Looking ahead to this upcoming week’s action, no game is bigger than Sunday afternoon’s matchup between the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat in Miami.
Currently the Eastern Conference’s top two seeds, the Chicago Bulls (17-4) and the Miami Heat (14-5) could be on a collision course to a return to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they met last season. After losing Game 1 in Chicago, Miami went on to win the next four straight to clinch the series; the Bulls would love to exact some revenge this Sunday.
The game pits the NBA’s second best offensive team in Miami (averaging 104.4 points per game) against the league’s best defensive team in Chicago (averaging 87.0 points per game against). Sunday’s game starts at 3:30 p.m. (ET) and will be televised nationally on ABC.
The Los Angeles Clippers (10-6) face a tough back-to-back test to start off the NBA betting week with a road game against the Denver Nuggets Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. (ET) and then a home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder Monday night at 10:30 p.m. (ET). Monday’s game against Oklahoma City will be broadcast nationally on NBA TV.
The Denver Nuggets have been one of the biggest surprise teams of the 2011-12 NBA season. Boasting a 14-5 SU and ATS record, the Nuggets are currently the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference and have been the league’s most offensively productive team with 105.8 points per game. Considering that the Clippers also have a strong offense (ninth in the NBA with 97.1 points per game) and neither team is particularly strong on defense (Denver ranks 26th with 98.6 points per game against, Los Angeles ranks 20th with 95.8), we could see plenty of fireworks in this one.
Oklahoma City (16-3) came into the year as a Championship favorite, and haven’t disappointed with the best record in basketball to this point in the season. The Thunder are another high-powered offense, ranking third in the NBA with 100.4 points per game. Oklahoma City will put its strong road record (8-2 SU) up against the Clippers’ strong home record (9-2).
The Orlando Magic (12-7) have an opportunity to gain some ground this week facing two teams directly ahead of them in the standings with a home game against the Indiana Pacers at 6:00 p.m. (ET) Sunday and a road game against the Philadelphia 76ers Monday at 7:00 p.m. (ET). Since starting the year off strong at 10-3 SU (8-5 ATS), Orlando has hit a bit of a slump going 2-4 SU and ATS over its last six games. Indiana (12-6) was one of those two wins for Orlando as the Pacers fell at home 102-83 as a 3 ½-point favorite to the Magic last Tuesday. Philadelphia (13-6) is off to a great start this season, playing well on both sides of the court ranking fourth in the NBA in points per game (98.8) and second best in points against per game (87.6).
Out West, another game to look out for Sunday night is the San Antonio Spurs visiting the Dallas Mavericks at 6:30 p.m. (ET) in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPN. Each at 12-8 SU, both teams are trying to shake off slow starts to the season. San Antonio is just 2-7 SU and ATS on the road this season.