With the majority of NBA teams having now reached the 50-game mark, coaches, players and supporters alike are beginning to cast their eye further forward, anticipating whether their sides are going to progress through to the playoffs. However, with 20 games or so still to be played before May 16, none of the teams challenging for top spot in their respective divisions can afford any complacency at this stage of the campaign. Bookmakers are currently favouring the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers as most likely to lift the NBA Championship, but which bets should punters be placing on the upcoming matches?
Just like punters can benefit from NBA Betting, everyone associated with San Antonio Spurs will be looking to take advantage of their games in hand to make headway up the Western Conference standings. Their opponents Denver Nuggets have put together a seven-match winning streak, their latest triumph coming by a 106-96 scoreline against their next opponents, but the Spurs showed enough during that contest to suggest that they are capable of bringing their own four-game losing run to an end in the near future. Even as outsiders, the Spurs at 5/2 is far better value than the Nuggets at 7/19, but punters should think about backing the Nuggets to win by 1-5 points. That is currently available at just below 4/1, and it makes sense to take a calculated risk on that margin.
Later on Saturday evening, the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers square off in what should theoretically be a one-sided contest. Although they have played more games than many of their nearest rivals, the Clippers are fully deserving of third spot, prevailing in nine of their last 11 encounters. On the flip side, the Rockets find themselves second from bottom in the Western Conference, losing 37 of their 51 fixtures this season. However, the Rockets are on somewhat of an upward trajectory, pushing second-placed Phoenix Suns all the way before claiming a 102-93 success over the Dallas Mavericks in their last outing. While there is justification in a small bet on the Rockets at 15/2, the Clippers to prevail by a 3-6 point margin at betting odds of over 6/1 stands out for us.
Turning our attention to Sunday, Toronto Raptors take on Cleveland Cavaliers in what is an important tussle at the wrong end of the Eastern Conference. Even with 20 matches remaining, neither side are realistically in contention to advance into the top six, but punters may be keen to take advantage of the 5/2 which is on offer for the home side. The Cavaliers have recorded just one win fewer than their next opponents, while they have also put together two successive wins, scoring 254 points in the process. As far as the Raptors are concerned, they have lost their last two games, extending a run of six defeats in eight matches. They have also made a habit of starting games on the back foot, making betting odds of 37/20 for the Cavaliers to win the first half as a no brainer.