Check out the Betway Insider’s NBA picks page for tips throughout the 2020-21 NBA season.
New Orleans Pelicans (+5) v Miami Heat
The Pelicans got their season off to a great start by beating the Toronto Raptors 113-99 on Wednesday night and can follow that up against another playoff contender from the Eastern Conference in Miami.
The Heat reached the Finals last season but weren’t at that level when they lost to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, and they only posted a 14-16 record against Western Conference teams in 2019-20.
New Orleans’ frontcourt combo of Zion Williamson and the recently acquired Steven Adams has the potential to be one of the best in the NBA this season, and their size and strength should help the Pelicans keep this game within five points at the very least.
Milwaukee Bucks (-9.5) v Golden State Warriors
The Bucks had a chance to beat the Boston Celtics in their Wednesday night season opener, but two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo missed a game-tying free throw in the final second of a 122-121 defeat.
Nevertheless, Milwaukee have been the best regular season team in the NBA for the past two seasons and should bounce back against the Warriors, who lost 125-99 to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday.
Golden State’s line-up has seen a huge amount of turnover in the past year and they look like a team that is yet to gel, so it’s hard to see them keeping it close against a team as consistently good as the Bucks.
Brooklyn Nets (-2.5) v Boston Celtics
The Nets were very impressive in their season-opening rout of the Warriors on Tuesday night, with stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving combining for 48 points in their first game together.
Brooklyn look like they could very quickly establish themselves as the best team in the East, and on Christmas Day they play a Celtics team coming off a win over fellow contenders Milwaukee.
That was a good win for Boston but they aren’t at full strength at present with starting point guard Kemba Walker out injured.
Brooklyn have the depth – and the best player on the court in Durant – to win this interesting match-up.
Los Angeles Lakers (-6) v Dallas Mavericks
The Lakers lost their opening game against the Clippers on Tuesday night but can get their season going by beating the Mavericks.
Dallas are also coming off a loss, having been beaten 106-102 by the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, and they lost three of their four meetings with the Lakers last season.
Those defeats all came by a margin of at least nine points, so it’s worth backing Los Angeles to cover the spread here.
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