With everyone focusing on the Super Bowl, we shouldn’t drop the ball on getting some action on the NBA. This week there are several must bet on teams that will give your bank roll a bump before the big game on Sunday.
Oklahoma City Thunder (36-10 SU and 27-19 ATS)
Holy crap, Kevin Durant. Could you score any more points? Durant has averaged a mind boggling 36.9 points per game through the month of January and the Thunder continue to pay back their betting faithful with an unreal 8-2 ATS run in their last 10 games. They have some marquee matchups against Miami and Brooklyn this week, but as long as Durant is on fire, he’s worth backing especially on the road against LeBron James. When Westbrook returns, the Thunder might go from being one of the NBA best bets to one of the hardest to gauge. Enjoy the ride while it lasts.
Upcoming Games: @ Miami (1/29), @ Brooklyn (1/31), @ Washington (2/1), vs. Memphis (2/3)
Toronto Raptors (23-21 SU and 26-18 ATS)
I told you last week to back off of Toronto, and now I feel like an idiot. Toronto has ripped off a 3-1 SU and ATS streak, totally legitimizing their post-Rudy run. And perhaps the most incredible aspect of their recent wins is that guys like DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and Terrence Ross are exploding on the stat sheet. Ross, the defending slam dunk champion who has flown under the radar since because he has struggled to find playing time, scored 51 points against the Clippers in a dazzling 118-126 loss. The reason they gave up that game and failed to cover? First it was a pick ‘em (yup…the oddsmakers are tracking them now) and DeRozan sprained his ankle in the first half.
This team is damn good. I’m not sure if they’re going to be as effective in the playoffs where the voltage gets cranked up and the style of play becomes more physical, but a young and athletic team playing at breakneck speed is worth ranking as one of the NBA best bets this week. They have absolutely winnable games against putrid Orlando and struggling Denver before slamming head first in to Portland on Saturday as tempting road dogs. Back the division leading Raptors while you still can.
Upcoming Games: vs. Orlando (1/29), @ Denver (1/31), @ Portland (2/1), @ Utah (2/3)
Indiana Pacers (34-9 SU and 28-15 ATS)
Right now, the Pacers are in a weird funk going just 1-2 SU and 0-3 ATS in their last three games but they’re still one of the NBA best bets when you consider the team as a whole. They’re a weekly fixture in this article until I see a convincing enough stretch of non-covers to tell you to back off. That isn’t happening any time soon. They’ll snap out of their strange lull quickly especially with a fantastic upcoming schedule.
Upcoming Games: @ Lakers (1/28), vs. Phoenix (1/30), vs. Brooklyn (2/1), vs. Orlando (2/3)
New Orleans Pelicans (18-25 SU and 19-22-2 ATS)
Out of the blue, here come the Pelicans as that weird team that loses a lot of games but covers more often than not. They’re just 3-7 SU in their last 10 games but have gone 6-2 ATS in their eight most recent. The Pelicans are also a strangely fun team to watch, mostly because Eric Gordon can still electrify crowds and Anthony Davis might be one of the most underrated superstars in this league. How are they covering so many games? They’re the third best three-point shooting team in the league, rocking the arc with a 38.7% team average. If they haven’t been on your radar till now, consider them a hot commodity. Their schedule this week is a lot more tempting than it will be come Monday when they host San Antonio but the line will always offer a hefty point cushion to fall back on. I said they were fun. I didn’t say they were good.
Upcoming Games: @ Cleveland (1/28), @ Minnesota (1/29), vs. Chicago (2/1), vs. San Antonio (2/3)
L.A. Clippers (32-15 SU and 28-19 ATS)
Basketball fans often throw the Clippers under the bus because they’re not built for a strong playoff run, but like Toronto they’re a fantastic regular season team. At 4-1 SU and ATS in their last 5 games, the Clippers are building some much needed momentum. They’ve been one of the NBA best bets all season, and have a juicy slate worth banking on this week.
Upcoming Games: vs. Washington (1/29), @ Golden State (1/30), vs. Utah (2/1), @ Denver (2/3)