Gary | Thu 27/10/2016 - 10:55 EDT

NBA Game Picks

NBA Games To Bet On

By Dan Favale

Atlanta Hawks (-3.5) vs. Washington Wizards (+3.5)

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We're stepping out on a limb here and going to roll with the Atlanta Hawks.

Sure, they lost Al Horford and Jeff Teague. And yes,, no one really knows if Dennis Schroder will be an upgrade at point guard. But this defense should be really good, and what the new-look(ish) team lacks in talent on offense, it makes up in unselfishness.

Dwight Howard has also changed settings, again, this time for the better. Coach Mike Budenholzer is a big believer in his skill set and will put him in the right spots offensively. Howard is already playing for more free, and that's bad news for a Washington Wizards defense that's missing its best (only?) interior defender in Ian Mahinmi.

All of that in mind, it would be surprising if this was a blowout. The Wizards played like a postseason-caliber squad following their acquisition of Markieff Morris at last season's trade deadline, and both John Wall and Bradley Beal are entering the year healthy for the first time in what seems like forever.

Overall, the Wizards might have more talent, but it's the Hawks who are deeper and play a more balanced style. This game belongs to them.

The Pick: Atlanta Hawks (3.5)

Chicago Bulls (PK) vs. Boston Celtics (PK)

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Keep an eye on this spread to see if it moves. If it doesn't, or if it stays relatively close, the Boston Celtics are your team.

Indeed, they're playing on the tail end of a back-to-back. They almost squadered a huge double-digit lead against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night as well. But their starters got some rest before having to go in and close out the game, and, well, they're just more talented overall.

Al Horford is already validating his status as a perfect fit for the Celtics' roster. Jae Crowder's three-point stroke looks on point. Jaylen Brown is replacing whatever defense went with Evan Turner to Portland. Isaiah Thomas is still able to reach the rim and get shots off at will. And the Celtics are still able to play whatever style you throw at them—fast, slow, small, big, whatever.

If the Chicago Bulls looked better on paper, maybe we'd give this one to them. They are, after all, playing at home. But the Rajon Rondo-Dwyane Wade backcourt doesn't seem like it will work out all that well, and the starting lineup has, maybe, one half of a shooter in it.

On top of that, it's unrealistic to expect the Bulls to maintain their defensive idenity from years past. Wade is getting older, and Rondo has always been inconsistent. Chicago may need to stagger their minutes to unlock its true potential, and head coach Fred Hoiberg has yet to prove he'll go that far.

The Pick: Boston Celtics

Portland Trail Blazers (-2) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (+2)

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No person in their right mind would choose the Portland Trail Blazers over a healthy Los Angeles Clippers squad right?

Well, actually, that all depends—on whether you think I'm in my right mind.

There's no one decisive reason for the pick. It's all about the little things. The Blazers are a scary-ass home team. Damian Lillard and McCollum look like they're in midseason form. Allen Crabbe continues to make strides as a shooter and defender.

And then there's Evan Turner. His place in the offense is weird, because he can't really shoot, thus making him a non-factor whenever he's on the floor with Lillard and/or McCollum and he doesn't have the ball. But he's already making his defensive and playmaking presences felt. Any time he spends against second units is a boon for the Blazers.

Speaking of second units, the Clippers don't really have a good one. Their bench ranked middle of the road in offensive and defensive efficiency last season and didn't get any better. If anything, it got worse with the loss of Cole Aldrich. 

That puts too much pressure on the starting five, specifically the Core Four of Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, J.J. Redick and Blake Griffin. They'll be great, but what happens when two or more of them sit?

Look, the Clippers are a good team. But there's just something about this plucky Blazers group, especially at home.

The Pick: Portland Trail Blazers

Sacramento Kings (PK) vs. San Antonio Spurs (PK)

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The Sacramento Kings? A pick 'em? On the tail end of a back-to-back? Against a San Antonio Spurs team that just beat the supposedly best-ever Golden State Warriors by 29 points on their home floor?

Yeah, that's not happening.

This line is too good to be true for now. Make sure it hasn't moved before placing your bets. If it has, and it's under 13 points, the Spurs are still your best bet.

The Pick: San Antonio Spurs

Category : Sports Betting News

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