We went 3 from 3 in last week’s betting preview. The Jazz beat the 76ers 106-104 meaning Philadelphia covered with the 2.5 point spread while the two Los Angeles teams recorded wins over Portland and Miami.
Around the league, our dark horse pick for the playoffs, the Phoenix Suns, have continued their strong start to the season and sit sixth in the Western Conference after losing to No. 1 seed Lakers on Tuesday night. Last year’s runners-up, the Golden State Warriors, are bottom of the West with a 2-9 record.
In the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics, have the best record in the league. Brad Stevens’ side are 8-1 after three weeks of basketball. They’re followed by four teams with an identical .700 record. Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers have all impressed in the opening weeks.
We’ve taken a look ahead to this week’s games to give you three tips to add to your betslip.
Toronto Raptors @ Portland Trail Blazers
Wednesday 13th November 10PM
These franchises have made contrasting starts to the season. The Raptors have shown no signs of a championship hangover with seven wins in their opening 10 games. In contrast the Trail Blazers are clearly struggling without injured big men Josef Nurkic and Zach Collins. Terry Stotts’ team are 4-7.
This is the penultimate game of a five game roadtrip for the Raptors. They started out with wins against the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers before losing out to the Clippers on Tuesday night. Pascal Siakam has been the Raps key man since Kawhi Leonard’s departure. The Cameroonian has is averaging 26 points and 9.5 rebounds through the first 10 games of the season.
As we said last week, the Blazers have kept all of their games close despite losing 7 in the opening three weeks. All of their losses have been within a 10-point margin. Damian Lillard and C.J McCollum have been aided by Hassan Whiteside on the offensive end but they are struggling on the other side of the ball.
This will be another tight one but the Raptors might just shade it. For an extra bit of insurance we’re backing the Raptors (+3) with CanPlay Sports.
Atlanta Hawks @ Phoenix Suns
Thursday 14th November 9PM
Both of these franchises are giving their fans reason for optimism in the opening stages of the season. Ultimately this may not be a successful year for either team but both will have championship aspirations in the years to come.
The Suns are 6-4 under new head coach Monty Williams and their four defeats have come against legitimate Championship contenders in the form of the Lakers, Heat, Nuggets and Jazz. Devin Booker has been carrying the scoring load for their early part of the season playing alongside newly acquired PG Ricky Rubio. The Suns have also added defensive strength to their team with Aron Baynes and Dario Saric joining their roster.
The Hawks have made a decent 4-6 start although they have been seriously hampered by the suspension of young center John Collins. 21-year-old Trae Young is providing most of the offense for the Hawks, averaging 28 points and 8 assists so far.
This will be a shootout between Booker and Young but we’re backing the Suns to hold their home court advantage. Back the Suns with CanPlay.
Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Lakers
Friday 15th November 10:30PM
This California match-up sees Luke Walton return to the Staples Center with his new team, the Sacramento Kings. His time in charge of the Lakers was tarnished with team politics and public disapproval which eventually lead to his dismissal.
His fortunes have not improved much in charge of the Kings. They lost their opening five games of the season but have recovered slightly since, winning four of the next five. They have been hit by another blow though with the loss of De’Aaron Fox. Bogdan Bogdanovic will need to continue to provide the scoring to keep the Kings’ playoff chances afloat.
The Lakers should be able to handle the Kings with ease and we’re expecting a large spread when the lines come out. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have looked like the dynamic duo we all expected and expect them to combine for over 50 points on Friday night.