2-0 last night, baby!
The Heat had a dominating fourth quarter, 35-25 to down the Sixers. It was really looking worrisome at the end of the 3rd, but they finished strong and grabbed the much needed home win.
The Celtics felt like the lock of the year and they won easily as they clinched a playoff spot. They are two games back of the Raptors for the #1 seed and seven games ahead of the Cavs for the #3 seed so they feel pretty locked in to place.
Onto the next one…
The Houston Rockets are the hottest team in the NBA right now. They have won 17 straight and many people are calling them the best team in the NBA this season. While there is a certain amount of statistical truth to that, they also have won 17 straight and still only have a 0.5 game lead on the Golden State Warriors. One loss in that run and they are the #2 seed. That just shows how good the Warriors are and how good the Rockets have had to be to hold them off.
Houston has a really exciting match-up for tonight as they face the Raptors in a possible NBA Finals preview. I know that sounds insane, but if it’s not the Warriors then it is definitely the Rockets and it just doesn’t feel like the Cavs will escape the East this year as the team has gotten so much weaker and the East has gotten so much stronger. This game leads our tips today so let’s get right into them.
Houston Rockets vs. Toronto Raptors Betting Tips:
This is a big game for both teams. Since the start of the Rockets winning streak back on January 27th, they are the #1 team in Offensive Rating and the top team in Net Rating at 14.0. The next best in Net Rating? The Toronto Raptors at 12.6. Toronto is 15-2 over that same stretch and it’s funny how you aren’t hearing as much about them as you do about the Rockets. For the season, Toronto is the only team that is top-5 in Offensive and Defensive Rating. This team is for real.
I find the Houston run more impressive though. Not just because of the two more wins, but because of some of the quality wins. Cleveland, Minnesota, OKC and Milwaukee have not only lost to them, but lost by large margins. While a lot of the Raptors run has featured Memphis, Orlando and Detroit. Some big wins, but a slight edge to the Rockets here.
I just can’t go against the Rockets right now. Houston -2 is simply on fire and I expect them to grab another win here. With Steph Curry out for the Warriors, this team smells blood in the water and thinks they can make some room in the standings. I believe they will.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets Betting Tips:
I am a big fan of the Nuggets and their home court advantage, but the Lakers +7 is simply too much for this team to be giving up right now. The Lakers have been a really good team in the second half of the season with a 10-4 record and 5.3 Net Rating. The Nuggets over the same time have a Net Rating of just 0.3 and have played lots of close games.
The Lakers have a real chance to play spoiler in the West and this is one of those opportunities.