Friday NBA Best Bets - 21 December
Get your dose of hoops with an NBA double-header on Friday
Houston Rockets @ Miami Heat
Miami have just completed a six-game road stretch on the west coast and have come out the other side in a better position than when they started. The Heat went 4-2 in those games and have now improved to 6-3 in their last nine after what has been a disappointing start to the season. The Heat might not be all that happy to be returning home where they have won just five from 14 matches at American Airlines Arena and now run into a hot opponent.
The Rockets have seemed to turn things around too, winning five on the bounce to well and truly be back in playoff discussions. Reigning MVP James Harden has regained his form from last season, averaging a whopping 38.6 PPG during the win streak.
Goran Dragic who has missed 12 of his teams last 14 matches has been ruled out for a further eight weeks with a knee injury, which is a major injury blow for a Heat team who could also be without Justise Winslow and leading scorer Josh Richardson for the matchup.
Tip (H2H, Line or Over/Under): Rockets -3
The Rockets are really starting to roll now and have won five on the bounce. The -3 line seems generous for a team who’s won their last five by an average of 10.6 points.’
Value Bet Rockets -3/Over 208.5 points
Dallas Mavericks @ Los Angeles Clippers
Once leading the Western Conference, the LA Clippers have fallen back in the pack with four consecutive losses but get to arrest their losing streak when they host the Mavericks at the Staples Center on Friday afternoon.
The Mavericks are on a losing streak of their own, with three consecutive defeats in a week which began last Friday at the hands of the hapless Suns. Before the streak, the Mavs were one of the most in form teams in the NBA, winning 12 of their previous 15 matches and are now one of the three teams in the Western Conference sitting outside the playoff positions with a winning record (15-14).
A fourth-quarter rally from an 18-point deficit by the Clippers came up just short against the Blazers on Tuesday, eventually going down 131-127 despite a career-high 39 points from Tobias Harris. Reigning sixth man of the year Lou Williams has missed all four losses and is doubtful to suit up against the Mavs who defeated the Clippers 114-110 earlier in the season in Dallas.
Tip (H2H, Line or Over/Under): Mavericks +3.5
Both teams are desperate for a win and with the Clippers likely missing Lou Williams’ playmaking ability once again, I’m keen to take the Mavs with a start.