Our top tip last week was the Phoenix Suns (+5) against Golden State. That came up with the Suns winning 121-110, signifying a changing of the guard in the Western Conference.
That was the beginning of their current three game win streak and Monty Williams’ side are sitting pretty at 3rd in the West. Their opponents last week, the Warriors, are on a downward trajectory. Key player Steph Curry broke his hand after a collision with Aaron Baynes in that game and the are languishing in 13th place in the Western Conference. Draymond Green is also struggling with injury meaning Steve Kerr is without six key players from his title-winning teams. Kevin Durant (Traded), Stephen Curry (Injured), Klay Thompson (Injured), Draymond Green (Injured), Shaun Livingston (Retired) and Andre Iguodala (Traded) are off the court for the Warriors.
There is some great games on the schedule and as per usual we have tips for three of this week’s games to mark your card.
Philadelphia 76ers @ Utah Jazz
Wednesday 6th November 9:05PM
The 76ers remained the only unbeaten team in the NBA until they faced the rising Phoenix Suns on Monday night. Al Horford scored 32 points from the Center position due to Joel Embiid’s suspension in a 114-109 loss in Arizona.
Embiid will return tonight in Salt Lake City and he will be involved in a battle with Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert. The 76ers allowed Devin Booker to go for 40 in Embiid’s absence against the Suns and they will need to keep a much tighter rein on Donovan Mitchell on Wednesday night.
Mitchell hit the Clippers for 32 in a 105-94 loss in Staples Center earlier this week.
The Jazz have made a mediocre start to the season at 4-3 but they are undefeated at home. They have the best defense in the league, allowing only 95.6 points per game.
This one will be tight and the Jazz are slight favourites with home court advantage. However, the return of Embiid will be a major boost for the 76ers and they might just shade it. We’re tipping the Philadelphia 76ers (+2.5) at -111 with CanPlay.
If you’re interested in player betting, Mike Conley to score more than 17.5 points at -110 looks a decent bet. The guard hasn’t played to his usual standard since his trade from the Memphis Grizzlies and it’s time for him to loosen the shackles.
Portland Trail Blazers @ Los Angeles Clippers
Thursday 7th November 10:30PM
The 4th-placed Clippers look set to rest Kawhi Leonard in a potential Finals teaser against the Bucks on Wednesday night. As with last season, Kawhi will skip one if not both of the Clippers back-to-backs this season. However, it is likely that he will return on Thursday night to face the Blazers.
The Trail Blazers have started the season 3-4 although all seven of their games have been decided by 10 points or less. Their biggest defeat came to an under strength Warriors team, losing 127-118. Jusuf Nurkic has been missing since March and now his replacement Zach Collins looks set to miss the next four months due to a shoulder injury. That means Hassan Whiteside will have to step up and deliver for Terry Stotts’ team.
For this game you would imagine that the Clippers will be too strong for the Trail Blazers if Kawhi returns to the side. Back the Clippers to win with CanPlay but the Blazers will keep it tight.
Miami Heat @ Los Angeles Lakers
Friday 8th November 10:30PM
This is probably the most interesting match-up of the week. The Lakers have the best record in the league. The Purple & Gold have won six straight after an opening night loss to the Clippers. LeBron James powered them to their latest victory over the Bulls, scoring 30 points on his way to a triple-double.
The Heat have made a good start to the season too. Erik Spoelstra’s team are third in the East with a 5-2 record. This game will be the final of a three game road trip that started on a sour note with a blowout defeat to the Denver Nuggets. Bam Adebayo has been a key man for the Heat in the opening two weeks and Jimmy Butler made his debut in a victory over the Hawks last week.
A great match-up is in store and the Lakers should have enough in the tank to beat a Heat team and the end of a road trip.
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