Warriors vs. Heat NBA Preview

Miami Heat v New York Knicks

After making some moves at the deadline, the Miami Heat should be the right NBA pick for Thursday’s game with the Golden State Warriors.


Golden State Warriors vs. Miami Heat

at AmericanAirlines Arena


The Miami Heat didn’t get Kyle Lowry. They didn’t get Lonzo Ball, Norman Powell, or even LaMarcus Aldridge. But the Heat (24-24 SU, 20-27-1 ATS) did make some judicious moves at the trade deadline, and they’ve beaten the NBA odds in back-to-back games heading into Thursday’s tilt with the Golden State Warriors. Maybe last year’s Eastern Conference champions can still make another deep run in this year’s postseason. It’s harder to tell what the short-term future is for the Warriors (23-24 SU, 22-25 ATS). The only moves they made at the deadline were to get under the cap, sending guard Brad Wanamaker to the Charlotte Hornets and injured forward Marquese Chriss to the San Antonio Spurs. Without any reinforcements, the Dubs will be in a dogfight just to make the play-in portion of the Western playoffs – and they’ll have a hard time beating the NBA lines this Thursday as 2-point road dogs at PointsBet.

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Hawks vs. Suns NBA Preview

Phoenix Suns v Toronto Raptors


The Phoenix Suns and Atlanta Hawks both made some deals at the trade deadline. Which team belongs in Tuesday’s NBA picks?


Atlanta Hawks vs. Phoenix Suns

Tuesday, March 30, 2021 – 10:00 PM ET at PHX Arena


Things have changed in the NBA. Last Thursday was one of the busiest trade deadlines the league has ever seen; among the teams who re-tooled their rosters were the Atlanta Hawks and the Phoenix Suns, who will meet this Tuesday at PHX Arena. Which team did the most to improve their chances of beating the NBA odds? It may have been the Suns (31-14 SU, 30-15 ATS). They’ve opened as 5.5-point favorites at SBK, and with the subtle change they made, Phoenix look like they belong in your NBA picks – at least for a small sum. Let’s break down the moves both teams made and see who came out ahead.


The Torrey Party

The Suns may have pulled off the biggest steal of the trade deadline when they acquired Torrey Craig (plus-0.2 VORP) from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for cash and a trade exemption. That deal was made back on March 18, and in his five games with Phoenix, Craig has played at an All-Star level, once again showing some of the promise he did coming up with the Denver Nuggets. This is obviously a much better fit for Craig than what he had with Milwaukee. And the Suns are 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS since making the trade. The Hawks (23-23 SU, 23-22-1 ATS) waited until deadline day to make their deal, and it’s an interesting one: They sent Rajon Rondo (minus-0.1 VORP) to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Lou Williams (0.0 VORP) and a pair of second-round draft picks. Rondo wasn’t performing at a very high level in the ATL – the Clippers are gambling that they’ll see “Playoff Rondo” once the postseason rolls around. Atlanta, meanwhile, hope Williams will be rejuvenated now that he’s back in the Dirty South, although he told reporters he thought about retiring once he heard the Clippers were letting him go. I’ll call it a wash in the short term, with the Hawks doing very well to grab those draft picks and save some money, too.


Sweet Lou Redux Williams has yet to start his second tour of duty in Atlanta – he’s expected to join the team on Tuesday – so once again, Phoenix have the jump when it comes to Craig. Players need a little time to adjust to their new surroundings, although it’s normally a relatively small difference in performance level. However, it’s unclear whether Williams will actually play on Tuesday. Head coach Nate McMillan has yet to confirm or deny at press time. The Hawks have other personnel issues to worry about. Danilo Gallinari (plus-0.4 VORP) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (plus-0.1 VORP) have both been ruled out for Tuesday’s game, while Clint Capela (plus-1.3 VORP) is listed as questionable with a sore right hand. All three players had been

listed as day-to-day, so this latest news makes Phoenix look even more like the right choice in this contest – as if the most profitable team on this year’s NBA lines needed any more help.


Pick: Suns –5.5 (–116) at SBK

Trail Blazers vs. Heat NBA Preview

Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat shots. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/AFP

Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat shots. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/AFP


With the trade deadline coming up, the NBA odds might change for Thursday’s game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Miami Heat.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Miami Heat

at AmericanAirlines Arena


Will they, or won’t they? Thursday is the NBA trade deadline, and after four straight losses, the Miami Heat (22-22 SU, 18-25-1 ATS) are said to be in serious talks with the Toronto Raptors about acquiring one or both of Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell. Miami could have a very different look when they host the Portland Trail Blazers (25-18 SU, 21-22 ATS) that same evening. There’s a catch: No matter which players Miami land if any, they won’t be available for Thursday’s game – and neither will anyone they trade away. So it’s understandable that the NBA odds for this matchup are on hold at press time. However, I’m willing to float an early recommendation for the Under, based on how both teams have been playing of late.

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76ers vs. Warriors NBA Preview


Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors high fives Draymond Green #23 and Jordan Poole #3. Carmen Mandato/Getty Images/AFP

Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors high fives Draymond Green #23 and Jordan Poole #3. Carmen Mandato/Getty Images/AFP

With two superstars out, the Under could be the right NBA pick for Tuesday’s game between the Philadelphia 76ers and Golden State Warriors.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Golden State Warriors

 at Chase Center


Generally speaking, the Philadelphia 76ers (30-13 SU, 24-17-2 ATS) are doing just fine without Joel Embiid. They’ve won four of five games at 3-1-1 ATS since Embiid went on the shelf with a bone bruise in his left knee. Unfortunately, their one ATS loss was last Tuesday, when I put Philly in my NBA picks as 6-point home favorites against the New York Knicks. Final score: Knicks 96, Sixers 99. Can’t win ‘em all.

New York almost did it again on Sunday, extending the Sixers to overtime before losing 101-100 as 1-point home dogs. Maybe it’ll be safe to bet on Philadelphia now that they’re done with the Knicks; however, there are quite a few unknowns heading into this Tuesday’s tilt with the Golden State Warriors (22-21 SU, 21-22 ATS). The NBA odds are off the board at press time, presumably because Stephen Curry is day-to-day with a bruised tailbone. This just in: Curry has been ruled out for Tuesday’s game. That will definitely have some impact on the final result.

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Hornets vs. Lakers NBA Preview

The Los Angeles Lakers might have a slight edge against the NBA odds this Thursday when they host the Charlotte Hornets – but is it enough?


Charlotte Hornets vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Thursday, March 18, 2021 – 10:30 PM EDT at Staples Center


The last time we looked at the Los Angeles Lakers (27-13 SU, 20-20 ATS), I was pointing out how unimpressive they are without Anthony Davis in the lineup. They were 3-4 SU and ATS going into their March 2 matchup with the Phoenix Suns, and they lost that one too, 114-104 as 1.5-point home dogs. Too bad I picked Under 215.5 instead. So close. Then a funny thing happened: The Lakers went 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS in their next four games. Maybe L.A. supporters started panicking about Davis; maybe the NBA lines got even more skewed after Marc Gasol went on the COVID-19 list, just in time for that Suns game. Had I known Gasol wouldn’t be in the lineup, I wouldn’t have picked the Under – in fact, I’m recommending the Over for Thursday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets (20-19 SU, 21-18-1 ATS), now that PointsBet have opened it at 227.5.


Panic In Los Angeles We’re at the point in the season where so many star players are missing, it’s easy for bettors to overreact and move the NBA spreads too far in the other direction. The Lakers may have been the exception to the rule when Davis (plus-1.6 VORP) first hit the shelf – they’ve still got LeBron James (plus-3.2 VORP), after all. He’s the only player that matters for a lot of people out there. But that 3-5 SU and ATS skid may have put a scare in the marketplace, making L.A. worth betting again at a bargain price. Too bad for us the Hornets are so hot right now. True, they got spanked 129-104 by the Denver Nuggets as 6.5-point road dogs Wednesday night, and they have to make the trip to Los Angeles and play Thursday on zero days of rest. But Charlotte have otherwise performed very well of late, winning their previous four games at 3-1 ATS, and nine of their previous 14 at 8-6 ATS. Fading the Hornets as 8-point road dogs at SBK might not have enough value to be worth more than a tiny bet.


The Spanish Inquisition Which is where Gasol (plus-0.6 VORP) comes in. He’s arguably the best defender on the Lakers, but his offense isn’t what it used to be; Gasol is shooting a career-low 40.3 percent from the floor, on a career-low 2.5 attempts per 36 minutes. Damian Jones (plus-0.1 VORP in six games) hasn’t exactly lit it up since taking over as the starting center, but he’s made almost all his shots, and the Over is 3-2 without Big Spain at the 5-spot. The Hornets look like the right dance partner for this bet. They had the Over at 20-17-1 heading into Wednesday’s matchup, which went Over the posted total of 229 points. This is a young team that’s fairly average at both ends of the court, but they have some serious offensive talent in

LaMelo Ball (plus-1.2 VORP), Gordon Hayward (plus-1.2 VORP) and Terry Rozier (plus-1.2 VORP). If Charlotte have tired legs Thursday night, it will probably hurt them more on defense – and that might be enough to get the job done for us, provided Gasol misses this game as well.


Pick: Over 227.5 (–115) at PointsBet