The NBA regular season is just two weeks old and the high scoring games continue with that fact being greatly reflected in the wagering results involving Totals.
Through Monday, 95 games have already been played, roughly eight percent of the season’s total. Fifty-six of those games, or 59 percent, have gone over. with 38 (40 percent) There has been one push.
Milwaukee is the lone team yet to lose in the early season, winning its first seven contests. Only one team is winless and that happens to be the four-time Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers. As if anyone needed confirmation, the departure of LeBron James to the Lakers is the main reason why the Cavs have started 0-6. That explanation is not good enough for ownership, however, as on Sunday the Cavs fired head coach Ty Lue.
One other Eastern Conference team has won just once as Washington has gotten off to that poor start. But so far, the Wizards have kept their coaching staff intact.
Three teams in the Western Conference also had won just once as we went to press on Tuesday and two of them are major surprises. Both Oklahoma City and Houston have started 1-4 and both are considered challengers for second place in the Conference behind Golden State. Phoenix’ 1-5 start is not surprising even though that lone win game in their opening game and was by 21 points at home over Dallas. As if to dispel any notions that this might be signs of positive things to come, the Suns followed up that win with four straight losses by 18 points or more followed by a ‘competitive’ seven-point loss at Oklahoma City in what has been the Thunder’s lone win referenced above.
Here are thoughts on three weekend games:
Thunder at Wizards (Friday): It’s been a disappointing start to the season for both teams as each had won just once as of press time. Washington returns home following a five-game road trip and the first game back home has historically been a “play against” situation. But that is offset by OKC playing its third game in four nights at a third different venue and just played Thursday night at Charlotte.
This game should be competitively priced as the talent level is not that different and both teams have played fairly similar basketball thus far. Washington has been involved in four games decided by four points or less, including its lone win which came in overtime by a point in Portland. At press time, none of OKC’s games had been decided by less than six points.
Despite being its first game back after the road trip, the preference is for the hosts. WIZARDS
Lakers at Trail Blazers (Saturday): The Lakers disappointed us last week as they failed in their first early-season revenge situation with a second loss at the Spurs after losing at home to them five nights earlier. The LeBron James era opened with a 128-119 road loss in Portland to start the season and the teams meet again on that same court. Both teams are rested as the Lakers last played on Wednesday while the Blazers returned home from a road trip and hosted New Orleans on Thursday. There is still plenty of upside for the Lakers to show steady improvement as “The King” develops a rhythm with his new team. And they should be getting more than the three points they were spotted in that opening-night meeting. LAKERS
Kings at Bucks (Sunday): Sacramento is an early season surprise with its 4-3 start (including three straight wins at press time) but they will face a challenge here as the Bucks were a perfect 7-0. And that’s with the “Greek Freak,” Giannis Antetokounmpo missing the seventh win as he deals with concussion protocol.
Both teams are also 5-2 to the over with neither team yet having played any overtime games. Milwaukee was considered to be a second tier contender in the East. The Kings were considered long shots to even make the Playoffs in the West with a projected season wins total of 26 – lowest in the Conference and second-lowest in the NBA. They opened this current road trip with a 10-point win at Miami as 9.5-point underdogs. The line will be even more generous here and, even with “The Freak’s” status in doubt, the early-season momentum could continue after having last played a winnable game in Atlanta on Thursday whereas the Bucks are also off a Thursday night game at Boston. KINGS
Last week: 1-2