With the New Year just a week away, we have some great games over the Christmas period for you to get stuck into while you enjoy the festivities.
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The big talking point from this week was the big East vs West, top-of-the-table clash between the Lakers and Bucks, which Milwaukee won 111-104 to put them in pole position in the NBA.
Who will take the points over Christmas?
Toronto Raptors (2.91) vs Indiana Pacers (1.44)
The first game of the week is a tussle in the East, as the Indiana Pacers host the Toronto Raptors at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Raptors lost out to the Clippers a few weeks ago, in a game that finished 112-92. But since then the Raptors haven’t looked back, putting up wins against the Mavericks and Pistons.
Their success in recent weeks means coming into this one they’ll be looking for the sixth straight victory. The Raptors go 21-8 for the season outright and have managed to work their way back up to seventh in the NBA power rankings.
Similarly to the Raptors, the Pacers have enjoyed the last couple of weeks on the court. After losing out to the Clippers a few weeks back, the Pacers have been taking points off of everyone, well almost everyone.
They have beaten the Celtics, Lakers and an in-form Kings side over the last few weeks, but will come into this game off the back of a loss to the Bucks. They stand at 20-10 outright for the season.
Take the Raptors to win this one.
Los Angeles Lakers (1.69) @ Los Angeles Clippers (2.08)
We have the NBA free pick game of the Christmas period for you here, with the Lakers and the Clippers facing off at the STAPLES Center. Who will be come away as the Kings of Los Angeles?
Though the Clippers are in a good league position and look to be playing well, they have only managed to put up 3 wins in their last six games, including a loss to Oklahoma in the last. The result leaves them on 22-10 outright.
The Clippers boast one of the strongest rosters in the league, the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Lou Williams, Paul George and Montrezl Harrell have been showing their worth this season. But something seems to be awry with Doc Williams team.
Consistency is the key to success in the long NBA season, and the Lakers have been fairly consistent throughout the 2019/20 campaign. The Lakers go 24-6 for the season, with three of their six losses coming in the last 3 games.
Losses to the Pacers, Bucks and Nuggets in their last three games puts them on the back foot going into this one. To add to the Lakers woes, they will likely be without LeBron James in this one, as he was sidelined with a muscle strain.
Expect the Lakers to bounce back and win this one.
Milwaukee Bucks (1.90) @ Philadelphia 76ers (1.82)
The Bucks are on the road for their Wednesday night fixture as they travel to the Wells Fargo Center Philadelphia. They enter this one 27-4 overall.
Milwaukee’s dominance in the league was confirmed midweek, when they beat the Lakers. The Bucks have shown what they are capable of playing as a team and led by Mr Antetokounmpo, an NBA title seems very much on the cards.
They were overturned by the Mavericks, without starman Luka Doncic, in the game prior, which will reassure the other teams in the league that they are beatable.
The 76ers are 21-10 for the season outright. Philadelphia have played good ball at times this year, but hit a rut recently. They were entered the last game looking to snap a 3-game losing streak, which they managed to do Wizards.
They will need to find a way to disrupt the Bucks flow and ultimately, stop Giannis from doing what he’s been doing all season long.
Take the Bucks to win on the road.
The best of The Greek Freak:— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) December 23, 2019
18 PTS | 19 REB | 9 AST | 2 BLK | 2 STL pic.twitter.com/iTxeqzFF2S
San Antonio Spurs @ Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks host the Spurs at the American Airlines Center on Thursday. They’ll face a Spurs team that has managed 11-17 for the season outright.
The Spurs come into this one off the back of a loss to the Clippers and are four wins in their last seven games. They beat the Rockets, Kings and Suns during that period and will face the Grizzlies before they travel to Dallas.
The Mavericks lost their star Slovenian last weekend, with a sprained ankle forcing him off the court, but that hasn’t hindered their productivity on the court. The Mavs hold the fourth position in the league for points per game, putting up 117.2 on average.
The Mavericks are facing their most hectic period of games during the season, having played against the Lakers, Bucks, Heat, 76ers and Raptors in the past 10 days.
They have taken some decent wins during that period, but did narrowly lose out 110-107 to the Raptors in their last game. A result which will frustrate coach Rick Carlisle, as the game was there for the taking.
The NBA betting odds aren’t available yet, but they will likely favour the Mavericks and we do too.
Take the Dallas Mavericks to win.