NBA (1 Unit) Minnesota Timberwolves -6.5 @ Memphis Grizzlies (-110; Odds via Caesars): 7:00 PM CT on Bally Sports North
The Grizzlies have looked pretty good for the past 4 games, but the opposition has been pretty poor. The game before this mini turnaround was a 22-point beating at the hands of the Wolves, and I think they deliver another comfortable win tonight. Minnesota looked a little sluggish on Wednesday after their short break and re-integrating Anthony Edwards, but the defense has not fallen off one bit. The league’s best effective field goal defense against the 29th effective field goal offense is a massive mismatch. Memphis should get held down again tonight, and put the Wolves in position for another double-digit win.
NBA (1 Unit) Atlanta Hawks @ Philadelphia 76ers -7.5 (-110; Odds via BetMGM): 6:00 PM CT on NBCS-PH
I’m surprised to see this line relatively low given the talent discrepancy here and the injury report. Trae Young popped up on that report with an illness and will be a game time decision, making it tough for Atlanta to keep up with the league’s second-rated offense. The Hawks defense will obviously offer no resistance, so the Sixers should be able to build a solid lead throughout the game. Philly already downed the Hawks by 10 in the first meeting where Young played, so an absent or hampered version of the Atlanta star should result in an easy win for the Sixers tonight.
NBA (0.75 Unit) Detroit Pistons @ Orlando Magic -11.5 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 6:00 PM CT on Bally Sports FL
As soon as Detroit got buried at home by Washington the debate was over, they’re definitively the worst team in the league. The dysfunction on both ends of the court is amazing, and it’s a minor miracle that they only have the league’s second-worst point differential. My feeling here is that the Magic absolutely roll them, and this big number is well within reach. Orlando needs this return home after two lopsided road losses blunted their momentum. But those losses also serve to hold down this line just a bit, and that’s enough for me to back the Magic to return to blowing out bad teams.
NBA (0.5 Unit) Chicago Bulls/San Antonio Spurs Under 225.5 (-110; Odds via BetMGM): 7:30 PM CT on Bally Sports SW
This total is just a little too high given the offensive struggles for both teams. It’s a matchup of two squads that are both bottom-6 in the league for scoring, shooting, efficiency, offensive rating, and effective field goal rate. The wild card becomes San Antonio’s pace that’s third-fastest in the league, along with their awful defense that has fueled their over record.
But Chicago is the slowest-paced team in the league, and they don’t turn it over so they’ll limit the Spurs in transition. San Antonio only scores in random spurts and their games against other slower-paced opponents have stayed well under this total. With Chicago still missing Zach LaVine, I don’t think either team has the firepower to reach this number.
NBA (1 Unit) Houston Rockets @ Denver Nuggets -4.5 First Half (-110; Odds via BetMGM): 8:00 PM CT on Altitude
It’s weird that we’re in early December and these teams are meeting for the fourth and final time this season. But that creates extra data points to handicap this matchup with, and I’m going back to a reliable well with expecting a strong start from Denver tonight. Somehow the Rockets took the two meetings in Houston, but the Nuggets got their revenge last week at home.
Denver led by 17 at halftime in that game, reminding everyone of their massive home court advantage. That should come into play again tonight against a Rockets team that’s terrible on the road, posting a minus-6.3 average first half margin in road games. The Nuggets just lost two frustrating road games, so look for them to come out hot tonight and establish a big early lead.
Bonus Bet (1 Unit) Nikola Jokic Over 52.5 Points+Rebounds+Assists (-110; Odds via DraftKings)
The Joker just had arguably his ugliest game as a pro, certainly from a shooting standpoint. I’m betting on a big bounce back performance against a team he has lit up this season. Despite Denver’s 1-2 record against Houston, Jokic has gone off for 35.3 points, 16.7 rebounds, and 11.3 assists, easily clearing this number each game.
He was 2 assists in the second meeting from a triple-double in each game, so I’ll also throw half a unit on him posting a triple-double tonight at +105 odds. It’s also worth a quarter unit at +140 for him to splash multiple three’s tonight since his shooting has to improve from Wednesday’s debacle. Plain and simple, I’d hate to be the Rockets tonight.
No degenerates today.
Tiny Nick is 1762-1548 ATS (+91.1 Units) on his Locks since joining Zone Coverage.
Every day he will offer his Locks and Degenerate picks. Locks are the games he’s confident in. Degenerates are entertaining but riskier picks.