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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 – 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.

 

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NBA Handicap Betting Preview – Saturday 29th October By @DavAulak

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Toronto Raptors – 00:00 at Air Canada Centre

The Cleveland Cavaliers needed to dig down deep to see off the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals last May, but their recent record in Canada is not great. They might have won in Game 6 on the road in Toronto, but previously had failed to win or cover in four straight visits north of the border.

Both teams opened the new season with dominating wins, but this is a big game for both to set a marker for the season. My feeling is that it means more to the Raptors to show they can compete with Cleveland this time around, but I have to say it is tough to oppose the Cavaliers when you see how loose they looked on Tuesday now the pressure of bringing a title home is no longer on them.

Even with that in mind, I can just see the Toronto Raptors wanting this one more than Cleveland and that can make all the difference in these tight games. There is no doubt in my mind that Cleveland will beat Toronto if they play again in the Play Offs, but this isn’t that time of the season and the Cavaliers will head into a hostile environment and might not want to dig as deep as Toronto will.

The Raptors are 4-1 against the spread in their last five home games against Cleveland and all of those times they have covered the spread has also seen Toronto win straight up. They are playing with more desire having been humiliatingly beaten by Cleveland in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals at home and I like the Raptors to give it their all to win this one and will take the points on offer.

Handicap Betting Pick: Toronto Raptors +2.5 Points at 1.96 with Unibet

 

Handicap Betting

Cleveland Cavaliers

 

Indiana Pacers @ Brooklyn Nets – 00:30 at The Barclays Center

A couple of days ago I backed the Brooklyn Nets to cover with a lot of points on the road at the Boston Celtics because I felt the latter might be looking ahead to their big game with the Chicago Bulls. The Nets play their home opener in an identical position as their opponents, the Indiana Pacers, will be visiting the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.

However, this time I think the Indiana Pacers can pull away for the cover on the road against the pretty average Brooklyn Nets.

Even though the Nets did come back to cover on Wednesday, they were actually down by 23 points in the Fourth Quarter and made use of the double digit points they received from the layers. The Pacers did need Overtime a couple of days ago to see off the Dallas Mavericks, but this is a team that looks to have made the right moves in the off-season to be a genuine contender in the Eastern Conference having missed the Play Offs last season.

Brooklyn are focusing on becoming a three point shooting team and that will make them dangerous whenever they are in receipt of a lot of points. This might not be enough though and Indiana have a 10-4 record against the spread here. I think the Pacers are a team looking to build some chemistry and so should be focused to prove they can work up the standings this season with a double digit win over one of the poorer teams in the NBA.

Handicap Betting Pick: Indiana Pacers -6.5 Points at 1.95 with Pinnacle 

 

Orlando Magic @ Detroit Pistons – 00:30 at The Palace

Both the Orlando Magic and the Detroit Pistons would have been disappointed in the effort made in opening game losses and both will be looking to bounce back effectively on Friday. The Pistons have been set as the favourite, but I think Orlando Magic can make the points count.

Reggie Jackson is out for the Pistons which means they are running their Offense through Ishe Smith and Beno Udrih who both had some issues with their shot in the blow-out loss in Toronto. There also will be some concern about Andre Drummond and his health having seen him come out early in the last game and now in concussion protocol ahead of this one.

That is going to be a key for Detroit who frustrated Head Coach Stan Van Gundy by being dominated on the glass. It will be a problem again on Friday with Orlando bringing in players like Bismack Biyombo who will make his season debut here and give the Magic more of a presence in the paint. Serge Ibaka is another who can pound the glass and Nikola Vucevic is yet another big man who can give Detroit a lot of problems especially if Drummond is limited.

Orlando will be looking for improvements of their own having been upset by the Miami Heat at home but this looks a chance to match up better against the Pistons who have won and covered in the last six in the series between these teams. However the problems Detroit have had Offensively coupled with Orlando perhaps dominating the boards and earning second chance points could make the points being given to the Magic the key to the game.

Handicap Betting Pick: Orlando Magic +4 Points at 1.97 with 188Bet 

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

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