As we continue down the home stretch of the NBA season, teams jockey for playoff position. Here’s what’s in store for Friday, March 16.
Note that all standings are through Monday, March 12.
Boston Celtics versus Orlando Magic
Boston looks to catch Toronto in the division and conference, while the Magic try to avoid the basement in the conference. Boston holds a +26 to +7 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and are “burning hot” versus “ice cold down” on the Team Strength Oscillator. The Celtics also hold a 2-1 season series advantage. There is little indication that Orlando can pull off an upset in this one. I go with Boston in a double-digit victory.
Brooklyn Nets versus Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers are among a six-team battle for third through eighth in the Eastern Conference, while the Nets have one of the worst records in the conference. Philadelphia has a surprising only slim +14 to +11 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator and are “average down” versus “ice cold up” on the Team Strength Oscillator. The 76ers have won two of three meetings between the teams this season. Another indication to bet on Philadelphia is they are fifth in Team Volatility and will be a home favorite. I see the 76ers winning this at home to keep pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Dallas Mavericks versus Toronto Raptors
The Raptors come in with the best record in the Eastern Conference, while the Mavericks have been eliminated in the Western Conference. Toronto has a +28 to +22 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and +2.16 to -5.53 on the Team Strength Oscillator. Surprisingly, Dallas took the first meeting as a home underdog. I don’t see that same happening in Toronto. The Raptors will dispose of the Mavericks relatively easy to stay on top in the playoff race.
Los Angeles Clippers versus Oklahoma City Thunder
In this match up, both teams are battling for playoff position in the Western Conference. The Thunder have a +24 to +20 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator. Winners of the first two meetings this season, Oklahoma City is “burning hot” on the Team Strength Oscillator versus “average up” for the Clippers. Another indication to go with the Thunder is that Los Angeles is sixth in Team Volatility. The Clippers will be a road underdog, so the Thunder should walk away with their third head-to-head victory this season without defeat.
Sacramento Kings versus Golden State Warriors
Golden State continues to look up at the Rockets in the Western Conference, while the Kings are among the worst in the league. The Warriors are “burning hot” on the Team Strength Oscillator, while the Kings are 3-7 in their last ten and are “average” status. The Warriors have a 2-1 series lead this season. Sacramento is tied for ninth in Team Volatility, meaning they generally lose as an underdog and win as a favorite. All signs point towards the Warriors to cruise in this one to keep pace with the Rockets.
Miami Heat versus Los Angeles Lakers
The Heat enter as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference and the Lakers are out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference. However, Los Angeles has won seven of their last ten games and took the first meeting between the teams as a road underdog. Miami has slight edges in both the Power Ranking Indicator (+19 to +15) and on the Team Strength Oscillator (“average up” versus “average”). Los Angeles is tied for ninth in Team Volatility and should be a slight home favorite, so I see the Lakers edging the Heat to take the season series, 2-0.
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