NBA Games Preview – Sunday 02.02.2020


4 NBA games on tonight’s card and all of these are early tip-offs because of the Superbowl:


Detroit Pistons - Denver Nuggets (17.30 UK Time)


Detroit are clearly heading toward the rebuilding path. Rumours about all kind of trades are swirling around the association. Derrick Rose will surely be on his way out of Mo-town, Lakers being the leading candidate for the veteran point-guard. Blake Griffin’s trade value is too small right now with his injury. Drummond will get quite a few of suitors among the league’s GM’s though, should Pistons decide to get rid of the center now. Anyway Pistons are on a 5-game losing run and loss Nr. 6 is on the way at the hands of Denver.

Nuggets still continue to play without two starters in Jamal Murray and Paul Millsap. Jokic and Barton stepped up though and the team has won 7 of their last 10 games.  

Verdict: Anything but a win for the road team would be a shock here. It’s all about the spread as always. Handicappers won’t be kind. I expect the opening spread to be around 8-9 points for Denver to cover. They are more than able to win in double-digits, yet it’s questionable how much value is there in these spreads. If we get lucky and Pistons drop a few unanswered points in the beginning of the game, maybe the spread would fall down to some 5-6 points. That would be playable, watching brief only otherwise.


Houston Rockets - New Orleans Pelicans (19.00 UK Time)


Hopefully we’ll see a more intriguing game here. Rockets are 5th in the West. They’ve won only 4 of their last 10 games which corresponds directly to Harden’s weak stretch. The Beard had some minor injury woes really but his shooting percentage is pretty bad after the holidays. Still he scored 35 points on Friday night on 10 of 25 shots and Mike D’Antoni surely hopes that his franchise player leads the team as he should do.

Zion continue to record good performances in limited minutes for Pelicans. The team won 3 straight wins, one of these coming over Boston (with some injury problems for Celtics though). New Orleans won in a nice fashion over Grizzlies on Friday night. They know Rockets will probably beat them but won’t go down without a proper fight.

Verdict: This is the last 4th game in the season series between these teams. Rockets leads 2-1. You never quite know which face Harden will show on any given night. It’s too risky to trust Houston with big spreads because of this. In face I’d be tempted to back Pelicans with any double-digit spread. Even if the pre-match lines are not double-digits, there’s a fair chance to get this line even in the first few minutes of the game.



Toronto Raptors - Chicago Bulls (20.00 UK Time)


Raptors are one of the hottest teams in NBA right now. They have no chance to catch Bucks for the top spot in the East but at the other hand hold a few wins’ advantage over the third Boston. The second seed would be a tremendous success for the champions anyway.

Young Bulls have only slim play-off chances as both teams directly above them, Brooklyn and Orland, have deeper and better rosters. Chicago plays well though and have 5 wins in their last 10 games.

Verdict: Raptors will probably have to cover some 10-11 points on the opening spread. It would be a fair line, not much value in it though. Actually I’d take Bulls +15 or more in-play, if available. Raptors might step off the pedal a little bit in the garbage minutes, once the win is secured.



Milwaukee Bucks - Phoenix Suns (19.00 UK Time)


Verdict: Not much to be said here. Milwaukee will add another win to their tally probably. Bucks are very stable at home, at least against lesser teams. The spread will be around 11-12 points probably. Much like the previous game, some value to be had on the outsider in-play (say 15+ points for Suns). Booker and Oubre play well lately and can escape a total blow-out.

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