As the first full week of the NBA continues, we have a pair of nationally televised games that will put the league’s present and future on center stage.
First up, the 1-1 Dallas Mavericks travel to New Orleans to face off against the 2-1 Pelicans. Luka and company bounced back against the Grizzlies after a disappointing end to their season opener against the Suns. Christian Wood is already the favorite to win Sixth man of the Year while Spencer Dinwiddie has performed admirably and helped Mavs fans start to get over the loss of Jalen Brunson. For New Orleans, health could be a concern. Brandon Ingram has already been ruled out while Zion Williamson and Herbert Jones are currently listed as questionable.
To end the night, the Golden State Warriors are traveling to Phoenix to take on the Suns. Many expected those two teams to face off in the Conference finals but the pesky Mavericks got in the way. There’s no love loss between these two teams and I’d expect a playoff atmosphere despite the season being so young.
Dallas Mavericks vs New Orleans Pelicans
Thursday, 10/25 at 6:30 pm CST on TNT
Dallas Mavericks -4.5 (-105)
This game comes down to health. At full strength, the Pelicans would be favored at home. With Ingram ruled out, and Zion and Herb Jones listed as questionable, you can't feel comfortable betting on the Pelicans. Herb Jones is the best defender on the Pelicans and would undoubtedly be tasked with guarding Luka. His combination of length and athleticism could pose problems for the Mavericks on both ends of the floor. Offensively, the Pelicans would need a huge night from CJ McCollum to keep things competitive. McCollum could very well have a 40-point night and it may not be enough to keep pace with the Mavericks
ADVICE: Take the Mavs and the points (-4.5)
Golden State Warriors vs Phoenix Suns
Thursday, 10/25 at 9 pm CST on TNT
Phoenix Suns -2.5(-110)
The Suns are currently -2.5 point favorites at home against the defending champions. As game time approaches, you have to imagine the line will finish closer to a pick 'em. Why? For one, the Warriors are simply the better team. Secondly, if there’s a team that isn't scared to play on the road, it’s Golden State. Injuries aren’t a concern for them since only Donte DiVencenzo and Andre Iguodala are scheduled to miss the game. You won’t get many opportunities to get plus odds on the Warriors' Moneyline this season. According to VSIN.com, 77% of bettors are siding with Golden State and I expect that number to rise. If you think these two teams are evenly matched, the value clearly lies with the Warriors. If you, like many others, believe the Suns are a tier below Golden State, this line is manna from heaven.
As far as the game total, the money is even more lopsided. 90% of bettors believe the game total will exceed 224 points. Fade the public and take the under. The Suns have yet to look like the offensive juggernaut of years prior. The Warriors, who have averaged 127 points per game so far, have yet to play a credible NBA defense. The Kings, Nuggets, and Lakers are amongst the league’s worst. Look for Phoenix to slow the game down and try to limit the number of possessions. They aren't equipped to beat Golden State in a firefight and will be best suited by dictating the pace of play.
ADVICE: Parlay the Warriors ML(+140) with the UNDER
Stephen Curry - Over 26.5 points(-110)
Teams believe they can wear down Chris Paul by making him work on defense. Expect the Warriors to run Curry through a ton of screens both on and off the ball. That should lead to a number of good looks from deep for Curry. He relishes the big stage and should have a huge scoring night.
Andrew Wiggins - Over 6.5 Rebounds(+110)
The Warriors will look to limit second-chance opportunities for the Suns. Expect Draymond and the Golden State frontcourt to focus on boxing out DeAndre Ayton and rebounding as a team. The Warriors were able to win the title, in part, due to Wiggin’s ability to come up with clutch rebounds. At +110, betting on Wiggins to come down with 7 rebounds seems like a reasonable pick.
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