NBA Handicap Betting Preview – Wednesday 9th November By @DavAulak

Atlanta Hawks @ Cleveland Cavaliers – Quicken Loans Arena at 00:00

For all the years that LeBron James has been part of some of the best teams in the NBA, this is the first time his team have ever begun a season 6-0. The schedule suggests that this run can continue for some time to come and the Cavaliers will be favoured to make it through the rest of the month unbeaten, although they are likely to be resting James at some points with the real key keeping him fresh for the Play Offs.

They are facing one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference on Tuesday when the Atlanta Hawks visit, although I am not sure exactly how good the Hawks are going to be. The visitors are transitioning from the likes of Al Horford and Jeff Teague and Atlanta do come into this one with a winning record.

There have been a couple of surprising slips for the Hawks, but they dominated the Houston Rockets in a back to back last time out. Dwight Howard has fitted in with his home town team, and his presence is going to be important for Atlanta to try and challenge the Cleveland Cavaliers who have been solid when it comes to the rebounding.

Defensively, Mike Budenholzer’s roster has been solid this season outside of the horrendous effort against the LA Lakers at home. The Hawks held a strong Houston team to fewer than 100 points in a win over them so they can challenge Cleveland, but the Cavaliers have been able to get going from beyond the arc which could be important for them to try and pull away in this one.

Atlanta should be very motivated having been swept out of the Play Offs by Cleveland last season, but they are 0-5 against the spread in their last five games here. Cleveland have won those games by at least 11 points per game and I like the Cavaliers to cover for the first time in five games.

Handicap Betting Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers -8.5 Points at 2.00 with Pinnacle

 

Handicap Betting

LeBron James

 

Denver Nuggets @ Memphis Grizzlies – FedExForum at 01:00

The Memphis Grizzlies have a solid starting roster, but this is a team that has lacked the depth of previous seasons and one that cannot afford to struggle through injuries. That has been a problem early in this season and Memphis could be without the likes of Tony Allen and Mike Conley in this game.

Both have been dealing with injuries and I am not sure it would make much sense to risk them with a few days off before the Grizzlies are due to take the court again. Chandler Parsons was a big money acquisition during the off season and made his debut for Memphis in their last game, but it will take time coming off a big knee injury for him to find his best.

There just seems to be a bit of inconsistency for the Grizzlies at both ends of the court and the Denver Nuggets have shown they are a feisty group that will perhaps exceed expectations this season. Getting into the Play Offs looks a long shot in a tough Western Conference but the Denver Nuggets have been competitive in all but one game they have played this season and all three wins produced has come as the underdog on the road.

The key for Denver in this game is going to be the way they have managed to dominate the glass in their games so far. Getting second chance opportunities and preventing the same at the other end of the court is huge for the Nuggets and my only concern is that they look past the Grizzlies at the home game against the Golden State Warriors which is scheduled for tomorrow.

It looks like the public are very much behind the Grizzlies in this one, but I like the Nuggets who look the more confident team and I will take the points in this one.

Handicap Betting Pick: Denver Nuggets +2.5 Points at 1.87 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

Read More...

NBA Handicap Betting Preview – Tuesday 8th November By @DavAulak

Indiana Pacers @ Charlotte Hornets – Time Warner Cable Arena at 00:00

It is early in the season, but both the Charlotte Hornets and Indiana Pacers are expected to be amongst the Eastern Conference Play Off picture and both have made moves to earn a higher Seed than last season. Both ended up narrow First Round losers and it is the Charlotte Hornets who come into this game with the winning record.

The Pacers might have had the same if they were able to take their home form on the road, but that has not been possible so far with some poor Defensive efforts in those road games. That has seen Indiana give up an average of 115 points per game on the road and they have had issues in their new era away from the Frank Vogel time as Head Coach when Defense was the main foundation for the Pacers success.

Strong Defensive foundations have helped the Hornets to their 4-1 record to begin the season although they have been given a hand by the schedule which has seen Charlotte take on some of the weaker teams in the NBA. Their sole loss came to the Boston Celtics at home, but they have been solid defensively and winning the rebound battle will likely give them an edge in this game.

The Hornets have also produced decent numbers coming off the bench which is another key element to the NBA games and Indiana have had issues when they have brought their starters out. Paul George will likely avoid a suspension for being ejected from the last game when he accidentally kicked the ball into a spectator’s face, but I think Charlotte might match up well with the Pacers at this moment and I like them to cover this number.

Charlotte are 7-1-1 against the spread in the last nine against Indiana and I like them to extend that number.

Handicap Betting Pick: Charlotte Hornets – 3.5 Points at 1.91 with Pinnacle

 

Handicap Betting

Russell Westbrook

Miami Heat @ Oklahoma City Thunder – Chesapeake Energy Arena – 01:00

I am not sure where I really stand with the Oklahoma City Thunder as a team considering they have an impressive win over the LA Clippers and a blow out loss to the Golden State Warriors under their belt. It does look clear that they will go as far as Russell Westbrook will take them, but perhaps the Thunder have a little more about them than the losses of Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka might have suggested.

They are facing another team that have been in the Championship mix in recent years, but one that is most definitely in a transitional period. It is only three years since the Miami Heat would have been able to roll out Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James here, but all three players are no longer active for them with two moved on.

It won’t surprise anyone that the Heat have had some mixed results to open the season, but the concern in recent games has to be losing the rebounding battle. Hassan Whiteside can’t do it all himself and is going to have a big match up with Steven Adams which decide so much about this game, and it does look like the Thunder are comfortable enough running their Offense through Russell Westbrook compared with Miami who are a little inconsistent.

The key to this game could be Oklahoma City’s Defense against the three point shot and their ability to win the rebound battle. They’ve also managed to get something from the bench play and I think the Thunder are going to be too good for the Heat who could easily be looking ahead to the return of Dwyane Wade with the Chicago Bulls which is next up on deck.

The Thunder have covered as the favourite in three of the last four against Miami and I will back them to win this one by at least six points.

Handicap Betting Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder – 5 Points at 1.90 with Bet365

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

Read More...

NBA Handicap Betting Preview – Thursday 2nd/Friday 3rd November By @DavAulak

Sacramento Kings @ Orlando Magic – Amway Center at 23:00

It has been a tough road trip for the Sacramento Kings who have been beaten at the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat already, but they were a little unfortunate in the last game in Miami. Now they head to the Orlando Magic and I am not sure that the Magic should be considered a favourite in the game.

Orlando are still trying to find an Offensive groove with some new faces in the line up although they should match up well with the Kings and DeMarcus Cousins in particular. They have the size of Bismarck Biyombo, Nicola Vucevic and Serge Ibaka to give Cousins problems, but the Magic have struggled to defend the three point arc and that is where Sacramento could open things up.

That has seen the Magic struggle on the Defensive side of the court and they have allowed at least 101 points in every game they have played this season. It makes winning games and covering spreads difficult and the Kings have a very strong 4-1 record against the spread in recent games in Orlando.

The Kings have not been scoring points easily themselves, but I think the last two match ups were difficult for them. This one should be a little better but that will need more out of veterans Ty Lawson and Matt Barnes, but both could have more spacing for shots from beyond the arc which can be important for them. It isn’t a lot of points, but I do think the Sacramento Kings can cover on Thursday.

 

Handicap Betting Pick: Sacramento Kings + 1.5 Points at 1.97 with Pinnacle

 

Handicap Betting

DeMarcus Cousins

 

Boston Celtics @ Cleveland Cavaliers – Quicken Loans Arena at 00:00

While the Boston Celtics were battling the Chicago Bulls and winning a tough home game, the Cleveland Cavaliers had the night off. LeBron James and JR Smith were two of their players who took in Game 7 of the World Series which would have sapped some emotion from both players when you consider how that game went down, although I think facing the Celtics will inspire this entire Cavaliers squad.

There has been no love lost between these teams in recent years and the current rosters had a major falling out in the Play Offs two seasons ago when Boston were accused of deliberately injuring Kevin Love. That was part of the reason why Cleveland fell to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals as James was left as the last of the Three Muskateers and Cleveland won’t need much to get up for facing the Celtics.

Playing on a back to back has not bothered Boston in recent times with a really solid record against the spread in this spot, but they are missing Al Horford and Jae Crowder which is a big problem for them. Going up against a Cleveland team who are playing really well on the Defensive side of the court without two of their better Offensive players and I think that shows up here.

The Cleveland bench is playing well enough too and they are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games against Boston at home. This does look a lot of points at first glance, but the Celtics have to be feeling the game against Chicago on Wednesday and missing Horford and Crowder is tough to overcome.

 

Handicap Betting Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers – 9.5 Points at 1.90 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

Read More...