The NBA season continues this week with ESPN televising two live matches in Australia. The Houston Rockets will travel across Texas to take on their rivals the San Antonio Spurs whilst the Golden State Warriors will take on the Dallas Mavericks at home. Continue reading for our NBA Preview and Betting Tips.
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Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs (Thursday 12pm AEDT)
The Rockets have crept back into the top 8 of the Western Conference on the back of a three game winning streak. Across that span they have leaned heavily on James Harden who has been able to put in solid performances. Unfortunately for them they will be up against the Spurs who will be desperate to make amends after copping their biggest defeat of the season against the Warriors on Australia Day. The 30-point loss will feel like an embarrassment for a side that has title aspirations and had a lot of experts saying they were playing at a high level. Lamarcus Aldridge was held to just five points and three rebounds and he will need to play at a high level when he takes on Dwight Howard in this one. The Spurs are 24-0 this season and with fire in their bellies they will win by a big margin.
Los Angeles Clippers at Atlanta Hawks (Thursday 12pm AEDT)
The Clippers are surrounded with controversy at the moment with Blake Griffin breaking his hand whilst punching an equipment manager who works for the Clippers. The injury will see the power forward miss the next 4-6 weeks of action and the superstar has already been out of action for the past 15 matches. Throughout that stretch Chris Paul has increased his level of play and carried the team to a 11-4 run including a big win in Indiana against the Pacers. The Clippers will stay on the road and take on the Hawks in a back-to-back.
Both of these teams are in the bottom five in rebounding whilst their offences and defence are both in the top 10. It should be a close match with the battle down low between Al Horford and DeAndre Jordan set to be an interesting one. Paul will want to continue his great form as he takes on Jeff Teague – however after picking up a close victory and forced to play less than 24 hours later the Hawks should pick up the victory on their home court.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Minnesota Timberwolves (Thursday 12pm AEDT)
The Timberwolves will be returning to their home court after a trip East where they suffered a hard fought loss to the Cavaliers. They pushed the Eastern Conference leaders all the way but we are expecting them to get blown out in this one. The Thunder was pushed into overtime in their recent match against the Knicks but Durant was able to come up big in the final stages to get them the victory. They will come out firing in this one and want to end it early after having a few close matches in their latest contests. The 44 points Durant scored was a season high for the small forward.
The young Timberwolves side is allowing nearly 104 points per game and as they are coming up against the second best offence in the league it will be tough for them to prevent the Thunder from scoring. Point guard Ricky Rubio is a bad match up against the athletic Russell Westbrook and he will struggle to stay in front of him which will allow Westbrook to either get to the hole himself or create open shots for his team mates.
Dallas Mavericks at Golden State Warriors (Thursday 2.30pm AEDT)
The defending champions confidence will be through the roof after extending their home record to 21-0 with a huge victory against the San Antonio Spurs. A lot of their stars were able to sit in the fourth quarter, which will allow them to enter this match well rested after also having a day off. Stephen Curry proved that he is practically impossible to guard as the defensive player of the year was unable to keep up with the MVP as he turned him inside out and drained a massive three in his face. The team is incredibly deep and they will come close to beating the 72-10 season of the Bulls.
Meanwhile the Mavericks have entered a bit of a form slump and were forced to rely on a last second jumper from Dirk Nowitzki to get them over the line against the Los Angeles Lakers. The team will also be playing a back-to-back, which spells disaster for the side, as they will need to be as fresh as possible to stick with the high tempo offence of the Warriors. The home side will extend their unbeaten record on their own court and clear the line comfortably.
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Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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