Must-Bet NBA Weekend Games: Bulls-Suns, Bucks-Timberwolves

Some bad news for the Golden State Warriors as superstar Steph Curry has been diagnosed with a sprained ligament in left foot that will sideline him indefinitely, but X-rays were negative so overall it’s good news and Curry should be fine for the playoffs. The Warriors don’t play again until Sunday, but here’s an intriguing matchup to wager in the NBA on Friday and Saturday – check back for NBA odds.

Best NBA bets of the weekend

Chicago at Phoenix

Friday at 10 p.m. ET on NBA TV. Could be an NBA Finals preview. The Suns are favored to win the NBA title and definitely could get to the Finals as they will finish with the best record in the league despite still remaining without All-Star point guard Chris Paul. The Bulls probably aren’t good enough to win the East, though. Chicago has been beating up on the bad teams this season and losing to the good ones.

Starting point guard Lonzo Ball (left meniscus tear) remains without a timetable to return, according to coach Billy Donovan. According to Donovan, Ball “isn’t yet sprinting on a straight line or doing full-speed work laterally.” LaVar’s oldest son has been out of commission since mid-January.

The team could soon see the return of young forward Patrick Williams, although not by Friday. That means Williams has been cleared to face full contact. He has been sidelined since Oct. 28 after undergoing surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left wrist. While the team’s ramp-up plan for Williams isn’t yet set in stone, Donovan said Williams participating in practices and games with the Bulls’ G League affiliate is on the table.

Will Suns starting forward Jae Crowder play here? He missed Wednesday’s win over Houston with left groin soreness. Key reserve Cameron Johnson has missed seven straight games with a right quad contusion.

This is the first meeting of the season between the Bulls and Suns. The series has been a sweep in each of the last 3 seasons with the Suns going 3-0 over last 2 seasons, the Bulls sweeping in 2018-19 and the Suns getting the sweep in 2017-18. Devin Booker scored 45 points on March 31, 2021 vs. Chicago, the most by a Suns player against the Bulls in franchise history, breaking a record that stood since the 1968-69 season.

Milwaukee at Minnesota

Saturday 5 p.m. ET tip on NBA League Pass. The teams played back on Oct. 27 in Milwaukee and the Timberwolves were 113-108 upset winners. D’Angelo Russell scored 29 points, Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards each added 25 in the upset. Minnesota had lost six straight against the Bucks and hadn’t won at Milwaukee since the 2013-14 season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 40 points and 16 rebounds for the Bucks, who were without point guard Jrue Holiday and center Brook Lopez. The Bucks, who trailed 94-79 entering the final period, pulled within 110-108 on Antetokounmpo’s layup with 9.4 seconds remaining. Edwards answered with two free throws.

The Bucks are 3-1 on a four-game trip through the Western Conference and this concludes it. Antetokounmpo has now scored 30+ points in each of his last five games, tied for his longest 30-point scoring streak of the season (Dec. 30-Jan. 8) and only two 30-point games away from matching his career-long streak of six games (Nov. 2-14, 2019).  Antetokounmpo is on track to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the franchise’s all-time scoring leader by the end of this month.

Giannis is also chasing the first scoring title of his career as he’s currently second in scoring at 29.8 ppg. In addition to being tied for the league lead in scoring, Antetokounmpo also finds himself among the NBA’s top 20 in a number of other categories.

The Timberwolves are averaging 5.8 blocks per game, third in the NBA and 8.8 steals per game, ranking fourth in the league in the category. Minnesota leads the league in opponent turnovers per game (16.5). Those turnovers have led to 20.0 points off turnovers per game, leading the NBA in the category.

Minnesota is 13-12 vs. the East this season. The team hasn’t had a winning record against that conference since 2013-14 (17-13) and has only done so six times in team history.

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