Most of the sports betting world will be locked into the college football national championship this evening, but the NBA has a full seven-game slate and I have two best bets that I feel really good about. Tonight will be a tough night to bet NBA, there are a lot of injury situations that need to play out, plus some of my favorite teams against the spread are in tough spots this evening. The Oklahoma City Thunder are 2.5-point favorites at Minnesota tonight. Love OKC, but I stick to my betting systems and fade short road favorites. The Trail Blazers opened up as an 8-point home favorite against the Hornets. While sharp money has pushed that number up to 9.5, I would lean Charlotte but the Hornets are on a four-game losing streak and just covered a spread by a half-point last night. The Magic are 2.5-point road dogs vs. the Kings, this line jumped out at me but I'm gonna lay off, as both teams come into the contest with injury issues.
Philadelphia 76ers at Indiana Pacers: 76ers +2
This game will be one of the higher bet NBA games of the night, it is also the best matchup on the slate. This game is important to both teams for playoff seeding in the East. The Pacers beat the Sixers by 18 in Indiana on New Year's Eve, while the Sixers won by three over the Pacers earlier in the season in Philly. Joel Embiid will be out for Philadelphia again tonight, while Malcolm Brogdon and Domantis Sabonis are both questionable for the Pacers. This game opened up with the Sixers as 1-point favorites, the next time I looked at the line the Pacers were two-point favorites.
The pubic is on the Pacers because Philadelphia is bad on the road and Embiid is out, but what the public is not thinking about is the fact that Brogdon and Sabonis are banged up and the most important fact, the Sixers are better than the Pacers. There seems to be a narrative around the league that the Sixers are having a bad year, yet they are 25-15 on the season. Philadelphia is coming off a bad loss to the Mavericks, but before that, the Sixers had two very impressive wins over the Thunder and Celtics. The Pacers have been a great story this year, and they will get even better when Victor Oladipo returns later this month, but let's not forget the Sixers are the better team. I will take the points with Philly and sprinkle on the moneyline.
Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics: Celtics -10
The Bulls are 11-8 against the spread on the road this year. While that is a very good number, most of those ATS wins have not come vs. teams as good as the Celtics team they will play tonight. Chicago is 3-7 straight up in its last 10 games, and it just lost to Boston by seven points a mere nine days ago, and that occurred when the Celtics were without Kemba Walker. The Celtics have only won once in their last four games, the win was a 35-point beat down of the Pelicans on Saturday night. The Celtics' struggles as of late come from Walker missing a few games. With Walker back and healthy, the Bulls, who have played well at times this season, are no match for the Celtics at TD Bank Garden.
Season Record: 52-45