The NBA season continues this Tuesday, the 7th of January with nine games on the slate. Headlining the day is the Thunder at 76ers clash at 11am, but there are also plenty of other juicy encounters set to play out.
We have a full preview and betting tips for some of the key games of the day below.
The Thunder got their season off to a slow start but have since come on really strong and look to be a genuine playoff team. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been on an absolute tear over the last couple of weeks, helping the Thunder to five straight wins and nine from their last 10. They’re now an impressive 20-15, which is currently the seventh best mark in the West.
The Sixers have found themselves in a huge form slump, losing each of their last four games and seven of their last 10. The bulk of their troubles have been on the road where they are 7-12 on the season, compared to 16-2 on their home deck. The good news for the Sixers is they will be back in Philly for this one, however their confidence is sure to be low.
These two ball clubs come into this in completely contrasting form with the Thunder on a five game winning streak and the Sixers on a four game losing streak. Interestingly, the Sixers will start as the red-hot favourites, which we simply don’t agree with. Yes, they’ve been fantastic at home this season, but it’s hard to see them flicking the switch on recent form and winning by 8+ against a very competitive Thunder line-up.
The Nuggets run of hot form has officially come to an end now that they’ve lost three of their last six games. Before this stretch they were on seven game winning streak that included the scalp of a fellow contender in the Lakers. Last time out the Nuggets were very disappointing 14 point losers to the Wizards, which took their season record to 24-11 and places them second in the West standings.
The Hawks seem to have turned a corner in recent weeks with some very impressive performances against good teams. Their last three games have resulted in a big win over the Magic, close loss to the Celtics and a win over the Pacers. The change in fortunes has correlated with the return of John Collins who has been stuffing the stat sheet of late.
Collins was absent through injury in the Hawks big win over the Pacers last time out and is questionable to return to face the Nuggets. Even if he’s out, we still fancy the Hawks to cover the 7.5-point spread at home. They’ve been very competitive of late and are coming off a morale boosting win, while the Nuggets are going through a bit of a slump. All things considering, we’re expecting a close game in Atlanta.
The Jazz are in their best form for the season and come in with five wins on the spin and 10 from their past 11. They have had a very soft draw during that span however, so it’ll be interesting to see how their form holds up when they face some greater challenges on a consistent basis. That said, you can only beat who’s in front of you and that has led the Jazz to fifth spot in the West at 23-12.
The Pelicans have finally found some winning form and come into this having won six of their past eight games. Even after the horrible start to the season they had with six wins from their first 28 games, the Pelicans are now just three games behind eighth in the West standings and are just starting to heat up.
The Jazz have been one of the hardest teams to get a read on this season, such has been their inconsistency - although they have been solid over the last month or so. On the other hand, the Pelicans have been consistently competitive of late and on their home deck, we expect them to have every opportunity to continue their current run of form.
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