Our NBA handicapper shares the must watch NBA games from this week and explains why they offer outstanding betting value for your NBA picks.
Saturday, March 26
Spurs vs. Thunder
The San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder collide in a battle of two of the best teams in the Western Conference. These two teams are expected to meet in the playoffs at one point, so this game is very important because each will look to make a statement and improve their position in the standings. The season series between these two teams is tied 1-1, with the games decided by an average of seven points. Look for another hard-fought battle here. The Thunder plays much better at home and they're need signature wins against teams like the Warriors and Spurs to prove that they deserve to be considered NBA championship contenteders.
Sunday, March 27
Nuggets vs. Clippers
The reeling Nuggets have lost four of their last five games ahead of their visit to the Clippers, who as we mentioned before, are struggling a bit, also with four losses in their last five games. The Nuggets and the Clippers have met two times this season and the series is tied 1-1. The Clippers are the better team here, they have a deeper bench and their playoff aspirations can be a motivating factor that will help them overcome Denver at the Staples Center.
Tuesday, March 22
Rockets vs. Thunder
James Harden returns to Oklahoma City when the Rockets visit the Thunder. Houston has lost three of five and is currently tied for seventh place in the Western Conference standings, a half-game behind Portland. Oklahoma City has won four in a row to remain third in the West. This will be the third meeting of the season between these teams. The Rockets won 110-105 in Houston while the Thunder won 116-108 in Oklahoma City. Look for another close, high-scoring contest on Tuesday. The NBA odds for this game are not available as of this writing but I would suggest backing the 'Over.'
Wednesday, March 23
Knicks vs. Bulls
The struggling Knicks visit the Bulls in a game with playoff implications for Chicago. The Bulls are getting healthier and they're playing decent basketball as of late, winning their last three games, but they're still in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings, tied with the Pistons and a half game behind the Pacers, so every matchup from now on is extremely important for them, especially at home against a weaker opponent like the Knicks. The season series between these two teams is tied 1-1 and the Knicks did beat the Bulls 108-81 in Chicago but the Bulls need this game more and they will come out strong, so I will back them with my NBA picks here.
Heat vs. Spurs
Two teams with NBA title aspirations clash in San Antonio when the Heat visit the Spurs. Miami has been inconsistent lately, going 3-3 over their last six games while San Antonio saw their six-game winning streak with a tough 91-88 road loss against Charlotte after holding them to just seven points in the first quarter and blowing a 23-point lead in the first half. Count on coach Popovich to have this team ready to erase the memory of that debacle against the Hornets. The Heat have very talented players but I can't see them keeping up with a Spurs team that is 35-0 at home. The Spurs lead the season series 1-0 after a 119-101 win in Miami on February.
Thursday, March 24
Trail Blazers vs. Clippers
Two of the most talented, fun to watch teams in the Western Conference battle it out as the Trail Blazers visit the Clippers, in a potential playoff preview. The Trail Blazers are not playing well, losing seven of their last 10 games, but they're still in sixth place in the West, a half a game over the Rockets. The Clippers on the other hand are also having issues of their own, going 1-4 over their last five games. Look for both teams to come out fired up, looking to put their struggles behind and take an early lead. The Clippers have a deeper bench, which could be the difference in this game but don't underestimate Damian Lillard.
Friday, March 25
Mavericks vs. Warriors
The Mavericks and the Warriors meet for the second time in a week and for the fourth time this season. Golden State leads the season series 2-1 after a convincing 130-112 win on March 18 behind 39 points from Klay Thompson. The Warriors have won eight of their last nine games but they have to host the Clippers before this clash with the Mavs. Dallas is 3-6 over their last nine games but they're coming off an inspiring 132-120 come-from-behind overtime win against Portland. Will they be motivated enough to beat the Warriors again and hand them their first home loss of the season? That remains to be seen but never count out Dirk Nowitzki.
Raptors vs. Rockets
The Raptors face a tough test when they travel to Houston to take on the Rockets. Toronto is on a roll, winning eight of their last 10 games to move to just one game and a half behind Cleveland for first place in the East. As mentioned above, the Rockets have lost three of their last five games and they're currently tied for seventh place in the Western Conference. The Rockets have a couple of tough games against the Thunder and Jazz before hosting the Raptors. Houston did beat Toronto on the road, 113-107 on March 6 behind 40 points and 14 assists from James Harden but this is a different Raptors team and it won't be easy for the Rockets.