If you gave me a prop on whether the Golden State Warriors would come within five games of last year's 67-win total (they didn't even have a total of 60 at sportsbooks), then I would have bet plenty on no. Obviously it's still way early, but these Warriors look better than last year's team so far. They have scored at least 111 points in every game and won all four by at least 14 following Monday's 119-69 destruction of visiting Memphis, the worst defeat in Grizzlies history. It was the Warriors' first 50-point win since exactly 24 years earlier when the Warriors beat Sacramento 153-91 on Nov. 2, 1991. All three of the Warriors' opponents in four games -- they faced the Pelicans twice already -- have been teams Golden State eliminated in last season's playoffs en route to the NBA title. And they're doing it without head coach Steve Kerr (back surgery) and center Andrew Bogut (concussion). Yet for some reason, Cleveland remains the +250 championship favorite with the Warriors at +350.
Free $60 in Member NBA Picks No Obligation Click Here
Celtics at Pacers (pick'em, 201.5)
Boston has been off since a 95-87 home loss to San Antonio on Sunday. Avery Bradley led Boston with 18 points and Marcus Smart had 17. Sixth man Isaiah Thomas scored 15 points, but shot only 4-for-18 from the floor. The Celtics shot 35.7 percent in the game and missed 23 of 29 3-point attempts. It's the second of a back-to-back for Indiana as it was in Detroit on Tuesday looking to avoid a 0-4 start. The team hasn't started that poorly since beginning the 1988-89 season at 0-9. Boston took three of four meetings with the Pacers last season.
Key trends: Boston is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings. The "over/under" has gone under in five of the past seven meetings in Indiana.
Early lean: Celtics and under.
Spurs at Wizards (+4, 204)
San Antonio has won three straight since an opening loss in Oklahoma City. The Spurs won at the Knicks 94-84 on Monday. Future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan had 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in his NBA-record 954th victory with one team. He passed Hall of Fame point guard John Stockton, who went 953-551 with the Utah Jazz. Duncan, in his 19th season, is 954-381. Duncan also tied Gary Payton for 10th place on the career games list, with 1,335 played. Washington is off a 117-110 home loss to the Knicks on Saturday. The Spurs and Wizards split last season, each winning at home. That Washington victory ended a 17-game skid in the series.
Key trends: The Wizards are 1-4 ATS in their past five vs. the West. The under is 5-0 in San Antonio's past five vs. the East. The Spurs are 7-1 ATS in the past eight in Washington.
Early lean: Spurs and under.
Nets at Hawks (-9, 198.5)
Rematch of the last season's first-round playoff matchup, which top-seeded Atlanta won in six games over the No. 8 Nets. I think it's fair to say that Brooklyn won't be back in the postseason this year. It's the second of a back-to-back for Atlanta as it was in Miami on Tuesday night. The Nets dropped to 0-4 with Monday's 103-96 loss in their home opener against Milwaukee. Atlanta won all four regular-season matchups last year and only one was close.
Key trends: Brooklyn is 5-2 ATS in the past seven in Atlanta. The under is 5-1 in the Hawks' past six at home.
Early lean: I'll say Nets cover. Go under.
Knicks at Cavaliers (-11, 201)
This is the first game of an ESPN doubleheader and should have live betting at the sportsbooks. Of course, New York and Cleveland made a trade during last season that helped the Cavs win the East as they acquired J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert from New York. Shumpert remains out following wrist surgery and Smith left Monday's win over Philadelphia with a knee contusion and may have an MRI on Tuesday. So he's obviously iffy. LeBron James became the youngest player to score 25,000 career points in Monday's win over the Sixers. The Knicks are off a 10-ponit home loss on Monday to San Antonio. Guard Arron Afflalo sat again with a strained left hamstring.
Key trends: The Knicks are 4-1 ATS in the past five in Cleveland. The under is 5-2 in the past seven there.
Early lean: Cavaliers and under.
Magic at Rockets (-9.5, 208)
It's the second of a back-to-back for Orlando as it was in New Orleans on Tuesday looking its first win under new coach Scott Skiles. Houston looked utterly terrible in its first three games but righted the ship on Monday with a 110-105 home win over Oklahoma City. James Harden broke out of a slump with 37 points. Rockets forward Terrence Jones missed his second straight game after getting a cut on his eyelid on Friday night against the Warriors. He is day-to-day. Fellow forward Donatas Motiejunas remains out indefinitely after back surgery in April.
Key trends: Houston is 9-4 ATS in its past 13 vs. the East. The under is 5-1 in Houston's past six at home.
Early lean: Rockets and under.
76ers at Bucks (-11.5, 198)
Big news for Milwaukee fans and backers here as Jabari Parker will make his season debut. His promising rookie campaign was cut short when he tore his ACL in mid-December. Parker averaged 12.3 points and 5.5 rebounds in 25 games. His minutes will be limited for a while. The Sixers badly wanted Parker in the 2014 draft, but the Bucks snapped him up at No. 2, one spot before Philly took Joel Embiid (oops!). Philadelphia is predictably winless thus far. Guard Robert Covington made his season debut off a knee problem in Monday's loss to Cleveland and had four points in 22 minutes.
Key trends: The favorite is 7-0 ATS in the past seven meetings. The under is 8-3 in the past 11 in Milwaukee.
Early lean: Bucks and under.
Raptors at Thunder (-9, 210)
Second of a back-to-back for Toronto, which took a 3-0 record into Dallas on Tuesday. Oklahoma City is off a 110-105 loss in Houston on Monday. With Russell Westbrook out due to foul trouble, the Rockets finished the third outscoring the Thunder 25-8, taking a lead into the fourth they never gave up. OKC turned it over 25 times overall, leading to 21 Houston points. Westbrook finished two assists shy of a triple-double. Toronto and OKC split last season, each winning at home.
Key trends: OKC is 2-5 ATS in its past seven vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 5-1 in the Thunder's past six vs. the East.
Early lean: Raptors and over.
Kings at Suns (TBA)
Second of a back-to-back for Sacramento as it hosted Memphis on Tuesday without All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins. He's not expected to play here, either (why TBA). Phoenix is off a 102-96 loss at the Clippers on Monday. Former Clipper Eric Bledsoe was in foul trouble and finished with 16 points. The Kings won three of four meetings last season, including a double overtime contest in the first meeting -- the first multiple overtime game in the series since Dec. 14, 1969. The Kings won the third meeting on Feb. 8 on a Cousins buzzer-beater.
Key trends: The Kings are 4-1 ATS in the past five in Phoenix. The over is 4-1 in those five.
Early lean: Suns (no matter spread) and over (no matter total).
Trail Blazers at Jazz (-6.5, 193)
Portland ended a two-game skid with Monday's 106-101 win at Minnesota. Damian Lillard hit 14 of 25 shots and finished with 34 points. The Blazers trailed by 17 in the first quarter. This is Utah's home opener and it's off a 97-76 win in Indiana on Saturday. Utah outscored the Pacers 28-12 in the third after trailing by seven at halftime. The Jazz scored 30 points off Indiana turnovers. The Jazz and Blazers split four meetings last year, each team going 1-1 at home.
Key trends: The road team is 6-1 ATS in the past seven meetings. The under is 7-3 in the past 10 in Utah.
Early lean: Jazz and under.
Clippers at Warriors (-8, 219)
Your ESPN nightcap and also should have live betting. Golden State's Stephen Curry, the reigning NBA MVP, leads the league in scoring at 37.0 ppg. His 148 points through the first four games of a season are more than anyone ever has had except a guy named Michael Jordan. Bogut isn't likely to return from his concussion for this one. He did a workout Sunday but still needs to successfully get through a contact practice. The Clippers are no slouches thus far either, also at 4-0. But they have played teams that aren't likely to make the playoffs. The Warriors won the season series in 2014-15 3-1 and have won 17 of the past 19 regular-season matchups in Oakland.
Key trends: The home team is 13-5 ATS in the past 18 meetings. The over is 9-3 in the Clippers' past 12.
Early lean: Clippers and over.
Doc's is giving $60 worth of member's picks free - no obligation, no sales people - you don't even have to enter credit card information. You can use the $60 credit any way you please on any of our top NBA handicappers. Click here to get started. Also, for a limited time only, you can get three handicappers NBA picks for the price of one! Click Here for more details!
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
Most Recent NBA Handicapping Articles
- 2018 Orlando Magic Predictions with Futures Odds and Expert Picks
- Who Will The Lakers Play?
- NBA Draft: Players That Will Make Biggest Impact
- NBA Rookie of the Year Odds with Expert Betting Predictions
- NBA Draft Props: Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
- Betting Odds and Predictions for LeBron James Next Team
- 2019 NBA Championship Odds and Predictions
- 2018 NBA Championship Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
- Free NBA Picks: Tuesday, May 8, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
- First Female NBA Head Coach Odds and Expert Betting Predictions