The 2015-16 NBA season returns after a well deserved break for players over the all-star period. The top teams will want to cement their position in the playoffs as they push their final matches. Continue reading for more NBA betting tips as we offer our February 20th NBA Preview and Betting Tips.
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Indiana Pacers at Oklahoma City Thunder (Saturday 12pm AEDT)
A terrific televised match for fans in Australia and it will be a big contest between Kevin Durant and Paul George. These two players were plagued by injury last season and have been increasing their level of play throughout the year. The recent break saw both players take the field in the all-star match but the two will be well-rested and ready to fire for their sides.
The Thunder have the second best offence in the league and are 25-5 on their home court this season. The duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook has been tremendous and Westbrook has increased his assists this season whilst limiting his turnovers. His development into a true point guard rather than just a scorer has benefited the team whilst also made him more of a threat for defences. The Pacers will put up a fight for the opening three quarters, however the home court advantage and superior roster should see the Thunder pull away in the fourth quarter.
New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets (Saturday 11.30am AEDT)
A cross-town battle between two Eastern conference sides will have little importance, however the Knicks will be the more desperate side for the victory. Phil Jackson fired head coach Derek Fisher last week as he wanted the team to be pushing for a playoff spot... but the firing didn’t help as they are currently on a six game losing streak.
The Nets are sitting second last in the Eastern conference and have struggled for scoring all season relying heavily on Brook Lopez in the post. This has slowed down their offence in a running league, which certainly isn’t a positive. It will be an interesting match up with the big man taking on his brother Robin Lopez but it will be Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis who get the away side over the line.
Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks (Saturday 12pm AEDT)
Unfortunately for the Miami Heat, Chris Bosh has suffered possibly a huge setback for his career. The Power Forward was forced to miss the remainder of last year's season after being forced to treat blood clot’s in his lungs and a year later it is feared he is suffering the same issue. Bosh will not travel with the team to play the Hawk,s but the team has released no further details at this stage. It is a big blow for as Bosh is leading the team in scoring and offers a solid defensive presence around the paint while also having the ability to spread the floor.
The Hawks will be able to take advantage in the paint now with Paul Millsap and Al Horford to team up against the Hassan Whiteside. Their lockdown defence will make it hard for a Heat side that already struggles to score. The Hawks have a 17-9 home record and will win this one comfortably and clear the line.
Charlotte Hornets at Milwaukee Bucks (Saturday 12pm AEDT)
The all-star break was good and bad for the Hornets as they were able to acquire Courtney Lee but were then dealt a massive blow with Michael Kidd Gilchrist injured for the rest of the season. Charlotte is currently on a three game winning streak and has moved into the playoff picture after having a midseason slump where they lost 10 straight games. Kemba Walker has taken his game to another level whilst Nicolas Batum is constantly putting up big numbers.
The Bucks were able to pick up two big victories heading into the break with wins against the Celtics and Wizards. They are a hard team to beat at home and have proven that with a win against the Warriors. Their 15-8 home record is strong, while the Hornets are weak on the road winning just 8 of 25 matches on their opponents court. Keeping this in mind, we are predicting the Bucks to cause an upset and earn the win.
Golden State Warriors at Portland Trail Blazers (Saturday 2pm AEDT)
The splash brothers and the Warriors will return to action in search of history as they have the 72-10 record made by the Bulls in the 1995-96 season in their sights. Their current 48-4 record is the on the line and they should be extremely confident as they head into Portland with a 24-4 road record. They have arguably the two best three point shooters in the league with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson winning the last two three point contests. Curry is on his way to back-to-back MVPs and is currently leading the league in scoring and averaging 29.8ppg, 5.3rpg and 6.6apg whilst being rested in the majority of fourth quarters with his side leading by a large margin.
The Trail Blazers, meanwhile, are currently on a three game winning streak and have moved into the 7th spot in the Western Conference. The side has gone above all expectations of them as they were expected to be finishing near the bottom after parting ways with four of their five starters from the season before. However, their team is still incredibly inexperienced and needs time to develop and grow. The defending champions will pick up a huge victory after having almost a week’s rest.
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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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