Friday NBA Best Bets - 14 December
A Friday double-header sees the reigning MVP come up against LeBron and his Lakers while the two leading Rookie of the Year candidates clash.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Houston Rockets
The red hot Lakers travel to Houston take on the Rockets in search of their 7th win in their last eight outings. Their only blip in that seven-game stretch came against the Spurs where they gave up a double-digit last quarter lead to lose by 13 in a complete defensive meltdown.
A problem early in the season, it’s the defence that has turned things around for the Lakers of late, rating third in defensive efficiency during the stretch, only behind the Thunder and Pacers.
The Rockets got back on the winner’s list last outing with a 111-104 win over the Trailblazers, snapping a three-game losing streak. For the first time this season, the Rockets had three reserves score in double-digits, a regular occurrence during their 65 win season a year ago.
Mike D’Antoni started Eric Gordon in place of James Ennis in the win and will be in the starting role again as Ennis injured his hamstring and could be missing for at least a fortnight.
Tip (H2H, Line or Over/Under): Lakers +5.5
The Rockets are still untrustworthy and despite this game being on their home floor, the start for the red hot Lakers looks enticing.
Dallas Mavericks @ Phoenix Suns
The Mavericks are one of the surprise packets of the season and have quickly become one of the most inform teams in basketball. Led superbly by rookie Luka Doncic, the Mavs have won 12 of their past 15 and have become a hard team to play and a fun team to watch.
If Doncic were able to continue his current numbers he would become only the 10th rookie in NBA history to average 18+ PPG 6+ RPG and 4+ APG. Another outstanding rookie and the number one overall pick DeAndre Ayton has also been excelling but for a team that has won a league low four games and off to their worst start in franchise history.
It was a different story on opening night when the Suns trounced the Mavs 121-100 but it’s been a vastly opposite tale for both clubs since. Devin Booker has missed the last six games for the Suns and is likely to miss again while the Mavs will receive a huge boost with their club legend Dirk Nowitzki ready to make his season debut off the bench.
Tip (H2H, Line or Over/Under): Mavericks -6.5
It really depends on what Mavericks team shows up but the value on offer against a struggling Suns team is worth the gamble.