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Week 7 is behind us, and if you were backing the heavy-loaded contenders last week, besides the short-handed Warriors, you could have earned some decent wages. The Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers have finally covered some spreads in a row, but we have seen a few upsets including the New York Knicks 136-134 overtime victory to the Milwaukee Bucks. The upcoming Week 8 brings a lot of tight matchups, looking from this points of view, so let's check out our top five games for Week 8.
San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz – Tuesday, December 4th
The Utah Jazz (11-13; 11-13 ATS) has won three of its last five games, and all three came on the road as it seems like Quin Snyder's team is slowly building up its form. However, the Jazz is disappointing 2-6 straight up and 3-5 ATS in eight games at home this season including a horrible 121-88 defeat to the Indiana Pacers in their last outing at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.
On the other side, the San Antonio Spurs (11-12; 11-12 ATS) are coming off a convincing 131-118 home victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, but they've been playing in a poor form recently, winning four of their last ten games overall and just two of their previous nine outings on the road. The Spurs are 4-8 straight up and 5-7 ATS in 12 road games this season, while they are 0-3 straight up and 1-1-1 ATS in the last three meetings with Utah at Salt Lake City. Likewise, the Spurs are 3-5 straight up and 4-3-1 ATS in the last eight H2H duels overall, while the over is 7-1 during that span.
The Jazz is desperate to finally give its fans something to cheer about, and considering the latest results versus the Spurs, this should be a perfect opportunity for a redemption song. Utah needs to tighten up their defense, as they've allowed 113.4 points per contest over eight games on the home court this season while conceding just 105.3 points per contest on the road. The Spurs are struggling defensively on the road, surrendering 116.2 points per game this term, so I'm backing the Jazz on this one.
My Pick: Utah Jazz ATS
Washington Wizards at Atlanta Hawks – Wednesday, December 5th
The Washington Wizards (9-14; 9-14 ATS) will face the Atlanta Hawks (5-18; 9-14 ATS) at State Farm Arena Wednesday night, and only the Phoenix Suns have the worse ATS record than these two teams. While the Hawks are slowly tanking the season, the Wizards are trying to get back on the winning track and stay close to the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.
Washington has won four of its last seven games including a 102-88 home victory over the Brooklyn Nets, but the Wizards are on a three-game losing streak away from home, while they are just 2-9 straight up and ATS in 11 road games this season, covering only on two occasions when they've won the game straight up. The Wizards are allowing 117.1 points per game (29th in the league) and only the Hawks are conceding more points per contest (118.1).
However, the Hawks are scoring just 107.4 points per contest (23rd), and their offensive rating is the second-worst in the league with 102.1 points per 100 possessions. This is a big game for the Wizards who just have to win in matchups like this one if they want to make it to the playoffs, so I'm backing them to overcome the Hawks on the road. Washington is 4-2 straight up and 3-3 ATS in its last six meetings with the Hawks and just 2-3 straight up and ATS in the previous five H2H duels in Atlanta.
My Pick: Washington Wizards ATS
New York Knicks at Boston Celtics – Thursday, December 6th
Well, this should be a payback time, as the New York Knicks upset the Boston Celtics as massive 14.5-point underdogs on November 21, beating them 117-109 at TD Garden. The Knicks are currently 8-16 straight up and 13-10-1 ATS, making some huge surprises in the last few weeks besides that shocking victory over the Celtics. They've beaten the Milwaukee Bucks 136-134 and the New Orleans Pelicans 114-109 at home while upsetting the Memphis Grizzlies 103-98 on the road.
On the other side, the Celtics have won four of their last five games, finally showing some improvements on both sides of the ball, while they are also 4-1 ATS during that five-game stretch. The Celtics are struggling to cover in this term, and they are currently 13-10 straight up and 10-13 ATS, while they are 6-3 straight up and 5-4 ATS in nine home games this season.
The Celtics should have a huge motive to hammer the Knicks, but I mostly rely on the fact that New York cannot upset all possible odds, and they will have to kneel against some of the heavy-loaded teams. To be honest, the Knicks are on a quite heavy schedule, playing ten games in a row against the winning teams, but that should affect their performance on this one, while the fatigue could be a strong factor. On the other side, some of the Celtics are improving lately, and Gordon Hayward has delivered 30 points at Minnesota, so I expect from Boston to show its full strength against the Knicks.
My Pick: Boston Celtics ATS
Golden State Warriors at Milwaukee Bucks – Friday, December 7th
The Golden State Warriors have played 11 of their last 12 games without Stephen Curry who has returned in a 111-102 defeat at the Detroit Pistons with 27 points, three assists, and seven turnovers in 36 minutes on the floor. It was Golden State's second defeat in a row following a 131-128 overtime loss at the Toronto Raptors, while the reigning champions are 5-7 straight up and 3-9 ATS in their last 12 outings overall.
On the other side, the Milwaukee Bucks have dropped three of their last five games including a surprising 136-134 overtime defeat at the New York Knicks this past Saturday, while they are 11-2 straight up and 8-4-1 ATS in 13 games at home this season. The Bucks failed to cover in three straight home games, while they were allowing 120.2 points over their previous five games overall.
This will be the second head-to-head duel on the season between these two foes, and the Bucks have humiliated the Warriors 134-111 on the road, while Stephen Curry has suffered a groin injury and has missed the next 11 games. Hereof, the Warriors will be keen to show their real strength in Wisconsin and try to get a payoff. The Bucks are struggling on the defensive end recently, and it should be a nice opportunity for the Warriors to bounce back on this one.
My Pick: Golden State Warriors ATS