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Week 10 of the 2018-19 NBA season has started with some expected wins by the heavyweight contenders on Monday night, and in the next few days, we'll see some quite interesting matchups. Hereof, we bring you top five games for Week 10 starting from Wednesday, December 19, 2018, along with all need-to-know betting trends and analysis.
Indiana Pacers at Toronto Raptors – Wednesday, December 19th
The Indiana Pacers are enjoying a great season so far, sitting at the 3rd spot in the Eastern Conference just two games behind the Toronto Raptors who are leading the league at the moment with a 23-9 record. Victor Oladipo has returned from a knee injury after missing 11 games, and the Pacers have won all three games with him in the lineup. They are 9-2 straight up and 7-4 ATS in their last 11 games, and the under has hit on all these 11 occasions.
The Pacers are allowing just 101.2 points per game (1st in the league), and their defensive rating is 2nd-best in the NBA with 103.3 points allowed per 100 possessions. On the other side will be the Toronto Raptors who are tallying 114.8 points per contest (5th in the league), while their offensive rating is 2nd-best in the league with 114.6 points per 100 possessions. Hereof, we should see an interesting game, and the Raptors should find the way to damage Indiana's defense on the home court.
The Raptors are 11-4 straight up at home this season, while they are just 2-6 ATS in their last eight games in front of the home fans. However, the Raptors have won their previous three meetings with the Pacers and are 8-2 straight up and 6-4 ATS in the last ten home games versus the Eastern Conference. This will be the first H2H duel of the season between these two foes, and the Raptors should start the series with a statement win on the home court, so I'm backing their offense over the Pacers defense along with the over on the totals.
My Pick: Toronto Raptors ATS & Over
Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Clippers – Thursday, December 20th
We'll see just two games on Thursday night, but the clash between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks should be great entertainment. After a strong start of the season, the Clippers are in crisis, losing seven of their last ten games. Likewise, they are on a four-game losing streak following a 131-127 home defeat to the Portland Trail Blazers, and Doc Rivers has to find the way to get his team on the winning track. The Clippers have lost three straight encounters on the home court and are 9-4 straight up and 8-5 ATS in 13 home games this season.
On the other side, the Mavericks continue to play above expectations, especially at home where they are 13-3 straight up and 12-4 ATS in 16 games this season. On the other hand, the Mavs are just 2-10 straight up and 5-7 ATS in 12 games on the road this term including a surprising 99-89 defeat at Phoenix when they were listed as 6-point favorites. The rookie Luka Doncic is leading the way for the Mavericks with 18.2 points per game, while Rick Carlisle's boys are playing some tough defense, allowing just 107.9 points per 100 possessions (9th in the league).
This will be the second H2H duel of the season between these two rivals, and the Mavericks overcame the Clippers 114-110 at home on December 2, 2018, playing as 3.5-point underdogs. The Clippers will have a huge motive to bounce back on this one and get the payoff, so I'm backing them to end up their losing streak. The Clippers are 3-2 straight up and 1-3-1 ATS in their last five meetings with the Mavericks and are 6-1 straight up and 4-2-1 ATS in the last seven H2H duels at Staples Center.
My Pick: Los Angeles Clippers ATS
Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics – Friday, December 21st
This is arguably the most intriguing matchup on the east coast this week, as two heavy-loaded contenders will face each other for the second time this season. The Celtics beat the Bucks 117-113 at TD Garden on November 1, 2018, thanks to whopping 24 treys out of 55 attempts, while they scored 40 points in the paint fewer than the Bucks (62-22). Giannis Antetokounmpo dropped 33 points on the Celtics, but the Bucks couldn't cope with Boston's tremendous shooting from beyond the arc.
The Celtics have been playing very well lately, winning eight of their last ten games, and are on a four-game winning streak on the home court. Boston is 9-3 straight up and 8-4 ATS in 12 games at TD Garden this season, while the Celtics are 7-1 straight up and 6-2 ATS in their previous eight home games versus the Eastern Conference. On the other side, the Bucks have won six of their last ten games and are 7-6 straight up and 5-7-1 ATS in their 13 games on the road this season, while they are 4-4 straight up and 2-5-1 ATS in the last eight road games versus the Eastern Conference.
Boston is 7-5 straight up and 9-3 ATS in its last 12 meetings with Milwaukee, while the Celtics are 6-0 straight up and ATS in the last six H2H duels at TD Garden including the last season's playoff matchups. Hereof, the Bucks should be motivated to finally beat the Celtics on the road, and this one seems like a perfect opportunity as Al Horford is still sidelined with a sore left knee. Without their defensive anchor in the paint, the Celtics should struggle to defend against the Bucks' inside game, so I'm backing the visitors to grab a straight-up win here.
My Pick: Milwaukee Bucks
Minnesota Timberwolves at Oklahoma City Thunder – Sunday, December 23rd
The Minnesota Timberwolves are still among the worst team in the league on the road, winning just two of their 14 games away from home this season. I was backing them last week to beat the hapless Phoenix Suns, but the Timberwolves were beaten 107-99, so visiting Oklahoma City Sunday night should be another nightmare for Tom Thibodeau's boys who are 5-9 ATS in those 14 road games.
The Thunder continue to play strong defense, allowing just 105.0 points per game (5th in the league), while their defensive rating is the best in the NBA with 102.9 points allowed per 100 possessions. Paul George is dominating his rivals on the offensive end (24.9 points per game), Russell Westbrook is averaging a triple-double with 20.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.0 assists per contest, whilst Dennis Schroder is doing a great job off the bench.
OKC is 12-1 straight up and 9-4 ATS in its last 13 games on the home court, and the Thunder is 8-2 straight up and 5-5 ATS in the last ten meetings with the Timberwolves at Chesapeake Energy Arena. If they put on another strong defensive performance on this one, I think they shouldn't have any problem to beat the poor Timberwolves. Hopefully, they will cover the spread to open the series with Minnesota on a high note.
My Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder ATS