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.
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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
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.