues with Tony Parker out tonight and not expected to return until Saturday. I am sure San Antonio is grateful it is only a few games, but will still have to find a way to deal with Bledsoe and Dragic without a dynamic playmaker of their own to counteract them.
Phoenix is 8-3 at home this season, but the number that EXPLODES off the page is the fact that they are 17-5-1 ATS on the season. They have been overlooked all season long, much to the delight of bullish Suns bettors, and they are undervalued again tonight. Could Coach Pop and Timmy make me pay for overlooking them? Perhaps. But the numbers overwhelming show Phoenix to be the better value tonight. I’ll take math over history tonight. Give me Phoenix to cover at home tonight, if not win outright.