The NBA heads into its final weekend before the All-Star Break begins next week. This weekend tips off with the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers hosting Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers. On Sunday, the LA Clippers visit the Milwaukee Bucks for a throwdown against the Greek Freak.
The Eastern Conference is a hot mess right now with three elite teams, and the remainder of the conference clustered in mediocrity. The Indiana Pacers sit in the #4 playoff spot with a 15-15 record, yet only 2.5 games separate the #4 seed and #10 in the East.
Don’t sleep on the Washington Wizards, who crawled out of the Eastern Conference basement and who have now won six out of their last seven games.
- Indiana Pacers at Boston Celtics
- Houston Rockets at Toronto Raptors
- Utah Jazz at Miami Heat
- Charlotte Hornets at Golden State Warriors
- Portland Trail Blazers at LA Lakers
- Minnesota Timberwolves at Washington Wizards
- Dallas Mavericks at Brooklyn Nets
- Cleveland Cavs at Philadelphia 76ers
- LA Clippers at Milwaukee Bucks
- New York Knicks at Detroit Pistons
- Golden State Warriors at LA Lakers
Meanwhile out in the Western Conference, everyone is chasing the Utah Jazz. The Jazz are now 22-2 in their last 24 games and have extended a four-game lead over the LA teams. The breakeven teams out west are all on the playoff bubble with the Memphis Grizzlies (14-14) sitting in the #9 spot.
Friday: Rockets Skid, Dame Goes to Hollywood
Indiana Pacers (15-15) at Boston Celtics (15-17)… Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis was one of the most egregious snubs for the upcoming All-Star Game. The Celtics are in a free fall and three-game skid after they slipped to the #9 playoff seed. The Celtics desperately need an offensive boost off the bench.
Houston Rockets (11-19) at Toronto Raptors (16-17)… The Rockets are on the verge of losing 10 games in a row. The Toronto Raptors dropped two in a row and look to get back on track against the slumping Rockets, who have the second-worst ATS record in the league at 11-19. The Raptors are trying to contain a COVID-19 outbreak among the coaching staff including head coach Nick Nurse. Worst case scenario, the players will coach themselves. Kyle Lowry is the oldest player on the Raptors at 34-years old. He has the most NBA seniority with 15 seasons.
Utah Jazz (26-5) at Miami Heat (15-17)… The Clippers ended the Jazz’s nine-game winning streak last Friday, but Utah won two in a row since then. The Jazz could hit 30 wins by the All-star Break if they sweep everyone on their four-game road trip. The Jazz have the best against the spread record in the NBA at 24-8 ATS.
Charlotte Hornets (15-16) at Golden State Warriors (18-15)… LaMelo Ball vs Steph Curry makes this Friday night showdown must-see TV.
Portland Trail Blazers (18-13) at LA Lakers (22-11)… Dame vs LeBron. Two stars meet without their wingmen to assist them. Damian Lillard has been on a tear since CJ McCollum broke his foot. LeBron has been carrying the worn-down Lakers since Anthony Davis went down with a calf injury. The Blazers lost three in a row, yet still hold the #5 spot in the West.
Saturday: Doncic vs Harden and Irving
Minnesota Timberwolves (7-26) at Washington Wizards (12-18)… The Wizards have been on a roll ever since a sports bettor placed a ridiculous wager on them to win the NBA Championship, posting two wins over the Denver Nuggets and another against the LA Lakers. The Wiz host the worst team in the NBA when the Minny T-Wolves come to town.
Dallas Mavericks (15-16) at Brooklyn Nets (22-12)… The Nets won eight straight, including seven in a row with Kevin Durant. It will be fun to keep track of James Harden and Luka Doncic. Which one will post a triple-double on Saturday night?
Cleveland Cavs (12-21) at Philadelphia 76ers (22-11)… The Cavaliers won two in a row after ending a 10-game skid. The Cavs have a tough assignment playing the Sixers in Philly, where the Sixers are 14-2 at Wells Fargo Center this season. Fade Alert! The Cavs have the worst ATS record in the NBA with a 12-21 clip.
Sunday: Kawhi vs Greek Freak
LA Clippers (23-11) at Milwaukee Bucks (20-13)… If you like betting overs, take a peek at the Clippers and Bucks. The Bucks are ranked #4 in NBA totals betting with overs hitting 20-12-1 this season. The Clippers are right behind them with a 20-13-1 o/u record.
New York Knicks (16-17) at Detroit Pistons (9-23)… The revitalized Knicks boast the best defense in the NBA, allowing 104.4 ppg. This is a sweet spot with two low-scoring teams squaring off. The Knicks are a great defensive squad playing the worst team in the league. If you love to bet unders, the Knicks have the best totals record with unders hitting 22-11 this season.
Golden State Warriors (18-15) at LA Lakers (22-11)… One half of the Splash Brothers vs half of LA’s Soul Patrol. Steph Curry heads to Tinsel Town to play the Lakers without Kay Thompson. LeBron squares off against the Warriors with Davis still sidelined until after the All-Star Break.