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The Warriors and Celtics meet for the first time this season and the visitors look the play with Steph Curry’s fitness a concern.
Celtics @ Warriors (12:30pm)
The Celtics look the play to exact some revenge on the reigning champs in front of their home crowd in San Francisco.
The numbers that really separate these teams this season is their performance against the league’s best. The Celtics have remarkably won 85% of games vs teams with records over .500 against just 44% for the Warriors. The Dubs are also just 1-4 against teams ranked in the top 5 of their conference and have suffered some big losses to strong teams like the Pelicans (-45, without Steph), the Suns twice (-29 and -11) and the Pacers (-8).
Steph Curry has also typically struggled off a break in the last two seasons. Save for a 47-point outing against the Kings earlier this season, in his first games back off a spell he has scored 22, 16, 15, 20, 18, 28, 30 and 12 points. Unless Steph is at his best, it’s hard to see the Warriors challenging a white-hot Boston unit here.
Spurs @ Heat (9:10am)
Despite recording their first win in 12 games last time out against Houston, Operation Tank for Wembanyama is still in full swing in San Antonio and they’ll be no match for Miami here.
The Spurs’ average losing margin over that 11 game losing streak was 19.4 points, emphasising just how far Pop’s team have been off the pace.
While Miami have been tough to catch this season, covering the spread at a league-worst 32%, their +/- against the handicap is only -2.7, suggesting they’ve been more unlucky than unreliable. The Spurs are only covering at 40% with a league-worst ATS +/- of 5.1 themselves.
Expect normal service to resume for the Spurs and a big win for Miami at home.
Jazz & Nuggets (1:10pm)
Utah have been money as underdogs all season and are likely to push Denver all the way here.
The Jazz are 12-5 against the spread as outsiders this season with the third ranked +/- ATS of 6.1. As away outsiders they are 8-4 ATS and are a respectable 4-3 off no rest.
The Nuggets are just going at the minute, only covering the line once in their last five and winning just one of their last four – a one-point victory over Portland courtesy of a Jamal Murray buzzer-beater.
The visitors looks good value here at the line, to keep the losing margin to 1-10 points and even to score an unlikely victory.
Saturday NBA Multi
Celtics / Heat / Jazz +6.5 / Trail Blazers = $4.90