Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM
Inside the Paint - Saturday
With Super Bowl 52 taking over the weekend, I’m going to switch things up a little bit tonight and provide you with my quick predictions for the late eight games in the NBA on Saturday and point your attention to five cross-sport props as well.
Washington at Orlando: Who needs John Wall!? The Wizards have gone 3-0 both straight up and against the spread without him in the lineup and they notched some impressive wins over the Thunder and Raptors too. Tonight, I believe Washington could get caught at Orlando (+3 ½). The Wizards have only won four straight twice this season so if they do get the victory tonight, I would definitely fade them on Monday at Indiana. Back to tonight – Orlando has covered eight of its last nine games and while they haven’t been great off a win, I’d take the points in this spot.
Philadelphia at Indiana: Knowing both the 76ers (1-5 SU, 1-4-1 ATS) and the Pacers (4-7 SU, 5-8 ATS) have struggled on no rest makes me hesitant to back either club tonight. This series has had a nice ‘over’ run (6-0 L6) but I would shy away from the high side tonight (211 ½). The Pacers shot lights out last night at Charlotte and usually come back to life after outbursts like that. Indiana also a solid ‘under’ lean (16-11) at home this season and the club has seen the ‘under’ go 3-1 in its last four back-to-back spots.
Miami at Detroit: The Pistons will be trying to win three in a row for the first time since mid-December and the oddsmakers expect them to do so. Miami isn’t an elite team but it’s a solid club and it hasn’t dropped three straight since the end of October, the only time that’s happened this season. The Heat have won four of the last six on no rest and three of the last four against the Pistons. Miami’s offense has been struggling of late, and that’s the reason for the low total (199 ½). Heat center Hassan Whiteside (illness) is ‘questionable’ and if he doesn’t go, that could trigger an ‘over’ wager.
Houston at Cleveland: The first meeting this season between the pair watched Houston win 117-113 at home on Nov. 9 and the oddsmakers are expecting the same exact outcome for the rematch. The Cavaliers have been installed as home ‘dogs (+4) for this matchup and they are 0-1 in that role this season, losing to Golden State 118-108 a couple weeks ago. It’s hard to imagine Cleveland’s inept defense slowing down Houston tonight but the Rockets don’t have a great defense either and I would expect a solid back-and-forth game. The total (230) seems a tad inflated for the primetime showcase (ABC, 8:30 p.m. ET) and these high numbers are very tough to topple. Houston does enter this game on a 9-1 ‘under’ run and the club is 3-3 O/U this season with totals closing at 230 or higher. This game is much more important for Cleveland, who haven’t have a signature win in a long time. I’m expecting a big game from LeBron James and would back Cleveland on the money-line (+150).
New Orleans at Minnesota: High line for the Timberwolves (-8 ½) but they have won 11 straight at home and they also have covered nine of those games too. The Pelicans are off a big win last night at OKC and they haven’t been great in back-to-back spots (3-4 SU, 4-3 ATS). Minnesota should have plenty of confidence for this game since it will be looking to sweep the four-game season series against New Orleans. Two of the first three came by double digits and the Pelicans were held to 98, 102 and 98 in the losses. I could see a wild Super Bowl crowd push the home team and while it wouldn’t be my strongest lean on the card, the Wolves would get the check for me here.
Utah at San Antonio: I don’t like to go against hot teams (Utah 4-0 L4) but San Antonio has been much stronger at home this season (22-5 SU, 17-9-1 ATS) and it catches the Jazz on no rest. The Spurs are off a home loss and they haven’t dropped two straight at the AT&T Center all season. Knowing they embark on a four-game road trip after this contest, urgency should be high. Make a note that the Jazz are 0-3 in their last three back-to-back spots on the road, losses coming to Warriors, Cavaliers and Rockets. Make it 0-4 on Saturday.
Golden State at Denver: The obvious lean in this game is the ‘over’ and knowing this series is on a 9-1 run to the high side, it’s hard to disagree. The line seems short (Golden State -5) and five of the last six in this series have been decided by double digits. The Nuggets are coming off a big win on Thursday over OKC and I’m not sure if they can carry the momentum against another top-tier opponent. Golden State does have better ATS numbers on the road and it has gone 7-2 this season on no rest. My lean would be to the Warriors but it doesn't carry much confidence.
Dallas at Sacramento: This line seems way too high knowing both teams have comparable records, and I would probably lean to the Mavericks (-4 ½) based on the opener. However, Dallas has been an awful team to back as a favorite (4-10 SU, 4-10 ATS) and that includes a 0-3 mark on the road. The Kings have been decent on no rest lately (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) but I still believe Dallas is the better team. I’d pass on the side but would lean ‘under’ (203) in this spot.
Super Bowl 52 Cross-Sport Props
There are plenty of NBA wagers associated to the Super Bowl and you can check out what the Las Vegas SuperBook has to offer. For this piece, I’m going to provide my predictions on five available cross-sport props that are being offered at [...] for two games on Saturday.
For Sunday’s NFL finale, I believe the Patriots will win the game by double digits and if they bring their “A” game, something they’ve never done in a Super Bowl, then it could get real ugly. Either way, I’m calling for a 31-15 victory by New England.
With that projected outcome in place, here’s my Best Bets for these props.
SB LII CROSS-SPORTS - WHICH WILL BE HIGHER? (LEBRON JAMES VS HOUSTON ON 2/3)
LeBron James ASST+PTS+REB -101
Patriots+Eagles Combined PTS -132
Best Bet: LeBron James – As long as he doesn’t get injured, LeBron should hit his averages (24.8 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 8.8 APG) and that will put you in the low forties. In the first meeting versus the Rockets, he posted a total of 45 (33, 7, 4) with the assists being the low number. I expect him to have his way again with scoring and I hope his teammates can do a better job connecting.
SB LII CROSS-SPORTS - WHICH WILL BE HIGHER? (JAMES HARDEN VS CLEVELAND ON 2/3)
James Harden ASST+PTS+REB -127
Patriots+Eagles combined PTS -102
Best Bet: James Harden – The All-Star posted 35-13-11 in the first meeting versus Cleveland and if he duplicates that performance, I don’t see this wager losing. Based on my projection, we need him to get to a combined stat total of 47. Along with the crazy numbers versus the Cavs in early November, he also lit them up last year with a 41-15-7 and 38-11-10 efforts.
WHO WILL HAVE MORE? (76ERS/PACERS ON 2/3)
Ben Simmons Points +3.5 -106
PHI Eagles Points -3.5 -124
Best Bet: Ben Simmons - I think this is the toughest prop of the five to predict because Simmons is only averaging 16.8 PPG and he's not a great outside shooter or free throw shooter. If he manages to get 20-plus points, something he’s done in four of his last five games then I believe this bet will connect.
SB LII CROSS-SPORTS - WHO WILL HAVE MORE? (76ERS/PACERS ON 2/3)
Victor Oladipo PTS+REB+ASSTS +14.5 -115
Eagles+Patriots Total Points -14.5 -115
Best Bet: Eagles+Patriots – This wager comes down to points and you’re hoping Oladipo can get into the high twenties if you’re backing him. He’s had success in four games played on Saturday (28.3 PPG) and he's coming off a 35-point game last night at Charlotte. I’m going ‘under’ on Victor because the team hasn’t had that much success on no rest and I believe the 76ers can keep him in check in this spot.
SB LII CROSS-SPORTS - WHO WILL HAVE MORE? (ROCKETS/CAVS ON 2/3)
Chris Paul Total PTS+ASSTS -1.5 -117
Tom Brady Total Completions +1.5 -113
Best Bet: Tom Brady – While Paul has the ability to light up the stat sheet, I believe Harden will fill up the box score for Houston tonight with points. CP3 could very likely have a double-double but I’m expecting Brady to hit close to 25 completions against the Eagles.
Chris David can be reached at [email protected]