November 10, 2015 (2:00 PM ET)
There are 2 NBA picks tonight.
1) Take New Orleans Pelicans at -1.5 spread against Dallas Mavericks for 3% of the bankroll.
This season has not exactly gone the way the Pelicans had envisioned thus far. After being a playoff team last season, they find themselves winless on the season. There is no doubt that this is a team that is young, hungry and desperate to end their skid and pick up a victory.
It's not too often that you see this this early in the season, but this is also a revenge game for the Pelicans. This is the second game of a home and home series between these two teams and it was the Mavericks who managed to take the first game of the series. The Pelicans certainly can't afford to drop yet another game to a Western Conference Rival, not only because of the standings but from a point of pride as well.
The Mavericks also find themselves in somewhat of a look ahead spot in this contest as well. Not only have they beaten this same team just days earlier, but they have a big time showdown tomorrow night against DeAndre Jordan and the LA Clippers. Everyone knows what happened this offseason between the Mavs and Jordan so there is certainly no love lost between these two teams. Those two teams already met once this season with the Clippers beating the Mavericks which only rubbed further salt into the wound. Dallas will no doubt be looking forward to that contest tomorrow and Mark Cuban will demand complete and utter focus in that contest, it would be easy for them to somewhat overlook a team tonight that they just handled a few days prior.
While the Mavericks will be interested in tomorrow's matchup, picking up a win tonight will be the Pelicans only focus. New Orleans is at home tonight and the pressure is building on them. They essentially need to win this game tonight as they will be gearing up to hit the road on a long East Coast road trip where things likely won't get any easier for Anthony Davis and company.
We believe Anthony Davis will have a big game in this contest as will the rest of his teammates. The odds makers know exactly what they are doing and the spread says a lot about this contest. New Orleans is winless on the season and have lost 8 of the previous 9 meetings against the Mavericks and yet the oddsmakers have decided to instill them as favorites. That shows exactly how they believe this game is going to play out and we agree. The Mavs have a lot of new 'pieces' to their team that are all still in the process of trying to gel. The new guard tandem of Deron Williams and Wes Matthews is a prime example as neither has quite lived up to their billing yet this season. The loss of Tyson Chandler is another big hole in their game along with the minute restriction on the injury prone Chandler Parsons. The Pelicans have the edge in this contest in numerous areas and we expect that to show on the court as they grab their first win of the season and the ATS cover as well as the Pelicans are 12-7 ATS as a home favorite of 3 or less points over the last 3 seasons!
2) Take Milwaukee Bucks at +2 spread against Boston Celtics for 3% of the bankroll.
The two teams come into this game each without one of their point-guards as both Marcus Smart and Michael Carter-Williams are dealing with injuries. That shouldn't be much of a problem for either team however as Isaiah Thomas and Jerryd Bayless are more than adequate replacements. The Bucks have a matchup advantage at the Center position with former Piston Gregg Monroe and we believe the C's will find Khris Middleton and Giannis Antotekounmpo also difficult to contain.
Jason Kidd's squad started the season 0-3 but has since won 4 straight games and has the opportunity to match its season-high streak of last year which was 5 consecutive wins! The Bucks made the playoffs last year thanks to playing stifling and stingy defense and are playing with high intensity at that end of the court again. They've allowed just an average of 90.3 points in their last 4 games and have limited their last 3 opponents to just 21% shooting from beyond the arc! While they have a tougher task ahead of them against the Celtics tonight, they have regained their confidence and swagger and that makes them very dangrous again. This is a false favorite situation in our opinion in the sense that Milwaukee should not be getting points in this spot, they should be handing them out. We handicapped this game at Bucks -2 and yet are able to get them as 2-point underdogs simply because Michael Carter-Williams will sit. Bayless and Ennis don't have MCW's size but they make less mistakes and often dictate tempo better anyway. The veteran Bayless, in particular, always plays well against Boston as a former Celtic and should have another good performance tonight.
Brad Stevens' Celtics last played on Nov 6th which means they'll likely be rusty in the first quarter tonight. Three days of rest is detrimental at this early stage of the season and often results in teams coming out sluggish before getting back to game speed. Jae Crowder will play in this game for Boston but he's dealing with a bruised knee and may not be at his best. Bucks have found their rhythm and have revenge in mind. That's because Celtics took 2 of 3 against them last season including an important win here in April late in the season which had playoff implications! Jason Kidd has not forgotten that and will be reminding his group of players that they have a goal to achieve tonight and can't afford to drop another home game to an East rival.
The Celtics go back home to host the Pacers tomorrow night and they'll have their minds partially on that game since they lost a very close contest in Indiana recently. Interestingly enough, they ended up laying 2 points in that game as well and it didn't work out well for them. This is a similar situation with Boston being small road favorites again when they shouldn't be. Milwaukee has numerous edges in this game and should win outright but the fact that we get 2 bonus points in what should be a closely contested battle is all the more beneficial.
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