NBA Tips – 4th January

Full card of 12 games headlined by the Cavs trip to Boston while the Rockets will be without Harden over the next few weeks. The Wolf is expecting them to struggle – starting in Orlando!

NBA Feature Previews

1. Houston @ Orlando (11:05am)

It took double OT for the Rockets to end their losing streak at 5 but it came at a price with James Harden sustaining a hamstring injury that will keep him out for at least a fortnight. The leading candidate for MVP, Harden had missed just 2 regular season games over the last 3 years so it will be interesting to see just how they go without him. Naturally, CP3 will take control of the offence but with Harden out they will be without a genuine triple threat. The biggest loss will be his 10 free throw attempts per game. Without his penetration The Wolf believes they will get less open looks from beyond the arc as their opponents will be allowed to stay with the shooters. The Rockets are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 when on 2 days rest. We are yet to see the Rockets without Harden and to be giving away such a big start on the road is ludicrous according to Wolfy. He will be taking Orlando with the start and outright.

Tip: Orlando +7.5 ($1.92)

2. Toronto @ Chicago (12:05pm)

Both sides went to OT in their previous match but with alternate results. The Raptors fending off a challenge from the Bucks while the Bulls could not match a Blazers side that simply could not miss from beyond thew arc. The Wolf is not ready to give up on the Bulls just yet. They have won 11 of the last 14 meetings going 13-1 ATS in that stretch. Chicago has not been a happy hunting ground for the Raptors and that trend should continue. The Bulls are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 following a ATS loss, 9-1 ATS in their last 10 when on 1 days rest and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 against teams with a winning record. Toronto are one of the league’s best teams when it comes to getting to the free throw line but the Bulls do a great job of not fouling, sending their opponents to the stripe less than 20 times per game (8th best in NBA). The Wolf says to stick with the Bulls – especially at home!

Tip: Chicago +5 ($1.92)

3. New Orleans @ Utah (1:05pm)

The Pelicans are coming off back to back home losses against sub .500 teams (Knicks and Mavs). It is hardly the form they would like to be in for the trip to Salt Lake City after having lost their last 5 meetings with the Jazz. Utah are second in the league in terms of ATS margin at +5.6 and continue to get underrated in the market – mainly due to the fact that they do not have a genuine star. Rookie Donovan Mitchell will become one in the years to come and has already shown that he can perform in the clutch. He was outstanding in the win over the Cavs and the Pelicans allow a stack of points to the point guard position. The Pelicans also have a terrible record coming off a long layoff. They are 2-11 ATS in their last 13 when playing on 3 or more days rest and after getting off to very slow starts in their last two playing from behind will not be easy.

Tip: Utah WIN ($1.83)

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