While I'm usually tired of all the Super Bowl talk and betting analysis by the time the game actually kicks off, I do love all the cross-sport props that the various sportsbooks put out. BetOnline has a few regarding the NBA and Patriots-Falcons in Super Bowl LI. There's the number LeBron James points on Saturday night at the Knicks (+100) vs. number of Matt Ryan completions (-130) against New England's No. 1 defense. Ryan averaged 23 completions during the regular season and is up to 26.5 in two playoff games. James is averaging 25.7 points this year and 22.0 in two games vs. the Knicks. I'd probably lean James there. You can get Kevin Durant rebounds plus assists (-130) on Saturday at Sacramento against the total third-down conversions (+100) by the two Super Bowl teams. I'd lean Durant there. How about DeMarcus Cousins points against the Warriors (-115) vs. the total first-half points (-115) in the Super Bowl? Boogie is probably good for at least 25, but I'll go with Pats-Falcons. Happy betting!
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Pelicans at Wizards (-7.5, 217)
New Orleans lost a third straight Wednesday, 118-98 in Detroit. Anthony Davishad 31 points and 12 rebounds, while Jrue Holliday added 22 points and 11 assists. The Pelicans shot 50 percent from the floor but obviously played terrible defense. Washington won its sixth in a row Thursday, 116-108 over the Lakers. John Wall had 16 of his game-high 33 points in the final nine minutes after it was tied at that point. The Wizards are on a 16-game home winning streak, No. 2 in franchise history. The Pelicans' losing streak began with a 107-94 loss to the Wizards last Sunday. Wall had 18 points and 19 assists, and Bradley Beal scored 27 points. Davis had 36 points and 17 rebounds and the Pels rallied from a 17-point halftime deficit to lead very briefly.
Key trends: The Pelicans are 0-4 against the spread in the past four meetings. The "over/under" is 4-1 in Washington's past five at home.
Early lean: Wizards and over.
Magic at Hawks (-7.5, 208)
Orlando hosted Toronto on Friday. Atlanta pulled a bit of an upset Thursday in Dwight Howard's return to Houston, 113-108. The Hawks were down by as many as 20 and 13 in the fourth. Howard had his best game of the season with 24 points and 23 rebounds and so did Tim Hardaway Jr. with a career-high 33 points. Mike Dunleavy left the game early in the fourth quarter with an apparent ankle injury and did not return.Orlando and Atlanta have split two meetings this season, each winning by double digits on the road.
Key trends: The Magic are 5-1 ATS in their past six in Atlanta. The over is 8-3 in the Hawks' past 11.
Early lean: Hawks and over.
Pistons at Pacers (-4.5, 211)
Both will have heavy legs as Detroit hosted Minnesota on Friday and Indiana was in Brooklyn. These teams have split two meetings this season. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is averaging 18.0 points against Indiana and Paul George is averaging 29.0 points vs. the Pistons, who have lost their past three in Indianapolis.
Key trends: The Pistons are 0-4 ATS in the past four meetings. The over is 10-4 in the previous 14 meetings.
Early lean: Just about always take the home team when both playing the second of a back-to-back if the teams are evenly matched overall.
76ers at Heat (-8, 207.5)
Philadelphia dropped a second in a row Thursday, 102-86 in San Antonio. Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel and Robert Covington were all out for Philly. Embiid was expected and is in doubt here. The others were late scratches and could play. I would have given you at least 30/1 odds that the Heat wouldn't win nine straight games this season, but they have following a 116-93 home rout of Atlanta on Wednesday. It matched the largest margin of victory this season for the Heat, who are looking for 10 straight for the first time since early in the 2013-14 season. Miami has won five of the past six vs. Philly but lost the first meeting this season 101-94 on Nov. 21.
Key trends: The 76ers are 4-0-1 ATS in their past five in Miami. The under is 4-1 in those five.
Early lean: Heat and under.
Cavaliers at Knicks (TBA)
The ABC Saturday night game. Cleveland crushed Minnesota 125-97 on Wednesday behind 27 points from LeBron and 14 points and a career-high 14 assists from Kyrie Irving. Kevin Love sat again with his back problem, but there's a reasonable chance he will play here. The Knicks want him in any trade for Carmelo Anthony. New York ended a two-game losing streak with a 95-90 win at awful Brooklyn on Wednesday. I almost wish the Knicks had lost that game, and they trailed for a long while, just to see the tabloid headlines. Kristaps Porzingis had 19 points and 12 rebounds after missing a game due to an illness. Derrick Rose was out again and not likely here. The Cavs have blown out the Knicks twice this season.
Key trends: The road team is 8-3 ATS in the past 11 meetings. The under is 4-1 in the previous five in New York.
Early lean: Wait on Love & Rose (is that a song?).
Hornets at Jazz ( -7.5, 197.5)
Charlotte lost a sixth in a row Wednesday, 126-11 at Golden State. No Hornets starter had more than 14 points. This could be the Charlotte debut of Miles Plumlee, who was acquired Thursday from Milwaukee for Spencer Hawes and Roy Hibbert. Utah beat Milwaukee on Wednesday, 104-88. Rudy Gobert had 26 points and 15 rebounds. Derrick Favors got another game off to rest, so something might be amiss there. He missed a bunch of games earlier in the season with knee problems. Rodney Hood, who has been in and out of the lineup himself this season due to injury, left with a right knee hyperextension in the first half and did not return so he's surely out a while. Utah is looking to extend its home winning streak against Charlotte to 10 games, which would be a franchise record.
Key trends: The Hornets are 0-6-1 ATS in their past seven overall. The under is 6-2 in the past eight meetings.
Early lean: Jazz and under.
Bucks at Suns (-1, 217.5)
Both clubs were on the road Friday, with Milwaukee in Denver and Phoenix in Sacramento. I'd say huge edge Suns because they didn't have to play at altitude and obviously then are home here. This is the first meeting of the season between the Bucks and Suns. Milwaukee won both last year. As noted above, the Bucks sent Plumlee to Charlotte for Hawes and Hibbert. Plumlee wasn't playing much for Milwaukee and the Bucks got to dump his big salary. I wouldn't expect much from Hawes or Hibbert, though.
Key trends: The Bucks are 2-10 ATS in their past 12 in the second of a back-to-back. The over is 17-2 in the Suns' past 22 at home.
Early lean: Suns and over.
Nuggets at Spurs (TBA)
Denver hosted Milwaukee on Friday with Nikola Jokic likely to return from injury, Emmanuel Mudiay and Will Barton questionable and Danilo Gallinari out. At least the MRI on Gallinari's groin came back negative. San Antonio won its second in a row Thursday, 102-86 over the short-handed 76ers. Gregg Popovich tied the NBA record for the most career wins with a single franchise (Jerry Sloan), earning his 1,127th. LaMarcus Aldridge was ruled out with a minor knee issue, but that was likely just rest. San Antonio is 2-0 vs. Denver this season, winning each by at least 14. The Spurs have won eight straight at home in the series.
Key trends: The Nuggets are 1-4 ATS in the past five meetings. The over is 7-2 in the previousnine.
Early lean: Wait on all those Nuggets.
Grizzlies at Timberwolves (+1, 203)
Another double back-to-back here as Memphis was in Oklahoma City on Friday and Minnesota in Detroit. The Wolves don't rest guys - that's not Tom Thibodeau's way - but the Grizz could here. Memphis leads the season series 2-1 but lost by a whopping 36 in Minneapolis on Nov. 1. That's misleading as both Marc Gasol and Mike Conley got the night off.
Key trends: The home team is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings. The over is 6-2 in the previous eight.
Early lean: Wolves and over.
Warriors at Kings (+12, 227)
Sacramento hosted Phoenix on Friday. Golden State won its fifth consecutive Thursday, 133-120 at the Clippers. Stephen Curry scored 29 points and Kevin Durant added 26 points and 10 assists. Draymond Green sat out with a left shoulder bruise. Curry became the first player in league history with at least 200 3-pointers in five straight seasons. Golden State has won 13 in a row vs. Sacramento, including 117-106 in the first meeting Jan. 8. The Warriors have taken the past seven in California's capital city.
Key trends: The Warriors are 9-2 ATS in the past 11 meetings. The under is 5-1 in the previous six in Sacramento.
Early lean: Warriors and over.
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