The NBA is officially back and I’m here to give you my picks for opening night to hopefully win you some Kash.....if you are wondering I've won so many bets that decided to give myself that nickname. Let's get into my picks.
Utah Jazz (4) vs New Orleans Pelicans (10)
The Jazz won the season series 2-1, but less than 8 points decided all of the games and the lone game the Pelicans did win when Zion played, and he had 26 points and 5 rebounds. This game could go either way; there are so many variables due to them being in the bubble.
Smooth as Jazz
The Utah Jazz are a balanced, well-coached, and veteran team. They are top 10 in offensive and defensive rating. On the other hand, they are missing a vital player in Bojan Bogdanovic. Their halfcourt offense will struggle without him. There have been some questions about the team's locker room, specifically the relationship between their two stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. Rudy Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive for coronavirus, but that is not all. There were reports of Rudy being incredibly irresponsible and putting teammates and peers at risk. After Mitchell also tested positive for the virus, there were reports that he was unhappy with the way Gobert acted. After a couple of months, we learned that Gobert's careless behavior surrounding the pandemic was just the beginning, and there have been problems all season long. Gobert, during the season, was unhappy with the number of touches he was getting.
When discussing the storylines for the Pelicans, one thing comes to mind and its ZION Williamson. The moment Zion stepped on the floor for a pelicans game, he instantly made them better. They are 10-9 when Zion is playing, and without him, they are 18-27. He is averaging 23.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists. He has single handily put them in a position to obtain the 8th seed (Adam Silver made this whole format so he got in). The Pelicans are a young and relatively inexperienced team that plays a fast pace style of basketball, and I think that will be a positive for them this game.
Prediction and Betting Picks: Currently, Zion is listed as “game-time decision” and if he isn’t playing I would pick Jazz (+120) to win. If Zion does play the pick is Pelicans (-140). I would also hammer the over at (224.0).
Los Angles Lakers (1) vs Los Angles Clippers (2)
Too Early for Hennesy?
Just before the restart, there were some roster changes for the Lakers. Avery Bradley, a key role player on this Lakers team and an accomplished defender and shooter, opted out of the NBA season. The opt-out resulted in the Lakers signing former teammate of Lebron, JR Smith. JR Smith is known to be quite the wildcard, never knowing what you get from him, and sometimes he may forget the score of the game. In all seriousness, this is not a bad signing for the Lakers because JR is a proven contributor to a championship team. The team also lost point guard Rajon Rondo to a thumb injury he won’t be back till at least 2nd round of the playoffs. The Lakers have looked good in the scrimmage games held in the bubble so far.
LA Chicken Wings?
The Clippers have been plagued by injuries throughout the 2019-2020 season and have been focused on having a fully healthy team for the beginning of the playoffs. It looks like that is still the mentality of the team due to the fact the best sixth man in the NBA Lou Williams was hit with a 10-day quarantine by the NBA because there was a photo of him seen at Magic City strip club while he was on leave to attend his grandfathers funeral. The funny thing is he was not there for the girls he was there to get their famous chicken wings, and of course, that makes sense because who would go to a strip club to see women. On the basketball side, there are many notable Clippers players other than Lou Willams not playing.
Lou Williams G (Out), Patrick Beverley (Questionable), Montrezl Harrell C (Questionable), Ivica Zubac C (Questionable), Landry Shamet G (Questionable)
Prediction and Betting pick: The Clippers are riddled with injuries and bad decisions the pick is Lakers to win (-200). I would also bet the over at (215.0) because the Lakers have had high scoring exhibition games destroying the total every time and have players who can score on their own and the Lakers should be able to find plenty of space to operate in the paint.