Another Boston-Philadelphia Battle Will Highlight Week

28 November, 2023

There will be a number of strong matchups to bet on this week, but none may be more important than Friday’s fracas between two Eastern Conference heavyweights.

Another Boston-Philadelphia Battle Will Highlight Week

There will be a number of strong matchups to bet on this week, but none may be more important than Friday’s fracas between two Eastern Conference heavyweights.

Making all 30 teams in the NBA happy with how the regular-season schedule aligned would be an impossible task. Even so, the fact the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers will only meet once after this Friday will take some of the magic out of the race late in the season. While Milwaukee will have something to say about how the East was won, the battle between Boston and Philadelphia this week will be interesting.

As the NBA heads toward its annual Christmas showcase, there will be plenty of interesting items to keep an eye out for. Here’s a look at what to expect from the NBA schedule during the week of Nov. 27, 2023.

Celtics and 76ers Have Been Evenly Matched Thus Far

Boston and Philadelphia have split their first two meetings this season. However, the second meeting may have been more telling. The Celtics were missing two starters — Jaylen Brown and Kristaps Porziņģis — but went into the Wells Fargo Center and came away with a 10-point win. Having this matchup at home will be good for Boston, which has lost two of its past three games on the road.

The Celtics did have a hard time playing Orlando last week. Boston has been limited by a few injuries to Porziņģis and Jrue Holiday. Despite that, the Celtics still have the league’s best record. What has made the Celtics, who are the favourites to win the NBA Finals, are +370, so tough is their defensive dedication.

Boston is in the top 10 in points allowed and field goal percentage defence. Because of how the Celtics play, they have seen the under go 9-6-1 against the number this season. Being free of the James Harden drama got rid of some of the on-court distractions. But first-year 76ers coach Nick Nurse has to get his team to play the way he likes.

Philadelphia is 11-5 overall and against the spread but would like to be more efficient on offence. The 76ers are 16th in the league in 3-point percentage and 14th in field goal percentage. Philadelphia has the fifth-best odds to win the NBA crown at +1500.

Defending Champions Find Life on Road Tough

Having five games on the road proved to be the first tough test of the season for the defending champion Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets spend much of mid-November floundering, looking for answers. Denver lost four of those five games, including back-to-back losses to Houston and Orlando before Thanksgiving.

Despite being 10-6 in the standings, Denver has been a difficult side for bettors to back. The Nuggets are 5-11 against the spread and have seen 11 of their 16 games go under the total. Taking on Phoenix will be an interesting contrast. The Suns were nowhere near as cohesive as Denver to start the season.

Both Bradley Beal and Devin Booker missed time at the start of the season. However, Phoenix, which is +650 to win in the NBA Finals, will have a chance to build momentum before it takes on the Nuggets. Phoenix is 8-7-1 against the spread this season.

The Suns have shown when they are healthy, they are a team that everyone has to worry about. Phoenix is the third-best 3-point shooting team in the league, making 39.1 per cent of its attempts.

Clippers Would Like to Slow Down Sacramento

The Clipper’s offence was ugly before James Harden arrived in town. Things haven’t got much better since the superstar guard arrived. While the Clippers are a decent 3-point shooting team, Los Angeles is 18th in the league in points per game.

While the Clippers haven’t been the best offence during their 7-8 start, Los Angeles has been good at torturing opposing offences. The Clippers limited Dallas to 88 points last Friday. Nine of Los Angeles’ 14 games have gone under the total. 

However, enthusiasm around the Clippers has slowly sagged as the year has gone under. Los Angeles was up to as high as +2000 to win the championship but is now down to +2400. The Clippers’ in-state opponent Wednesday night, the Kings, have also suffered from some early-season woes.

Losing De’Aaron Fox for a few weeks slowed Sacramento’s progress. However, the Kings have steadied the ship and are now 9-6. What is amazing about Sacramento is how inefficient their offence is.

The Kings are ninth in the league in scoring despite ranking 21st in field goal percentage. Sacramento is 9-6 against the spread.

Heat Will Get Reminder of What They Could Have Had

The Miami Heat desperately wanted to add Damian Lillard in the offseason. However, the Heat didn’t have the pieces or salary cup magic to bring the star guard to South Beach. When the two teams first met in Milwaukee, the Bucks scored an eight-point victory.

Lillard played a key role in the win for Milwaukee, contributing 25 points in 35 minutes of action. While Miami started the season 1-4, the Heat have turned things around to improve its record to 10-7 on the season. Miami plays its typical rugged style of basketball. 

The Heat are sixth in the league in scoring defence, only allowing 107.8 points per game. Miami only averages 109.8 points per game. The Heat, who made a surprise run to the finals last season after upsetting Milwaukee in the first round, are +3900 to win the title. 

Ten of the Heat’s 17 games this season have gone under the total. Meanwhile, Milwaukee’s season has shown there will be a big adjustment period for the Bucks, even with Lillard. The Bucks are also breaking in a first-year coach and have had some injury issues. Small forward Khris Middleton has missed some time early in the year.

However, having Giannis Antetokounmpo and Lillard has allowed the Bucks to work through the early awkwardness to start the season 11-5. The Bucks are 6-9-1 against the spread. Milwaukee has the third-best odds of any team to win the NBA Finals at +440.

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