It was an interesting night in the NBA. We notched a relatively easy winner as the Grizzlies handled the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pels Anthony Davis is so good but the team around him just isn’t quite ready to compete in the NBA’s toughest division. Meanwhile the Grizzlies remained perfect and moved to 4-0. The Mavericks looked good at home to move to 3-1 with their only loss on opening night when a Chandler Parson’s gamewinner rimmed out at the buzzer. Heck, the Sacramento Kings are 3-1 with wins on the road against the Clippers and Nuggets.
My point is that the West is really good. When placing wagers this season don’t let win/loss records sway you too heavily. There are going to be some really tough teams in the West that likely won’t be in playoff position after January that can play with the top teams in the East. Don’t sleep on Phoenix, Sacramento and New Orleans even if their records begin to dip.
Meanwhile, we will look to tack on another winner tonight on a good NBA schedule.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Charlotte Hornets at New Orleans Pelicans -3 (Total: 191.5)
I don’t normally like backing teams on the second day of a back-to-back, but in this instance I think the rest factor is pretty even as both are playing their third game in four days. Ye, Charlotte was off last night and New Orleans played a tough game against Memphis but they are at home so no travel and friendly home rims and crowds tonight.
Neither team mustered much offense against Memphis (a refrain you will likely hear throughout this NBA season), though NOLA’s 93-81 loss was much more watchable than the 71-69 debacle in Charlotte. Both will be a little sluggish tonight and we will get to find out if their offensive lulls were due to Memphis’s elite defense or if they were partially created by their own stagnant offenses. Both teams have some guys who can put the ball in the basket, but both team’s same guys with the exception of Anthony Davis, are among the lesser efficient wings in the NBA. Kemba Walker, Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans struggled. Gordon and Evans both shot 43%, while Kemba Walker was under 40% at 39.3%.
My point is that I expect both teams to go through some offensive dry spells this evening making the 191.5 total a little lofty. I’d lean towards New Orleans getting the win but feel even better about a game in and around the high 80’s.