Cleveland’s trip to Boston would easily be the highlight of Wednesday’s NBA odds slate if not for questions around the availability of most of the players who have led the Cavs to the best ATS record in the league and one of the best straight up records in the Eastern Conference.
Still, they’ve pulled off many miracles already this season, so maybe even a shorthanded squad could slay the struggling Celtics?
In other NBA action, the Magic head to Atlanta, Denver rolls into Oklahoma City, and the Clippers and Kings face off as both try to keep pace in the Pacific Division with the league’s best teams – Phoenix and Golden State.
What sides deserve your action? These are three to consider:
The Bet: Thunder +6 (-110, Twinspires)
The Oklahoma City Thunder are riding high after a straight up win on Monday night in Memphis. It was their second victory in a row and their fourth in seven contests.
The Denver Nuggets have been bad (1-6 ATS) in games this year when they’re favorites of six points or more, and they failed to cover the only game in that spot that was, like this one, on the road (a five-point loss at Orlando in which Denver was eight-point favorites).
OKC covers games like this. They’re 10-6 ATS on the season as underdogs by six or more, including 7-1 in their last eight. Keep riding them, and assume if they lose, they’ll at least keep it very close.
The Bet: Celtics -5.5 (-110, Unibet)
Both of the teams have lost players to the league’s health and safety protocols of late, but Cleveland’s personnel losses are incalculably worse than Boston’s.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, who have covered 14 straight games and 24 of 31 on the season, will likely be without Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen, Isaac Okoro, and others, while the Celtics’ biggest loss is probably Josh Richardson – not necessarily their most critical player.
Cleveland will also be coming off five days’ rest because their last game was postponed, so it’s probably fair to assume they’ll come in rusty, and they’ll certainly need to rely on guys they’re not accustomed to relying on. If the Boston Celtics can’t capitalize, they have bigger problems than anyone realizes.
The Bet: Rockets +10 (-110, Bet MGM)
Houston had a rough game on Monday at Chicago, but prior to that, they had covered six straight and 10 out of 11 games in which Christian Wood was in the starting lineup. That stretch includes a 9-point loss to Milwaukee on December 10 when they were 9.5-point underdogs.
In that game, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 41 points and had 17 boards. He won’t play in this contest because he’s still in health and safety protocols. Yes, the game is in Milwaukee, but there’s still value on the Rockets. Their road record straight up is poor, but they cover more often than they don’t (9-7-1 ATS).