The NBA season is in full swing. This gives us plenty of options to choose another winning
banker and find an advantage parlay. Which teams will we choose to find winning NBA picks?
Charlotte Hornets vs. Orlando Magic
I believe the NBA odds still do not reflect how weak this Orlando Magic roster currently is. The
Magic started the season with low expectations, and lingering injuries to key players have
depleted their roster. The Magic have only got one win so far, against the New York Knicks.
The Knicks had just beat Orlando handily two nights before, so it is safe to assume that they
overlooked them in the rematch in New York. With Charlotte coming off a heartbreaking loss
against the Boston Celtics, I do not think they will be in a position to overlook anyone.
The Charlotte Hornets started 3-0 and lost in overtime to a very strong Boston Celtics team.
Charlotte was in control most of the game, but a late push by Boston allowed them to steal the
Miles Bridges has been the surprise sensation of this NBA season. He unexpectedly leads the
Hornets averaging 25 points per game. New addition Mason Plumlee leads the team in
rebounding, averaging 10.3 rebounds per game, including 2.5 on the offensive end. Lamelo Ball
is averaging 7 assists per game. Ball is flourishing with the increased usage after the departure
of Davante Graham.
Ish Smith has been a strong backup for the Hornets. Charlotte head coach James Borrego
opted to go with Smith instead of Ball in the fourth quarter of the victory against the Brooklyn
Nets on Sunday.
The Charlotte team is young, exciting, and absolutely stacked with talent. Kelly Oubre fits in
much better with Charlotte than he did with the Golden State Warriors. He is averaging 16.8
points per game as well as six rebounds. Gordon Hayward has been his reliable, consistent self,
averaging 17 points per game. He gives the Hornets the option for veteran shot creation
towards the end of close games.
The Charlotte team is exciting and should overcome the six points of NBA odds. I expect
Charlotte to win by double-digits and not let their foot off the gas after a blown lead led to a loss
against Boston. Orlando will unfortunately suffer the fallout from Charlotte’s need for a big
victory. The Hornets are an up-and-coming team. Let’s grab them early before the league
catches on and the value is gone.
Banker: Charlotte Hornets -6 at -110 (1.91)
Sacramento Kings vs. Phoenix Suns
The Sacramento Kings don’t get attention around the league because they don’t win very often.
Since the Kings seemingly have losing seasons in perpetuity it’s not easy to find bettors willing
to back a consistently losing franchise. However, this gives us some value against the spread
as the Kings often get a generous number of points against top teams. The Kings have an up-
and-coming talented roster. They are buoyed by rookie Davion Mitchell, who is already one of
the League’s top Defenders. This team has been competitive and showed a fighting spirit and
every game so far. Playing the Kings as the favorite is dangerous, but I often look to the Kings
as a sizable dog.
Phoenix Suns are obviously the better team and have hopes upon returning to the NBA finals
this season. Yet after a long year last year they will be looking to pace themselves. After the
victory Devin Booker headed to Tokyo to play for the United States team in the Olympics. Chris
Paul had ended the season playing through an injury. This gives Suns head coach Monty
Williams plenty of incentive to limit their minutes output early in the season.
The Suns also declined an extension for forward Deandre Ayton. This was surprising to me
because DeAndre Ayton averaged 18 points and eight rebounds last season and played
excellent defense. If this wasn’t what you were looking for when you drafted him, I have no idea
why you would draft him?? One has to wonder if this uncertainty about Ayton’s future leads to
some problems in team chemistry going forward. For all the above reasons I am taking the
Sacramento Kings +8.
Toronto Raptors vs. Indiana Pacers
Toronto Raptors and their fans were excited to be back at home this season after the pandemic
forced them to play last season in Tampa Bay. Unfortunately, however they have yet to put forth
a winning effort in Toronto. Toronto has lost to the Wizards, the Mavericks, and the Bulls all at
home. Toronto should be eager to get back on track and finally get a win in front of their fans
who have been waiting over a year to celebrate with them.
The Indiana Pacers are off to a 1-3 to start. The Pacers most recently fell by 10 points at home
to Milwaukee. The Pacers are struggling without the shot creation of the injured Caris LeVert
and TJ Warren. Malcolm Brogdon gets a healthy amount of usage, but this can lead to him
being fatigued for the end of the games.
Domantas Sabonis is a strong option to score from anywhere on the court, but with Scottie
Barnes and OG Anunoby the Raptors have different options to slow down the Lithuanian big
man. Myles Turner is not protecting the rim as well as he has in the most recent seasons,
leading to a deficit in Indiana’s defense.
This Pacers team is still coming together under Rick Carlisle. I feel fine going against them until
this team gets healthy and gets their rotations and roles clearly defined. I’m taking Toronto to
get their first home win.
2-Team Parlay: Sacramento Kings +8/Toronto Raptors +1 at +261 (3.61)