I hope everybody had a great holiday weekend! Now it’s time to get back to work. The NBA has seven games on the slate tonight, a perfect amount to find a winning Banker and 2-team parlay.
Chicago Bulls vs Atlanta Hawks
Well, the NBA’s insistence on continuing the season is admirable in some regards, it has led to teams fielding completely noncompetitive rosters. The Atlanta Hawks are in that situation missing John Collins, Sharife Cooper, Danilo Gallinari, Kevin Huerter, DeAndre Hunter, Lou Williams, and Trae Young. This decimated roster failed to compete against the Knicks on Christmas Day, and I believe this will be the similar situation here today.
The Bulls do have a couple of covid absences missing Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso, but they are not nearly in the same terrible situation that the Hawks are. These past two years have been a learning experience for old handicappers such as myself, in navigating the new waters of the NBA. One thing I have learned however, is when these teams are completely missing all their top players, they become an easy fade. Today’s Banker is the Chicago Bulls -6.
Houston Rockets vs Charlotte Hornets
Many people like the upstart Rockets here but I’m going a different route in this game. Charlotte still has problems defending big men. Christian Wood is a strong post scorer, and the leader of the Rockets offense. Wood’s ability to score inside should allow the Rockets to keep things close, even though the Rockets are deficient on the defensive end. The books expect the shootout, posting a lofty total of 236. The shootout definitely favors the Rockets here and if this game goes over, it’s because they kept it close. I expect the Rockets to take advantage of Charlotte inability to defend inside and to use their 2 big men Christian Wood and also Alperen Sengun to keep Pace with the high-powered Hornets offense. The first half of the two-team parlay is the Houston Rockets +6.5.
Boston Celtics vs Minnesota Timberwolves
Another fairly simple handicap in this game. As in the Hawks game with the Timberwolves are definitely missing their top two players and potentially their top three players if Anthony Edwards is unable to go. Without Edwards in the lineup, the Timberwolves lineup is bereft of people who can create their own shot. Boston is coming off a disappointing Christmas Day loss and should be eager to get things back on track and to take advantage of a weakened team. Boston has multiple ways to create good looks, while the Timberwolves will struggle on offense. The second half of the two-team parlay is the Boston Celtics -9.