• Andy

NBA Best Bets Wednesday 10/19

Updated: Oct 19

October and November of a new NBA season are always some of the craziest of times. Last season we saw the Bulls and Wizards look like world-beaters in the East before things came back to reality (or back to physical therapy, in the case of Chicago). This year it will be exciting to see what surprises come out of the first month and a half, which brings me to my point. Betting on the NBA at the beginning of the season feels easier than it actually is, as there are many more changes and influences that have gone on behind the scenes of these 30 franchises than what fits the eye. I am hoping I have the right read on an exciting offseason for many teams, so here goes nothing on Day 2:

If you missed out on Tuesday 10/18's NBA Best Bets, click on the link!

USA Today

Hornets / Spurs Under 227 (-110) - 1 Unit

I made sure to grab this line on Monday evening. The Hornets entered the new season knowing they'd be without leading scorer Miles Bridges, and now after a preseason injury, they are without their best player and 2022 All Star LaMelo Ball. The Hornets scored the fourth-highest points per game last season, fueled by a fast-tempo offense focused on shooting, shooting, and more shooting. Former head coach James Borrego really helped this offense be absolutely electric on some nights when the Hornets would eclipse 130 or 140 points, but on other nights you'd see some very, very low team totals by the final whistle.

Now defensive-minded Steve Clifford steps in for his second stint at the helm in Charlotte, and he is without his two best players. Luckily Lamelo will be back in a week or two, but Miles Bridges is most likely done in the NBA many are saying. Can an offense with Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward leading the way even break 100 points against a tanking San Antonio Spurs side? We know that the Spurs surely won't be in any hurry to score, and may not be able to do much on offense with Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, and... (who else?) as their scoring options. Give me the under here, as the total continues to move farther and farther down over the next 48 hours.

Minnesota Timberwolves -10.5 vs Oklahoma City Thunder (-110) - 1 Unit

This is an absolutely massive spread for the first game of the year. And here I am telling you to jump in early on it. The Minnesota Timberwolves had the highest PPG in the NBA last season at 115.9, and have made some key additions to the squad including Rudy Gobert, Kyle Anderson, Austin Rivers, and more. If you have not heard much about the Timberwolves this offseason, you may have spent your summer living under a rock as Brian Windhorst took over the internet with his memes.

Oklahoma City may be an easy fade to start the year, as they will be without Chet Holmgren for the entirety of the 2022-23 season. I thought that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would also be on the injury list for the first couple of weeks, but he has somehow recovered from an MCL sprain in four weeks which is very impressive. I love Josh Giddey and believe he is their point guard of the future, but there is no way he can guide this tanking roster to a healthy number wins in just his second season. And why should he? It is Sam Presti's dream to pair Victor Wembanyama with Chet Holmgren in order to change the team name to the Oklahoma City Unicorns.

I am absolutely intrigued by the Timberwolves' new look this season as they were abysmal on defense, and there is a world where they outperform many's consistently low expectations just due to the defensive presence multiple-time DPOY Gobert brings. Let's see the Wolves impress their fans with a blowout win at home, and hopefully it looks just as electric as when they won their play-in game just to get absolutely schooled by the Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs. I ended up taking this Monday after work, knowing that the line may potentially move more in favor of the Wolves.


Orlando Magic Moneyline (+145) @ Detroit Pistons - 0.5 Units

I would wait to see if this line moves one way or the other, but I have placed a half unit on the Magic monyeline here as of Monday night. On the first full slate of games for the NBA season, we get treated to the battle of number-one picks between 2022's Paolo Banchero and 2021's Cade Cunningham. Cade made a late push last season to try to win Rookie of the Year, but the impressive and consistent performances of Scottie Barnes and Evan Mobley kept Cade out of the two-horse race. Scottie ended up winning the award, but that did not take away from the hype train that Cade Cunningham has brought to Detroit.

The Pistons brought in plenty of new faces through the draft and trades, pairing young prospects Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren with veterans Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks, and Nerlens Noel. Saddiq Bey has shown promise but has a lot to prove in the consistency department over the next two seasons before we can ensure he is as great of a shooter as he has shown.

Meanwhile, in Orlando, the Magic surprised the world by picking Paolo Banchero number one overall over the summer after many speculated it would be Chet Holmgren or Jabari Smith for a couple of months. This Magic team was sneaky toward the end of the NBA season. The Magic were sixth in defensive rating in March and April and began to really give opposing teams a run for their money on the floor and against the spread. This team was just missing a go-to guy and a legit scoring threat which they now have in Paolo.

I believe the Magic are much more talented than the Pistons, and although they don't have nearly as much experience, guys like Jalen Suggs, Cole Anthony, Wendell Carter Jr, and Franz Wagner are names that casual fans will become more and more familiar with this season as Paolo launches this team to the next level. I am not overly confident in this play, and anyone who says they are confident in the result of a Magic-Pistons game should probably be subject to a lie-detector test. However, I will take the slight dog here for half a unit, and hope that young talent outshines subpar veteran players.

Here are a few plays I have added on Wednesday…

Zion Williamson over 19.5 Points (-130) - 1.5 Units

After a 2021-22 season filled with speculation about Zion and his future with the Pelicans, he makes his triumphant return tonight in Brooklyn on the big stage. This game is one I have circled and will be watching out of the East Coast slate tonight, and I think everyone should give it a look to see the debut of Ben Simmons with the Nets along with re-debut of Zion on this very different Pelicans roster from the last time he played.

Guys, let’s not overthink this one. This line is FAR too low. I get it that it is Zion’s first game back in action in over a year. But Willie Green will be looking to get him involved from the get-go. Zion is fully healthy, and will be able to take advantage of a weak interior defense in Brooklyn.

The Nets also did not show a lot of impressive feats on defense against Boston during their 0-4 sweeping loss last spring. There is not a lot of change on that defensive front going into this season, although I do really respect what Ben Simmons will add for them on that side of the ball. But Zion averaged 22.5 PPG in his brief 21 games that made up his rookie year, and 27.0 PPG in his sophomore campaign. Tonight will be no different, and I find this Zion line to be borderline disrespectful to such a unique scoring beast like Williamson.

Elsa - Getty Images

Ben Simmons over 14.5 Rebounds & Assists (-120) - 1 Unit

Going from one debut to another here by placing a prop bet on the infamous Ben Simmons himself. Everyone knows what Ben brings to the table, but I believe his return to action is coming in a bit underrated. Ben will be facilitating the offense in Brooklyn at PG, and defending the interior like a PF due to his incredible length.

Ben’s historical numbers over his four seasons he was active in the NBA tell us that this total is too low. Simmons career averages of 8.1 RPG and 7.8 APG bring him closer to a total of 16 instead of the number of 14.5 tonight. I understand it is his first game back in action and he is debuting on a new team, but I’ll take Simmons rebounding prowess paired with how often he will be dishing out the ball tonight in what should be a fun Pelicans and Nets opening night game.

Brad Penner - USA TODAY Sports

**Stay Tuned as I continue to add to this article before Wednesday's NBA Slate gets kicked off...


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