It’s a six-game NBA slate tonight with a marquee matchup in Indiana when the Lakers visit the Pacers. Speaking of that game, Anthony Daivs may sit out. Keep that in my mind while you are capping that contest. I won't be betting on that game; I don't bet on short road favorites nor do I bet against this Laker team. While I don't wager on short road favorites, the Nets laying 2.5 in New Orleans tonight is very tempting. There is value betting against really bad teams and New Orleans, who came into the season with so much promise, is a really bad team. A pair of bad teams meet tonight in Madison Square Garden, where the Knicks host the Hawks. The Knicks are laying points in this game so I like the Hawks, but I have terrible luck betting Knicks games so I will stay away. Below are the two positions I will be wagering on.
Sacramento Kings vs Charlotte Hornets: Hornets +4.5
The 12-win Kings and the 12-win Hornets meet tonight in the Queen City in what should be a fun game. De'Aaron Fox is expected to return from an ankle injury for Sacramento this evening and both teams are playing well currently. The Kings are winners of four of their last five, while the Hornets have won three of their last four. In that time, the Kings have impressive road victories over the Rockets and Mavericks, while the Hornets have beaten up on the bottom of the Eastern Conference. This game opened up with the Kings as 5.5-point favorites. More than 60% of the tickets are backing the Kings but the line moved to Hornets +4.5. The public is backing the better Western Conference team on the road, but as I mentioned earlier its good habit to bet against short road favorites. The Hornets are not a terrible basketball team; they had bad a losing streak early in the season but have played well since. I like them to cover the number on their home court this evening.
Orlando Magic vs Utah Jazz: Magic +6.5
The Utah Jazz opened up tonight's contest with Orlando as 5.5-point favorites. The public hopped all over the Jazz, raising that number up to 6.5. I would not be surprised if it moved to 7.5 before tip-off. The public view the Jazz as one of the better teams in the league, and Utah has played well. When you look at these two teams’ plus-minus numbers, you will see that Utah is only a single point better than Orlando in that category. The big difference between these two teams, and the reason why I'm betting on Orlando tonight, is that Orlando is better against the spread. In their last 10 games the Magic are 7-3 against the spread, in their last 10 Utah is 4-6 against the spread. Utah is overvalued, especially at home. In December alone they have 3 ATS home losses, and their only home ATS win came against a Ja Morant-less Grizzlies team. Utah will likely win this game but Orlando will cover the number.
Season Record: 40-38