As of early this afternoon, most books had the Los Angeles Clippers (31-13 straight up, 24-20 against the spread) installed as 3.5-point favorites for tonight’s game at Atlanta.
Why such a short number? Well, Patrick Beverley and Kawhi Leonard have been ruled ‘out’ for Doc Rivers’s club. Also, Paul George is ‘out’ for the seventh straight game due to a hamstring injury.
Leonard scored 36 points in last night’s win at Dallas. Beverley left the game with a groin injury and didn’t return.
Atlanta might be without second-year star guard Trae Young, who is ‘questionable’ with a bruised thigh. Young is averaging 29.2 points, 8.6 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game for the Hawks, who are 12-9 ATS in 21 home games.
Atlanta reserve DeAndre’ Bembry is ‘out’ (personal) and Alex Len is ‘questionable’ (back).
Boston, a seven-point home favorite tonight vs. Memphis, will be without Jaylen Brown, who is ‘out’ with an ankle injury. The Celtics are 17-5 SU and 12-9-1 ATS at home. The Grizzlies saw their seven-game winning streak snapped Monday in a home loss to New Orleans.
The total for Memphis at Boston is 232 points at most spots. That’s the highest total of the season for the Celtics, who have seen the ‘over’ cash in four consecutive contests.
Speaking of the Pelicans, they get Zion Williamson back from a knee injury for tonight’s home game vs. San Antonio. New Orleans is a 3.5-point home favorite.
Derrick Favors and Jahlil Okafor have been upgraded to ‘probable’ for the Pelicans, but Josh Hart remains a question mark and JJ Redick has been downgraded to ‘questionable.’
Jrue Holiday returned from an elbow injury in Monday’s win at Memphis, producing 36 points and six rebounds. Favors and Okafor didn’t play at Memphis, but Redick did and scored 10 points.
The ‘over’ has hit in 11 consecutive games for New Orleans.
Denver will remain short-handed as an 8.5-point underdog tonight at Houston. Paul Millsap, Jamal Murray and Mason Plumlee are ‘out’ and Gary Harris is ‘doubtful.’ There’s reportedly no timetable on the returns for Millsap and Murray.
The Rockets have lost four games in a row both SU and ATS. They could be without Austin Rivers, who is ‘questionable’ tonight due to a thumb injury.
Oklahoma City has been an incredible money maker in 21 road assignments, compiling a 16-5 spread record. The Thunder is a 1.5-point underdog tonight at Orlando.
OKC’s Terrance Ferguson and Abel Nader are ‘out,’ while Steven Adams (ankle) and Nerlens Noel (ankle) are listed as ‘questionable.’
Miami (30-13 SU, 25-16-2 ATS) has won 19 of its 20 home games, posting a stellar 15-4-1 ATS record. The Heat are a 10-point home ‘chalk’ tonight vs. Washington.
Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic are ‘probable,’ but Duncan Robinson is ‘questionable’ due to ankle injury. Robinson is averaging 11.8 PPG and shooting at a 42.6 percent clip from 3-point land.
Detroit guard Reggie Jackson is poised to make his return tonight, although he’ll be on a minutes restriction. Jackson, who averaged 15.4 PPG for the Pistons last year, injured his back in his team’s second game on Oct. 24 and hasn’t played since then.
Detroit is hosting Sacramento as a one-point home favorite. Tim Frazier (flu) is ‘out’ for the Pistons and Andre Drummond (mouth) is listed as ‘questionable.’ Drummond averages 17.3 points, 15.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocked shots per game.
The Kings were one-point favorites earlier this afternoon, but the number moved to two points when news broke that Marvin Bagley would miss tonight’s game due to a foot injury.
Bagley averages 14.2 points and 7.5 RPG. Kent Bazemore will make his Sacramento debut tonight after being acquired in a trade with Portland earlier in the week.
The Knicks, who are 11.5-point home underdogs vs. the Lakers tonight, might not have Marcus Morris or Dennis Smith Jr. Both are listed as ‘questionable,’ while rookie first-round pick R.J. Barrett remains ‘out.’
Morris is averaging a team-best 19.0 PPG.
During its loss last night to the Clippers, Dallas forward Dwight Powell sustained what appeared to be a season-ending Achilles tear. That diagnosis isn’t official yet, but it’s expected to be after results of an MRI come back.
Powell was enjoying a breakout campaign, averaging 9.4 points and 5.7 RPG while shooting at a 63.8 percent clip from the field.