Pre Thanksgiving NBA Free Picks

Troy Haliburton

Wednesday, November 22, 2017 7:02 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017 7:02 PM UTC

The NBA boasts a full card today with matchups from all over the league. Needless to say, there are some good spots to make some cashing plays. Here's a selection of the best bets for tonight.

Wizards vs Hornets

Charlotte is in the midst of a three-game homestand in which they won the first two games against the Clippers and the Timberwolves, while Washington is completing a three-game road trip. The Hornets are finally able to spread the ball around and have players other than Kemba Walker score the basketball. Dwight Howard got back to his dominant ways after recording two double-doubles in the winning streak, while Nicolas Batum and Jeremy Lamb combined to score 29 and 33 points respectively. This style of play is much needed after Kemba Walker had a 47 point game in a loss to the Chicago Bulls. The Hornets are a much better team when they can spread the wealth, and that will be the objective against the Wizards

Washington will try to continue their strong defensive ways, as they have kept six of their last seven opponents under the 100 point mark. A key to the Wizards improved defense has been the return of Markieff Morris. Morris has played in 10-games since his sports hernia surgery and his versatility on the defensive end has unlocked a variety of lineups for the Wizards. Morris can play power forward and center in small-ball lineups, and he can effectively switch on to smaller defenders on the perimeter. The Wizards also utilize Kelly Oubre and Otto Porter’s length on the defensive end to disrupt passing lanes and help the Wizards remain one of the NBA leaders in deflections.

John Wall is getting back into a groove after missing a game on Sunday due to knee soreness, and Bradley Beal is really establishing himself as a legitimate All-Star candidate. The Wizards dynamic duo will be too much for the Hornets to handle.

Free NBA Pick: Wizards +2.5Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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 Blazers vs Sixers

The Blazers have looked like a team that is ready to pick up with where they left off at the end of last season when a healthy Jusuf Nurkic completely changed that team. Nurkic allows the Blazers to run more pick-and-roll action with their two dynamic guards, and the fact that Nurkic is a proficient passer allows for them to master dribble handoffs between McCollum and Lillard.

Portland is establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned in the Western Conference because of their superb guard tandem.

The Sixers are finally stringing together wins and living up to their potential and hype from the preseason, but they are still searching for their first win in front of their home crowd. This young bunch will have to start putting forth more effort on the defensive end. Philly is giving up 108.3 points per game on the defensive end (23rd in the league).

This will be a very interesting matchup between the two big me, Embiid and Nurkic, as Nurkic aactually has the size and foot speed to be able to keep up with Embiid over the course of a game, but where Philly has a mismatch is with point guard Ben Simmons. Simmons is way bigger than either of the Blazers dynamic guards and will certainly try to use his size to his advantage.

Free NBA Pick: Sixer -4.5Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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 Magic vs Timberwolves

Jimmy Butler has settled any debate about the hierarchy in the Minnesota offense. Butler has settled in as an ancillary option in Minnesota, and allowed the young stars, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns dominate the ball on offense. Butler is fifth among Wolves player in usage rate at 19.7%, which means that he is getting the ball much less than he did last season in Chicago. What Butler is doing is establishing himself as the defensive stopper and glue guy that the Wolves have been missing.

The Orlando Magic have shifted their offensive strategy this season and are intent on shooting as many 3-pointers as possible. The Magic are hitting on 39.7% of those shots from deep on the season, In their first eight games, the Magic averaged 114.2 points, shot 48.9 percent and made 44.2 percent of their 3-point attempts.

Aaron Gordon has been stellar to open the season, and has shown marked improvement in his offensive game. Gordon is shooting 55% from the field, which is up considerably from his career average of 30.8%. Just the threat alone of Gordon being able to be a capable spot-up shooter has allowed him to use his most useful talent, which is elite athleticism to his advantage. Teams literally have to pick their poison in terms of how they defend Gordon. If you go under the screen, he can beat you with his improved jump-shot. If you hedge hard and go over the screen, Gordon will use his ball-handling skills to get to the rim, and has no problem finishing over or through contact at the rim.

Free NBA Pick: Magic +7Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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 Warriors vs Thunder

This game between Golden State Warriors and the Thunder is more than just a return trip for Kevin Durant, it is a battle of basketball styles. The Warriors embody everything about the pace and space revolution and are second in the league in 3-point shooting percentage with 41.6% per contest. Everyone on the Warriors knows how to share the basketball and that great ball movement is the reason why their offense is so effective.

The Thunder on the other hand have three offensive weapons who thrive better in isolation situations. Oklahoma City isn’t nearly as good at shotoing the basketball as the Warriors either, so that also hurts. The Thunder rank 21st in the NBA in the 3-point shooting, by only knocking down 35% of their threes.

The Thunder do play defense and have the second four ranked scoring defense in the NBA, only giving up 98.6 points per game.

Look for the Thunder to use that defensive prowess to stay competitive in the game against the Warriors.

Free NBA Pick: Thunder +5Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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