With the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday at the beginning of the week, the NBA schedule was pretty inconsistent this week as we have a 10-game schedule on Wednesday with a 3-game schedule on Thursday.
Since there are three games, I’ll go through a quick bet breakdown of where my preference is in each game.
Los Angeles Lakers at Milwaukee Bucks (-1,228 total, William Hill)
This is possibly the hardest game on the list as this game is literally a bug. Since there isn’t a massive edge here, I’ll turn my attention to the 228 overall. While it’s common to run faster and collect points in early season games with Superstar matchups, the sub feels juicy here. In both matches between these teams last season, this would have been under, as none of the games ended with more than 116 points. While the bucks are running a top 10 pace, they are not running as fast as they were last season. In addition, both teams are among the top 12 in the defensive standings, with the Lakers in first place overall.
New Orleans Pelicans at Utah Jazz (-6.5, 217.5, William Hill)
This is the return leg of a tackle (in relation to the opponent, not the day of the game) as the Jazz beat the Pelicans 118-102 in Utah on Tuesday. What stands out here is the grand total, as the previous game scored a total of 220 points. Both teams run a little slower and are more defensive than offensive. So it makes sense that the total should still be a little low. Even so, the spread implies that this competition should be closer than the last game. If so, there is a higher likelihood of a back and forth game with more points, which makes the exaggeration to 218.5 tempting here.
New York Knicks at Golden State Warriors (not a line as of this writing)
With no line posted on Wednesday afternoon, we can best predict this game. The Knicks have adopted Tom Thibodeau’s game plan and are in the top 5 in the defensive standings (106.4), while their pace is in last place (96.63). In contrast to the Knicks, the Warriors occupy third place in speed (104.5) and 17th place in defensive ranking (110.2). Only one of the Knicks’ last seven games ended with a total of 220 points north, while they couldn’t crack 100 points as a team in five of those seven games. If that total is at or above 218.5, I would approach the subgroup with confidence.