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Another week is here in the NBA, and we will kick things off with a short slate which promise to pack a real punch. I’ve got a couple of ways to get in on the fun and will get to them now.
Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets (+4) Total: 217
The Brooklyn Nets have had a simply miserable month. Not only did their prized acquisition from a year ago grow upset with the team and leave town, the play on the court did little to inspire. The Nets ranked second-worst in defensive efficiency all month, doing little else on the other end of the floor an ranking 21st.
I realize things haven’t been going too well for the Raptors, either, seeing as they’ve lost four of the last five. It’s important to remember those games were against Denver, New Orleans, Charlotte and Atlanta — all of which are quality opponents. The defensive numbers remain solid for Toronto, which should easily be able to suffocate the Nets’ weakened offense and take control of this game, slowing down the pace.
I do like the Raptors quite a bit here as the far more talented side, even if Fred VanVleet winds up missing the game. I have such little faith in Brooklyn’s offense that I’ll grab the under here as well.
Edge: Raptors -4, Under 217
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Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (+3.5) Total: 218.5
The Timberwolves looked like they were beginning to come back down to Earth over the weekend. They had a miserable time against the new-look Sixers, struggling to score the ball on a strong defense, and things won’t get much easier here against one of the best defensive units in all of basketball.
With that being said, the Cavaliers will still be without Caris LeVert, Darius Garland, Rajon Rondo and Collin Sexton here, opening the door a bit for this talented backcourt to go to work. I recognize this isn’t going to be the easiest matchup for Karl-Anthony Towns and some of the bigs on Minnesota, but Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell should have a great deal of fun against the likes of Lamar Stevens and Brandon Goodwin.
On top of all this, Minnesota will be getting Mailk Beasley back, which should further bolster its advantage in the backcourt. Refuse to take the bait here and back Minnesota.
Edge: Timberwolves -3.5
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