With a full slate of games a night before Thanksgiving, it’s time to hit on some NBA game predictions courtesy of Bovada. There are a few games tonight that hit from a competition standpoint like the Miami Heat heading to Houston to take on the Houston Rockets. There is also a notable game from a storyline perspective as Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers travel to New Orleans to play the New Orleans Pelicans.
It’s hard to get a feel for the Lakers and Pelicans game from a betting standpoint, however, there are many other games to choose from on tonight’s docket.
NBA Game Predictions
Orlando Magic (-1.5) @ Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers are currently coming off of a disappointing defeat at the hands of a Spencer Dinwiddie jumper with 1.8 seconds left in their previous contest against the Brooklyn Nets. However, for Cleveland, it is something that can look at as a building block for the rest of the season. They are coming off a very poor stretch of play where they lost six consecutive games and were outscored by a score of 710-595. They then won their previous game against the Portland Trail Blazers by a score of 110-104 before losing to Brooklyn.
Cleveland was also able to remain competitive against Brooklyn without Kevin Love as he deals with an achy back. He will be a game-time decision for tonight’s matchup with Orlando and could be the key in this one. Orlando will be without All-Star big man Nikola Vucevic as he nurses a severely sprained ankle. They will also be without combo forward Aaron Gordon.
Orlando will need to rely on Evan Fournier to carry to load offensively, and he has been anything but consistent throughout his career. In addition to Fournier, the Magic will have to rely on the much-improved play of Jonathan Isaac, who isn’t known for his offensive prowess, and Markelle Fultz, who is also anything but consistent.
Taking all of the variables into account, the smart play here would be to take the points and bet the Cleveland Cavaliers to cover, with a good chance to win outright.
The Bet – Cleveland Cavaliers +1.5
Detroit Pistons (-4) @ Charlotte Hornets
The Detroit Pistons came into this season with hopes of bumping up the Eastern Conference ladder on the backs of Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. Unfortunately for the Pistons, Griffin suffered an injury and has only appeared in five of 17 games this season. In Griffin’s first game back the Pistons suffered a 109-106 loss to the Charlotte Hornets.
Tonight’s contest, however, will likely be a little different. Charlotte started the season off in somewhat surprising fashion as they sat at 4-3 through the first seven games. However, water finds it’s level, and the Hornets appear to be coming back down to Earth as they have lost five consecutive games.
Detroit should be able to win the rebounding battle with ease tonight as Drummond leads the NBA in rebounding at a whopping 16.8 per night. To make matters worse, the Hornets starting center, Cody Zeller is being listed as a game-time decision. He currently leads the Hornets at 8.1 rebounds per night. The next best rebounders for Charlotte is wing Miles Bridges and rookie power forward PJ Washington as they are both averaging 5.2 rebounds per night.
Charlotte’s only chance to cover tonight is to hope that the backcourt tandem of Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham have monster nights. Neither of those two has been consistent this season so the Hornets could have some trouble tonight.
The Bet – Detroit Pistons -4
Miami Heat @ Houston Rockets (-6.5)
This matchup is perhaps the headliner for tonight’s slate. It’s also very interesting to see the spread as large as it is for this contest. Granted the Rockets are at home, but Miami has been the better team this season. The Heat currently sport a net rating of +6.2, which is good for seventh in the NBA. The Rockets, on the other hand, have a net rating of +3.1, which is good for 12th in the NBA.
Miami has been the surprise of the NBA to many. They were expected to be a playoff team in the Eastern Conference, but closer to a middle of the road playoff team, as opposed to sitting towards the top of the conference. The Heat are currently tied for second in the East at 12-4. They are the true definition of a team to this point. Their leading scorer is Jimmy Butler at just 18.9 points per game. That’s fantastic considering they are currently in the top half of the NBA in scoring at 111.1 points per game.
Houston, of course, is fantastic offensively. They are currently second in the NBA in scoring at 118.2 points per game. They struggle mightily at times on the defensive end of the court, however, and Miami could take advantage of that with their excellent ball movement. Miami is also good enough on the defensive end to slow the Rockets down a touch. James Harden is going to be fantastic as usual, but it won’t be enough to cover the 6.5 points they are laying tonight.
The Bet – Miami Heat +6.5
Washington Wizards @ Phoenix Suns (-7.5)
Like the Charlotte Hornets, the Washington Wizards have been a very surprising team in the Eastern Conference. They have been surprisingly potent on the offensive end of the floor. They are currently third in the NBA in scoring at 118.1 points per game. However, they would have trouble stopping a G-League team from scoring. They currently hold a defensive rating of 114.1, good for 28th in the league.
The Phoenix Suns are another surprising team. Especially when you consider the fact that Deandre Ayton is currently serving a 25-game suspension for PED use. Devin Booker, Kelly Oubre, and Aron Baynes have been incredible for Phoenix. The Suns have been successful this season in large part due to their top-half of the NBA defense, which holds a defensive rating of 106.9. They’ve also been splendid offensively and currently sit eighth in the NBA at 113.8 points per game.
The Wizards are on the back-half of a back-to-back after losing last night to the Denver Nuggets. It is highly unlikely that Wizards star shooting guard Bradley Beal plays as poorly as he did last night. However, with this being the second game of a road back-to-back, and looking at the rest of the Wizards roster, it’s hard to have confidence in them to cover 7.5 points.
The Bet – Phoenix Suns -7.5
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Portland Trail Blazers (-3)
The Portland Trail Blazers are the most disappointing team in the NBA this season. The defending Western Conference runner-up Trail Blazers currently sit three games out of the playoff race at 6-12 on the season. Unfortunately for them, Hassan Whiteside is not filling the role that injured big-man Jusuf Nurkic played so remarkably well last season before he broke his leg. Damian Lillard has been excellent, as usual. CJ McCollum started slowly this season but is now rounding in to form and has upped his points-per-game to 22.1.
The problem for Portland has been finding that missing third scorer. They went out and signed Carmelo Anthony and he was excellent in their last game. Against the Chicago Bulls, Anthony poured in a team-high 25 points on 10-20 shooting. He also added 8 rebounds. If Portland can get that kind of efficient production from Anthony, they can turn around their disappointing season.
The Oklahoma City Thunder haven’t faired much better and they currently sit at just 6-10 on the season. For the Thunder, second-year guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been excellent. He currently leads the team in scoring at 19.2 per game. However, they haven’t gotten much else. Chris Paul is averaging a would-be career-low 5.7 assists per game and he very well could be on the move at some point this season.
As a team, they rank in the bottom third in the NBA in points per game, points allowed, rebounds per game, and assists per game.
As poor as Portland’s start to the season has been, they should be thanking their lucky stars that they get the Thunder at home tonight as they look to win back to back games for just the second time this season.
The Bet – Portland Trail Blazers -3
DISCLAIMER – LWOS INC and LWOPB do not offer guarantees and individuals should gamble responsibly and legally.
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