Miami (-4.5) @ Chicago (187 o/u)
The Heat are the league’s most efficient offense, and Chicago has been surprisingly proficient on that end of the ball lately as well – thanks to Joakim Noah’s passing and Taj Gibson’s improved role as a finisher.
Pick: Over 187
Oklahoma City (-12.5) @ LA Lakers (229.5)
This over/under line is just so high that I’m betting against it because such a small number of NBA games go over this amount every year. The Lakers defense has been dreadful lately, sure, but they have to have focused on tweaking it a bit after embarrassing recent losses, right? That’s the exact reason I’m not taking the Thunder here – will L.A. allow themselves to be shellacked yet again?
Pick: Under 229.5
Denver (214 o/u) @ New Orleans (-1.5)
This one is a total toss-up for me. New Orleans at home, but Denver has Ty Lawson back and I don’t see the Pelicans stopping him without Jrue Holiday. I don’t know, I really don’t. My gut says to take Denver since they’re dogs and they have been a slightly better team most of the season, so I’ll ride that guess – but it’s not a brain pick.
Pick: Denver +1.5
Sacramento (203 o/u) @ Brooklyn (-7.5)
This is one that I have absolutely no feel for in terms of the point spread. After typing that sentence I looked back, and I have overvalued Sacramento, especially on the road, all season long. So I’m breaking that here on what is a reasonable line for the Nets, really.
Pick: Brooklyn -7.5
Detroit (204 o/u) @ Boston (-1)
I write about the Celtics, I’m a Celtics fan, and yet I can’t see them competing with this Detroit roster! They have so much size on the Celts, and I just can’t imagine how Boston can stop Drummond and Monroe.
Pick: Detroit +1
Toronto (207.5 o/u) @ Minnesota (-4.5)
You know who my favorite team has been since January 1? That’s right, the Toronto Raptors. They’re also who I intend to root for in the postseason, at least in the Eastern Conference. The Wolves have been a favorite of mine forever, too, and they are making their own attempt at a playoff push. They need to win this one badly – which makes it hard for me to call. Toronto isn’t 4.5 points worse than Minnesota by any standards, but on the road against a desperate team with Kevin Love playing out of his mind? I don’t know.
Portland (214 o/u) @ Houston (-5.5)
Portland has been faltering lately, and while I love this team and touted them as a title contender this season, I’m not terribly surprised. I made the argument on this site that it was possible they could sustain their early level of success, but not that it was definite or even likely. Houston, on the other hand, has trended the opposite way, looking more and more legit every week.
Pick: Over 214
Indiana (-1.5) @ Dallas (197.5 o/u)
This is a 100% “I don’t think they lose another game in a row” pick. And I still think it’s the easiest call of the day for me.
Pick: Indiana -1.5
Phoenix (212.5 o/u) @ Golden State (-7)
This line is ludicrous. I take back the Indiana game being the easiest pick of the day. Phoenix has been as good or better than the Warriors all season long, and they just beat the Thunder. How are the Warriors more than 5 point favorites – even at home? Also, super fun game right here.
Pick: Phoenix +7