Fri, Mar 9, 1:44pm by Staff Writer
The NBA season is entering its final month, with playoff positions in both conferences still up for grabs.
In the East, it appears the eight teams in currently in the playoff picture will make the post-season, it is just a matter of positioning, with the third seeded Cavaliers and eighth seeded Heat separated by less than three games.
In the West, the battle for the lower seeds is set to go down to the very end of the season, with the Los Angeles Clippers, Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets separated only by head-to-head records at the moment.
ESPN Australia features two Western Conference blockbusters this weekend. The third-seeded Portland Trailblazers will be looking to extend their eight game winning streak when they host the Golden State Warriors on Saturday from 2pm AEDST.
On Sunday, the Oklahoma City Thunder host the San Antonio Spurs at 12.30pm AEDST.
Portland Trailblazers versus Golden State Warriors
Saturday, 10 March 2018 at 2pm AEDST
The Trailblazers have been one of the most surprising teams since the turn of the New Year.
Winners of their past eight matches, the Blazers have been led by point guard Damien Lillard who has been filling the stats sheet repeatedly during the teams win streak.
For the first time in a few year, the Warriors finally have a competitor in the Western Conference, as they trail the red hot Houston Rockets by a game in the standings.
Golden State have been a poor team in first quarters this season, so look to place a wager on the Blazers to win the first quarter, or take the Blazers with the points start at Sportsbet.
Another market to watch will be the player performance markets. Lillard scored a whopping 44 points the last time these two teams met in Portland, propelling the Blazers to an unlikely six point win.
On that night, Kevin Durant scored 50 points as both teams lit it up from downtown.
Lillard has been on a tear recently, so a bet on his total match points going over is the way to go in that market.
Portland are riding a massive wave of momentum at the moment and catch the Warriors on a back-to-back after they host the Spurs on Friday afternoon.
Back the Blazers to make it 2-0 at home against the Warriors and cement third spot in the West.
Best bet- Portland Trailblazers to win the match at Sportsbet
Value bet- Portland Trailblazers to win the first quarter
Oklahoma City Thunder versus San Antonio Spurs
Sunday, 11 March 2018 at 12.30pm AEDST
The Thunder and Spurs were two playoff locks before the season began, but both are playing for their playoff lives when they meet in Oklahoma City on Sunday afternoon.
The Spurs have dealt with a raft of injuries all season long, including to their best player Kawhi Leonard who has been barely cited.
The Thunder has welcomed Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, but have gone through waves of good and bad play throughout the season, which is frustrating for their fans.
The Spurs are 3-7 in their past 10 matches and have been a poor fourth quarter team of late.
Conversely, the seventh seeded Thunder are 6-4 in their past 10 matches and have finished games strongly.
The Thunder should win this game comfortably, so we are backing the Thunder in the Big Win Little Win 11+ points market at Sportsbet.
Look to put a live bet on the Thunder to win the fourth quarter and cover the handicap if the match is close after three quarters as well.
Best bet- Oklahoma City Thunder Big Win Little Win 11+
Live bet- Oklahoma City Thunder to win the fourth quarter
Other weekend highlights
Highlights this weekend include the Houston Rockets visiting the Toronto Raptors in a battle of the two top seeded teams in each conference on Saturday morning.
Both teams are playing their third game in four nights, but should not struggle for motivation in that matchup.
Back the Raptors to get the win at home and snap the Rockets 15 game winning streak.
Elsewhere, the Cavaliers continue their five game road trip as they visit the Los Angeles Clippers.
We are backing the Cavs to make it two in a row after the teams big win in Denver on Thursday.
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