NBA weekend best bets: Knicks getting reinforcements with Reddish, Walker
We split our NBA picks against the spread Thursday, bringing our run to 8-3 this week and 18-7 over the past two weeks. Here are our best bets for the weekend.
Raptors (-9.5, 211.5) @ Pistons
Jan. 14, 7 p.m. ET
We don't often see a squarely mediocre team giving this many points on the road, but these teams' recent performances have skewed the line in the Raptors' favor - even with one of their best players questionable to play.
Scottie Barnes (knee) missed the loss to the Suns on Tuesday, snapping a six-game win streak that dragged Toronto over .500. Many of those wins came at home, which could be a concern ahead of this road tilt. The Raprots lost seven of their last 11 road contests, including five double-digit defeats.
The Pistons are in the ultimate buy-low spot after losing by 46 points to the Bulls on Tuesday. In the last 10 years, teams coming off a loss of at least 45 points are 24-19 ATS, including 10-4 ATS when catching at least nine points. Take the points in a matchup that's closer than it appears.
Pick: Pistons +9.5
Mavericks @ Grizzlies (-2.5, 214.5)
Jan. 14, 10 p.m.
If you're tired of reading about the Grizzlies, then you must be tired of making money, too, because Memphis has been the NBA's biggest cash cow over the past two months.
Since Nov. 28, the Grizzlies are a scintillating 19-6 ATS (21-4 straight up) and have covered each of their last eight games by an average of 11.6 points. They own the top net rating in that span (plus-12.6), nearly tripling the Mavericks' mark (plus-4.8).
Simply put, it's hard to justify pricing these teams as near-equals, especially with Kristaps Porzingis (COVID-19) and Willie Cauley-Stein (personal) both out Friday. The lane should be wide open for Ja Morant to do his thing and extend Memphis' win streak to 12 games.
Pick: Grizzlies -2.5
Knicks @ Hawks (TBD)
Jan. 15, 7:30 p.m.
Friday's 24-point loss to the Heat marked the Hawks' third consecutive double-digit defeat and extended their miserable ATS run to 5-13 since early December. The issue has been on defense, where Atlanta ranks 28th in points per 100 possessions (117.3) and opponent field-goal percentage (48.8%) in that stretch - an issue exacerbated by the extended absence of center Clint Capela (ankle).
The Knicks have turned it on with four wins in their last five games, and they could welcome back Kemba Walker (knee) after his lengthy stint on the sidelines. Even if he doesn't play, New York is the better side and should win somewhat comfortably - Reddish revenge game or not.
Pick: Knicks (TBD)