The previous night was a perfect example of how unpredictable the NBA games are. First, the Denver Nuggets needed overtime to barely outlast the Phoenix Suns at home. The Nuggets won 108-107 as 11.5-point favorites, and the Suns played without Deandre Ayton.
Second, the Oklahoma City Thunder lost to the Washington Wizards by 12 points even though they were listed as 8-point home favorites. Finally, the Dallas Mavericks overcame a 16-point deficit to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 123-116 as 3-point road dogs.
Saturday night brings ten games around the league. The action starts at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee where the Bucks host the Miami Heat. Some teams will miss their best players tonight, so let’s take a closer look.
Injuries & Suspensions
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The Heat will miss Jimmy Butler for the second game in a row. Butler won’t travel with his team this weekend after the birth of a daughter. Miami will have to deal with the Bucks without its best player, and it could be an impossible mission for Erik Spoelstra’s boys.
However, the Suns missed Deandre Ayton last night and still were on the verge of a huge victory. Ayton has been suspended 25 games for using a diuretic which is a huge blow for the Suns who play back-to-back tonight.
The Suns could be in big trouble against the Clippers. Ricky Rubio tweaked his knee at Pepsi Center, and he’s questionable for tonight’s game. Likewise, the Suns already miss Ty Jerome (ankle), so they could be pretty thin at point guard.
Blake Griffin stays sidelined with a hamstring injury, and that’s not the only problem for the Pistons. Reggie Jackson is struggling with back problems, and he’s played paltry minutes in the Pistons’ first two games of the season. Jackson should miss tonight’s clash with Philadelphia.
On the other side, the 76ers could miss Joel Embiid who sprained his ankle in the opener. Embiid did not practice on Friday, and the Sixers listed him as questionable for the contest in Detroit.
The Utah Jazz lost at the LA Lakers 95-86 last night, and Bojan Bogdanovic missed the game due to an ankle issue. The Jazz plays back-to-back, hosting the Sacramento Kings, and Bogdanovic will probably stay sidelined.
Buddy Hield (ankle) should take the floor for the Kings after scoring 21 points in a 122-112 loss to Portland last night. The Kings will miss Marvin Bagley for at least four weeks due to a thumb injury.
The Indiana Pacers travel to Cleveland, and Jeremy Lamb is questionable with a hip injury. T.J. Warren exited the opener with a hip injury, too, but he’ll be ready to go. The Cavaliers, on the other side, will be without Ante Zizic (ankle) and John Henson (groin).
NBA Teaser Bet
Considering all injury problems among the Suns, the red-hot Clippers shouldn’t have a problem to extend their winning streak to three games. After a 112-102 victory over the Lakers in the opener, the Clippers thrashed off the Warriors 141-122 on the road this past Thursday.
The Clippers opened as 8.5-point favorites, but the bookies will adjust the line if Ricky Rubio cannot play for the Suns. Still, this looks like a perfect game for a 5.5-point teaser.
The Suns are coming off a tough loss on the road and will play back-to-back. Interestingly, they are 7-1 ATS on the back end of their last eight back-to-back sets, but I don’t see how they will cope with the Clippers. Also, the Clippers won 12 straight encounters with the Suns, covering ten times in that span.
The second team for our NBA teaser will be the San Antonio Spurs who are 11-point home favorites against the Wizards. The visitors will play the third straight game on the road with no time to rest following a 97-85 win at Oklahoma City on Friday.
The Wizards are 9-1 ATS on the back end of their previous ten back-to-back sets. However, I doubt this trend to continue. Even if they cover an 11-point spread, I think the Spurs will beat them by at least six points.
The Spurs are 17-3 SU and 15-5 ATS in their last 20 meetings with the Wizards. Also, the Spurs are 13-0 SU and 11-2 ATS in their previous 13 home matchups with the Wizards. San Antonio is coming in full strength and looks keen to build on a 120-111 victory to the Knicks in the opener.
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