It has been an incredible past couple of weeks now as our profit for the season has now ballooned all the way to +18.82 going 98-76-6 thus far. We have a gigantic slate full of matchups that aren’t particularly close in the eyes of the books with the majority of spreads landing at 6.5 or larger. Still, we’ll find our way in to a number of matchups that I like, so follow along below as I break down a few of my favorites and provide some additional plays. As always, be sure to follow me on twitter (@RickHHSports) and subscribe here to ensure you receive the latest news on players and plays as the NBA announces the active and inactive players. Lets get right into it!
Washington Wizards @ Atlanta Hawks (7:30 ET)
Spread: Hawks -7
The Atlanta Hawks might have picked up their Kevin Heurter replacement at the trade deadline in Saddiq Bey, and the Hawks have admittedly been better lately going 6-4 over their last 10 games and ranking 8th in net efficiency, but wholesale changes have not been made and this Hawks team still struggles defensively and leverages their size to beat teams on the glass for their advantages. Welcome the Wizards who while they don’t have Kristaps Porzingis tonight, have plenty of size across both their starters and backups to keep aggressive on the glass.
Kyle Kuzma and Bradley Beal will wield much of the scoring workload for the Wizards without Morris or Kristaps with Deni Avdija and Delon Wright pitching in, but it will be mainly their two stars scoring. The Wizards are coming off a loss in Chicago where they only managed 82 points using primarily just their starters. That won’t get it done against a strong starting lineup in Atlanta at all five positions, especially with the Hawks able to rotate in Saddiq Bey, Onyeka Okongwu, and Bogdan Bogdanovic. The Hawks are heavy favorites against a respectable team which gives me pause, but their advantage down low and with depth should see them past the Wizards who have struggled offensively.
Pick: Hawks -7 -110 (1.5u)
Chicago Bulls @ Toronto Raptors (7:30 ET)
Spread: Raptors -5
Toronto and Chicago are playing very different brands of basketball and neither match up with their records. The Raptors are 7-3 over their last 10 but rank 18th in net efficiency. The Bulls are 4-6 over their last 10 games but sit 4th in the NBA in net efficiency? So where have both teams been good and where are they lacking?
Well, it’s fairly straight forward. Both Toronto and Chicago rank in the bottom third in offensive efficiency, shooting the ball even worse. At least for Toronto they can hang their hat on not turning the ball over, but the Bulls cannot. Where both teams have been phenomenal though is on the defensive end. Chicago ranks 2nd in defense recently while the Raptors sit 9th and both teams operate with some of the slower paces in the NBA.
Much like with the Hawks it’s hard to bet on a team who is a heavy-ish favorite against a similar quality team, but with the addition of Jacob Poeltl they have a true center, opening up Pascal Siakam at the 4 and Scottie Barnes as a true playmaking small forward. With the added depth down low expect better defensive matchups for the Raptors and for them to win and the game to go under.