The Most Important Matchups and Best Bets for Wednesday’s NBA Slate
Christmas has come two days earlier for NBA bettors as the Wednesday slate is jam-packed with 13 games. There are plenty of games to catch the eye as the new-look Wizards head to the city of brotherly love to take on the Philadelphia 76ers, the Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo renew their budding rivalry with the Boston Celtics, while Zion Williamson will look to lead the Pelicans to a fast start against the Raptors. And that’s just some of the early games to get this NBA party started.
Wizards vs. 76ers
Russell Westbrook teams up with Bradley Beal in Washington as they look to make a trip back to the playoffs. This will be quite a matchup at the point guard position with Westbrook taking on Ben Simmons. Neither player is your prototypical type of point guard as Westbrook is a shoot-first type of guard while Simmons likes to take his opponent off the dribble and get to the basket. I would’ve loved to see a head-to-head matchup prop for most assists in this game but that’s not on the board as of yet. Simmons’s assist total is set at 8.5 with Westbrook’s at 7.5.
Bucks vs. Celtics
Fresh off his new $228 million contract extension, Antetokounmpo will hope to reward the Bucks ownership with their first NBA championship in what would be their 50-year anniversary since they last won it with Oscar Robertson. Milwaukee made a significant addition to their team this off-season by acquiring Jrue Holiday via trade from the New Orleans Pelicans. Holiday is an upgrade from Eric Bledsoe, who went the other direction in the trade. The former UCLA product averaged 19 points and 6.7 assists last year compared to Bledsoe, who averaged 15 points and 5.4 assists. As for Boston, they’ll be a bit shorthanded this game as they’ll be without Kemba Walker and his 20.4 points per game. Newly acquired Jeff Teague, who averaged 11 points last season, will likely replace Walker in the lineup
Pelicans vs. Raptors
Last season, Zion Williamson’s rookie debut was delayed due to a knee injury. This year, he looks set to be on the floor right from the first game. Williamson is one of the most entertaining players in the league to watch and this will be a good test against a veteran Raptors team. Even though the Raptors are the home team, they’ll actually be playing this game in Tampa Bay along with other home games for the foreseeable future due to travel restrictions imposed by the Canadian government in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It will be interesting to see what effect the new surroundings will have on the Raptors this season,
Notable Odds and Line Movement
- Hornets opened as +1 underdogs and are now -2.5-point favorites
- Miami Heat up to -4.5 from -3.5
- Bucks up to -3.5 form -2.5
- Pelicans opened at +5 and now down to +4
- Reverse line movement on Thunder from +6.5 to +8
Best Bets from the SportsGrid Betting Model