The NBA season rolls on and we go straight in early on this time with a pick in order to try and take advantage of some poor lines early on.
TOR Raptors -3.5 to beat ORL Magic @ 1.67 (MarathonBet) – 3 points
Toronto Raptors come into this game on the back of a great win over Atlanta, one of their Eastern Conference teams, and will be looking to put in a better performance against a slightly younger team in the Orlando Magic. Their best players Lowry and DeRozan started out very well, and in fact all of their starters manage to get into double digits. Lowry and DeRozan while netted less on the points front; were more aggressive in assists and rebounding and will look to take on this weak Orlando team to try and turn their form around.
The Magic are possibly heading for their first 0-3 start as they are currently in re-building mode. This team looks talented for the future with outstanding players such as Vucevic, Payton, Harris, Fournier, Oladipo and Gordan. Their most experienced player is Ben Gordon and Channing Frye who are in here to install some experience and help nurture the talent. Since the team is young and learning, its easy to see why they committed 18 turnovers in their opening 2 encounters, and expect some more struggles until a few games till they find their groove and understanding.
Last season, Toronto won all 3 match ups, and are on a 7 match winning run against the Magic, and I truly believe it will extend to 8 tonight.
MIA Heat (Chris Bosh Over 21.5 points) v PHI 76ers @ 1.90 (MarathonBet) – 2.5 points
Miami Heat come into this game against a weak and struggling Philadelphia team who just lost last night by 12 points against an average Milwaukee team. They will now take on Chris Bosh and the pumped Miami Heat who won their opening encounter against Washington, and will aim to put in a similar performance tonight.
Chris Bosh is now the main man in Miami, and showed signs in the last game of returning to form by being the old Toronto Chris Bosh who is a 20-10 guy; and he landed up netting 26 points last time around against a Washington team that had a decent front court. Chris Bosh has also been working his 3 point shot managing to net 3-4 last time around, while also ensuring to get to the line 5 times.
Bosh should have a fun time in this game as he aims to improve his scoring and get back in rhythm of being the main guy in Miami. He will be taking on a front court including an experienced Sims, Noel and Johnson, which should give him plenty of opportunities tonight to net 22 points.
PHX Suns to beat UTA Jazz @ 1.77 (William Hill) – 2.5 points
Phoenix Suns have started out in cracking form going 2-0 so far this season, and have continued their impressive form like they did last night by beating the defending champions San Antonio Spurs. The Suns offensive has continued to be the run and gun style like they had last year that saw them win 48 games and not make the playoffs.
The impressive backcourt of Thomas, Bledsoe and Dragic netted 50% of the Phoenix points last night while they also got impressive contributions from the likes of Morris brothers, Len and Green. Phoenix will be on the 2nd night of a back to back, but will aim to put in a similar performance like last night. What was impressive about Phoenix is they but in a real defensive shift last night by out-rebounding, out-blocking and committed less turnovers v Spurs.
Utah Jazz are surely a team that have great opportunities to become a future top team, much like the Thunder were when they initially drafted Durant, Harden and Westbrook. They have a talented bunch themselves in Burke, Hayward and Burks who look to be great stars in the future. The Jazz have started 0-2 against the Rockets and the Mavericks and now take on another Western Conference rival in the Suns, with whom they split their 4 meetings 2-2 last year.
The Suns will be looking to try and race to an early lead to grab as many wins as they possibly can, to take an early lead in the competitive Western conference in the aim to make the playoffs this year. I like the way Suns play an up-tempo style and they should be able to score against a team that beat them in their last pre-season game plus 53% in opponent field goal percentage till now.
DEN Nuggets -3.5 to beat OKC Thunder @ 1.67 (MarathonBet) – 3 points
The OKC Thunder are really struggling with injuries, with Westbrook now joining Durant on the injury list, things do not look promising for the Thunder who are already 0-2 for the season despite 2 spririted performances so far. What really would impact them is that they are down to their bones especially in the positions that Durant and Westbrook are occupying replaced by Jones and Telfair who played a lot of minutes in their last game against the LA Clippers.
The Thunder do not look defensively good without their 2 star players around, and only Serge Ibaka offering some resistance averaging around 2 blocks per game. A lot of reliance for the Thunder will be on Steven Adams, Kendrick Perkins and Nick Collison who are their only experienced veterans in their lineup. The Thunder have some able reserves also injured with the likes of Morrow, Lamb and Jackson, who are still not fit to take the court.
The Denver Nuggets will look to improve on good showing last year, and having strengthened the sides with players coming back to the side, should help them turn things around. Gallinari, Robinson and McGee have worked their way slowly from injury, which will eventually strengthen their bench in a big way. The Nuggets still have some great supporting cast who are fit including the returning Afflalo, Ty Lawson, Kenneth Faried Timofey Mozgov, Wilson Chandler and Randy Foye who can give them great performances.
On paper this Nuggets side look extremely strong, but they need to improve their shooting which was 35% in their last outing against Denver if they have to go back to their usual self of posting over 100 points while making every possession count. The Nuggets should win considering all the injuries that the Thunder are facing.
GS Warriors -2.5(HT) to beat LA Lakers @1.60 (Bet365) – 2.5 points (#INPLAYMAGIC)
GS Warriors -9.5 to beat LA Lakers @ 1.50 (Bet365) – 3 points (#INPLAYMAGIC)