Picks against the spread analysis for Tuesday, October 29th.
LOCK IT UP:
GAME: Clippers @ Lakers
FAVORITE: Clippers (-9)
PICK: Clippers cover
Sorry, I know everyone's excited about the #SwagTime Lakers and how fun they could be with Nick Young off the leash. I know that Pau Gasol is as healthy as he will be this year. (It's all down hill from here.) I know the Clippers are, you know, the Clippers. But the Clippers look like they could be the best team in the Western Conference and Chris Kaman is the fourth best player on the Lakers going into Tuesday night.
Opening night lines are a nightmare because everyone's still rusty and you don't know what to expect. But I just can't see the Lakers staying within single digits. This thing opened up at some of the books at just 5.5 a month ago and it's already up to 9 after being 8.5 earlier this week. Confidence is dropping in SwagTime, not surging. Unless Kobe Bryant walks across the Pacific and into Staples ready to go, Clippers cover easy, even at 9.
GAME: Orlando Magic @ Indiana Pacers
FAVORITE: Pacers (-12)
PICK: Magic cover
I was really intrigued this one when it opened down at 10.5, but even at 12.5 it's kind of interesting. Here's the formula.
a. Opening night
b. We don't know what the Magic will look like
c. Low scoring, ugly games are Indiana's forte
d. Low pace games mean lower spreads
e. No scouting book on Oladipo
f. No Granger and new bench components for Indiana
That's enough to at least take a second look. Indiana is winning this game, but I love Orlando getting 12 with the element of surprise in play.
DANGER WILL ROBINSON, DANGER
CHICAGO BULLS (+5) AT MIAMI HEAT (-5)
GAME: Bulls @ Heat
FAVORITE: Heat (-5)
PICK: STAY AWAY!
No. No, no, no, no, no. Nop. Nuh-uh. No way. Negative. Nein. Don't even think about it.
You've got a team that always, always plays well vs. Miami going in on the first game of the season with the emotional edge of Derrick Rose's first game back, and it's on banner and ring night, a notoriously difficult game for teams to win, much less cover in. The Heat did well in that department last year, but they've already admitted that it's a distraction.
And this is a two-possession line? GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN.