NBA Preview 13th January 2021

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Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers- Rockets +9.5 @ 1.52

The Rockets will once again take on the Lakers after suffering an 18-point thrashing in their last match-up against the same side.  Harden has not been the dominant offensive force that we are used to seeing, averaging just 17 points in his last 3 games after starting off his season on fire averaging 37 points in his first 3. The Rockets don’t necessarily need Harden to put up those massive numbers with Wall and Wood having solid starts, but when Wall struggles (41% FG over his last two games) and they lose Cousins to an early ejection, it makes things an uphill battle against the defending champs. I expect Wall and Harden to get out of their slump and return to their early season scoring highs, and barring any ejections, $1.52 for a 9.5 line looks juicy.

Golden State Warriors v Indiana Pacers- Golden State to win @ 1.72

What a difference a player like Draymond Green can make to a team. Since his return, the Warriors have won 4 from 6 by an average winning margin of 14 points, knocking off the Blazers, Kings, Clippers and Raptors. Two time MVP Curry has attributed greatly to this run, averaging 28.6 points, 6.7 assists and 5.2 rebounds. Without Klay, the Warriors have ranked 19th in 3-point percentage, however, if you subtract Oubre’s shocking 13.7% from 3, that ranking jumps to 4th. Wiseman has also put his name at the forefront of rookie of the year conversations whilst just playing 20 minutes per game (10.9 points, 6.1 rebounds) leaving a ton of improvement left for both the Rookie and the Warriors. The Pacers have been good thus far, but I think the Warriors will be too strong in this matchup.

Oklahoma City Thunder v San Antonio Spurs- Thunder to win @ 2.05

Many expected the Thunder to be near the bottom rung of the ladder this year, however after winning 4 of their last 5, they are currently 8th seed in a stacked western conference. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has led this charge, averaging 26 points in his last 3 games, with many touting him as the future of the organization. The Spurs top-scorer in DeRozan will miss again due to personal reasons, making this a very winnable game for the Thunder if they can maintain their level of play.