February 9th, 2017 Betting Tips: NBA

Normally in this space we would highlight the big match-up of the night. Tonight that game should be the Oklahoma City Thunder taking on the Cleveland Cavaliers. Russell Westbrook vs Lebron! Instead, that match-up is unlikely to happen as the Cavaliers are likely to rest Lebron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love for this one. The reasoning behind this makes a lot of sense, but it sometimes forgets that the NBA is an entertainment product. Taking the three best players off the floor at the same time hurts that a lot and tonight’s game could be very ugly.

I’m on the side of rest, but why does it always have to be like this? Why not just Love and Kyrie? Or just Lebron? That might be better for the team as well with Love and Kyrie working with bench units they might not normally work with or Lebron working with players he doesn’t normally share the floor with. That improves the bench, improves confidence and keeps things interesting. I know the goal here is the playoffs and another championship, but throw us a bone here.

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NBA Betting Tips:

We’ll start with the game we mentioned in the open, Cleveland vs Oklahoma City. The question here is: who is going to score for the Cavs? Kyle Korver? That seems too obvious and he’ll be covered. JR Smith is out. Richard Jefferson? He’s 80 years old. There just doesn’t seem to be a good answer here. The Cavaliers bench just isn’t scaring anyone offensively and the Thunder will smell the blood in the water and take full advantage of it. OKC -9 is the play.

Charlotte just beat the lowly Brooklyn Nets, but before that they had lost seven straight games. For their reward, tonight they get the Houston Rockets. This is probably the easiest pick of the night as the Hornets are simply not playing well right now and the Rockets are one of the very best scoring teams in the league. Not a great match-up for Charlotte who defend first and score second. Houston -3.5 is a lay-up.

The Philadelphia 76ers have been fun as of late as Joel Embiid has really started to develop. Unfortunately for them they’ll be without him tonight at Orlando and are playing their third game in four nights. That means that we’re all over the Magic -5.5. They have their own issues, but as long as they can score they should be able to grab the win here. The Sixers just aren’t a threat without Embiid.

Boston is on a road back-to-back tonight in Portland and is coming off an ugly loss to the Sacramento Kings. While I would say that the Celtics are the better team, this is a good match-up for Portland. Their guards should be able to do their thing with ease and the rebounding battle won’t be a slaughter. Plus, the Blazers -1.5 at home are never a bad play. It has to be one of the hardest places to play in the league.

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