The NBA season is just about at the 30-game mark. There are several contests on the card for Sunday, and these are the three most high-profile games in the group. Here’s our NBA picks for the day:
Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs
While the Spurs have been inconsistent and hampered by a lot of injuries, especially to Kawhi Leonard, they’re still the Spurs. They play in a very difficult Western Conference, so they’re going to get picked off if they’re not at their best. However, they can always access their best if they’re up to the challenge. San Antonio played an extremely solid game against the Los Angeles Clippers this past Monday after losing to Dallas a few nights earlier. San Antonio then lost to Oklahoma City on Christmas Day, but that shouldn’t mean the Spurs are a lost cause as they prepare to face a Houston team which has been in the top four of the Western Conference for virtually the whole season to this point. Houston is 7-3 in its last 10 games and San Antonio is 3-7. That’s a good reason to pick Houston. However, the Rockets did lose twice this past week against New Orleans and Atlanta. Moreover, they’ve just signed forward Josh Smith and are trying to integrate him into the lineup. Smith could have a disruptive influence on the Rockets and what they want to do on offense. The Rockets’ adjustments to Smith could have a negative effect in this game. Take the Spurs as a result, especially since they’re playing at home.
NBA Pick: San Antonio at BetOnline
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks
This is a game in which the changes on rosters should have a positive effect for Dallas. The Mavericks have now had a full week in which to get Rajon Rondo used to the rest of the lineup and what to expect on a nightly basis. Rondo should be really good for the Mavericks over the long haul, so Dallas should be able to be a fully-formed team right now, whereas Houston might need a week with Josh Smith before it can be reevaluated again. Take this into consideration when looking over the NBA odds.
Oklahoma City’s roster situation is less certain, with Kevin Durant having missed four straight games due to a sprained ankle. If Durant is able to play in this game, he probably won’t be 100 percent and therefore won’t play at full speed. Durant could actually take away from the rhythm Russell Westbrook established on Christmas against San Antonio in a 34-point effort. Dallas is more likely to play fluid team basketball in this game. Pick the Mavericks.
NBA Pick: Dallas at BookMaker
Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers
This is a tricky game. The Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors at home last Tuesday. They are not a pushover, even though they’re still one of the worst defensive teams in the league. What should change the betting play here is that Phoenix, after struggling in the earlier part of December, has won four straight games to shore up its confidence and restore the belief that it can be a playoff team in the West. Phoenix and the Lakers are 4-6 in their last 10 games, but Phoenix is the more ascendant team. Take the Suns with your NBA picks.
NBA Pick: Phoenix at 5Dimes