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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 – Friday 28th October By @DavAulak

Washington Wizards @ Atlanta Hawks – Philips Arena at 00:30

It will feel like a new beginning for the Atlanta Hawks and Dwight Howard when they open their new season on Thursday. Howard was the big name signing for the Hawks this off-season, but he has to show that his dip in numbers in the 2015/16 season with the Houston Rockets is not the start of an irretrievable slide towards the end of his career.

Howard is a ‘marmite’ kind of player with many of his former teammates critical of his attitude and most NBA fans have never really forgiven him for the way he worked his way out of Orlando. He now returns to his home town team in a bid to show he is capable of being a leader and taking a team to the NBA Finals like he once did with Orlando.

Atlanta have changed too having moved for Howard when Al Horford decided he would take less money in a better situation with the Boston Celtics. There has been a transitioning from players like Jeff Teague too who have run the point for Atlanta in recent years as he was traded to the Indiana Pacers.

The Hawks still have some talent, but they could be battling with the likes of the Washington Wizards who are looking to get back to the Play Offs after missing out last year. The Wizards might need time with Bradley Beal never far away from an injury and John Wall recovering from his own knee surgeries which means his minutes will be limited at best in the opener.

Scott Brooks has come in as the new Head Coach for Washington who fired Randy Wittman unsurprisingly at the end of last season. The Wizards will hope Brooks can blend Beal and Wall in a way he did for the Oklahoma City Thunder with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, but it might take some time for both of these teams to really find the right formula at both ends of the court.

The four games last season were split two each with all four games ending in comfortable wins for the team taking home the ‘W’. The Hawks were 1-1 against the spread in those games at home and I think this is going to be another tight game between them. I am giving the edge to Atlanta because they look to have a little more steadiness in the line-up with players who have been here and a Head Coach whose system is in place.

I like the Hawks to find their way to a win and a cover in their opening game of the season.

 

Handicap Betting Pick: Atlanta Hawks – 3.5 Points at 1.76 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

 

Handicap Betting

Dwight Howard

 

LA Clippers @ Portland Trail Blazers – Moda Center at 03:30

Last May will have been a big disappointment for the LA Clippers who failed to make an impact in the Western Conference Play Offs as they were hit hard by injuries. They were beaten four straight times by the Portland Trail Blazers in the First Round Play Off series and now the Clippers get a chance to put the record straight in their first game of the 2016/17 season.

It can’t be a surprise that any team that has both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are going to be seen as a contender to win the NBA Championship and that is where the Clippers find themselves going into a new season. They looked to have made significant moves to bring in more veterans and offer more depth after those injuries derailed their last season and the Clippers might be the deepest they have been in the Doc Rivers era.

They do have to deal with a Portland Trail Blazers team that already have their first regular season win under their belts and who will have positive memories of winning four in a row to beat the Clippers in the Play Offs. Damian Lilliard has said he wants to win the MVP award, and began the season with a strong game and the Trail Blazers look good offensively.

There is still work to do on the other side of the court and a team like the Clippers have enough to expose those vulnerabilities. Playing in the Rose Garden has been difficult over the years, the Clippers did lose three times here in the Play Offs, but that was without Paul and Griffin who are both set to go in this one. Before those losses the Clippers had also won three out of four visits to Portland and they covered the spread in those wins.

With revenge on their mind, the LA Clippers can get off to a positive start with a big road performance and I will look for them to cover here.

 

Handicap Betting Pick: LA Clippers – 1.5 Points at 1.85 with Unibet

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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NBA Handicap Betting Previews – Mon/Tue 14th/15th Mar by @DavAulak

Dallas Mavericks @ Charlotte Hornets – Time Warner Cable Arena at 23.10

The Charlotte Hornets have been a team that has been very good to me in the last couple of weeks and I have to keep riding them on their current hot streak. The Hornets have not just moved into a healthy position in the Eastern Conference Play Off spots, but are now only 1.5 games behind Number 3 Seed the Boston Celtics after winning seven in a row.

They have won all five games during their current home stand and three of those wins have come against teams in the Play Off spots. Charlotte have been scoring plenty of points as they have been given help from a number of players, but the key remains Kemba Walker.

Now they are favoured to beat the Dallas Mavericks who are slipping in the Western Conference Play Off picture and they are now just 2 games clear of the Utah Jazz. While Charlotte have been winning, Dallas have lost five straight games and failed to cover the spread in each of those losses.

Defensively they have struggled for stops and Charlotte did beat them by fourteen points on the road earlier this season. While Dallas do have an impressive 7-2 record against the spread in their last nine in Charlotte, the Hornets are playing too well at this moment and I expect them to cover in another home win on Monday.

Handicap Betting Pick: Charlotte Hornets -6.5 Points at 2.01 with Matchbook

 

AJ Jefferson

AJ Jefferson

Detroit Pistons @ Washington Wizards – Verizon Centra at 00:10

This is a really big game for both the Detroit Pistons and the Washington Wizards when it comes to deciding Eastern Conference Play Off places. It is arguably bigger for the Wizards who are currently Number 10 in the Conference and 3.5 games behind the Pistons who are the Number 8 Seed.

Washington have been sloppy in their five game losing run- they’ve lost one game by a point, another in Overtime and another when blowing an eight point lead going into the final Quarter. The last of those was at Denver on Saturday against a team that played their reserves through the Fourth Quarter but still beat down on Washington who couldn’t buy a bucket.

The Wizards have a losing record at home so even hosting this game might not change their trend, although I think the Pistons might be a little over-rated at this moment. Detroit have won three of four games, but they were fortunate to come back against the Philadelphia 76ers with another poor Defensive performance and that continues to be a concern for Stan Van Gundy.

Detroit do have a solid 6-2 record against the spread in their last eight visits to the nation’s capital, but the Wizards have won four of the last five at home against them including three in a row. I think Washington find the scoring to win this one too and I will back them to cover the points in a victory.

Handicap Betting Pick: Washington Wizards -1.5 Points at 1.97 with Matchbook

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

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