Great start to the season in NBA betting tips so far as over the first couple of days we hit on 4/5 tips. In a heartbreaking finish to the 5th tip, we needed Philadelphia star centre Joel Embiid to score over 23.5 points in the 76ers opening game against the Celtics, he scored 23 and shot 9/21 from the field!
We will soldier on, regardless, as we look forward to this Saturday in the NBA, which features a fantastic nine game slate headlined by a couple of monster conference matchups. We preview the key games of the day and give our betting tips below.
Many experts think that Saturday morning's game between the Celtics and Raptors in Toronto could be an extra early preview of the Eastern Conference finals later in the season and the way that both teams opened their account earlier in the week would support that theory. The Celtics were absolutely dominant in their season opener against the 76ers, claiming an 18-point win while getting limited production out of some of their star players in the likes of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Jayson Tatum seemed to have picked up right where he left off in last season’s playoffs, opening his account with 23 points on 9/17 shooting and adding 9 rebounds.
The Raptors were too impressive in their opening game, claiming a 12-point win over a gallant Cleveland team. Star recruit Kawhi Leonard showed no signs of injury or disinterest in the game as he played 37 minutes, racked up 24 points, 13 rebounds and was troublesome on defence. Kahwhi’s performance this season was always shaping up to be the barometer for the Raptors, and if his performance on Thursday is any indication of what’s in store, the Raptors will be playing late in the season once again this year.
Extremely tough to pick a winner here especially given how evenly matched these teams have been over the past season. The Raptors have the home court advantage but there’s something about the Celtics depth that makes us think they’ll be incredibly confident on the road this year. Boston are capable of throwing out a second unit of Marcus Smart, Marcus Morris, Terry Rozier and Aaron Baynes, all of whom were, at one point or another, the best player in a conference final last season. Kawhi will no doubt represent a tougher challenge for Tatum and co than they have seen before but that’s where the Celtics depth will shine. We love the value of Boston here.
As we mentioned above, the Cavs were gallant in their opening game loss to the Raptors. Life post-LeBron might not be as bad as experts predicted as Kevin Love looked back in team leading form and the likes of Cedi Osman, Jordan Clarkson and George Hill all chipping in. Cleveland are stacked with experienced veterans and guys who just know how to win from being involved in such a competitive culture over the past few years, so they should be competitive on a nightly basis.
Minnesota had so many clouds hanging over their head leading into their opening game against the Spurs that it’s a miracle they didn’t get blown out. Star guard Jimmy Butler was on the trade table all the way up until opening day and there are still question marks surrounding his future in Minnesota, regardless, he played well in the Timberwolves opening game against the Spurs, compiling 27 points and 7 rebounds in the four-point loss.
The Wolves are strong favourites at home and as much as we think the Cavs will be competitive this season, we have to side with the home side here. The two teams combined for 258 points in regulation time in their last contest and both sides scored over 100 points against good defences in their opening games. Back the overs here.
The game of the day sees the Golden State Warriors travelling to Utah to take on the Jazz in a massive Western Conference matchup. The Warriors weren't exactly inspiring in their opening game against the Thunder but still managed to get the job done, finishing with an eight point win over as Steph Curry dropped 32 points and Kevin Durant added 27. While it will be incredibly tough to beat the Warriors night to night, their depth proved to be a bit of an issue in Game 1, as they had to rely on youngsters Damian Jones and Kevon Looney to play big minutes at centre.
The Jazz went down by as many as 16 points in the first quarter of their game against Sacramento but in the end they had no problem running over the top of the Kings, who we predict will finish in the bottom couple of teams in the Western Conference. Donovan Mitchell carried on from his fantastic rookie season by notching up 24 points in the win while Aussie Joe Ingles was impressive with 22 points including four three pointers.
We were more than happy to take the Thunder at the large 11 point line against the Warriors on Wednesday but Saturday’s line is set at just 2 points in favour of the reigning champs. We think this is a close game one way or another and given just two of the last six games between these sides have cleared 219 total points, we think the unders are a good pick here.
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