The first week of the NBA has started with great games. The Knicks beat the Celtics in double overtime. Steph Curry dropped 45 points to win against the Clippers by two and remind us how great he is. The Hornets came back from being down 16 points to beat the Pacers. The Wizards beat the Pacers in overtime last night and are now off to a surprising 2-0 to start the season. That has been an action-packed first week, and hopefully, we see it continue through the weekend going into week two. Here are the best picks for today.
The Minnesota Timberwolves looked legit in their first game of the season. Karl Anthony-Towns had 30 points, Anthony Edwards had 29, and D’Angelo Russell had 22 points. The Timberwolves star players all had a good game. That is great for the first game of the season. They also have depth with Beasley and McDaniels. Towns is a dominant force in the paint and can stretch the court. The Pelicans are not great defensively, and with Zion hurt, they will struggle to stop the Timberwolves from scoring. The Timberwolves have too much firepower and depth for the Pelicans to stop them.
Tonight is the second road game in a row for the Pelicans, and their starters put in a lot of minutes last night. They are going to be tired on the road going into Minneapolis. The Pelicans are also struggling from the three-point line. Devonte Graham is the only one that is having success through the first two games. The Pelicans can not score points, and after putting in a lot of minutes last night than traveling, scoring will get hard for them.
These two teams played three nights ago, and the Bulls won 94-88. That was in Detroit, and that is why the spread is +9. The issue with this game tonight is that the Bulls played last night against the Pelicans. Besides Patrick Williams, all the Bulls starters put in 30+ minutes. They are a better team than the Pistons, but back-to-back games are hard to win for anyone, especially when your starters have a lot of minutes on their legs. The season is long, and the Bulls need to manage their minutes to make it through.
The Pistons have not played anyone else but the Bulls this season. They are ready to get some revenge in this game. If you want a bold play, you might even find value in betting the Moneyline on this game. The Bulls typically win this game, but the Pistons have a lot going in their favor during this game. They have two full days of rest. They are playing the Bulls back to back, and after last year the Pistons have value. That is a perfect play for the Pistons to cover. There is even Moneyline value if you are feeling risky.
The Atlanta Hawks have too much young talent. Trae Young, Cam Reddish, Clint Capela, and John Collins. The Cavs are looking better as a team, but all of the Hawks can score. They made it deep into the playoffs last year for a reason. They have talent across the board and are one of the best scorers in the league in Trae Young. I think their small-ball lineup is going to be too much for the Cavs, who looked to go big in their first game of the year. That is the matchup that the Hawks want.
Cleveland has a lot of potential with Sexton, Markkanen, Allen, and Mobley, but they do not have the mobility to defend the Hawks’ small-ball lineup. This game will be close at the start. The Cavs may even lead until half. Once the three points start dropping for the Hawks, and they will, the Cavs will have an issue catching up when they give up three-pointers for two-pointers. This game will be great no matter what, but the Hawks have the better matchup in this game.
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