Two early surprises have been the play of the Philadelphia 76ers as the top team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference standings and the Utah Jazz with the early lead in the Western Conference standings.
Eastern Conference Standings
The 76ers are 20-11 through 31 games and clinging to a small half-game lead over the Brooklyn Nets. They have gone an even 5-5 over their last 10 games with the 20-12 Nets closing some ground with seven straight-up victories in their last 10 outings.
The Milwaukee Bucks are third in the standings at 18-13 after going 5-5 in their last 10 games. The 15-14 Indiana Pacers have taken a step back to 15-14 with six losses in their last 10 games.
Making a move forward in this race with a SU four-game winning streak, the Toronto Raptors round out the Top 5 teams in the East at 16-15.
Betting on Philly to maintain the lead going into the All-Star break would be the best bet. They play Toronto again on the road this Tuesday coming off Sunday’s seven-point loss, but the Sixers’ next four games before the break are at home where they are 13-2 this season.
The Nets will play five more games before the break, including road games against San Antonio and Houston. They should keep things interesting as probable favorites in four of those five games but I am sticking with Philly to maintain that slight lead in the East on the strength of its elevated play at home.
Utah has a 2½-game lead over the Los Angeles Lakers atop the West standings. The Jazz came up just short in Friday’s four-point road loss to the Los Angeles Clippers to snap a nine- game SU winning streak. They still have the best record in the NBA at 24-6.
Between now and the All-Star break, Utah has six games on the slate, including a home game against the Lakers on Wednesday night. The next four games are on the road where the Jazz have gone a solid 11-4.
The Lakers are 22-9 after dropping their last two games. They are actually 1-3 SU over their last four contests. There are six games on the slate before the break with four at home and two on the road. This could be an issue considering that Los Angeles is just 9-6 at the Staples Center this season.
The Clippers are also in the mix at 22-10 and three games off the pace. They just lost to Brooklyn at home by four points on Sunday. Following Tuesday’s home game against Washington, LA heads on the road for its next five games with stops in Milwaukee and Boston.
The fourth-place team in the West is the Phoenix Suns at 19-10. It is doubtful they can close the 4½-game gap by March 3. Yet, the Suns have been hot at 8-2 over their last 10 games. With the 2½-game cushion, I am going chalk in this conference race as well by taking the Jazz to start the second half of the season in first place.
A big part of the services that my marketing company, Blue Pointe Advisors, LLC offers is written content for sports betting websites. I have been working as a full-time sports betting writer for the past nine years following a previous career in the field of sales and marketing.
I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to write about my true passion in life; the world of sports. I also enjoy concentrating the bulk of my pieces towards the betting angle in sports.
It is always a challenge to take past results and current form to try and correctly determine a future result. Sports brings out the unpredictability in what should be a fairly predictable outcome based on the stats, facts and recent trends in a particular matchup. The one thing that I have learned over the past decade or so is that when it comes to betting on sports there is no such thing as a lock.
The main objective with my writing style is to create insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player. While there are times when my predictions fall well short of the actual outcome, I still enjoy trying to come up with a logical explanation to support my views on every pick I make.
My love of sports started a long time ago when I was just a kid growing up just outside Philadelphia. While I was a big Phillies, Flyers and 76ers fan, my number one team was always the Eagles. My dad was a season ticket holder from 1961 to 2002 and I would honestly say that he missed less than a handful of games than more than a few dismal seasons.
I was fortunate enough to go to a number of Eagles’ games back in the day including the 1980 NFC Championship when Wilbert Montgomery ran roughshod over the bitter rival Dallas Cowboys to lead Philly to their first appearance in a Super Bowl. Flash forward 40 years later and am I still celebrating the thrilling victory over New England in Super Bowl LVII. I know that my dad was smiling down on that one.