After a difficult month, we go into the first weekend of February with little change at the top of the Eastern and Western Conferences.
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We have some very important games this week, with our NBA free pick of the weekend going to the Denver Nuggets as they face the Milwaukee Bucks. As well as the big clash in the West, as the Mavericks and Rockets tussle for that fifth spot.
Will Michael Malone’s men stop the Bucks?
Dallas Mavericks (4.20) @ Houston Rockets (1.25)
The Dallas Mavericks were taken apart in their last game against the Phoenix Suns. The game finished 133-104, with Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker picking up 31 and 32, respectively.
The Mavs were flat and things weren’t coming together like we’re used to seeing from Rick Carlisle’s men this campaign. Doncic put up 21, 2 assists and 6 rebounds and played the best game out of anyone on the Dallas roster.
Collectively the Mavericks simply weren’t good enough. They’ll need to up their game against a Rockets side featuring the highest-scoring player in the league, in James Harden (averaging 35.7ppg).
The Houston Rockets are 29-18 for the season, the same as the Mavs. Houston lost out to the Blazers 125-112 in their last, with Westbrook putting on an impressive display. He managed 39p, 6a, 10r.
Take the Rockets to win in front of the home crowd here.
Denver Nuggets (4.57) @ Milwaukee Bucks (1.22)
The Milwaukee Bucks have been in cruise control for the majority of the season, and they seem to be improving. Kris Middleton putting up a career-high 51 points against the Wizards in their last game.
The Bucks systematic dismantling of their opponents has begun to strike fear into contenders. They enter this one top of the East, looking for 10th win in ten and 41-6 for the season outright.
Though this time they’ll be playing one of the strongest sides in the West. The Nuggets are second in the league on 33-15 and looking to make it two in two, after beating the Jazz on Thursday night.
Denver boasts the fourth-best defence in the league, allowing just 105.9 points per game. Though less can be said for their offensive prowess, averaging just 109.1. Now compare that to the Bucks 120.00, while allowing just 107.2.
The bookmakers NBA betting odds heavily favour a Bucks win, and we tend to agree.
Expect the Bucks to win at the Forum.
Chicago Bulls @ Toronto Raptors
Our Sunday night game takes us to the Scotiabank Arena, as the Toronto Raptors host the Chicago Bulls. Chicago has got their work cut out, as the Raptors look to make it 10 wins from ten.
The Bulls has 5 wins in their last 5 games and sit ninth in the league, going 19-31 for the 2019/20 campaign so far. Zach LaVine continues to lead the line, averaging 25.1ppg and putting up 20p, 9a, 4r in their last game which they lost to the Pacers.
Toronto supporters may fancy themselves for another run in the Playoffs this season, with some fans thinking they can go all the way. And why not?
Pascal Siakam has returned to form, after the injury, and is once again leading the line. He put up 24 points against the Hawks in their last and is averaging 23.7ppg for the season.
Siakam alongside VanVleet, Powell, Ibaka, Anunoby and Raptors legend Lowry will likely be too much for the Bulls defence.
The Toronto Raptors form over the past couple of weeks puts them fifth in the NBA power rankings as we go into February.
Take the Toronto Raptors to win.