Happy Wednesday, Sports Bettors! Taking a few days break from CBB with the pause until the weekend! So we're back with some NBA action for you.
With that being said, here's a preview of what a typical report looks like:
Let's jump right in...
NBA News and Analysis
Nuggets cruise to 110-99 road victory over Magic
Nikola Jokic put up another impressive triple double, posting a line of 28/15/10 in 36 minutes. Jokic is 2nd in the league in triple doubles only behind Russell Westbrook, and is averaging a near triple double on the season with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game. He is the current front runner to win the MVP at -110, but the problem is that the Nuggets are the #5 seed in the West, which is a significant detriment to him unless he somehow ends up averaging a triple double per game, which is extremely unlikely to happen.
Lakers crumble without LeBron, Anthony Davis in lineup
The Pelicans opened at -6 and comfortably covered the spread, blowing out the Lakers 128-111 at home. It's very difficult for teams that rely on mega superstars to quickly adjust when they get injured, and this was a classic example. The Lakers correctly played Montrezl Harrell 34 minutes
and he was their leading scorer with 18 points, but I think they are going to need to play Talen Horton-Tucker more than 19 minutes if they want to rejuvenate their offense. Consider me on the side of fading the Lakers until they make the proper rotational adjustments.
Top seeds in the East Coast are on fire
The 76ers and Nets both won today, with the Bucks and Hawks both having the day off. In terms of seeding and past 10 game results, this is how things have shaken up:
1. 76ers 9-1
2. Nets 8-2
3. Bucks 9-1
4. Hawks 8-2
The key here is that the top 3 seeds are only within 2 games of each other, but the Hawks are 8.5 games back of 1st place. The difference between the 4th seed and 8th seed in the East is only 1 game, so expect the lower tier playoff teams like the Hawks, Heat, Knicks, Hornets and Celtics to really be going all out to win down the stretch, which may mean more minutes for starters and less rest on back to back games.
NBA Trade Deadline Analysis
The official trade deadline ends tomorrow at 3 P.M. EST, and I expect we will see an absolute ton of action in the next 24 hours. Here are the latest rumors floating around and my take on them:
Andre Drummond to Mavs
The Mavs seem to be willing to part ways with Kristaps Porzingis, as his defense has been below the par that they expect for him. I think this would be a poor move for the Mavs since on paper Porzingis is still the better player, and he retains the ability to play both center and power forward.
Aaron Gordon requests to be traded
Gordon has been solid in his career but not spectacular, and I think he overvalues his options a bit more than what are available to him in reality. The ironic part is that the Minnesota Timberwolves are an interested party that would benefit the most from him playing power forward, but that's an even worse team to play on than the Magic.
Victor Oladipo's status
It's almost a certainty that the Rockets will shut down John Wall for the season sooner than later if they can't trade him, and since they're in no position to contend right now, it only makes sense that they move Oladipo for young talent or draft picks. I think it's very likely that he gets moved, it's just a matter of what team makes the most sense for him to land on. My personal feel is that he would be best suited on the Warriors due to his ability to score and pass which the Warriors lack depth in, but the rumors are that he will be headed to the Heat or the Knicks.
Look ahead to today's NBA
Minnesota +8 vs Mavs
This is the type of line where I'd be way more comfortable getting +8.5, but as long as Karl Anthony Towns is healthy and playing this game, the Wolves should be closer to around + 7.5 here. KAT has missed a ton of games this season which is a giant reason the Wolves have the worst record in the league. They're still very bad, but getting 8 points at home against the #8 seed Mavs is good enough for me to hold my nose and punch the ticket.
NBA Most Improved Player Future Bet
This is definitely a longshot, but imagine the likelihood of John Wall being shut down for the season, Victor Oladipo getting traded and what opportunities that would open up for Christian Wood on offense. The downside is that he's missed a ton of games this season, but if he goes on a 2nd half tear of averaging something like 28 points and 12 rebounds per game he might be a justifiable play at the current odds of +1400.