We’re coming down to the wire for daily NBA action as the league preps for a week off outside of all-star weekend festivities.
Tonight’s NBA schedule includes seven games with Boston vs. Philadelphia representing a competitive highlight. The former has won eight straight, while the latter features the MVP frontrunner in Joel Embiid, who leads the league in points with 29.5 and is averaging 33 and 13 in his last ten.
If that’s not to your liking for whatever reason, you can check out Cleveland at Atlanta, Dallas at Miami, the Clippers at Phoenix, or another contest on the docket for the day. And if you’re looking to lay a few dollars down, these are the best places to start:
Jarrett Allen of the Cavs was just added to the all-star game as a replacement for the injured James Harden. That makes this contest one between two Cleveland all-stars (Allen and Darius Garland) and a lone representative for the Hawks (Trae Young). But the last time these players and teams met, Young went ham with 34 points and 11 assists in a three-point win on the road.
The Hawks are dramatically better against the spread at home this season (15-14) than they are on the road (9-18). The Cavs, meanwhile, are only 5-5-1 ATS as away favorites. It’s not a bad mark, but it’s one of the Cavs’ worst spots. Even worse is their ATS mark in games with spreads of 2.5 or less. Whether favorites or underdogs, Cleveland has only covered one out of five of these games. It should be one of six tonight when Atlanta gets it done.
Philly has won both games they’ve played since trading for James Harden, though the team’s new acquisition has yet to suit up for the Sixers and won’t until after the all-star break.
Boston is also arguably the team’s toughest opponent since the trade, and because Harden hasn’t officially joined the lineup, the Sixers are also without the players they gave up to get him. While the absence of Ben Simmons doesn’t mean much considering he skipped every game so far this season, playing without Seth Curry in a game like this presents a challenge that Boston can capitalize on.
The Celtics have won eight straight games including three by at least 30 points. They’re also 15-12-1 ATS on the road this season and 9-4 ATS as road favorites. Embiid will be tough to stop, but the Celtics have more weapons overall. In a virtual toss up game, take the road team tonight.
It’s become a cliche to say the Clippers are shorthanded without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, but the team keeps chugging along, and maybe it’s deeper than everyone thinks it is? While there isn’t a superstar to be found, a variety of players – both young and old – keeps stepping up, helping it win games against, among other teams, Dallas, the Lakers, and Philly over the last few weeks.
The Suns, of course, are the toughest opponent in the league for any team. They’ve dropped just ten games over the entire season, but it’s less dominant against the spread, especially when they’re double digit favorites. They’ve only covered one of their last four in such a spot, and their 15-14 ATS record at home is not as strong as their ATS road record. The Clippers might not even keep this particularly close, but they don’t have to. Single digits is more than enough.