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 Over 104.5 points v UTA Jazz @ 1.86 (888Sport) – 3 points
GS Warriors -4 1st Half v UTA Jazz @ 1.95 (Bet365) – 2 points
The Golden State Warriors take on the Utah Jazz hoping to extend their winning streak further to 19-0 and face one of the toughest defensive assignments in the Jazz.
The Warriors have been on the full pump so far this NBA season with them relying a lot on Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes are averaging is 65 points per game. While Barnes is injured, Brandon Rush and Andre Iguadola have stepped in well to cover for them. It also means more minutes for Speights and Ezili to help them score more points in the paint of assists from the rest of the team. he team are shooting 48% from the field and 41% from 3-point territory to lead the NBA in both those marks. The Warriors looking at those stats will be excited by the fact that they have scored 120, 135, 111, 118, 106, 124 and 115 in their last 7 games to average over 115 points per game for the season.
The Jazz have been a good defensive team, primarily because they restrict a lot of scoring inside the paint with Gobert and Favors. The younger Burke, Hood, Burks, Hayward are not as good and would be comparable with most of the NBA’s better than average players at their position. The Jazz have showed some exposure against team who have picked up the pace against them like Oklahoma, Cleveland, Orlando among those who like to play quick as well as stretching the floor to take 3-point shots.
The Warriors have scored 108 points as an average in their 2 trips to Salt Lake City last year; and considering their current form, I expect them to easily go over the 104 points mark.
The Atlanta Hawks come into this game after a mixed performance beating teams like Memphis, Boston and Sacramento in recent weeks while slipping to San Antonio, Minnesota, Cleveland, Utah and Brooklyn. A lot has to be said about the inconsistency of this team, and primary concerns point to their defensive end where their 2 inside men are not getting the job done as compared to last year. They lost Caroll to free agency which means Bazemore had to step into to the SF position, and he has been quite inconsistent and missed a stretch of games due to injury. Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap continue to deliver consistent numbers for this team on the offensive end, but they have very little else to go with.
The OKC Thunder are on fire ever since Durant has been back, winning 3 straight games, and his and Westbrook’s partnership along with the Ibaka, Adams, Kanter in the front court has been helping them hold on to strong performances. The Thunder have also a great bench to rely on with the likes of Morrow, Waiters, Augustin, Singler and Collison to rely on to keep the shooting going on while some of the starters are resting. The Thunder have had one strategy since they have put this team in place since the the off-season and that is to outscore their opponents. Around 55 points per night comes from Durant and Westbrook while the rest of the team look to score when they are not there, or the good luck they dish to them.
The Thunder have won their last 3 games by an average of 13 points; and I expect them to easily cover this one against the Hawks.