NBA Handicap Betting Preview – Thursday 3rd November By @DavAulak

Portland Trail Blazers @ Phoenix Suns – Talking Stick Resort Arena at 02:00

The Phoenix Suns were expected to have a difficult season with an inexperienced roster and in the tough Western Conference. The 0-4 start suggests that will be the case, but the Suns don’t want to accept their position and that has to be a positive for the fans who will be looking for them to earn their first win of the season when the host the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.

The Suns have not had the easiest start to the season with three games against some of the top teams in the West, while even the game at the Sacramento Kings came against a team that is expected to progress this season. As with any inexperienced team in the NBA, Phoenix have had some inconsistent performances with two blow out losses coupled with two tight defeats and that might be a feature of their season.

Usually I would consider this a good spot for Phoenix as they face the Portland Trail Blazers who played the Golden State Warriors yesterday. However they were blown out by the end of the Third Quarter which meant the starters got plenty of rest and Damian Lillard mentioned the positives of having a chance to make amends immediately.

Portland also got to see some solid play from the bench in the Fourth Quarter which might be exciting for them going forward, but it is the fact they are desperate to bounce back which makes me think they can do that. The Suns have struggled to avoid fouls and the likes of Lillard and CJ McCollum are very confident attacking the paint and making plays at the rims.

The Trail Blazers are 5-2 against the spread in the last seven against Phoenix and I like them to bounce back from their heavy loss to the Warriors and cover on the road.

Handicap Betting Pick: Portland Trail Blazers – 3.5 Points at 1.93 with Eastbridge Betting Brokerage

Handicap Betting

Damian Lillard

 

Oklahoma City Thunder @ LA Clippers – Staples Center at 02:30

The Oklahoma City Thunder are trying to show that losing Kevin Durant is not going to effect what they are able to do in the new NBA season. There was some suggestion that the Thunder would go for Blake Griffin in the next off-season but Oklahoma City look to be re-signing the likes of Steven Adams and Victor Oladipo so might not have the money to go for a big Free Agenty signing have already upped their money to Russell Westbrook.

That looks a good deal with Westbrook doing a little bit of everything to help the Thunder open 3-0 but they have yet to play any team that is expected to at least challenge for a Play Off spot. Now they have to head to the LA Clippers who also have opened the season 3-0 and remain one of the top teams in the West built around DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul.

The lack of depth has hurt the Clippers in recent seasons, but they look to have brought in some solid veterans and that has seen the bench respond in the opening three wins of the season. It is that bench that is going to be important for the Clippers and their level of competition early in the season should mean they are more battle tested than the Oklahoma City Thunder.

This also looks a terrible spot for the Thunder who are playing the Golden State Warriors and the traitorous Kevin Durant next. You can’t tell me that game hasn’t been circled and focused on since the schedule came up and Oklahoma City are on a back to back before that one.

I just wouldn’t be surprised if Westbrook leaves something in the tank for the game at The Oracle Arena on Thursday and the Clippers can extend their 4-1 record against the spread from the last five games against the Thunder. It looks the perfect time for the Clippers to host Oklahoma City who are perhaps not as good as the early record indicates and I like the home team to win by around 10-12 points.

Handicap Betting Pick: LA Clippers – 7 Points at 1.95 with Pinnacle

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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NBA Handicap Betting Preview – Tuesday 1st November By @DavAulak

Sacramento Kings @ Miami Heat – AmericanAirlines Arena at 23:30

Playing on a back to back is tough, but this is even more difficult for the Sacramento Kings as they are playing for the third day in four nights on the Eastern side of the United States. That is difficult as the Kings look to bounce back from a defeat at the Atlanta Hawks on Monday and this looks a very good opportunity for the Miami Heat to win their first home game of the new season.

This isn’t the Heat of a few years ago with all of the ‘Big Three’ either moved on or not able to play due to health issues. Losing Dwyane Wade will have been an even more bitter moment for the fans than when LeBron James decided to go home, while Chris Bosh looks like he will be forced into retirement with the Heat not happy to play him with the blood clot issues that have come up in each of the last two seasons.

Pat Riley is now constructing a new look roster and while they have some solid pieces in the likes of Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic, Miami don’t look a genuine contender to Cleveland in the Eastern Conference. Whiteside could be very important in this game as he looks for better than the cramping that affected him in the loss to the San Antonio Spurs and he will need his size to give DeMarcus Cousins all he can deal with.

Despite the record, Miami haven’t played badly defensively but instead are looking for a few more ways to score points. Dion Waiters has been attacking the rim but is looking for more contact to go to the line and I do like this spot for Miami to get rolling with some fatigue likely to be in the Sacramento legs.

The Heat have a 11-3 record against the spread when hosting Sacramento in recent seasons and I will look for them to win this by around 7-10 points to get off the mark at home.

 

Handicap Betting Pick: Miami Heat -3.5 Points at 1.82 with Pinnacle

 

Handicap Betting

Hassan Whiteside

New York Knicks @ Detroit Pistons – The Palace at 23:30

After the way the Detroit Pistons were blown out by the Toronto Raptors in their opening game of the season, it was no wonder Stan Van Gundy was spitting feathers and looking for improvement across the board. He has gotten that in the last two games, particularly on the Defensive side of the court, and the Pistons are looking for three straight home wins.

Much of that is down to holding their last two opponents to 82 points and 83 points respectively, but this might be seen as a much bigger test for Detroit after the New York Knicks moved to 1-1 behind a 111 point effort against the Memphis Grizzlies. There are still some teething problems for the Knicks to improve upon, but the starters have offered some encouragement with their play.

A problem has still come defensively with New York lacking the depth behind the starting five and it has to be remembered that the Grizzlies almost recovered a huge deficit in their loss at Madison Square Garden. The Pistons might not expose some of the three point issues in this one without Reggie Jackson running the point, but they can dominate the glass with Tobias Harris and Andre Drummond and that has been a key to their successes so far this season.

Dominating the boards means having more second chance points, and also increases the pressure on the Knicks to make sure they are making the right percentage shots. Drummond’s size is also huge to prevent the likes of Derrick Rose making their penetrations into the paint and can give the Knicks some real issues unless they can get the big man into early foul trouble and limit his impact on the game.

This does look a good game and it is one the Knicks have enjoyed with a 16-6 record against the spread against the Pistons. I just feel the way Detroit are playing Defensively makes the difference, especially when the bench players are in the game, and the Pistons can come away with a win by around 6-8 points and earn the cover.

 

Handicap Betting Pick: Detroit Pistons -4 Points at 1.87 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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NBA Handicap Betting Preview – Monday 31st October by @DavAulak

Denver Nuggets @ Toronto Raptors – 23:30 at Air Canada Centre

It was yet another defeat for the Toronto Raptors against the Cleveland Cavaliers as they came so close to the upset, but couldn’t quite get over the hump in the Fourth Quarter. A late three pointer from Kyrie Irving proved to be the difference and the Raptors are looking to bounce back in their third home game of the regular season.

They will need more from Kyle Lowry who has struggled in the opening two games and put too much pressure on DeMar DeRozan who has been doing really well. It is still early in the season and no one in this organisation needs to panic but the Raptors will have seen there is still some work to do to get closer to the Cavaliers and the importance of having their best players firing at the same time when they do play the best teams in the East.

On Monday they take on a team from the Western Conference as the Denver Nuggets come to town having won two of their last three games in Toronto. Denver had a disappointing loss on Saturday night to the Portland Trail Blazers at home but the roster might be back to full strength for this game and there were signs that a young team will be a tough out for anyone they face.

This does feel like it is a game that is coming at a tough time for Toronto between the Cleveland game and then a first road game at Washington. The Nuggets are travelling to Toronto, but have a few days off before they play again so can put their all into this one and I think they have the players that can crash the boards and make life tough for Toronto.

The concern has to be the Defensive side of the court where Denver have struggled in their opening two games, but I like the spot for the Nuggets and will take the points.

 

Handicap Betting Pick: Denver Nuggets + 7 Points at 1.95 with Pinnacle

Handicap Betting

Kyle Lowry

Chicago Bulls @ Brooklyn Nets – 23:30 at Barclays Center

A new look Chicago Bulls team have played really well with the ball being shared around amongst the top players on the roster. It was even more encouraging in the win over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday as Chicago actually opened the door for Doug McDermott to have the most shots which is remarkable considering the likes of Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade on the roster.

That bodes well for the Bulls going forward, but it will be interesting to see how they respond to the first road game of the season. It is a tough spot for the Bulls having a big game at the Boston Celtics to come next and now facing what was considered to be one of the weaker teams in the NBA, but the Brooklyn Nets have played well enough in their opening three games to be a threat here.

The Nets have a 1-2 record, but they have covered the spread in each game as the underdog as they have remained competitive throughout. It might be a little more difficult against the Bulls because Brooklyn rely on the three point shot to open up, but Chicago have actually defended the perimeter very well.

Focus should be there knowing how competitive Brooklyn have been and Chicago were also able to give their starters plenty of rest in the blow out win over the Indiana Pacers. Winning the rebound battle is going to be important for Chicago and I think the performances of the Nets to open the season will see Chicago come out and play with plenty of focus on the task at hand and not look ahead to the visit to Boston. I will take the Bulls to win this one and cover the spread.

Handicap Betting Pick: Chicago Bulls – 6.5 Points at 1.93 with Unibet

 

Sacramento Kings @ Atlanta Hawks – 23:30 at Phillips Center

The DeMarcus Cousins versus Dwight Howard match up is going to be a huge part of this Sacramento Kings visit to the Atlanta Hawks with both teams in good form to open the season. The Hawks have moved on from Al Horford and Jeff Teague, but have not missed a beat with easy wins over Washington and Philadelphia, while the Kings have a new Head Coach who has helped them go 2-1 ahead of this five game road trip.

How the Kings do on the road may determine whether they are good enough to earn a surprising Play Off place at the end of this season. Keeping Cousins focused and happy is also important while Sacramento have a solid complement to the big man in Rudy Gay who has played well.

It will be a big challenge at the Atlanta Hawks where the Kings have lost nine in a row and the Hawks can point to their strong Defensive performances in the first two games which has helped them pull clear of opponents. They have also been strong on the glass, although that will be tested by Cousins and the Kings on Halloween.

If the Hawks can somehow still win the rebounding battle by keeping Howard out of foul trouble, I do think they can take advantage of their early schedule to move to 3-0. Atlanta have dominated the Kings at home in recent seasons as they have covered in their last four at home against them and I like the Hawks to continue that run here

Handicap Betting Pick: Atlanta Hawks – 7 Points at 1.90 with Bet365

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

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