NBA: 8:00 EST Rockets (-5.5) - The Rockets have won 5 games in a row and they have covered -5 in each of those games. The most impressive win during that stretch came in their last game when they beat the Clippers (WITH Kawhi) 102-93 on Wednesday. The Rockets will look to extend their streak tonight when they host a Pacers team who is still without their best player Victor Oladipo. The Pacers are 7-4 on the season but they haven’t beat a team with a winning record nevermind beat a team with a winning record, THEY HAVEN’T EVEN PLAYED A TEAM WITH A WINNING RECORD YET! So….how good are they? I don’t think they are good enough to cover -5.5 against a high powered Rockets team on the road tonight where they are just 2-3 on the season. James Harden already has 8 games this season where he has scored 30+ points and I don’t see anyone on the Pacers slowing him down tonight. I checked the public money on this one because I suspected it to be a big number but it’s only 57%. I’m comfortable with that and I’m confident in the Rockets tonight.
10:30 EST No Anthony Davis - No Jackhammer
Celtics ML / Lakers ML (-199) - 2X JACKHAMMER - When you are down and out, 0-8 in your last 3 days, and need to snap a losing streak, you take HIGH PERCENTAGE plays even if the odds aren’t as good as you would like. -199 is a steep price but this looks like a play that can’t lose and I am LOADING up on it! The Celtics have won 9 in a row after losing their first game of the season and they have looked good. Their offense has been great and they are coming off of a game where they scored 140. They have played timely defense and are starting to look like the team to beat in the Eastern Conference. They will be going up against the 2-10 last place Warriors who currently only have one of five starters from last year’s Finals team. That one player is averaging 8.7 points per game. That explains why they have been getting blown out by teams this season and I expect that to be the case again tonight. The Lakers come in 9-2 and they will host the Kings who are 4-6. If the averages hold true, the Lakers should win this game by 10+ points. Anthony Davis sat out Wednesday and like it says above, if he doesn’t play tonight then don’t jackhammer this play, but I still like them to win. JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard combined for 33 points and 25 rebounds with Davis out on Wednesday. The Lakers have recorded 30 or more assists in 4 consecutive games. Ball movement like that creates open shots and really helps out the offensive efficiency. The Kings will be without their starting point guard De’Aaron Fox who is averaging 18.2 points per game this season. That’ll likely slow down the offense against this Lakers defense who ranks #3 in the league. The Kings have actually won 4 of their last 5 but only 1 of those wins came against a team with a winning record and it was only by 1 point at the buzzer. With Anthony Davis playing, this is a 2X Jackhammer!
*For those of you who will complain about the -199 odds on this, you can add the Jazz ML to get (+102) odds. Like I said, I’ll be playing the -194 and I’ll be LOADING up on it. LFG!
CFB: 9:30 EST San Diego State (-1) - At first glance, you might be wondering why a 7-2 team at home is only favored by -1 against a 4-5 team. As good as San Diego State’s defense has been, allowing just 14.4 points per game, their offense has really struggled. The offense has actually been so bad they rank 11th out of 12th in the Mountain West Conference scoring just 20.8 points per game and are coming off of a 17-13 low scoring loss last week. So there’s that. BUT - The Fresno State team that they will play tonight has allowed 32.4 points per game this season and the defense has been a struggle. Fresno State has really struggled to stop the run (allowing 162.1 rushing yards per game) so San Diego State should focus on attacking that way even though their top running back has been battling an ankle injury all season. As long as SD State can sustain drives, they will be ok because teams have converted 65% of the time in the Red Zone against Fresno State this season. It’s really all about this SD State defense though, they have held their opponents under 20 points in 7 of their 9 games this season which has them ranked as the #8 defense in all of College Football. It should be a frustrating night for the Fresno State offense that has scored 20+ in all of their games this season as they go up against their biggest test of the season. Looking at the common opponents, they both lost to Utah State and both beat New Mexico State and UNLV. SD State beat Colorado State 24-10 while Fresno State lost 41-31 to Colorado State. If SD State can get the offense going against this bad Fresno State defense, I think they could win by 10+. More than likely though, SD State will lean on their defense and score just enough to pull away with the victory. GO AZTECS!