Sunday December 30, 2018

Another day, another exciting slate of NBA basketball. There are 9 intriguing contests on this NBA Sunday card, headlined by an exciting contest between the Spurs and Clippers in Los Angeles. Damian Lillard and the Blazers will be looking to make it consecutive wins as the Golden State Warriors come to town, whilst Boston will look to put things right as they travel to Memphis. Let’s take a look at our 3 best bets on the board today.

best bet
Utah Jazz vs New York Knicks, 12 pm
1st Half Under 110

Utah Jazz

Utah enter this one off the back of a disappointing 17-point home loss to Philadelphia last time out. This was despite a solid performance from Shooting Guard Donovan Mitchell, who poured in 23 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. Center Rudy Gobert had a strong display of his own, adding 17 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 assists. With the hapless Knicks coming to town, Utah will be looking at this as a chance to regroup.

New York Knicks

The Knicks enter this one with a dismal 9-27 record, having lost each of their last 6 games. Shooting Guard Tim Hardaway continues to lead the way offensively, averaging 21 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. Center Enes Kanter has been solid on the interior, averaging 14.7 points and 10.8 boards per night. Young pieces like Kevin Knox and Allonzo Trier appear to give the Knicks some hope for the future.

Prediction: 1st Half Under 110 points

Utah have defended strongly at home this season and I expect them to shut down the Knicks offence here. With a full game total of 214, this gives us 3.5 points of value. As one of the better edges on the board, I’m happy to take this bet.

Memphis Grizzlies vs Boston Celtics, 12 pm
Grizzlies +3

Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies enter this one at a decent 18-16 off the back of consecutive victories. Marc Gasol was solid in a win over the Cavaliers last time out, contributing 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists. Despite battling injury, Point Guard Mike Conley also played an important role with 15 points and 8 assists. In a stat that highlights the depth and versatility of this Memphis side, each of their starters scored in double figures last time out.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics make the trip to Memphis at 20-14 after a very disappointing loss in Houston last time out. This was despite a very solid display from PG Kyrie Irving, who dropped 23 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists. Power Forward Marcus Morris has excelled in the starting lineup, adding 19 points and 6 rebounds of his own. It was also a solid display from reserve Guard Jaylen Brown, who added 18 points and 5 boards.

Prediction: Grizzlies +3

Given Boston’s inconsistency on the road this season, I’m comfortable taking the Grizz plus the points here. They’ve historically been a very strong home side and they have a rest advantage here. Getting 3 points, I think they’re very solid value.

Portland Trail Blazers vs Golden State Warriors, 2 pm
Warriors -3.5

Portland Trail Blazers

Portland return home at 20-15 after an overtime victory over these same Warriors. Damian Lillard had a night to remember, adding 21 points and 5 assists, also drilling the game-winner. Center Jusuf Nurkic was a beast on the interior, going for 27 points and 8 rebounds. Shooting Guard C.J. McCollum rounded this out nicely, adding 24 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists of his own.

Golden State Warriors

Golden State enters this one at a disappointing 23-13 after an overtime loss to Portland last time out. This was despite an excellent triple-double from Kevin Durant, who had 26 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds. Stephen Curry also had a very solid day, adding 29 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds of his own. If Draymond Green and Klay Thompson can get back to their All-Star form, expect this Warriors dip to be short-lived.

Prediction: Warriors -3.5

I really like the revenge spot for the Warriors here. They felt they were hard done by against Portland last time out and have the chance to rectify it right away. Laying less than 4 points, I expect the Dubs to cruise to victory in this one.