The NBA season is back tonight, 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.
GS Warriors to beat HOU Rockets @ 1.80 (Bet365) – 2.5 points
The Golden State Warriors got off their season to a great start with a solid victory against the New Orleans Pelicans. What was special about the performance, MVP Steph Curry resumed where he left off last season, leading his team in scoring with 40 points, including 24 points in the first quarter. Klay Thompson did not get off to the best of starts this season but will be looking to continue his dominance against the Houston Rockets which happened in the playoffs as he scored bucket loads in the last 8 appearances against them- 20, 24, 17, 13, 15, 27, 27 & 21. The Warriors will miss their centre Andrew Bogut in this opening encounter, but should be well represented by Speights instead. They still have solid backup players including Ezili, Barbosa, Livingston, Iguadola and Rush to help them on their scoring spots.
The Rockets started off in horrible fashion with a bad loss to the Denver Nuggets, and they were clearly exposed as being over-reliant on their 3-point shot, taking 35 of them and nailing only 8. Harden and Beverly were the worst of the lot taking 19 shots between them nailing only 4; and if they continue to play basketball like that, its only going to land up in a bad spot for them. Their bench looks weak with the exception of Beverly and Terry; and that could be a cause for concern for them heading into this season, unless they make some trades. Dwight Howard who was suspended from the first game, should make a return; but it will be important of him to make a big impact not he defensive end, where the Rockets have struggled over the past few seasons.
The Warriors will feel confident of beating the Rockets, who they dominated 9-1 last season including the playoffs, and I expect the Warriors to replicate their performance with something similar tonight and take the win.
OKC Thunder -7 to beat ORL Magic @ 1.75 (Bet365) – 3 points
The Oklahoma City Thunder look to be a solid team again with the return of Durant and Westbrook doing what they do best, splashing a ton of buckets against any team and any player in their sight. The performance 2 nights ago against the San Antonio Spurs is something that the they would be extremely proud off. Westbrook had 33 points and 10 assists while Durant coming back from injury putting on 22 points. They have now strengthened their core 5 along with Ibaka they have snatched up Kanter and Waiters last season, and this should give them 5 great young players who can potentially play for years to come. The rest of the Thunder has been well constructed also with Andre Roberson, Steven Adams, Anthony Morrow, Nick Collison and DJ Augstin who can continue to keep up the pace of scoring when they get in the team as well as take the place of any of the other players who might be out due to injuries. The guards of the Thunder in particular have shown signs of improving on the defensive end, holding the Spurs, who are a good 3-point shooting team, to under 33% in their opening night.
They take on the Orlando Magic under Scott Skiles who played the Wizards really close, and lost only by 1 point. While the team is largely built up 1st round players like Harris, Peyton, Oladipo, Vucevic and Fournier; they have a few veterans in CJ Watson, Channing Frye and Jason Smith to call up on in case they need that leadership. Like the Thunder did about 10 years ago; the Magic have rebuilt through the draft; and will be looking for these group of players to improve themselves and in a couple of years time, get in the playoff hunt. The problem for the Magic will be the experience that the Thunder have, plus also depending a lot on the 3-point ball which they shot 19% in their opening game. They will take on the Thunder who have good perimeter defenders, and will need to play more on the inside against Ibaka, Durant and Adams/Kanter if they want to win; but they don’t seem to have enough strength to win that battle.
Westbrook and Durant will want to showcase to the NBA that they are back to being a force to be reckoned with, and I expect the Thunder to cover the spread and win this game.
NBA ACCUMULATOR @ 4.00 (Bet365) – 1 point
OKC Thunder -5
GS Warriors +4
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