NBA Week 23 Betting tips
A look at a couple of this week’s Prime Time NBA games with betting tips
The Raptors Rule the East, the Rockets lead the West. In the Eastern Conference, the top 8 from Miami onwards is vying for that all important home-court advantage in the playoffs.
The Western Conference sees teams in the Nuggets and Clippers currently outside the top 8 but within reaching distance of the Spurs and Wolves who bring up the rear of the West's playoff hopefuls.
Toronto Raptors @ Cleveland Cavaliers – Thursday 10:00am
Ty Lue, the coach of the Cavaliers will be missing for this one and all eyes will be on LeBron James to lead his team to victory against one of their Eastern conference rivals. The Raptors went down to the Thunder earlier in the week which ended an 11-game win streak.
The Raptors unselfish brand of basketball has drawn the envy of most teams in the league as their 24 assists per game as them ranked as 6th in the league. The Cavaliers average only a half rebound less per game with 23.5.
The biggest disparity comes on the defensive end for these sides. The Cavaliers allow 110.1 points per game ranking them 27th in the 30 team league. On the flipside, the Raptors sit as the 6th best defensive side only allowing 103.9 points per game.
With the recent form of the Cavaliers being quite up and down, the question is can the return of Kevin Love shore up the Cavaliers defensive woes? Hard to see Love's return having enough of an impact to offset the issues plaguing the Cavaliers at the moment.
Tip: Toronto Raptors -6
Washington Wizards @ San Antonio Spurs – Thursday 12:30pm
Well who would have predicted the Spurs lowly position at this stage of the competition? San Antonio has been doing just enough to see them through some difficult matchups. They're doing what a middling team does, losing to the cream of the crop and outplaying the mid to low ranked teams.
Washington on the other hand is looking like a new team. After almost being embarrassed by the injury-ravaged Celtics late last week, they turned the game around and won in double overtime.
The Wizards have built on their unselfish brand of basketball as they remain the 4th ranked team in assists. This is going to be vital in getting one over Popovich and his Spurs. Why's that do you ask? Well the Spurs are the best defensive team in the competition only allowing 99.3 points per game.
The Wizards will need to rely on fluid ball movement and working both on and off the ball to breakdown this stingy spurs defence.
Ultimately this game could come down to game winning players or plays. As good as the Spurs are, this year has seen a different side of them emerge. The Wizards, although travelling, have 3 days to prepare for this one.
You better believe they'll be raring to go, and looking to push to solidify that home-court advantage.
Tip: Washington Wizards -5