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.
CHI Bulls -3.5 to beat CHA Hornets @ 1.80 (Bet365) – 3 points
Chicago Bulls have started out the season well after re-signing all of their players and will look to continue to build on their good early start to this campaign which is 3-1 already. The Bulls have beaten Cleveland, Brooklyn and Orlando while losing out a close game in OT to the Detroit Pistons. Chicago travelling away from home, will look to a full strength team with Gasol, Butler, Rose, Mirotic and Snell starting with Joakim Noah coming off the bench. Mirotic has particularly broken out scoring 19 points per game, giving company to Gasol and Butler; who are the leading the scoring. The move of Noah to the bench give them a defensive presence along with scoring abilities of McDermott, Brooks, Gibson and Moore to keep their momentum going throughout the game.
The Hornets have started out horribly dropping to 0-3 and that too despite a raft of changes to their lineup where they have signed Batum, Lin, Hawes, Lamb, Kaminsky to give them additional firepower form 3 point territory to spread the floor for Walker and Jefferson to do their thing inside. The problem however, is that they have now become too dependant on the 3-point shot taking over 30 shots per game, for second in the NBA with average shooting of 35%. That might be difficult against the Chicago Bulls who are the best 3-point defending team in the NBA letting their opponents not exceed 24% in the 4 games that they have played so far. The Hornets under Clifford have done pretty averagely so far and this team is in the need of one more All-Star if they are to progress to the next level, which I don’t see happening as they will probably battle for 8-10 spot in the Eastern Conference.
Chicago under new coach Hoiberg are expected to improve their offence while maintain their defensive abilities, and I see a likely scenario tonight in Chicago continuing to play well on the defensive end and win this game to cover the spread.
DET Pistons -4 to beat IND Pacers @ 1.83 (Bet365) – 2.5 points
The Indiana Pacers finally have Paul George back, but all is not rosy for the big forward as his team has struggled on the offensive end in particular to produce anything worthy of even challenging for a playoff spot. Other than George, scoring heavily depends on George Hill and Monta Ellis in the back court but both have failed to produce 20 point plus consistency in order to give some confidence. The team is in re-building mode with the additions of Myles Turner, Lavoy Allen, Budinger, Hill and they have at least a year to go of understanding before they can be in-contention to a playoff spot.
The Pistons have finally built a team that Stan Van Gundy needs, a big centre surrounded by shooters all around just like he had that built his success in Orlando. Andre Drummond is the man in the middle who is averaging 19 points, 16 rebounds and 2 blocks per game and looks to be the early front runner for Defensive Player of the Year. He is surrounded by Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris who have been averaging 19 points per game as well to keep up the scoring momentum. They have played well beating Chicago, New York, Atlanta and Utah already to showcase the form they have. Their bench is also made up of good rotation players with Baynes, Blake, Bullock, Johnson and Tolliver coming to put up points on the board.
This game would theoretically be a close one, but Pistons defence will be the difference between these 2; and I am back Detroit to get the job done.
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