NBA Thursday parlay at mega (+790) odds, today 1/12: Count on the Cavaliers
Welcome to another day in the association. While there are just 6 games on the schedule, that doesn’t mean we’re limited on action. We have several excellent Eastern Conference showdowns around the league, and I have come up with a mega parlay that pays out at nearly 8/1 odds at FanDuel Sportsbook!
Check out our NBA predictions for all today’s games.
Celtics -3 (-108)
Raptors win by 11+ (+140)
Cavaliers -1.5 (-108)
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Boston Celtics -3 (-108) over Brooklyn Nets
There are some teams that I avoid like the plague when they are on a back-to-back, but the Celtics are not one of those teams. Boston is 6-0 with a +12.5 MOV on the second leg of back-to-backs this season. That includes going 5-1 ATS and covering the spread by an average of +6.8 points. Boston hosted the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night and won 125-114 in a game Jaylen Brown dropped a season-high 41 points. Now the Celtics travel to New York to face the Nets in Brooklyn for the second time this season. In the first game the C’s came away with a 103-92 win. Keep in mind that game featured both Brooklyn superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, which will not be the case on Thursday. Durant is out indefinitely with a knee injury that he suffered on Sunday, which leaves a major hole in the Nets’ offense.
Since he was averaging nearly 30 points per game, Brooklyn will need either Seth Curry or TJ Warren to step up and contribute more. Even if someone steps into Durant’s shoes, the problem on defense remains the same. The Nets are allowing opposing teams to shoot at the 4th-highest rate from the perimeter, and considering Boston averages the 2nd most 3-pointers attempted per game, we should see a similar score to the first matchup.
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Toronto Raptors win by 11+ (+140) over Charlotte Hornets
LaMelo Ball returning to the lineup is putting a bandaid on a bullet hole. At 11-31, the Hornets hold the 2nd-worst record in the NBA (the Rockets are really, really bad). Charlotte has lost 7 of its last 9 games and most of its recent losses have not even been close. The Hornets have an 11.43-point losing margin in their most recent 7 losses, which would cover the winning margin of this bet. And if things couldn’t get any worse, Gordon Hayward has been downgraded to doubtful for Thursday’s game. He missed Tuesday’s contest against the Raptors and the Hornets lost by 12. Of Charlotte’s 120 points that night, 78 were scored by Ball, Terry Rozier and Mason Plumlee.
Their bench is razor-thin and lacking talent which is very concerning when most of Charlotte’s offensive production stems from 3 guys. Toronto won by double-digits on Tuesday with the Hornets shooting nearly 55% from the field and over 40% from 3-point land, and since I doubt Charlotte can replicate that 2 games in a row this should be another big win for the Raptors.
Cleveland Cavaliers -1.5 (-108) over Portland Trail Blazers
This line baffles me. And it seems I’m not the only one because, at the time of writing, 89% of bets and 85% of the money is on the Cleveland spread. While the Cavaliers have been surging, the Trail Blazers have been in a downward spiral. Portland has lost 8 of its last 10 games, but what is even more worrisome is that only 2 of those 8 losses were to teams with winning records. And their only 2 wins in the last 10 games? Over the Pistons and Hornets — the 2 worst teams in the Eastern Conference. Considering that, it seems hard to imagine that they can beat the team with the 2nd-best defensive rating in basketball.
A big reason for that has been the defensive presence of Jarrett Allen, who was originally listed as questionable for this matchup after leaving Tuesday’s game after just 7 minutes but is now probable. With a healthy Cleveland team, there is no reason for it to be favored by just a basket. As long as the Cavaliers hold Damian Lillard in check, this should be an easy win for the visitors.