The NBA season has reached the half way point for most teams. Now is the time for jockeying for position in the conferences to make a playoff push. Can the Milwaukee Bucks keep pace with the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference? Their game against the Wizards and four more will be examined. Note that all information is for games played through January 8.
Milwaukee Bucks versus Washington Wizards
The Bucks are second in the Eastern Conference with a 28-11 record. They are 9-7 on the road and 8-2 over their last ten. They take on the Wizards, who are struggling with the 10th best record in the conference. Milwaukee holds a 2-1 advantage in head-to-head play over the last three and a +27 to +9 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator. Washington is 4-6 over their last ten and “average down” on the Team Strength Oscillator versus “burning hot”. Milwaukee is the more stable of the teams according to the Team Volatility Oscillator. They will be road favorites and more consistently perform according to their favorite/underdog status. The Bucks will earn a road win to keep the heat on the Raptors.
Dallas Mavericks versus Minnesota TImberwolves
Dallas is second from the bottom in the Western Conference and just 3-7 over their last ten games. Minnesota is just two games out of the final playoff spot and winners of their last three. They have a slight edge on the Power Ranking Indicator at +11 to +9. The big problem for Dallas in this one is their ineptitude on the road, just 3-18 for the season. Minnesota has taken five of the last six meetings between the teams. Both teams have been very stable, performing as expected the majority of the time. The Timberwolves will be the favorites and win the game, inching closer to playoff position.
Los Angeles Lakers versus Utah Jazz
The Lakers are trying to tread water in the absence of LeBron James, who is out with a sports hernia injury. They are 4-6 over their last ten and eighth in the Western Conference. Utah is right on their heels in the conference and have a +17 to +12 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator. Neither team has been trending well, “ice cold up” for Los Angeles and “average down” for the Jazz. The Lakers won the last meeting between the teams by a score of 90-83. They are the more stable of the teams, but as a road underdog leans the pick even more towards Utah. The Jazz are just 8-8 at home but Los Angeles is still trying to find their way without James. Utah should win in a close game decided late.
Charlotte Hornets versus Portland Trailblazers
Portland is in a three-way tie for fifth in the Western Conference, while Charlotte holds the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. Portland has won the last three games between the teams and have a +18 to +12 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator. Winners of their last two, the Trailblazers are “burning hot” status versus “average” for the Hornets. Both teams are stable, (+12 to +9 in favor or Portland), so they are performing as expected more often than not. Portland will be a home favorite and should win comfortably.
Atlanta Hawks versus Philadelphia 76ers
The Hawks are just 12-28 on the season, but have played better lately, splitting their last ten. Philadelphia is the best home team in the league with a record of 18-3. They are three games out in the Eastern Conference and hold a +27 to +7 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator. They took the first meeting between the teams by a 113-92 score and are “burning hot” versus “ice cold down” on the Team Strength Oscillator. Both teams rank very high in stability, so the game should go as expected. The 76ers will win, perhaps by double digits.
P.S. Upgrade to Zcode VIP Club and Unlock All Winning Picks. Instant Access.