Top Game to Bet: Magic at Nets (-9)
James Harden is questionable to make his Brooklyn Nets debut versus the Orlando Magic. The Nets open as nine-point favorites, and if Harden is playing, this spread will surely hit double digits.
Orlando was held to 97 points versus Boston on Friday night and has a quick turnaround to face Brooklyn. Interestingly enough, Orlando is 5-1 ATS in the previous six meetings with Brooklyn. In back-to-back situations, Orlando was 4-3-1 against a nine-point spread. This season, the Magic have had two situations similar to the one they find themselves in tonight.
They've played in one back-to-back against the same opponent, and the Magic won both meetings versus the Wizards. They had a back-to-back with different opponents this season, losing 132-90 to Houston and 112-98 to Dallas. The Magic have lost four consecutive games and failed to score more than 100 points in all four.
This seems like another blowout opportunity, and the Nets could use one with two six-point wins and a 13-point loss since Durant's return. KD's time as the leading scorer and facilitator is about to be over as Kyrie Irving and James Harden are likely to join within the coming games. Durant is averaging 32.0 points per game, 7.6 assists and 7.6 rebounds over the last three games.
While Orlando doesn't look worthy of betting at all, there's going to be value if James Harden decides to suit up. The Nets don't have chemistry with Harden, and once he or Durant touch the ball, everyone else might as well go rebound. The rest of the Nets are still meshing as they traded away two of their youngest talents, Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert.
The Magic only had one player total more than 30 minutes on Friday (Khem Birch), and that's great news for Orlando here. They're going to be semi-refreshed and won't be fatigued as a team is typically on a back-to-back. Five different players had more than 10 points for the Magic, and if Aaron Gordon receives more time at point guard, Orlando could be a solid play despite not having much going for them.
If James Harden does play, the Under is worth a look. Orlando is really struggling to score, failing to go over 100 points in their last four overall and 108 or less in eight straight games. The Under has hit in six of the last eight for Orlando while Brooklyn has been an over factor cashing in seven consecutive. One of these trends have to give and whether or not Harden plays impacts that greatly. Without Harden, I lean the Over, while with him I like the Under. It's going to take some time to adjust, but it'll be interesting to see if Harden plays. If he does and this spread grows past double-digits, I'm going to try and get it around +12-range.
For Harden props, you should expect his points in the 24.5 range if I had to guess. For his rebounds and assists, they'll likely be 5.5 or 6.5, both solid marks considering all the production Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert leave behind. If Harden's point total is Under 25, it's worth a look. If the Nets give Durant the night off and let Harden have it his way, we're 100% playing his point total or rebounds.
Orlando allows the seventh-most fantasy points per game to shooting guards (45.16), which correlates to betting because it lets us know they surrender points, rebounds and assists at a higher rate to that position. Orlando allows the sixth-most points per game to shooting guards (25.13) and the fourth-most rebounds (7.41). They're solid against assists but we all know Harden isn't here to pass the ball, especially not in his debut.
Trends to Note:
The Magic are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.
The Magic are 13-6-1 ATS in their last 20 road games.
The Magic are 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall.
The Over is 7-0 in Nets' last seven overall.
The Under is 6-1-1 in Magic's last eight overall.
Bet Locked In: Magic +10 (1u) if Harden plays - would play down to +9
Top Team to Fade: Houston Rockets
They did it! They won without James Harden, and Christian Wood was an animal in doing so. Again, Houston will be without John Wall, Daniel House, potentially Eric Gordon for the second straight game, and this time DeMarcus Cousins is questionable.
Not only should the Spurs win this game, but they should also do it handily with a healthy and likely embarrassed roster. On TNT, the Harden-less Rockets put their best foot forward and came together collectively as a group, and it was apparent. However, I rarely ever bet a team back-to-back to win a game against the same opponent and can't here. The Spurs are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following up an ATS loss, qualifying here. Houston's struggles in San Antonio also relate to the road in general.
Houston is 2-2 ATS on the road this year, but 3-8 in their last 11 road games. San Antonio is a trustworthy money line parlay piece tonight, especially with all the College Basketball on. It's Spurs or nothing on the game pick, but again, Christian Wood is the guy.
Wood recorded 27 points and 15 rebounds in 35 minutes. He attempted 18 shots, making 10 (55.6%) and doing his best Harden impersonation, hitting five three-pointers on seven attempts (71.4%). His line won't be released until an hour or so before tip because of injury reports but check back on Twitter when they do. I would go the Over up to 24.5 for points, 10.5 for rebounds and 1.5 for made three-pointers – all up to 1u.
Trends to Note:
The Spurs are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following an ATS loss.
Rockets are 1-3-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
The Under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings in San Antonio.
The Rockets are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games overall.
The Rockets are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 road games.
Bets Locked In: Awaiting Christian Wood Props, Spurs ML for parlays.
Saturday Betting Notes
Hawks at Blazers: Hawks +4
The Hawks played one back-to-back this season, and the final score was 96-91 in favor of the Cavs. The Hawks have now posted seven consecutive Under game totals after their 116-92 loss to the Jazz. In Portland, the Under has cashed eight of the last 11 meetings, an intriguing sign.
Overall, Portland struggles ATS at home. As home favorites, they are 1-4 in their last five, and at home in general, they are 1-7 ATS in the previous eight. Atlanta is strong on the road going 4-1 ATS in their last five away but only 1-4 ATS in their previous five games on no days of rest.
Trae Young threw up another dud in his last outing scoring four points on one-for-11 shooting (9.1%). Instead of focusing on his comeback, Clint Capela is a solid player to look at for props. He recorded 16 points and 11 rebounds in last night's game, and he's had 11 or more rebounds in eight-straight. Jusuf Nurkic is out for Portland, so the opportunity for Capela to have 12 or 13-plus boards is likely. His prop opened at 11.5 rebounds for +110, and I had to play that.
Bet Locked In: Clint Capela Over 11.5 Rebounds (1u)
Hornets at Raptors: Hornets +8
Toronto escaped with a three-point victory on Thursday versus Charlotte, but the Hornets covered, and that's what really matters. I chickened out last minute due to Gordon Hayward's status but waiting until game time for NBA bets became necessary. For this matchup, Hayward is listed as questionable, and his status matters.
Regardless of the win, Toronto is still not good enough to lay points with most teams, and the Hornets are one of them. Charlotte is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings and 17-7 overall when Toronto is home, counting this past meeting. LaMelo Ball recorded 14 points, 11 assists and six rebounds in the previous meeting with the Raptors. He's a player worth looking at for props, as well as Toronto's Chris Boucher. He started the second half versus Charlotte and finished the game with 25 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Both players should see more time in this matchup, and Boucher will be a hot commodity sooner than later.
76ers at Grizzlies: Grizzlies +3
This is a stay-away game for me, but if I was picking a side, there's no way I'm trusting the 76ers on the road. Last season they were putrid, 12-26 away from Philly. The 76ers are 2-3 with two straight road losses to start the season, and they are without Joel Embiid in this matchup.
Ja Morant is rumored to be coming back sooner than expected, and whether or not he plays, Memphis seems like the safer play. The Under is 4-1 in 76ers last five road games. That's because they are only scoring 104.4 points per on the road (27th), and without Embiid, that trend could definitely continue.
I would look Jonas Valanciunas way for props. Versus Dwight Howard, Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons, Valanciunas should feast down low and likely record a second straight double-double and ninth season. He's coming off a 24-point and 16-rebound performance in his previous game versus Karl-Anthony Towns and the Timberwolves, an impressive performance likely to roll over into this contest.