Breaking Down Monday's NBA Action & Picking Winners

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Troy Hailburton

Monday, October 23, 2017 2:15 PM GMT

Monday, Oct. 23, 2017 2:15 PM GMT

For our first full week of game action, let’s take a look at some of the slated action for Monday and see if we can mine through some data and make us some money.

The first calendar week of the NBA season in the books, and if it is any indication, the masses are in for one hell of an entertaining season. We’ve already witnessed the impenetrable Warriors fall twice, Giannis become a grown man and will his team to victory, and Patrick Beverley take Lonzo’s cookies. 

 

Sixers vs Pistons, Detroit favored by 3.5

The Sixers will travel to Detroit to take on the Pistons in search of their first victory of the season. A lot of prognosticators eagerly dubbed the Sixers as the team on the rise in the Eastern Conference but the fact that they have lost their first three games to opponents that were playoff teams a year ago (Wizards, Celtics, Raptors) should not be that alarming. News flash -- it is difficult for young teams to win NBA games.

While the Sixers have shown much promise this season, they still need to develop a mental toughness that will translate to winning basketball. One of the main tenets of being a mentally tough basketball team is taking care of the basketball. The Sixers are committing 17.7 turnovers per game, ranking them 23rd in the NBA. Conversely, the Pistons are ranked 4th in the NBA with 10.3 steals per game. Ball security aside, one of the Sixers other problems has to be their propensity to foul and put opposing players on the free throw line. The Sixers are giving up a whopping 35.7 free throw attempts per game, ranked dead last in the NBA.

The good thing for the Sixers is that these are easy problems to remedy. Look for Markelle Fultz to do a better job of protecting the basketball and get into a better rhythm now that he has had a few games to get the rookie jitters out of the way.

Joel Embiid should be well rested after missing the Sixers last game against the Raptors and look for him to have his first dominant game of the season in a center matchup with an overrated Andre Drummond.

Free NBA Picks: Sixers +3.5 & Under 214Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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Hornets vs Bucks, Milwaukee favored by 6.5

The Milwaukee Bucks have started the season hot on the back of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who seems to prepared to take the necessary leap from NBA star to superstar. The Greak Freak is logging an astronomical 43.5 PER (player efficiency rating) and is staking his claim as the game’s best player. The Charlotte Hornets have revamped their roster, but are still playing a defensive first brand of basketball that resembles Hornets teams of years past.

Dwight Howard is anchoring that defense by getting back to his old form and scoring 15 points per game to go along with 15 rebounds. Howard should be a mismatch for the Bucks starting five that consists of Thon Maker miscast at center. Maker is a developing prospect, and at this stage of his career should not be able to compete with Howard physically.

A part of the Hornets defensive intensity is their ability to drive opponents off of the 3-point line and make life difficult beyond the arc. The Hornets only allow 28.6% 3-point percentage (2nd in the league), which should bode well for them defending Bucks team that is not known for it’s sharpshooting from deep (33.8% from deep).

Free NBA Pick: Charlotte +6.5Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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Grizzlies vs Rockets, Houston favored by 7.5

The Rockets started out the season by defeating the Golden State Warriors on opening night, and have been on an offensive tear to start the 2017-18 campaign. Houston is shooting a league-high 44.3 attempts per game, which is eight more than the defending champion Golden State Warriors.

The Grizzlies are coming off of a season-defining win themselves against those same Warriors. Marc Gasol looks to be primed for another big season, and the Grizzlies appear to have settled on a rotation that includes James Ennis starting at small forward and Chandler Parsons coming off the bench. Credit to coach Fizdale for trusting his instincts and playing the best lineup to win based on talent and not salary. Ennis is had failed to miss a shot this season, shooting 8-8 and showing the Grizzlies the same promise that made Fizdale want to bring Ennis over to Memphis with him after their respective tenures with the Miami Heat.

7.5 points maybe a little bit too much for the Rockets to be able to cover against the Grit and Grind.

Free NBA Picks: Memphis +7.5 and over 212Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Raptors vs Spurs, San Antonio favored by 3

The Raptors and Spurs are coming into tonight’s game as 2 of the remaining undefeated teams left in the NBA, and this should be a pretty good display of basketball for the NBA TV crowd to enjoy.

The Raptors have been scoring in bunches and come in with the number two ranked offense at 122.5 points per game, while the Spurs baost the number one ranked defense, only allowing 88 points per game. While Kawhi Leonard will more than likely not play, the Spurs defensive system will not miss a beat and should continue their defensive dominance against Toronto, who still have much to prove in terms of the validity of their offensive firepower.

My “Big Bet” of the night is Spurs -3

Free NBA Pick: Spurs -3Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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Wizards vs Nuggets, Denver favored by 3

The Wizards are coming into the season with a 2-0 record, but will play their first game of the season on the road by making a west coast road trip relatively early to start the season. Washington has seemingly left off where they finished last season, with Wall and Beal on scoring tears and Otto Porter picking up all the loose ends behind them. Combine that with the emergence of Kelly Oubre as a versatile 3-and-D player, and suddenly the Wizards have all the makings of a team on the borderline of contention.

The Nuggets, on the other hand, are still trying to work Paul Millsap into a comfort level with Jokic, all while trying to figure out who is the best fit for them at point guard. The Nuggets have been starting the former shooting guard Jamal Murray at point guard over the supposed “point guard of the future” Emmanuel Mudiay and have gotten mixed results from both players. Having a discrepancy at point guard is not a good position to be in when facing the Wizards and John Wall, who has undoubtedly proven to be one of the tops in the league at the position. Look for the Wizards to continue their winning ways.

Free NBA Pick: Wizards +3Best Line Offered: at JustBet

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