LA Clippers – Atlanta
From coasting to homecourt advantage to potentially sliding out of the NBA playoffs, injuries have been a killer for the Atlanta Hawks this season.
And following five straight losses overall, Mike Budenholzer will hope for the unexpected when he takes his slumping side to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.
The Hawks are 10.00 to halt their slide following 10 consecutive reverses on the road and with a defence that has been as porous as a sieve, their chances look slim.
Over their last five, Atlanta have conceded an average of 112.8 points while the Clippers have put up 117.2 during their current stretch of six wins in a row.
Having Paul Millsap back in their line-up may give the Hawks a chance of countering Blake Griffin, whose production has slipped to scoring 20.7 over his last three outings.
With LA – now at 8.00 for the championship - within three-and-a-half games of Western Conference pacesetters Oklahoma City, they are emerging as genuine threats to battle for top seed. But while Atlanta, now eighth in the East with just a three-game lead over Detroit, are in major trouble, they’ve got enough offense to be worth a punt on the handicap of +13.5 at 1.90 in what’s likely to be a high scoring affair.
Philadelphia - Utah
It’s 15 losses and counting for the Philadelphia 76ers but their best hope in a while to end the slide comes when they host another woeful opponent in the Utah Jazz on Saturday.
The Sixers are still 3.15 to topple Utah, who are second from bottom in the West after dropping five straight, including three by over 20 points. However Philly has toiled to threaten even in recent meetings with lowlights such as Milwaukee and Orlando.
So stick with the Jazz on the handicap of -4.5 and go over the total points line of 213.5 at 2.95.
Best bet: Back the Hawks on the handicap of +13.5 against the Clippers at 1.90