NBA Games Preview – Sunday 17.11.2019

Most teams have already played some 11-12 in the league and the form starts to settle. It’s an excellent Sunday with a few early games for us, based in Europe:


Cleveland Cavaliers - Philadelphia 76ers (20.00 UK Time)


Cavs are not that terrible, as everybody expected before the season. They’re 4-7 and winning games against teams at their level. In fact, Cleveland put a fight against good teams too, when Thompson and Kevin Love have a good night. That was the case in the first game in the season series between these two. The game took place this past week and Philly won by a single point, 98-97.

Things didn’t go very well for Sixers the whole week. They slipped to 7-5 with 2 straight losses after the game against Cavs. Both games were on the road, one in Orlando and one in Oklahoma, lost in overtime. So Embiid and Co. really needs to step on the pedal and produce better performance and especially more notches in the Win column.

Verdict: Oddsmakers have released odds and lines here, it’s (-6) for Sixers to cover. It’s not a small line to cover on the road but I feel Sixers will perform better this time round against a lower opponent. The fast turnaround is a good thing in these spots usually, so Sixers to cover (-6) points.



Sacramento Kings - Boston Celtics (20.30 UK Time)


Boston are on a West road trip. Celtics possess the best records in the league right now with 10-1. The only loss came in the very beginning of the season though, Celts are 10 games unbeaten since then. They won both games against Sacramento in the regular season series last year and will aim to continue their dominance over Kings here.

Sacramento are 4-7 and played a few good games this week, like the win over Portland and the narrow loss in Staples Center against Lakers. They have a few guys on the injured list though, most notably Fox. They wouldn’t be too big a challenge for hot streaking Boston even in full roster anyway.

Verdict: Unfortunately, still no odds here. Boston will be a heavy favorite for sure, some 7-8 points maybe. With their excellent defense, a double-digit win is totally probable. Yet I’m not such a fan on these big spreads on the road. One option is to wait the game to start and hope that Kings will go a few baskets ahead early in the first quarter. If the spread for Boston to cover falls to 4 points, it would be a very good moment to get on the boat.


Memphis Grizzlies - Denver Nuggets (23.00 UK Time)

Grizzlies are 5-7, quite surprisingly. Everyone expected them to be one of the worst teams in this rebuilding season. Jackson and Ja Morant play quite decent though and Grizzlies went on a 3-game winning streak this week. Even more shockingly, 2 of these wins came on the road over Spurs and Hornets. The last one was a home win over Utah on Friday night. All in all, Memphis young bucks are not ready to give up and start tanking just yet.

Denver are slowly but steadily crawling towards the top of the standings in the West. They are 8-3 already, with 7 wins in their last 10 games. Jokic and Co. will undoubtedly seek another win in Memphis and will probably get it.

Verdict: No odds and lines still. Denver will be favs here too, similarly to Boston in Sacramento. Nuggets play slower than Celtics though, so I won’t be jumping on the button to back them, even if the spread falls to some 4-5 points in play. We can look for the other angle though, Grizzlies to stay in touch with a good-sized handicap. I’d try Memphis (+9 or more), if this is on offer at some point before the half-time.


Orlando Magic - Washington Wizards (23.00 UK Time)

Magic are 5-7, which gives them the 7th spot in the East actually. Who knows, with Detroit and Brooklyn underperforming, Orlando can even succeed to keep their play-off position, came April. It would be of no great use anyway, as any of the first 3 teams in the Conference will sweep them easily.

Washington are 3-7, just according to the expectations. They will still get a few wins along the way, when Bradley Beal decides to pump up his personal numbers.

Verdict: Orlando will be favs here, against a low-key opponent and at home. No spread yet, I presume it will be some 7-9 points. This is too big, as they are no world beaters themselves too. Back to the old strategy then, waiting for a good spot to back them in play – with any spread of 5 points max.

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