Tuesday, December 10

Milwaukee Bucks vs Orlando Magic, 12 pm
Bucks -12

The Bucks have roared out to a very impressive start, sitting 20-3 to comfortably lead the East. Orlando have been getting better results of late, now .500 and in 8th position.

Milwaukee are 12-point home favourites in this clash, and I expect them to both win and cover. They have a bunch of matchup opportunities here, particularly on the defensive end.

Without Nik Vucevic in the fold, Orlando are one of the worst offences in the NBA. They really struggle from deep, where Milwaukee’s perimeter defence excels.

Almost all of the creation will fall onto Evan ‘Don’t Google Me’ Fournier, but Milwaukee have several quality options to put on him. These two sides played in Orlando just last month and the Magic could only muster a measly 91 points.

On the flipside, they’ve also struggled mightily to contain Milwaukee’s innovative offence. They conceded 123 points in that aforementioned game, allowing Giannis to drop 29 and 14.

Milwaukee have only improved since then, winning each of their last 14 games and sporting a 10-1 home record. Their new acquisitions are finally starting to gel and they’re winning home games against inferior sides with ruthless efficiency.

With a relatively big spread like this, I think Milwaukee’s defensive edge will loom large here. On offence, a favourable matchup for Giannis should lead to another solid outing and a blowout win.

Utah Jazz vs OKC Thunder, 1 pm
Jazz -8.5

The Jazz have been slightly disappointing this season, compiling a 13-10 record and sitting in 6th place. OKC appear pretty unlikely for the playoffs, although they currently occupy the 9th spot with a 9-12 record.

Utah find themselves 8.5-point favourites heading into this one and I’d expect them to win and cover here. Despite their somewhat middling record, they still possess one of the best home court advantages in the NBA.

They are 9-2 in the altitude of Utah, compared to just 4-8 on the road. OKC are also nothing special as a road side, going just 2-7 through their first 9 road games this season.

Utah are somewhat hindered by the absence of Conley, although their effort against Memphis showed the offence can function without him. While he isn’t an offensive force, the absence of Terrance Ferguson should hurt OKC here.

This forces more minutes for guys like Abdel Nader and Luguentz Dort, neither of whom has been all that impressive thus far. The strength of this Utah side is their quality on the wing and I think guys like Mitchell, Bogdanovic, and Ingles should have a field day here.

OKC should also be relatively fatigued here, playing their 3rd in 4 nights after two relatively competitive games. Utah are well adjusted to being back home after their East Coast trip and they’ve got a noticeable rest advantage here.

Overall, Utah has been a very strong home side this season, especially against inferior opponents. The matchup and rest advantages are obvious here and I think this pushes them over the line to a win and cover.