After a long summer with no hoops, the NBA finally returns tonight with three big games to tip off the season. With NBA Odds out for all three, here is an in depth look at the value available tonight.
Cavaliers vs. Bulls
The Chicago Bulls come in as a -3 favorite against Lebron James and the Cavs tonight from Chicago, with a total of 197 ½. The spread has steadily risen from where it opened at -1 ½, and while I doubt there is much value available for this game, it does show how bullish the odds makers seem to be on the Bulls here. The Cavs will be without Kyrie Irving who is still recovering from his injury he sustained in the playoffs last season, and the Cavs will be without another starter, Iman Shumpert, for at least the first month or two of the season. The Bulls being without Mike Dunleavy hurts as well, but with the emergence of Tony Snell and Doug McDermott, the Bulls are in better shape health-wise than Cleveland. Overall, this is going to be a game to enjoy and not bet on though. The spread could go either way in this one, and while the total may be a solid play on the over, we are early in the season, which means offense might be rusty, and defense might rule.
Pistons vs. Hawks
On the other hand, the Pistons and Hawks might have some of the better value on the odds board tonight, even though the game is not on national television. Right now the NBA Odds have the Hawks as solid -7 favorites, with a total of 197 ½. The Pistons are going to be very improved this season, and while that may not mean a playoff berth, it will mean a solid ATS record. The combination of Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson in the pick and roll is going to be hard to stop for the Hawks. Last season if Jackson held his averages from his final 28 games as a Piston after getting traded, he would have led the lead by miles in points off pick and rolls, and that includes more than James Harden. Atlanta’s defense is going to suffer without DeMarre Carroll, and while the Hawks should still win this one, taking the points might not be a bad idea, along with the over potentially. Two of the last three meetings between these teams have gone over.
Pelicans vs. Warriors
The final battle of the night will play out by the bay at the home of the defending champs. The Pelicans come in as a +9 ½ underdog in the NBA Odds, with a very high total of 213 ½. This total has been dropping some over the last 12 hours, after shooting upward by five points early in its life. The spread seems like a great number to take the points again with the Pels, but being without Tyreke Evans and having Jrue Holiday on a minutes limit really hurts. While I do think the Pelicans could be the play here, I am not recommending them unless you can get the number of +10 or higher. Early in the season, and with a great new head coach, the Pelicans could still have road value here after going 4-1 ATS in their final five meetings against the W’s including the playoffs last season.