The Scout: Saturday NBA Best Bets

Phoenix Suns @ Detroit Pistons

The Phoenix Suns (6-2) have flourished under the guidance of Chris Paul who has brought veteran leadership and experience to their young core.

Mikal Bridges is a Most Improved Player candidate, Jae Crowder has brought everything we’ve come to expect from him, and Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton are young studs. 

The Suns are allowing just 102 points per game (fewest in the NBA) with seven players averaging double digit points. Offensively they have been incredibly balanced.

Detroit (1-7) are last in the East with Jerami Grant and Josh Jackson their two leading scorers. At this stage, the less said about the Pistons the better.

Suggested Bet: Phoenix 11+ (Margin) @ $2.65*

Washington Wizards @ Boston Celtics

As has been the case for some time now, Washington have shown they are capable of scoring in huge numbers, but have not shown the same ability to defend. Their recent 136-141 loss to Philly a prime example.

Bradley Beal leads the league in scoring after his 60 point outburst against the Sixers, while Russell Westbrook is second in assists at 11.8 per game.

The Wizards are averaging 120 points per game (2nd in the NBA) but are also giving up 122; more than any other team in the league.

Boston’s Jaylen Brown has elevated himself into the star category of offensive players in the league. Both he and Jayson Tatum are averaging 26 points per game and the Wizards don’t have much on their wings to throw at them. 

Washington are going to get their points (as they always do) but this looks a nightmare matchup for them defensively. The Game Total over looks like it could be a staple bet anytime Washington are involved.

Suggested Bet: Over (Game Total)

Orlando Magic @ Houston Rockets

Orlando (6-2) are off to a hot start but a torn ACL for Markelle Fultz leaves them without their starting point guard. 

Houston (2-4) have lost back-to-back games but this roster is still taking shape, and there have been promising signs from John Wall and Christian Wood, who is on track for Most Improved honours.

James Harden should continue to improve as he plays himself into full fitness. The former MVP is averaging 29 points and 11 assists and could be set for another big game here.

No Fultz means the Magic are set for a big adjustment period. Playmaking duties will now fall heavily to Michael Carter-Williams and possibly rookie, Cole Anthony. Neither fill me with great confidence here.

Suggested Bet: Houston -5.5 (Line) @ $1.90*

*Odds correct as at 9am, 8th January 2021.

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