The superstars of the NBA showed us why they’re the best on Saturday night, as James Harden, Anthony Davis and Stephen Curry all went completely nuts. Curry and Harden’s brief run of insanity led to wins, but The Brow’s efforts went unrewarded in a shootout loss to the visiting Hawks last night.
Davis and the Pelicans will be back at it again tonight on the second of a back-to-back, as they chase their first victory of the 2015-16 NBA season. There are plenty more storylines to track tonight as we gear up for another fun night of NBA betting, as we have a healthy nine-game slate to cover. We were just average on last night’s 10-game slate (5-5 last night, 50-34 on the year), but aim to do much better tonight:
Timberwolves @ Bulls
Minnesota has proven to be better this year than they were last year, specifically at the defensive end. A healthy Ricky Rubio hasn’t hurt, either, but slowing down the Bulls and actually winning in Chicago is asking a lot from a young team. Derrick Rose found his groove in his last game and the Bulls are 3-0 at the United Center so far this season. A T’Wolves road win isn’t likely.
Pick: Bulls 104, Wolves 99
Magic @ 76ers
Orlando should still be without center Nikola Vucevic when they head to Philly tonight, but that shouldn’t stop them from getting their second win in a row and third victory in three tries. The Magic have done an excellent job this year at simply competing and giving teams hard outs and they finally get an easy matchup. It’s on the road, but I can’t see Orlando blowing this one.
Pick: Magic 108, Sixers 102
Wizards @ Hawks
Washington and Atlanta have a nice rivalry as divisional foes and even faced in a heated playoff setting last year. But the Hawks have flat out owned this matchup when it comes to wins and losses, as they were 3-1 against the Wiz a year ago and have dropped one home game to Washington since 2008. The odds are not in Washington’s favor, even before you look at Atlanta’s hot six-game winning streak.
Pick: Hawks 109, Wizards 106
Nets @ Bucks
Milwaukee and Brooklyn tend to come together for a couple heated battles each year and just a week ago we got to see them square off. That ended in Milwaukee’s first win of the year and since then they haven’t lost. The Nets have to win eventually, but on the road against a hot team that seems to be figuring itself out doesn’t feel like the right spot.
Pick: Bucks 103, Nets 94
Hornets @ Spurs
Charlotte has been fairly competitive this season and have a nice two-game winning streak going, but going into San Antonio and taking down the Spurs is a tall order. San Antonio’s defense is trouble enough, but this is just their second home game of the year and it’s unlikely they’ll come in flat.
Pick: Spurs 104, Hornets 92
Pelicans @ Mavs
The Pellies are as banged up as it gets and nothing tells us that better than a 43-point Anthony Davis night still ending in a loss. New Orleans is getting closer, but they’re on the road against a decent Mavs team and are simply giving up too many points (116 per game). This should be a high-scoring affair with little defense, but the odds favor Dallas at home.
Pick: Mavs 109, Pellies 106
Grizzlies @ Jazz
Memphis has not looked good this year but one way or another we’re headed for an ugly defensive battle when they go to Utah. The Jazz have done most of their hard work on the road during the 2015-16 season and while I think they’re a mild playoff contender, they’re a good matchup for the struggling Grizz.
Pick: Grizz 90, Jazz 88
Warriors @ Kings
Stephen Curry can’t be stopped, DeMarcus Cousins is still out and the Warriors are 6-0. More specifically, they’ve had no trouble on the road this year and are putting up a ridiculous 117 points per game. A Boogie-less Kings squad can’t hope to even compete.
Pick: Warriors 115, Kings 101
Rockets @ Clippers
Easily the best game of the night comes at Staples Center, where we’ll see James Harden, Ty Lawson and Dwight Howard face off with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Houston stormed back and took the Clips down in the playoffs last year, but doing that in L.A. will be tough. Look for the Clippers to exorcise some demons in a big home win. Of course, keep in mind that Chris Paul (groin) is a game time call for this one. If he’s out, we’d side with the Rockets.
Pick: Clippers 111, Rockets 108