Los Angeles Lakers @ Indiana Pacers
It’s Lebron James’s second game back since he injured his groin on Christmas day. He was in action last Thursday against the Clippers, but took Saturday’s game off against the Warriors. It is no secret this team is infinity better with James on the court. When James is in the game, the pace of play, points per game, and assist per game all rise. The Pacers are 2-4 since Victor Oladipo went down for the season with a knee injury and have dropped in offensive and defensive efficiency. The Lakers are 4th in total rebounding, while Indiana ranks 24th. If the Lakers can control the glass, which they should be able to, the Lakers should run the score up and take this one. Lebron will look to take over early and avoid playing 40 minutes like he did against the Clippers.
Spread: Lakers -2.5
O/U: Under 217.5
Orlando Magic @ Oklahoma City Thunder
These two teams played one week ago in Orlando where the Thunder defeated the Magic 126-117. At home the Thunder are a very dangerous team and should be able to blow them out. Russell Westbrook currently has 6 straight games with a triple double and will continue the streak tonight. The Thunder will want to avenge the tough loss against the Celtics on Sunday. Much like their last matchup, the Thunder will control the offensive glass and get plenty of second chance points. The Thunder had 12 more offensive rebounds last time, which was the difference maker. With this game being in Oklahoma City, expect a clear victory for the Thunder. And they will cover the spread with room to spare.
Spread: Thunder -8.5
O/U: Over 224.0
Toronto Raptors @ Philadelphia 76ers
These two teams are very evenly matched. In terms of team chemistry, the Raptors are far more comfortable playing with each other and are without big egos. Against top teams, the Sixers weak team chemistry causes them a lot of trouble. Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid struggle when they don't get their shots. Although Ben Simmons is the glue that holds this team together, he can't shoot from farther than 10 feet. The Raptors best attribute is their lack of turnovers, averaging only 9.9 give aways a game, 9th best in the league. Careful ball handling will be important against a team like Philly that loves to play fast break and runs the 7th fastest pace in the league. I think the Raptors should be able to cover and win this game.
Spread: Raptors +3.0
O/U: Under 231.0
Betting mastermind. Didn't have the height or talent for sports but I can talk and pick them like a champ.