Will Lillard shine in the battle of the NBA’s top rookies? You bet!
At the start of this NBA season, Anthony Davis was a red-hot favourite to be the NBA’s Rookie of the Year. But after injuries slowed him down, the New Orleans Hornets forward is having to play second fiddle to explosive Portland Trailblazers’ guard Damian Lillard whose surprise debut campaign peaked with 29 points in his team’s upset win over San Antonio on Thursday.
On Sunday, we’ll see Davis and Lillard face off for the first time and it’s the Blazers who’ll start as favourites by -5.5 on the handicap after improving their record to 10-12. With the Hornets among the worst defensive teams in the league, they’ll struggle with their visitors’ multiple weapons unless Davis can come off the bench and deliver on his undoubted potential. And on current form, there’s a good bet they’ll combine for over 186.5 points, available at 1.91.
According to Andrea Bargnani’s comments to an Italian newspaper, the Toronto Raptors are the worst team in the NBA. But we were treated to a rarity – a Raps win – on Friday night when the Canuckians stunned Dallas 95-74 despite a lengthy absentee list.
Can they make it a Texas two-step when they host Houston? The Rockets come fresh from wins against Boston and Washington but on the road, they’ve been terrible, giving up 111.2 points during eight straight losses away from home. But Jeremy Lin has been stepping up and they’re getting increased productivity from young centre Greg Smith. Even at -3.5 on the handicap, back Houston for lift-off.
A team badly in need of ignition is the Los Angeles Lakers who head to Philadelphia. The Sixers lost to Indiana on Friday with Jrue Holliday, their leading scorer, held out with an ankle sprain. If he’s missing again, the Lakers could gain a lift.
Bet of the Day: Take Houston to defeat Toronto on the handicap at 1.91.