A third of the way through the NBA season, nine teams are within four games of the top in the West, while the Raptors hold a two game edge over the Bucks and 76ers in the East. Can the Raptors maintain pace against Portland? We’ll examine that match up and four others. Note that all information is for games played through Monday, December 10.
Indiana Pacers versus Philadelphia 76ers
Indiana comes in the fourth seed in the East having won four straight. The 76ers are third and have a 14-1 record at home. They hold a +26 to +24 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator, while both teams are “burning hot” on the Team Strength Oscillator. Philadelphia is the more stable of the two teams, at +15 to +9. Indiana has won four of the last six, but the 76ers are incredible strong at home. The key could be the status of Jimmy Butler, who was day-to-day as of Monday due to a groin injury. If he can’t go, edge for Indiana. If he plays, go with the 76ers.
Oklahoma City Thunder versus Denver Nuggets
Oklahoma City and Denver battle it out in this one for top spot in the Western Conference. The Thunder have a +22 to +20 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot” versus “average” on the Team Strength Oscillator. The Nuggets have won four of the last six meetings between the teams and are 10-3 at home this season. Oklahoma City is quite stable at +9 and likely being slight road underdogs leans the pick towards the Nuggets. Look for Denver to win in a tight one to get a slight edge in the conference.
Toronto Raptors versus Portland Trailblazers
Toronto maintains the best record in the NBA despite losing their last two. They look to get back on track against Portland, who has won two straight, but just 4-6 over their last ten. Toronto has a +27 to +19 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and have won five of the last six meetings over the past three seasons. The Raptors are the more stable of the two teams, so check favorite/underdog status in this one. Portland has been tough at home at 10-3, while Toronto is just 5-5 on the road. Look for Toronto to edge the Trailblazers in a tight game decided late.
Golden State Warriors versus Sacramento Kings
After a brief skid, the Warriors have won four straight and look to get on top of the Western Conference. Sacramento is two games over .500 and ninth in the conference. The Warriors have a +27 to +6 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and have won four of the last six games between the teams. The Warriors are “burning hot” at the moment versus “average up” and are also one of the most stable teams in the league at +14 on the Team Volatility Oscillator. Golden State will continue their hot streak and will extend their winning streak to five.
Atlanta Hawks versus Boston Celtics
Boston has figured things out and have now won six straight. They are home against an Atlanta team that is just 6-20 on the season. Not surprisingly, the Celtics have a huge +29 to +1 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot” versus “ice cold up” on the Team Strength Oscillator. Both teams are quite stable, which is more of a reason to go with the Celtics as big favorites in this one. They have won four of the last six meetings between the teams. Make that five out of seven after this one.
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