The NBA All-Star game tips off on February 18th and the Association is quickly nearing the break. There are still plenty of games before the All-Star Game for bettors to wager on, however. Thursday night February 8th will see six big games in the league played.
NBA Predictions: February 8th
Atlanta Hawks vs. Orlando Magic
The two worst teams in the NBA’s Eastern Conference clash on Thursday night in Orlando. Both teams lack defense and have difficulty stopping opponents. The Orlando Magic give up 110.4 points per game while the Atlanta Hawks allow 108.3. Atlanta has won the fewest games on the road in the NBA (five). The team’s decision to trade Dwight Howard looks increasingly bad, especially when considering how much better the Hawks were last season. Orlando beat Atlanta in overtime at the Amway Center in December. Based on the way both have played this season, the Magic should do it again.
Prediction: Orlando Magic
New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors are second in the Eastern Conference and have won two straight as of this writing. The New York Knicks, on the other hand, are in the midst of a losing streak. The Knicks still have hopes of making the NBA Playoffs, but the team needs to get winning if that is to happen. Toronto is having another solid season behind the scoring of DeMar DeRozan. The guard averages 24.4 ppg. The last time these two teams met, DeRozan scored 18 points at Madison Square Garden. Five days early, DeRozan dropped 22 on the Knicks in Toronto. DeRozan is having a career season, and the Raptors should win again.
Prediction: Toronto Raptors
Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards
Both the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards go into Thursday night’s game on winning streaks. Boston has won four straight as of this writing, while Washington has been victorious in five consecutive games. Celtics All-Star guard Kyrie Irving is expected to be back in the line-up this week. The team has been winning without Irving, who has missed three straight games. Marcus Morris could also return from injury this week for the Celtics. If Irving returns, Boston will be difficult to beat.
Prediction: Boston Celtics
Charlotte Hornets vs. Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers are five games over .500 and take on the Eastern Conference’s 10th placed team the Charlotte Hornets. Portland’s near .500 record is fitting as the Trail Blazers have been blah. The team has registered a 0.9 points differential. Damian Lillard leads Portland in scoring with 25.1 ppg. Meanwhile, Charlotte turn the ball over the third fewest times in the NBA (12.9). This game may be closer than many think and the Hornets will be difficult to beat as the Trail Blazers poor run of form continues.
Prediction: Charlotte Hornets
Dallas Mavericks vs. Golden State Warriors
The best team in the Western Conference hosts the worst. There is no reason the Golden State Warriors should lose this game to the Mavericks. Steph Curry is third in the NBA in points per game (27.5). Teammate Kevin Durant is sixth with 25.9. Golden State could probably beat the Mavericks with only Curry and Durant on the hardwood.
Prediction: Golden State Warriors
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Lakers
For all the categories that Russell Westbrook leads and all the points he scores, Oklahoma City Thunder aren’t going to win the NBA title with him shooting the rock all the time. The Thunder have lost four games as of this writing despite scoring 106.3 ppg. The Los Angeles Lakers probably won’t make the playoffs this season. The team is six games back of the final playoff place. The defense gives up far too many points (110.0) a night. It’s the third most in the Western Conference. Despite the Thunders current poor play, expect Westbrook to right the ship on Thursday night.
Prediction: OKC Thunder
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