NBA Weekend Picks & Predictions: December 20-22

NBA Weekend Picks & Predictions: December 20-22

Christmas is just a few days away, but the NBA keeps on going. We’ve got a number of great matchups for you over the festive weekend.

The Mavericks are still Doncic-less and will face off against a strong Philadelphia side to kick the weekend off. We’ll be closing the weekend out with more action from the Rockets, having beaten their league rivals the Clippers on Thursday.

How will the Western Conference look after this weekend?


Dallas Mavericks (4.01) vs Philadelphia 76ers (1.27)

The Dallas Mavericks have been one of the teams to watch this year, the emergence of MVP candidate Luca Doncic and one of the deepest rosters in the NBA.

The loss of Luca Doncic and a number of bad results puts the Mavs 8th in the NBA power rankings and 5th in the West, going 18-9 outright equal to the Rockets. They average 117.6 points per game, but without Doncic only 111.5 points.

The 76ers are excellent defensively, holding opponents to 104.2 points per game. Joel Embiid has been prolific for Philly and will be difficult to handle for Dallas in this one.

The 76ers form has put them on 20-9 for the 2019/20 campaign. The 76ers are averaging 109.1 points per game as it stands, which should be enough to overcome the Mavs.

Dallas did manage to snap the Bucks 18-win streak during the week, which will give them a lot of confidence. Though they lost to the Celtic in their last, and again without the young Slovenian we seem them losing this one.

Take the 76ers to win.

Philadelphia 76ers To beat Dallas Mavericks


Houston Rocket vs Phoenix Suns

The Rockets will be buoyed after handing a loss to Doc Rivers’ Clippers on Thursday night. They won the game 122-117, which puts Houston on 19-9 for the 2019/20 campaign.

They haven’t been playing in title-winning form this season, but they are starting to build team cohesion and the partnership between Westbrook and Harden is starting to show promising signs.

The Suns had a brief period this season, where they were playing great ball and seemed to be looking like a team that could push for the Playoffs. However, they enter this game looking to snap a 4-game losing streak.

They go 11-16 overall. They have been heavily relying on Devin Booker, who averages 25.0 points per game, but they will be given a boost with the return of Deandre Ayton who is due to return soon after a failed a drugs test.

The NBA betting odds will favour a Houston win and it’s hard to argue with it. Harden has been in form all season and Westbrook turned it on against the Clippers, putting up 40 points. These two will be too much to handle.

Expect the Rockets to win this one.

Houston Rockets To beat Phoenix Suns
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Denver Nuggets vs Los Angeles Lakers

We have a top-end of the Western Conference matchup for you on Sunday, as we head to the STAPLES Center where the Lakers will host the Nuggets. This is likely to be an explosive game, so it has to be our NBA free pick of the weekend.

The Lakers played the biggest game of the season so far against Giannis and the Bucks on Thursday, in a game they lost 104-111.

Anthony Davis put up 36 and LeBron 21, but it wasn’t enough as Giannis managed 34 to carry his team to victory.

The one-man-show that is Giannis Antetokounmpo, has been his usual unstoppable self this season. But the win over the Lakers marked a new day in the NBA, a league in which Giannis is the new King.

He’s at 33.8% from downtown this season on more than five attempts per game, including 21 out of 47 (44.7%) in eight December games.

But enough about Giannis, the Nuggets have also been enjoying a good season on the court. They go 18-8 overall and are led in scoring by Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, putting up an average of 17.5 and 17.1 points per game, respectively.

Take the Lakers to bounce back and win this one.

Los Angeles Lakers To beat Denver Nuggets
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