Sacramento Kings (-150)/Chicago Bulls (+130)
The Chicago Bulls have been slowing the pace down this season, ranking 19th in the NBA in pace thus far. They will be forced to play at a faster pace tonight, though, as the Sacramento Kings rank second in the league in pace through 25 games. Chicago’s biggest struggles this season have been offensively, but they recently saw Lauri Markkanen return to the court, while Bobby Portis and Kris Dunn are practicing and could return tonight. If they don’t return, Sacramento ranks only 21st in the NBA in defensive rating, while allowing 118.5 points per game on the road. Furthermore, the Kings have found plenty of offensive success, averaging 118.3 points per game on the road, while Chicago ranks only 23rd in the NBA in defensive rating. If Dunn and Portis are announced active, this total will likely increase even more. This will be a fast paced game featuring two of the worst defenses in the NBA, suggesting it could quickly become a shootout with easy scores.
Bet 3 units on Sacramento/Chicago OVER 226 to win 2.7 units (-110)
Oklahoma City Thunder (-225)
The Utah Jazz have found some success on the road this season, but is based around the success the Oklahoma City Thunder have found at home. Oklahoma City features a 9-3 home record with a +8.7 per game point differential. They have also been playing at a significantly higher level recently after struggling to start the season. Since November 1st, they feature a 14-4 record. The Jazz own a 9-8 road record this season, but they also feature a -1.0 per game point differential in those games. Furthermore, they performed well early this season, while recording a 9-11 record since the start of November. The Thunder lead the NBA in defensive rating this season, while ranking as a slightly below average offense. Overall, they rank higher than Utah in both offensive and defensive rating, and they will have the home court advantage in this game.
Bet 3 units on Oklahoma City -6 spread to win 2.7 units (-110)
Los Angeles Lakers (-315)
The Los Angeles Lakers got off to a rocky start this season, but own a 13-5 record since November 1st, including a 3-1 record in December. They also own a 10-4 record at home, where they feature a +3.7 per game point differential this season. That point differential has skyrocketed to +10.5 per game in December. While that is an extremely small sample size, it suggests they have the ability to blowout teams, even without Brandon Ingram in the lineup. The Miami Heat have played surprisingly well on the road this season, although they still only feature a 6-5 record. I simply don’t believe Miami features the defense without Hassan Whiteside in the lineup to keep this game close. Furthermore, Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson are questionable tonight. Los Angeles has the offense to exploit the holes in the Miami defense, and Miami simply won’t be able to keep up with this matchup in LA.
Bet 2 units on Los Angeles -8 spread to win 1.8 units (-110)
Parlay 2 units on Utah/Oklahoma City OVER 219, Los Angeles/Phoenix OVER 221.5, and Denver -2 spread to win 12 units (+600)