1/10 VIP Picks 2-1

NBA: 7:30 EST Heat (-3.5) - The Heat have been hot and have won 8 of their last 10 games but this pick comes more from how bad the Nets have been playing than how good the Heat have been playing. The Nets have lost 7 games in a row and they have lost those games by an average of 11.4 points per game. There’s talk of Kyrie Irving coming back within the week but he will not be back tonight and I expect the Nets struggles to continue against a Heat team who has played their way up to the 2nd place in the Eastern Conference behind the Bucks. The Heat already beat the Nets in their first matchup this season. Light the fire and give me the Heat tonight!

8:00 EST Pacers (-3) - The Pacers have actually struggled over their last 5 games losing 3 of them but they have not been struggling as bad as the Bulls who have lost all 5 of their last 5 games. The Pacers over matched the Bulls in their first matchup this season where the Pacers went on to win 108-95. The Pacers largest lead in that game was 16. Two stats that caught my eye from the first matchup is that the Pacers had 10 blocks in that game and they also scored 20 points off of turnovers. The highest team average for blocks per game is 7.5 so having 10 blocks in that game shows the mismatch of the physicality of these two teams. I like the Pacers to get back on track against a Bulls team who has been struggling and who they over match.

9:45 EST Here’s one of those wait until the last minute to make sure Lebron and Anthony Davis are playing before you bet it.

Lakers (+2) - The Lakers and Mavericks have already played three times this season and the Lakers have taken 2 out of 3 winning the most recent game 108-95 on 12/29. The Lakers haven’t lost a game since then and the Mavericks have lost 3 games since then. These two teams went to overtime in the first matchup of the season that was played in Dallas but the Lakers ended up pulling away with a 119-110 win in overtime. I’ll also point out that the Lakers are a perfect 9-0 in Friday night games this season, 9-0! Seeing the line at +2 makes me think that Lebron or AD won’t be playing and the books already know this but like I said above, wait until it’s confirmed they are both playing and then book this one. If one or both of them are out, DO NOT PLAY THIS. Pretty simple. If they do play, look for them to improve their Friday night record to 10-0 on the season. This game will be aired on ESPN. Go Lakers!

CBB: 9:00 EST Butler (-1.5) - Providence will be playing their first ranked opponent this season but they already have some ugly losses to non ranked opponents. They lost by 30 to Florida and 14 to Rhode Island. Butler comes in 14-1 on the season and their only loss came to Baylor who has worked their way up to #4 in the country. That loss was only by 1 point. Butler is the real deal this season and they have done it with a combination of executing their offense scoring 68.7 points per game and playing really good defense holding their opponents to 54.1 points per game. This will only be their 4th road game of the season but hanging with Baylor on the road is enough proof to me that this team is for real and I’m confident that they can beat a non ranked Providence team by a layup.