After a slow night last night, the NBA returns with a 12-game slate. After looking through the long list of NBA odds, I have found the winning Banker and 2 team parlay.
Chicago Bulls vs. Phoenix Suns
This is a very similar handicap to when we took the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. This is a tired Bulls team that just wants to get home. The Bulls are 2-7 in the last nine games. The Bulls desperately miss Lonzo Ball’s defense at the point of attack. Alex Caruso has returned, and he helps the defense greatly. Yet they really need the tandem of Ball and Caruso to return to the level where they were defensively earlier this season. DeMar DeRozan has been carrying this team, but how long can the older star keep it up? Zach LaVine is not one hundred percent from the knee injury he suffered but is fighting through to finish the season.
Phoenix has beat the Bulls four straight times. Phoenix is currently in first place at 56-14. The Bulls have fallen to fifth place with this losing streak. The Bulls need to get the win to fend off the charging Toronto Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets, but they face a tough task tonight against arguably the best team in the league.
I like Phoenix to get the win here tonight and cover the NBA odds. Phoenix’s commitment to detail on the defensive end is so much higher than Chicago’s. Phoenix has the star scorers to keep pace with Chicago’s high-powered offense. Devin Booker can match DeRozan in half-court sets. Deandre Ayton should have his way with Nikola Vucevic in the middle. Plus, we have the fatigue factor with the Bulls on a west coast road trip. Today’s Banker is the Phoenix Suns -6.
Los Angeles Clippers vs Utah Jazz
It might be the end of the road here for the plucky Clippers. Ty Lue and his merry band of role players have done well to exceed expectations through all the injuries this season, but it might finally be catching up to them. The Clippers are 2-3 in their last five and their only wins are over the lottery-bound Pistons and Wizards. They lost by 6 to the Hawks, 9 to the Cavaliers, and by 3 to the Raptors at home. The Clippers are pretty much locked in the eighth position in the West. They will look for a nice playoff performance but are essentially looking forward to next season when they get Kawhi Leonard and Paul George back.
The Utah Jazz are the always overlooked winning team. At 43-26, the Jazz are never mentioned among the contenders in the West. The Jazz have shown that they can win regular-season games, however, especially at home. Utah has been impressively formidable at home going 25-11 on the year. The Jazz have a point differential +6.3. I will take the Jazz here to continue to try and make a statement that they are being overlooked as true contenders in the West. The first half of the two-team parlay is the Utah Jazz – 6.
Boston Celtics vs Sacramento Kings
Ugh, I’m just going to have to hold my nose and play the Kings here. They’re catching 9.5 at home. Of course, it is the Boston Celtics who are coming off a 22 point win over the Warriors. It will be interesting though, as it’s quite common for NBA teams to look past the lowly Kings.
Boston also dealt the Sacramento Kings their worst loss of the year, a 53 point loss in Boston in January. The Kings did not have Domantas Sabonis then. Sabonis has traditionally played well against the Celtics. The Kings know their season is over, but let’s see if they give one effort for the home crowd tonight to try and at least instill some faith in this roster for next season (I don’t have any faith in the roster, but maybe they can try and show us something). Regardless, I know this isn’t the most ringing endorsement…but my numbers say this line is too high. The second half of the 2 team parlay is Sacramento Kings +9.5.