NBA Week Nineteen Betting Tips
We hope NBA fans had better luck with their betting than we did as last week’s NBA betting tips weren’t the best, as Orlando Magic won at Brooklyn Nets and Denver Nuggets were on the wrong end of a landslide against LA Clippers. Still, 21.co.uk’s basketball tipster keeps their chin up, and casts an eye over games involving several sides that look to have the playoffs sewn up, as well as a few that are still in with a chance. These include Indiana Pacers’ trip to San Antonio Spurs, the clash between Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets in Massachusetts, Miami Heat hosting Orlando Magic, Golden State Warriors playing for pride as they rock up in Canada to face the reigning NBA champions Toronto Raptors, and the two best teams go head-to-head as the Eastern Conference table-toppers Milwaukee Bucks head way out west to face LA Lakers in California. Read on, for selected basketball betting tips.
Indiana Pacers @ San Antonio Spurs, Tuesday 3rd March, 01:30 GMT
San Antonio Spurs are in a slump, there’s no way to sugarcoat it. Winning just four times in eleven games last month, the Spurs are languishing in the Western Conference, and staring down the barrel of the real prospect of missing out on the NBA playoffs for the first time since 1997. Gregg Popovich knows his side are in a real dogfight, but he’ll remain hopeful that they can leapfrog New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings to catch Memphis Grizzlies. To do so, they’ll need to string together some wins, which is easier said than done considering they’ve only won three consecutive games on two separate occasions this season, including the opening fixtures. They’ve been poor away from the AT&T Center, so this game against the Pacers could be crucial, as they face three games on the road across the rest of this week.
Indiana Pacers arrive in San Antonio with their playoff status all but assured, but with ambitions of edging Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers to a top four berth. A 60% win percentage is not to be sniffed at, and last year would have been enough to finish 4th in the Eastern Conference (Boston Celtics did so with a 59.8% record), but the competition is certainly fierce. The credit to the Pacers is that they’ve forged their way into contention despite the absence of Victor Oladipo for a year, and in spite of the fact they started February with six straight losses. Following five wins across their last six games, and wins in each of the most recent three, they’ll be hoping that they can get March off to a much better start, and the likes of T.J Warren and Domantas Sabonis are likely to have their tails up against a struggling Spurs side.
Brooklyn Nets @ Boston Celtics, Wednesday 4th March, 00:30 GMT
Boston Celtics hope to have Kemba Walker back in time for this clash with the Nets, with the point guard sitting out the five games since the All-Star Break, and it’s generally felt that his presence would have prevented the Celtics from slipping to Houston Rockets in their most recent game at TD Garden - a single point separating them after overtime. In his stead, Jayson Tatum has been in scintillating form, finishing as top scorer in each of their last four games, averaging 35.5 points in each. Enes Kanter also continues to be pivotal in registering rebounds, and so the Celtics are well equipped for a successful season. Their main focus now will be on trying to nudge past Toronto Raptors into a top two finish, whilst also being wary of the chasing pack. A win here should give them the momentum for a highly successful week.
Brooklyn Nets are keen to address their current four game losing streak in order to ensure that they don’t allow the likes of the Washington Wizards and Charlotte Hornets back into the picture, as well as trying to avoid Milwaukee Bucks in the playoffs by overtaking Orlando Magic. The Nets are running out of excuses though, and very few positives could be salvaged from the 23 point loss at the home of the struggling Atlanta Hawks, which is the worst of the bunch of their five defeats in six outings. These two met on successive nights in late November, with the Celtics winning their home leg 121-110, but the Nets also winning their home leg 112-107, so at least they have shown they can beat this opposition, particularly if Spencer Dinwiddie puts in a stellar performance once more. That said, we can only see a home win in this tie, in what will likely be a defensive contest.
Orlando Magic @ Miami Heat Thursday 5th March, 00:30 GMT
Miami Heat’s week will be off to an astounding start if they can find a way to beat Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday morning, but realistically this meeting with the Magic is the more likely to end in victory. It’s hard to work out exactly what the Heat want to achieve from the regular season at this point, as they’re all but guaranteed a playoff spot, but face difficulty in catching the top three. Some of their last few displays have been lacklustre, with seven losses in thirteen games across February, and their main focus should arguably now be on ensuring they beat teams with less than 50% win records more convincingly, rather than trying to up their game to push sides in the upper echelons. Losses at Cleveland Cavaliers and at home to Minnesota Timberwolves last week should have been avoided, and they’ll need to quickly learn from their defensive mistakes.
Orlando Magic come up against Portland Trail Blazers before they head to Florida, and they remain one of the most interesting sides to watch in the NBA this term. With a playoff spot looking likely, but not yet guaranteed, alongside the fact that they’re in constant battle with Brooklyn Nets to avoid being pitted against Milwaukee Bucks in the first round - should they get there - there’s plenty of permutations that could yet take effect. The chief aim is to build upon recent performances, as three wins in a row were followed up with a single-point loss at the home of San Antonio Spurs, but it will be easier said than done. The Magic have often struggled away from the Amway Center, with an 11-19 record, and given that this matchup represents the first of four in a row on the road, as well as factoring in that they’ve lost to the Heat twice already this year, it could be a long 48 minutes for them.
Toronto Raptors @ Golden State Warriors, Friday 6th March, 03:30 GMT
Toronto Raptors are going to have a shot at defending their 2019 title, whatever happens from this point, but they’ll be battling against Boston Celtics for the second seed for the remainder of the season. While home advantage in the playoffs is a boon in itself, the chance to face a side with a sub-50% win record over one with roughly 60% in the first round is certainly worth fighting for. Saying that, their fight looks to have drained from them in recent games, having lost three in a row. While defeats to Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets are possibly understandable, a 96-99 home loss to Charlotte Hornets is almost inexcusable. They’ve got four away games this week to rectify this decline, and Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam are likely to be viewing this trip to San Francisco as a chance to build confidence again.
Golden State Warriors are simply playing for pride at this stage, as they bid to avoid finishing this season as the worst side in the NBA. A win at Phoenix Suns briefly saw some joy in the camp, as an eight game losing run was brought to an end, but a 14 point loss to Washington Wizards at the Chase Center on Monday morning has seen a return to the negatives. They’ve been dealt seven tricky games across the next couple of weeks, but with the imminent return of Steph Curry to the starting five then there could be cause for positivity. It could take Curry a few games to return to full efficiency, as he works on his fitness and working with a team that no longer includes D’Angelo Russell, but if he’s back in time for this clash it could be a real game changer. We can only see the Raptors leaving with the win, but Curry could take a chunk out of the spread.
Milwaukee Bucks @ LA Lakers, Saturday 7th March, 03:30 GMT
What an incredible skirmish this promises to be, as the two best sides in 2020’s NBA season meet for only the second time. The Bucks may have won 111-104 back in December, but LA Lakers will sense revenge, as they look to reinforce their position at the top of the Western Conference. Big picture, these two could realistically meet in the Finals, such has been their dominance in the regular season, but for the Lakers there’s more to the story. They will be returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2013 whatever happens, but if they were to win their first title since 2010, it would be made all the more fitting given the untimely passing of an ex-Lakers legend earlier this year. There’s a lot of basketball to be played until we get to that point, but they could make a huge statement against the Bucks here, and there’s no doubt it will be a thrilling contest.
Milwaukee Bucks have been an absolute joy to watch this season, and a six game win streak has taken their tally to 52 from 60 for a win percentage just shy of 87%. Furthermore, they’ve lost fewer games on the road than the Lakers have lost at home, which highlights how immense they’ve been. While possible MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to grab the headlines, Khris Middleton put in two fantastic performances in consecutive away games at Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors respectively, and the entire roster will deserve significant praise come the end of the season. The encounter at Charlotte Hornets on Monday morning may have been slightly underwhelming, but a 93-85 victory ensures that they will be guaranteed a win percentage north of 75% if they win half of their remaining games, but whether or not this fixture will see them on their way is a tough call.
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