If one game is any sign, the massive trade that Cleveland pulled off last week revamped them as a contender in the East, as the Cavaliers went to Boston and delivered a 121-99 rout on the day when the Celtics were retiring Paul Pierce’s jersey. The Blake Griffin honeymoon in Detroit turned out to be quite short, as the team has now lost two games in a row, now two games behind Philadelphia in the ninth slot in the conference standings. In the West, the Rockets have righted things and now have an eight-game winning streak going. They’re not the hottest team in the West, though — that title goes to the Utah Jazz, who have rattled off nine wins in a row and are now just 1 ½ games behind New Orleans for the last playoff spot. Let’s look at your best NBA betting picks for the Association for the coming week.
Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week – February 12th
NBA Power Rankings: The Rockets and Raptors lead the charge in the latest update https://t.co/OF80KtqT64
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) February 12, 2018
Tuesday, February 13
Cleveland at Oklahoma City (8:00pm ET, TNT)
That Cavaliers team that was headed down the tubes has suddenly won three in a row. They took down Minnesota in overtime last Wednesday, 140-138, and then won by 16 at Atlanta and by 22 in Boston. The backcourt of George Hill and Rodney Hood (who took Utah to the playoffs and past the Clippers in the first round last year) looked terrific, as Jordan Clarkson came off the bench and hit key shots. Larry Nance Jr., also freshly in from Los Angeles, delivered thunderous dunks to punctuate the win.
Now, though, the Celtics head to Oklahoma City to take on a Thunder team that has been all over the place. They had lost four in a row before heading to Golden State and delivering a thunderous 125-105 win. Then they went to Los Angeles and lost to the Lakers by 25. Then they came home and beat Memphis by 18. So which Thunder team will show up against the Cavaliers? The key is finding ways either to get Carmelo involved enough on offense without sacrificing defense, or finding ways to get enough offense without Carmelo getting involved too much. Will Cleveland be firing on all cylinders again?
NHL Betting Prediction: Cleveland 110, Oklahoma City 102
Wednesday, February 14
L.A. Clippers at Boston (8:00pm ET, ESPN)
The Clippers had put together a three-game winning streak against some of the NBA’s struggling teams, knocking off Chicago and Dallas at home and then winning at Detroit, but then they went to Philadelphia and took a 112-98 beating, giving up 29 points and 16 boards to Joel Embiid. In that loss, Lou Williams led the way with 23 points, and Danilo Gallinari chipped in 22. The Clippers have to be wondering what will happen next on their roster, with rumors swirling around Williams and DeAndre Jordan.
Now the Clips head to Boston, where they face a Celtics team that got humiliated on national television by Cleveland on Sunday. That was actually Boston’s third loss in four games, as they lost in Toronto by 20 last week, won in Washington, and then took a home loss against Indiana before Cleveland delivered that rout. In that Sunday loss, Kyrie Irving put up 18 but sat through the fourth quarter, and Terry Rozier scored 21 points and dished out nine assists. Can the Celtics make some adjustments against the Clippers?
NHL Betting Prediction: Boston 108, L.A. Clippers 101
Golden State at Portland (10:30pm ET, ESPN)
The Warriors responded nicely to their 20-point home loss to the Thunder, taking down Dallas by 18 and San Antonio by 17, both games at home. They host Phoenix on Monday before heading to Portland on Wednesday night. In that win over the Spurs, Klay Thompson put up 25 points, with 10 coming in the third quarter alone. This is a team that stood pat at the trade deadline and may need to up their intensity as the stretch run nears.
They visit a Portland team that lost by 19 at home to Utah on Sunday night after taking down Charlotte and Sacramento in their last two games. Damian Lillard had scored 50 in that win over Sacramento and had 39 against the Jazz, but the rest of the team had struggles finding the net. The team did lose center Jusuf Nurkic in the second half to back and hip pain. That game ended Portland’s home win streak at nine. Can they start another one against the Warriors?
NHL Betting Prediction: Golden State 128, Portland 121