The NBA season gave every team a day off on Thanksgiving. This means there’s a fat slate of games on Saturday. Here are three NBA picks for you to consider as you make your next play.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Washington Wizards
These teams are both 6-4 in their last 10 games, not counting Friday night’s NBA schedule. The Pelicans, though, do seem to be weakening. A number of their recent wins in the past 10 games have come against weak teams: Minnesota, the Los Angeles Lakers, and Utah. They have lost to Denver and Sacramento, and they are no longer beating the top teams in the league. An early-season win in San Antonio suggested the Pelicans could climb very high in the NBA this season, but New Orleans has come down to earth in more recent weeks. Washington got blown out by Cleveland on Wednesday, but the Wizards had already beaten the Cavaliers a week earlier at home, so that result shouldn’t be too much cause for concern when looking at the NBA odds. Washington should also benefit from having played an in-form Cleveland team. That kind of schooling should make the Wizards much more attentive to what they need to do at both ends of the court. Take Washington in this situation.
NBA Pick: Wizards -4.5 at BetOnline
Charlotte Hornets vs. Atlanta Hawks
The biggest disappointment in the NBA through the first 16 games of the season has to be the Charlotte Hornets, who are 4-12 a year after making the playoffs. The Hornets picked up Lance Stephenson and added him to what was already a playoff-level roster. Oklahoma City has a horrible record, but everyone can understand why: The Thunder have lacked Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. There are no similar excuses in Charlotte. The Hornets are 1-9 in their last 10 games. Atlanta has not been hugely impressive or imposing this season, but the Hawks are 6-4 in their last 10 games and stand at a respectable 7-6 heading into Friday’s games. Atlanta did just lose by double figures at home, but the Hawks lost to the best team in the East, the Toronto Raptors. This is a game in which Atlanta should certainly get the benefit of the doubt from a pure betting perspective. Charlotte needs to be made to prove something before it gets a bettor’s trust.
NBA Pick: Atlanta
Houston Rockets vs. Milwaukee Bucks
This game is a lot more intriguing than a lot of people expected it to be at the start of the season. The Bucks are 9-7 and have impressed a lot of analysts in the first month of the season. Head coach Jason Kidd has this team playing well on defense, a real testament to his coaching ability. The Bucks are 7-3 in their last 10 and are playing this game at home. They have a real shot against Houston, which will be playing the second end of a back-to-back after hosting the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.
However, the Rockets have exceeded expectations so far this season. Without Chris Bosh and Chandler Parsons – two players who were supposed to have been part of a championship push – Houston has nevertheless rolled to a 12-3 record through 15 games. James Harden is a much more complete player after his stint with the American national team in the FIBA World Cup of Basketball. Houston does not suffer from the lapses which marked the Rockets’ 2013-2014 season. Take the Rockets with your NBA picks here.
Free NBA Pick: Houston