NBA Week Fifteen Betting Tips
Four out of five for the second time in a row in last week’s NBA betting tips has us keen to hit a perfect week this time around. Despite the fact that the LA Lakers cost us a 100% record last week, we take a look at their clash with neighbours LA Clippers, while their fellow Western Conference challengers Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets are in action on the road at San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks respectively. Elsewhere, Eastern Conference playoff hopefuls Miami Heat and Orlando Magic meet in an all-Florida encounter, while Golden State Warriors face an uphill battle as they go up against Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Read on for our previews and betting tips.
Orlando Magic @ Miami Heat, Tuesday 28th January, 00:30 GMT
There’s an element of rivalry in this matchup, with both teams finding success at a similar point in their history, and both being based in Florida. They also share the peculiar quirk of both losing to LA Clippers in their most recent game, with Miami Heat losing by 5 on Saturday, before Orlando Magic lost by 15 on Sunday. Prior to that slip, the Heat were on a fantastic streak at AmericanAirlines Arena, having seen off nine teams in a row since they fell to LA Lakers in mid-December. In fact, those two make up the only losses they’ve had at home, having won the other 20, so they’ll be confident ahead of this encounter.
It’s refreshing to learn that many didn’t back Orlando Magic for a playoff berth this campaign, as it gives 21.co.uk a chance to boast a bit, as our NBA season preview had them to finish 7th in the Eastern Conference. The Magic look likely to snag one of the lower positions, which would be only a second playoff qualification in eight years, and largely have their incredible defense to thank. Their tally of 104.4 points conceded per game is the best in the NBA at the moment, although their offense leaves something to be desired. For this reason when it comes down to our sports betting, we’re not sure they’ll cause an upset in Miami.
Wednesday’s preview was originally for the LA Clippers @ LA Lakers game, but this has now been postponed due to the tragic circumstances surrounding former Lakers player Kobe Bryant.
Phoenix Suns @ Dallas Mavericks, Wednesday 29th January, 01:30 GMT
Since their 2011 Championship win Dallas Mavericks have struggled; missing the playoffs in four of the eight seasons, and failing to make it past the first round in the others. A 61% win rate in 2015 is also their highest since 2011, but this year they’re at 63% with plenty of time to go. A playoff spot seems guaranteed, but head coach Rick Carlisle is likely to want to see more from his wider roster, with last season’s Rookie of the Year, Luka Doncic, carrying the team in large patches. Kristaps Porzingis has also been key, but it will be interesting to see how the Mavericks will cope with the long-term injury to Dwight Powell.
Phoenix Suns shooting guard, Devin Booker, has been posting the kind of points tallies that are worthy of an All-Star, despite the Suns struggling. 11th in the Western Conference is an improvement on their performances over the past few years, but there’s a long way to go if they’re to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010. That said, the Suns have won five of their last eight games away from Arizona, although they lost their most recent one, at Memphis Grizzlies, over the weekend. The Suns have won seven of the most recent ten meetings with the Mavericks, but it finished 120-113 in Dallas’ favour back in November. We can see the Suns performing better this time though.
Utah Jazz @ San Antonio Spurs, Thursday 30th January, 01:30 GMT
There’s a huge statistic about San Antonio Spurs that came into force last week. Essentially, over Gregg Popovich’s entire stewardship (or at least, since his first full season at the helm in 1997-98) up until their loss to the Timberwolves in November, the Spurs had only held a season win percentage of less than 50% for a combined 70 days. Last week, they brought that over the 140 day barrier. As such, they are in real danger of missing out on the playoffs for the first time since Popovich took over for the remainder of the 1996-97 season, and only the fifth time in their NBA history. 9th-placed Spurs travel to the 9th-placed side in the Eastern Conference, Chicago Bulls, before this tie, and will arguably need a win.
Utah Jazz are one of the biggest surprises of this NBA season. They were always backing themselves to make the playoffs, having firmly put the difficult first half of the last decade behind them, but to be sitting 2nd in the Western Conference with a 71% win record must come as a shock even to them. The Jazz are a great side on their day, and they have a great opportunity to keep up the pressure on LA Lakers, while holding off the challenge of others in the West. Houston Rockets at home and Denver Nuggets away make up part of their fixture list, but they’ll be eyeing this trip to Texas and a game on the road at Portland Trail Blazers as relatively straightforward, particularly with their positive away record.
Golden State Warriors @ Boston Celtics, Friday 31st January, 01:00 GMT
Boston Celtics are yo-yoing between sequences of results at the moment. They’ve had two 3-game slumps this year already, and now wins against LA Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, and Orlando Magic have been undone by a 15-point loss at New Orleans Pelicans. With a trip to Miami Heat before this one, the Celtics could conceivably be on the precipice of throwing away a top four spot, with Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers circling. Part of the Celtics’ struggles have been their focus on 3-point plays, but with the likes of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, and Al Horford in their ranks, that’s unlikely to change. Any system seems likely to work against the Warriors at the moment though.
Golden State Warriors have just one victory this year, and considering they’ve played twelve, that is a huge concern. They’ll have a decent chance when they travel to Cleveland Cavaliers at the weekend though, but before that they’ve got to contend with Philadelphia 76ers and the Celtics. The Warriors seem to be looking beyond this season, having traded Willie Cauley-Stein to Dallas Mavericks to take up a second-round draft pick, and that may mean that they may elect not to bring back Stephen Curry at all this season, to give him more time to recover from hand surgery. Whatever the future may hold, the jaded present will see the Warriors continue to struggle, this time at TD Garden.
Denver Nuggets @ Milwaukee Bucks, Saturday 1st February, 02:00 GMT
Milwaukee Bucks are an incredible side, and are just two wins away from ensuring that they finish with a win percentage higher than 50%, and we’re only 46 games into their season. It’s taken a long time for the Bucks to get to these dizzying heights, but after last season’s loss in the Eastern Conference Finals against Toronto Raptors, they’ll be hoping to go a stage further this time. Giannis Antetokounmpo could easily be named league MVP for the second season in a row, as his outstanding performances have catapulted the Bucks into pole position. While they’ve only lost two games at home however, they’ve come against Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat, two teams of similar calibre to the Nuggets.
Denver Nuggets have had a strange start to 2020, but it’s generally been positive. If you overlook losses to Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers, then they’ve largely had form befitting of a side that are pushing for a top four finish in the Western Conference. Having a win percentage north of 50% both home and away is crucial to a successful season, and ticking those boxes for the Nuggets sees them looking likely to go further than they did last year, which in turn was their best campaign since 2013. Playing away at Memphis Grizzlies and at home to Utah Jazz might not be ideal preparation, but they possess a physicality that can cause the Bucks problems.
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