Pick 'n' Roll: Thursday's NBA bets
Cleveland at Chicago (-3 ½, 193 ½)
All that jabbering with Spike Lee, jacking 25-foot treys, and single-handedly snuffing the life out of a determined Knicks team can take a lot out of a fella. But just because that’s how LeBron James spent his Wednesday night before the second half of a back-to-back in Chicago doesn’t justify the Cavs coming into this game as significant underdogs against the 10th place team in the East. This line opened with the Bulls at -4 and it’s already been bet down to -3 ½ – and although the public isn’t always the best indicator of which way you should bet, in this instance I think they’re right. The Bulls’ are just 2-4 since the big trade, but the Cavs have jelled much better with a 4-2 record in that time. It also doesn’t help that Tyrus Thomas has been suspended for two games for missing practice. The last time these teams played, Thomas was a significant factor with 12 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots.
Indiana at San Antonio (-13 ½, 196)
You’d be a fool to go against the Spurs while they’re on a 10-game winning streak. This team is starting to peak right on schedule as they get primed for the playoffs – so don’t think they’ll let a team like Indiana stand in their way. San Antonio is the kind of team that can have a bad shooting night like they did in their last game on Tuesday (33.8 %) and still manage to win by 11 and get the push. You can expect a much better performance tonight against the third worst scoring defense in the league. And if you’re worried about laying the points, just remind yourself that San Antonio is 9-5 ATS when favored by 10 or more points.
Houston at Dallas (-6, no total)
The Mavericks have won and covered against Houston in six straight meetings, but this game will be an entirely different animal. Dirk Nowitzki has been suspended by the league and Yao Ming is out for the rest of the Rockets’ season. Amazingly, the Rockets are 4-0 straight up and ATS without Yao as this team has shown surprising depth with young players stepping up and Tracy McGrady taking the leadership role. The Mavs, on the other hand, will be playing their first game without their leading scorer and the league’s reigning MVP. That will most likely require a major adjustment and it will probably throw off their rhythm for at least the first half of this game.
To check back on yesterday's Pick 'n' Roll, click here.