Milwaukee-Los Angeles Clippers – BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 01.05
Although the race to win the NBA title understandably hogs the headlines, there’s a parallel fight to be the league’s worst this season which has taken on a major significance with the potential quality of the incoming draft class.
With a few exceptions, the harder you fall, the better the odds of bouncing right back with the help of a stellar rookie, and as we head towards the second half of the campaign there’s an undisputed clubhouse leader in the quest to maximise the lottery odds.
Although the Sacramento Kings – on a three-game losing streak – travel to the Utah Jazz on Monday night in a fight to (not) be the worst in the West, it’s the Milwaukee Bucks who already look condemned to bottom out the standings.
They’re 5.40 to beat the Los Angeles Clippers at home, and a mammoth +9.5 on the handicap, unsurprising for a side which is 4-16 at home with just one win from their 13 games against Western foes.
The Bucks, the NBA’s worst offensive team, are being out-scored by an average of 9.4 per game and their coach Larry Drew held a closed-door meeting following Saturday’s 112-87 drubbing by the Atlanta Hawks.
Even in the woeful East, Milwaukee are already ten games out of the playoff places and with nothing to play for, they’re likely to be a source of blowouts for the remainder of the season.
Despite the official discouragement of tanking, how long will it be before other sides give up the ghost? The Jazz, New Orleans Pelicans, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics are all programmed to win later, rather than now.
Which is why you can bet on the strugglers falling further back as we head forward.
Chicago-Minnesota - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 01.05
The Minnesota Timberwolves have been an enigma, getting to .500 a number of times since November but never managing to move above. They travel to the Chicago Bulls where a win for the visitors would leave both sides on 22-22 records.
Despite Kevin Love’s individual numbers, there are emerging signs of discord in Minneapolis with Ricky Rubio regressing.
And the T-Wolves are just 6-16 against opponents with .500 marks or better, something to bear in mind when the in-form Bulls are a generous 2.14 for the win.
Best bet: Take the LA Clippers on the handicap of -16 over Milwaukee at 3.95