Editor’s Note: Column initially posted 2/17/21, updated on 2/18/21 to reflect Wednesday’s results to hot streaks for Utah, Portland and the ‘over’ for the Pelicans and Hawks.
Ahead of tonight’s 10-game slate, let’s take a look at some notes, nuggets and more.
–-Utah, a 3.5-point road favorite tonight against the Clippers at Staples Center, is on fire and then some (and then some more!). In the last 21 games dating back to a 131-118 win at Milwaukee on Jan. 8, the Jazz have compiled a 20-1 straight-up record and an 19-2 against-the-spread mark. Quin Snyder‘s club isn’t just beating teams, it’s dealing out pimpslaps on a near-nightly basis. In fact, 18 of the team’s 20 wins have come by double-digit margins. Mike Conley remains ‘out’ for the Jazz.
—Paul George and Nicolas Batum are ‘out’ tonight for the Clippers, who are 10-5 SU and 7-8 ATS in 15 home games. Kawhi Leonard is listed as ‘questionable’ after missing back-to-back games with a leg contusion.
–The ‘over’ has hit in seven straight games for the Pelicans and is on a 15-2 run in their last 17 contests. They’re in a back-to-back spot tonight as four-point home favorites vs. Portland. The total is 236.5 points. Even without Zach Collins, Jusuf Nurkic and CJ McCollum, the Trail Blazers have won seven games in a row both SU and ATS and they’re 10-5 SU and 11-4 ATS in 15 road assignments (after Wednesday’s 126-124 win at New Orleans). They’ve seen the ‘over’ hit at a 11-4 clip in their last 15 outings. New Orleans has won three straight home games both SU and ATS. Stan Van Gundy‘s team returns home after going 1-3 both SU and ATS during a four-game road swing. The Pelicans ended the trip on the right foot with a 144-113 win last night at Memphis.
–The ‘over’ has cashed at a frenetic 21-3 clip for Brooklyn in its last 24 games.
—Oklahoma City owns an 11-3 spread record in 14 road assignments. The Thunder is getting Shai Gilgeous-Alexander back from a knee injury tonight at Memphis. He has missed the Thunder’s last four games. The third-year guard out of Kentucky is averaging 22.6 points, 6.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game. Al Horford is ‘out’ (rest) tonight, though. Like the Grizzlies, OKC is in a back-to-back spot after losing a 115-104 decision vs. Portland last night as a 5.5-point home underdog. The non-cover ended a 4-0 ATS surge for the Thunder.
—Denver is going to be without Will Barton (11.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG & 3.2 APG) and Paul Millsap (10.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG) tonight at Washington. Monte Morris (10.9 PPG) and Gary Harris (10.1 PPG) are listed as ‘questionable.’
—Boston is a two-point home favorite tonight vs. Atlanta. Already down Marcus Smart and Romeo Langford, the Celtics will also be without Kemba Walker and Daniel Theis. They’re 7-4 SU and 8-3 ATS in 11 home games, while the Hawks are 5-7 SU and 7-5 ATS. Atlanta will be without head coach Lloyd Pierce for the next two games while he’s with his wife for the birth of their baby. Since losing De’Andre Hunter to a knee injury that’ll keep him out until late March, the Hawks are an abysmal 1-7 SU and 2-6 ATS. They’ve dropped four straight games with the last three defeats coming by double-digit margins. The ‘over’ has been a winner in six consecutive Atlanta games and seven of its last eight (after Wednesday’s game went ‘over’ in ATL’s 122-114 win). On the flip side, the ‘under’ has cashed in three straight for Boston.
–Break up the Knicks, who take a three-game winning streak into Orlando tonight as four-point road favorites. They’ve covered the number in four consecutive games and six of their last seven. New York is No. 1 in the NBA in scoring defense (103.6 points per game), field-goal percentage defense (43.0%) and at defending the 3-point line (31.5%). Orlando won’t have Aaron Gordon or Cole Anthony, but Evan Fournier has been upgraded from ‘questionable’ and will be in the starting lineup.
—Cleveland has lost 10 of its last 11 games and is mired in an atrocious 0-11 ATS slump. The Cavaliers are also sitting Andre Drummond until they can figured out whether or not to trade him or work on buying out his contract. Ditto for the Detroit Pistons and Blake Griffin. The Cavs are off tonight and tomorrow before hosting Denver on Friday night.
—My NBA picks were on a 13-0 run until Brooklyn rallied from a 24-point deficit to backdoor Phoenix backers (and win outright) last night. Unfortunately, my NBA selections to start the season were atrocious, so the recent surge still has me only one game over .500. You can find my NBA picks for tonight right here.
—Follow our MajorWager twitter account for non-stop sports gambling conversation, results, injury updates, line moves and more.
–Finally, don’t miss out on Blake Von Hagen’s preview for tonight’s critical MWC showdown between Boise St. and Utah St. at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on the CBS Sports Network.