The Bankers are back! We hope to keep a great start to the NBA season going. Let’s take a
look at some games in which I found an edge
Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks
The Wizards are off to a great start this same as their new-look lineup is much better. The
Wizards always struggled on defense, but the additions of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl
Harrell, and Kyle Kuzma have given the Wizards the ability to get stops on the perimeter when
necessary. Spencer Dinwiddie is a much better complement to the skills of Bradley Beal than
his former backcourt mate Russell Westbrook. Dinwiddie is a much better shooter and creates
more space for Bill to drive to the rim. Overall, the roster is stronger, the chemistry is better, and
the team is more well-coached under Wes Unseld Jr.
The Wizards are coming off a double-overtime win against the Boston Celtics on Saturday night
which is a concern. Their opponent the Atlanta Hawks is coming off a 28-point loss to the
Philadelphia 76ers. In the loss, they struggled on the offensive end and were lethargic playing
defense. After last year’s playoff run buoyed expectations for the Hawks, they have got off to a
slow start by their new standards. The Hawks are still learning how to put forth consistent effort
to become one of the East elite teams.
I do believe the Wizards are getting too many points of NBA odds in this matchup. I am
concerned about heavy legs coming off the OT win, yet there is excitement around this
newfound success in Washington that I think can provide a burst of energy. A group of talented
castoffs from high-profile organizations, this Wizards team plays with a chip on their shoulder.
5.5 is too many points! I believe this line should be 3. The value is on the road warrior Wizards
to pull out one more fantastic performance. They have a great chance to win outright, and even
if they lose, I believe the margin will be very close. Today’s Banker is Washington Wizards + 5.5
Banker: Washington Wizards +5.5 at -110 (1.91)
Toronto Raptors vs. New York Knicks
While the Knicks are off to a great start, they have not been winning by margin often. Their
ability to win close games bodes well for their playoff success, but it does not help bettors cover
The Toronto Raptors had a rough start to the season but are on a three-game winning streak.
Scottie Barnes has been a fantastic draft pick, seemingly getting better each game, and the
Raptors are finally adjusting to the loss of Kyle Lowry.
Fred Van Vleet is stepping up in his leadership role and the team is enjoying the blossoming
abilities of OG Anunoby. The Raptors team has many players who will continue up to improve
over the course of the season. That can make them dangerous come playoff time.
The Knicks fell short in the playoffs last season due to their lack of shot creation. Offseason
additions Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier have provided a boost in that area. The defense
has not seen a tangible dip, which was a concern bringing in these two offensive-oriented
players. No one is more excited than the Knicks fans, as viral videos from Madison Square
Garden emerge to the delight of NBA Twitter after every win.
Once again, I believe this is a game where the NBA odds are too steep for the favorite home
team. The Raptors have the skill and defensive ability to keep this game close, and in a low-
scoring game, the points going to become more valuable. I expect both teams to put on a
defensive clinic in a hard-fought game that should be close to the very end. In this case, we will
want the 6.5 points of NBA odds on our ticket in order to get to the window.
Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics
The Chicago Bulls look to extend their outstanding start. After racing out to a 5-1 record they
look to continue to improve against Eastern Conference rivals Boston Celtics. The Celtics have
two emerging stars, but the rest of the rotation can be inconsistent with their contributions to the
team. Robert Williams has been a bright spot to start the season but is struggling with an injury
right now. Marcus Smart has missed time for the Celtics, as well making their bench once again
The Bulls additions of Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, and DeMar DeRozan have paid early dividends.
Last season, the Bulls struggle to get a stop. Now with Lonzo and Caruso on the floor, their
perimeter defense is much stronger and opponents struggle to get into sets.
Off of missed baskets, Lonzo has been a magician in transition. Lonzo fits quite well next to
Zach LaVine. Their chemistry has developed quickly to the delight of the Bulls fans. DeRozan
has provided a steadying presence at the end of games; dictating when to speed up and when
to slow down. While I was down on DeRozan’s price tag and lack of defensive prowess, his
leadership and clutch shot-making are proving to be invaluable for the Bulls so far.
The Celtics are still trying to figure out how to manage their bench unit under new coach Ime
Udoka. Bulls coach Billy Donovan has worked in his new players right away in the Bulls and
found much more chemistry early in the season.
Early in the season, I like the Bulls to continue their newfound success. With teams who have
recently become good, I have fewer worries about letdowns than grizzled veteran teams who
are just gearing up for the playoffs. I’m sure the Celtics will get it together, but as of right now
they are a team that I am not looking to back. The second part of this parlay will be the Chicago
2-Team Parlay: Toronto Raptors +6.5/Chicago Bulls + 2.5 at +259 (3.59)