It was a fantastic Christmas period in the NBA and the action continues this Tuesday, the 31st of December with a tasty little six game slate. The Bucks will travel to Chicago in the headline matchup of the day while the Blazers host the Suns in the late matchup.
We have a full preview and betting tips for some of the key games of the day below.
The Bucks suffered a tough loss to the 76ers on Christmas Day but have bounced back to win their last two games on the trot. They were absolutely dominant over the Hawks in Atlanta, winning by 26 points before beating the Magic by 11 points at home. Giannis Antetokounmpo continues his dominant season, averaging 30.5 points and 12.9 rebounds a game while leading the Bucks to the best record in the league.
The Bulls currently sit in 9th place in the Eastern Conference with a 13-20 record. They are coming off a good win over the Hawks in their last matchup, where they posted 116 to win by 35 points. For their inconsistency this season, the Bulls have been one of the better teams in the league against the spread. They maintain a 18-15 record against the spread, which puts them behind only the Thunder, Bucks, Heat, Celtics, Mavericks and Raptors in that category.
Antetokounmpo is battling a bit of a back injury at the moment, while Eric Bledsoe is also a game time decision. There’s a strong chance that the former will be held back from this game, as the Bucks will back themselves to win it even without him and they have a tough four game West Coast road trip coming up. The Bulls are strong against the spread and should cover here especially if Giannis is out.
The Pistons will be looking to bounce back from a 27 points loss to the San Antonio Spurs wen they travel to Utah on Tuesday. The loss to the Spurs was the first game of a six game road trip which features some tough matchups against the Jazz, Clippers and Lakers. The Pistons are battling some major injury concerns at the moment, and will likely be without Reggie Jackson, Markieff Morris, Blake Griffin and Luke Kennard for the Jazz matchup.
The Jazz have no such issues on the injury front, with their only player currently on the inactive list being starting point guard Mike Conley. The Jazz are 20-12 on the season, currently sitting in 6th place in the Western Conference, but have won eight of their last 10 games, which is 2nd only to the Denver Nuggets over the last 10.
The Jazz start as 10 point favourites at home, which seems about right given the form of both teams at the moment. That line should play pretty true, but we do like the under here. The Pistons are one of the lowest scoring teams in the league, averaging just 109.1 points per game while the Jazz have one of the best defences in the league, allowing just 106.6 per game. The Pistons should struggle to score 100 here.
The Blazers have had a slow start to the season and currently sit 8th in the Western Conference with a 14-19 record. They have lost their last 3 games in a row, all against tough opponents in the Pelicans, Jazz and Lakers. They’ll get a bit of respite over the next week, with their next three games coming against the Suns, Knicks and Wizards.
The Suns have one of the better records in the league against the spread at 17-14-1 but have hit a poor patch of form over the past few weeks. They snapped an eight game losing streak with a win in Sacramento in their last game, but will be back on the road on Tuesday, where they are 6-8 on the season.
Suns star DeAndre Ayton returned from his suspension a few weeks ago but has gone on to miss the next five games with an ankle injury. He could return to the line-up for the Blazers game, but regardless, we think the Blazers should roll here. The line is just 4.5 points in their favour, which is a line the Suns have covered in two of their last six games.
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