Injuries are just an unfortunate by-product of the athleticism of the NBA. But it pays to keep a close eye on the line-up list before taking a punt.
Take the Milwaukee Bucks, for example, who have plummeted to 4.90 to beat the Portland Trail Blazers tonight. Why? Because of the season-ending ACL tear sustained by Jabari Parker last night.
Previously the Rookie of the Year favourite, he wasn’t putting up superstar numbers with just 12.3 points per game. It shouldn’t drastically stall the Bucks' ascent away from the NBA basement. And while the Blazers, who are 11-2 at home, should pay out on a handicap of -12.5 at 2.50, don’t write off Milwaukee going forward.
The absentee list though will be more of an X-factor this evening when the San Antonio Spurs host a Memphis Grizzlies team coming off a superb win over Golden State on Tuesday.
The hosts will be without Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard, dropping 31 combined points per night out of their stat sheet.
But there has been a little advance planning here. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili were rested in Monday’s trip to Portland where the 108-95 loss for the Spurs were seen as acceptable damage within the bigger picture.
While Mike Conley should look to average above his clip of 17.8 points, San Antonio will lean on their defence and their reserves – and hope that Memphis have a semblance of a hangover in only their second back-to-back of the campaign.
Normally these Divisional rivals tally for 203.8 points per game based on their offensive output. With all the extra factors in play, expect a low scorer instead with the Spurs having a better chance than one might think on first sight, despite their two tyros sitting on the bench.
Best bet: Go under 196.5 total points in San Antonio - Memphis at 1.70