Updated on Tuesday, 5/4/21, at 2:03 p.m. Eastern.
Gamblers have a seven-game NBA slate on tap tonight. Let’s get you ready for those bets and ballgames with some injury intel, standings updates and other tidbits.
–After Milwaukee beat Brooklyn 117-114 on Sunday afternoon as a 2.5-point home ‘chalk,’ these Eastern Conference powers will go at it again tonight. As of early this afternoon, most betting shops had the Bucks listed as two-point home favorites with a total of 242. The ‘under’ has cashed in five of the last six games for the Bucks, who are 5-2 both straight up and against the spread in their last seven games since losing 128-127 to Phoenix in overtime on April 19. The ‘under’ is on a 5-2 run for the Nets, who have dropped back-to-back games both SU and ATS since a four-game winning streak both SU and ATS. Brooklyn is one game behind Philadelphia for the top spot in the East, but the Bucks can pull to within 1.5 games of the Nets for the No. 2 seed with a victory tonight.
–Phoenix goes into tonight’s game at Cleveland only one-half game back of Utah for the NBA’s best record and the No. 1 seed in the West. As of early this afternoon, most spots had the Suns as 12.5 or 13-point road favorites. They’ll be seeking their fifth straight victory. The ‘over’ is on a 14-5 run for Phoenix. The Cavaliers have lost six consecutive games both SU and ATS, and they’re mired in a 1-9 skid both SU and ATS. Cleveland’s Darius Garland, who averages 17.7 points, 6.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game, is ‘out’ with an ankle injury. Jae Crowder (9.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG) is ‘out’ for the Suns and Cameron Payne (7.6 PPG, 3.5 APG) is listed as ‘questionable.’
–Charlotte is going to be without six key players tonight at Detroit. Gordon Hayward (19.6 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.2 SPG), Devonte Graham (14.5 PPG, 5.4 APG), PJ Washington (12.8 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.3 BPG, 1.0 SPG), Miles Bridges (12.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG), Caleb Martin (4.8 PPG) and Cody Martin (4.0 PPG) will all be in street clothes. Hayward has been out since April 2 and news broke this morning that Bridges will miss the next 10-14 days due to health and safety protocols. The Hornets, who are listed as three-point road favorites, are currently No. 8 in the East with a one-game cushion ahead of the Pacers.
–Detroit has lost six of its last seven games while going 2-5 ATS. The Pistons have been tanking by constantly resting veteran players like Jerami Grant (22.5 PPG), Wayne Ellington (9.6 PPG) and Cory Joseph (8.0 PPG). That entire trio is listed as ‘questionable’ tonight.
UPDATE: Joseph, Grant, Ellington, Mason Plumlee (10.3 PPG, 9.3 RPG) and Josh Jackson (13.4 PPG) are ‘out’ tonight for the Pistons.
–Golden State and New Orleans are going to run it back in The Big Easy tonight. The Warriors won a 123-108 decision over the Pelicans last night as 1.5-point road underdogs. The 231 combined points dropped ‘under’ the 236.5-point total. Steph Curry was the catalyst with 41 points, eight assists and four rebounds, while Andrew Wiggins finished with 26 points and a pair of blocked shots. As of early this afternoon, most books had New Orleans installed as a two-point favorite with a total of 235. Golden St.’s Kelly Oubre, who averages 15.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game, is ‘questionable’ with a wrist injury that’s had him sidelined for the last three games.
–The ‘under’ is on a 5-1 run for the Pelicans, who had been cashing ‘overs’ at a frenetic pace since the sixth game of their season (the ‘under’ started 5-0 for them). Nevertheless, they still have the NBA’s best overall record for the ‘over’ at 40-25. New Orleans starting center Steven Adams (7.7 PPG, 8.9 RPG) has missed three consecutive contests with a toe injury, and the Aussie is listed as ‘questionable’ tonight. Lonzo Ball is also ‘questionable.’ The Pelicans are 2.5 games behind San Antonio for the 10th seed in the West and a spot in the NBA’s play-in tournament to qualify for the postseason. Meanwhile, Golden St. currently holds the No. 8 seed and is one-half game in front of Memphis.
–Speaking of the Grizzlies, they lost a 118-104 decision to the Knicks as 3.5-point home favorites last night. New York improved to 15-1 ATS in its last 16 games even though it was a back-to-back spot and starting center Nerlens Noel was ‘out.’ The Knicks own the NBA’s best ATS ledger at 42-22-1 (!). They return to the court Wednesday night at Denver.
—The next-best ‘over’ teams behind the Pelicans in The Association are the Pacers (39-24-1), Nets (37-28), Bucks (36-27-1) and Suns (35-29). On the flip side, the NBA’s top ‘under’ squads are the Lakers (40-25), Warriors (39-26), Mavericks (36-28), Hornets (35-28-1) and Rockets (36-28-1).
—Behind the Knicks, the next-best ATS teams are Phoenix (39-24-1 ATS), Memphis (39-25), Washington (37-28) and Utah (36-28).
—The worst ATS records belong to Houston (22-43), Cleveland (24-40), Indiana (26-38), Toronto (29-36), Oklahoma City (29-35-1) and the Lakers (29-35-1).
–Atlanta won its sixth straight home game both SU and ATS by capturing a 123-114 triumph over Portland as a 2.5-point ‘chalk’ last night. The Hawks ended a four-game winning streak for the Trail Blazers. Nate McMillan‘s club is 14-2 both SU and ATS in its last 16 home games. The Hawks are as healthy as they’ve been in a long time. They’re still without Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter, and neither player’s return appears imminent. Atlanta is 1.5 games back of the Knicks for the fourth seed, and we should note that New York owns the tiebreaker over the Hawks. McMillan’s bunch is one-half game ahead of the Heat for the No. 5 seed and 1.5 games in front of the Celtics. The Hawks own the tiebreaker over both Miami and Boston. They host Phoenix tomorrow night when the Suns will be in a back-to-back situation.
–Washington is going to be a problem in the play-in tournament. The Wizards are absolutely on fire. I hope you tailed me with them last night for another winner. They’ve won 13 of their last 16 games with nine of those 13 victories coming by margins of nine points or more. The Wizards are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 outings.
–The ‘under’ has been a winner in five consecutive games for the Clippers and seven of their last eight. They host Toronto tonight as 9.5-point home ‘chalk.’ Patrick Beverley and Serge Ibaka remain ‘out’ for L.A., but it is otherwise healthy. OG Anunoby (15.9 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.5 SPG) and Gary Trent Jr. (15.2 PPG) are ‘doubtful’ for the Raptors, while Chris Boucher (13.6 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 1.9 BPG) is ‘out’ and Fred VanVleet (19.4 PPG, 6.2 APG, 4.2 RPG, 1.7 SPG) is ‘questionable.’
UPDATE: L.A.’s Beverley has been upgraded to ‘questionable’ tonight vs. Toronto, while Anunoby is ‘out’‘ for the Raptors.
–Dallas, a 3.5-point road underdog tonight at Miami, has won six of its last eight games. Kristaps Porzingis (20.2 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 1.4 BPG) is ‘doubtful’ and Maxi Kleber (7.2 PPG, 5.2 RPG) is ‘questionable.’ The Mavericks are 19-13 SU and 18-14 ATS in 32 road assignments this year, while the Heat are 19-14 SU and 13-18-2 ATS at home. Miami has won three straight games while going 2-0-1 ATS, and it has seen the ‘over’ cash in six consecutive contests.
–Sacramento remains without De’Aaron Fox, its leader in scoring (25.2 PPG), assists (7.2 APG) and steals (1.5 SPG). Tyrese Haliburton (13.0 PPG, 5.3 APG, 1.3 SPG) is also ‘out’ tonight at Oklahoma City, while Harrison Barnes (16.7 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.3 APG) is ‘doubtful’ and Chimezie Metu (5.3 PPG) is ‘questionable.’ The Kings, who are five-point road favorites to the Thunder, have won the first two games of this road trip at Dallas and over the Lakers at Staples Center. They’ve won four of their last six contests and 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine outings. OKC was just about an automatic fade team for most of April, but it has a decent 4-4 spread record in its last eight games.
–Boston’s Jaylen Brown (ankle) has already been declared ‘out’ of Wednesday’s game at Orlando, but Kemba Walker is poised to return from an oblique injury. Tristan Thompson is listed as ‘questionable.’
–I’m on a 5-0 run in the NBA over the past four days, cashing with the Hawks and Wizards last night by beating the closing lines by 18 combined points. Since Feb. 9, my NBA picks are on a 91-52-2 run (63.6%, +34.09 Units or +$3,409 if playing each game for $100). My NBA picks are monitored at this link over at VegasInsider.