Unfortunately we went 2/5 on our NBA Boxing Day betting tips thanks to a few very unlucky losses. LeBron James was well on the way to eclipsing his point line, but went down with an injury in the third that kept him out the rest of the way. Likewise with Donovan Mitchell, who scored 19 in a blowout win against the Trail Blazers. We now shift our focus to the Saturday slate, which will be the last one of 2018. Check out our best plays for the day below, and good luck to everyone following!
Our first value play of the day comes from the Detroit Pistons at Indiana Pacers match-up. This will be the first of four meetings between these Eastern Conference rivals this season. Last season the Pistons won the series 3-1.
The Pistons come into this one in some really poor form having won just three of their past 12 games, although they were victorious in their most recent outing against the Wizards at home (106-95). As it stands, the Pistons are in the sixth seed in the East at 16-16, but will need to turn their form around sooner rather than later.
On the other hand, the Pacers are in terrific touch having won three on the spin and 10 of their last 12 games. This run of form has propelled them to the third seed in the East with a record of 23-12. They’ve been strong at home this season with 12 wins from 17 games and will return there after a one game trip to Atlanta where they won 129-121.
You can’t argue the form of these teams and we think it will carry on for at least another game. The Pacers are one of the deepest teams in the league and have the bodies in the front court to deal with the likes of Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. We think they cover the spread here.
Our second game of interest on Saturday comes from New Orleans with the Pelicans hosting the Dallas Mavericks. This is the third of four meetings between these Western Conference rivals this season. The opening two games have been split at one a piece, with the Pelicans defending their home court by 26 points and the Mavericks defending theirs by three points.
The Mavericks have been one of the great surprises this season on the back of some sensational play by rookie Luka Doncic. He’s led the Mavs to a solid 16-17 record, which has them in 12th position in the West. However, all but two of their wins have come on their home court with their young stars really struggling to find their feet on the road.
Meanwhile, the Pelicans come into this on the back of a four game road trip where they lost all of their games by single figures. It was a disappointing stretch for the 15-20 Pelicans who find themselves in second last position in the West.
Both of these ball clubs fair far better on their home deck than on the road. The Pelicans have actually defended their home court really well with an 11-5 record there so far. With this in mind, we feel a play on them at a small line is great value.
The final game we’ve found value in is the Western Conference duel between the Spurs and the Nuggets in Denver. This will be the second meeting between these teams this year, with Spurs leading the series 1-0 thanks to an eight point win on their home deck.
The Spurs have had a bit of a resurgence after a slow start to the season by winning eight of their last 10 contests. That stretch has placed them in eighth position in the West with a solid 19-16 record.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets have had their struggles in recent time through poor form and a few injuries to key players. However, they still boast the second best record in the Western Conference with 21 wins from 32 games. They now return home where they’ve won an impressive 13 of 16 games.
Despite the recent success the Spurs have found, they’ve still only won five road games this year and are travelling to one of the toughest venues in the country. We have the Nuggets proving too good at home and edging closer to top spot in the West.
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