Monday was the deadline for teams to extend players chosen in the first round of the 2013 draft on rookie-scale extension deals. Any players not extended would hit restricted free agency next offseason. I don't think there were any huge surprises ahead of the deadline. The Jazz smartly locked up center Rudy Gobert on a four-year, $102 million extension. He was perhaps the biggest steal of that draft at No. 27 overall, originally chosen by Denver. The Thunder locked up guard Victor Oladipo, acquired this offseason from Orlando, and center Steven Adams. So right now, when also including Russell Westbrook's extension, the team would be over the salary cap next summer. But you can go over to re-sign your own guys. Minnesota's Gorgui Dieng and Charlotte's Cody Zeller also got new deals. Guys like Portland's C.J. McCollum, Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo and Atlanta's Dennis Schroder got their extensions before deadline day. Some guys who didn't get deals were Washington's Otto Porter, Phoenix's Alex Len, Sacramento's Ben McLemore and Philadelphia's Nerlens Noel. They were all Top-10 picks.
Free $60 in Member NBA Picks No Obligation Click Here
Raptors at Wizards (pick'em, 208.5)
Toronto plays its first road game of the season and is off a 105-102 win over Denver on Monday. DeMar DeRozan had 33 points to become the first Raptor ever with three straight 30-point games to open a season. It's the home opener for winless Washington, which lost 112-103 in OT at Memphis on Sunday. John Wall missed from close in to win at the end of regulation. He had 22 points and 13 assists. The Raptors have won seven straight against the Wizards.
Key trends: The Raptors are 2-7 against the spread in the past nine meetings. The "over/under" has gone under in the past four.
Early lean: Raptors and under.
76ers at Hornets (-11.5, 197.5)
It's the second of a back-to-back for Philadelphia, which was winless entering the finale of a three-game opening homestand against Orlando on Tuesday. Charlotte is off a 104-98 loss in Boston on Saturday as it made just 9-for-32 from long range. Kemba Walker had 29 points and Frank Kaminsky returned after missing the first two games with 11 points. Center Roy Hibbert was out with knee soreness and reserve guard Jeremy Lamb will miss at least a week with a strained hamstring.
Key trends: The Sixers are 5-11 ATS in their past 16 in the second of a back-to-back. The under is 8-3 in Charlotte's past 11 at home.
Early lean: Hornets and under.
Pistons at Nets (+4, 204.5)
Detroit is in the second of a back-to-back as it closed out a three-game homestand against the Knicks on Tuesday night. Andre Drummond entered that one with back-to-back 20-rebound games. Brooklyn lost 118-88 at home to Chicago on Monday. It was pretty much over after the first quarter. The Nets had been very competitive in their first three games. The Nets were 1-3 vs. the Pistons last year.
Key trends: The home team is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings. The over is 14-3 in the past 17 in Brooklyn.
Early lean: Nets and over.
Rockets at Knicks (-1, 215)
Houston was in Cleveland on Tuesday -- that game was moved up an hour per Houston's request to not conflict with the start of Game 6 of the World Series; obviously it could be tough for the Rockets to get to the airport if downtown Cleveland is a mob scene if the Indians win -- and New York was in Detroit. These teams split last year, but Houston has won 20 of the past 22 vs. the Knicks overall.
Key trends: Houston has covered six straight in New York. The over is 10-2 in the Rockets' past 12 in the second of a back-to-back.
Early lean: Knicks and over.
Lakers at Hawks (-11.5, 207.5)
Los Angeles was in Indiana on Tuesday on a two-game losing streak. Atlanta is 3-0 following a 106-95 home win over Sacramento on Monday. Dwight Howard led all five Hawks starters in double figures with 18 points while also chipping in with 11 rebounds and outplaying DeMarcus Cousins. Atlanta attempted 47 free throws but made only 29 of them. The Hawks easily beat the Lakers twice last year, with L.A. not topping 87 points in either game.
Key trends: The home team is 5-2 ATS in the past seven. The under is 5-1 in Atlanta's previous six vs. the West.
Early lean: Hawks and under.
Pelicans at Grizzlies (-5.5, 204)
New Orleans hosted Milwaukee on Tuesday looking for its first win of the season. Memphis was in Minnesota on Tuesday. The Grizzlies have won five straight meetings against the Pelicans -- last year's sweep was the first-ever in the series by either side -- and four in a row at home. New Orleans is 9-0 all-time against Memphis when scoring at least 100 points. In three games against Memphis last season, Anthony Davis averaged a team-best 21.7 points, 13.7 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 2.7 blocks.
Key trends: The Pelicans are 1-4 ATS in the past five meetings. The over has hit in the previous four.
Early lean: Grizzlies and over.
Bulls at Celtics (-4, 209)
First of an ESPN doubleheader. The Bulls have been one of the NBA's early-season surprises at 3-0. They were supposed to be one of the league's worst 3-point shooting teams, but both Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade are hitting better than 50 percent from out there. Obviously that won't continue. Chicago won by 30 in Brooklyn on Monday with the starters getting the fourth quarter off. Reserve point guard Michael Carter-Williams hurt his ankle and is going to miss some time. Boston won in Charlotte 104-98 on Saturday behind a career-high 31 from Avery Bradley. The Celtics' lone loss was 105-99 in Chicago last Thursday. Boston will see guard Marcus Smart make his season debut off injury in this one.
Key trends: The favorite is 5-0 ATS in the past five. The over is 6-2 in the previous eight.
Early lean: Celtics and over.
Mavericks at Jazz (TBA)
Dallas is winless after a 93-92 loss in Houston on Sunday. Wesley Matthews fouled James Harden with 0.1 seconds left and Harden hit the winning free throw. Matthews had just tied the game on a 3-pointer a few seconds earlier. The Mavs were without Dirk Nowitzki a second straight game, but he almost played so you should see him here. Dallas is 0-3 for the first time since 2011-12. Utah was in San Antonio on Tuesday night. The Mavericks have won 10 of the last 12 regular-season meetings with the Jazz.
Key trends: The Mavs are 4-1 ATS in the past five at Utah. The under is 9-4 in Utah's past 13 at home.
Early lean: Wait on Dirk but I'd go under regardless of total.
Trail Blazers at Suns (TBA)
Potential letdown game for Portland as it hosted Golden State in a playoff rematch on Tuesday. Phoenix dropped to 0-4 with a 116-98 loss at the Clippers on Monday. Guard Devin Booker, third on the team in scoring, was a game-time decision and sat out with a sprained toe. Brandon Knight started in his place and had 18 points. The Suns have won seven of the past nine at home vs. the Trail Blazers.
Key trends: The Blazers are 3-7 ATS in their past 10 in Phoenix. The under is 6-1 in Phoenix's past seven at home.
Early lean: TBA for Booker.
Thunder at Clippers (-5.5, 207.5)
Second ESPN game. I don't see how Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook isn't looking past this game and toward Thursday's showdown with the Warriors and former teammate Kevin Durant (more on that in Thursday's Opening Line Report). Westbrook has been absurd in OKC's 3-0 start in averaging a triple-double. Keep in mind that Oklahoma City has played three of the NBA's worst teams. Los Angeles improved to 3-0 with a 116-98 home win over Phoenix on Monday. DeAndre Jordan was in question with a sprained thumb but had 19 points and 11 rebounds. Blake Griffin had 21 and 11.
Key trends: The Thunder are 1-4 ATS in the past five meetings. The under is 5-0 in the previous five in L.A.
Early lean: Clippers and under.
Get $60 worth of member's picks absolutely free - no obligation, no sales people. You can use this $60 credit for of our top NBA handicappers. Free NBA predictions here. 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