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October 28, 2015 (2:00 PM ET)

The NBA season tips off for us tonight and regardless of what kind of start we get off to, we're confident of topping all charts, as we did with a verified 83-60 record last year! Sports-betting is a marathon and NOT a sprint.

There are two picks tonight.

1) Take Phoenix Suns at -5 spread against Dallas Mavericks for 3% of the bankroll.

The Phoenix Suns have been in the rebuilding stages the last few seasons and now heading into the third year under head coach Jeff Hornacek, the Suns seem poised to take the pivotal next step. They are a team that can likely fly under the radar in the early part of the season and have a solid backcourt in place with the like of Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight. PJ Tucker is also starting to come into his own at the small forward position and the addition of former Dallas Maverick Tyson Chandler at center adds a defensive presence down low. The Suns also have a bevy of young talent on the bench and while they may be somewhat inexperienced, they will also be hungry and motivated to earn their spot on the team and show their coach what they can do when given the opportunity.

The Dallas Mavericks are a team that have missed the playoffs just once in the last decade, however we believe things will be challenging for them this season. Dirk Nowitzki is 37 and while there is no question that he is still a big presence on the floor, he is no longer the player he was years ago. Deron Williams is also questionable as a starting point guard. He has failed to live up to his highly touted expectations in his career and his work ethic has certainly been publicly questioned, especially over the last few seasons. Chandler Parson, who can no doubt make an impact while on the floor has been bothered by injuries the last few season and is still dealing with some lingering injuries. They also lost a lot of talent with Monta Ellis, Amar'e Stoudamire and even Tyson Chandler moving on. The fact remains that the Mavericks are not the same team as they were in the past and have not gotten any younger. Age is likely to catch up with them, especially in the early and later parts of the season. The Mavericks do have some new additions to their roster in Wes Mathews and Zaza Pachulia but it will likely take time for these two to become accustomed to operating in a completely new offensive scheme.

Both the Suns and Mavericks prefer to play an up tempo style of offense however we also believe that Jeff Hornacek has learned his lesson from past mistakes and will make an adjustment to be much more conscientious when it comes to defensive stops. The Western Conference is littered with high scoring teams and in the past it has always been the ones who play the better defense than wind up having the most success. All of the conference teams can score, but not everyone can play defense. We believe the Suns have learned that and we should see a much improved defense than in past seasons.

The Mavericks also travel to the Staples tomorrow to face the Clippers and there is no doubt they have been looking forward to that contest after their failed attempt to persuade DeAndre Jordan to leave LA. While their focus should be 100% on the season opener, we can say with complete confidence that it will be. Their point to prove is in tomorrow's game and we wouldn't be surprised to see them let up off the gas if they find themselves in a bit of a hole late in the game. With this being the Suns opening game of the season at home, we expect them to come out and put on a show for their fans and let everyone know that they are a team to beware of. Lay the 5 points in this one.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Mavs are just 9-19 ATS as an underdog over the last 2 seasons.
  • Suns have covered 6 of the last 7 meetings against Mavericks!
  • Mavs are 4-13 ATS against Pacific division clubs over the last 2 seasons.
  • Suns are 40-25 ATS when the total is 200 to 209.5 points over the last 3 years!

2) Take the UNDER 198 total points in Indiana Pacers vs. Toronto Raptors for 3% of the bankroll.

The Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors open their season at Air Canada Centre tonight.

This year's Indiana Pacers team is set to look much different than years past and this could be a make or break season for head coach Frank Vogel. David West and Roy Hibbert are gone from the squad. A heavy burden will be placed on the trio of Paul George, George Hill and Monta Ellis. With Hibbert gone, French C Ian Mahinmi could be in for his best season yet now that’s he the full-time starter for the first time in his career. The Indiana Pacers also have a couple of interesting, young players in Myles Turner and Joseph Young who should see playing time right away. Indiana has long been known as a defense-first team and while that philosophy will change somewhat this season, old habits are hard to break and we expect them to still have a strong presence on defense tonight.

As for the Raptors, they are pretty much the team they were last season besides the monster addition of DeMarre Carroll and Luis Scola. The Raptors will again be led by their trio of DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas. For Toronto to really take the next step, they are going to need guys such as Anthony Bennett, Bismack Biyombo and Terrence Ross to provide quality minutes off the bench. The Raptors have shown their ability in the past to be careless with the basketball and go on lengthy scoring droughts. If that is the case once again in this particular contest, it will be hard for them to contribute the kind of points needed to push this total over. Coach Dwane Casey admitted that his team's failures last season can be blamed on a lack of defensive intensity. They had been stout in the prior year but somewhere along the line lost their focus on that end of the court and got away frmo their roots. Casey brought over Biyombo and Carroll among others to emphasize the NEED for them to become a good defensive club again. We believe they'll have a point to prove tonight and will want to get back to the type of team they were 2 seasons ago.

The Pacers have big hopes of implementing a new style of offense this season and while that sounds great in theory, it often takes time for the players to become accustomed to playing in a different system. It often leads to miscommunication, turnovers and struggles putting the ball in the basket. While this new system may work out great for the Pacers in the long run, it is too early in the season to expect to see a complete turnaround. Indiana has never been a team that has been exceptionally explosive on the offensive side of the ball and in the first game of the season, we don't expect that to be the case either. Both teams will likely struggle out of the gate in adjusting back to playing at game speed. Both offenses will miss some shots as is often the case in season openers and that is likely to cause the total to fall just under the set number.

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