Zach to the Rack NBA Picks For Tuesday 2/9/2021
Zach’s Season Record: 27-22
My picks record these last few weeks resembles that guy who streaked the Super Bowl on Sunday. Hard to ignore, hard to get a hold of, and falling short of the goal line by just a few inches. But is my deep NBA knowledge to blame? NO. Not with these last-minute scratches from games that make anything possible in today’s load-management-friendly NBA. Like my man, Nate Burleson, said on the Super Bowl telecast, “If I’m a ref, let these guys play like it’s the ‘90s NBA playoffs.” Yes. We are lacking a certain toughness in today’s league, and it’s starting to play with my money. And playing with my money is like playing with my emotions. BIG WORM taught me that in the movie Friday. So, today I’m betting on teams that have no stars that require extra days off… This is the all-grit pick day where I avoid the “Paul George is sitting because of a hangnail” bets and go with some down and dirty middle-class teams who leave it all on the court nightly. Our two matchups tonight are the 76ers versus the Kings and the Rockets versus the Pelicans.
The Kings beat a Paul George and Pat Bev-less Clippers team Sunday night behind De’Aaron Fox’s 36 points. The Kings have 12 wins, which actually says something about this team, but the 76ers have 17, including a 16-point drubbing of the Brooklyn Nets a few days ago. Terrance Ferguson may sit out the game due to COVID-19 protocols, but that won’t matter. Philadelphia is coming off a huge win at Brooklyn and will be well-rested, especially if Joel Embiid is healthy. The dude is averaging 29 and 11 a game right now! Remember when Rihanna wouldn’t date him because she didn’t know who he was? Time to run that DM slide back, Joel! Or don’t, R&B chicks can be tough on a player’s longevity in the league. Look at what Toni Braxton did to Dennis Rodman. Oh yeah, according to The Last Dance, they never dated… Riiiiight.
230.5 is an accurate point total here, but I’m leaning towards the under
in this 76ers versus Kings matchup. At this point in the season, the scoring is dipping a little, and even in that close Kings-Clippers game, they only hit 123. Look, point bets have been all over the place this year – so if I’m wrong, I’ll Tweet an apology to you like I was Tom Brady kissing Tyrann Mathieu’s ass.
I feel a close affinity to Rockets star Christian Wood because my nickname on my high school team was “Jewish Pine.” Both mean similar things, except Wood is an NBA badass and I got my nickname because I averaged 3 minutes PT per game in my junior year. Sadly, Christian Wood won’t be seeing 3 minutes as he is out indefinitely with an injury that weakens the Rockets’ frontcourt and will allow Zion to have some fun in this matinee game featured on TNT.
Not to mention that the Rockets are playing their 3rd game in 4 nights… That can be taxing, and as much as I’ve bashed the Pels this season, they’ve been playing GREAT lately. (Those 21 three-pointers in a game vs. Milwaukee turned it around.) Still, you never know which Pelicans team is gonna show up – but my money is going on New Orleans to get a win here and beat them by more than the 3.5-point-spread.
Point-totals-wise, take the under. New Orleans will score, the Rockets won’t. Not because of an inability, but because of fatigue. Back-to-backs, games, travel… Zzzzzzzz. I’d spend my money here on Zion hitting 30 for the 5th time this season with Wood out. (Remember, Wood gave them 27 points last time). But with no Wood, no Oladipo (rest), and no one able to guard the big guys, it could be a long night for the Rockets. Maybe that streaker will strike again and make it exciting. Just be aware, buddy – court burns hurt more than grass burns…