Atlanta Hawks @ Cleveland Cavaliers – Quicken Loans Arena at 00:00
For all the years that LeBron James has been part of some of the best teams in the NBA, this is the first time his team have ever begun a season 6-0. The schedule suggests that this run can continue for some time to come and the Cavaliers will be favoured to make it through the rest of the month unbeaten, although they are likely to be resting James at some points with the real key keeping him fresh for the Play Offs.
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They are facing one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference on Tuesday when the Atlanta Hawks visit, although I am not sure exactly how good the Hawks are going to be. The visitors are transitioning from the likes of Al Horford and Jeff Teague and Atlanta do come into this one with a winning record.
There have been a couple of surprising slips for the Hawks, but they dominated the Houston Rockets in a back to back last time out. Dwight Howard has fitted in with his home town team, and his presence is going to be important for Atlanta to try and challenge the Cleveland Cavaliers who have been solid when it comes to the rebounding.
Defensively, Mike Budenholzer’s roster has been solid this season outside of the horrendous effort against the LA Lakers at home. The Hawks held a strong Houston team to fewer than 100 points in a win over them so they can challenge Cleveland, but the Cavaliers have been able to get going from beyond the arc which could be important for them to try and pull away in this one.
Atlanta should be very motivated having been swept out of the Play Offs by Cleveland last season, but they are 0-5 against the spread in their last five games here. Cleveland have won those games by at least 11 points per game and I like the Cavaliers to cover for the first time in five games.
Handicap Betting Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers -8.5 Points at 2.00 with Pinnacle
Denver Nuggets @ Memphis Grizzlies – FedExForum at 01:00
The Memphis Grizzlies have a solid starting roster, but this is a team that has lacked the depth of previous seasons and one that cannot afford to struggle through injuries. That has been a problem early in this season and Memphis could be without the likes of Tony Allen and Mike Conley in this game.
Both have been dealing with injuries and I am not sure it would make much sense to risk them with a few days off before the Grizzlies are due to take the court again. Chandler Parsons was a big money acquisition during the off season and made his debut for Memphis in their last game, but it will take time coming off a big knee injury for him to find his best.
There just seems to be a bit of inconsistency for the Grizzlies at both ends of the court and the Denver Nuggets have shown they are a feisty group that will perhaps exceed expectations this season. Getting into the Play Offs looks a long shot in a tough Western Conference but the Denver Nuggets have been competitive in all but one game they have played this season and all three wins produced has come as the underdog on the road.
The key for Denver in this game is going to be the way they have managed to dominate the glass in their games so far. Getting second chance opportunities and preventing the same at the other end of the court is huge for the Nuggets and my only concern is that they look past the Grizzlies at the home game against the Golden State Warriors which is scheduled for tomorrow.
It looks like the public are very much behind the Grizzlies in this one, but I like the Nuggets who look the more confident team and I will take the points in this one.
Handicap Betting Pick: Denver Nuggets +2.5 Points at 1.87 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage
Prices correct at time of writing.