It's Martin Luther King Day and the NBA are commemorating the occasion with an exciting nine-game schedule!
In an entertaining inter-conference clash, the New Orleans Pelicans take on the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the East, the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks compete to improve their position in the standings. And in the Western Conference the Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves jockey for Play-In positions.
Let's check out the bets!
When: 3:00 PM EST
|New Orleans Pelicans||+6.5 (-110)||O 222.5 (-110)||+210|
|Cleveland Cavaliers||-6.5 (-110)||U 222.5 (-110)||-260|
The New Orleans Pelicans and Cleveland Cavaliers will face off in a matchup between two teams who have excelled through their paint play. The Cavaliers have fallen to fifth place as of late, owning a 27-17 record and an 18-4 home record. The Pelicans have maintained their recent position despite injury, owning a 26-17 record and a 9-12 road record.
On the season, the Pelicans average 117.3 points per game (4th in the NBA) on 48.0% from the field (8th in the NBA) while collecting 45.3 rebounds (6th in the NBA) and 26.0 assists per game (9th in the NBA). The Cavaliers make their name by their defense, holding teams to 107.0 points (1st in the NBA) on 46.5% shooting (8th in the NBA) from the field while also limiting teams to just 40.2 rebounds per game (1st in the NBA) and 22.6 assists per game (2nd in the NBA).
When the Pelicans and Cavaliers meet, expect the team that establishes their presence in the paint first to be the victor. With the difference in offensive versatility, the edge goes to the Cleveland Cavaliers. But don't be surprised if the grittiness of the Pelicans keeps this game close for longer than expected.
When: 3:30 PM EST
|Miami Heat||-1.0 (-114)||TBD||-121|
|Atlanta Hawks||+1.0 (-107)||TBD||+100|
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Both the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks will be looking to maintain their form and keep their winning streaks alive when they face off. The Miami Heat are currently seventh in the Eastern Conference, owning a 24-20 record and a 10-11 road record. The Atlanta Hawks are now ninth in the Eastern Conference with a 21-22 record and an 11-9 home record.
The Heat's defense has been excellent over the course of their three-game win streak. Miami are holding their opponents to 102.7 points per game on 43.1% from the field and 35.7% from three-point range. The Hawks have been a bit more offense-focused over their two-game win streak. Atlanta have been averaging 113.5 points per game on 47.2% from the field and 45.0% from three-point range.
The Heat have surprised with their recent run due to their success despite the injury. However, with the Hawks' backcourt duo of Murray and Young coming off of a combined 56 points, 15 assists, and 8-rebound performance, the Heat's defense may have finally met its match. Atlanta's backcourt form pushes the game in their favor.
When: 4:00 PM EST
|Utah Jazz||+2.5 (-110)||TBD||+120|
|Minnesota Timberwolves||-2.5 (-110)||TBD||-140|
It's an exciting matchup between ambitious teams in the Utah Jazz and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Jazz have fallen to 10th in the Western Conference with a 22-24 record and an 8-16 road record. The Timberwolves have climbed to seventh in the West, sitting at .500 with a 22-22 record and a 14-9 home record.
The Jazz have fallen off since their early season run, but they've found recent success despite going 3-7 over their last ten. The Utah Jazz are 2-1 over their last three games, mostly due to their dominance on the glass where they've outrebounded their opponents 53.7 to 38.0. The Timberwolves have gone 6-4 over their last 10 games, despite injuries to Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert. With six of their wins coming from the last seven games, the Timberwolves have found success by forcing 15.6 turnovers per game while still shooting 52.1% from the field and 37.7% from deep.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have found an interesting balance when their big men are off the court. However, Utah's scoring versatility and their aggressiveness in the paint should tip the game in their favor. It should be an exciting matchup, and you can probably expect an exciting affair.
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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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