NBA tips: Back the Rockets and Raptors in our Wednesday 4-fold
Toronto are primed to beat the Hawks for the third time this season, while Houston should dominate one of the West's worst teams.
New Orleans Pelicans to beat Charlotte Hornets –
The Pelicans are currently enjoying their best run of the season, winning seven of their last 10 games and five in their last six.
New Orleans saw off the Chicago Bulls in a double-overtime 132-128 win on Monday night, with DeMarcus Cousins putting up a massive 44 points and 24 rebounds.
The Hornets are also in decent form, with six wins in their last nine games, but all three of their defeats in that run came at home.
Charlotte’s strength is their rebounding, but they could struggle against the Pelicans’ dominant frontcourt of Cousins and Anthony Davis.
Philadelphia 76ers to beat Chicago Bulls –
The 76ers lost to the Memphis Grizzlies last time out, but they had won seven of eight prior to that, including three victories over potential title contenders Spurs, Celtics and Raptors.
They should get back to winning ways against the Bulls, who have won five of their last 10.
Chicago struggled against Pelicans centre DeMarcus Cousins, and face another tough task against 76ers big man Joel Embiid.
Embiid was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week last week after averaging 29.7 points and 12 rebounds over three games.
The Bulls have won just seven of 24 away games this season, and it’s hard to see them bettering that record in Philadelphia.
Toronto Raptors (-6) to beat Atlanta Hawks –
After a shocking start to the season that left them at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, the Hawks have bounced back with four wins in their last six games.
Their upturn in form should, however, come to an end against the Raptors, who are second in the standings with a 31-14 record this season.
The Hawks have only won six of 27 games against teams in the East, and they lost 112-78 when these teams met in Atlanta and 111-98 in Toronto.
Wednesday night’s contest should be similarly one-sided.
Houston Rockets to beat Dallas Mavericks –
The Rockets are one of the best teams in the NBA, with 33 wins and just 12 defeats this season – the third-best record in the entire league.
They’re on a good run, too, with six wins in their last seven, losing only to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Expect Houston to make light work of the struggling Mavericks, who are second-last in the Western Conference and have lost six of their last nine.
Dallas have only won 10 of 25 at home to date, and have an 8-20 record against teams in their own conference.
*Odds subject to change.