October 18, 2017
There is one pick tonight.
The NBA season has started and we could not be more excited! Much like NFL, the first week is often the toughest to predict. For that reason we'll start the season cautiously but are ultimately confident of a very profitable campaign.
Take Washington Wizards -6 spread (buy the half point) against Philadelphia 76ers for 3% of the bankroll.
The Wizards have big expectations this season and have gone on record to say anything short of an Eastern conference Finals appearance would be a disappointment. While that is a bold statement, it is a confident one from John Wall and company and one that isn't necessarily unrealistic. This was already one of the best teams in the conference last season and has reasons to believe it is even better equipped for the challenge ahead, this year after some off-the-radar moves like acquiring veteran guard Jodie Meeks. The aforementioned Meeks was deadly in preseason from beyond the arc and is a good shooter off the bench.
Scott Brooks was only in his first season at the nation's capital last year and needed time to stamp his authority on the squad. It always takes a new coach some time to instill their unique mindset and mentality on a team and it was no different for the former Oklahoma City head coach. Now in what is his sophomore year with the Wizards, he's got everyone to 'buy in'! He's made a few off-season changes but for the most part, this is the same team as last year's and that bodes well for them. It's certainly a good thing early in the season when many other teams are having to integrate multiple new players into their starting lineup and schemes. For Washington Wizards however, the starting lineup is pretty much the same with the only exception being Jason Smith likely starting instead of Markieff Morris at the 4 with the latter out injured. Given that their starting lineup and even much of the depth off the bench is unchanged from last year, they could get off to a fast start this season with players not exactly needing time to 'gel together' and work as a unit, unlike many other squads.
Not only are the hosts the more talented team in this one, we believe they have several intangible edges as well. For starters, Ben Simmons will be making his NBA debut despite this being his second season! That's because the athletic youngster missed the entire season last year due to injuries! He's likely to experience 'first-game jitters' in what is a hostile environment. Players are almost always anxious on their first taste of NBA life and the fact that he was the #1 pick in the draft a year ago only adds to the pressure for him. What makes matters worse and quite unfavorable is that he might have the unenviable task of guarding John Wall and company! Wall has established himself as an MVP candidate in this league after years of inconsistency and the speed demon is very hard to keep in front of.
This is a bad matchup for the Sixers to start the season. They are inferior in nearly every position but one area they might have an advantage in is at the 'Center' spot with Joel Embiid. Unfortunately for them, the Cameroonian will once again be on minutes-restriction and is unlikely to play as big a role as he would like. Coach Brett Brown admitted that he could see less than 20 minutes on the court to the start the season and we believe him. The Philadelphia front-office was very cautious with their prized asset last year and will follow a strict regimen again this year, especially at the beginning of the season when players are not yet fully up to game speed. When he's off the court, it remains to be seen if Jahlil Okafor can get the job done for the 76ers, especially since he's a game-time decision and missed Monday's practice. We expect him to play as a backup but he may not be 100% and with Richaun Holmes also out injured, Philly doesn't have much depth among bigs. This is the first time since 2011 that the Wizards start the season at home and we expect them to make the most of it. Look for them to come out and make a statement in the first game! They won't overlook the 76ers after being troubled by them last year.
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