February 28, 2020
The 36-22 Oklahoma City Thunder head to Milwaukee to square off against the best team in the NBA, the 50-8 Bucks, on Friday. The Bucks recently became the third-fastest team in history to reach 50 wins, just behind the 2016-17 Warriors and the 1995-96 Bulls. Milwaukee has won four straight since the All-Star break.
Oklahoma City sits in fifth place in the Western Conference standings, nine games behind the Lakers and just a half-game ahead of the Jazz. The Thunder are 8-2 over their last 10 games and show no signs of slowing down. Tip-off is set for 8 pm ET, so let’s do a betting preview of this contest.
As the NBA season works it’s way down the stretch, the Thunder keep getting better. They’ve gone from staying afloat, to firmly in the playoff picture over the last six weeks. Led by veteran point guard Chris Paul, the Thunder rank 4th in the NBA in field goal percentage and 7th in turnovers per game.
Paul himself is averaging 17.5 points, 6.7 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Paul hasn’t had to do it all himself, teammates Shai Gilgeous Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, and Dennis Schroder are all averaging over 19 points per game. Steven Adams is averaging 11 and putting up nearly 10 boards per game.
Running With the Deer
The Bucks show no signs of giving any team in the East an easy run to the Finals. Their 50 wins before March shows just how special this team could be. Giannis Antetokounmpo has become a top five player in the NBA in any given night, and he just keeps improving.
Khris Middleton keeps hitting threes at a ridiculous clip. And Eric Bledsoe is able to score and distribute at a high clip.
The Bucks have been favored for much of the season, and that won’t change on Friday night. Not coming off of four straight wins, including a couple of blowouts. They’re coming off a game in which they beat the Pistons by 20, a game in which Giannis had 33 points and 16 rebounds.
The Thunder’s defense should give Giannis more of a fit, but enough to win? That remains to be seen.
Attention Bucks Bettors
If you’ve bet the Bucks hard this season, congratulations, you’ve made some money. The Bucks are 34-24 against the spread this season. It doesn’t get much better than that, right? Wrong.
The best team in the league at covering spreads this season has easily been Oklahoma City. They come in at 38-20 against the spread. They’re an astounding 21-6 against the spread on the road.
So, who are you taking? The Bucks are currently favored by 10.5 points. Both teams have made bank this season, and look to continue to do so Friday night. See you there and good luck!
For more on this matchup, check out our matchup page. For more odds and action from around the NBA, check out our NBA Public Consensus page.
Tags: Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, NBA betting preview, Oklahoma City Thunder
February 27, 2020
The Portland Trail Blazers head East on Thursday night for a showdown with the Indiana Pacers. Indiana sits just inside the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, with a 34-24 record, putting them in 6th place. The Blazers are on the outside of the West’s playoff picture, looking in. They’re 26-33, currently in the 9th spot.
We’ll take a closer look at this game in our betting preview.
The battle, which is set to be a good one, lost a bit of its flare this week. It looks like the Blazers will head into the matchup without Damian Lillard, who is day to day with a groin injury.
Pacers guard Victor Oladipo, who recently returned from injury, is also once again sidelined with a back injury. We will have to see how the teams fare without one of each of their biggest scorers.
CJ Leads the Way
In the absence of Damian Lillard, teammate C.J. McCollum will have to step up and showcase the skills that make him a star in the league. McCollum is averaging 22 points, four rebounds, and four assists on the season, all while shooting nearly 39% from deep.
Lillard shoots 10 threes per game, so CJ and company will have to find a way to make up for the range they’ll be missing. The answer is likely CJ.
Trevor Ariza will also be assisting with some of those threes. Ariza is shooting over 40% from range, which is an evergreen statement for his entire career. In the paint, the Blazers leave it on the shoulders of Hassan Whiteside, who’s putting up 15.9 points and 14.2 rebounds per game. Whiteside grabs 4 of those boards per game on the offensive end.
Sabonis Rising Up
Domantas Sabonis has turned into an absolute phenom since donning a Pacers jersey. Sabonis is shooting 54% from the field while putting up 18.3 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 4.9 assists. Sabonis’ 18.3 is second on the team to T.J. Warren, who’s putting up 18.5 points per game.
Warren has progressively improved over the last three seasons, becoming an asset for the Pacers.
The Pacers have had plenty of practice without Oladipo. On paper, the game lost some of its flare, but in real life, the Pacers have the advantage when it comes to injuries. Oladipo has only appeared in eight games this season; Dame has started 54 for the Blazers.
Playing Against the Spread
Statistically, Portland is one of the worst teams in the NBA against the spread this season. They have only beat the spread 23 times, only Detroit and Minnesota have fewer. Indiana, on the other hand, has been pretty good. They’re 31-26-1, covering 54.4% of the time.
The Pacers are 20-10 at home this season. They’re 15-14-1 at home against the spread this season. Portland is 10-20 on the road this season, 12-18 against the spread. We will see who’s numbers improve on Thursday night. The Pacers are favored by 10 points headed into tip-off.
For more on this matchup, check out our matchup page. For more odds and action from around the league, check out our NBA Public Consensus page.
Tags: Indiana Pacers, NBA, NBA betting preview, Portland Trail Blazers
February 21, 2020
The NBA welcomes fans back with a full slate of NBA action on Friday, including the Celtics heading to the Midwest to square off against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Read on for our betting preview of this contest.
Boston remains highly in playoff contention, sitting at 3rd in the Eastern Conference. The Timberwolves have only 16 wins on the season, their only glimmer of hope coming from the recent acquisition of D’Angelo Russell.
The Celtics’ 38-16 record puts them eight games behind the conference-leading Bucks and only 1.5 behind the second-place Raptors. They’re 8-2 in their last 10 games.
The Timberwolves are only 1-9 in their last 10, and 16-37 overall. They recently unloaded top draft pick Andrew Wiggins to the Warriors for Russell. Only time will tell how that works out for them. Tip-off is set for 8 pm ET on Friday night.
Brad Stephens once again shows that he can make the best of any roster handed to him this year, though this is an exceptionally talented roster. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been phenomenal for the group. Tatum is averaging 22.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.4 steals on the season. Brown is putting up 20.2, 6.4, and 1.1.
Brown went into the All-Star break with a day to day status due to a calf injury. His status for Friday’s game is not yet known. Kemba Walker has been bringing his 21.8 points and five assists per game all season and has been relentless since joining a contending team. Throw Gordon Hayward in the mix, and you’ve got a championship-caliber team.
Ice Cold in Minnesota
Few players would have been happier to arrive in icy Minnesota after playing in sunny California. However, Russell was about as happy as one could be about coming to a struggling team in Minnesota.
After all, his previous team was literally the worst in the league. Russell is averaging 24 points and eight assists on the season, which should easily replace Wiggins production and then some.
Karl-Anthony Towns leads the team in most of everything and has become one of the most dynamic bigs in the game. Towns is putting up 26.5 points and 10.8 boards per game. It’s also extremely difficult to gain position on him on the defensive end of the floor. Towns blocks only 1.2 shots per game, but it’s those that he alters that don’t show up on the stat sheet.
Hot and Cold
It remains to be seen if the Celtics can actually catch the likes of the Bucks in the East. It would take a major stumble from Milwaukee. Overall, the Celtics are second to only OKC at covering the spread this season at 32-20-2. Minnesota is the worst team in the league when it comes to covering. 18-33-2. Yikes.
The Celtics are favored by 6.5 points in this game, with an over/under of 228.5. And in this one, don’t expect the unexpected. I would expect exactly what the matchup looks like on paper.
For more on this game, check out our matchup page for the game. For more odds and action from around the league, check out our NBA Public Consensus page.
Tags: Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBA betting preview
February 19, 2020
A couple of old Central Division foes square off as the NBA makes its post-break return. The Detroit Pistons are set to host the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night as part of a full slate of NBA games. The Pistons sit 28.5 games behind the Bucks, who own the best record in the league at 46-8. Tip-off is set for 7 pm ET. Read on for our betting preview of this contest.
The Bucks are 8-2 over their last 10 games, which is basically the same scorching pace they’ve maintained all season. Stay healthy, and they can do damage down the stretch. The Pistons, on the other hand, aren’t in contention for much of anything.
With Blake Griffin and Luke Kennard both being mainstays on the injury report, they just haven’t had enough gas in the tank to keep up with even the bottom of the East’s playoff picture. They’re six games behind the eighth-place Magic, who are 22.5 behind the Bucks.
How much better can Giannis Antetokounmpo get? Well, it seems every year he plays, he will improve something. He has become an absolute terror on both ends, the past two seasons. He leads the Bucks in points, rebounds, and assists. And he isn’t far behind in blocks and steals.
At this rate, Giannis may spend the next few years collecting MVP’s, and maybe some other trophies as well.
Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe have been the perfect complements to Giannis’ game this season, as they both help out in all categories. Middleton is shooting nearly 44% from three-point range this season, and he attempts 5.5 per game. Bledsoe is shooting 48% from the field and averages 5.3 assists per game.
Cold in the D(etroit)
Another season, another Derrick Rose resurgence. Unfortunately for the Pistons, his resurgence isn’t enough to counteract the injuries of Griffin and Kennard. Rose leads the team in scoring and assists with averages of 18.2 and 5.8. He’s shooting just under 50% from the field on the season.
Things won’t get much easier for Rose anytime soon as the Pistons also just traded away Andre Drummond to Cleveland. Drummond led the team in blocks, rebounds, and steals. He was also less than half a point behind Rose’s scoring average. Large shoes to fill for a shallow roster of youngsters.
Points and Pointers
Heading into Thursday’s matchup, the Bucks are favored by 12.5 points. Vegas doesn’t care if the best team in the NBA is on the road. Milwaukee is 15-10 against the spread on the road this season. The Pistons are 11-18 against the spread at home.
Overall, Milwaukee has only lost five games on the road this season, tied with the Lakers for NBA best. The over/under is set at 224.5. The Bucks can put up points in droves at times. Tune in Thursday for all the NBA excitement.
For more on this matchup, check out the matchup page. For more NBA odds and action from around the league, check out our NBA Public Consensus page.
Tags: Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, NBA betting preview
February 14, 2020
The NBA’s All-Star weekend has finally arrived and should be chocked full of excitement. Team LeBron will square off against Team Giannis at the United Center in Chicago on Feb. 17. And even before the showdown, fans and bettors will have plenty to do leading up including the dunk contest, skills challenge, and three point competition. Following is a betting preview for all the events.
Some new rules will be implemented this season. Some to donate to various Chicago based charities, and others in honor of the fallen legend, Kobe Bryant. After the first and second quarter, the score will be reset to 0-0, with the winner of each of the first three quarters receiving $100,000 to donate to charity.
At the end of the third period, all three quarter scores will be combined just like a normal game. Then it gets really interesting. For the fourth quarter, 24 points (Kobe’s #) will be added to the leading team’s score, whichever team reached that sum first wins.
So if the leading teams total is 100 at the end of three quarters, the first team to 124 wins the game and an additional $200,000 donation. These new rules should not only make for a more competitive game, but one can’t think of a better way to honor Kobe than to donate to charity, as he often did himself.
The Odds Leading Up
This year’s Dunk Contest is set to be another for the ages, as Dwight Howard and Aaron Gordon will return after making splashes in the past. Vegas and fans seem to have Gordon pegged as the winner already this year. With the odds at +130, Gordon is the favorite. Howard is the underdog at +550. Derrick Jones Jr and Pat Connaughton will also be throwing down.
Damian Lillard was injured in Portland’s final game before the All-Star break, so he will replaced by Devin Booker in the three-point shootout. Duncan Robinson comes in as the favorite with odds of +375. Zach LaVine and DeVonte Graham are the underdogs at +1200.
The Skills Competition brings some of the games most broadly talented players to one place. Some of which are way undervalued. The favorite is Spencer Dinwiddie coming in at +290. Jayson Tatum and Pascal Siakam come in at +450, while the overall underdog is Bam Adebayo at +1200.
The Big Game
Team captains for the second year in a row, LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo drafted their teams last Thursday night. Lebron’s team is highlighted by Lakers teammate Anthony Davis and second-year phenom Luka Doncic. Team Giannis’ standouts are another second season star in Trae Young and Sixers star Joel Embiid.
Which team has more firepower? Well, both of these teams are completely stacked, but don’t look for any heavy-hitting defense on either side. None of these players want to risk injury, even if for a charity or Kobe. However, I do expect a better game than most other seasons.
Team LeBron comes in favored by 4.5 points. I anticipate a ton of points and a lot of fun that you won’t want to miss.
For more action from around the NBA, check out our NBA Public Consensus page. Check out our NBA matchup page as well.
February 11, 2020
The red-hot Boston Celtics hit the road to Houston on Tuesday night for a showdown with the Rockets. If both teams come to play, it could be a battle of epic proportions.
Boston is on the hunt for its eighth straight win, coming in 9-1 in its last 10 games. The Celtics’ last loss came at the hands of the Pelicans on Jan. 26.
Houston hasn’t fared quite as well over its last 10 games, coming in 6-4. The Rockets’ 33-20 record puts them 7.5 games behind the West-leading Lakers, but only four games behind the Clippers for third. They currently hold the fifth spot in the Western Conference.
Boston’s 37-15 record puts them in the third spot in the Eastern Conference, 8.5 games behind the Bucks. Here’s a betting preview for this matchup between two of the top teams in the NBA.
It’s Still Title Town
Boston winning nine out of its last 10 should come as a surprise to approximately zero percent of avid NBA fans. The Celtics were always going to go on a run like this. They have the talent, they have the coach in Brad Stephens, and they are from a city that collects jewelry. The opposition needs to watch themselves coming out of the All-Star break.
The Celtics are finally healthy enough to do some damage, and aside from Robert Williams, head into the matchup with a clean injury report. This is where most previews say led by *insert players name, but with this squad, it’s maximum team effort.
The Celtics are really led by the entire starting lineup. You could point out Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, or Kemba Walker, among others, as the leader.
Too Many Chefs?
It’s not that the combination of James Harden and Russell Westbrook isn’t working; it’s just not working to the expectations of many fans. Nonetheless, the combo of the two averages over 62 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists per game. They also have a combined 3.2 steals per game.
Houston has five players that average at least one steal per game. That’s a tough feat in today’s NBA.
The recent acquisition of Robert Covington has done nothing but help the team. Houston now has several sharp-shooters to target beyond the arc. Covington is shooting 37.5 percent from three this season.
Off We Go
Tuesday night should bring a battle you won’t want to miss. When it comes to covering the spread, Boston is the second-most efficient team in the NBA. The Celtics are 31-19-2 against the spread this season. On the road, they’re 15-9-1.
Houston is in the bottom half of the league against the spread. The Rockets come in 25-28. They are an even .500 at home, 13-13 against the spread. Stay tuned to see which number moves on Tuesday. The Rockets are favored by 2.5 points in this showdown, with an over/under of 231.
For more on this matchup, check out our matchup page. For more action and odds from around the league, check out our NBA Public Consensus page.
Tags: Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA betting preview
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