This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.
76ers (+5.0) at Nuggets – FD 11:33 AM CT
We've seen this number come down from +5.5, despite the 76ers being on the road in the thin Denver air and without Ben Simmons. While Philadelphia isn't especially deep, their top-level talent, even without Simmons, is hardly matched. The four-man combo of Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, Josh Richardson and Al Horford is +6.4 points per 100 possessions in a solid 53-minute sample. Basketball-Reference's Simple Rating System also gives Philly a mark of 7.5, while handing a mark of 3.5 to Denver. Even if home-court advantage gives Denver a one-possession lean in the spread, there's value to be had in the 76ers here.
Heat (+8.5) at Lakers – FD 11:59 AM CT
This has moved since opening at +8 for the Heat, which isn't surprising considering they're on the road on the second game of a back-to-back. But the Heat have been too good for me to ignore such a big spread. These two teams are essentially even in terms of SRS, with the Heat winning close games against good teams and the Lakers blowing out subpar teams. Erik Spoelstra-led Heat teams are also 93-85-6 ATS on back-to-backs, which is encouraging. But this is really about the large line for me. I think it's more likely this game is competitive than it is a blowout.