The NBA season is almost at the New Year. Teams have played just over one-third of the season’s 82 games. A lot of teams are going to try to start to make a big midseason push. Here’s a look at our NBA betting picks for Saturday.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Miami Heat
These teams have not been that different over the past 10 games. The Heat are 5-5 while the Grizzlies are 6-4. However, what has to be taken into consideration here is that Miami is without Chris Bosh and Josh McRoberts, both injured and unable to play. The Heat have been one of the two or three worst rebounding teams in the NBA for a number of seasons, and that’s no exception this season. Memphis is not an excellent rebounding team, but it is 14th in the league on the boards. Memphis is also 13th in the league in scoring and fifth in defense. It’s a team that might not do any one thing amazingly well, but it does a lot of things fairly well, creating balance and consistency. Miami is anything but consistent. The Heat did beat the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas Day, but they also blew a 23-point third-quarter lead to lose at home to the Philadelphia 76ers a few days earlier. Miami has a losing record at home and just doesn’t give bettors a lot of reason to think that it can beat a team as good as Memphis in South Florida. Take the Grizzlies.
NBA Pick: Memphis
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Chicago Bulls
Odds: Bulls -9.5
The Pelicans have been a respectable 6-4 in their last 10 games. They’re holding strong at .500 and are having a reasonably good season thus far. However, if the Pelicans are decent, the Bulls are noticeably better. Chicago has pushed its record to 20-9 with a five-game winning streak which has enabled the Bulls to go 8-2 in their last 10. Chicago’s defense is settling into the season after being fairly average in November. The Bulls have pushed their points-allowed-per-game average down to 98.7. They’re defending the way head coach Tom Thibodeau wants them to. They’re working together and are getting more from Derrick Rose, whose body has help up well over the past few weeks after being very cautious in the first five weeks of the campaign. The Bulls, playing at home, are a better and more solid choice than the Pelicans, so keep it in mind when looking at the NBA odds. They’re on a roll, and it will take a very strong opponent to beat them. It’s hard to say that New Orleans is good enough to be that kind of opponent.
NBA Pick: Chicago -9.5 at Bovada
Atlanta Hawks vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Odds: Hawks -5
The Atlanta Hawks are the hot team in the NBA, the story everyone wants to talk about. The Hawks have lost only once since Nov. 26. They are thriving with Al Horford being healthy, something that wasn’t the case for the second half of last season. Coach Mike Budenholzer is a former San Antonio assistant, and he is putting Spurs principles into his Atlanta roster. The Hawks have the second-best point differential in the East at 5.9 points. Their defense – allowing 97.4 points per game – is second among Eastern playoff teams and third in the Eastern Conference. This is not a flashy team, but a team that’s putting in effort to win. In other words, there’s nothing fancy about what the Hawks are doing.
Milwaukee is 4-6 in its last 10 games. Since these teams are playing Friday before going at it again on Saturday, the familiarity of the matchup should help the better team, Atlanta, scout for the inferior team, the Bucks. Take the Hawks with your NBA picks here.
NBA Pick: Atlanta -5 at The Greek