HOPEFULLY the Thanksgiving break is enough to help reset the NBA world and get things back to some form of normality.
Here’s our best bets for the action ahead:
New York Knicks @ Atlanta Hawks
There’s a reason why we made this part of our $1,000 Challenge today – everything points to a New York win.
The Knicks have struggled on the road but will head to Atlanta high on confidence after covering the spread against the Hawks on their home court in four of their last five visits.
They’ve also covered the past six straight against Atlanta, who themselves are yet to cover the line when starting at less than +3.0 point underdogs this season.
The biggest concern for Mike Budenholzer so far this season has been his side’s inability to get any stops against high scoring opposition with the team currently allowing 108.2 points per game.
The team’s average margin of -5.4 points per game ranks among the lowest in the league, and they now need to find a way to stop a young Knicks team that has found its groove offensively.
Kristaps Porzingis has done a lot of the heavy lifting early on for this team but the recent play of Tim Hardaway Jr and Enes Kanter have gone a long way to transforming this team into a genuine playoff contender in the East.
New York has covered every game when starting as favourite and we expect that trend to continue against a Hawks team who will again be without players. Mike Muscala will miss this match up, while Luke Babbitt remains a game time decision.
Our data shows the Knicks winning straight up at least 67% of the time and we feel the price is too high for the road team in a matchup where they should comfortably prevail.
Tip: New York Knicks @ $1.88 (Palmerbet)
Detroit Pistons @ Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder are coming off their biggest win of the season and will need to back up that statement with with a strong showing against the Pistons.
Detroit started the season strongly but their road woes have slightly halted some of that momentum with the team losing three of their last four games away from Little Caesar’s.
The Thunder flexed their intense defensive abilities in that win over the Warriors and they rank second in the league for defensive efficiency.
The team allows just 98.1 points per game against them, while they managed to hold teams to an average of 43.5% shooting from the field.
The Pistons’ offence hasn’t looked anywhere near as effective as it was in the early stage of the season these past few weeks and while they do average 104.0 points per game that number is down at just 95.75 points per game in their last four starts.
Offensively they don’t match up well with Oklahoma City and Billy Donovan’s team will likely force late shot clock possessions on the visitors, who aren’t inclined to make many of those buckets.
Meanwhile, OKC’s offence relies entirely on their starters carrying the load and it’ll be interesting to see how they respond after an emotional win against the Warriors last time out.
Detroit’s defence does only allow opponents to score at an average of 102.1 point per game and while they’ll face a tough task keeping their starters quiet there’s no reason why they can’t hold this team to Under that average.
The Unders has hit in OKC’s last seven straight meetings with Eastern Conference opponents, while the Pistons have seen their last four straight games also stay Under the points total.
The last six meetings between these sides has stayed Under the total and we have a strong lean on that trend continuing here in this one.
Tip: Under 202.5 points @ $1.87 (Sportsbet)