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.
TOR Raptors -5.5 to beat ORL Magic@ 1.91 (888Sport) – 3 points
The Toronto Raptors have gotten out to the best start in franchise history and will be looking to build on that success when they take on the youthful and promising Orlando Magic tonight in Orlando.
The Magic have showed signs of playing well and kept the points loss to a maximum of 5 points and this will give them confidence that they are just a few key plays away from winning many games. They have been led well by Vucevic and Harris averaging 16 points and 8 boards per game so far. They have a good starting lineup along with those 2 to include Oladipo, Gordon and Payton; all of whom are playing extremely well and could be headed for career year this campaign. While they have a few players who can play off the bench including Fournier, Smith, Watson and Hezonja. The Magic have one big problem and that is defence and that could land up being even worse as Vucevic is going to miss this night and he had been key for them 8 boards, 2 steals and 2+ blocks per game.
The Toronto Raptors have gone 5-0 so far to start this campaign and that can’t be a coincidence where they have specialised in defence and their new defensive speciality Caroll has been playing quite well. The Raptor continue their reliance on Lowry and DeRozan in the backcourt averaging 42 points per game between them. The 2 of them contribute around 4 steal per night as well as 11 assists and are vital to their success. They have some good surrounding players including Valanciunas, Scola, Patterson, Scola and Ross to give the 3 as company.
The Raptors have won their games by an average of 10 points per game, and with the defensive struggles that Orlando has, I think the Raptors will continue their form to take it to 6-0 against a team they have beaten 11 straight games in a row.
BKN Nets v LA Lakers – Lopez Over 8.5 Boards @ 1.85 (888Sport) – 2.5 points
The Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers take on each other struggling for form and both have lost all their games played so far. At least one thing is for sure tonight, one of them is walking home with a victory.
While this game could be unpredictable considering how bad both are playing, I am looking at some player props that could land to give us some profit and that is backing Brook Lopez to back over 8.5 rebounds in this game.
Lopez is the main offensive and defensive weapon for the Brooklyn Nets. He has been averaging around 8 boards per game for the season, while he has got 10 per game over the last 3 games. When we look at their opponents tonight in the Lakers, they are among the worst shooting teams in the NBA ranking 27th shooting 40.7% from the field and 28% from 3-point territory. All these misses means there are plenty of opportunities for the Nets to pick up rebounds on their opponents. Because of those misses the Lakers let their opponents get 38 defensive rebounds per game, which is 28th in the NBA.
Lopez will be looking to take advantage of the struggles that that Lakers have as well as 2.5 offensive rebounds per game which he can use to convert into additional opportunities, and I see him easily being able to get 9-10 rebounds+ in this game.
ATL Hawks -3 to beat NO Pelicans @ 1.91 (Bet365) – 3 points
The Atlanta Hawks dropped their opening against the Detroit Pistons; but have since got back to their Eastern Conference best record from last year going 5-0 since then to jump to 2nd in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Hawks continue to rely on that magic word that helped them last season, that is TEAM. A complete TEAM effort has helped the Hawks jump to this great early start once again with 5 players averaging double digits for this campaign. The offence has been spread with Teague, Horford, Milsapp, Schroeder, Bazemore, Splitter, Holiday and Kyle Korver. Korver has skipped the last 2 games due to an ankle injury, but is expected to start in this game, which gives the Hawks an additional weapon of 3-point shooting against the Pelicans who are giving up an NBA worst 115 points per gamin their encounters so far. Despite losing Caroll to the Raptors in the free-agency period, the team continues to play the good defence that they have been playing since last year. They are giving away only 95 points per game, with just 40% from the field and 30% from 3-point territory for the 7th best defence in the NBA.
The Pelicans are struggling all around because Alvin Gentry is more focussed on Anthony Davis shooting 3 pointers and extending his range, rather than dominate in the middle. The focus on defence has also disappeared with the absence of Evans and Asik, who are considered among their better defensive players to help Davis. The Pelicans have a slew of injuries including Evans and Asik, are missing Pondexter, Cole, Perkins; and Holiday is working limited minutes as he recovers from an injury he sustained last year. Their shooting has been poor with Davis, Gordon, Anderson and Holiday all shooting poorly this campaign.
The Pelicans show no signs of improving defensively and the Hawks are a good team who will play to win and will push on for another victory tonight to extend their record to 6-1 and I am sure they should cover the 3 point spread.
ACCA @ 4.45 (Bet365) – 1 point
ATL Hawks to beat NO Pelicans
TOR Raptors to beat ORL Magic
HOU Rockets to beat SAC Kings
GS Warriors -11.5 to beat DEN Nuggets
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