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The 76ers are the NBA’s best defensive team since the injury to James Harden, which will likely make their contest with the Bucks a real grind.
Nuggets @ Mavericks (12:30pm)
I know Denver is missing a handful of their stars with Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon out, but the +9.5 still appears far too long when the Nuggets visit Dallas.
The Mavericks are 8-6 on the year, but their wins have been tough to the point where they’ve failed to cover the line in their last ten games. Dallas’ last seven have all been within the +9.5 line, with an average winning margin of just 3.7 points.
With some serious offense missing from this Denver team, expect them to rely a bit more on their level of intensity and defence which will include trapping Doncic as often as possible with the likes of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Bruce Brown. The Nuggets may not win, but they’ll keep this tighter than the line suggests.
Bucks @ 76ers (11:30am)
We could call it a coincidence, but since James Harden has been out injured for the 76ers their defensive rating has been the best in the NBA, and there’s daylight between them and second.
Conceding just 101 points per game from their five games without Harden, four of those 76ers games have gone unders.
As for the Bucks, they’ve got the third lowest total points coverage rate of all NBA teams this season with seven of their last nine going unders. Last time these two met the total points only hit 178 – based on the current state of both teams, it won’t be going over 218.5.
Pacers @ Rockets (12:00pm)
Which team has conceded the most assists to point guards over the last three weeks? It’s the Houston Rockets at 31% above average, who the NBA’s assist leader in Tyrese Haliburton will face on Saturday.
With Haliburton’s assist line set at 10.5, he’s covered this number in his last four games which includes 15 dimes against the Raptors two games back.
With Myles Turner and Buddy Hield both on fire for the Pacers, expect Haliburton to continue to play the role of distributor and he looks capable of producing a monster assist performance.
Saturday NBA Multi
Suns/Grizzlies/76ers = $4.41