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.
CLE Cavaliers -2 to beat ORL Magic @ 1.75 (MarathonBet) – 2.5 points
Cleveland Cavaliers were extremly good last night and were right up there with the Heat with a score of 80-80 in the 4th quarter, before a late collapse in the final quarter. They will be keen not to lose against the Orlando Magic and take any road win possible on this trip where they have a 6-6 record so far.
LeBron James despite walking off for a bit last night with a slight knee niggle, manage to finish off with 30 points and 8 assists and will be hoping for a similar type of performance tonight. While I talked up Dion Waiters last night, he managed to still score 8 points but will start needing to step up his game tonight to push up for a victory. Kevin Love had a poor night and will need to make up for it tonight against the Magic tonight. The Cavaliers smashed the Magic last time around by 32 points; and will hope for a similar team performance to get back to winning ways.
The Magic 4 straight before beating the Boston Celtics in their last game, which in fairness, the Celtics only started poorly, but were up to the challenge the rest of the way. Harris and Vucevic have been the major 2 players for the Magic throughout this campaign, and with Harris taking on James, I do not expect him to be as effective. The Magic have the advantage of playing on their home floor, but they will take on a hugely motivated Cavaliers who had a poor loss on Thursday night.
The Cavaliers are strong largely because of their big 3; and the Magic look towards building their own big 3 of Harris, Vucevic and Oladipo; who will be good in about 2 or 3 years from now. Until then you have to back the experienced Cavaliers to get the business tonight.
IND Pacers -1.5 to beat DET Pistons @ 1.76 (MarathonBet) – 2.5 points
The Detroit Pistons for my eyes are the worst team in the NBA. Not for the fact they have the worst record, but they are playing the worst and have spent a lot of money establishing that bunch of players. Coach/GM Stan van Gundy has taken the initiative to release a Josh Smith who had more than $20 million on his contract remaining for 2 years. He has then preached that over the last few days where they have been resting and focussing on their defensive efforts. Since Smith had been taking the most shots, and been the most ineffective scorer, their offensive efficiency should improve in the coming games.
The Pacers have finally started getting a lot of their players back healthy and fit and are only missing Paul George now. George Hill came off the bench for his season debut netting 15 points in a short 21 minute stay, and that should give him some confidence to eventually take his spot back in the first five. A lot of the scoring for Indiana has been on the reliance of Stuckey, Hibbert, West and Watson; all of whom are experienced and been in the league a long time. Despite their struggles because of injuries, the team still managed to keep their defensive efforts in check and are conceding only 96 points per game.
Indiana are 8-1 have had the best of their division rivals in this series matchup and they have covered the spread in all of their victories. Pistons are extremely poor in scoring shooting 41% which is the lowest in the NBA and rank near the bottom with 94.4 ppg and I expect the Pacers to build on their 2 game winning streak with a 3rd one now.
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