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.
WAS Wizards v Atlanta Hawks – Over 199 points @ 1.83 (Pinnacle) – 2.5 points
The Washington Wizards come into the game against the Atlanta Hawks with the 2nd best record in the East behind the Toronto Raptors and have already proved their credibility in recent weeks with some good wins over Milwaukee and Cleveland on back to back nights.
Wizards have relied mostly on John Wall to provide the offense for most of the campaign, but now he welcomes back his side-kick Bradley Beal to give one of the top scoring backcourts in the NBA a solid run out tonight. When we look at both teams its the defense of the Wizards that stand out more as they have held opponents to under 96 points a with a good record but the likes of Nene and Porter missing from their front court, will give more opportunities to their opponents to score. The supporting cast of Gortat, Pierce, Humphries, Miller, Butler and Seraphin give them some great experience of playing on some good teams to help them push the scoring in the absence of 2 of their starters.
Atlanta Hawks are back to a full strength squad with the likes of Horford, Millsap and Teague leading their offensive firepower, while Kyle Korver can turn on the scoring on any night. The games with Atlanta have tended to be high scoring ones as they don’t tend to play very much any defense especially since their starters play on average of 33-34 minutes a game, so they tend to tire out in the second half of games conceding 48 points ranking for 6th in the NBA. Atlanta themselves are always chasing games because of that an average 51 points per game in the 2nd half which is in the top 10 in the NBA.
3 out of the last 4 games between the 2 sides has gone over and for a longer duration 6 out of 8; and I expect another game to go over the mark tonight.
MIL Bucks to beat DET Pistons @ 1.70 (Marathonbet) – 2.5 points
The Milwaukee Bucks are a young team, but coach Jason Kidd is making them play extremely well, and if the playoffs started tonight, he would have put them in contention for a 6th seed in the NBA. What has really helped the Bucks perform to this level has been their high quality defense where they have held their opponents to under 100 points per game.
The young rookie Jabari Parker has already shown us that he looks to be taking the rookie of the year honors with some great play so far this campaign averaging 11.6 points and 5.6 rebounds while getting into the starting lineup. He has been ably supported by Knight, Ilyasova, Dudley, Mayo, Antetokounmpo who have really helped them scoring and playing a total team style of basketball.
The Pistons are a very front court loaded team with Drummond, Monroe and Smith in there; which leaves them a bit inflexible when you look at their scoring. They are poor in the transition game as a result of that and have to rely a lot on their ability to crash the glass to make up for second chance points of the offensive boards. Detroit are among the bottom 6 teams in point differential with a -5 on average. They also average only 92 points per game, which places them in the bottom 5 of teams on the scoring end which has truly been their issue. Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith often handle the ball, but commit over 5 turnovers per game between them adding up to around 13 for the Pistons, who rank in the top 7 in that category.
While the Pistons won the opening match up by a score of 98-95; I think the Bucks will be looking for revenge in this battle between conference rivals, and will look to push and secure the win tonight. I am avoiding the spread because I expect this to be a really close game.