The Academy Awards return for its 93rd edition and believe it or not, the show outcomes are complete bettable — not unlike a normal sports game. The Hollywood award show is a perfect side wager during this "downtime" in gambling, and honestly, it's rich with opportunities! See who we have winning what category right here!
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NBA Best Bets
Win Your NBA Bets
By Dan Favale
Orlando Magic (+2.5) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (-2.5)
It has been tough sledding for the Minnesota Timberwolve early on. They are 1-5, don't have a top-10 offense or defense, and look utterly incapable of shouldering the playoff expectations thrust onto them before the start of the season.
Still, the Orlando Magic are worse in just about every area of the game. So while Minnesota is playing the tail end of a road-road back-to-back, covering this spread shouldnt' be a real issue.
The Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves (-2.5)
New York Knicks (-8) vs. Brooklyn Nets (+8)
The New York Knicks are not worthy of eight-point favorite status against any team in the league—let alone a surprisingly feisty Brooklyn Nets squad that will give you hell on both ends of the floor, even with Jeremy Lin on the sidelines.
Indeed, the Knicks have the luxury of star power. Carmelo Anthony will pop, and there's always the possibility that one of Kristaps Porzingis or Derrick Rose does the same. But it's the Nets who have been the better team this season. Back-to-back or not, they should be able to keep things relatively close with a fantastically flawed Knicks squad.
The Pick: Brooklyn Nets (+8)
Washington Wizards (+1) vs. Boston Celtics (-1)
No, the Boston Celtics' defense has not been good. And yes, they will be without all three of Jae Crowder, Al Horford and Kelly Olynyk against the Washington Wizards.
Still, the Celtics' offensive depth, which has been abundantly evident this year, will get things done against a crappy Washington defense. This is a game they should win, and it won't necessarily be a nail-biter.
The Pick: Boston Celtics (-1)
Charlotte Hornets (-2.5) vs. Utah Jazz (+2.5)
Hot damn, this is a tough one.
The Utah Jazz have been crowned the NBA's next 50-win faction, but they're struggling to play .500 basketball at the moment. Whether that's the result of injuries, a roster learning curve, both or something else entirely isn't yet clear.
The Charlotte Hornets, meanwhile, have one of the league's best defenses and are surprisingly efficient on the offensive end. Statistically, this contest should go to them.
But with Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors back in the Jazz's lineup, it's time we bet on them like they're the team we expected them to be in the first place.
The Pick: Utah Jazz (+2.5)
Indiana Pacers (-11.5) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (+11.5)
When approaching this game, you must ask yourself: Are the Indiana Pacers a good basketball team?
The answer: No.
Make no mistake, the Pacers should still win this game. But their cratering defense and unimpressive offense don't instill nearly enough confidence to take them as an 11.5-point favorite.
The Pick: Philadelphia 76ers (+11.5)
Atlanta Hawks (-3.5) vs. Chicago Bulls (+3.5)
If you haven't seen the Atlanta Hawks play defense this season, you're missing out. They have the league's second-stingiest fortress and are scoring just enough on the offensive side to prop up the NBA's best net rating.
The Chicago Bulls have been comparably impressive on the offensive end, so this matchup should be a quality test for both teams' specialties. Chicago, however, is beginning its gradual trek back toward solid ground after an otherworldly start.
Taking Atlanta at home is the right pick here.
The Pick: Atlanta Hawks (-3.5)
Oklahoma City Thunder (-4) vs. Toronto Raptors (+4)
Do not be lulled into a reckless sense of security by the Oklahoma City Thunder's scorching-hot 6-1 start. They have a top-five defense that's only beaten one top-10 offense, and their own offense is hovering around the bottom quarter of the league in efficiency.
Ultimately, the advantage must be given to the Toronto Raptors in this one. DeMar DeRozan's on-off splits aren't great, but he's scoring like crazy thus far, and the two-way play of Kyle Lowry will partially mitigate whatever explosive performance Russell Westbrook has lined up for tonight.
The Pick: Toronto Raptors (+4)
Phoenix Suns (+4) vs. Detroit Pistons (-4)
The Phoenix Suns have been a borderline revelation early on. They aren't very good, but much like the Nets do for Kenny Atkinson, they play extremely hard for head coach Earl Watson.
Against a Detroit Pistons squad that's still missing Reggie Jackson and has received inconsistent energy from cornerstone Andre Drummond, the Suns' onset scrappiness is enough to take the four points they are getting.
The Pick: Phoenix Suns (+4)
San Antonio Spurs (-8) vs. Houston Rockets (+8)
A big part of yours truly wants to take the Houston Rockets. James Harden is incredible, and Houston has the offensive potency to match his godly numbers.
That said, the San Antonio Spurs, in addition to being at home, play a brand of defense that could gum up the Rockets' drive-and-kick-heavy attack. And if the Rockets' offense is stymied, they don't have the defense to slow the Spurs' own offense.
Plus, for some incalcuable reason, San Antonio always seems to lay beatdowns on Houston.
The Pick: San Antonio Spurs (-8)
Los Angeles Clippers (-10) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (-10)
It doesn't look like Al-Farouq Aminu will play in this one, which severely compromises an already-shoddy Portland Trail Blazers defense. On most nights, we could bank on the offense keeping things close, but the Los Angeles Clippers currently lead the league in points allowed per 100 possessions.
In other words: Wednesday night should be a long one for the Blazers.
The Pick: Los Angeles Clippers (-10)
Golden State Warriors (-16) vs. Dallas Mavericks (+16)
So many feelz.
You have the Golden State Warriors, who are an absolute terror on paper and, sometimes, in practice. Then you have the Dallas Mavericks, who are traveling to face that version of Golden State, without Dirk Nowitzki, but with former Warriors and present chip-carriers Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut.
This, in turn, isn't just another regular-season game.
And you now what? The last time these Warriors played a higher-stakes regular-season tilt, it was against the Thunder, Kevin Durant's old team, and they destroyed them.
Expect the same tonight.
The Pick: Golden State Warriors (-16)
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