There’s a big 12-game NBA slate for us to wager on tonight—as always the best way to keep your bankroll intact is to be very careful with what you bet and not try to wager on a ton of games. The game on the slate that will draw the most attention will be in New Orleans, where Zion Williamson will make his NBA debut. Outside of that contest, the rest of the night also has some interesting games. The Thunder and Magic should play a fun one in Orlando. I would give the slight edge to the Magic, but I'm not betting it. The 76ers and Raptors meet in Toronto for a division matchup, and I think Toronto will win, but I'm not willing to lay the six points. A beat-up Nuggets team is catching 8.5 points in Houston, and the Rockets should snap their four-game losing streak tonight. Onto the best bets:
Memphis Grizzlies at Boston Celtics: Grizzlies +7
The Celtics enter tonight's contest coming off one of their best wins of the season, an MLK Day beatdown of the rival Lakers. The Grizzlies are coming off one of their worst losses of the season after the Pelicans punished them in Memphis on Monday afternoon. Overall this season, the Celtics have been dominant at home, going 17-5 straight up and 12-9-1 against the spread at TD Garden. Recently, though, they have had some bad home losses, as the Suns, Pistons, and Spurs all have won in Boston over the course of the Celtics’ last 10 games. Memphis comes into Boston winners of seven of its last eight.
This game opened up with Boston as a 9-point favorite. Even though the Celtics are being backed on over 60% over the early tickets, the number has dropped two points. Memphis is a solid team that competes well in big games. I don't think the Grizzlies have enough to beat the Celtics tonight, but I feel pretty confident they will cover the number.
Washington Wizards at Miami Heat: Heat -10
These two division rivals have already met twice this season: Miami has a 9-point victory over the Wizards in South Beach, while the Wizards beat the Heat by 18 in late December in D.C. Miami is yet another Eastern Conference team that has been dominant at home this season. The Heat have won eight straight home games—their last home loss came to the Lakers on Dec. 13, which happens to be their only home loss on the season.
Washington, as you might expect, has been horrible on the road this season. The Wizards have five road wins on the year, and they are 10-11-1 against the spread on the road. Washington’s last two road victories came in December vs. the Knicks and Pistons, not exactly elite teams. In its last 10 games, Washington has been an underdog of six or more points six times, yet it is 2-4 against the spread in those games. Look for the Heat to handle the Wizards tonight.
Season Record: 59-49