NBA Handicap Betting Preview – Saturday 19th November by @DavAulak

Phoenix Suns @ Indiana Pacers – Bankers Life Fieldhouse at 00:00

The Indiana Pacers are looking for three wins in a row at home having bounced back from their first home defeat of the season. They were perhaps a little fortunate to face the Cleveland Cavaliers without LeBron James, but the Pacers will still feel it was a big win for them and now they face one of the poorer teams in the NBA.

The Phoenix Suns have been beaten by double digits in each of their three game losing run and two of those losses have come against teams with losing records. Much of their problems have come on the Defensive side of the court where the Suns have given up triple digits in every game they have played this season while Phoenix have allowed at least 119 points in five of their last six games.

 

Handicap Betting

Earl Watson

That is a big problem for them when you think they are facing a Defensively strong Indiana team and one that has been improving over their last couple of games. The Pacers are still not quite up to the standard of previous seasons, but they have recognised the work done on that side of the court to spark their wins in the last week.

Phoenix have had big issues when it comes to defending the three point line in recent games and their only real hope in this game is looking for second chance points by dominating the glass. They haven’t been able to do that consistently though and this looks a game where the Indiana Pacers will pull away in the second half and come through by double digits.

Indiana do have a poor record against the spread against Phoenix in recent games, but I will back them to win this one by around eleven points and ask them to cover the number.

 

Handicap Betting Pick: Indiana Pacers – 7.5 Points at 1.93 with Pinnacle

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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NBA Handicap Betting Preview – Friday 18th November by @DavAulak

New York Knicks @ Washington Wizards – Verizon Center at 00:00

It has been a long time, but there are reasons to be excited about being a New York Knicks fan these days, mainly thanks to Kristaps Porzingis who looks like a Superstar in the making. He is only in his second year, but looks very comfortable around some big names in the Knicks starting rotation and Porzingis was once again the main man in the win over the Detroit Pistons.

Playing on back to back days is tough, but the Knicks are not the only ones in that situation with the Washington Wizards also having played on Wednesday. While the Knicks were winning, the Wizards were going down to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday and injuries as well as a new voice at Head Coach are just slowing down a team that were expected to improve after last season’s failure to reach the Play-offs.

John Wall will be played on a back to back for the first time, but Bradley Beal looks set to be absent again and the Knicks are certainly capable of winning here and getting back to 0.500. There have been a couple of Defensive adjustments that have helped the Knicks win two games in a row and they should have the edge on the glass which can be important in games to separate close teams.

Washington have struggled on the Defensive end of the court and have had problems defending the three point arc which has to be a concern for them. The bench play has also been important for the New York Knicks and I am surprised they are being given the points in this one despite being just 2-7-1 against the spread in the last ten against the Wizards.

The Knicks are on the road where they have been blown out in their last two at Boston and Toronto, but Washington are not one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference at this moment. The Wizards should get better but they have lost three in a row and I don’t think they should be asked to cover this many points against a team in decent form like they are facing on Thursday.

Handicap Betting Pick: New York Knicks +3 Points at 2.07 with 188Bet 

 

Handicap Betting

Kristaps Porzingis

 

Portland Trail Blazers @ Houston Rockets – Toyota Center at 01:00

I don’t think it is possible for me to know exactly how the Houston Rockets blew their chance to win at the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday. They missed so many open looks and James Harden struggled massively from the field, but I am going to back them on their back to back to cover against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Only going cold in the final six minutes prevented the Rockets from winning that game at Oklahoma City, but the Portland Trail Blazers have been having a really hard time Defensively. The Trail Blazers were blown out by the Chicago Bulls in their last game and have now allowed 105 points or more in five consecutive games.

One of the problems for the Trail Blazers has been their struggles when it comes to defending the three point arc and I can’t see Houston missing all their looks like they did on Wednesday. Portland have also been dominated on the glass and giving Houston second looks will only break down that three point Defense even more with the likes of Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza all able to join Harden in being effective from that range on a more usual day from the field.

The Trail Blazers don’t have the same depth as Houston and while Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum will have their moments, it might be tough to stay with the Rockets. Portland do have a 6-2 record against the spread in their last eight in Houston and have at least had a rest day between their last game and this one, but I think the Rockets will be focused to bounce back after blowing their game at the Thunder on Wednesday.

I think Houston are going to be able to score too many points for the Trail Blazers to stay with them as the Rockets have also been showing better signs Defensively. All of that should play in for a Houston win by around seven to ten points and I will back them to cover the points.

Handicap Betting Pick: Houston Rockets – 4.5 Points at 1.90 with Unibet

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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NBA Handicap Betting Preview – Thursday 17th November by @DavAulak

New Orleans Pelicans @ Orlando Magic

The New Orleans Pelicans have to be one of the poorer rosters in the NBA with the injuries they are having to contend with, but they have begun to show some fight in recent games. Anthony Davis is one of the best players in the NBA, but he has lacked support for most of the season, although the fact they have won two of their last three games suggests the Pelicans are finding some chemistry.

Although I accept New Orleans are not a great team at this moment, I don’t think Orlando Magic should be favoured to beat anyone by as many points as these, as they have been offensively challenged. Three times in their last five games the Magic have scored 80 points or fewer and that is not going to get it done against any team in the NBA.

There have been some positives about the defensive side of the court, but the Pelicans will feel they can have some joy in this one, considering they have scored 94 points or more in six straight games. New Orleans should be able to have an edge when it comes to the battle for rebounds, while their bench have been playing pretty well in recent games.

The concern for the Pelicans is the lack of defense at the three point arc, which has seen teams hurt them. However they won’t believe Orlando can take full advantage of that and the Magic are 0-2 against the spread, when being favoured by 3.5 points or fewer this season. Frank Vogel has admitted there is a lot of work to do for Orlando after another poor performance in the loss to the Pacers and this feels too many points for them to give up.

Handicap Betting Recommendation: New Orleans Pelicans +3.5 Points at 1.98 with 888 Sport

 

Handicap Betting

Evan Fournier

Houston Rockets @ Oklahoma City Thunder

Both the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder have six wins this season and have winning records, but there is a different feel for both teams coming into this one. While the Rockets have won three of their last four games to move to 6-4, the Oklahoma City Thunder have dropped four in a row to fall to 6-5 and the absence of Kevin Durant is becoming more noticeable.

There was little doubt the Thunder would feel the loss of one of the best players in the NBA, but Russell Westbrook’s energy helped them make a fast start which perhaps raised hopes. Now it feels like they have come back down to earth as teams key in on Westbrook and see if someone else on this roster can beat them.

Aside from the blow out in Detroit, the Thunder have had some close losses which will keep them believing, but they would dearly love a big win over a rival like Houston. James Harden was the first member of the Thunder that surprisingly moved on, although his departure looks worse in hindsight as he was a Sixth Man of the Year with Oklahoma City rather than a starter. He has been on a tear since moving to Houston and Harden has been in fine form to open the season, which makes his match up with Westbrook intriguing to say the least.

The difference is that Harden does receive some solid support from this team mates and the Rockets are also defensively better than the numbers, particularly slowing down the three point shot. That is likely to be a big part of this game with the Thunder a little more susceptible to the deep shot and that can be a big reason why they fail to stay with the Rockets.

Both teams would like to look after the ball better, but I think Harden and his team mates offer more offensively, which can be key in a high scoring game. The Rockets are 6-0 against the spread against Oklahoma City and they are 2-1 against the spread when given 2.5 points or fewer this season. I will take the points again here.

Handicap Betting Recommendation: Houston Rockets +2 Points at 1.97 with Pinnacle

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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