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 to beat PHX Suns @ 1.68 (MarathonBet) – 3 points
The Toronto Raptors have moved to have the best start in the Eastern Conference as well as the best start in franchise history; and majority of their performances are due to their stern defense that they have played. They have kept their opponents to under 95 points per game, and against a high octane offense like the Phoenix Suns, that is exactly what is needed.
The Raptors lead the in the differential this campaign by +12.2 points and they are the second best scorers in the NBA netting 107 points per game. The backcourt with DeRozan, Lowry and Williams off the bench are putting together almost 51 points per game, which is the bulk of their points. Their bigs have also put in a great effort in terms of scoring when needed, but have been more important on the defensive end. The team will be largely confident of fighting back from 18 down to win 110-93 at Cleveland on Saturday; and will be charged up to hold up a victory on their home floor.
The Phoenix Suns are an offensively charged team, whose backcourt also likes to light it up on Most nights with Dragic, Bledsoe and Thomas averaging 43 points between them, are also charged up this season leading them to a 4 game victory. While the Suns have proven that they are a good team beating Indiana, Detroit, Boston and Philadelphia on their win streak, they have struggled against teams who have a better defense. Losses to LA Clippers, Memphis and Utah; show you have far their form runs, which can be sketchy against some good teams.
Toronto are playing with another level of confidence now, and on the back of a 4 game winning streak, I expect their fans to lift them to take this game tonight.
LA Clippers -3.5 to beat CHA Bobcats @ 1.72 (Bet365) – 2.5 points
The LA Clippers will feel a bit confident tonight of taking on a team who has lost 5 straight games right now, and with their entire team fit, they should be looking forward to this game to try and seal a win against the struggling Charlotte Hornets.
The Clippers have beaten the Heat and Magic by 17 points; but faced a tough Memphis team last night, and were out played completely on their scoring effort. They defense played by the Grizzlies was outstanding, as we have seen them doing most of this season as they went to the NBA best 12-2. The Clippers will feel confident as most of their starters are now averaging double digits, with only DeAndre Jordan yet to pick up his scoring this campaign. Jamal Crawford, Spencer Hawes, Glen Davis, Hedo Turkoglu and Jordan Farmar have definitely added a punch for them off the bench which has helped them remain fairly competitive while the first five are resting.
The Hornets are extremely heart broken after losing a winning opportunity last night against Miami, and will not have to try to find some positives out of that to try and turn around this poor performance into a victory. They have lost 8 out of their last 11; and are scoring on average of 95 points per game, which is in the bottom 5 of the NBA. They are also missing some production from Neal and Kidd-Gilchrist, which leaves additional pressure on the starting 5 to produce an extra effort.
The Hornets will be lacking confidence coming into this game, losing their last 5 games by an average of 12 points; including some huge losses to Golden State and Dallas. While Clippers are the level of those 2 teams, if Orlando can cover this spread, I am reasonably confident that these Clippers will cover this tonight.