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With Christmas Eve not having any scheduled games, the NBA has crammed Friday night with 14 matches! We'll be taking a look at three key games this evening.
Opening the night is a heavyweight matchup between the LA Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers. Following them is another massive match in the Eastern Conference, as the Milwaukee Bucks take on the Brooklyn Nets. And in one of the last games of the night, the Memphis Grizzlies and the Phoenix Suns face off!
Let's check out the bets!
When: 7:00 PM EST
|LA Clippers||+3.5 (-110)||O 216.5 (-110)||+145|
|Philadelphia 76ers||-3.5 (-110)||U 216.5 (-110)||-175|
The LA Clippers and the Philadelphia 76ers are both looking to build on their recent positive runs and climb their respective conference tables. The LA Clippers have won back-to-back games and hope to enter Christmas with a three-game win streak. The Philadelphia 76ers have been even more successful as of late, winning six games in a row.
The Philadelphia 76ers have been dominant on both ends through their last six games, as they've shot 48.3% from the field and 40.2% from three-point range - this is all without Tyrese Maxey in the lineup. The LA Clippers have benefitted from some weaker competition through their last two games, but they've been more positive on offence than usual by averaging 114.0 points per game on 46.7% shooting from the field and a scorching 44.9% from three on 17.5 makes per game.
This will be a defensive matchup, as both teams prefer to play at a slower pace and succeed in the halfcourt. Chances are the Clippers won't maintain their sharpshooting against a top-ranked three-point defence. But LA is sure to counter them with their impressive interior defence.
When: 7:30 PM EST
|Milwaukee Bucks||+3.0 (-107)||O 225.5 (-107)||+125|
|Brooklyn Nets||-3.0 (-107)||U 225.5 (-107)||-145|
The Milwaukee Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets take each other on for dominance in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks are currently first in the Eastern Conference with a 22-9 record but are coming off of a loss to their Eastern Conference rival Cleveland Cavaliers. The Nets find themselves fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 20-12 record - just 2.5 games back from first and on a six-game winning streak.
Brooklyn are an incredibly dangerous offensive team that may only average 114.0 points per game (15th in the NBA), but they do so on 50.8% efficiency from the field (1st in the NBA) and 38.3% efficiency from three-point range (3rd in the NBA). Milwaukee get by on their defense, as they allow just 108.9 points per game (4th in the NBA) on 44.9% shooting efficiency (2nd in the NBA). Whichever team can enforce their gameplan first will likely win this game.
This is certainly a difficult game to call, especially when you consider two of the league's best players - Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant - will be leading their teams. Brooklyn's firepower is an issue, but Milwaukee's defense should help them bounce back and get back on the winning track.
When: 10:00 PM EST
|Memphis Grizzlies||-2 (-114)||O 226.0 (-110)||-134|
|Phoenix Suns||+2 (-106)||U 226.0 (-110)||+114|
The Memphis Grizzlies and the Phoenix Suns are both jockeying for position at the top of the Western Conference. Despite having lost back-to-back games, Memphis sits second in the Western Conference after winning seven of their last 10 games. Phoenix on the other hand are still trying to find consistency, now falling to fourth in the Western Conference with a 19-13 record after just four wins from their last 10 games.
Not only have the Grizzlies struggled with their defense as of late, but they're struggling to convert from range. Over their last two games, Memphis have allowed their opponents to shoot 40.3% from three on 14.5 makes, while they've averaged just 23.9% shooting from three on 8.5 makes per game. Phoenix may be a solid matchup for them though, as they allow 11.2 threes per game (5th in the NBA) on 36.7% efficiency (24th in the NBA).
This is a tighter matchup than it looks on paper, especially when you consider the quality of Phoenix's three-point shooting ability. Memphis is a fast-paced team with solid interior defense, but they've struggled to stop their opponents from the arc. The status of Devin Booker will play a big factor in Phoenix's chances, so if healthy expect the Suns to extend Memphis' losing streak to three.
Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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