NBA Basketball: Tonight’s Picks

By Bill Simpson

Jan 20, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) signals after scoring a basket during the fourth quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers at Toyota Center. The Rockets defeated the Trailblazers 126-113. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets

The spread is 6.5 points in the Rockets favor; though Dwight Howard and James Harden have been balling and are playing at home tonight, I’m still apprehensive that they beat the spread in this one, especially with Damian Lillard playing so well. I’m picking the Rockets to win outright.

Feb 12, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Mionta Ellis (11) passes the ball away from Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (51) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana Pacers at Dallas Mavericks

Paul George and the Pacers have lost three straight, most recently getting stomped by almost 40 points at the hands of the Houston Rockets. Still, the spread is one point in Indiana’s favor. After what the Mavericks recently pulled off, beating the higher-ranked Trail Blazers, they might be the smart pick, but I think Indiana wants to rid themselves of this losing streak and get back to winning games.

Jan 17, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Jose Barea (11) makes a move past Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry (7) at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Timberwolves 94-89. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Raptors at Minnesota Timberwolves

The Raptors are debatably the most surprising team of the 2013-14 season, but the spread is five points in the Wolves favor. Kevin Love has been on a scoring surge, averaging over 30 points per game his last couple games; but I am going to pick the Raps to win outright in this one.

Feb 8, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns mascot the Gorilla interacts with the crowd during the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors at US Airways Center. The Suns won 122-109. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns at Golden State Warriors

Will a team get to a 140 points tonight? Both? We’ll see. Stephen Curry and the Warriors haven’t been as good offensively as of recent and have been relying on their defense; so perhaps not as many points will be scored in this game as you’d think. The spread is surprisingly 7.5 points in the Dubs favor, making this an easy pick: Suns beat the spread.

My picks: – Rockets win the game – Pacers beat the spread – Raptors win the game – Suns beat the spread

My current record: 1-2

***All betting info. courtesy of Bovada