NBA Week 18 Tips and Predictions part 3
Photo Credit: The Ringer
Milwaukee Bucks vs Chicago Bulls
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16
United Center Chicago, IL
The Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls face off this Thursday for an Eastern Conference match-up. Form is key heading into the game, with Milwaukee sitting second in the east with a 40-17 record, and come in following a win over Boston. While the Bulls look to rebound from a defeat to Orlando.
The Bucks will look to their key players, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, for the spark they need to get back on track. Antetokounmpo has been solid all season, averaging 30.7 points per game and 12.8 rebounds per game this season. Meanwhile, Middleton is averaging 20 points and 6 rebounds per game so far in 2017-18. Both players will be pivotal if Milwaukee hopes to shut down the Bulls’ offense.
Chicago also relies heavily on their stars to carry the team forward in big games like this one. Jimmy Butler leads the Bulls with 22 points and 5 assists per game this season.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Chicago Bulls Prediction:
With both teams’ form playing a big factor in this match-up, Milwaukee looks to have the edge heading into Thursday night’s game. Their strong leadership and response to losses will be key to breaking out of their winless streak and taking the victory over Chicago. The Bucks should come away with a W here, but it won’t be easy.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Chicago Bulls betting tip:
Milwaukee starts favourites at $1.37 to Chicago $3.20
Washington Wizards Minnesota Timberwolves
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16
Target Center Minneapolis, MN
The Washington Wizards head to Minnesota for a match-up with the Timberwolves on Thursday. Form is again crucial here, with the Wizards coming off of a win over Portland and the Timberwolves hoping to continue winning form, following a victory over Dallas.
Key players for Washington include Bradley Beal, who has been averaging 23 points per game this season, as well as Kristaps Porziņģis. Both will be important if the Wizards are going to shut down Minnesota’s prolific offence.
The Wolves will lean heavily on their stars Karl Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards as they look to take advantage of Washington’s weak defence. Towns is having another great season, averaging 20 points 9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game so far this season, while Wiggins is averaging 17 points and 4 rebounds per game.
Washington Wizards vs Minnesota Timberwolves Prediction:
Minnesota’s defense has been strong all season, while Washington is still trying to solve their defensive woes. However, the Wolves will be hard pressed to contain the dynamic duo of Beal and Porter Jr., so expect a close one here. The Wizards should come away with the win in what could potentially end up being a high-scoring affair.
Washington Wizards vs Minnesota Timberwolves betting tip:
Washington start as favourites at $1.60 to Minnesota’s $2.40.
LA Clippers vs Phoenix Suns
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16
Footprint Center Phoenix, AZ
The LA Clippers travel to Phoenix for a match-up with the Suns on Thursday. Form will be a key factor here, as both sides come into the game in winning form, following victories over GSW and Sacramento respectively.
The Clippers will look to stars such as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George for leadership in this one, as they try to maintain their place in fifth of the Western Conference standings. Leonard has been averaging 26 points per game this season while shooting an impressive 49% from three-point range. Meanwhile, George continues his run of MVP calibre form with 24 points and 5 assists per game this season so far.
Phoenix comes into this one buoyed by the play of star player Devin Booker who is averaging 24 points per game this season. Deandre Ayton has also been impressive, averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds per game so far in 2017-18.
LA Clippers vs Phoenix Suns Prediction:
The Suns have been strong all season with a solid defensive foundation, but the Clippers’ deadly offence will be too much for them here. LA’s stars should be able to lead the team to victory over a Phoenix side that lacks depth at its core positions. The Suns could keep it close, however.
LA Clippers vs Phoenix Suns betting tip:
LA starts as clear favourites at $1.20 to Phoenix’s $4.75.