Ten games. Twenty teams with something to prove.
The NBA Boxing Day schedule is somewhat a consolation to all the other teams who weren’t slated to play on Christmas—undoubtedly the league’s biggest day of the season. With that said, it’s also the perfect avenue for those snubbed to show what they can do.
Toronto and Denver lead the teams that are raring to prove they deserve to be considered among the league’s elites, while the surprising Clippers will aim to show that another Los Angeles team deserves some respect and recognition.
Here’s the full SBOBET preview of all the NBA’s post-Christmas match-ups!
Washington Wizards @ Detroit Pistons (December 27, 08:00 GMT+8)
After what could be said as a tumultuous start to the campaign, the Wizards are slowly getting back on track. They are now only three-and-half games behind the Pistons for the eighth seed in the crowded Eastern Conference.
Detroit have been shooting poorly and have won only twice in their last 11 games. They have lost back-to-back matches against the Charlotte Hornets and Atlanta Hawks, a record which should give John Wall and Co. some relief when they visit Little Caesars Arena.
Betting Tip: Wizards Asian Handicap +4.50 @ 2.03.
Phoenix Suns @ Orlando Magic (December 27, 08:00 GMT+8)
Before they lost against the Wizards and Brooklyn Nets last week, Phoenix actually won four straight (including one against the highly favoured Boston Celtics). Devin Booker is back with the team as well, which should give them hope that they can replicate their recent success.
Betting Tip: Suns Asian Handicap +4.00 @ 2.01.
Indiana Pacers @ Atlanta Hawks (December 27, 08:30 GMT+8)
The Pacers grabbed the NBA 2018 news headlines with a seven-game winning streak to start December, and while they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors last week, they have since bounced back and won two straight.
Indiana are currently third in the East and are proving legitimate title contenders with Victor Oladipo leading the charge. It should also be noted that they are the new No.1 team on the defensive end!
Atlanta have surprised a lot with their own winning run, but they still rank in the bottom 10 offensively.
Betting Tip: Over 218.00 @ 2.05.
Charlotte Hornets @ Brooklyn Nets (December 27, 08:30 GMT+8)
Who would have thought that a star-less Brooklyn team will contend for a playoff berth in the East? Sure enough, the NBA 2018 odds had them as a lottery team, but an unexpected resurgence saw them climb to ninth and just a game behind Detroit.
Of course, Kemba Walker is capable of carrying Charlotte—as he has consistently done over the past few years—but their poor record on the road is a cause for concern.
Betting Tip: Nets Asian Handicap -2.00 @ 2.00.
Toronto Raptors @ Miami Heat (December 27, 08:30 GMT+8)
It’s quite perplexing that the league didn’t give the Raptors, last year’s top East team, a Christmas game. The firing of Dwane Casey, departure of DeMar DeRozan and initial uncertainties surrounding Kawhi Leonard may have played a role on that, but it’s still unfair given that the New York Knicks played on Christmas. THE KNICKS!
Anyway, Nick Nurse and his team will certainly use that as motivation. They are the league’s best team for a reason—ranking top five on offence and top 10 on defence—and boast one of the best two-way players in Leonard.
Miami will be keen to ruin everything for the Raps; however, coach Erik Spoelstra has some tinkering to do on his offence that ranks just 25th in offensive efficiency.
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Chicago Bulls (December 27, 09:00 GMT+8)
One of the biggest storylines on Boxing Day, perhaps, is Derrick Rose‘s return to Chicago. While Rose has returned to Windy City as a member of the New York Knicks in the past, it’s different this time as the former MVP is playing great again.
Rose is averaging 18.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game for the Timberwolves this season, and there’s no better way for him to show that he’s unequivocally back than another memorable performance in front of his hometown fans at United Center.
The Bulls have won back-to-back games. Nonetheless, they lost Zach LaVine to injury, and there are still a lot of problems surrounding the team as Jim Boylen continues to steer the Chicago ship in the right direction.
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Memphis Grizzlies (December 27, 09:00 GMT+8)
The Grizzlies need Mike Conley, plain and simple. That was proven in their recent win over the Lakers that ended a stretch of five consecutive defeats.
With Conley back, Memphis will try to reignite their campaign that was off to a promising start. Fortunately, they have an opportunity to do so against the struggling Cavaliers who are more focused on rebuilding and not winning.
The Cavs are the worst team in the East and in the NBA, and that isn’t surprising if you consider that a player (Jordan Clarkson) who hasn’t started in any game is leading them in scoring.
Betting Tip: Over 197.00 @ 2.08.
New Orleans Pelicans @ Dallas Mavericks (December 27, 09:30 GMT+8)
Bench scoring has been the primary problem for the Mavs, and that was made even more clear after they lost in overtime to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Luka Doncic is a superstar in the making, but the Mavs need to find more consistency from its reserves to snap their six-game losing skid.
Final #NBA Scores
— SBOBET (@SBOBET) December 24, 2018
Anthony Davis—who has been the subject of trade rumours—will be keen to help New Orleans repeat their 132-106 thrashing of Dallas earlier this month. Nonetheless, they will also be cautious of the Mavs’ incredible home strength (13-3 home record).
Betting Tip: Pelicans Asian Handicap +2.00 @ 2.01.
Denver Nuggets @ San Antonio Spurs (December 27, 09:30 GMT+8)
Denver missed the playoffs last year, so it’s easy to defend why they were not given a Christmas schedule. But hey, there’s always something weird when the best team in the ultra-tough Western Conference isn’t playing during the important date.
Michael Malone and the Nuggets wouldn’t blow that storyline out of proportion, but it’s interesting to see how they will react to that. Nikola Jokic has thrown his name into the 2018-19 MVP conversation, and he will surely be motivated this time after he was ejected against the Clippers last week.
The Spurs are surviving, thanks to DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge and Gregg Popovich. However, they don’t have much depth and their performance on the road is still a problem.
Betting Tip: Nuggets Asian Handicap +3.00 @ 1.98.
Sacramento Kings @ LA Clippers (December 27, 11:30 GMT+8)
The Kings are playing fast, and that might be their best weapon against a Clippers team that is way behind them in that department.
Both teams are awful defensively, but they can definitely score the basketball. The Clips are sixth in offensive efficiency while the Kings are 14th.
The Clippers, though, will be brimming with confidence knowing for a fact that they have already beaten Sacramento, not to mention their 11-4 record at Staples Center.
Betting Tip: Clippers Asian Handicap -5.50 @ 2.00.
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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