By the time you read this, the Philadelphia 76ers might have traded second-year big man Jahlil Okafor. He was the team's No. 3 overall pick in 2015, taken one spot ahead of Kristaps Porzingis, which was clearly a mistake in hindsight. Okafor played well as a rookie in averaging 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in 53 outings but also had some injury and off-the-court concerns. He simply doesn't fit next to Joel Embiid and is a terrible defensive player. When Okafor is on the court, Philadelphia gives up 113.8 points per 100 possessions. Thus the Sixers are going to be taking maybe 50 cents on the dollar in dealing him. They didn't allow him to play Saturday or Monday because a trade is considered such a given. The leading contenders for him have been the Trail Blazers, Pelicans and Okafor's hometown Bulls. Portland probably isn't in the market any longer after getting center Jusuf Nurkic from Denver (and a first-round pick) over the weekend for Mason Plumlee. I'd like to see what Okafor could do next to Anthony Davis in New Orleans. I'm not really sure what the Bulls would be thinking or what they would have that the 76ers would want because a first-round pick seems to be off the table.
Spurs at Magic ( +10.5, 204)
San Antonio won in Game No. 5 of a season-long road trip Monday - at least it's broken up by the All-Star break -with a 110-106 decision at Indiana. Kawhi Leonard had 32 points for his fifth in a row of at least 30 as the Spurs extended their NBA record by clinching a winning season for a 20 th straight year. Orlando ended a four-game slide with a 116-107 victory in Miami on Monday. Evan Fournier had 24 points. It was the third time this season Orlando went on the road amid a four-game losing streak, and the Magic are 3-0 in those contests. Aaron Gordon was back after missing two games and he will compete in the All-Star Dunk Contest. Orlando snapped a 10-game losing skid to San Antonio on Nov. 29 in a 95-83 stunner but has lost 12 of the last 14 meetings overall. The Magic won't have Serge Ibaka after trading him to Toronto on Tuesday. I'll have more on that in Thursday's Opening Line Report.
Key trends: The Spurs are 1-4 against the spread in their past five road games. The Magic are 2-12 in their past 14 on Wednesday. San Antonio is 1-5 ATS in its past six vs. Orlando. The "over/under" has gone under in the past four.
Early lean: Magic and under.
Pacers at Cavaliers (-6.5, 218)
First ESPN game. Cleveland was in Minnesota on Tuesday without Kevin Love, and he's now out six weeks (more on that, too, Thursday). I wonder if LeBron James and/or Kyrie Irving also sit for an extra day of rest ahead of the All-Star break. Indiana lost a fourth in a row Monday, 110-106 at home to the Spurs. Indiana led by three with about four minutes left. Paul George had 27 points. Thaddeus Young sat again with a sprained wrist, and he's not likely here. Indiana and Cleveland have split two meetings this season. The Pacers have lost five in a row at the Cavs.
Key trends: The Pacers are 7-1-1 ATS in the past nine meetings. The over is 6-0 in the Cavs' past six.
Early lean: Cavs and over if LeBron and Irving do play.
76ers at Celtics (-9.5, 217)
Philadelphia won a third straight Monday 105-99 in Charlotte. Dario Saric, who is making a Rookie of the Year push with Embiid out yet again and perhaps done for the season, had 18 points and 11 rebounds. Boston also is on a three-game winning streak as it closed a four-game trip with a 111-98 victory in Dallas on Monday. Isaiah Thomas had 29 points and eight assists. Boston is 2-0 vs. Philly this year but only by a combined four points. The Celtics have won the past nine in the series overall.
Key trends: The 76ers are 3-7 ATS in the past 10 meetings. The over is 6-2 in the previous eight.
Early lean: Celtics and over.
Hornets at Raptors (-6.5, 213)
Toronto was in Chicago on Tuesday. Charlotte's Nic Batum made a stupid guarantee that his team would beat visiting Philadelphia on Monday, and naturally the Hornets didn't in losing for the 10th time in 11 games. Kemba Walker had 29 points and Batum just 16. Cody Zeller was out with a quad contusion and Miles Plumlee left in the second half with a strained calf. Charlotte and Toronto have split two meetings in North Carolina this season. Toronto has won the past three at home in the series.
Key trends: The favorite is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings. The over is 16-7 in Toronto's past 13 at home.
Early lean: Raptors and over.
Bucks at Nets (+5.5, 220)
Milwaukee won its second game in a row Monday, 102-89 over visiting Detroit despite only eight points from Giannis Antetokounmpo. Greg Monroe and Michael Beasley picked up the slack, combining for 48 points. I still say the Bucks are going to be a bad bet minus Jabari Parker. The Pistons just stink on the road and the Nets do anywhere. Brooklyn lost its 13 th straight game Monday, 112-103 to Memphis. It was the Nets' franchise-record 15th consecutive home loss. Milwaukee goes for the season sweep and has taken seven straight vs. Brooklyn.
Key trends: The road team is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings. The over is 6-1 in the past seven in Brooklyn.
Early lean: Nets and over.
Mavericks at Pistons (-4.5, 201)
Dallas had a two-game run end Monday in a 111-98 home loss to Boston. Deron Williams was ejected late in the second quarter after getting two quick technical fouls for arguing a foul call. Rookie Yogi Ferrell had 20 points. Detroit lost 102-89 in Milwaukee on Monday. Marcus Morris led Detroit with 26 points, while Andre Drummond added 21 points and 12 rebounds. Coach Stan Van Gundy was quite perturbed with the overall effort. Detroit won in Dallas 95-85 on Dec. 14 but has dropped its past five at home in the series.
Key trends: The road team is 6-0 ATS in the past six meetings. The under is 4-0 in the previous four.
Early lean: Pistons and under.
Pelicans at Grizzlies (-8.5, 204.5)
New Orleans won in Phoenix 110-108 on Monday. Anthony Davis scored six consecutive New Orleans points, including the go-ahead rebound basket with 40.3 seconds to play. He finished with 24 points. The Pels are now 4-6 in the second of a back-to-back this year. Memphis won in Brooklyn 112-103 on Monday behind 32 points from Mike Conley and 19 points, nine boards and eight assists from Marc Gasol. Tony Allen got the night off to rest. Memphis is 2-0 this year vs. New Orleans, both going to at least one OT.
Key trends: The Pelicans are 1-4 ATS in their past five in Memphis. The over is 5-1 in the previous six meetings.
Early lean: Pelicans and over.
Heat at Rockets (-9, 222)
Miami is proving that 13-game winning streak was a total fluke as the Heat have lost two straight to bad teams since. On Monday, it was 116-107 at home to Orlando. Dion Waiters returned from a sprained ankle and scored 23 points for Miami, whose eight-game home winning streak ended. Josh Richardson remained out but may play here for the first time since Jan. 6 as he will travel with the team. Houston won its fourth in a row Saturday, 133-102 over Phoenix. James Harden had 40 through three quarters and then took a seat. Eric Gordon missed his second straight game with soreness in his lower back but is expected to go here. Houston lost in Miami 109-103 on Jan. 17. The Rockets have taken the past three home meetings.
Key trends: The home team is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings. The under is 4-1 in the past five.
Early lean: Rockets and under.
Timberwolves at Nuggets (TBA)
Minnesota was home to Cleveland on Tuesday. Denver pulled a shocker on Monday in a 132-110 blowout of the visiting Warriors. The Nuggets tied an NBA record by making 24 3-pointers (on 40 attempts). Nikola Jokic set career highs with 12 assists and 21 rebounds to go with 17 points in his second career triple-double.Danilo Gallinari (strained groin), Kenneth Faried (ankle), Darrell Arthur (knee), Emmanuel Mudiay (back) and Wilson Chandler (illness) were all out for the Nuggets, making that win even more unlikely. Denver has won two of three meetings vs. Minnesota this season. All three were close.
Key trends: The Wolves are 4-1 ATS in their past five in Denver. The under is 4-0 in the previous four meetings.
Early lean: Wait on all those Nuggets - my guess is they don't play ahead of the break.
Trail Blazers at Jazz (-7, 205.5)
Portland dropped a second in a row Monday, 109-104 in OT at home to Atlanta. The Blazers actually led 104-97 in OT but obviously didn't score again. CJ McCollum had 26 points for the Blazers. Newly-acquired Nurkic didn't suit up but should make his Portland debut here. Utah lost a third straight Monday, 88-72 at home to the Clippers. The Jazz shot 33 percent from the field and 20.8 from 3-point range -- both season lows. Rodney Hood missed a sixth straight game (LCL sprain) and won't play here. Portland has won three straight games against Utah and is 10-3 vs. the Jazz since the start of the 2013-14 season.
Key trends: The home team is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings. The over is 6-1 in the previous seven.
Early lean: Jazz and under.
Lakers at Suns (-3, 226.5)
Los Angeles hosted Sacramento on Tuesday. Phoenix dropped a second in a row Monday, 110-108 at home vs. New Orleans. The Suns missed three shots close to the rim in the final seconds, one by Eric Bledsoe and two by P.J. Tucker. Bledsoe finished with 37 points. Devin Booker added 21 points for the Suns, who have lost 10 of 12.Phoenix and L.A. have split two meetings. The Suns are on a 10-game home winning streak in the series.
Key trends: The Lakers are 1-9-1 ATS in the past 11 in Phoenix. The over is 7-2-1 in the previous 10 meetings.
Early lean: Suns and over.
Knicks at Thunder (-7.5, 217)
Second ESPN game. New York ended a four-game losing streak with a 94-90 home upset of San Antonio on Sunday afternoon. Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points. Lance Thomas returned after missing 14 games with a broken bone in his face, but Joakim Noah missed his fourth straight game with a sore left hamstring. Oklahoma City dropped its second in a row Monday, 120-98 at Washington. The Thunder missed an incredible 24 straight shots at one point. Russell Westbrook was held to 17 points. The whole team was flat off Saturday's hyped game vs. Golden State. OKC won 112-103 at Madison Square Garden back in late November. New York did win in Oklahoma City last year.
Key trends: The Knicks are 1-6 ATS in their past seven after a win. The under is 4-1 in the previous five meetings.
Early lean: Knicks and under.
Hawks at Clippers (-3, 213)
Atlanta won in Portland 109-104 in OT on Monday in scoring the final 12 points in the extra period. Paul Millsap sent it there with a buzzer-beater to close regulation. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 25 points while Dennis Schroder added 22 for the Hawks. Los Angeles won its third consecutive Monday to close a five-game road trip, 88-72 in Utah. Blake Griffin had 26 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. L.A. won in Atlanta 115-105 on Jan. 23 but the Clips have dropped the past two home meetings.
Key trends: The Hawks are 6-2 ATS in the past eight meetings. The over is 7-3 in the Clippers' past 10.
Early lean: Hawks and over.
Kings at Warriors (TBA)
Sacramento was at the Lakers on Tuesday. Keep in mind that if DeMarcus Cousins were to get a technical in that one, he can't play Wednesday. I don't want to say the Warriors playing badly Monday in Denver was a sure thing, but it was about as close as possible off Saturday's hyped game in Oklahoma City. Golden State was rocked by the Nuggets 132-110. Steph Curry was just 1-for-11 from 3-point range. The Warriors' ninth loss of the season matched their total from last year when they set an NBA record by winning 73 games. Klay Thompson (sore right heel) and Shaun Livingston (birth of daughter) were out. Sacramento upset the Warriors 109-106 in OT in the last meeting on Feb. 4. Golden State had won 13 in a row vs. the Kings.
Key trends: The Kings are 0-5-1 ATS in their past six in Oakland. The over is 4-0 in the previous four there.
Early lean: Wait on Cousins (pretty much a standing order in the second of a back-to-back) and if Thompson returns.
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