Bad news for the Orlando Magic as All-Star center Nikola Vucevic is expected to miss about a month with a right ankle injury suffered last week in a loss in Toronto. Vucevic, who was re-signed to a big contract this offseason, was averaging 17.1 points and 11.6 rebounds this season. Here’s a look at two early-season NBA Betting matchups that we find interesting – note that there are no games on Thursday, which is the American Thanksgiving. Check back for Mybookie NBA odds.
Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week – November 25th Edition
LA Clippers vs Dallas Mavericks
- When: Tuesday, 8:30 PM ET
- Live Stream: NBA League Pass
First meeting of season between teams. The home team has won each of the last nine meetings between Dallas and the L.A. Clippers. The last four meetings have all been decided by single digits (after the previous three were decided by double figures). The Mavericks have not won a season series with the Clippers since 2010-11, when they swept Los Angeles, 4-0.
The Clippers have two All-NBA players in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, but the top MVP candidate on the floor for this one will be Mavericks second-year guard Luka Doncic, who is playing incredibly and still isn’t even 21 yet. Doncic, who doesn’t turn 21 until 2/28/20, already owns the record for the most triple-doubles by a player before his 21st birthday in NBA history (15).
He has five 30-point triple-doubles in 2019-20 and now has six for his career. It’s the most 30-point triple-doubles by a player before turning 21 in NBA history. LeBron James (2) is the only other player to produce multiple 30-point triple-doubles before his 21st birthday. Doncic ranks No. 3 among all NBA guards in true shooting percentage (63.2), is No. 2 in usage (34.3) and leads all guards in rebounding with 10.4 boards a night. He has three triple-doubles in his past six games and is coming off a 41-point, 10-assist performance Sunday against Houston.
Key NumbersLast week, the Mavs became just the fourth team in league history to win consecutive games by at least 40 points. They beat the Warriors by 48 (142-94) on Nov. 20 and then the Cavaliers by 42 (143-101) two days later on 11/22/19. It marked the first time in franchise history that the Mavericks won consecutive games by 35-plus points. The combined margin of victory in those two games was 90 points, a new club-record.
L.A. enters on a five-game winning streak. The Paul George-Kawhi Leonard-Lou Williams trio has played only 27 minutes together so far, and didn’t have a training camp or preseason to hone chemistry, but they are clearly in sync. The sample size is small, but their net rating is plus-27.5. Montrezl Harrell has been a big part of the Clippers’ success so far as well, averaging a career-high 19 points and 7.5 rebounds while making 60.4% of his shots.
Brooklyn Nets vs Boston Celtics
- When: Wednesday, 7 PM ET
- Live Stream: NBA League Pass
First meeting of season between teams, with them playing again Friday in Brooklyn.
This was supposed to be one of the big story lines of the week as All-Star Nets guard Kyrie Irving was to return to Boston for the first time since burning bridges on the way out of town in free agency. However, he will miss the team’s road trip with a shoulder issue and won’t travel with the club to Boston, thus surely avoiding being booed heavily. Remember, he had previously publicly promised to re-up with the Celtics, only to walk away after the team failed to live up to lofty expectations last season.
Since Irving was sidelined by his shoulder five games ago, Spencer Dinwiddie is averaging 25 points and 6.2 assists a game with a 60.9 true shooting percentage — and the Nets are 4-1.
Dinwiddie’s active streak of five straight games with 20+ points represents the longest streak of 20-point games in his career. In the last nine games, Dinwiddie is one of seven players averaging 20.0+ ppg and 5.0+ apg with 50+ free throws made, joining Giannis Antetokounmpo, DeMar DeRozan, Luka Doncic, James Harden, Damian Lillard and Trae Young.
Why the Celtics should be your NBA Betting Pick?Boston replaced Irving by trading for Hornets All-Star point guard Kemba Walker but he might not play Wednesday, either. On Friday in Denver, Walker was taken off the Pepsi Center on a stretcher with what turned out to be a sprained neck. In the second quarter against the Nuggets, Walker went down in a heap after colliding head-first with Semi Ojeleye’s abdomen.
Walker laid motionless on the floor for several minutes. Walker is averaging 21.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.7 assists. Boston also remains without injured forward Gordon Hayward, who was off to a fine start this season. Earlier this month, Hayward underwent surgery to repair a fractured left hand. He did not travel with the team during the recent five-game road trip.
“He’s healing well,” Coach Brad Stevens said. “There’s still some swelling where the incision was, but that’s to be expected. He’s doing a really good job. It seems like he’s on pace.”
The Celtics’ initial prognosis sidelined Hayward for six weeks, slating his return for the team’s Christmas Day game in Toronto.