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What else is popping on Air-Ball?

On this TNT Thursday, there is only one thing to do and that is give my gambling picks for tonight’s games.

Trail Blazers vs Rockets

Line: HOU -5

Pick: Trail Blazers +5 

Listen, I understand CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic are out but this line is disrespectful to Damian Lillard. There is no way against a Hardenless Rockets squad, Lillard should be more than a possession underdog. With Christian Wood expected to miss this game as well, I don’t think the Enes Kanter issue defensively will be as pronounced. I understand John Wall and Victor Oladpio have looked good in Rockets uniforms but we need to relax with this line. I get thinking the Rockets may win, however giving me five points, the best player by far and a team in need of some wins a tight west is a solid bet in my book. Give me Portland to at worst cover the five points if not win outright. 

Lakers vs Pistons

Line: LAL -6.5

Pick: Lakers -6.5

If the Lakers had won yesterday in Philly I’d probably be a little more unsure of this pick. However, since the Lakers lost I expect them to bounce back in a big way against the Pistons. Anthony Davis is out so that isn’t ideal but the Pistons are without Blake Griffin (which quietly might be an advantage since he’s been so bad) so this is really the Jerami Grant vs LeBron James game and I like my chances with LeBron pulling it out. One player to really keep an eye on tonight is Dennis Schroeder. Schroeder looked great last night in Philly and going up against a Pistons team that lacks guard defence, I expect a big performance from him in a Lakers win. 

Clippers vs Heat 

There is no chance I’m picking this game. Miami is without half their rotation and the Clippers are without Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and Patrick Beverley. An impossible amount of unknown in this one to act as if a pick is even worth giving! 

Warriors vs Suns

Line: Phoenix -1.5

Pick: Warriors +1.5

This is easily the game of the night in my opinion. Though the Suns are without Devin Booker, falling below .500 this late in the season is far from ideal. Meanwhile, for the Warriors, their new starting lineup with James Wiseman off the bench has yielded real results for them. This new lineup is why I like the Warriors close tonight. Without Booker, this team is going to need a big night from Deandre Ayton offensively and if it were against Wiseman, I’d expect nothing less however, Kevon Looney is a legitimately solid low post defender and should give Ayton some issues. So, with Ayton likely not as effective as they’ll hope, it’ll be back to relying on a lot of Chris Paul, Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson and Jae Crowder for scoring. In the two games so far this has been the case, they have yet to crack 100 points in regulation. I expect a big Steph Curry game to go along with contributions from Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Oubre Jr and Co. as the Warriors squeak out a close win in the Valley. 


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