A huge 15-game slate kicks off this week's NBA action with all 30 teams scheduled to play tonight. Two of those games stood out to me and became instant bets as I was reviewing the board so we’ll cover why they stood out and what my play is in each of them.
The New Orleans Pelicans will head into Indiana to take on the Pacers and are currently favored by (-5.5) on the road. My first bet of the day is for the Pelicans to cover here and get back in the win column after Saturday night's loss to the Hawks.
New Orleans enters tonight’s game with a (5-4) record and has yet to lose back-to-back games this season. The Pelicans have been a top offense in the league and currently rank second in the NBA in points per game with an average of 118.1. This powerful offense takes on a Pacers team tonight that ranks right around dead last in a majority of defensive categories and currently allows the highest three-point percentage in the league.
On the defensive end, the Pelicans have done a good job of limiting teams from scoring right out of the gate as they are the best defensive team in the first quarter this season. This is a huge positive for the Pelicans tonight as this Pacers team has gotten off to slow starts all season on both sides of the floor. Indiana allows the most points on defense in the first quarter and is 28th in scoring in the first quarter as well.
This Pelicans team has the ability to build a lead in a hurry behind guys like Zion Williamson and C.J McCollum so I think New Orleans can jump out to an early lead and has the defensive capabilities to limit the Pacers the rest of the night. New Orleans is 9-3 ATS following a loss and I expect that trend to continue tonight in Indiana.
The second game I’ll be targeting is an 8:30 ET tip between the (6-3) Portland Trail Blazers and the (4-6) Miami Heat. The point total in this game is set at 215.5 and I like this game to go under for my second best bet of the night.
The Blazers enter this game off a back-to-back against the Phoenix Suns and in both games, they were able to hold a Suns team averaging 115.1 points per game to only 106 and 102 points in the two games. Although they were good defensively the offense for the Blazers struggled without Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons only scoring 82 points in their last game.
Miami has been a very similar team to the Blazers in terms of strong defense so far this season but a low-scoring offense as well. The Heat average 108.1 points per game which is ranked 25th in the league and they might be without one of their leading scorers Tyler Herro tonight. Entering tonight the under is 5-2 in Miami’s last 7 games and with the way both teams are playing I like that trend to continue.
New Orleans Pelicans (-5.5)
Portland Trail Blazers @ Miami Heat Under 215.5