I took a few days off of NBA picks. I’ve been in Europe the past week, and while they give you a few NBA scores on the ticker, there is little NBA coverage to speak of. There are more than a few places to watch NCAA action online, but not a ton of reliable NBA coverage. I’m sure there may be a few bootleg feeds, but nothing too reliable.
Anyhow – it’s been fun to write college hoops every day because I’ve been able to start most columns with good news from the night before. It’s been the converse in the NBA world. The record isn’t as bad as it personally feels, but the two losing streaks have been brutal and finally drove me all the way back to even for the season.
So… it’s a fresh start and time to get back to work building up a little cushion before the generally more reliable Playoff season begins. There are some great national television games and a good slate of action today, so let’s dive in!
Today’s Free Picks:
Washington Wizards -1 at Cleveland Cavaliers (Total: 196)
The first two games are certainly much better television; especially the Clippers vs. Thunder tilt at 1pm EST, but the game I like best on the board are the surging Cavaliers hosting the Washington Wizards. Cleveland has won six of their last seven games and had won six in a row prior to their last loss Friday at Toronto. Kyrie Irving is still riding high after capturing the national attention during the All-Star Break, and while management might prefer a few ping-pong balls, the players seem intent on making a playoff push.
Washington enters tonight winners of two straight but losers of five of their last eight. They’ve been surprisingly average at home this season at 14-14, and surprisingly average on the road as well; they are 13-14 on the road. They notched a few impressive home wins over Oklahoma City and Portland before the break, but road games have been beating a little more humble.
Meanwhile, Cleveland has the splits that one would expect for a growing fledgling team; decent at home 14-13, terrible on the road 8-21. Washington has been bad against the spread against the Cavs over the past two years at 1-5 ATS. Cleveland is 5-0 ATS in their last five games against teams under .500 and 4-0 ATS in their last four games playing on one day’s rest.
I like the way Cleveland has been playing lately as they start to integrate Luol Deng into the offensive rotation and Kyrie Irving continues to blossom. Tonight is a good chance to notch a big home win and really put themselves into the playoff mix. I think they’ll take advantage of it.