Updated: Nov 1
It is the start of November and we have two weeks of NBA action under our belts. The Nets and Lakers are still as dysfunctional as ever, the Sixers and Heat are having slower starts than expected, and the Jazz and Spurs may as well win the Western Conference. Sound about right?
There is plenty of time to overreact, but that is not as fun for a Tuesday night Best Bets piece. I do tend to overreact on my Twitter though @AndyHHSports, so definitely check it out there and join in on the conversation. Who is your sleeper this season? Who is overperforming? I won't have it here, but I do have a few plays for TNT Tuesday, so let's take a look!
Chicago Bulls Moneyline (+110) - 0.75 Units
Chicago Bulls / Brooklyn Nets over 232 Points (-110) - 1 Unit
If you were on Twitter at all today there was a plethora of news across the NFL, NBA, and the musical landscape. The NBA's biggest headline was easily the Brooklyn Nets firing Steve Nash to immediately replace him with the scandal-ridden suspended head coach in Boston, Ime Udoka. I don't want to dive into how annoyed this decision makes me and how the Celtics should be asking for a pick or monetary compensation, but instead want to talk about why the Bulls are the play.
There is an old wise tale in American and European football about firing your coach or manager. The new manager boost will be proven to be a myth tonight, as the Bulls travel to Brooklyn not even 8 hours after Steve Nash has been kicked out of the building. For starters, Brooklyn are 2-5 to start the season, and 1-6 ATS. Chicago are building back to full strength with Lonzo still not healthy and LaVine skipping games already, but we will see Zach LaVine active tonight along with impressive young guard Ayo Dosunmu.
The sharps seem to agree that the new manager boost is a myth, as the Bulls are sitting at a +15% sharp differential as it stands 45 minutes before tip-off. If any of you follow along with Deej's podcast Sharpen the Public, it is important to make note of where the sharps are betting if the trends make sense. The NBA data is still young, but I do believe there is a reason why they have been latching on to the Bulls heavily in this spot, and Brooklyn has shown nothing for us to believe that they will make any kind of impact tonight.
The over in tonight's game is also a fade of the public, as 61% of the bets are on the under and the sharp differential is sitting at +16% on the over. This is in large part due to the Nets being bottom 5 in points per game allowed this season as well as bottom 5 in defensive efficiency, with the Bulls not really impressive either sitting in the bottom half. On top of this, Ben Simmons is out tonight, and we know his offense has been horrible but his defense is still stellar which helps the Bulls.
DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine have continued their scoring success for Chicago so far this season, and I don't expect that to slow up tonight. Even if you are skeptical that the Nets may bounce back without Nash, I believe we will see an abundance of scoring from KD and Kyrie against an average D from the Bulls. Give me the over here, and let's hope that the Nets see it wasn't all Nash's fault that their team is in disarray.
Paolo Banchero over 3.5 Assists (-125) - 1 Unit
If you have been keeping up with my plays from the Happy Hour Sports website and from my Twitter, it is no secret that I am in love with Paolo's props this season, and more specifically his assist totals. Paolo has been spending some of his time running point forward for the Magic as they deal with injuries to their point guards and continue to figure one another out. Jalen Suggs returns tonight for the Magic, but they will still be missing Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony.
Banchero has seen this total go over all three of his previous three games, and we should see an ample number of opportunities for him to fill this same role tonight. Jalen Suggs will run some point, but we saw during his first game with the Magic this year that the man absolutely loves to shoot. I believe this will continue, as the Magic still need more sources of offense with really just Franz, Paolo, and Carter Jr. providing any spark of scoring. Look for Paolo and Suggs to share playmaking responsibilities tonight, and here's to Paolo creating some nice opportunities to cash this over.
Orlando Magic / Oklahoma City Thunder under 216.5 (-110) - 1.5 Units
I have an additional play on the Magic and Thunder game, and it is for both of these teams to keep the scoring low tonight. Although I absolutely love watching the Magic on League Pass so far this season, they are really really bad. I highlighted it a bit in the Paolo play, but these guys in Orlando are still really starting to figure one another out.
Oklahoma City on the other hand is one of the top defensive efficiency units this season in the NBA, ranking 5th overall in the league. This is certainly surprising, as is this team's record of 3-3, and I don't expect the defense to slow down any time soon. As it stands right now, the Magic are in the middle of the pack in defensive efficiency, but I do love reminding people they were also a top 5 defensive unit to close out the final 2 months of last season.
If that doesn't convince you, we have got two sides ranking in the bottom 5 of offensive efficiency this season with Orlando in 27th and Oklahoma City in 26th. The sharps seem to agree, as we are looking at 81% of the money on the under tonight at a +53% sharp differential. I will absolutely be tuning into my favorite League Pass team tonight, but it won't be to cheer for points!
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