Now that all the hustle and bustle of the Super Bowl and the NFL is finally over for the year, we can get down to concentrating on some serious NBA basketball. In case you haven’t looked, there are some really good teams emerging from the NBA ranks and some fierce competition coming up before the playoffs begin on May 22. Then things will really heat up until the playoffs end on July 22.
The Lakers Make A Move
The 18-6 LA Lakers have finally moved up and taken the number-one spot in the NBA Power Rankings this week. They take on the visiting 10-12 Oklahoma City Thunder (+390) tonight at the Staples Center as 10.5-point home court favorites at -530, and that’s against a pretty good OKC team. The Over/Under for the game is set at 218, but, if you want to place a moneyline wager to win a $100 on your beloved Lakers, you will have to put at risk a cool $530.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has an embarrassment of riches to work with out in LA. Blessed with two legitimate super stars in Anthony Davis and LeBron James, Vogel is also blessed with one of the deepest benches in the NBA today. The Lakers still have the LA Clippers and the surprising Utah Jazz to deal with in the NBA West, but they are right up there among the best in the business at the moment.
Bucks Get A Nod Against The Nuggets
In Denver at Ball Arena, the 15-8 Milwaukee Bucks (-165) come to town to take on the 12-10 Nuggets (+138) as 4-point favorites on the road with the Over/Under set at 233. Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Nikola Jokic might be a hell of a matchup.
The Phoenix Suns have won five out of their last six games; the Cleveland Cavaliers have lost three in a row. Tonight, the Suns (-335) will host the 10-14 Cavaliers (+270) at the PHX Arena in downtown Phoenix as 8-point home court favorites, with the Over/Under set at 215.5 for the contest.
Spurs Set To Edge Out The Warriors
Stephen Curry, who is averaging over 29 points per game now, will bring his 12-11 Golden State Warriors (+102) team into San Antonio at the AT&T Center to take on the 13-10 Spurs (-121) as 1.5-point road underdogs with the Over/Under set at 232.5.
The 10-14 Dallas Mavericks (-455) will host the 6-17 Minnesota Timberwolves (+350) as 9.5-point home court favorites at the American Airlines Center in Dallas with an Over/Under set at 226. Then, the 9-9 Memphis Grizzlies (+107) will host the 10-13 Toronto Raptors (-129) at home at the FedEx Forum as 2-point home underdogs with the Over/Under set at 222.
Wizards In A Slump
Believe it or not, the Washington Wizards, with Bradly Beal averaging over 33 points per game and Russell Westbrook with over 22 points per game, have still only won five games on the year. Something is wrong with the Wizards – wrong wand, wrong something. The 5-15 Wizards (+123) will visit the 9-13 Chicago Bulls (-143) at the United Center in Downtown Chicago tonight as 3-point underdogs with the Over/Under set at 238.5 for the contest.
And finally, the 11-11 Houston Rockets (-143) will visit the 11-13 Charlotte Hornets (+123) down at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte as 3-point favorites with the Over/Under set at 222.5 for the contest.
The Philadelphia 76ers remain in first place in the NBA East at 17-7 with the Bucks only 1.5 games back at 15-8. Over in the West, it is the Jazz on top with a record of 19-5 with the Lakers only one game behind.