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Sunday NBA Preview And Betting Tips
Best NBA Betting Advice
By Liam Davis
Don't let the Miami Heat's Thursday night letdown fool you into thinking this team isn't good. They remain the hottest squad in the NBA since Jan. 17, a stretch spanning nearly one half of the season.
Dion Waiters' absence is a big one, and the Boston Celtics are still playing for second place—and first place kind of—in the Eastern Conference. But we can't look at this game as one fringe lottery team playing a bona fide playoff squad. These are both legitimate postseason units, and a game like this, given how each side is playing, should end up being super close.
The Pick: Miami Heat (+5)
The Indiana Pacers, as always, remain a solid team at home. They have the net rating of a playoff outfit when they play in front of their home crowd, according to NBA.com. But they have not been indomitable in Indiana of late, and the Philadelphia 76ers are a team that play hard and, when they're without Joel Embiid, really fast.
The Pacers aren't currently built to contend with that type of play style. Though the Sixers are different, because they're still a below average faction, they should be able to remain within striking distance from wire to wire.
The Pick: Philadelphia 76ers (+8.5)
It's bizarre but true: The Memphis Grizzlies typically cause problems for the Golden State Warriors. We've seen it in the past, in the playoffs specifically. They slow down the pace of play, throw tons of bodies at Stephen Curry and try to displace the Warriors from their comfort zone and into the half-court.
This year is kind of different, even with the Grizzlies having won each of the first two meetings, and even with Kevin Durant watching this one from the sidelines as he recovers from an MCL injury. Memphis is allowing a greater share of its opponents shots to come from beyond the arc—third-most in the league, actually. That plays right into the Warriors' hands, even if they're forced to operate in the half-court without one of their two best players.
Go with a double-digit victory for Golden State.
The Pick: Golden State Warriors (-10.5)
The Houston Rockets are about as good of a matchup for the Oklahoma City Thunder as the Warriors. This is to say: They aren't a good matchup for the Thunder.
Yes, with Russell Westbrook exploding for triple-doubles almost daily, the Thunder are a wild card in the sense you get the feeling, at times, they can beat anyone. That feeling doesn't exist against Golden State. The Thunder are thrown off-kelter with more dynamic lineups that don't really allow them to push forward with two traditional bigs.
The Rockets should have the same effect on them. Head coach Mike D'Antoni likes to surround Clint Capela with four shooters, and he's not above trotting out five snipers at once.
The Pick: Houston Rockets (-6)
While the Los Angeles Lakers have played some pretty tight games of late, the fact remains they're not trying to win games. The Portland Trail Blazers may be coming off a game on Saturday night, but it was a win, and they've been tearing it up over the last two weeks or so, winning games they're supposed to win by double digits.
This is one of those games they are supposed to win. And we should bet on them winning it.
The Pick: Portland Trail Blazers (-6.5)
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