Wednesday tip-off: Four perfect picks to fill your NBA coupon
After getting four out of four right last week, we are back with our best bets on a busy night of basketball...
Atlanta Hawks to beat Denver Nuggets –
After the disappointment at losing in the Super Bowl, the people of Atlanta should be able to find some comfort in their basketball team on Wednesday night.
The Hawks are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference and now face the Nuggets, who have the NBA's worst defensive rating.
Denver have lost three of their last five and have struggled on the road all season – losing 16 of 25 on their travels.
Atlanta rank fifth in defensive rating this season, and if they can turn this game into a gritty, low-scoring battle they should earn an important home win.
Washington Wizards to beat Brooklyn Nets –
Picking against the Nets is comfortably the easiest decision of the week.
Brooklyn have been terrible all season, and have recently set new standards of incompetence with a 10-game winless run.
The Wizards, meanwhile, had won seven in a row before they were beaten by the Cleveland Cavaliers in an overtime thriller on Monday night.
Washington score more points and concede fewer per game than the Nets, who have conceded more points per game than any other team.
This game is a mismatch, and it is hard to see anything but a win for the Wizards in Brooklyn.
Miami Heat to beat Milwaukee Bucks –
The Heat’s stunning turnaround should continue against a struggling Bucks team.
Milwaukee have lost 10 of their last 12 and now sit just one place ahead of the team they host on Wednesday night in the Eastern Conference.
Miami, meanwhile, have won 11 consecutive games – a streak that includes a 109-97 home victory over the Bucks on 21 January.
They have scored at an impressive rate of 109.7 points per game during that period, winning by an average margin of 9.9 points.
Toronto Raptors to beat Minnesota Timberwolves –
Losers of four consecutive games, the Timberwolves have fallen to 13th in the Western Conference.
Only six teams have a lower defensive rating – a shocking statistic for a side coached by Tom Thibodeau – and they hardly make up for that weakness on offense, where they rank just 10th.
It is difficult to see them beating the Raptors, who are the NBA’s fifth-highest scorers and are genuine title contenders in the East.
Their varied attacking options mean they can routinely outscore teams, as they did in a 124-110 victory when these teams met earlier this season.
Given their home advantage and the Timberwolves’ struggles in February, a repeat result is likely here.