NO, there is no NBA due to the Thanksgiving break in the US today, but fear not, the world hasn’t and won’t cave in.
Luckily for punters and NBA fans alike, there is a huge slate of Saturday games to dig into.
The top of the East Cleveland Cavaliers kick it off with a visit to the Charlotte Hornets, the Orlando Magic host the Milwaukee Bucks, the Washington Wizards jet in to Boston for a date with the Celtics and Miami will hope to turn the Heat up on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
From midday, the Chicago Bulls will square off with Paul George on the Indiana Pacers home floor, the Memphis Grizzlies welcome the Atlanta Hawks, the Detroit Pistons drop in on KD and company at Oklahoma City and the San Antonio Spurs visit the exciting, but struggling Denver Nuggets.
Later, the destiny-driven Golden State Warriors land in Phoenix for a clash with the Suns, two young up and coming teams in the Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings go head to head and then Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers welcome Anthony Davis and New Orleans Pelicans to Staples Centre to round it off.
We’ve gone over the match ups with a fine toothed comb in the hope of digging out a couple of winners.
This is what we’ve come up with.
Morning glory multi
Charlotte Hornets line +4 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers ($1.91)
Orlando Magic win vs. Milwaukee Bucks ($1.58)
New York Knicks win vs. Miami Heat ($2.09)
Multi value: ($6.30 @ Sportsbet.com.au)
Afternoon delight multi
Golden State Warriors line -8 vs. Phoenix Suns ($1.91)
Minnesota Timberwolves line -3 vs. Sacramento Kings ($1.91)
Los Angeles Clippers vs. New Orleans Pelicans total game score over 213.5 ($1.91)
Multi value: ($5.73 @ Sportsbet.com.au)
Cleveland Cavaliers at Charlotte Hornets
Bet: Charlotte Hornets at the line +4 ($1.91)
The fast finishing Charlotte Hornets have rallied back from huge deficits in their last two matches to take victory. But this one is a different kettle of fish against King James and the Cavs. Kevin Love has been an absolute monster for the Cavs over the past week and he will look to continue his strong form against the likes of the under performing Al Jefferson and Hornets’s bright spot Marvin Williams. The battle between James and in form French swing man Nicolas Batum could almost decide this one. Batum is averaging a career high 16 points per game, to go with six boards and nearly five dimes. Lebron is obviously Lebron. The Hornets can take some solace in their past two, a 27-6 last quarter giving them victory over Washington, 101-87, preceded by a 38-21 last term that forced over time against Sacramento, allowing them to eke out a 127-122 win on the back of 39 points from Kemba Walker. There’s no doubt the Hornets have weapons and they’re certainly no write offs against the tough Cavs, who defeated the Orlando Magic, 117-103, thanks to 34 from Love in their last outing. They might not win, but they should keep it close.
Milwaukee Bucks at Orlando Magic
Bet: Orlando Magic win ($1.58)
TWO under achieving Eastern Conference teams go head to head in a battle of the young stars. Orlando coach Scott Skiles shuffled the decks in their last clash, benching gun third year star Victor Oladipo in favour of journey man Channing Frye and it paid off. Oladipo provided the fire power off the bench, dropping 24 points in just 26 minutes to lead the Magic to 100-91 victory over the New York Knicks. Double doubles from big Euro Nikola Vucevic (22-12) and forward Tobias Harris (17-10) were also key as the Magic edged toward a .500 record. The Bucks appeared stacked at the start of the season, but it just hasn’t come together. They let the Sacramento Kings – minus superstar DeMarcus Cousins – drop 129 points on them in an 11 point loss at home. They allowed Rudy Gay to score 36 of those, while 21 points a piece from Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton was not enough. The Magic are 5-3 on their floor and the Bucks have struggled on the road, so we’re giving this one to the home team.
Miami Heat at New York Knicks
Bet: New York Knicks win ($2.09)
Rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingas and superstar Carmelo Anthony are forming a formidable pairing at Madison Square Garden. And, after a four game winning streak, it looked like the Knicks were turning the corner. But a pair of losses has them crashing back to earth. They get another chance against the exciting Heat, who have been riding super efforts from the likes of double double machine Hassan Whiteside, big man Chris Bosh and the back court tandem of Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic. The Knicks got 28 points and 13 boards out of Anthony and 23 points from Jose Calderon, but still fell to the Magic, 100-91, in their last outing. These two teams only played each other last week, with the Heat using their home court advantage to register a 95-78 win. Wade and Bosh had 16 points each and Whiteside had 11 points and 11 boards to go with five blocks in the win. Porzingas had a 20 point 14 rebound double double to further enhance his rise to stardom in the Big Apple. It was the last leg of a seven game home stand for the Heat, which fell to the Detroit Pistons in their first road game for weeks, 104-81, yesterday. We think the Knicks will be out for revenge and can capitalise on the home crowd and lacklustre effort the Heat put out against the Pistons.
Golden State Warriors at Phoenix Suns
Bet: Warriors -8 line ($1.91)
The undefeated Warriors travel to Phoenix in a dual that should be a high scoring affair. Both sides love to run and gun, the Warriors leading the league in just about every measurable offensive category you can think of. The men from Oakland score a ridiculous 114.3 points per game, led by league MVP Stephen Curry’s league mark of 32.1 points per game. The Suns are no slouches, though, fourth in the NBA at 105.5 points per game. Add those together and that’s plenty. Because of the Dubs high pace, they are only 11th in the league defensively, while the Suns leak nearly 104 points per game. The likes of Curry, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes should be able to rack up a big score. It will be left to high scoring back court combination Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight to lead the Suns to a grand total. The Suns dropped 114 in a loss to New Orleans last time out, while the Suns had a ridiculous 34 point win over the Los Angeles Lakers, putting in 111 points.
Minnesota Timberwolves at Sacramento Kings
Bet: Minnesota -3 line ($1.91)
We’re going the overs here on two teams that score plenty, but don’t play a whole lot of defence. Even without superstar DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings managed to pour in a massive 129 points in a win over the Milwaukee Bucks, courtesy of an on fire Rudy Gay, who put down 36 points to go with five boards. The Kings only used eight players in that one, but the three bench boys offered plenty, Omri Casspi dropping 19, Darren Collison 18 and Marco Bellinelli 17 in the high scoring affair. The Kings are third in the league in scoring, but second last in points allowed at nearly 109 a game. The Wolves are below the median in defence, allowing nearly 102 per game, while scoring a tick over 101. The translation here is that both teams should score big. They’e both operated by two of the best point guards in the game, in triple double machine Rajon Rondo, who is leading the league in assists at 10.9 per game and the uber talented Spaniard Ricky Rubio, third at 95 a game. With Gay and Cousins (hopefully) beasting for the Kings, and the likes of Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns filling it up for the Wolves, let’s cross our fingers for a high scoring match.
Los Angeles Clippers at New Orleans Pelicans
Bet: Total game score over 213.5 ($1.91)
Yep, overs again. Two sides who know how to fill up the basket should be able to get things going and make this one an entertaining clash. It’s Chris Paul and Blake Griffin up against Anthony Davis and… who plays for NOLA again? Just kidding. The Hornets have disappointed so far, but it’s been tough without the versatile Tyreke Evans, injuries to point guard Jrue Holiday and a few missed games to Davis himself. When they’re on, they get plenty of scoring out of stretch four Ryan Anderson – over 19 per game – and talented, but oft injured guard Eric Gordon is looking something close to the man he was before he had those debilitating leg injuries, scoring the ball at nearly 19 a game. We don’t have to say much about the Clipps. They have Griffin, who is among the league’s leading scorers, Paul who can fill it up with the best point guards in the game and offensive talent across all lines, including veteran Paul Pierce and three point specialists Jamal Crawford and JJ Reddick. Behind those men, they are eighth in the league in scoring, but just 21st in defence – that guy DeAndre Jordan has work to do. Meanwhile the Pelicans are one better in seventh in scoring, while they are last in points allowed at nearly 110 a game. This one is going to be a high scoring one.
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