After splitting a pair last night, I am 16-4 in my last 20 NBA Picks, and I am back once again this evening to reload and get back on track. There is value being presented tonight by the NBA Odds, so let’s see if my two NBA picks are solid enough to cash two winners.
Hawks vs. Pistons
Atlanta and Detroit have been pleasantly surprising to start the season, and it looks as if both are good enough to squeeze into a not-as-crowded Eastern Conference playoff picture. Although it’s still early, both teams have been playing pretty well, and tonight’s NBA Odds favor the Pistons at -4 ½, with a total of 197 ½. While I do think the total could have some value, I see the spread as the best bet we could make this Friday night.
The Pistons are giving up over 101 points per game to start the season, while the Hawks are scoring at an average of over 102 points per game, and it has led them to an 8-4 ATS record to start the season. Even on the road here, I think Atlanta is being undervalued at +4 ½, and that’s why I am taking them to cover here. The Hawks have a lot of depth, despite being without Louis Williams tonight.
I expect Jeff Teague to win the matchup between he and Brandon Jennings, and for the Hawks to at the very least match the Pistons rebounding and paint points. Detroit’s defense is going to give them issues here. The Hawks have owned the matchup in the past, and I don’t think it will change tonight. Atlanta is 5-1 SU in their last six meetings with the Pistons overall, and they are 8-2 SU in their last ten meetings.
Josh Smith will likely have a good game against his former team, but in the end, I add Atlanta to my NBA picks expecting them to cover in what should be a close game.
My Pick: Hawks +4 ½
Jazz vs. Mavs
This Western Conference showdown tonight should be a solid game, however the sportsbooks have the Mavs as giant -11 ½ favorites tonight, with a total of 202. While I would love to take points with the Jazz here, there is one factor leading me away from the spread on this game, and focusing on the total.
Gordon Hayward might be the only NBA player who at least recently, is shooting worse than Derrick Rose. Hayward is 17-66 in his last four games, which is barely over 25% from the floor. He went 1-17 in the Jazz’ last game against New Orleans, and reports out of Salt Lake City are that Hayward has been dealing with a knee bruise.
Hayward did not practice yesterday and is a game time decision tonight. Even though he is crucial to the offensive success to the Jazz, I don’t think he is crucial to the total tonight. I would love to take points with the Jazz tonight, but with the possibility of Hayward not playing, I can’t do it. He is by far their best player right now. Luckily the Jazz still have their giant frontcourt healthy, and against the Mavs tonight, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter should both have big games here tonight. These mismatches and lack of defense should lead to the over being a nice play.
The lack of depth for both teams could be an issue tonight, especially if Hayward misses. Even though reports are that Shawn Marion will play tonight, the Mavs are without any post defense outside of what’s left in the tank of Samuel Dalembert, and on the other side, even if Hayward plays, he is not healthy enough to guard Dirk Nowitzki. John Lucas and Trey Burke will likely struggle mightily on defense against Monta Ellis, and if the Mavs get an early lead, look for them to keep it, and run up the score. I could see Dallas scoring well over 110 points tonight, so take the over.
My Pick: ‘Over’ 202 ½