New York is an average team as long as Kristaps Porzingis is playing and the Spurs’ average game rating this season is +1.5 points. The Spurs are an overrated team because the market assumes that they’ll be much better with Kawhi Leonard back, and will probably be true eventually that is not the case now. San Antonio is just 2-4 straight up and 2-4 ATS when Leonard plays and he has a plus-minus of -5 points so far. The Spurs have also been significant worse on the road this season and I eagerly took 5 points with Detroit at home in the Spurs’ most recent game (they lost by 14 to the Pistons). There is similar value in this game. Even if I assume that San Antonio is 4 points better than average, instead of their season rating of +1.5 points, I’d still get Spurs by just 1 point in this game and the Spurs’ recent 12 point home win over the Knicks is a bit misleading given their 45% 3-point shooting and 88% foul shooting in that game. I’ll take New York in a 2-Star Best Bet at +5 points and for 1-Star down to +4 points.
**Charlotte (-4) over SACRAMENTO
Rotation #507 – 7:05 pm Pacific
Charlotte has had a disappointing season so far but the Hornets’ 13-23 record is misleading given that they’ve only been outscored by an average of 2.0 points per game. Sacramento, by contrast, is only one game worse in win-loss record at 12-24 but the Kings have been outscored by an average of 8.7 points per game this season and they are going to be worse than that with Frank Mason injured. Mason has done a really good job leading the second team and the Kings have been outscored by just 1.0 points per 48 minutes in the 539 minutes when Mason has been on the court this season. Early in the season when Mason wasn’t in the rotation the Kings were absolutely horrible and I think that’s likely to be the case again until Mason can return. I favor Charlotte by 7 ½ points in this game and I’ll take Charlotte in a 2-Star Best Bet at -5 points or less.
**L.A. CLIPPERS (-5.5) over Memphis
Rotation #510 – 7:35 pm Pacific
I’ve been riding the Clippers lately, as I have them pegged as an underrated team based on my player-specific ratings. LAC is 10-1-1 ATS in their last 12 games and the Clippers are clearly a better than average team right now. The Grizzlies have played a little better lately but I still rate Memphis at about 4 points worse than an average team and my ratings favor LAC by 9 points with current rotations. I’ll play the Clippers in a 2-Star Best Bet at -6 points or less.