The Bucks had a disappointing end to their West Coast road trip, falling to the Jazz and Suns in consecutive games. Giannis is still putting up some excellent numbers, averaging 27 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 6 assists. Khris Middleton also looms as a strong secondary option, averaging over 17 points and 6 boards of his own.
The Pacers enter this one a strong 42-23 after a comfortable home win over Chicago last time out. Bojan Bogdanovic again showed his offensive quality, dropping 27 points and 6 rebounds. Myles Turner also continues to pack a punch on the interior, adding a double-double to go along with 7 blocks.
Prediction: Pacers +10.5
The first game back after a cross-country road trip is usually always tough on the home side. Whilst I expect Milwaukee to prevail in this one, a hard-nosed Pacers side will fight and keep things close here.
As a secondary tip in this game, I’m also very much in favour of the under 222.5 points being scored. Especially against a strong Milwaukee defence, Indiana lacks the offensive depth to put up big numbers in this one. Expect a tight affair that ends with around 215 points scored.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers have been in very strong form of late, ending a run of 7 straight covers with a loss in Memphis last time out. Dame Lillard looks set for another All-NBA berth, putting up elite averages of 25.9 points and 6.4 assists. Bosnian big man Jusuf Nurkic has also showed out of late, averaging over 15 points and 10 boards a night.
Oklahoma City Thunder
OKC make the trip to Portland in dangerously poor form, having won just 2 of their last 8 games to sit 39-25. Paul George returned from injury against Minnesota last time out, but struggled en route to an 8/25 shooting night. 38 points and 13 rebounds from Russell Westbrook show that he might be back on the right track.
Prediction: Thunder +3.5
Another team playing their first game back after a long road trip is Portland. They’ve covered a lot of miles of late and I feel they could be fatigued here. The fact that OKC were 6.5-point favourites in their last matchup also highlights the strong line value on them in this spot.
Tying in with my spread bet, tired legs will mean that Portland don’t play with the same offensive verve here. OKC has also struggled offensively of late and I think George will need a few more games to establish his rhythm. With a high number that will likely be inflated in front of a national audience, I’m confident going against the grain with the under here.