David Richard-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: LeBron James
It’s Black Friday, the stores are open and you’re still in a food coma. The good news? We’ve got an awesome slate of NBA action ahead to perk you up. Here are some notes and trends to know for each of tonight’s games.
Rockets at Pistons (+4.5)
6 p.m. ET
- The Rockets and Pistons faced each other with a 9.5-point line in favor of Houston earlier this week, and the Rockets barely hung on for the straight-up win as Detroit only lost by two. I’m big on fading the team that won when there are two games in a week, but Detroit came close enough to back off on that. Detroit’s also 2-5 against the spread at home. That line actually represents a move up from Rockets -9.5 at home, but it’s still within a safe range.
- Houston had a tough loss vs. the Spurs back on the Nov. 10. They’ve been terrific ever since. Maybe it’s removing Melo, maybe it’s more Gary Clark, maybe it’s a favorable stretch of matchups, but something happened. Not only are they 5-0 since, but they have the third-best net rating and a 124 offensive rating. Houston is back to cooking.
- Blake Griffin is averaging 20-11-5 shooting 40 percent from the field. The only other player in NBA history to average that for a season is Larry Bird. We’re fewer than 20 games in, so it’s too soon to start talking about Blake being in rarified air or the MVP conversation, but man, what a start.
- Lean: Rockets
Pelicans at Knicks (+7.5)
6:30 p.m. ET
- Knicks are pesky, man. Alonzo Trier, Trey Burke, Damyean Dotson, they just have guys making things happen. They’re bad, don’t get me wrong, but they hang.
- The Knicks are 2-1 against the spread as more than 7.5-point underdogs at home this year, the lone ATS loss to the Warriors when curry went berserk.
- E’Twaun Moore is shooting 48.5 percent from 3-point range this season, and has the second best on-off differential of any Pelican behind Anthony Davis as the Pelicans outscore their opponent by 6.8 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor. The next time someone says the Pelicans don’t have anyone on the wing, punch them in the mouth.
- Lean: Knicks
Celtics at Hawks (+8)
6:30 p.m. ET
- Look, I took the Celtics over at 59.5 wins as my most confident preseason bet. But until they get this thing back on track, I’m not laying more than four points with them against anyone. The Knicks just led them the entire game. They are a mess right now.
- The Hawks are actually outscoring opponents with John Collins on the floor. He’s the only player who’s playing more than 20 minutes for Atlanta where that’s the case. Collins is springy and effective, which is why the Hawks just moved him into the starting lineup.
- Trae Young can’t shoot at all right now but he’s one of fewer than 10 players to have more than 140 assists in his first 18 games, and he has the fifth most points of any of those players. If his 3-point shot comes around, watch out.
- Lean: Hawks
Wizards at Raptors (-10.5)
6:30 p.m. ET
- The Wizards are 0-4 ATS when more than 10 percent of the money is coming in on them relative to the percentages of bets made, per our Bet Labs data. Currently 66 percent of the bets are on Toronto but only 38 percent of the money. The sharps are going back to the well with Washington. The Wizards had that huge comeback the other night, but if they get down vs. Toronto, they’re not coming out of it.
- Pascal Siakam’s spin move is one of the most fun things in the NBA right now.
- Toronto is 1-4 ATS when it’s a double-digit favorite at home this season, which was surprising. And yet, Wizards. I’m willing to extend out here on fading the Wizards until they prove they can not screw up for two games in a row.
- Lean: Raptors
Heat at Bulls (+3.5)
7 p.m. ET