NBA Preview Thursday 18th of February
Current Bank: 117.61 (+17.61 units)
Another 2 from 2 from Tuesdays games (even with Paul George a late scratch and the Clippers somehow winning outright!) moves to 16 wins from 20 tips this year. Two more games of interest on Thursday that provide betting opportunities
Utah Jazz v LA Clippers
2:10 pm AEST
The Utah Jazz come to Los Angeles with the best record in the NBA right now. Something almost no one saw coming at this stage of the season. They are arguably the most balanced team in the league, with even contributions all the way to Jordan Clarkson coming off the bench who went off for 40 last game. Mitchell has seriously upped his level and continued on from the bubble while Rudy Gobert albeit quieter on offence this season, is still the defensive beast everyone knows. Australias own Joe Ingles has gotten hot too from 3 recently, and that caps off a Jazz team that is primed for a deep playoff run this year.
The LA Clippers on the otherhand are certainly no slouches. They’ve had their fair share of injury problems this year but that hasn’t stopped them from being the number one offence in the league. Scoring at will with a raft of options across the team. Here they find themselves without Paul George, and star player Kawhi Leonard remains a live chance to play, but only at limited minutes. The Clippers were missing four starters against a disheveled Miami team last game and got the win, but here they may have a lot more difficulty. Utah are so well rounded and look set to continue on their merry way here. They’ll play the Clippers again on Saturday likely with George and Kawhi, but in this one they may seriously struggle to keep up with the Jazz across four quarters.
The line here sits with the Jazz a -3.5 point favourite. This line is on the assumption that George is out and Kawhi is unlikely. Im happy to lock in the -3.5 and should Kawhi play full minutes, don’t expect him to be his usual dominant self.
BACK: The Utah Jazz -3.5 at $1.90 for 2.5 units
Miami Heat v Golden State Warriors
2:10 pm AEST
The most enigmatic team in basketball are the Golden State Warriors. This is a team that either blows the opposition apart, or themselves get blown apart. Rarely do they find themselves in a close contested game. Steph Curry similar to his west coast counterpart in Damian Lillard has been a one man wrecking crew most of the year, with help from his team mates coming in small waves as he’s had to do it mostly himself. The Warriors find themselves at this third of the way through the season with a winning record and sit just about where most would expect them, they’ve just gone about getting there in a bizarre way.
The Miami Heat on the otherhand are a complete mess at the moment. They have had their fair share of injuries and covid protocols, but they aren’t half the team that won the Eastern conference last year en route to a competitive finals showing. The team has a whole have seriously regressed and it was capitalised on Tuesday where they lost to a Clippers team who were down 4 starters as a 6.5 point favourite. They are defending horribly and if the three point shot isn’t dropping for them they seriously look lost at sea. This form slump will turn, but the clock has started clicking as we approach the half way mark of the season.
The Warriors missing their young second overall draft pick in Wiseman does hamper them being able to play above the rim, with Paschall the only proper big option they have. Bam Adebayo for Miami should have a comfortable day at the office, but the challenge for Miami will be stopping Steph Curry. I have no faith players in such as Herro and Robinson to stop Curry, and expect Wiggins to put clamps on Miami’s Butler. Draymond Green definitely has the ability to play big and is improving as the year has progressed, and if Kelly Oubre can regain the form from only a week or so ago, the Warriors look ready to pounce on the Heat who are lost as a team at the moment.
The current odds have the Warriors as a slight underdog at home tomorrow. While expecting the Heat to bounce back to form soon enough, they’ll have to show it before im willing to side with them, and as such, the Warriors prove some value here.
BACK: The Golden State Warriors to win at $1.95 for 2 units.