It’s Wednesday night which means more NBA on ESPN! Tonight we get to watch the worst team in the NBA, the team with the fastest pace, the beast in the east, and the best team in LA. In this NBA on ESPN Preview, I’ll go over why we’re watching each game, offer some betting advice, and dish out my predictions.
When and Where
Tipping off at 7:30 pm EST, the Golden State Warriors (2-5) will travel to Houston to take on the Rockets (4-3). Following the early game, the Milwaukee Bucks (5-2) head to LA to battle the Clippers (5-2) in what was originally supposed to be the game of the night… but more on that later.
Why We’re Watching: Warriors at Rockets
Heading into the season, this game was being touted as a must-watch but now things have changed. The Warriors are a long way from the championship team that ran through the NBA for the past decade. Steph Curry and Draymond Green, the Warriors best remaining players from years past, are both out with injuries for this game. This leaves D’Angelo Russell to be the sole offense for this abysmal Warriors squad… just kidding! Russell is out with an injury too!
Meanwhile, the Rockets will sit Eric Gordon but have all of their all-stars available. A team that averages 120-points per game is going to destroy a team of wannabe NBA players. James Harden will score his 30+ points despite not having to play in the 4th quarter and the same can be for Russell Westbrook and his triple-double. If you want to see a couple of former MVPs dominate a bunch of Rucker Park guys, this is the game for you.
Betting Done Quick
There’s 0 value in the Rockets moneyline (-2200) but the spread of -15.5 (-110) is intriguing. Be wary of a backdoor cover by the Warriors once the big-names are on the bench resting comfortably in the 4th. I like the Rockets 1H OVER 63.5 points (-115) as they will face a horrendous defense and employ the fastest pace.
Why We’re Watching: Bucks at Clippers
Originally, this was going to be the best game of the night in the NBA. But, Kawhi Leonard will not play due to “load management” according to Andrew Greif of the LA Times. We still haven’t seen the debut of Paul George which leaves Lou Williams in charge of producing the scoring. When Leonard misses action, this Clippers team is a shell of itself. Not only do they miss their leading scorer, assist man and rebounder… but also the only man that can shut down MVP caliber opposition players. Patrick Beverly will be in charge of getting into the opposing players heads.
Speaking of MVPs, Giannis Antetokounmpo is going to have a whale of a game against one of the worst interior defenses in the league. The Bucks are the #1 ranked rebounding team in the NBA and will dominate the paint against the undersized and undermanned Clippers. I have a hunch this game will won’t be that close, much like the early game. However, the Bucks have notoriously played lousy in the 2nd half so far this season.
Betting Done Quick
I acted fast and was able to get the Bucks moneyline at EVEN money when the Leonard news broke. The value is gone as the Bucks now sit at -220 on the moneyline, but; the spread of -6.0 (-115) looks like the move for those that didn’t act quickly. Also, the Bucks have been routinely dropping over 120 points whereas the Clippers struggle to put up points without Leonard.
Leading Scorer: James Harden
Leading Scorer: Giannis Antetokounmpo
At first glance, these NBA on ESPN games look solid! But, once we look at the stats and injury report, we realize that tonight will likely be a disappointment. Who do you have winning the games tonight? Who will be the overall leading scorer? Let me know in the comments below! Also, check out the shop and other content by clicking here.