The NBA enters its first full week of action for the 2017-18 regular season this Monday, and there are some stellar betting matchups on the horizon. Here’s a look at a few games we’re circling on the calendar and why.
No Kawhi Leonard, no problem. The Spurs are 2-0 SU and ATS to begin the season minus their star player, who is out indefinitely with a quad injury. Let’s face it, head coach Gregg Popovich is a genius, with a system that is virtually plug-and-play. His teams are efficient on both ends of the court and usually mistake-free at AT&T Center. Look to lay the points when the Raptors come to town.
Toronto has lost by 7 points or more in nine of its last 10 visits to San Antonio. It has tipped off as 6.5-point pups or greater in each. Look for the line to be in the 3-to-5 point range here. The Raptors are scoring in bunches in their new offensive set that moves away form isolation play, putting up 117 and 128 points in their first two games. The Spurs defense will offer its first real test, and the growing pains will shine through.
Tuesday, Oct 24
Jazz at Clippers (10:10 p.m. ET)
Jazz center Rudy Gobert has played in 13 games against the Clippers. L.A. has scored above the century mark in just three. The defensive force protects the rim like no other in the NBA, and will negate the Clippers two top scoring threats Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan underneath. We’re not sold on the Clips having their offense figured out with Chris Paul gone. No matter the number, we’re leaning ‘under’ here. With Gobert on the court, it is 8-5 overall with an overtime pushing one finish north of the total. The combined score in this situation is 191.0 points, playing 6.5 below a 197.5 average over/under.
Wednesday, Oct. 25
Rockets at 76ers (7 p.m. ET)
With a day’s rest in-between the Pistons and Rockets tilts, 76ers center Joel Embiid is expected to suit up when Houston visits Wells Fargo Center Wednesday night. The young, but oft-injured star has not played in back-to-back games in his career due to a pair of foot and knee surgeries. When hitting the hardwood, he is a defensive force. Since the start of last season, the Sixers yield 110.6 points per game with Embiid out, as opposed to 105.0 when starting. His stellar defense gives Philly a chance against nearly any team. As home underdogs in the NBA odds, the Sixers 8-12 SU and 14-6 ATS with Embiid in the middle. Houston will go off chalk, but our money will be against. Philly oozes value in this spot.
Thursday, Oct 26
Celtics at Bucks (8 p.m. ET)
Giannis Antetokounmpo tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only Bucks player to score 100 points or more through the first three games of a season. We’re not fading Milwaukee until the Greek God cools off. The Bucks are 2-1 SU and ATS in three meetings with the Celtics when Antetokounmpo suits up. The MVP candidate is averaging 26.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.3 blocks in 38.4 minutes per game.
Friday, Oct. 27
Thunder at Timberwolves (8 p.m. ET)
The Timberwolves are catching 4 points in their Sunday night visit to Oklahoma City. Win or lose, we are leaning Minnesota in the rematch at Target Center Friday night. Since the start of last season, The Timberwolves are 9-1 SU and 7-3 ATS at home when they tipped off a road dog of less than 7 points in the last meeting. Minnesota goes off a 2.5 point favorite in this spot and is covering the number by 7.9 points per game. Look for a similar handicap and result in this one.