Oklahoma City are making plenty of noise after five straight wins but the 2012 NBA finalists face a potentially hazardous trip to Brooklyn on Tuesday to take on a Nets side whose only loss in its last six games came on Saturday in Miami.
Brook Lopez is expected to miss his third consecutive game but Andray Blatche stepped in against the Heat to score 20 points in the 102-89 defeat. It will be a challenge for him going up against Thunder enforcer Serge Ibaka who has raised his productivity considerably this season.
His 14.3 points per night is a major step up and with Kevin Durant’s numbers also creeping up towards his scoring heights of last term, OKC have the potential to establish themselves as the outstanding favourite to repeat as Western Conference champions where they currently lead the betting at 2.85.
During the current upswing, they’ve averaged 110.2 points per game and with Brooklyn’s netting over 97 over their last four, consider taking over the total points of 191.5 at 1.91. And even though the Nets are 7-1 in their new home, Oklahoma are -3.5 at 1.91 for the win on the handicap.
The only predictable thing about the Los Angeles Lakers is their inconsistency after woeful losses to Orlando and Sacramento in the last fortnight and even the odd glitch in their reliable offense. But they’ll hope to show their best side against the Houston Rockets who lost 119-108 when the teams met last month behind Dwight Howard’s haul of 28 points and 13 rebounds.
The Lakers are 1.72 for the win with Houston, underdogs by +2, priced at 2.15. Both teams are capable of putting up a lot of points which is why the high forecast of 214.5 is not unrealistic.
There’s a Central Division duel in Chicago where both the Bulls and Indiana Pacers are yet to come close to their form of last season. Much of the blame is down to injuries but with Richard Hamilton now joining Derrick Rose on the Bulls sidelines, have a punt on Indiana at 2.55 to prevail in regulation.
Bet of the Day: Take Indiana over Chicago at 2.55.
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