The last day to bet on hoops in 2019 brings us an interesting slate that starts at 3 p.m. ET. Yesterday I didn't really have a strong lean on many games, today there are three positions I really like on this seven-game slate. Four of today's game feature favorites of seven points or more, the other three games have spreads of a single point. It should be a fun day and night of hoops.
Philadelphia 76ers vs Indiana Pacers: Pacers +102
It was all good just a week ago for the 76ers, when they earned their most impressive victory of the season by blowing out the Milwaukee Bucks on their home court. To Sixer fans that may seem like a while ago, as Philly has lost the first two games of a four-game road trip. The Pacers haven't fared much better over their past two games, both road defeats, but one of them was a 22 point loss to the Pelicans. Today in Indianapolis we get a matchup of the current fifth- and sixth-place teams in the Eastern Conference. This will be a highly competitive game, and both teams come into the game at full strength. The reason why I'm betting the Pacers to win the game is because of the home-court advantage, Indiana has a 14-3 straight up record at the crib, and in the past 10 games they have home victories over the Lakers, Raptors and Celtics. Philadelphia is a dreadful road team, 7-10 straight up outside of Philly. It doesn't make it any better that the 76ers are playing their third straight road game. It will be a tough contest but the Pacers will get the win.
Los Angeles Clippers vs Sacramento Kings: Clippers -7
The Kings looked like an up-and-coming team at times last season, but this year, not so much. Sacramento is playing pretty bad basketball right now. The Kings have won once in their last nine games. Not only are they losing games but they are just 2-8 against the spread in their last 10 contests. Sacramento has dealt with some injuries but they should be more competitive than what they have been. The Clippers will not be judged until the summer but they have also had their moments. Los Angeles is only 9-8 straight up in road games and they are 2-3 straight up in their last five games. The Clippers have only lost back-to-back games once this season, other than that, when the Clippers lose they always win the next game. Not only do that win but they normally stomp their next opponent; after a Clipper loss they win the next game by an average of 17 points. That's insane, and it's also why I love the Clippers today.
Denver Nuggets vs Houston Rockets: Rockets -136
The Denver Nuggets have only lost one game since December 12, Nikola Jokic appears to have finally played himself into shape and Denver is rolling. When you look a little closer at the run the Nuggets are currently on, you will notice that they are beating up on some of the worst teams in the league. Their most impressive victory was over the Lakers in a game LeBron sat out. In that same time frame, Denver has been 3-4-3 against the spread, and that's not impressive at all. Houston is going about its business, as usual, winners of seven of their last 10 games. James Harden will be in the lineup for the Rockets tonight after missing the last game with a toe injury. Tonight's matchup with the Nuggets means more for the Rockets than it does for Denver. These two teams will be competing for seeding in the West down the stretch and Hoston already has a road loss to the Nuggets. The Rockets will play this game as must-win. I'm playing it safe and taking the money line but I'm not at all against laying the Rockets’ number at home.
Season Record: 44-43