Wednesday free basketball betting tips
NBA wagering comparisons
By Dan Favale
This line isn’t as easy to decipher as it looks. The Cleveland Cavaliers are noticeably better than the mediocre Indiana Pacers on paper, but they’re banged up. Iman Shumpert won’t be ready to rock after sustaining an ankle injury in a win over the Washington Wizards on Monday night, and they’re still without J.R. Smith.
The Pacers are also a nightmare to play at home. They hold serve at Bankers Life Fieldhouse as well as anyone.
Potential rest days stand to complicate matters. We don’t yet know if Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue will sit Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love. But we know LeBron James is going to play. And unless that changes, it doesn’t make sense to invest your money in the Pacers.
The Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers (-3.5)
It’s foolish to bet against the San Antonio Spurs knowing that they are working off an abysmal loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night. Though head coach Gregg Popovich can, as always, call an audible before tip-off, Pau Gasol is the only Spur listed on the injury report.
That means Kawhi Leonard will play, and that’s a problem for a Philadelphia 76ers squad that has fallen back down to earth in the wake of Joel Embiid’s latest injury. He is a no-go for at least the next two games, and while Nerlens Noel has played admirably on the defensive end, he doesn’t provide the offensive juice necessary to contend with a close to full-strength Spurs contingent.
The Pick: San Antonio Spurs (-11)
It’s true that the Toronto Raptors are laboring through a tough stretch. It’s also true that they’re not going to lose this game.
Patrick Patterson’s status is still up in the air as he recovers from a knee injury, and that matters. He is sneaky-valuable to what the Raptors do on both ends of the floor. But DeMar DeRozan is back in the fold, and it doesn’t seem as if head coach Dwane Casey will be giving a rest day to Kyle Lowry.
The Minnesota Timberwolves, meanwhile, are still trying to figure out how to play without Zach LaVine, who is done for the season after suffering a torn ACL. Kris Dunn is the no-brainer option to soak up his playing time, but he’s dealing with a hand injury of his own.
Expect the Raptors to grab a strong hold on the outcome of this game early, and then never look back.
The Pick: Toronto Raptors (-3.5)
Jump on this line whilst you can.
The Los Angeles Clippers aren’t nearly as good without star point guard Chris Paul running the show, but the New York Knicks are an absolute crap show. That’s not about to change now without any roster turnover—particularly when team president Phil Jackson lobbed yet another public shot at star forward Carmelo Anthony on Tuesday afternoon.
Blake Griffin is still working through some rust for the Clippers, but the Knicks don’t have the defenders to slow a half-hobbled Griffin anyway. Unless Los Angeles’ head honcho, Doc Rivers, surprises us with rest nights for DeAndre Jordan, J.J. Redick or Griffin, take the Clippers running away here.
The Pick: Los Angeles Clippers (-1.5)
There are two reasons why you shouldn’t think twice about betting against the Golden State Warriors in this one.
First, Jimmy Butler is dealing with a heel injury. He’s missed each of the Chicago Bulls’ last two games, and there’s a good chance he isn’t ready to play tonight.
Second, and most importantly, the Bulls cannot shoot threes. They rank dead last in both long-ball attempts and percentage, so they’re not making the triples they take. Pitting them against the NBA’s sweetest shooting team is not going to end well.
The Pick: Golden State Warriors (-14)