NBA Predictions December 29: Will Golden State maintain their lead in the Western Conference?

The final weekend of the 2018 calendar year is upon us and the NBA season is reaching it’s halfway point. Will the Warriors take down the Trailblazers to hold their lead in the Western Conference? That game and several others will be looked at. Note that all information is for games played through December 26.

Charlotte Hornets versus Washington Wizards

The Hornets enter the game having lost their last two and are 16-17 on the season. They have won four of the last six between the teams. Washington is just 2-8 over their last ten and 13-22 on the season. Charlotte holds a +16 to +12 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator. Both teams are trending downward and “average down” versus “ice cold down”. Both teams are equally stable, at +7 on the Team Volatility Oscillator.  Despite the poor record, the Wizards are 9-6 at home, while the Hornets are just 4-10 on the road.  In a high scoring contest, look for the Wizards to escape with a victory.

Houston Rockets versus New Orleans Pelicans

After a sluggish start to the season, the Rockets are 7-3 over their last ten and 18-15 on the season. The Pelicans are on a deep downward spiral, having lost their last five and are 15-20 on the season. Houston holds a +21 to +14 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot” versus “dead” on the Team Strength Oscillator. Houston has won four of the last six meetings between the teams. New Orleans is the more stable team and are 11-5 at home, while the Rockets have struggle to 7-11 on the road. In what maybe be bit of an upset, I see the Pelicans ending their losing skid, winning in a tight game.

Golden State Warriors versus Portland Trailblazers

The Warriors have moved back on top in the Western Conference with a record of 23-12 following a stretch of 7-3 over their last ten. They head to Portland to take on the Trailblazers who are 3.5 games back at 19-15. The Warriors have a +29 to _19 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator, while both teams are “average” on the Team Strength Oscillator. The Warriors are one of the most consistent teams in the league in terms of performing in line with their favorite/underdog status. Golden State has had their way with Portland, winning four of the last six meetings. The key stat could be home/away records. Golden State is a relatively mediocre 8-8 on the road and Portland is hot at home at 13-5. Look for the Trailblazers to squeak by the Warriors in a game decided late.

Boston Celtics versus Memphis Grizzlies

The Celtics appear poised to make a run at the top spot in the Eastern Conference following a 7-3 stretch that has them 20-13 on the season. Memphis has won their last two but are just 3-7 over their last ten and 18-16 on the season. Due to their recent trends, Boston is “burning hot” on the Team Strength Oscillator, while Memphis is “dead up”. Boston holds a +18 to 0 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and have won five of the last six meetings between the teams. The Celtics are also one of the most stable teams at +11 on the Team Volatility Oscillator. Memphis is 10-6 at home but have run into a Boston team that appears to have found it’s way. The Celtics will win this one to continue their climb in the East.

Denver Nuggets versus Phoenix Suns

Denver enters the game losers of their last two to drop out of the top spot in the Western Conference. They are 21-11 on the season and 8-8 on the road, but could get back on track against the Suns, who are 9-26 on the year and just 5-11 at home. Phoenix has played better lately, winning five of their last ten. The Nuggets have a +21 to +4 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator. Both teams are “average” status, while the Suns are among the most stable teams in the league at +19 on the Team Volatility Oscillator. Despite playing at home, Phoenix is likely to be an underdog. Look for the Nuggets to win, which would be six of the last seven between these teams.

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