As part of ESPN’s doubleheader of NBA betting action this Friday night, the top team in the Western Conference kicks off a five-game road trip in a tough venue to get a win this year. Later that night, the next best team in the West will try and string together a third-straight win in what has been a rough start to the New Year.
Golden State Warriors at Milwaukee Bucks (8 p.m., ESPN)
The Warriors saw their recent five-game winning streak come to an end on Wednesday night in a 125-106 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers as 12-point home favorites. Going back to an 11-point loss to Charlotte on Dec. 29 as a 10-point favorite at home, Golden State is just 2-4-1 against the spread in its last seven games. The total has gone OVER in each of its last six contests.
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Kevin Durant put up 40 points in Wednesday’s loss, but the Warriors had no answer for Lou Williams at the other end of the court with the Clippers’ guard going off with a career-high 50 points. Golden State remains the highest scoring team in the NBA this season with an average of 115.7 points a game, but it is 18th in the league in points allowed (106.6).
Milwaukee is 3-3 both SU and ATS in its last six games following Wednesday’s 110-103 victory at home against Orlando in a game it failed to cover as a 10.5-point favorite. The Bucks are 22-18 SU this season with an 18-19-3 record ATS. They have gone 14-7 SU on their home court, but they fall to 8-11-2 ATS in those 21 home games. The total has stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH in five of their last eight games overall.
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Giannis Antetokounmpo has been the top story in Milwaukee all season long with a team-high 28.7 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 4.6 assists a game. He led the way on Wednesday night with 26 points after posting 30 points or more in two of his previous four starts. The Bucks are averaging 106.0 PPG and they are 11th in the NBA in assists with 22.8.
Golden State has won seven of the last eight meetings SU, but Milwaukee has a 5-2 edge ATS in the last seven games in this inter-conference matchup. The total stayed UNDER in four of the last six games.
Houston Rockets at Phoenix Suns (10:30 p.m., ESPN)
Houston is just 4-7 SU in its last 11 games while going 3-8 ATS, but it comes into Friday night’s matchup with back-to-back victories against Chicago on the road and Portland at home both SU and ATS in its last two outings. The total went OVER in both of those games after staying UNDER in five of its previous seven games. The Rockets are 29-11 SU with a 14-5 record on the road. They have gone 11-8 ATS on the road this season.
With James Harden out of the lineup due to injury, the Rockets are trying to keep things rolling with the players they do have on the court. Chris Paul put up 37 points against the Trail Blazers in Wednesday’s 121-112 victory as seven-point home favorites and Eric Gordon added 30 points to the winning cause.
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The Suns are coming off a 114-110 upset against Oklahoma City last Sunday as eight-point underdogs at home. They are now 8-14 SU (9-12-1 ATS) at home this season as part of an overall record of 16-26. Phoenix has gone an even 20-20-2 ATS with a 3-3-1 record ATS in its last seven games and the total has stayed UNDER in three of its last four games.
Dragan Bender scored a career-high 20 points off the bench and rookie Josh Jackson added 17 points and 10 rebounds to post his first career double-double to help lead the Suns to that stunning victory over the Thunder their last time out. Phoenix is averaging 105.7 PPG at 15th in the NBA; however, it is ranked last in the league at the other end of the court with a points-allowed average of 112.1.
Houston is a perfect 5-0 SU in the last five meetings and it covered in four of those five games. The total in this conference tilt has gone OVER in the last seven meetings.