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NBA Tips: 27th November

THE NBA is back after its Thanksgiving break and we have a monster 12-game slate on deck.

We’ve broken down our best bets below and found some nice value for punters.

Phoenix Suns @ New York Knicks

THE Phoenix Suns will look to continue their impressive run when they take on the Knicks at Maddison Square Garden.

Currently on a 14-game win streak, Phoenix are proving once again that they can be a regular season juggernaut and it’s going to take a strong performance from the home team to hang with them in this one.

The Suns have enjoyed this matchup historically, winning and covering the spread in the past six straight meetings between the teams.  While this is an impressive trend, there is substance to it and as we dive into the matchup there is a clear advantage that the Suns own here.

Phoenix run one of the fastest pace offences in the league at the moment, with their opponents currently sitting at the other end of the scale.  New York don’t have the offensive tools to matchup with the Suns if this game turns into a shootout so if they are going to stand a fighting chance they will need to bring their defensive intensity and slow things down.  This is perhaps where the biggest mismatch is apparent.

New York, and Julius Randle in particular, have been heavily criticized after their poor performance in the playoff this past season.  A lot of their failure was attributed to their inability to create and score in half court sets.  Two areas the Suns hold glaring advantages in.

The Suns rate 5.0 points better per 100 possessions in halfcourt offensive efficiency on the season and own one of the top defences in the league in this setting.  They match up well with the Knicks across the court and are one of the best scoring teams in clutch situations.

I’m not thrilled that this game is the first of a meaningful back-to-back and that the Suns have had little-to-no rest on this road trip, but this team is definitely capable of continuing their hot streak in this one and if things are tight in the closing minutes I’m absolutely going all-in on Chris Paul and Devin Booker to get the job done. My numbers have Phoenix rated five-point winners and I’ll be backing them here to cover the cheap line.

Our best bet: Phoenix Suns -3.5 $1.92 at PlayUp

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Charlotte Hornets

In the year 2021 we have a matchup between the Charlotte Hornets and Minnesota Timberwolves; two of the best defensive teams in the league at this current moment in time – wild scenes to say the least. There’s a lot to take in with this statement and as you pick yourself off the ground let’s take a look at exactly what is making these teams so successful in the early goings.

Minnesota look to keep things rolling as they ride a five-game win streak to town. The team has looked very impressive and have started to carve out a new-found identity about themselves at both ends of the floor.

Their offence has finally arrived, after struggling to find consistency in the early goings, but surprisingly their success has to be attributed to their defence.

Over the past fortnight Minnesota has continued to be staunch without the basketball, holding the leagues top defesnive rating while also being able to improve their offensive output by nearly 7.0 points per 100 possessions, which has led to a huge bump in their points differential.

Charlotte has also been quietly going about their business and it might shock most to find out they have won 7 of their last 8 games.  Their offence hasn’t quite found its mark but similarly to Minnesota they have built their foundations on the back of strong defensive efforts.

These sides match up quite evenly so this contest will absolutely come down to either side making the most of their opportunities. This is where 3-point shooting differentials could become paramount.

Minnesota are second only to Utah in frequency of three-point attempt percentage on the season but are only making 34% of their shots from deep. That said, they face a Charlotte team that allows opponents to take almost 40% of their field goal attempts from beyond the arc and when we filter through teams who shoot at high splits this number actually increases dramatically.

If the Timberwolves can heat up from deep they certainly have the ability to create quite the separation between them in this match up.

I would definitely like to see Josh Okogie cleared to play in this one before hitting submit – especially in the absence of Pat Beverley – the Wolves have the parts to get the job done in Charlotte and I expect them to get the win in this one.

I have Minnesota rated as short favorites in this matchup so to get them as small dogs is definitely a bet on spot for me.

Our best bet: Minnesota Timberwolves +2.5 $1.92 at PlayUp


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