The number 13 is considered unlucky. There’s Friday the 13th, no 13th floor in apartment buildings, and I was 13 years old when my pimply face and I stood in front of friends and family for my Bar Mitzvah. Bad things aside, tonight’s NBA slate has 13 games, which means we have 26 teams to pick from.
Overwhelming? Yes. Daunting? Possibly. Exhilarating? Absolutely. Let’s make this article the thing that transforms 13 to a lucky number.
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Layups: The bets I really like and feel the most confident in.
Two-Pointers: The bets I like a lot and feel fairly confident in.
Three-Pointers: The bets I like but don’t feel as confident in.
Half-Court Shot: A long underdog I like to win straight-up.
Record OTY: 33-32-1
Nuggets -4 1H vs. Clippers (-110): The Nuggets have been one of the stronger first-half teams in the NBA, going 24-17 ATS in the first half this season and 7-3 in their last 10 games. They face a Clippers team coming off a game that saw both Marcus Morris and Nic Batum play over 35 minutes. Denver has been in a bit of a holding pattern all year — not playing great, but not playing awful — and I think the extra rest should help them out a bit at home against a shorthanded Clippers team.
Hornets 1H ML vs. Celtics (+120): The Hornets have been killing the first-half game recently, going 8-2 in their last 10 games. And in their last three games, the Hornets have outscored opponents by an average of 11 points. They’ve seemingly gotten into the groove of starting games off hot. On the other hand, the Celtics are one of the league’s most confusing teams. They sometimes look dominant but are 4-6 ATS in the first half over their last 10. This just seems like too good of value to pass up.
Nikola Jokic Over 47.5 Points/Reb/Ast (-110): My Doughy Son has been on a tear as of late, with two triple-doubles in a row. Going against the Clippers tonight, he’s had two full days of rest and is facing a team that he’s been averaging 17 rebounds a game against. He’s going to be feeling refreshed and ready, so let’s ride one of the NBA’s best players to have a big game.
DeMar DeRozan Over 26.5 points (-116): DeMar and the Bulls have really struggled without Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball in the lineup. DeMar has been doing all he can do to help keep them afloat but it just hasn’t worked. This is a bet on a guy who’s ready to explode at home — especially after the Bulls have recently had some really embarrassing losses on national TV.
He’s scored fewer than 25 points in his last three games, but I think this is an opportunity for him to turn a corner. The Cavs come in with a stellar first-half record, meaning the Bulls will likely be playing behind early which means they’ll turn to DeMar to bring them back and rack up the points.
Kyle Kuzma Over 9.5 rebounds (-106): The Kyle Kuzma rebound prop is thriving! We went with The Kuz last week and were rewarded, so let us go back to our Rebound King. This time, the Wizards face a mid-tier rebounding team in the Brooklyn Nets, who rank 18th in rebounds given up per game. Surprisingly, the return of Thomas Bryant hasn’t hindered Kuzma on the boards at all — he’s averaging over 12 rebounds a game in his last three. You know my hesitancy to bet over a player’s prop after they’ve been hot for a while, but with the line being under 10, I think a half-unit play is fitting.
Rockets +13.5 vs. Jazz (-110): The Jazz aren’t going to have Donovan Mitchell or Rudy Gay, so why is this number still so high? The Rockets aren’t the same Rockets from their ugly start of the season and have actually been winning some games lately. Houston is 6-5-1 ATS when they’re underdogs of 10+, while Utah has struggled when they’re heavy favorites, going a lowly 5-10-1 ATS as 10+ point favorites. Oddsmakers still seem to think that the Rockets are hopeless, so let’s take advantage.
Grizzlies ML vs. Bucks (+200): I’ll ride with one of the hottest NBA teams to pull off the upset tonight. The Bucks have been “meh” the past week, and I think the drag of the NBA season after winning a title is starting to take its toll. The Grizzlies, however, are going in the opposite direction, and they’re powered by the Ja Morant-led youth movement. This young team has been coasting to wins, and it would be dumb not to take a bit of a shot on their moneyline here.