Thursday, December 26, 2019

NBA Picks December 28: Jazz versus Clippers top weekend action

With Christmas in the rearview mirror and 2020 around the corner, the NBA action is in full swing this weekend. With numerous top games in play December 28, the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers headline action.

Utah Jazz versus Los Angeles Clippers

The Utah Jazz come into action second in the Northwest Division and take on the Los Angeles Clippers, second in the Pacific Division. Utah holds a +22 to +19 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot down” versus “average down” on the Team Strength Oscillator. Both teams have been scoring at a high rate and the Totals Predictor indicates betting the “over” is a good choice. On the Team Volatility Oscillator, both teams are showing stability at +16 and +14, indicating they are performing consistently according to their favorite/underdog status. This is the first meeting between the teams this season. Go with the Clippers to edge the Jazz as the home favorite.

Toronto Raptors versus Boston Celtics

In this Atlantic Division battle, the first place Celtics take on the third place Raptors. Boston has won both meetings between the teams this season, once at home and once on the road. The Celtics have a +26 to +21 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator.  Toronto is “burning hot down” on the Team Strength Oscillator and Boston is “burning hot”. Both teams are showing stability at +18 and +17 on the Team Volatility Oscillator. It’s best to bet the “under” as both teams are playing in games trending in that direction. Boston is very tough at home and should squeak out a win in this one.

Philadelphia 76ers versus Miami Heat

The 76ers are coming off an impressive win against the Milwaukee Bucks and enter this one second in the Atlantic Division. The Heat are first in the Southeast Division and won the last meeting between the teams after getting blown out in the first meeting.  The Heat have a +27 to +23 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator, while both teams have “burning hot” status. Expect a high scoring game and betting the “over” is a wise move. There is much consistency with both teams according to their favorite/underdog status. The Heat should have a slight advantage playing at home, but don’t count out Philadelphia. If going for an upset pick, take the 76ers.

Detroit Pistons versus San Antonio Spurs

Detroit comes into play struggling at 4th in the Central Division, while San Antonio is 3rd in the Southwest Division. San Antonio is +12 on the Power Ranking Indicator and “average” status, and the Pistons are +7 and “dead”.  Both teams are trending “over” on the Totals Predictor, which makes betting the over/under a good play in this one. Despite the clear edge on paper, the Pistons blew out the Spurs 132-98 on December 1. I don’t see that kind of performance this time around and expect the Spurs to take care of home court and win this game.

Los Angeles Lakers versus Portland Trailblazers

The Lakers enter first in the Pacific Division but could be without LeBron James due to a groin injury. Portland is fourth in the Northwest Division and fell to the Lakers 136 – 113 in the first meeting this season. On the Power Ranking Indicator, the Lakers have a +24 to +17 advantage, while both teams are mediocre status at the moment at “average down” and “average”. Los Angeles is the most consistent team, sitting at +17 on the Team Volatility Oscillator to +11 for Portland. Expect a more defensive battle, resulting in betting the “under”.  With James likely sidelined, I’m going with a bit of an upset and pick Portland to prevail.

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