LA Lakers @ San Antonio Spurs: Over 229 Total Points – 10/11
Only New Orleans are outscoring the Lakers since King James came to town. Los Angeles finally made those points count for something at Phoenix during the week, before beating the undefeated Denver Nuggets, who’d conquered the Warriors in their previous game.
The great one put up a triple-double as he collected his first home win in gold and his new team now looks to be finding its feet after a ropey start. On Saturday night, live on Sky, they’ve a chance to avenge one of their earlier losses as they head to San Antonio – James posted 32 points in that overtime defeat, so they’ve not had many issues scoring, the problem’s been they’ve one of the worst defences in the league.
Unfortunately for San Antonio’s post-Kawhi Leonard roster, they’re not far off the Lakers’ stats in that cateogory.
For those who don’t know, the Spurs are perennially one of the tightest teams in the league. It’s why they’ve gone to the playoffs in 21 consecutive seasons, and the fact their roster turnover looks to have claimed their solid base shows why many doubt they’ll extend that streak to a 22nd.
Of course, it’s a small sample size so far this season, and coach Gregg Popovich will expect to plug the leaks, but it doesn’t bode well for this match-up. The Lakers are 4-0-1 for overs on total points markets through five games, and we’d look to that again because of the Spurs’ uncharacteristic leaks.
Utah Jazz @ New Orleans Pelicans: Utah -1 – 10/11
The Pelicans are stuffing their proverbial beaks through the opening stages of the season, and no one’s been a greedier guzzler than Anthony Davis.
He’s averaging over 30 points per game, 13 rebounds and his team beat the first three spreads they’ve faced before sneaking past Brooklyn last night.
That game makes this a tougher spot for the bayou birds. They’re at home, and while Brooklyn will not have strained them too much, they’d rather not be dealing with Utah just a night later.
The Jazz have had an up-and-down start, but going to Houston and winning felt like a important hurdle in their bid to be the primary challengers to GSW this season. They were a basket lip away from toppling Curry et al last week, and that was without Donovan Mitchell playing his best. He turned up against the Rockets and should hopefully be back on form now.
This is a difficult match-up to call between two fancied sides, but the short rest between games mean we’d prefer the Jazz’s tune at -1 on the handicap.
Boston Celtics @ Detroit Pistons: Under 206.5 Total Points – 10/11
It still doesn’t quite look right, but we’re getting used to Blake Griffin in a Detroit uniform. And from the way he’s started the season, Griffin looks pretty comfortable playing in it too.
Only a certain Stephen Curry has averaged more points through their opening games than the former face of the Clippers. And the Pistons, under new coach Dwayne Casey, have made the most his performances, steaming out to a 4-0 start.
Though, as ever with early season numbers, you should approach that run with caution.
Detroit’s average margin of victory is just over three points. Given they’ve played Brooklyn, Chicago and Cleveland – their one-point victory over the Sixers is the only time they’ve been underdogs this season – you’d expect them to have a bigger number here.
Boston, meanwhile, have given plenty pause for thought with their rough offensive efforts through the opening games.
Their shooting percentage scrapes just over 40, leaving them third last in the league. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
Fortunately their defensive toughness hasn’t deserted them. They’re still the best in the league, and Griffin had a net rating of -20 through two games against the Celts last season. We’d expect that to come through here and they should drop the Pistons to 4-1.
We’d look at the under on the total points given Boston defensive strength and their trends on the road.
*All odds correct at time of posting