It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means. It’s time for another ESPN NBA doubleheader! Tonight, the Philadelphia 76ers take on the Cleveland Cavaliers at 4:30 p.m. (PDT) before the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers clash at 7:00 p.m. (PDT). There are a fair few factors to consider before putting money down this time around, so read on and place your bets. We’ll start, as always, with the early game.
PHI Spread: -2.5 (-110) Moneyline: -145
CLE Spread: +2.5 (-110) Moneyline: +125
Things to consider…
1) Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell is no longer listed on the team’s injury report. Mitchell missed Tuesday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets with a finger sprain, but is back in the starting lineup for the second half of this back-to-back. He’ll be the focal point of Cleveland’s offense and Philadelphia’s defense.
2) Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen (right eye contusion), however, will miss his third straight game. This most likely means that forward Evan Mobley will shift to the center position while Lamar Stevens starts at power forward. Cleveland will miss Allen’s size as it looks to contain Philadelphia center and MVP candidate Joel Embiid.
3) Fortunately for the Cavaliers, they are playing at home where they boast a 28-7 record. The Sixers are no slouch on the road (19-12), though, so this could be a spicy matchup regardless. Philadelphia does have a slight advantage in that it did not play last night, and fatigue can be a real factor at this point in the NBA season.
Main takeaways: Look for the Sixers to attack the Cavaliers’ weakened frontcourt in the paint. This could be a big night for Embiid. That said, with Mitchell playing, this could be anyone’s game. Bet as you see fit.
And now, the late game.
GSW Spread: +2.5 (-110) Moneyline: +125
LAC Spread: -2.5 (-110) Moneyline: -145
Things to consider...
1) Each team has an abundance of injuries to role players, so we won’t go diving too far into the weeds. The main absences of note are Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins (personal reasons) and Clippers forward Norman Powell (left shoulder subluxation). Both players are solid two-way wings, though Wiggins’ absence is more impactful.
2) The Clippers are on a three-game winning streak and have had three full days off, so they enter this matchup with momentum and rested legs. They share a Win/Loss record with the Warriors (36-33), and a win tonight ties the season series. A lot rides on this matchup for both teams as they compete for positioning in the NBA postseason.
3) This game is being played in Los Angeles, where the Clippers have a mere 18-15 home record. The Warriors are perhaps one of the worst away teams of the season, however, having gone 7-26 on the road so far. For that reason, one might give the edge to Los Angeles, and they wouldn’t be wrong to do it.
Main takeaways: This is another tossup, but the Clippers are probably a fair bet given the Warriors’ woes on the road. Add Los Angeles’ elite perimeter defenders into the mix and it’s certainly possible that they will overtake the defending champions, who rely heavily on motion and three-point shooting.