It’s a massive slate and I had hosting duties this morning, so let’s just get to a quick adaptation of our game notes. Our normal piece will be up tomorrow.
Updated injury reports can be found here.
Updated odds on every game can be found here.
*Indicates second leg of a back-to-back
Miami Heat (-1.5, 216) at Indiana Pacers
This a pretty big revenge spot for Miami which dropped both games against Indiana in a two-game series 10 days ago. The Heat were popped for 1.218 points per 100 possession, getting blown out 137-110 in the first meeting. They’ll be focused, but are they good enough? Miami is still pretty poor on offense, averaging more than 1.1 point per possession just three times in the last 10 games. It’s a great spot for Miami, but don’t know if they’re trustworthy.
Portland Trail Blazers (-6.5, 220.5) at Detroit Pistons
Wayne Ellington is doubtful to play, but this Pistons team continues to show that the market underestimates them. Detroit is now 8-4 ATS in March with a perfectly average -0.6 net rating. They are on statistically on par with teams like Portland and better than Miami over the last 30 days, but are priced like teams such as Oklahoma City. That Trail Blazer team is now in town but have new additions to the lineup in Jusuf Nurkic and Norm Powell. How much better is this team with two great offensive pieces now part of the equation? My initial thought is that this number is too high, but the change in Portland’s offense gets me out of this one.
Houston Rockets at Brooklyn Nets (-14.5, 230.5)
Brooklyn’s recent level of play, coupled with big numbers, have led to a 1-5 ATS slide over the past six games. On Monday they failed to cover a 10.5-point spread against Minnesota, and they snuck past Detroit for a one possession win three days prior to that. The market seems to agree with the sentiment that 14.5 is too high, and the line is now Brooklyn -12.5 almost everywhere. John Wall is questionable and Christian Wood is probable for Houston. The Rockets have started to string together some quality defensive performances, holding Minnesota under an offensive rating of 105.9 in both games. They actually could be getting slightly better.
Dallas Mavericks (-1, 225) at Boston Celtics
The Celtics have Jaylen Brown on the injury report yet again, but the market deemed the opening number somewhat incorrect and flipped the favorite in this primetime matchup. If Brown is available this number will likely get to Celtics -2 but expect the Mavericks to go off as the favorite. Dallas is playing well, but their style of play works in the favor of Boston. The Celtics rank 24th in rim defense (65.4%) and 26th in short mid-range shooting allowed (44.1%). The Mavericks are a perimeter-oriented team that take 40.8% of their attempts from deep, and only 29.4% of their shots at the rim. Boston should be able to put forth a better defensive effort tonight.
Utah Jazz (-7.5, 230) at Memphis Grizzles
Donovan Mitchell was ruled out today, explaining the line move from 7.5 to 5.5 in favor of Utah. When Mitchell is off the floor this season the Jazz have a %plussign .3 net rating, so maybe this line move is somewhat dramatic. Memphis has covered five of six games, and they’ve allowed just 108.8 points every 100 possessions to their opponents over that stretch.
New York Knicks (-3.5, 219.5) at Minnesota Timberwolves
The Knicks have proven me completely wrong. A team that I had circled as a fade candidate is 6-3-1 ATS since the All-Star break with the fourth-best defense in the league (107.6). However, New York ranks 16th in net rating due to an offense scoring just 107.3 points every 100 possessions. That is not a sustainable formula for long, but maybe it is against Minnesota which is 1-5 SU/2-3 ATS in its last five games with a 105.6 offensive rating.
Toronto Raptors (-7.5, 223) at Oklahoma City Thunder
Kyle Lowry will not play tonight which is not great for Toronto. With Lowry off of the floor this season the Raptors outscore opponents by just 0.4 points every 100 possessions. Remember though, Norm Powell minutes are mixed in there, so we take him out we get a -1.5 net rating which is less than ideal. Oklahoma City is clearly tanking though, and the likes of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lou Dort, along with some others, are out indefinitely. The Thunder are likely the worst team in the league now, but the power rating is still catching up.
Sacramento Kings at San Antonio Spurs (-2.5, 232)
Sacramento is 5-0 SU/4-1 ATS in its last five games and over those five games they lead the league in offense (122.4). San Antonio is 1-5 SU/2-4 ATS in its last six and they’ve allowed 115.6 points per 100 possessions to opponents. This defense is starting to resemble the one from last season, and the Kings can exploit that shoddy rim defense.
Milwaukee Bucks (-8, 222) at Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles is averaging just 2-4 SU/1-5 ATS in its six games without LeBron James, and their offense is managing just 99.8 points every 100 possessions. Milwaukee has allowed 119.9 points every 100 possessions during this 1-3 SU/0-4 ATS slide, so maybe the Lakers can exploit that. The under is 5-1 in those six games for Los Angeles because of that lackluster offense.
Chicago Bulls at Phoenix Suns (-6, 223.5)
The Bulls have been disappointing in the two games since the trade deadline, and now they face a Suns team that has allowed just 105.4 points every 100 possessions over the last nine games. Does their offense wake up here, or do they extend their 0-4 SU and ATS slide?