**Daily Expert NBA First Half ATS Picks & Betting Predictions 3/17/19**

Last Updated: 2019-03-17

Pretty good sized slate of the NBA games, so we’ll jump there while waiting for some college basketball halftime lines to be posted.

**Lakers at Knicks:** The Lakers are favored by 1.5 with a first-half total of 111.5 and I have Los Angeles leading 59-56 and 58-57 at intermission. James will miss the game for the Lakers, who are all but done as far as the postseason goes.

**Charlotte at Miami:** Decent game as far as playoff aspirations go, the Heat are favored by 2 with a first half total of 109 and I have Miami leading 56-55 and 57-52.

**Philadelphia at Milwaukee:** Another decent game here, as the Bucks are favored by 3.5 with a first half total of 118 and I have the Bucks out in front by scores of 59-57 and 63-56.

**Toronto at Detroit:** There’s no first half line out on this one and the full game lines just came out, with Lowry’s availability up in the air early this morning. I have the Raptors leading 56-53 and also have it tied at 53-53.

**Atlanta at Orlando:** The Magic are favored by 4 in the first half with a total of 116 and I have Orlando leading 57-55 and also out in front by a 61-56 score so a split opinion on both the side and the total in this one.

**Chicago at Sacramento:** The Kings are favored 3.5 with a first half total of 113.5 and I have Sacramento leading 54-52 and 55-52, so going to take a shot on the under here. While the Bulls have been a little more offensive lately, it still seems as though it’s taking them a while to get going and they’re still playing relatively lower scoring first halves.

**Minnesota at Houston:** There’s no line out on this one, as Harden is listed as questionable and I have the Rockets leading 62-56 and 63-56, and those margins are pretty close to the full game line.

**Brooklyn at LA Clippers:** The Clippers are favored by 3.5 with a total of 111.5, which seems a little bit low, although I did have projections of 57-53 and 56-53 in favor of Los Angeles, as the Nets have played decent defense in the first half on the road and my numbers have them tied for the third-best away team defensively with four other teams. The Clippers are tied for being the top first-half scoring team at home, however.

END OF MARCH 17 PICKS

A couple of plays that I thought might be decent have seen the oddsmakers take care of that, as they defintely pay more attention to first half stats and trends for NBA teams than they do in college hoops.

**Lakers at Detroit:** There’s no first half line out on this one yet, just one of two NBA games without numbers. I have the Pistons leading 59-55 and 59-56.

**Sacramento at Philadelphia:** The other game where we don’t have a first half line, I have the 76ers leading 62-61 and 65-57, so a wide range there, but both predicting a pretty high-scoring half.

**Charlotte at Washington:** The Wizards are favored by 1.5 in the first 24 minutes and the total here is 119, while I have the Wizards leading 60-56 and 60-55. Was giving some consideration to the Wizards here, but the slight move in the full game line has me a little worried. The Wizards can leave their defense in the locker room at times, so will stay clear of the under in this one.

**Phoenix at Houston:** The Rockets are 7.5 with a total of 114.5 and I have Houston leading easily, 62-49 and 64-52, but as I mentioned in the full-game article, this isn’t really the greatest of spots for Houston.

**Portland at New Orleans:** The Blazers are -4 and 115 for the first half here, while I have Portland leading by two and also have it tied at 56.

**Milwaukee at Miami:** The Bucks are -2 with a first-half total of 107 and I was hoping to see that total a little bit higher, as I have it 108 and 105 with the Bucks leading by 3 and by 8 but staying clear of Milwaukee due to full game movement. Will take a shot on the under, as the Heat’s best chance is going to be to slow things down and keep it a low-scoring game. The Bucks tend to play better defense in the first half, so worth a shot.

**New York at San Antonio:** The Spurs are 7.5 and I have them leading by three and also by 11. Also split on the total of 109.5 with projections of 107 and 111.

**Bulls at Clippers:** The Clippers are 4.5 with a total of 112 and I have LA leading by 8 points. Both total projections are at 107, but Chicago slightly higher scoring over last 12 games.

END OF MARCH 15 PICKS

Six games on the NBA slate for Saturday, with an early start in New York.

**Sacramento at Knicks:** The Kings are favored by 2.5 in the first half of this one and the total is 115.5, while I have Sacramento leading by scores of 62-59 and 59-58, so a split on the side and a slight lean to the over, although the noon start isn’t idea.

**Brooklyn at Atlanta:** The Nets are favored by 1.5 in this one and the first half total is 116, while I have it tied at 55 in one method and the numbers are calling for the Nets to be holding a 59-55 edge, so another split in the side in this one and the slightest of leans to the under.

**Washington at Minnesota:** The Timberwolves are favored by 4 in the first half and the total is a whopping 125.5, while I have Minnesota leading by scores of 59-57 and 63-55, so a split on the side and a not to the under here, although I won’t be touching this one.

**Boston at LA Lakers:** The Celtics are favored by 3 in the first half and the total is 108.5, which I was hoping to see be a little bit higher. It’s more of the same here as far as the side goes, as the numbers are split, while the game gets the slightest of leans to the under with projections of 104 and 108 points.

**Charlotte at Milwaukee:** The Bucks are favored by 7 in the first half of this one and the total is 116.5, while I have Milwaukee leading 62-54 and 64-54, so a slight lean to Milwaukee in this one, while it’s the total that has opposite projections. Tough spot for the Bucks here, coming off a big win against the Pacers and then a three-game road trip on tap, with stops in San Antonio, New Orleans and Miami.

**Phoenix at Portland:** The Suns have won three straight, but are 7.5-point underdogs in the first half of this one, while the total is 117. I have the Blazers leading 66-52 in both sets of numbers and will take Portland in this one, as it’s the last home game of a brief two-game stop that sees them hit the road once again on Tuesday, coming right on the heels of their brutal seven-game road trip.

END OF MARCH 9 PICKS

Two decent games on the slate for Thursday, with both of them being nationally televised, so there will definitely be some wagering interest in both games.

**Indiana at Milwaukee:** The Bucks are favored by 6 in the first half and the total is 114, while I have Milwaukee leading 61-54 and 61-55, so the numbers give a slight lean to the over and are pretty torn on the side. The Bucks are one of the better scoring teams in the league, not only for full games, but also in sides, averaging 61.6 points in the first half at home and 119.6 at home for a full game, so Milwaukee scores 51.5% of its points in the first half. On defense, the Bucks allow 55.2 points in the first half and 106.8 for a full game, meaning Milwaukee allows 51.6% of its points in the first half, giving them an average score of 58-51.6 for the second half.

Indiana scores 55.5 points on the road in the first half and allows 55.8, so the Pacers are a little bit more of a second-half team, as they have a +.8 scoring margin on the road for the full game. This will be the fourth meeting of the year between the teams and in the two games played in Indiana, we saw 101 and 102 first-half points, with 115 being scored in the lone game played in Milwaukee.

**Oklahoma City at Portland:** The Blazers are favored by 1.5 points in the first half and the total is 119.5, while I have Portland leading 63-58 and 62-55 so a split on the total and both numbers give the edge to Portland, so will go ahead and take the Blazers here. Not really happy that Portland is such a public play, with roughly two-thirds of the wagers on the home team here, but hard to go against tm as bad as the Thunder have been playing recently.

Oklahoma City is outscored by .7 points on the road in the first half, while the Blazers have a solid +6.0 scoring margin at home in the first half. Portland did lead by five at halftime in the first game of the season between the two, only to see the Thunder come back and win by two, and Oklahoma City led by 7 and by 19 in the two games OKC won at home, so even though this is a bit of a tough spot for Portland in regards to returning home after a lengthy road trip, have to believe the Blazers will be ready for this one.

END OF MARCH 7 PICKS

A few too many points in the first half of the Toronto game last night, so will look to get back on track here.

**Detroit at Cleveland:** The Pistons are favored by 4 in the first half with a total of 111 and I have this one pretty close, with Detroit leading 55-54 and also have the Cavs with a 55-53 lead, but going to stay clear here.

**Orlando at Indiana:** The Pacers are down to -2 after being 2.5 earlier this morning and the first half number has dropped 1.5 points and is now at 106.5. I have Orlando leading 52-50 and have the Pacers leading 51-49 in the other set of numbers.

**Brooklyn at Miami:** The Heat are favored by 1.5 with a total of 107.5 and I have this one pretty close at the break, with Miami leading by scores of 52-51 and 52-49.

**Memphis at Dallas:** The Mavs are 2.5 with a first half total of 110.5, which is up a couple of points from the 108.5 we saw earlier this morning on the game. I have each team leading at the break, with one set of numbers calling for the Grizzlies to be in front by a 53-51 score and have Dallas with a 54-50 advantage in the other set.

**Golden State at Philadelphia:** The Warriors are favored by 2 with the first half total of 121 and I have Golden State leading 65-63 and also have the 76ers with a 63-60 lead, although that doesn’t factor in the injury to the 76ers’ big guy. But that could have the 76ers playing a more up-and-down game, so going to take a stab on the over 121 in this spot.

**Oklahoma City at San Antonio:** The Spurs are favored by 2 with a total of 116.5 and I have San Antonio leading 58-55 and 59-55 in this one.

**Lakers at Phoenix:** The Lakers are -3.5 and 120 is the total, while I have Los Angeles leading 59-56 and 60-55.

**Milwaukee at Utah:** The Jazz are favored by 2 in the first half with a total of 109.5, while I have each team covering the spread and 106 and 107 points being scored.

**New Orleans at Denver:** The Nuggets are -8 in the first half with a total of 121 and I have Denver leading by five and by seven with 121 and 123 points being scored.

END MARCH 2 PICKS

Seven games on the NBA slate for Friday and not a great slate, but pickings are slim on TV tonight, so a few people will probably watching the two ESPN games tonight, since the college schedule is also lacking.

**Portland at Toronto:** The Raptors are favored by 2.5 in the first half where the total is 111, which is less than half of the full game total by a few points, but easy to see why since both teams play better defense in the early going. I have Toronto leading by one and by six, but both totals are 107 or less, so going to take the first half under here, with hopes the Raptors look to play a little ‘D’ after allowing 128 points to the Blazers in Portland.

**Chicago at Atlanta:** Atlanta is favored by 1 with a total of 114.5 and I have Chicago leading by four and have it tied, with both sets of numbers leaning to the under, but the Bulls have found some offense lately, scoring five more points in the first half over their last five than their season numbers, while the Hawks have also seen a few more points in the first half recently.

**Charlotte at Brooklyn:** The Nets are favored by 2 with a first-half total of 116 and I have Brooklyn leading by three and by five points with the game sneaking under the total in both groups of numbers.

**Washington at Boston:** The Celtics are favored by five in the first half with a total of 119.5 and I have Boston leading by scores of 63-56 and 63-54, so not much really happening in this one.

**New Orleans at Phoenix:** There’s no first half line in this one, which I have the Pelicans leading 61-57, but also have it at 59-59. Based on the full game line, New Orleans should be favored by 2.5 or three points.

**Clippers at Sacramento:** The Kings are favored by 1.5 in the first half and the total is a lofty 123, and I have the total sandwiched, with projections of 122 and 124 points, while having it even in both sets of numbers.

**Milwaukee at Lakers:** The Bucks are favored by 2 in the first half and the total is 116, while I have Milwaukee leading by 6 and 7 points in a fairly low-scoring first half, with totals of 109 and 110 in a game I wanted to take under the total.

END OF MARCH 1 PICKS

A smaller slate of games for Thursday and we’re running behind a little bit, so we’ll jump right to it, coming off a strange day where we ended up 5-3, but just felt likes things weren’t going well for us.

**Minnesota at Indiana:** The Pacers are just favored by 2 in the first half with a total of 113 and I have Indiana leading by a 59-54 score. Indiana is getting a lot of action for the full game and it’s transferred over a little bit for the first half number.

**Golden State at Orlando:** The Magic are also getting a little bit of action in the full game betting, but the first half line of Golden State -2.5 does seem to be a little bit cheap, as I have the Warriors leading 62-53, which is actually a point less than the first half total of 116. I know the Warriors had a tough one last night, but expected to see the number a little bit higher.

**Cleveland at New York:** Hide the women and children for this one, where the Knicks are -1.5 with a first half total of 107.5 and I have this one 56-52 and will go ahead and take the over in this one, as have to think the Knicks will at least try to entertain the fans who were brave enough to come out for this crappy game. Both teams have been scoring a few more points lately.

**Miami at Houston:** The Rockets are -5 with a first-half total of 112.5 in a game I liked the Heat, but will stay away from after they knocked off the Warriors last night. I made this one 55-54 for Houston, but if the Heat suffer a letdown it could very well be on the defensive end.

**Utah at Denver:** The Nuggets are 3.5 with a first half total of 108 and I have Denver leading this one 53-51 at the break, but hard to tell if Denver will come out and play much defense, which they have left in the locker room at times this season.

**Philadelphia at Oklahoma City:** The Thunder are favored by 4 with a total of 122.5 and I have OKC leading this one 61-57. The full game total is seeing some action to the over, so not a big surprise to see the first half line as high as it is, with the Thunder picking up the pace recently and having some high-scoring games.

END OF FEB. 28 PICKS

Came up a point-a-half shy of the NBA sweep last night, losing our first half under play, and then dropped two games in the final 10 seconds – one in college hoops and the dreaded empty net goal in the NHL, so on to Wednesday’s NBA.

**Houston at Charlotte:** The Rockets are -2 with a first half total of 116 and I have the Rockets leading 60-56 at the break, so nothing doing here.

**Minnesota at Atlanta:** The Timberwolves are 1.5 point favorites in the first half against a bit high of a total in 121.5, although I do have Minnesota leading 64-61 at the break in this one.

**Portland at Boston:** The Celtics are -1 with a first half total of 110.5 and I have Boston leading 57-52 at the break, which assumes they’re going to try and play defense tonight, instead of the uptempo game they play occasionally.

**Washington at Brooklyn:** The Nets are -2.5 with a first half total of 121.5 and I have Brooklyn leading 59-58 at halftime in this one.

**Golden State at Miami:** The Warriors are -4.5 in the first half with a total of 114 and I have Golden State grabbing a 61-54 at halftime in this one.

**Chicago at Memphis:** Memphis is 1.5 with a total of 105.5 and I have the Grizzlies leading 49-46, although both teams have been a bit more offensive lately.

**Detroit at San Antonio:** The Spurs are favored by 2.5 with a total of 112 and I have this one 58-53 for San Antonio and will take the Spurs in this spot.

**Indiana at Dallas:** This one is even with a first half total of 111 and I have it at 55-55.

**Clippers at Utah:** The Jazz are favored by 5.5 with a first half total of 117, while I have Utah leading 60-56 at the break.

**Milwaukee at Sacramento:** The Bucks are 2.5 with a total of 115 and I have Milwaukee leading 59-51 at the break and wanted to take the under in the first half, thinking the Kings are going to concentrate on defense a little more after the Bucks put 144 up against the last time they met, but Sacramento is 8-3-1 in totals when playing a team who scored at least 125 points against them last game.

**New Orleans at Lakers:** The Lakers are -3 and the total is 123, while I have this one 61-59 for the Lakers at the break.

END OF FEB. 27 PICKS

Just three games on the NBA slate for Tuesday, so we’ll be able to look at each of them in a little bit more detail and see what we can come up with, which can’t be any worse than last night’s Cleveland play, as the Cavs trailed by 23 at halftime before playing better in the second half and getting themselves back into the game, only to fade down the stretch after pulling within three.

**Orlando at Knicks:** The lone ugly game on the schedule sees the Orlando Magic visiting the Knicks and the Magic are favored by 3.5 in the first half with a total of 110 and I have the Mac leading 58-48 and 55-50 in a game where both teams are surprisingly coming off wins, with the Magic upsetting the Raptors last time out and New York getting the best of the Spurs. The teams have met twice this season and the Magic came away with double digit victories each time, winning 115-89 in New York and coming back with a 131-117 win in Orlando the following week, although they haven’t played each other since November and a lot has happened since then. The Magic led 65-40 in New York and 67-66 in Orlando and hit better than 40% from 3-point range both games.

**Boston at Toronto:** The Raptors are favored by 2 in the first half with a total of 109.5 in what looks almost like a college total, as the full game total is 226, so we’re definitely seeing less than half of that in this one. I was hoping for a 111 or so since I have Toronto leading 53-51 and 54-50. This will be the fourth time the teams have met this year and the totals keep getting larger, having moved from 209.5 to 218 and then 223 before today’s. Two of the three games have seen 106 or fewer points in the first half, so will take the under in this one.

**Oklahoma City at Denver:** The Nuggets are -1.5 with a first half total of 122, which is a bit more than half of the full game total of 237. I have Denver leading 60-58 and 61-56. The full game total when these two met in November and December was 217, so we’ve seen a jump of 20 points in the full game total and probably at least half of that in the first half number. The Thunder haven’t played much defense lately, allowing 61 points in the first half and 124 for the game over their last five.

END OF FEB. 26 PICKS

A fair number of games without first half lines, but we’ll go ahead and get started with the NBA for Monday, where we have a pretty good-sized slate of games.

**Portland at Cleveland:** The Blazers are favored by 4.5 with a total of 108.5 and I have this one pretty close, with the Blazers leading by one and the Cavs leading by two. Coming off wins over Brooklyn and the 76ers and having Boston and Toronto on tap after this one, this could be a tough game for Portland to get motivated for, so going to take a shot on the Cavs +4.5.

**Indiana at Detroit:** The Pistons are -1 and the total is 108.5, while I have the Pistons leading 54-52 and 55-53, so nothing really happening in this one.

**Golden State at Charlotte:** The Warriors are favored by 3.5 with a first half total of 120.5 and I have Golden State leading 62-55 and 60-57, so a split on the side and a slight lean to the under, but will stay away from this one.

**Phoenix at Miami:** The Heat are -4.5 in the first half with a total of 109.5 and I have Miami leading 57-50 and 59-51 in this one.

**San Antonio at Brooklyn:** Brooklyn is favored by 1 with a total of 112.5 and I have this one 58-55 and 56-53 for Brooklyn.

**Milwaukee at Chicago:** There’s no first half line out on this one, but have to think Milwaukee will be 5.5 or 6 based on the full game line and I have the Bucks leading 59-48 and 58-49.

**Atlanta at Houston:** Another game without a first half line, I have the Rockets leading 62-56 with both sets of numbers.

**Philadelphia at New Orleans:** This one has seen the 76ers move from +1 to -.5 and I have it 61-61 and have the Pelicans leading 60-57, but with New Orleans, it’s a matter of which games the team gets motivated for.

**Sacramento at Minnesota:** No line out on this one either, where I have Minnesota leading 61-57, but also have the Kings holding a 60-59 lead in the other numbers.

**Lakers at Memphis:** The Lakers are favored by 2 with a first half total of 113, which seems a bit high, although Memphis has gone a little more uptempo its last four games, which have all been losses. I have this one 57-54 and 56-52 for the Grizzlies, but want no part of the under and Memphis isn’t the same team since trading the big guy.

**Dallas at Clippers:** No line here, where I have the Clippers leading 58-57 and 60-56.

END OF FEB. 25 PICKS

Just three games on the NBA slate for Sunday after a pretty hefty schedule on Saturday.

**Orlando at Toronto:** The Raptors are favored by 5 in the first half with a total of 100.5 and I have the Raptors leading by one and Orlando leading by three, as the Magic are one of those teams who have shown a tendency to play better in the first half, at least when they’re on the road. For the season, the Magic are scoring 53.7 points in the first half and that number jumps up slightly to 54.7 away from home, while Orlando allows 53.1 points in the first half, but just 51.9 when they’re the visiting team. The Raptors score 57.1 points in the first half and that number increases slightly to 58.2 when at home, although Toronto allows the same 54.3 points regardless if they’re at home or on the road.

**LA Clippers at Denver:** The Nuggets are favored by 5 in the first half, which seems a little bit high, although I have Denver ahead 63-58 and 65-58, so pretty close. The Clippers haven’t been that bad in the first half, scoring 58.4 points and allowing 58.9, while they score roughly the same number of points on the road at 58.3, but do see their defensive number climb to 60.1. The Nuggets are much better offensively at home, as their points for increases from 57.8 to 60.1, while their defensive moved from 55.9 points allowed to 55 at home. The home team has won the last meetings by 20 points and led by close to double digits at the break.

**San Antonio at New York:** The Spurs are favored by 4.5 points in the first half with a total of 108 and I have San Antonio leading by three and one points at 55-54 and 57-4, so pretty close to the total with the slightest of leans to the over, although taking New York over isn’t for the feint of heart. San Antonio is two points worse offensively on the road in the first half and allows 1.1 more points, while the Knicks average the same number of points and hold foes to 1.5 fewer points. The Spurs won in New York last month and led 52-49 at the break, although San Antonio was just favored by five instead of the nine points they’re favored by today.

END OF FEB. 24 PICKS

A number of games still don’t have complete numbers posted, so we’ll use what 5Dimes has right now, so I can hop over to college hoops next,

**Portland at Philadelphia:** The 76ers are -1 with a first-half total of 112.5 and I have Philadelphia ahead by 4 and by 10, although no interest in going against the reverse movement we’ve seen on the full-game wager. I have 110 and 112 points being scored.

**Memphis at Cleveland:** The Cavs are -1.5 here with no total and I have each team leading by two points.

**Indiana at Washington:** The Wizards are -.5 and there’s also no total on this one, as Washington is now favored by 1 even though the Pacers are getting a huge percentage of the wagers in the game. I have the Wizards leading by two and by four and will take Washington in this one.

**Brooklyn at Charlotte:** The Hornets are -1 with a total of 109.5 and I have Charlotte leading by one and by 5 with 105 points being scored.

**Lakers at New Orleans:** No line or total posted on this one, which I have even and the Lakers leading by 1 with 120 points being scored.

**Phoenix at Atlanta:** The Hawks are -1 in the first half and the total has moved from 119 to 120.5, while I have it at 120 and 121.

**Detroit at Miami:** The Heat are -2 with a total of 105.5 and I have Miami leading by a pair and by four with totals of 106 and 108.

**Boston at Chicago:** The Celtics are -5.5 with a total of 107 and I have the Celtics leading by five with totals of 101 and 103.

**Sacramento at Oklahoma City:** The Thunder are -3 with a first half total of 123 and I have OKC leading by 6 and by 8 with 125 and 128 points being scored.

**Houston at Golden State:** The Warriors are favored by five with no total and I have Houston keeping it close early, with the Warriors leading by one and with the score tied.

**Minnesota at Milwaukee:** No line or total posted on this one and I have the Bucks leading by 10 and by 11 with 121 points being scored.

**Dallas at Utah:** No line or total on this one, as well, where have Utah leading 56-51 and 59-51.

END OF FEB. 23 PICKS

Nine games on tap for Wednesday, so we’ll jump right to it.

**Washington at Charlotte:** The Hornets are 2.5 with a first half total of 117 in this one, while I have Charlotte leading 60-58 and 62-55, so nothing doing here.

**New Orleans at Indiana:** The Pacers are -3 in the first half with a total of 112.5 and I have Indiana leading by seven and by 8 with totals of 112 and 113.

**Chicago at Orlando:** The Magic are favored by 4.5 with a first half total of 105.5 and I have the Magic leading 51-48 and also have the score tied at 49-49, so going to go ahead and take the first-half under in this one, even though it’s a low number and it’s a bit less than half of the full game total.

**San Antonio at Toronto:** The Raptors are -4.5 with a total of 112 and I have Toronto leading 59-54 and 59-52 in this one.

**Minnesota at New York:** The Timberwolves are -3 with a total of 111.5 in this one and I have Minnesota leading 58-57 in one set of numbers and also have the Knicks leading 57-56 in the other.

**Detroit at Atlanta:** The Pistons are favored by 1.5 with a first-half total of 114 and I have this one 60-56 for Detroit and 58-58 in another set of numbers, which is a bit of a surprise, as my numbers have this one finishing under the full game today, so they’re expecting a lot of points early with a quieter second half.

**Clippers at Memphis:** The Clippers are favored by one-half with a total of 109 and I have Memphis leading 59-52 and 57-51, although the Grizzlies aren’t going to be as good as their numbers due to their trades.

**Denver at Dallas:** Denver is -1.5 with a total of 112 and I have the Mavs leading 58-57 and 59-55.

**Utah at Oklahoma City:** The Thunder are favored by 2 with a total of 110 and I have Oklahoma City leading by scores of 54-48 and 54-49. Going to go ahead and take the first half under in this one, as well, which is a bit of rarity in having two first half plays on the same day, since more than 80% of the time we just end up with one game for each of the NBA articles. The numbers like the under and another game where the first half total is a bit less than half the game total, so oddsmakers do put a little more effort into first half NBA stats than they do in college.

END OF FEB. 22 PICKS

The NBA returns to action tonight with just six games, which is nice for handicappers, who aren’t trying to handicap a 15-game slate, along with the NHL and college hoops. So far, first-half picks have been dismal, although the numbers haven’t been nearly as bad as the plays, as it’s been a case of choosing the wrong game more often that not.

**Miami at Philadelphia:** The 76ers are favored by 3.5 in the first half with a total of 113, while I have Philadelphia leading by 3 and by 8 with one total of 112 and another of 113. A bit of contrasting styles here, as the 76ers see an average of more than 120 points in the first half of their home games, while the Heat are at 107.5 when they’re on the road.

**Phoenix at Cleveland:** The Cavs are -.5 in the first half with a total of 111 and I have Cleveland leading by 6 and by 9 with totals of 111 and 112. The Cavs haven’t been bad in the first half at home, where they’re outscored by one point, but are being outscored by 8 points in the second half on average. The Suns trail by an average of 8.4 points at halftime on the road, so will go ahead and take the Cavs in this spot.

**Portland at Brooklyn:** No halftime line out on this one, as Damian Lillard is listed as questionable with an ankle injury. I have it 53-53 and also have the Nets leading 54-52, as both teams tend to start out a bit slow.

**Boston at Milwaukee:** The Bucks are -3 in the first half with a total of 111, while I have them leading by 4 and by 6 with a total of 108, although the Celtics don’t mind playing a faster-paced game if it presents itself. Both games between these two have gone over the total.

**Houston at Lakers:** The Rockets are -1 with a first-half total of 120.5, while I have this one 114 and 115 with Houston leading by 1 and by 4. The Lakers have been a brutal home dog this season, going 1-7 ATS.

**Sacramento at Golden State:** The Kings make the short trip to the Bay Area to face the Warriors, who are -6.5 in the first half with a total of 122.5 and I have the total at 122 and 123, with the Warriors leading by four and by five points.

END OF FEB. 21 PICKS