Free NBA Picks of the Day for Saturday 11/8

David Lawrence

Saturday, November 8, 2014 2:13 PM UTC

Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014 2:13 PM UTC

After a busy Friday night with 11 games, the NBA tapers off a bit with just eight games on Saturday. Here’s a look at our NBA picks from the card.

Washington Wizards vs. Indiana Pacers
The Wizards and Pacers just played a few days ago on Wednesday, with Washington winning at home, 96-94, in overtime. This was another defensive slugfest, reminiscent of the six-game Eastern Conference semifinal series between the two teams last May. The game went into overtime tied at 84 before the Wizards gained a 93-88 lead and held on for a two-point win when the Pacers missed a three and then a seven-foot shot in the final few seconds.

If you’re inclined to bet on Washington, here’s what you’re banking on: You’re trusting that Washington’s Paul Pierce won’t shoot as poorly as he did in the last game, making only 3 of 15 shots from the field. You’re also going to say that Indiana guard Donald Sloan isn’t going to score 31 points again, after doing so against the Wizards on Wednesday. You’re going to tell yourself that Washington’s Drew Gooden isn’t going to hit only 1 of 7 shots from the field. So much can happen that will help the Wizards here.

If you’re thinking about betting on the Pacers, you’ll see that Roy Hibbert went 0 for 7. He’s not likely to do that again versus the Wizards. He’s been solid this season with an average of just over 12 points per game and nearly nine rebounds a night. If Hibbert is better, Indiana should be better. The Pacers also committed 18 turnovers and watched Washington’s Garrett Temple hit 4 of 7 three-point shots. If Indiana can make some basic corrections on ballhandling and perimeter defense, it should be in good shape.

Whether Washington wins outright or not is a tough call. Indiana, though, should very likely cover the spread.

NBA Pick: Indiana +4

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Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Miami Heat
These teams are statistically similar. Minnesota, heading into Friday’s games, averaged 100.3 points per game while allowing an average of 98.3 points per contest. Miami had a points-per-game average of 101.6 and a points-allowed average of 99.4. There’s not much to separate these two teams if several basic numbers are at issue. However, Minnesota doesn’t have Kevin Love. While Nikola Pekovic is a solid low-post player, he’s not Love. Miami’s defense is going to be able to rotate and make decisions more easily against this version of the Timberwolves than last season’s version. That should enable Miami to win the game, although the Heat are not yet strong enough on defense to pull away from Minnesota. The T-Wolves should cover the number, so take them with your NBA picks.

NBA Pick: Minnesota +7.5 at Bet365

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Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets
In this matchup of unbeaten teams, Golden State has the better backcourt with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. The Warriors, if anyone was worried about them losing their identity under first-year head coach Steve Kerr, have been very strong through the first four games of the season. Golden State has dispelled notions of being weaker as a result of losing head coach Mark Jackson and having to hand the reins to a new guy, even though Jackson was the coach who brought the franchise new success after multiple decades without it. The Warriors’ great start comes as a bit of a surprise.

Houston is flying high at 6-0. The key for the Rockets is that James Harden is playing defense instead of being a casual observer at the defensive end of the court. Harden’s commitment to playing two-way basketball, instilled in him by United States national team head coach Mike Krzyzewski, is paying off for the Rockets in a big way. What should ultimately help Houston here is that Golden State big man Andrew Bogut probably won’t have the quickness needed to withstand the Rockets’ Dwight Howard. Bogut has been getting plenty of playing time, which is a great sign for the Warriors, but Howard might be too much for him in this game. Take Houston to cover the NBA odds.

NBA Pick: Houston -1 at 5Dimes

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