Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week – December 30th Edition
Denver Nuggets vs Houston Rockets
- When: Tuesday, 7 PM ET
- TV: NBA TV
- Live Stream: NBA League Pass
Believe it or not, there’s already some scuttlebutt around the NBA that the Rockets might try to trade Russell Westbrook; of course, they sent Chris Paul and a bunch of draft picks to Oklahoma City to land Westbrook this offseason. While Westbrook has been pretty good, Houston has performed better when James Harden plays without Westbrook than when Harden plays with Westbrook. Westbrook-led lineups have struggled when Harden sits. As talented as Westbrook is, probably be tough to trade him. The 31-year-old is earning $38,506,482 this season and due $132,633,438 over the next three years.
It’s the second meeting of the season between these clubs. On Nov. 20 in Denver, the Nuggets prevailed 105-95. Nikola Jokic had 27 points and 12 rebounds, and the Rockets played very good defense on Harden to snap Houston’s eight-game winning streak at the time. Torrey Craig and Juancho Hernangomez provided boosts off the bench as Denver’s reserves outscored the Rockets’ backups by a 32-21 margin.
Harden finished with 27 points, snapping his string of eight consecutive games with 36 or more. He was 8 of 16 from the floor as the Rockets were held under 100 points for the first time this season. The Rockets struggled from 3-point range, hitting 12 of 38. Westbrook finished with 25 points on 8-of-22 shooting and Clint Capela grabbed 21 rebounds.
Some NumbersHouston has won the past six at home in this series. That’s tied for the Rockets’ longest home winning streak in the series. The Nuggets has just one loss in its past 10 games after a 120-115 win over Sacramento on Sunday. Michael Porter Jr. was great in his first NBA start, scoring a career-high 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting with six rebounds and one assist. Gary Harris (bruised left shin) was unavailable, so MPJ got the fill-in start. Paul Millsap was also out injured. Jerami Grant started for him and had 18 points.
Houston was upset 127-112 in New Orleans on Sunday. Harden (toe), Westbrook (rest) and Capela (heel) were all out in the second of a back-to-back. Eric Gordon returned from a six-week absence after knee surgery on Sunday and hit 6-of-12 shots and four 3-pointers for 20 points, three assists and a steal in 22 minutes.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs Milwaukee Bucks
- When: Wednesday, 8 PM ET
- TV: ESPN
- Live Stream: NBA League Pass
Last meeting of the season between these teams. On Nov. 4, the Bucks crushed the Wolves 134-106 in the Twin Cities. The game was delayed 50 minutes so one of the baskets could be fixed before tipoff. During pregame warmups, the rim the Bucks were shooting on was discovered to be crooked. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 34 points and 15 rebounds. Khris Middleton added 26 points and Eric Bledsoe had 22 with nine rebounds and six assists. Milwaukee shot 53.8 percent from the field.
Andrew Wiggins led the Timberwolves with 25 points. Minnesota played without star center Karl-Anthony Towns, who was out suspended. The Bucks outscored the Towns-less Timberwolves 62-38 in the paint.
The Bucks have won eight of the teams’ past 10 meetings overall. The defeat last Oct. 26 (125-95) was Minnesota’s biggest home loss since 2011.
What about K-Town?Monitor the status of Towns before placing your NBA Betting ticket. He was listed as questionable to play Monday with a left knee sprain. KAT has missed two weeks since aggravating a knee injury on Dec. 13. Minnesota is 9-6 when outrebounding its opponent and has grabbed 50+ rebounds 11 times this season, tied with Dallas and New York for the sixth-most in the NBA (Milwaukee, 21, Houston, 14, LA Clippers 13, Brooklyn 13 and Toronto 12).
Will the Bucks have the Greek Freak for this important NBA Betting game? He was questionable for Monday’s game in Chicago with a sore back that had cost him the previous two games. However, point guard Eric Bledsoe was expected to play. He had been out since mid-December with a leg injury.
Milwaukee has won an NBA-best 18 games this year by at least 10 points. The Bucks are outscoring their opponents by an average of 13.0 points per game this season, which is on pace to be the highest point differential in NBA history.