Chicago Bulls @ Orlando Magic: Magic (-8) @ 10/11
The Magic are currently the joint-best team in the conference with a record of 6-2, while the Bulls are second-last with only one win out of six matches played. The Magic are in top form: although they concede 106.8 points-per-match they are second in attack with 114.8 points scored per match.
The Bulls are a decent team in defence with 101.2 points conceded per match, but have plenty of problems offensively, as they are the worst in the league for points scored, with just 90 points per match.
Orlando has proven its up-tempo playing style with 103.3 possessions played per game, and are the best team for three-point scoring with a success rate of 44.2%, against a really low 31% for the Bulls.
It’s looking like being a really hard season for the Bulls, with only the rookie Markaanen striking a positive note and giving hope that they have picked the right guy for the future. But at the moment the Magic looks to be on another level, particularly given the form showed by Fournier and Vucevic.
They should easily beat the Bulls at home and cover the spread.
Boston Celtics @ Oklahoma Thunder: Under 205.5 @ 10/11
Celtics came back strongly after the injury to Hayward in the first match of the season, and boast a 6-2 record – joint first in the Eastern Conference. After the signing of Anthony and George, the Thunder are beginning to find their feet and currently have a 4-3 record.
Celtics and Thunder are not high-tempo, high-scoring teams. The Celtics average 96.2 possessions per match scoring 103 points, while the Thunder score 106.6 points per match through an average of 97.1 possessions per game.
Although these are average stats for teams with big ambitions, like these two, it is in defence that this pair have displayed their strength.
The Celtics are the best team in defence and concede just 93.8 points per game, and with just a 31% three-point percentage conceded, they are the second-best team defending from the arc. The Thunder are the third-best defensive team, with the opponents scoring merely 95.7 points per match, thanks to a defence that allows a field goal percentage of just 42% (second-best in the league) and just 31% from the 3 point line.
Despite being an early season contest, we expect the two teams to show their defensive intensity and expect this to be a low scoring match.
All odds correct at time of posting.