The teams continue to battle for playoff positioning as the NBA’s 2018-19 season continues. Let’s take a look at some of Friday’s notable games:
Oklahoma City Thunder vs LA Clippers
The Oklahoma City Thunder head to Hollywood to take on the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are reeling with five losses in their last six games entering their Thursday game against the Portland Trail Blazers. After playing in Portland, the Thunder head to Los Angeles to take on the red hot Clippers for the second of a back-to-back schedule for them. OKC has yielded sole possession of 3rd place in the West with Houston and Portland catching them in the team standings.
Paul George leads the Thunder with 28.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game while leading the league in steals at 2.3 per outing. Russell Westbrook is having another triple-double season with 22.7 points, 11.2 rebounds and 10.7 assists per game. Dennis Schroeder is contributing 15.5 points and 4.2 assists per game while Steven Adams is scoring 14.6 points and hauling down 9.8 boards per outing.
Oklahoma City is the 5th highest scoring team in the league at 115.3 points per game. The Thunder rank 22nd in passing with 23.4 assists per game. They are also 2nd in rebounding at boards grabbed per contest. OKC is allowing their opponents to score 111.2 points per game, 15th best in the entire league.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs LA Clippers Odds
Odds from betonline as of 3/08/19
The LA Clippers are making a strong push for the playoffs. LA has won three in row to move four games ahead of the 9th seeded team in the Western Conference team standings. In their last game, the Clippers bested their cross-town rival Lakers 113-105 last Monday night.
Lou Williams leads the Clippers with 19.8 points and 5.4 assists per game. Danilo Gallinari is averaging 18.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while Montrezl Harrell is chipping in 16.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. Landry Shamet and Shai Gilgeous Alexander are also scoring 12.4 points and 10.0 points per game, respectively. Ivica Zubac is averaging 8.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for LA.
The Clippers are 7th in scoring at 114.1 points per game. They are ranked 21st in assists with 23.4 dimes per contest. LA is 13th in rebounding at 45.4 boards grabbed per outing. The Clippers allow their opponents to score an average of 113.4 points per game, 8th most in the league.
Oklahoma City os 4-6 SU in its last 10 games played. The Thunder are 1-4 SU in their last five road games. The LA Clippers are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games played. The Clippers are 3-0 SU in their last 3 home games. Head to head, the Thunder are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games against the Clippers.
The Thunder need to get out of this dry spell right now or else they might end up without home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs with the Rockets and Blazers streaking right now. The return of Paul George should bolster the Thunder as he missed three games with a shoulder injury.
The Clippers are finishing strong, at least for now, by going 7-3 SU in their last 10 games. LA was supposed to fade after trading top scorer Tobias Harris to the Sixers. But the team has fought behind Lou Williams and Danilo Gallinari and now they are in good shape to make the postseason.
The Thunder are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games played and Oklahoma City is 1-4 ATS in their last five games on the road. The Clippers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games played. LA is 3-0 ATS in its last three games played at home. Head to head, the Thunder are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 meetings against the Clippers.
OKC is 0-7 ATS in their last seven games against their Western Conference rivals, 0-4 ATS in their last four games on the road and 0-8 ATS in their last 8 games overall. LA is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games against teams with a winning record, 4-0 ATS in their last four games against the Western Conference and 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall. I really want to think that OKC’s finally breaking out of the slump on Friday but I can’t ignore how good the Clippers have been good lately.
Prediction: Clippers -1.5
The total has gone under in seven out of the last 10 games played by the Thunder. The under is 3-2 in the last five road games of Oklahoma City. The over is 6-4 in the Clippers’ last 10 games played. LA has seen the over go 3-0 in their last three home games. Head to head, the over is 6-4 in the last 10 meetings between these two teams.
The under is 4-1 in the Thunder’s last five games against the West. The under is also 5-1 in the Clippers’ last six Friday games. The under is also 7-2 in the last nine meetings between these two teams when playing at Staples Center.
Prediction: Under 236.5
Toronto Raptors vs New Orleans Pelicans
The Toronto Raptors travel to the Big Easy to face the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.
The Raptors look to regroup after suffering back to back losses in their last two games. Toronto lost to Detroit in overtime last Saturday night and then the Raptors dropped a 95-107 contest to the Houston Rockets on Tuesday to remain 2.5 games behind the Milwaukee Bucks in the race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Kawhi Leonard leads the Raptors with 27.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.9 steals per game. Serge Ibaka is averaging 15.3 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. Pascal Siakam has been a surprise with 16.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per contest while Kyle Lowry leads Toronto with 9.0 assists per outing while also scoring 14.8 points per game.
The Raptors are the 8th highest scoring team in the league at 113.9 points per game. Toronto is also ranked 14th in assists at 24.8 helpers per contest and they are 18th off the glass with 45.1 rebounds per outing .Toronto allows their opponents to score 108.8 points per game which is the 10th best scoring defense in the entire NBA.
Toronto Raptors vs New Orleans Pelicans Odds
O 233 -110
U 233 -110
Odds from betonline as of 3/08/19
The Pelicans saw their recent three-game winning streak come to a halt on Wednesday night as New Orleans got beaten by the Utah Jazz 104-114 in New Orleans. Despite the loss, the Pelicans have gone an even 5-5 in their last 10 games despite playing with the distraction that is Anthony Davis.
Jrue Holiday is now the top man on offense with 21.2 points and 7.7 assists per game. Julius Randle is scoring 20.7 points and grabbing 8.8 rebounds per game while E’Twaun Moore is helping out with 11.9 points per game. Elfrid Payton is making up for lost time with 9.8 points, 6.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game since returning from injury.
The Pelicans are 3rd in the NBA in team scoring at 115.8 points per game and they are also ranked 4th in assists with 36.9 dimes per contest. New Orleans is 4th in rebounding at 47.0 boards hauled per outing while their scoring defense of 115.0 points per game allowed is fifth-most in the league.
Toronto is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games played and the Raptors are 2-1 SU in their last three games played on the road. New Orleans is 5-5 SU in its last 10 games played and the Pelicans are 2-3 SU in their last five games played at home. Head to head, the Raptors are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games against the Pelicans and Toronto is also 6-1 SU in their last seven meetings in New Orleans.
Toronto hasn’t really taken the leap since adding Marc Gasol and Jeremy Lin to their lineup. The two veterans were supposed to give the Raptors the difference maker going down the stretch but so far, the Raptors haven’t really made the push yet. Sure, Toronto is 7-3 SU in their last 10 but they were winning this much anyway even before Gasol and Lin arrived.
You have to credit the Pelicans for putting together that three-game winning streak despite having to deal with Anthony Davis. Jrue Holiday and Julius Randle are balling for the Pelicans but it’s now unlikely that they will make the playoffs. Still, these wins are good signs for the team moving forward.
Toronto is stout on the road at 19-12 SU while the Pelicans are decent at home with their 18-13 SU record. Toronto is the much more talented team here and they have more reasons to push than the Pelicans.
I’m picking the Toronto Raptors to beat the New Orleans Pelicans on 3/8/19.
The Raptors are only 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games played. Toronto is 1-2 ATS in their previous two road games. The Pelicans are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games played. New Orleans is 3-2 ATS in their last five home games. Head to head, the Raptors are 12-5-1 in their last 18 games against the Pelicans. Toronto is also 8-1 ATS in their last nine road games against New Orleans.
Toronto is 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games after a loss, 4-12 ATS in their last 16 games away from home and just 1-8 ATS in their last nine games overall. New Orleans is 8-2 in their last 10 games against opponents with winning records, 5-0 ATS in their last five games after d double-digit home loss and 5-2 ATS in their last seven games played. The Raptors have struggled against the spread but they are 14-2 ATS in their last 16 games against the Pelicans in New Orleans.
Prediction: Raptors -4.5
The under is 3-2 in the Raptors’ last five games played. The under is also 2-1 in Toronto’s last three road games. The under is 3-1 in New Orleans’ last four games played and the total has gone under in three out of the Pelicans’ last five games at home. Head to head, the total has gone over in five out of the last six games between these two teams.
The over is 6-2 in the Raptors’ last eight road games against teams from the West, 8-3 in their last 11 games against the Pelicans and 5-1 in their last six head to head meetings in New Orleans. You have two Top 10 scoring teams here with one of them playing abysmal defense so I’m going with over.
Prediction: Over 233
Philadelphia vs Houston
The Philadelphia 76ers hit the road to test the Houston Rockets on Friday night at the Toyota Center in Houston.The Sixers are 6-4 SU in their last 10 games played.
The Sixers have seen their playoff push stall with the continued absence of Joel Embiid. Embiid has not played since the All-Star break due to knee problems and the Sixers have gone 4-3 SU without their All-Star center. In their last game, the Sixers lost to the lowly Chicago Bulls 107-108.
Embiid leads the Sixers 27.3 points, 13.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. Jimmy Butler is scoring 18.6 points while also grabbing 5.1 rebounds, issuing 4.0 assists and taking 1.9 steals per game. Ben Simmons is having another all-around season with 17.0 points, 9.2 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game while J.J. Redick is scoring 18.0 points per game. Newcome Tobias Harris is also playing well for his new team with 20.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game as a Sixer.
Philadelphia is the 4th highest scoring team in the NBA at 115.4 points per game. The Sixers are also ranked 3rd in assists at 27.3 dimes per contest and they are also 5th in rebounds at 47.0 boards grabbed per outing. Philadelphia is allowing their opponents to score 112.1 points per game which is the 17th best scoring defense in the entire league.
Philadelphia 76ers vs Houston Rockets Odds
Odds from bet365 as of 3/08/19
The Houston Rockets have made their move and have climbed to get a share of third place in the Western Conference. Houston has won six games in a row to improve to 39-25 for a tie with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers. In their last game, the Rockets defeated the Toronto Raptors 107-95 last Tuesday night.
James Harden leads the Rockets with 36.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.2 steals per game. Clint Capela is also averaging 16.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game while Chris Paul is contributing 15.8 points and 8.3 assists per contest. Eric Gordon is also helping out with 16.3 points per game and Austin Rivers is scoring 10.1 points off the bench.
The Rockets rank 11th in scoring at 113.3 points per game and Houston is also 13th in scoring defense at 110.8 opponent points per game allowed. The Rockets however are next to last in passing at only 20.9 assists per game and they are also just 27th in rebounding at 41.5 boards grabbed per contest.
Philadelphia is 3-1 SU in its last four games played in the road. The Rockets are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games. Houston is 3-1 SU in its last four home games played. Head to head, the Rockets are 8-2 SU in their last 10 games versus the Sixers and the Rockets are 7-1 SU in their last 8 meetings in Houston.
The Sixers have played without Joel Embiid since the All-Star break and they have won just four out of their seven games so far. Tobias Harris has been scoring in the 20’s to help compensate the loss of Embiid’s numbers but more than his stats, the Sixers miss Embiid’s presence on defense.
The Rockets have made their move and now share 3rd place in the West after being at 6th place for most of the season. Harden has gotten his cast healthy and that’s when the Rockets started to win. However, Kenneth Faried is out with a groin injury so it remains to be seen how that affects them. But with Capela and Paul healthy, the Rockets are poised to finish strong.
The key here is Embiid’s absence because it changes the entire Sixers’ game plan. The Rockets will also be without Kenneth Faried but as we said earlier, they have Capela and Paul back and these are the two that really help Harden on the court. The Sixers are 16-15 SU on the road while the Rockets are 22-9 SU at home.
I’m picking the Houston Rockets to beat the Embiid-less Philadelphia 76ers on 3/8/19.
The Sixers are 5-5 ATS in their last 10 games played and Philadelphia is 2-2 ATS in their last four games on the road. The Rockets are 4-5-1 ATS in their last 10 games played and Houston is 1-3 ATS in their last four home games. Head to head, the Sixers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 meetings against the Rockets and Philadelphia is 10-5 ATS in their last 15 head to head meetings in Houston.
The Sixers are 6-14 ATS in their last 20 road games against an opponent with a home winning percentage higher than .600 and Philadelphia is also 1-4 ATS in its last five games versus the Southwest Division. The Rockets are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games against an opponent with a winning percentage of higher than .600 and 4-1 ATS in their last five games against team with a winning SU record. The Rockets have been playing well lately, even against the elites so you’ve got to go with them.
The under is 7-3 in the Sixers’ last 10 games played. The total has gone under in three out of the last four road games played by Philadelphia. The under is 6-3-1 in the Rockets’ last 10 games played and the under is also 2-1-1 in Houston’s last four home games. Head to head, the under is 2-1 in their last three meetings. However, the total has gone over in nine out of their last 13 games played in Houston.
The over is 9-4 in their last 13 head to head meetings in Houston, 7-0 in the Rockets’ last seven games played on a Friday and 5-2 in Houston’s last seven games against teams with a winning record. Houston has averaged 120 points in their last three games and this one should be no different.
- Denver Nuggets +215 vs Golden State Warriors -255, Prediction: Golden State Warriors
- Washington Wizards +175 vs Charlotte Hornets -205, Prediction: Charlotte Hornets
- Dallas Mavericks +240 vs Orlando Magic -285, Prediction: Orlando Magic
- Cleveland Cavaliers +310 vs Miami Heat -370, Prediction: Miami Heat
- Detroit Pistons -165 vs Chicago Bulls +145, Prediction: Detroit Pistons