Just the four games in this Tuesday’s NBA slate but all of them have massive playoff implications as we draw nearer and nearer to the 2018 NBA Playoffs. We preview the key games of the day and give our betting tips below.
The Rockets amazing winning streak was broken by Toronto on Saturday, but they bounced back to claim a good win over Dallas Monday. They’ll be on a second night of a back to back come Tuesday but will welcome the return to the Toyota Center after a four-game road trip. All-Star guard and MVP front runner James Harden missed the clash against the Mavericks with soreness in his knee but will be back for the game against the Spurs.
A few weeks ago, the spurs were sitting pretty in third place in the Western Conference. They are now seventh in the conference and in a tight battle with six other teams to hold onto their playoffs spot. Injuries have been the main factor in the Spurs recent run of shaky form as LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol and Rudy Gay have all missed key games as well as the long-term injury of star forward Kawhi Leonard.
While reports are that Kawhi will be hoping to return against the Pelicans on Friday, he’ll be out for Tuesday’s clash, along with Aldridge, leaving the Spurs extremely depleted. The Rockets start as huge 12 point favourites for this game and given the line-up San Antonio are set to trot out we think this could be a blowout.
The Memphis Grizzlies have lost their last 17 games in a row and now have the worst record in the league at 18-48. After sitting Mike Conley for the season earlier in the year and with Marc Gasol playing a limited role in the hope of developing some young guns, the Grizzlies have gone into full blown tank mode over the past few months and will look to secure the number one pick in the draft at season’s end.
As Detroit have lost seven of their last 10 games, the Bucks now look to at least have a playoffs berth secured in 2018. Where they will be seeded, however, is anyone’s guess as just four games separate them and the Pacers in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference.
The Bucks start as seven-point favourites here, which seems a little low considering the Grizzlies were absolutely thumped by Dallas on Sunday to the tune of 34 points. However, the Bucks are the third worst team against the spread in the NBA at just 26-35-5. Tough game to call, but we think this line should be closer to 11 or 12, even in Memphis.
The Blazers captured a massive 17-point win over Golden State on Saturday, meaning they have won their last nine games in a row and now sit 3rd in the Western Conference. Damian Lillard has been playing lights out basketball over the past few weeks and had another 28 points in the win over Golden State to go with CJ McCollum’s 30.
Like the Bucks, the Heat also looked to have secured a 2018 playoffs berth. They have won their last two games in a row and currently sit 7th in the Eastern Conference. The Heat are poised to make a statement in the run home, as they have one of the easier schedules in the league with games against Sacramento, Lakers, Denver, Brooklyn and two games against each of the Knicks and Hawks.
The Blazers start as 6.5-point favourites here, however, the Heat are one of the best teams against the spread away from home at 22-11-1 on the season so far. This clash should be pretty heated as both teams have plenty to play for, we like the Heat at this line.
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