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There are a large slate of games going tonight and a lot of teams will be on edge given the trade deadline is here. Orlando could look like a totally different team soon, and teams that want to be considered contenders will be looking to make moves. Some injury notes for tonight, Collin Sexton is out for the Cavaliers, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is as well. Blake Griffin will be out for the Nets, but James Harden is questionable again. Given they are missing Durant and Irving already, the -11 spread is likely showing the Nets being very limited.
Charlotte Hornets -155 Vs. Houston Rockets
Houston comes in finally getting off the massive losing streak, but has just been a horrendous team this season. Charlotte did lose Lamelo Ball to a fractured wrist, but luckily the Hornets are a guard-heavy team who can fill in the meantime. Houston is 2-12 ATS and 1-19 in their last 20 overall. The Hornets have not won at Houston in 15 games, but the teams are in a different shape.
Devonte Graham and Malik Monk will soak up the minutes left behind by Ball, and Terry Rozier is also in a good spot tonight. Houston's defense is allowing teams to average 113 points per game this season. Gordon Hayward is also a mismatch for Houston, who is averaging 20 points per game this season, shooting 48%. While Ball was a great playmaker, Hayward and others are more than comfortable with the ball in their hand.
Charlotte thumped Houston 119-94 in the earlier meeting and offensively even without Ball have the upper hand.
Denver Nuggets -2.5 Vs. Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry is listed as available tonight but there is a chance he sits or plays very limited minutes given he is likely to be traded. Both of these teams are headed in opposite directions. Nikola Jokic is a frontrunner now for the MVP and the Nuggets are 8-2 in their last ten games. Toronto has lost nine straight and to some very bad teams like Houston, Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago.
Denver is pushing their way up the conference and are just 1.5 games back off the Los Angeles teams for the three-seed. Toronto ranks 29th in defensive efficiency over the last ten games and is 23rd in offensive efficiency. The Nuggets rank first in that span and 7th in defensive efficiency. Take the Nuggets here and ride a red-hot Jokic.
Jaylen Brown Over 18.5 Points (-117)
Everyone is playing for Boston tonight, yet this 18.5 seems low. Brown is averaging 24.7 points per game this season, which is a career-high and his shooting numbers have stayed consistent with last season's improvement. He is coming off 27, 34, 19, 28, and 28 point games in his last five, averaging 37 minutes per game. I would be shocked if he didn't hit this mark tonight.
Brown has averaged over 20 points per game against Milwaukee in the last three seasons. He has shot 53% against them in the last four games and averaged 3.0 threes made in that span as well.
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