Free NBA Picks Saturday, December 14 and Opening Line Report
Many teams will be playing their second game of a back-to-back from Friday's matchups. Usually I'd always recommend to take the more rested teams, but there's some exceptions in this article. My readers wouldn't trust me if I took the Cleveland Cavaliers over the Milwaukee Bucks going off or well rested or not rested. I wouldn't trust myself, either. Due to many teams playing on Friday, many lines haven't been released yet. Here are my picks for Saturday's basketball slate.
Spurs @ Suns (-2.5, TBD)
It was just announced that the NBA will be developing a G-League team in
Mexico. I bring that up because this is the second game being played in
Mexico City this week. What's with the Spurs, though? They've played three
straight games in overtime and won two of the three. The Suns, on the other
hand, have been shooting lights out but also allowing the other team to
shoot lights out. The Suns took a loss to the Grizzlies at home most
recently. Both teams are 4-6 in their last 10 games, but I believe Gregg
Popovich will be able to get his players more prepared for the neutral-site
Key trends: Spurs are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games as a road favorite.
Early lean: Spurs, Under
Nets @ Raptors (-7.5, 219.5)
The Nets lost a sure thing against the Hornets. Up 20 points and couldn't finish the job thanks to an outburst from Devonte' Graham of the Hornets. However, the Nets are now 9-4 in their last 13 without Kyrie. It's weird to say this, but the Nets might be better off without Kyrie. Spencer Dinwiddie is lighting it up as Irving's replacement. I wouldn't be surprised if Irving doesn't play again this season. The Raptors are in a bit of a struggle right now, losing four of their last five games against top tier opponents. I wouldn't consider the Nets a top tier opponent, but the Nets will be making the playoffs this season. At home, the Raptors should come around and defeat the Nets. Are the Nets really this good without a superstar?
Key trends: Raptors are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points.
Early lean: Raptors, Over
Wizards @ Grizzlies (TBD,TBD)
If you like points, watch this game. If you don't, then don't watch. It's two poor basketball teams scoring a ton of points against teams that don't know how to defend. The Wizards allow 122.1 points per game, while the Grizzlies allow 116 points a game. Memphis is on a two-game winning streak against the Warriors and the Suns, while the Wizards are now 2-8 in their last ten games. It's time to flip the table and watch the Wizards take this one on the road against Memphis. The Wizards are over .500 on the road against the spread while Memphis is one of the worst teams at home against the spread this season.
Key trends: The Wizards are 7-5-1 (58.3%) as the away team against the spread this season.
Early lean: Grizzlies, Over
Clippers @ Bulls (TBD, TBD )
The Clippers are finding their rhythm right now. They've won eight of their
last 10 games and will likely beat Minnesota before this one. The Clippers
aren't just winning games, they're winning them by blowouts. Every year the
West wins at least 53 percent of games against the East. A championship
contending West team against a bad East team. Give me the Clippers in a
Key trends: The Bulls are 7-7 (50%) as the home team against the spread this season.
Early lean: Clippers, Under
Cavaliers @ Bucks (TBD, TBD)
The Bucks will be playing a second game of a back-to-back against the Cavs
after playing a road game against Memphis. Luckily for the Bucks, their
second game will be against the Cavs. While the Cavs won last night,
they're 2-8 in their last 10 and found a way to come back against the Spurs
due to missed chances to close by the Spurs. The Bucks should absolutely
destroy the Cavs with the likely return of Giannis Antetokounmpo. I'd risk
taking the Bucks up to -16. This isn't a football game, by the way.
Key trends: Bucks are 7-6 (53.8) as the home team against the spread this season.
Early lean: Bucks, Over
Heat @ Mavericks (-7.5, 215.5)
Here's a good one! The Miami Heat will have to play back-to-back games
against the Lakers and Mavericks. This will be the second game of the
back-to-back as they travel from Miami to Dallas overnight. The Mavs are
coming off a big win in Mexico against the Pistons. The game was close for
a little bit, but Dallas pulled away thanks to another Luka Doncic
double-double. The Heat might be able to defeat the Lakers at home, but
there's no way they come back after that game and play Dallas tough.
Key trends: Mavericks are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games as a favorite.
Early lean: Mavericks, Under
Pistons @ Rockets (-8.5, TBD)
The Pistons took a beating in Mexico from the Mavericks, while Houston
struggled to finish the Cavs their last time out. The Rockets will play the
Magic before this one and then travel home from Orlando to face the
Pistons. Houston is having trouble closing out games. Games are close
against Houston. And outside of the Mexico game against the Mavericks, the
Pistons have been playing pretty well. I'd take the point with the Pistons
as they get a day off before this one.
Key trends: Pistons are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games playing on 1 days rest.
Early lean: Pistons, Under
Thunder @ Nuggets (-7.5, 205.5)
The Nuggets came back home from a four-game road trip on the East and blew
away Portland, 114-99. The Nuggets lost three of their last five games, but
now that they're back on the West Coast, Denver will get back to business
and win games. However, the Thunder have been playing very consistently in
the last five games and have won three of their last five, taking two
losses by single digits. I expect the Thunder to stay in this game. Grab
Key trends: Thunder are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
Early lean: Thunder, Under
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