The NBA season is rolling on and the books are making their lines even tighter. I accept this
challenge however and bring you another Banker in 2-team parlay.
Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks
Miami went all-in and solidified their defensive identity with two offseason additions, Kyle Lowry
and PJ Tucker. Both bring a fiery intensity on the defensive end. The results show as Miami is
second in the league in opponents points against per game. Miami is first in the league in
rebounding averaging 54.5 per game. This fits right in with the team culture because as we all
know the defensive possession isn’t complete until the rebound is secured.
Miami is led by Jimmy Butler who is off to an incredibly efficient start, third in the league in
player efficiency rating. Butler is averaging 25.3 points per game. Butler is an old school
basketball player and seems to be not affected at all by the rule changes. Butler was never the
type to bait referees or try to draw ticky-tack fouls. Butler always attacks around with the intent
to score. So, the new liberal interpretations of contact around the rim have not affected his
strong finishing style. I personally love the way the NBA’s been officiated so far this season and
I’m sure that Jimmy Butler agrees.
Bam Adebayo is having a strong season, leading the team in rebounds at fourteen per game.
Adebayo’s defensive versatility is a boon to the Heat’s defense. He’s able to bang with the bigs
down low but is also strong on the perimeter if he’s forced to switch defensively. Adebayo fits in
perfectly with his new teammates and we must give credit to Heat GM Pat Riley. This roster is
well-constructed, and the players complement each other so well.
Dallas Mavericks future Serbian sensation Luka Doncic. Doncic is a true MVP candidate in his
4th year in the league. The Mavericks have tried to assemble a roster around Luka to
accentuate his strengths. Unfortunately, the roster lacks consistent rim protection and a
Jalen Brunson is doing an admirable job filling in the role of secondary playmaker so far this
season. However, the Mavericks are going to need Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr to
step up if they are going to truly become a contender in the West. The Mavericks are going
through changes as they have a new head coach Jason Kidd. Kidd was a great point guard and
leader for the Dallas Mavericks in the 90s. He’s coaching Doncic the way that he would have
liked to be coached.
I believe the Maverick secondary scorers are going to have problems against the Heat’s intense
defense. Luka can score on anyone, but if he does not receive help from his teammates, he’ll be
worn out once again in the fourth quarter; unable to keep pace with a well-balanced team.
Miami is off to a great start this season and has plenty to prove. I believe Miami will be able to
slow down Dallas on offense while attacking Dallas’ defensive weaknesses. The Heat have a
better roster, a better coach, and marked continuity within their system. They will take
advantage of the Mavericks still trying to figure things out. Bank on the Miami Heat once again.
Banker: Miami Heat -2 at -113 (1.88)
The New Orleans Pelicans are off to a terrible start without their star Zion Williamson going 1-6.
The Phoenix Suns are off to a disappointing start as well and going 2-3. The Suns are fresh off
an NBA Finals appearance last season. Phoenix has struggled to find the same defensive form
that catapulted them into the finals last year. Opponents are averaging 110.2 points per game.
Phoenix is currently missing injured backup point guard Cam Payne. Payne played a vital role
for the Suns last season dominating their opponents Reserve units. Payne’s replacement, Elfrid
Payton, has struggled to be effective in his minutes. The team is posting one of the worst net
ratings in the league during his time on the court. This puts more pressure on the starters as
Phoenix’s once fearsome bench is now a source of consternation.
I think the Pelicans provide a great bounce-back spot here for the Suns. Brandon Ingram is a
game-time decision. This weakens the Pelicans already diminished firepower. The Suns have
good answers for Devonte Graham and Jonas Valanciunas in Miles Bridges and Deandre
Ayton. The Suns match up well and have incentive to win by margin. Take the Suns
Sacramento Kings vs Utah Jazz
The Kings do not get a lot of national attention because they have not been a winning team for a
very long time. Early in the season they can be very good against the spread, however. They
face a tough task in covering because the Utah Jazz win by margin more often than not. The
Jazz have no problems pouring it on opponents. The Jazz have a deep team that can beat you
with many different players.
In this game, however, I believe the Kings can keep it close. The Kings have been fighting hard
early in the season and are poised for a breakout from their team leader De’Aaron Fox. The
Jazz have a strong rim protector but aren’t as good on the perimeter. Fox should be able to get
loose and create some opportunities to break him out of his scoring slump. Davion Mitchell and
Tyrese Haliburton provide a great defensive back court for the Kings and Harrison Barnes is
playing some of the best basketball of his career. We found some value on the Sacramento
Kings here to keep the game close.
2-Team Parlay: Phoenix Suns-11/Kings +9 at +265 (3.65)