Free NBA Picks: Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
One thing to keep in mind until Thursday's trade deadline in the NBA: We could see players about to be dealt sit out for mysterious reasons. If the front office is close to a deal on someone, it generally will tell the coach to sit said player so a potential injury doesn't scuttle the deal. Wednesday is the last night of action before the deadline. I could see Chicago, for example, holding out both Jabari Parker and Robin Lopez. Those two might be with the team following Thursday's deadline but not much after that as they will be bought out if the Bulls can't find a trade partner for either (Lakers reportedly in on Parker). Could the Pelicans actually deal Jrue Holiday now that Anthony Davis wants out? There have been a few rumors the Jazz might deal Ricky Rubio in an attempt to upgrade at point guard. Just things to keep in mind if there's a random DNP-CD - although usually the teams make up some phantom injury because a DNP-CD for a starter would be obvious that said player is about to be dealt.
Nuggets at Nets (TBA)
Sometimes teams just come out flat for one reason or another, and the Nuggets were that team Monday as their six-game winning streak ended in a blowout loss at mediocre Detroit. Then again, the Nuggets were without Paul Millsap (ankle), Gary Harris (right adductor strain) and Jamal Murray (left ankle sprain). The Nets dropped their third in a row Monday, 113-94 to Milwaukee. They finished just 5-for-42 from deep to see a nine-game home winning streak snapped. Brooklyn was again without five key guys due to injury. Denver was upset at home by Brooklyn on Nov. 9, 112-110. Caris LeVert hit a floater in the line with 0.3 seconds left - he's out injured now but getting close to a return.
Key trends: The Nuggets are 2-8 against the spread in the past 10 meetings. The "over/under" is 6-1 in the previous seven.
Early lean: Wait on some of these injured guys.
Pelicans at Bulls (TBA)
The Pelicans lost their third in a row Monday, 109-107 to Indiana. Once again, New Orleans was without five key injured players including Davis. Jahlil Okafor had 25 points and 13 rebounds, and Jrue Holiday added 19 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Chicago has been off since a seven-point loss in Charlotte on Saturday. Bobby Portis had 33 points and Lauri Markkanen 30. New Orleans beat Chicago on Nov. 7, 107-98, behind 32 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists from Chicago native Davis.
Key trends: The Pels are 1-5 ATS in the past six meetings. The under is 15-6-1 in Chicago's previous 22 at home.
Early lean: Wait on some of those Pelicans.
Wizards at Bucks (-12.5, 231)
First ESPN game. Washington lost its second in a row Monday, 137-129 at home to Atlanta. Bradley Beal had 27 points and Jeff Green 26. Milwaukee won its fourth in a row by double digits on Monday, 113-94 in Brooklyn. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 30 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists. Eric Bledsoe had 15 points after sitting out Saturday. These teams have split two meetings in D.C., just playing on Saturday (Bucks won by 16).
Key trends: The road team has covered six of past seven in series. The under is 7-1 in the previous eight.
Early lean: Few too many points to give. Also go under.
Hornets at Mavericks (-4.5, 216.5)
Charlotte hosted the Clippers on Tuesday. The Mavs were 111-98 winners in Cleveland on Saturday. Luka Doncic was back after missing a game and tied his career high with 35 points while adding 11 rebounds and six assists. The Mavs still haven't been able to use any of those Knicks players acquired in the Kristaps Porzingis deal because their physicals hadn't been completed. Should see Tim Hardaway Jr. Courtney Lee and Trey Burke in this one. Dallas won in Charlotte on Jan. 2, 122-84. It was the fourth-largest margin of victory in Mavericks history. They have dropped the past three in this series at home, though.
Key trends: The Mavs are 6-0-1 ATS in their past seven. The under is 13-3 in Dallas' previous 16.
Early lean: Mavs and under.
Suns at Jazz (TBA)
The Suns lost a season-high 11th in a row Monday, 118-110 to Houston. T.J. Warren and De'Anthony Melton were out with ankle issues and Devin Booker left with a hamstring problem, but he says that's fine and will play Wednesday. Utah has been off since getting mauled at home by the Rockets in a surprise Saturday. The Jazz shot just 36 percent. Donovan Mitchell had 26 points and nine assists. Somehow, it's the first meeting of the season between the teams. Utah has won the past eight in Salt Lake City.
Key trends: The Suns have covered only three of past 12 in Salt Lake City. The under is 4-1 in the previous five there.
Early lean: Wait on Booker, Warren.
Rockets at Kings (+2, 234)
The Rockets won a second straight road game Monday, 118-110 in Phoenix. James Harden had 44 points, extending his streak of at least 30 to 27 in a row, third-longest ever. Harden also joined Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan and Rick Barry as the only players with 20 games of at least 40 points in the first 50 of a season. Eric Gordon was out with right knee soreness. The Kings won their third consecutive game Monday, 127-112 over San Antonio. Marvin Bagley had a career-high 24 points and 12 rebounds in his third straight double-double - but the Kings still should have taken Luka Doncic. Sacramento has won seven in a row at home, its longest run in the new arena. The Kings lost in Houston on Nov. 17, 132-112. Harden had 24 points and eight assists.
Key trends: The Rockets are 1-4 ATS in the past five meetings. The over is 20-5-1 in the Kings' past 26 vs. the West.
Early lean: Kings and over.
Spurs at Warriors (-11, 233)
Second ESPN game. San Antonio's short-handed backcourt has lost Derrick White for a while to a heel injury, and the Spurs were 127-112 losers in Sacramento on Monday to see their five-game winning streak end. DeMar DeRozan had 24 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 22 for the Spurs. That was the start of their annual Rodeo Road Trip, which is eight games this year. The Warriors have been off since an easy home win over the Lakers on Saturday. Golden State has won the past two at home in this series but lost in San Antonio in lone meeting thus far in 2018-19, 104-92 on Nov. 18.
Key trends: The favorite is 10-3 ATS in the past 13 meetings. The over is 7-2 in the Warriors' previous nine vs. the West.
Early lean: Warriors and over.
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