Free NBA Picks Wednesday, December 18 and Opening Line Report
As the NBA season progresses, we have many questions that need answers. Isaiah Thomas of the Wizards is starting to play like Boston Isaiah Thomas. If Thomas can keep this up, Thomas and Beal could become a top backcourt in the league. I'm not sure if you've noticed, but the Cavaliers are actually three-point favorites against the Hornets. Yes, the Cavs are favorites, but how? The 76ers are still undefeated at home. Just like the Heat were a week ago. Will they end the 76ers streak? There are so many questions. I'm here to predict the answers.
Bulls @ Wizards (-1, 230.5)
The Wizards snapped a four-game losing streak after defeating the Pistons
in a 133-119 thriller. Isaiah Thomas looks to be getting back into his old
form after scoring 23 points and putting the stamp on the win with a late
three-pointer. The Wizards are extremely confident that they can build off
this win. The Bulls started a four-game road trip with a loss to the
Thunder, 109-106. The Wizards might be onto something. Thomas is playing
well, and Bradley Beal is playing lights out. I'll ride with the
Wizards at home
Key trends: Wizards are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points.
Early lean: Wizards, Over
Hornets @ Cavaliers (-3, 213.5)
The Cavs are favorites . Didn't think I'd ever write that. The Hornets are going to be without Marvin Williams, PJ Washington, and Nicolas Batum, three key pieces to the Hornets roster. The Hornets have now won three of their last four but took a beating to the Pacers on December 15. They'll take on the Kings before this one and will have to play a back-to-back with this game being on the road. The Cavs got run over by the Raptors in their last game, losing 133-113. The Hornets have been playing solid basketball, and even being on the road in a back-to-back doesn't scare me. Take the points with the Hornets. Never bet the Cavs.
Key trends: Hornets are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400.
Early lean: Hornets, Under
Heat @ 76ers (TBD, TBD)
Just a week ago, Miami was undefeated at home. They lost to the Lakers. The 76ers are undefeated at home, and it looks like Miami could be the first team to beat Philly on the road. Joel Embiid has an upper respiratory illness, and there's no status whether he'll be playing in this one or not. Horford would man the center, but he's struggled after missing two games with a sore knee and hamstring. Horford with 0-6 from downtown and just 5-15 overall in the loss to the Nets. The Heat took a bad loss to the Memphis Grizzlies and should bounce back for this one.
Key trends: The 76ers are 4-3 (57.1%) ATS after a loss.
Early lean: Heat, Under
Raptors @ Pistons (TBS, TBD)
The Pistons are a little banged up right now. Blake Griffin and Andre
Drummond have been diagnosed with injuries. Griffin has a sore left knee,
and Drummond has a left eye inflammation. Both are questionable to play in
this one. The Wizards scored 133 points against the Pistons without those
two on the floor. The Raptors scored about the same against the Cavs
yesterday. Raptors all day in this one.
Key trends: The Raptors are 10-7 (58.8%) ATS after a win.
Early lean: Raptors, Over
Pelicans @ TImberwolves (TBD, TBD)
Pelicans have now lost their last 12 games. The Timberwolves are 2-8 in
their last 10. Both teams haven't won a game in recent memory. Karl
Anthony-Towns is questionable along with JJ Reddick being questionable on
the Pelicans. In this situation, it's easiest to go with the home team.
Key trends: Pelicans are 6-13-1 (31.6%) ATS after a loss.
Early lean: Timberwolves, Over
Grizzlies @ Thunder (-7, 217.5)
Memphis has been really good in their last five games, reeling off four
victories in five games, losing only to Milwaukee. Every team is losing to
Milwaukee (unless you're Dallas, I guess). The Thunder have also been
exciting, winning six of their last 10 games. The Thunder are at home and
are favorites, but Memphis will definitely be able to stay in this game and
potentially win a shootout.
Key trends: Grizzlies are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Magic @ Nuggets (-8.5, 203.5)
When the Nuggets came home from their east road trip, it's been win after
win. They've now won three straight since coming home and will have another
home game against the Magic. Orlando has had trouble recently defeating
west coast teams at home. Imagine playing a west coast quality team on the
road? Give me the Nuggets.
Key trends: Nuggets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
Early lean: Nuggets, Under
Celtics @ Mavericks (+1, 218.5)
The Doncic-less Mavericks won a big game against Milwaukee to end the Bucks
winning streak. Porzingis was stroking from long range. I think this line
is disrespectful after how the Mavericks handled the Bucks. They're still
better than most of the East, and I think taking them as underdogs is
extreme value at home.
Key trends: Mavericks are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
Warriors @ Trail Blazers (-9, 219.5)
The Blazers just won a very close game against the Suns without Devin
Booker. Most people would've expected a blow out against the Suns without
Booker and Ayton. The Blazers actually trailed for most of the first half
and then made a run in the second half to take the lead. The Warriors
forced 29 turnovers in their last game against the Kings and still lost by
21 points. That's how it's going for the Warriors. However, I do expect the
Warriors to cover in this one. Nine points is steep for a sub-par Blazers
team that has had its troubles all season too.
Key trends: Warriors are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points.
Early lean: Warriors, Over
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