Big men who can't shoot from range have lost a ton of value in the NBA in the past few years with 3-pointers skyrocketing. Back when the Houston Rockets signed 7-footer Omer Asik as a restricted free agent following his breakout 2011-12 season with Chicago, it looked like a smart deal. But guys like Asik are almost dinosaurs nowadays. Asik is now with New Orleans and isn't even playing an average of 18 minutes a night. He'll give you good defense and rebounding, but the Pelicans have officially put him on trading block because they want to play up tempo and Asik can't do that. The problem with finding a taker is that Asik is due more than $33 million over the next three seasons, which is too high even in the cash-flush league. But if the Pelicans take a similar contract back, they probably will find a club willing to deal.
Free $60 in Member NBA Picks No Obligation Click Here
Raptors at 76ers (+8.5, 208)
Toronto won a third straight Monday, 122-100 over visiting Milwaukee. DeMar DeRozan had 30 points and the Raptors improved to 7-1 this year when shooting at least 50 percent from the field. Toronto scored at least 100 points for the 11th straight game, the longest active streak in the NBA. Philadelphia won a second straight Sunday, 97-79 over the visiting Pistons despite playing without Joel Embiid, who should be back here. Nerlens Noel made his season debut off knee surgery and played 10 minutes before spraining his ankle and is thus questionable for this one. Toronto beat visiting Philadelphia 122-95 on Nov. 28 and has won the past 13 meetings, including six straight at the 76ers.
Key trends: The Raptors are 6-0 against the spread in the past six meetings. The "over/under" is 5-1 in those.
Early lean: 76ers as long as Embiid plays and over.
Hornets at Wizards (pick'em, 210)
Charlotte dropped a second in a row Monday, 110-94 at Indiana. Kemba Walker was held to just 12 points and his team shot only 33.3 percent from the field. Washington lost 112-101 in Miami on Saturday. John Wall scored 30 points and Bradley Beal added 29 for Washington. Beal is four 3-pointers made from becoming the third Wizards player with 500 career. These teams split last year, each sweeping at home. Washington has won the past three vs. Charlotte in its gym. The Wizards are wearing some interesting military appreciation jerseys for this one.
Key trends: The underdog is 8-1 ATS in the past nine meetings. The over is 4-1 in the past five.
Early lean: Wizards and over.
Clippers at Magic (TBA)
Orlando was in Atlanta on Tuesday with two of its big guys questionable. Los Angeles beat Portland 121-120 on Monday to complete a four-game homestand. Blake Griffin had 26 points and 12 rebounds, and Chris Paul had 21 points and 14 assists to already sweep the season series. DeAndre Jordan was ejected in the final minutes but it was nothing suspension worthy. Reserve guard Austin Rivers was out as he's in the concussion protocol. Los Angeles swept last year and has won the past five vs. Orlando.
Key trends: The Clippers are 4-0-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The under is 6-1 in the previous seven.
Early lean: Wait on the Orlando guys after Tuesday.
Pacers at Heat (pick'em, 207.5)
First of an ESPN doubleheader. Indiana won a second straight Monday, 110-94 over Charlotte. Paul George and Myles Turner each had 22 points, and Jeff Teague had 16 points, 11 assists and five rebounds. This starts a three-game trip. Miami ended a five-game skid with a 112-101 win over Washington on Monday to start a six-game homestand. Goran Dragic had a season-high 32 points. The Heat outscored Washington by 26 points when he was on the floor. Dion Waits and Justise Winslow both sat out again with injuries. The Pacers and Heat split their four meetings last season as each team earned a pair of home victories. Indiana has lost its last three regular-season road games at Miami, with both going to OT last year.
Key trends: The Pacers are 6-2 ATS in the past eight meetings. The over is 9-1 in their past 10 on the road and Heat's last four at home.
Early lean: Pacers and over.
Lakers at Nets (+1.5, 225)
Los Angeles has dropped seven straight following a 116-92 defeat in Sacramento on Monday. Coach Luke Walton clearly tried to get his team's attention by getting tossed. The Lakers played the second game of a back-to-back while kicking off a seven-game, 13-day road trip. Brooklyn lost 122-118 in Houston on Monday. Jeremy Lin played for the first time since Nov. 2 due to a hamstring and had 10 points off the bench. Center Justin Hamilton missed his second straight game with migraines. Brooklyn lost in Los Angeles 125-118 on Nov. 15 and has dropped three straight vs. the Lakers.
Key trends: The Lakers have covered just three of their past 17 overall. The over is 4-1 in the Nets' past five at home.
Early lean: Nets and over.
Cavaliers at Grizzlies (+8, 203.5)
Home-and-home back-to-backs aren't new in the NBA, but I can't remember seeing teams from opposite conferences playing one as these two are. They met in Cleveland on Tuesday. I have a funny feeling that Cavs coach Tryonn Lue might rest LeBron James or Kyrie Irving here. He has basically said he won't sit both just for rest at the same time. Memphis looks to end a two-game home losing streak in the series.
Key trends: The Grizzlies are 4-1 ATS in their past five at home. The over is 5-0 in the Cavs' past five on the road.
Early lean: Grizzlies and over.
Kings at Rockets (TBA)
Sacramento ended a two-game slide with a 24-point home win over the Lakers on Monday. DeMarcus Cousins had 31 points, 16 rebounds, five assists and three blocks. The Kings outscored L.A. 39-13 in the third quarter. But guard Ben McLemore left with a bruised quad and Rudy Gay did with a hip flexor. McLemore wouldn't be much of a loss but Gay would. Houston won a seventh straight Monday, 122-118 over Brooklyn. James Harden had 36 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds. Houston shot 17 for 43 on 3s, making at least 10 for an NBA-record 24th straight game. Sacramento lost at home to Houston 117-104 on Nov. 25 -- the Rockets had an NBA-record 50 3-point attempts, making 21 -- and has dropped the past five on the road in the series.
Key trends: The Kings are 2-8 ATS in the past 10 meetings. The over is 5-2 in the previous seven.
Early lean: Wait on Gay.
Pistons at Mavericks (+3, 194)
Detroit was embarrassed by 18 at home by Philadelphia on Sunday. Marcus Morris scored 28 points and Andre Drummond finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds for Detroit, which fell behind 32-12 in the first quarter. Starting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (bruised right knee) was a late scratch. Still no excuse. Short-handed Dallas beat Denver 112-92 on Monday behind 25 from Wesley Matthews. Detroit has lost six of the last eight games on the road to Dallas, but has won the last two games there.
Key trends: The road team is 5-0 ATS in the past five meetings. The over is 4-0-1 ATS in the Mavs' past five at home.
Early lean: Pistons and over.
Thunder at Jazz (TBA)
Oklahoma City was in Portland on Tuesday. At some sites now, you can find a daily prop on whether Russell Westbrook has a triple-double. He's that good. Utah beat visiting Sacramento 104-84 on Saturday and has failed to cover just one of its past 10 games overall. Rudy Gobert has been playing stellar over that stretch and had had 17 points, 14 rebounds and a season-high six blocks vs. the Kings. Gordon Hayward had 26 after missing the previous game with a finger issue. The Jazz remain without starters George Hill, Rodney Hood and Derrick Favors, but it's possible Favors could finally return Wednesday. Utah was 0-4 vs. Oklahoma City last year and didn't score in triple digits in any of them.
Key trends: The home team is 13-5 ATS in the past 18. The under is 7-1 in the previous eight.
Early lean: Wait on the Jazz guys.
Celtics at Spurs (TBA)
Boston lost 99-96 in Oklahoma City on Sunday again without leading scorer Isaiah Thomas. He has missed the past three with a strained groin and is questionable here. Marcus Smart has been starting for him and had 11 points, nine assists and six rebounds vs. the Thunder. San Antonio bounced back from its first road loss of the season Thursday in Chicago with a 130-101 home blowout of Brooklyn on Saturday. Kawhi Leonard had 30 and the Spurs set several offensive season highs. San Antonio won in Boston 109-103 on Nov. 25. Leonard had 25 points and 10 rebounds. The Spurs have won the past 10 meetings and last four at home.
Key trends: The favorite is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings. The under is 5-2 in the Spurs' previous seven.
Early lean: Wait on Thomas.
We would like to offer you $60 of member's predictions free - no obligation, no sales people - you don't even have to enter credit card information. Click Here for $60 in free NBA predictions. Also, for a limited time only, you can get three handicappers NBA picks for the price of one! Click Here for more details!
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
Most Recent NBA Handicapping Articles
- 2018 Orlando Magic Predictions with Futures Odds and Expert Picks
- Who Will The Lakers Play?
- NBA Draft: Players That Will Make Biggest Impact
- NBA Rookie of the Year Odds with Expert Betting Predictions
- NBA Draft Props: Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
- Betting Odds and Predictions for LeBron James Next Team
- 2019 NBA Championship Odds and Predictions
- 2018 NBA Championship Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
- Free NBA Picks: Tuesday, May 8, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
- First Female NBA Head Coach Odds and Expert Betting Predictions