Free NBA Picks Saturday, December 28 and Opening Line Report
Saturday NBA basketball has a 14-game slate, with a couple back-to-backs
for some teams. This week the NBA has seen some of the craziest upsets of
the season. After the holiday, things are going to start trending back to
the way they were. The Lakers have lost four straight games, and
realistically, that won't happen again. Furthermore, the Nets shot
historically bad yesterday, allowing the Knicks to claim New York for a day
or two. Anyway, take a look at Saturday's early preview. There are still a
couple of games that don't have lines yet, however, I would still ride the
early lean no matter what the line is.
Grizzlies @ Nuggets (-10, 217)
Denver was on a long winning streak before taking a Christmas loss to the
Pelicans. I guess they're not at fault because all five underdogs pulled
out the win on Christmas Day. The Grizzlies won their last game against the
Thunder, 110-97. Memphis has had trouble playing defense this season.
They're an up-tempo team behind Ja Morant. The Nuggets can do the same, and
they have better players to do it. I'm not afraid of a
double-digit spread with the Nuggets
Key trends: Nuggets are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a double-digit loss at home.
Early lean: Nuggets, Over
Raptors @ Celtics (-5, 216)
The Raptors took a loss to the Celtics on Christmas day after losing to the Pacers in overtime. The Celtics, on the other hand, have now won four straight games and are flying high. The Celtics will be taking on the Cavs before this game, but that doesn't even matter. The Celtics , at home, will finish off the Cavs and cover the spread with a couple big free throws down the stretch.
Key trends: Celtics are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Early lean: Celtics, Under
Pacers @ Pelicans (TBD, TBD)
The Pelicans pulled off the shocker on Christmas night, defeating the Nuggets, 112-100. Vegas loved Christmas. They got all the gifts they wanted. The Pacers have now won seven of their last 10 games and are coming off an OT win against the Raptors. Before this one, the Pacers will be taking on the Heat on the road. They might be a little drained. The Pelicans are starting to come around after winning three of their last four. Take the Pelicans as underdogs with rest and home court advantage.
Key trends: Pacers are 7-7 (50%) on the road ATS this season.
Early lean: Pelicans, Under
Hawks @ Bulls (-6.5, TBD)
If the spread has the Hawks as single-digit underdogs, it's probably best
to take the favorite. In this situation it is at least. The Bulls, before
taking a loss to the Magic, had won three of their last four games. The
Bulls were on a four-game road-trip and will now finally get home.
Expect the Bulls to feel comfortable
and win this game by a nice margain.
Key trends: Bulls are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
Cavaliers @ Timberwolves (TBD, TBD)
The Timberwolves might be worse than the Cavs right now. The Cavs have now
won three straight games but they'll have to take on the Celtics before
this one. The Wolves are coming off a hard fought win against the Kings and
got some much needed rest. Again, the Wolves will be home with extra rest.
It's a no brainer. Take the Timberwolves.
Key trends: The Cavs are 5-8-1 (38.5%) on the road ATS this season.
Knicks @ Wizards (TBD, TBD)
The Knicks beat up on a Nets team that ate too much "eggnog" on Christmas.
The Nets shot 27 percent from the field. Sure, credit the Knicks but really
it was the Nets playing poorly. The Wizards were on a four-game road trip
and defeated the Knicks in that road-trip, 121-115 with half of their team
held out of the game. The Knicks will hit back to reality. Take the Wizards
Key trends: The Knicks are 9-7 (56.3 %) on the road against the spread this season.
76ers @ Heat (-1.5, 212.5)
Miami will be playing a back-to-back against the Pacers before this one
while the 76ers will take on the Magic on the road before this game. First,
you can expect the under. Secondly, the 76ers have won three straight and
defeated the Bucks, 121-109 in their most recent game. Miami, at home, is
extremely hard too. I'll take the points in this one. You can expect a
Key trends: Heat are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games as a home underdog.
Nets @ Rockets (-9.5, 233)
Both of these teams had an embarrassing week. The Nets took a really bad
loss to the Nets while the Rockets lost to the Warriors during Christmas on
the road. The Nets are still without Kyrie Irving and that means the magic
for the Nets might've finally ran out under Dinwiddie. The Rockets were on
a roll before the Warriors. At home, the Rockets should handle the Nets
Key trends: Rockets are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games playing on 2 days rest.
Pistons @ Spurs (-4.5, 222.5)
The Pistons put together a much needed win against the Wizards on the 26th
with a 132-102 win. Previously, the Pistons had lost their last four games.
The Spurs have been inconsistent all year but have kept their losses close
against quality opponents like the Mavericks and Rockets. I'll give the
edge to the Spurs here.
Key trends: Spurs are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss.
Mavericks @ Warriors (+10.5, 219)
Luka Doncic is back. But so are the Warriors, who have won three straight
games including a big upset win on Christmas. The Warriors will take on the
Suns before this one at home. With Doncic back, the Mavs should be good to
go. They didn't really miss Doncic that much going 3-2 without him, but he
certainly helps. Mavericks will steal this one on the road after the
Warriors play the second game of a back-to-back.
Key trends: Mavericks are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games as a road favorite.
Magic @ Bucks (-12, TBD)
Are the Bucks showing us that they're normal like every other team.
Milwaukee has won three of their last five. Losing two games seemed
impossible for the Bucks not so long ago.The Magic have lost three of their
last five and have struggled on the road this season. The Bucks are still
the real deal and they'll still crush smaller opponents like Orlando.
Key trends: Bucks are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
Early lean: Bucks, Under
Suns @ Kings (TBD, TBD)
The Suns aren't good anymore. They're back where we all expected them to
be. 11-19 on the year and 2-8 in their last 10. The Suns will play a game
against the Warriors before this one while the Kings get an extra day of
rest and a home game. Do you see a trend? Take the Kings.
Key trends: The Suns are 16-13-1 (55.2%) in all games against the spread this season.
Lakers @ Trail Blazers (TBD, TBD)
The Lakers have lost four straight games after a Christman night loss to
the Clippers. Nobody really showed up for the game other than Kuzma, who
hasn't shown up for any game but that one. The Lakers are pressing but the
Blazers have also lost two straight games and are struggling as a whole
this season. Look for the Lakers to get back on track against Portland.
Melo vs LeBron is fun!
Key trends: The Lakers are 3-3 (50%) after a loss ATS this season.
Jazz @ Clippers (-8, 220)
The Jazz have found themselves again, winning four of their last five games
with the only loss coming to the Heat on the road. Not many teams are
beating the Heat on the road, but the Jazz came close. The Clippers have
won three of their last five with a couple losses to the Rockets and
Thunder. The Clippers are riding high after defeating the Lakers. So look
for the Jazz to keep this game close. The Clippers might be a little over
their head for this match-up.
Key trends: Jazz are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
Early lean: Jazz, Under
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