NBA Weekend Shootaround: January 22-23

by Sean Murphy

While the NFL Playoffs take center stage this weekend, the superior betting opportunities might lie on the NBA hardwood. Here's a look at several key spots to keep an eye on before the lines are released.

Saturday

Thunder at Cavaliers


While the Thunder will be playing their second game in as many nights following Friday's matchup with the Hornets in Charlotte, the Cavs are home and cool after suffering a disappointing loss against the undermanned Bulls in Chicago on Wednesday. I could only look to back the Cavs in this spot as they've proven to be an excellent bet all season long and should be poised to bounce back against an Oklahoma City squad that entered last night's action having gone 6-16 SU on the road, outscored by an average margin of 9.8 points.

Pacers at Suns

Indiana is in a clear letdown spot on Saturday as it looks to follow up consecutive upset wins over the Lakers and Warriors. The Pacers might just be in the wrong place at the wrong time in the desert as the Suns are absolutely rolling right now. Phoenix is coming off a hard-fought win in Dallas on Thursday, wrapping up a perfect 5-0 road trip that included an 18-point victory over these same Pacers in Indiana. Indiana can likely afford to catch its breath on Saturday before a winnable game to close its road trip in New Orleans on Monday.

Sunday

Clippers at Knicks


The Knicks will undoubtedly be in a foul mood following consecutive home losses against the Timberwolves and Pelicans - two games they needed if they wanted to be taken seriously as a potential playoff team in the East. They'll get a third opportunity to pick up a win over a Western Conference foe on Sunday and they'll be catching the Clippers in an early start game with this one tipping off at 1 pm et. The Clippers have been as inconsistent as any team in the league, entering Friday's game in Philadelphia sporting a 9-10 ATS mark on the road this season. Defense has been optional for the Knicks lately and that's key as the Clips have posted two of their three highest-scoring results of the season over their last three contests.

Jazz at Warriors

To say that the Jazz have been playing their worst basketball of the season would be an understatement. They entered Friday's home game against the lowly Pistons losers of six of their last seven games both SU and ATS. Lucky for them, the Warriors have struggled lately as well, seemingly having a tough time finding their footing since the return of Klay Thompson, going 3-4 SU over their last seven games. The Jazz have undoubtedly had this game circled since suffering a seven-point home loss against the Warriors back on New Year's Day. I'll be looking for a potentially inflated number to back the suddenly out of favor Jazz in this spot.


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