LET’S never speak of the last week again.
Yeah, the All Star weekend was great, but four days without the NBA in the middle of a season just does not fly.
We’re suffering from withdrawals.
But, never fear, the ball is back.
There are a mere three games on Friday, but Saturday hosts the biggest day of the year with 14 games – every team but two – in action.
And, the more games there are, the more opportunities there are to win some money.
We’ve had a sift through all 14 games to see where we can find a solid tip and we’ve come up a with a couple of multis sure to give you a chance of winnings some NBA dollars.
We’re just happy that the ball is back, but it’d be nice to add some extra coin to the high flying action.
Orlando Magic to beat Dallas Mavericks ($1.89)
Washington Wizards to beat Detroit Pistons ($1.89)
New York Knicks to beat Brooklyn Nets ($1.62)
Multi pays $5.80 @ Sportsbet.com.au
Atlanta Hawks to beat Miami Heat ($1.19)
Toronto Raptors to beat Chicago Bulls ($1.47)
Memphis Grizzlies to beat Minnesota Timberwolves ($1.47)
Multi pays $2.60 @ Sportsbet.com.au
Phoenix Suns at the line +8 vs. Houston Rockets ($1.91)
Utah Jazz to beat Boston Celtics ($1.89)
Los Angeles Lakers at the line -13 vs. Spurs ($1.91)
Multi pays $6.90 @ Sportsbet.com.au
Dallas Mavericks at Orlando Magic
Our tip: Orlando Magic to beat Dallas Mavericks ($1.89)
One of these teams is on track for a playoff berth, the other is probably going to end up back in the lottery, and yet it is the latter which we believe has dibs on this game. The Magic, while falling just short against more fancied opposition, have been in fine form, defeating the Atlanta Hawks twice in succession, amid tight defeats at the hands of title contenders San Antonio (twice), the Los Angeles Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Big guys Nikola Vucevic has been a double double machine in the paint, averaging 17 points and nine rebounds on the season and he will be ready to give the Mavs’ fellow Euro Zaza Pachulia all he can handle. While the Magic have been on the up, the Mavs have been sliding, losing four of their past five. Dirk Nowitzki still leads they way with a tick over 17.5 points per night and point guard Deron Williams is beginning to display some of the form that once had him in the conversation for best point guard alive, but the Mavs don’t defend all that well and they aren’t greatly adept at putting it in the hole. We like the Magic to surprise here.
Detroit Pistons vs. Washington Wizards
Our tip: Washington Wizards to beat Detroit Pistons ($1.89)
Every time we tip the Wizards, they wet the bed. But we’re staying on the John Wall train against a side that could only be described as a basket case. The Pistons, for all their talents with the likes of Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson, have lost six of their past eight games and, after looking like genuine playoff contender early on, now find themselves outside the top eight. The Wizards have been crueller buy injury and the fact they just don’t have the cattle to support Wall, who is tearing up the league with 20 points, 10 assists and two steals per night. The Wiz are 2-2 in their last four, with three of those on the road and they should be able to pull this one out on their return home.
New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets
Our tip: New York Knicks to beat Brooklyn Nets ($1.62)
In the battle of New York, this is a pair of horrible teams on their way to lottery picks. We’d say that surely the likes of Carmelo Anthony (if he is still in New York) and Kristaps Porzingas can will the Knicks over the line against the woeful Nets. But that would just be silly. This one won’t be easy, with the Knicks on a six game slide and having lost 10 of their past 11. But this is as good an opportunity as any to register a W, provided that is their goal. The Nets lost five in a row, before nabbing a couple of wins to inflate their depressing win tally, but the likes of Brook Lopez scare no one and we think the Knicks can just squeak one out on the road.
Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks
Our tip: Atlanta Hawks to beat Miami Heat ($1.19)
Less than a week ago, the Miami Heat had won six of seven games and looked like they were making a real push for a top four spot in the east. But a pair of losses before the All-Star break brought them back down to earth and now they have been crushed by the news that star forward Chris Bosh has had another blood clot scare. Bosh missed the last 30 games of last season after clots were discovered in his lungs and it’s not just his season, it is his career that hangs in the balance. It is a devastating blow for a Miami side that is holding onto fifth spot in the east. Bosh is irreplaceable. And that’s why we think the Atlanta Hawks will win. They need the win to widen the buffer between fourth and fifth, with big Al Horford and his versatile front court team mate Paul Millsap set to dominate.
Toronto Raptors at Chicago Bulls
Our tip: Toronto Raptors to beat Chicago Bulls ($1.47)
When E’twaun Moore is your go to guy, something is seriously wrong. That is the reality facing the Bulls with Jimmy Butler injured. They have lost four straight games and seven of their past eight and look absolutely nothing like the side that was expected to challenge Cleveland in the eastern conference finals. Aside from some bursts from Derrick Rose, the Bulls have been woeful and there’s a good chance coach Fred Holberg might be a one and done. Conversely, the Raptors continue to quietly cook in the east, sitting second, just three games back. We never thought we’d say this about a Bulls side, but this looks an easy one for Kyle Lowry and company.
Minnesota Timberwolves at Memphis Grizzlies
Our tip: Memphis Grizzlies to beat Minnesota Timberwolves ($1.47)
We’re not really sure what to make of the Grizz. They just seem to find ways to win. Although things are going to be that much harder with star centre Marc Gasol out for the rest of the season with injury. They are still fifth in the east, with a three game buffer over the Dallas Mavericks. They had won 10 of 11 before losing two in a row, and then notching up a win over the Nets before the All Star break. They will have to adjust without Gasol, but should still have enough grit and NBA experience to finish off the young Timberwolves – even if they did have a morale boosting win over the Raptors before the break. Watch for Karl-Anthony Towns to have a field day in the middle, but the Grizz to ultimately get the W at home.
Houston Rockets at Phoenix Suns
Our tip: Phoenix Suns at the line +8 vs. Houston Rockets ($1.91)
The Suns are terrible, but hear us out. The Rockets are on another one of those losing streaks they are adept at putting together, but this one gives them a chance to rectify the situation. But we think it will be tough, even against the lowly Suns, who have become a basket case, choking each other on the sidelines and enjoying general disharmony. They have lost nine straight, but these two teams met only just over a week ago, with the Rockets winning by six, 111-105. The unlikely source of Corey Brewer provided the scoring for Houston with 24, while Archie Goodwin continued his solid season with 22 points and seven dimes. The Rockets have not been great this season, but they should be able to squeak out a win here with the Suns consigned to yet another close loss.
Boston Celtics at Utah Jazz
Our tip: Utah Jazz to beat Boston Celtics ($1.89)
This one might just be match of the day. The plucky Jazz edged above .500 with seven straight wins, before dropping a stinker against the lowly New Orleans Pelicans to square their ledger at 26-26 before the All Star break. They have eased their way into playoff contention on the back of some stingy defence, led by shot swatting machine Rudy Gobert, and a versatile offence, that features six men averaging 10 points or more, with Gordon Hayward leading the way at a tick under 20 per night. The young Celtics are just as exciting and have become the surprise packet of the east, improving to 32-23, good enough for third in the conference. Isaiah Thomas has been the key man for the men in green, leading the side with perfection, but you could pinpoint six or seven others who have been integral to their success. This one has all the makings of a tight one, with the Jazz just taking it out thanks to home court advantage.
San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Lakers
Our tip: Los Angeles Lakers at the line -13 vs. Spurs ($1.91)
Two west teams at completely opposite ends of the spectrum battle it out at the Staples Centre. Don’t expect this one to be a close one. The Spurs are second in the west, while the Lakers are last with just 11 wins from 55 matches. Things look very, very bleak when the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan come to town, but, here’s the thing, the Lakers have actually been competitive against them this season. In their last outing, they lost by just four points. But the Spurs tend to rest players at key moments in a bid to ensure they are fit and firing for playoffs. We can see that happening again in this one. They will just do enough get the W and then send in the scrubs, in the confidence that they can get the job done – just not by too many. The Lakers should be able to keep it under 10 points.
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