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For the second week in a row, the Toronto Raptors (13-4) are leading the NBA, although they've lost three of their last four games. The defending champions Golden State Warriors are falling apart at the moment with Steph Curry sidelined due to an injury and Draymond Green and Kevin Durant dropping some bad words on each other, so they fell to 12-6 on the season. The Portland Trail Blazers (11-5) are leading the Western Conference where the Memphis Grizzlies (10-5) are tied at No. 3 seed with the Los Angeles Clippers and the Oklahoma City, while the Milwaukee Bucks (11-4), the Indiana Pacers (10-6), the Philadelphia 76ers (11-7), and the Boston Celtics (9-7) are trying to keep the pace with Toronto in the east.
Week 6 brings a day off on Thanksgiving but we'll see 13 games on Wednesday and 14 games on Friday when the action starts at noon ET. Plenty of interesting matchups are ahead of us, so let's take a closer look at top five games for Week 6. Be aware of eventual odds and lines adjustments and don't hesitate to pick up alternative spreads.
Portland Trail Blazers at New York Knicks – Tuesday, November 20th
The Portland Trail Blazers (11-5; 11-5 ATS) are topping the Western Conference and leading the NBA against the spread at the moment, while they are coming off a 119-109 win at the Washington Wizards as 1.5-point underdogs to end up their two-game losing streak. The Blazers look keen to take advantage of the Warriors free-fall, so winning at the New York Knicks is a must.
Portland is 4-3 straight up and ATS in seven games on the road this season, covering the spread every time they've won the game, while they are just 4-10 straight up and 5-9 ATS in the previous 14 outings away from home. However, the Blazers are 10-2 straight up and 9-3 ATS in their last 12 meetings with the Knicks, and they are 5-1 straight up and 4-2 ATS in the previous six H2H matchups at Madison Square Garden. Likewise, the Blazers are 8-3 straight up and 7-4 ATS in their last 11 games on the road when listed as favorites.
On the other side, the New York Knicks (4-13; 7-9-1 ATS) are on a five-game losing streak, conceding 126.2 points per contest during that span, while their defensive rating is the 4th-worst in the league as the Knicks are allowing 113.7 points per 100 possessions. If they continue with the poor defensive job, the Knicks will be in big trouble against the Blazers whose offensive rating is the 5th-best in the league (114.0). New York is 2-5 straight up and 3-3-1 ATS at home this season and the Knicks' current form is awful, so the Blazers should really cover on this one.
My Pick: Portland ATS
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – Wednesday, November 21st
The Los Angeles Lakers (9-7; 6-10 ATS) are visiting the east coast, and LeBron James is having a lot of fun. After dropping 51 points on Miami Heat, the King will see the place where everything started, but the Cleveland Cavaliers are no more among the best teams in the Eastern Conference. As a matter of fact, the Cavs are the worst team in the league at the moment with a 2-12 record, but they are still 7-7 ATS this season.
On the other hand, the Lakers' backers have nothing to cheer about as LeBron's new team is the second-worst in the league against the spread. They are 4-4 straight up and ATS in eight games on the road this season, covering the spread on each straight-up victory, while the Lakers have dominated the Miami Heat 113-97 this past Sunday. James obviously likes to play against his former teams, and in 13 games versus Cleveland during his career, LeBron has 27.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 7.2 assists per contest.
The Lakers are still forcing an up-tempo basketball and their pace is the 4th-fastest in the league with 103.7 possessions per 48 minutes. The Cavaliers are the total opposite with 97.9 possessions per 48 minutes and I doubt their chances to slow down the Lakers. The Cavs' defensive rating is the worst in the league as they are allowing 114.1 points per 100 possessions, so I'm backing the Lakers to dominate Cleveland here on the back of LeBron James' another superb performance.
My Pick: Los Angeles Lakers ATS
Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors – Friday, November 23rd
The Washington Wizards (5-11; 5-11 ATS) continue to struggle defensively, as they are allowing 116.9 points per game (29th in the league) on 26.1 assists per contest (also 29th). After three straight wins against Miami, Orlando, and Cleveland, the Wizards dropped two games in a row to Brooklyn 115-104 and Portland 119-109, and they will have a tough matchup with LA Clippers at home before a heavy trip to Toronto.
This will be the second H2H meeting between Washington and Toronto this season, and the Raptors overcame the Wizards 117-113 at Capital One Arena in Washington on October 21st. Since then, the things went from bad to worse for the Wizards, while the Raptors showed why they are considered as strong contenders in the Eastern Conference. Toronto will probably be listed as a double-digit favorite on this one, and we should get a proper high-scoring affair.
The Raptors are scoring 116.8 points per game (4th in the league) while the Wizards are tallying 110.9 points per game (12th in the league). Likewise, the Wizards' pace is the 7th-fastest in the league with 101.8 possessions per 48 minutes and the Raptors are right behind with 101.6 possessions per 48 minutes. Hereof, the stats are suggesting the over and the similar case is with betting trends. The over is 11-6 in Toronto's 17 games and it is 10-6 in Washington's 16 games this season, while the over is 7-2 in Toronto's nine home games in this term.
My Pick: Over on the totals
Sacramento Kings at Golden State Warriors – Saturday, November 24th
The defending champions are in crisis, losing three games in a row and four in their last five outings. Stephen Curry has missed the previous six games with a groin injury and it's still unclear when he'll return to the court, while Draymond Green missed the last two matchups after a clash with Kevin Durant and he's currently listed as injured.
The things don't look good for the short-handed Warriors who will host the Thunder and the Trail Blazers before the matchup with the Kings that looks like the easiest one from this point of view. Sacramento started the season well, but after three losses in their last four games, the Kings dropped to 8-8 on the season and 9-7 against the spread. They are 4-5 straight up and ATS in nine games on the road this season, while the Warriors are 8-1 straight up and 6-3 ATS in their nine games at home this season.
Interestingly, the Kings have won the last two H2H meetings at Oracle Arena as 8.5 and 13-point underdogs, but they are 2-8 straight up and 3-6-1 ATS in the last ten H2H duels in Oakland, covering the spread on the previous three occasions. Likewise, the Warriors are 12-3 straight up and 9-6 ATS in the last 15 meetings with the Kings at any location, so I'm backing them to cover on this one while expecting a single-digit margin with all problems among their squad.
My Pick: Golden State ATS