NBA Picks December 11: Pelicans host Timberwolves in featured game

A quarter of the way through the 2023-24 NBA season and there have been some surprise teams emerging. One of them is the Minnesota Timberwolves, who lead the Western Conference. They play the Pelicans in the headlined game for December 11. We’ll take a look at that game on four others on a jam-packed day of basketball.

Denver Nuggets versus Atlanta Hawks

Both teams have lost their last three games. Denver is 4th in the Western Conference and Atlanta is 10th in the Eastern Conference. The Nuggets are “average down” versus “dead” on the Team Strength Oscillator and +22 to +6 on the Power Ranks Indicator. The stars dueling it out in this one are Nikola Jokic for the Nuggets and Trae Young for the Hawks. Denver is a road favorite with odds of 1.702 to 2.338. Both teams have been trending in games “over” the line over the last six. The score prediction sees the Hawks by a single point with confidence in the prediction of nearly 60 percent. I like Denver on the road in a tight game but pass on the over/under bet.

Minnesota Timberwolves versus New Orleans Pelicans

Minnesota has run off six straight wins and come in “burning hot’ on the Team Strength Oscillator. New Orleans has lost two of its last three and “average down” status. Minnesota is a road favorite with odds of 1.702 to 2.338. The teams have been involved in games “under” the line in seven of the last 12 games combined. The score prediction is for the Timberwolves to win, 129-118, with a confidence of nearly 71 percent. Note that the Pelicans have been very inconsistent with regard to their favorite/underdog status. There is little to make me believe that the Pelicans can slow down the red-hot Timberwolves. I like Minnesota in a game “over” the line.

Cleveland Cavaliers versus Orlando Magic

Cleveland comes in 5-1 over their last six and Orlando is 4-2 during the same stretch. The Magic are favorites with odds of 1.510 to 2.834. The teams have been trending on opposite sides of the over/under line and the score prediction is Cleveland 123-122 but with only 52 percent confidence. The teams have split the last two games. Orlando has a +25 to +20 edge on the Power Ranks Indicator, but Cleveland is “burning hot” versus “average up” on the team Strength Oscillator. I like Orlando at home that could be decided in overtime in a game “over” the line.

Portland Trail Blazers versus Los Angeles Clippers

Portland comes in with a 6-15 record and the Clippers are 11-10 and 7-3 over their last ten games. Los Angeles is the favorite with odds of 1.240 to 4.085. The score prediction likes Portland by a 112-107 margin, but the confidence is very low at 34 percent. The two teams have been involved primarily in games under the line recently. The Clippers took down the Trail Blazers on October 25th by 12 points. Both teams have been performing consistently with respect to their favorite/underdog status. This game looks like all Los Angels. I like them to win by double digits in a high-scoring contest.

Toronto Raptors versus New York Knicks

In this Atlantic Division battle, the Knicks host the Raptors. New York is “average down” and 3-3 over their last six, while the Raptors have been struggling, just 1-5 and “dead”, respectively. The Knicks are huge favorites with odds of 1.374 to 3.475 and won the last game between the teams in Toronto by 13 points. New York has a clear edge on the Power Ranks Indicator and has been decidedly more consistent at +12 to +2 on the Team Volatility Oscillator. Be aware of the fact that the teams have been trending on opposite sides of the line, making the over/under bet a difficult proposition. Go with the Knicks, perhaps by double digits.

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