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#2: Denver Nuggets +2.5
NO @ ATL -8.5
Atlanta is 6-1 ATS at home and 2-4 ATS on the road this year. They’re coming off two straight road losses (and non-covers), so expect a strong effort to try and end the losing streak. By comparison, the Pelicans are off two straight home wins, as the addition of Jrue Holiday to the lineup is definitely welcomed. They’ve beaten POR and CHA in those two contests. Still, the Hawks are one of the best teams in the league, and a focused effort out of them should be enough for a win and a cover.
Lean: ATL -8.5
POR @ NYK -1.5
These teams are fairly even to one another, so not sure why the bookmakers are listing Portland as the ‘better’ team here. Blazers are 1-4 ATS as an underdog and 4-4 ATS on the road. Knicks are 4-1 ATS as a favorite and 5-2 ATS at home. This is also Portland’s 4th straight road game out of a 5-game roadie. Both teams are bottom-3 defensive teams in the league, and the Knicks will be without Noah, who is probably one of their better defenders. Expect a lot of points here, as do the bookmakers (216.5 is the total). I think the number is too short by a point or so though, as I don’t see Portland being a ‘better’ team in this matchup.
Lean: NYK -1.5
CHI @ DEN +2.5
The Bulls are in a fairly tough spot here. This is their 5th straight road-game, as they’re 3-1 so far on this trip. After letting the game against the Clippers slip away, Chicago got an impressive win against the Lakers, without Wade in the lineup. Now they’ll take on a Denver team that has covered 4 straight and 8 of their last 11 games. Denver is 7-3 ATS as an underdog. This team employs a fast pace (7th in the league), which could be an issue for Chicago (22nd). Could be a challenging game for Chicago.
Lean: DEN +2.5
OKC @ LAL +3
Lakers seem undervalued here but D’Angelo Russell didn’t participate in the shoot-around, so clearly the bookmakers have adjusted for that. The Thunder just lost to a Pacers team missing their best player (Paul George). OKC is only 4-7 ATS as a favorite and 1-3 ATS on the road. Lakers are 6-2 ATS as underdog. I’d love to back the Lakers at this number but D. Russell’s availability is a concern.
Lean: LAL +3