Our NBA picks started off the week in impressive fashion, going 4-0 in our money line picks including the Warriors as +128 underdogs!
Can the Clippers pick up their sixth straight win despite Kawhi being on the sidelines? Will the Jazz bounce back after a shock home loss last night?
We have handpicked another five games from tonight’s action to provide you with another five winners and all the answers to your betting questions, so you don’t want to miss this!
Los Angeles Clippers @ Indiana Pacers – 7:30PM ET
After a perfect 4-0 week last week that saw them rise to number one on our NBA Power Rankings, the Los Angeles Clippers get on the road for a three game road trip. They kick that off tonight against the Indiana Pacers who have found some nice form as well, winning their last three games.
Narrow wins over Minnesota and Orlando weren’t overly impressive but a 132-125 win in Memphis shows that the Pacers could very well be back on track. Caris LeVert continues to be dominant for Indiana, scoring a game high 34 points on 70% shooting from the field along with three blocks. Malcolm Brogdon was one rebound shy of a 29 point triple double while Domantas Sabonis was one assist short of an 18 point, 15 rebound triple double, both putting up monster games for the Pacers.
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) April 12, 2021
Indiana now has to back that up against the hottest team in the league, the Clippers. Paul George was named Western Conference Player of the Week, playing in three of LA’s four games and averaging nearly 34 points per game on 57% shooting. In Sunday’s 131-124 win over Detroit, with Kawhi Leonard sitting out, George put up 32 points and nine assists while Marcus Morris Sr had a game high 33 points thanks to 6/8 shooting from deep.
As well as the Clippers are playing, there are some red flags heading into this game. Leonard remains sidelined with foot soreness, Pat Beverley and Serge Ibaka remain out with their long term injuries and the Clippers haven’t played on the road in almost three weeks. While they are clearly the class team in the league right now, there are a lot of things working against them in a matchup with an in-form Pacers side.
With that being said, Myles Turner remains out for Indiana and without him, their interior defense is depleted. Against an LA team that just shot 62.5% from the field and 55.6% from deep, being weakened on the defensive end isn’t a good thing and the Clippers should be able to let loose here and pick up their sixth straight.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Charlotte Hornets – 8PM ET
A pair of teams who will be looking to bounce back off a loss last time out and need to keep winning to avoid the play-in zone will face off in Charlotte tonight. The Hornets host the Los Angeles Lakers, who have reached the end of their five game East Coast road trip and will want to finish on a positive note.
The Lakers couldn’t follow up their big win in Brooklyn, running out of legs in a 96-111 loss to the Knicks last night. Dennis Schroder top scored for the team with 21 points and six assists but LA couldn’t get a good offensive flow against the best scoring defense in the league.
Los Angeles should never have been in the game, committing 24 turnovers for the game and losing the third quarter 16-26. Charlotte had a similar issue of one quarter ruining their game, losing the first quarter 20-33 to the Hawks on Sunday.
While the Hornets eventually recovered from that and even held the lead going into the fourth, they had spent all their tickets getting back into the game and couldn’t hold on down the stretch. Miles Bridges continues to impress in the starting lineup, scoring a team high 23 points and adding seven rebounds to it. The issue is that Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham combined for just 12/30 shooting, essentially undoing Bridges’ efficient play.
The Hornets have been able to tread water and hold on since losing both Gordon Hayward and LaMelo Ball, but if Sunday was any indication, it might have begun catching up with them. Only one Laker played more than 30 minutes last night meaning that they should be rested enough heading into this clash on the quick back up and they should enjoy playing a much more relaxed defense in Charlotte.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Utah Jazz – 9PM ET
The Utah Jazz’s streak is over, finally losing a home game after 24 straight wins at Vivint Arena. A shock loss to the Wizards last night, just their third home loss all season, saw their streak come to and end and alarm bells have to be ringing in Utah. Lucky for them, they get an opportunity to get straight back out there and make up for their performance, against none other than the Oklahoma City Thunder.
OKC have lost six straight games, tied for most in the league and really don’t look like winning any time soon. Just one of the losses has been by less than 24 points and the average margin has been 28.5 points over the streak. Saturday evening saw the Thunder fall 93-117 to a Sixers side that was resting two of their starters. Darius Bazley returned from an extended period on the sidelines to be OKC’s best player with 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists but also had nine assists.
Donovan Mitchell (42 points tonight) is the 3rd player in @utahjazz history to score 35+ points in 4 straight games.
Adrian Dantley (1984) and Karl Malone (twice, 1988 and 1990) are the other two. pic.twitter.com/m3ECwv0pJU
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) April 13, 2021
That sort of play should allow the Jazz to find their groove once again and get things back on track after losing last night and going just 2-3 from their last five. Utah gave up a massive 125 points, only managing 121 themselves. Despite a 42 point first quarter, the Jazz still allowing Washington to score 70 points in the first half and get outscored by 19 in the middle two periods.
Donovan Mitchell gave his all for the Jazz, trying to will them over the line himself with 42 points and six assists but for a team that is ranked fourth defensively, that sort of effort is not acceptable. The Thunder do rank last on the offensive end, so this game presents itself as the perfect game for Utah to hit the reset button after a tough eight day period and try to get back to the basketball that saw them become the best team in the league.
Miami Heat @ Phoenix Suns – 10PM ET
The Phoenix Suns are looking to consolidate on back to back wins when they host the Miami Heat tonight. Phoenix have won straight and nine of their last 10 overall while the Heat come in off two straight wins as well, most recently in Portland.
Miami kicked off their fourth game Western Conference road trip in impressive fashion on Sunday night, beating the Blazers 107-98. Bam Adebayo had a game high 22 points, combining with Jimmy Butler for six steals, who had 20 points and five assists of his own. Miami, who have the sixth best defense in the league, had 10 less turnovers for the game and was able to keep Damian Lillard to just 12 points on 3/10 shooting.
They will be hoping for a similar defensive effort against Devin Booker and the Suns in this one, especially with Phoenix coming off a closer-than-expected 126-120 win over the Rockets last night. The Suns are 9-3 on the second night of back to backs, so that isn’t a massive query but the Heat play with such a physical style that the Suns could run out of legs.
Jae Crowder was the hot hand last night, scoring a game high 26 points on 8/12 shooting from deep while Booker has 24, 7 and 7. Phoenix will be wanting to consolidate on that performance, especially with Utah losing last night, but last time we saw them in a back to back situation, they crumbled under the pressure when playing the Clippers.
Miami are definitely not of LA’s level offensively but can make it tough for Phoenix to get going. When these sides met earlier in the season, the score was just 110-100 with Phoenix coming out on top so it is hard to see Miami being able to turn things around in this one given the location change works against them. This will be a close, thrilling contest but the Suns are playing too good at the moment.
Boston Celtics @ Portland Trail Blazers – 10PM ET
The Boston Celtics and Portland Trail Blazers come into this clash with very different form and it is surprising to see the odds the way they are because of that. Portland, who went 1-3 last week and had two losses of 15+ points, are currently favored over the Celtics, who have won three straight games.
Despite trailing by as many as 14 late in the third quarter in Denver on Sunday, the Celtics never quit, going on a 31-3 run to turn the game on its head. Boston used a 31-8 final quarter to come away with the 105-87 win, snapping Denver’s eight game winning streak in the process. Jayson Tatum, who was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week, led the comeback with 28 points and 10 rebounds as all five starters scored in double figures.
Jayson Tatum closed out the week with a career-best three straight games of 25+ points and 10+ rebounds
It’s the longest such streak by a Celtics player since Paul Pierce (2003) https://t.co/W25fpDogf5
— Celtics Stats (@celtics_stats) April 12, 2021
That sort of defensive effort will be needed again with Portland struggling offensively of late. In their three losses last week, Damian Lillard shot just 13/45 (28.8%) from the field, not playing at the MVP-level that he had for most of the season. In Sunday night’s 98-107 loss to the Heat, he managed just 12 points on 3/10 shooting while CJ McCollum had an equal team high 17 points but only shot 38.9% himself.
The Blazers had 10 more turnovers than the Heat in that clash, wasting opportunities to give themself a shot at winning the game. Unfortunately Portland’s high octane style of play where they score a bunch but also give up a bunch doesn’t work when their leaders aren’t hitting shots and being wasteful. Boston may be just 11-16 on the road this season but they seem to have hit their stride at the right time and should be looking to carry momentum from their comeback win in Denver to this clash here.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.
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