Another busy weekend of NBA hoops is upon us with five games coming up on Saturday and 10 on the Sunday board. Here's a quick look at five matchups to pay attention to before the lines are released.
76ers vs. Suns
The 76ers were rolling until they ran into a hot-shooting Blazers team on Thursday night. Portland made 17 three-pointers in the upset win, shooting 45% from beyond-the-arc. Now Philly's trip really toughens up with Saturday's game in Phoenix followed by a trip to Salt Lake City to face the league-leading Jazz on Monday. The Suns have shaken off a late-January slump to reel off seven wins in their last eight games, including an upset win over the Bucks on Wednesday. Well-rested and at home, Devin Booker and co. might be worth a look in this one.
Rockets vs. Knicks
You'll want to keep your eye on the injury report ahead of this game as the Rockets have been dealing with a number of key absences. Houston heads to New York on the heels of four straight losses but does catch the Knicks in a favorable situation here. New York will be playing its second game in as many nights after a trip to Washington on Friday. Houston has scored 106 points or less in each of its last four contests - I don't need to tell you how bad that is by today's NBA standards. Meanwhile, the Knicks entered Friday's action ranked dead last in the league in pace rating.
Nets vs. Warriors
This is Saturday's showcase game, set to be nationally-televised in primetime on ABC. The Nets have been highly inconsistent since acquiring James Harden but perhaps a trip west will serve to galvanize this star-studded squad. The Warriors should draw plenty of support from the betting public here with Steph Curry putting on a clinic in recent games. Remember, last Saturday night Curry lit it up in a straight-up loss but ATS victory in another ABC-TV appearance against the Mavs.
T'Wolves vs. Raptors
The Raptors are in the midst of a disappointing season, struggling to get back to the .500 mark following a dismal start. While this looks like a layup on paper against the lowly T'Wolves, it's worth noting that Minnesota has showed some signs of life lately, reeling off seven straight ATS victories entering Friday's game in Charlotte. Karl-Anthony Towns gave the T'Wolves a big emotional boost with his return on Wednesday, posting a double-double in a loss but ATS cover against the Clippers. The Raptors have shown a tendency to let inferior opponents hang around in "home" games in Tampa this season.
Pelicans vs. Pistons
While the Pelicans certainly have the talent to manhandle the Pistons, this is a tough spot to get up for as they play their fourth game (in four different cities) in the last six nights in Detroit...on a Sunday evening...with the stands empty...you get the picture. The Pistons are banged-up in the front-court heading into the weekend, which could certainly play a factor here with the Pelicans ranking as one of the best rebounding teams in the league. Keep an eye on the injury report but Detroit could be a sneaky play depending on the number the books decide to send out.