The comprehensive Saturday NBA preview as we get stuck into a big weekend worth of fixtures over in the USA.
Four games, four best bets… let’s get it!
miami @ orlando
december 18th 11:00am
The Orlando Magic will host the visiting Miami Heat at the Amway Center.
The NBA has been dealing with a rash of Covid cases really putting many primary players’ statuses in jeopardy night in and night out. This game will be no different, but more for injuries rather than Covid.
Jimmy Butler, the leading scorer and heart of the Heat is questionable with a tailbone injury, while big man Bam Adebayo is still out with his thumb injury.
Tyler Herro is questionable with a quad injury and Markieff Morris continues to sit with his neck injury, so there is a massive question mark on whether the Heat can deal with the injury crisis.
Based purely on this, we will side with the Magic at the spread.
Suggested Bet: Orlando Magic +3.5 at $1.89
denver @ atlanta
december 18th 11:30am
Two teams locked in identical win-loss records will face off when the 14-14 Denver Nuggets take on the 14-14 Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena.
Both are coming off tough losses and will look to avoid embarking on a losing streak at the expense of the other.
If losing Jamal Murray to an ACL was not enough, the Nuggets now have to deal without the influence of Michael Porter Jr. who has been ruled out for the season.
The Nuggets reliance on Nikola Jokic is unhealthy even if he is capable of pulling his team over the line single-handedly.
The Hawks are not going particularly well either with their final quarters and clutch moments being an enormous issue, which is a surprise for a team who went all the way to Eastern Conference Final last season.
They should, however, with Trae Young in good form, have enough to deal with the injury-plagued Nuggets.
Suggested Bet: Atlanta Hawks -4 at $1.91
golden state @ boston
december 18th 11:30pm
After breaking three-point record, Stephen Curry takes his Golden State Warriors over to Massachusetts for a clash against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
Curry went past Ray Allen’s record in the first quarter of the Warriors 105-96 win against New York, while the Celtics blitzed away for a big 117-103 win over NBA champion Milwaukee as Jayson Tatum laid down the law with a brilliant 42-point effort.
The Celtics looked great against the Bucks, but they have been hot and cold all season.
Boston is prone to implode at any given moment if Tatum and Jaylen Brown cannot produce extraordinary numbers.
Golden State’s number-one-ranked defense can definitely suffocate the Celtics on the offensive end and cause all sorts of problems.
Have to side the Warriors given their more consistent body of work this season.
Suggested Bet: Golden State Warriors -3 at $1.92
milwaukee @ new orleans
december 18th 12:00pm
Fresh off an incredible buzzer-beater victory against Oklahoma City, the New Orleans Pelicans face the reigning champions Milwaukee at the Smoothie King Arena.
The Pelicans looked overtime bound against the Thunder on Thursday until Devonte’ Graham sank a 61-footer as the buzzer sounded to give the Pelicans the three-point 113-110 win.
Despite the raptures and viral social media posts going all over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, the Pelicans are going to need to produce a far better performance if they are to defeat the Bucks.
That being said, the Bucks will play without Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Bucks have failed to cover the point spread in six of its last nine contests, so we will side with the Pelicans who are up and about after Thursday’s win.
Suggested Bet: New Orleans Pelicans +3.5 at $1.85