Saturday’s NBA main slate features seven games. The action starts at 8 p.m. ET with the final game kicking off at 10 p.m. ET. Let’s take a look at the slate and choose the best bets for Saturday night.
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The Trail Blazers have lost six straight and failed to cover in all six. A quick look at this list and it makes sense. This team is bad, but the Wizards aren’t much better. Washington is better, but they don’t deserve to be such a big favorite on the road and in the second leg of a back-to-back game. Not only is it the second leg of a straight game, but it’s the third of four road games on the West Coast in six days. While the schedule suggests that gap should be smaller, the actual team on the schedule suggests the gap should be much, much bigger.
Portland’s average margin of loss in its last six games is 34 points. It’s incredible. On this slide — to call it a slide is a disservice to the slides, these last six games have been an insane Helter Skelter — The Trail Blazers have the worst offense in basketball with an anemic 92.6 offensive rating. To go along with their miserable offense, they also have the worst defense in the NBA (124.1). The Trail Blazers haven’t been able to win a first round of the NCAA Tournament yet – one wonders if they could win a Power 5 Conference Tournament game. This team had alignment issues before trading Norm Powell and CJ McCollum (Damian Lillard out), but after a series of injuries (Jusuf Nurkic, Anfernee Simons, Justise Winslow, Eric Bledsoe and Nassir Little are all out), this team has become one of the purest dumpster fires in years. This dumpster is covered in grease and will burn for weeks. The Wizards are on a bad streak schedule-wise and have their own issues, but Portland is a free space on the Bingo map. They are a punching bag.
Bulls -3 (-110)
The wheels fall off the wagon for the Cavs. Cinderella has lost her slipper. Even before Jarrett Allen’s injury, Cleveland was falling apart. It’s been an up and down team all season, and right now the arrow is pointing down. They have lost seven of the last 10 games. Their defense ranks 26th and their offense 21st during this period. That’s about where they’ve been offensively all season, but their defensive rating on the season is 107.0 (fourth). It’s been a huge problem for weeks, and the Cavs show no signs of finding a solution.
The Bulls have been just as streaky, but their streaks are easily explained. The Bulls have won six straight against inferior teams. They went on to lose five games in a row against some of the best teams in the league. It seems their streaks aren’t so much a reflection of their game as an oddity in their schedule. Chicago snapped its five-game skid Wednesday at Detroit but missed coverage by a hook.
Three points seem too low. He overstates the Bulls’ losing streak and hurdles that Zach LaVine (debatable) won’t play. Even without LaVine, the Bulls should be able to beat the Cavs by more than three points at home. Besides being one of the best ATS teams (36-29-1), the Bulls have the best home ATS record (22-12) and virtually the best home ATS record as favorites ( 27-13-1) – The Magic are 4-1 but barely qualify.
Warriors’ Silver Line (+100)
Saturday night, we find out if the Warriors are back. The Warriors came off a brutal streak with two solid wins. Their best defense has found its form after a streak where they ranked in the bottom third of the league. On Tuesday, they held the Clippers to 97 points, and they held the Nuggets to 102 points on Thursday. Golden State is just 1.5 points shy of the dogs on the road against the defending champions – who have won six in a row. The DraftKings Sportsbook has a lot of faith in Curry et al. In the immortal words of John Wick, “Yeah. I think I’m back.
Why do the Warriors have a chance on Saturday night? It’s simple. Their leaders produce and their bench contributes. Jordan Poole has scored 20 or more points in each of the past five games, and Jonathan Kuminga has added at least 16 points off the bench in five straight games. If the defense is fixed and every player contributes offensively, then that team is the favorite to win the championship.
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