NBA players are getting ramped up with preseason games underway, so it’s only right that our analysts shake off the summer rust and dive into betting some games as well.
To be clear, betting on preseason games is totally different than betting the regular season: Rosters are fluid, minutes are in flux and there is typically less motivation to actually win because, well, the games count for nothing. Still, our guys are focused on teams with the depth to put multiple competitive five-man groups on the floor throughout the game.
Find out how they are approaching Tuesday’s slate of preseason matchup below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Detroit Pistons vs. New York Knicks
Joe Dellera: The Pistons are a trendy pick to outperform their win total of 29.5. They have enough talent to be competitive between Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, Marvin Bagley and the newly drafted Jaden Ivey; however, I still expect there to be some growing pains as Cunningham and Ivey learn to coexist in a crowded backcourt that also seems set on giving Killian Hayes meaningful minutes.
On the other side, Knicks’ coach Tom Thibodeau is one of the best floor raisers in the NBA – he gets the most out of his players and those that are not in the starting rotation know that minutes are at a premium.
We just saw this Knicks roster make a deep push for the Summer League Title and that speaks to the depth of young talent on this team. Many of these players were those that the Knicks refused to part with in a trade for Donovan Mitchell, so it shows how highly the front office values them.
Some are Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes, and Miles McBride. Besides this, I’d expect the Knicks to give their starters a bit more run as they try to get accustomed to playing a rotation with Jalen Brunson at the forefront of the offense.
Generally, I do not like betting on preseason favorites; however, given the Knicks’ depth, and Thibs’ 19-14-1 ATS record as a preseason favorite, I’ll back New York in this spot.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Chicago Bulls
Matt Moore: The Pelicans have a surprising amount of young guys who can play. They should win the starters minutes regardless of whether Zion Williamson plays or not, and the Bulls have more veterans they’ll want to play limited minutes.
Down the roster, guys like Trey Murphy III, Herb Jones, and Dyson Daniels should give the Pels a lift. Naji Marshall, Kira Lewis, Devonte Graham, and Willy Hernangomez are all solid. Chicago is purposefully built top-heavy.
I would make this game a pick’em to Pelicans -1.5 based on roster depth.
Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Moore: Portland is on a preseason back-to-back, woof. The Blazers couldn’t hold a lead late vs. the Clippers’ fourth stringers. Utah has a surprising amount of depth and has been stocking their roster over the years with guys who can fill in; institutional structure there is strong.
Euro newcomer Simone Fontecchio has raised eyebrows in camp, Stanley Johnson started for the Lakers last season at point (lol), Talen Horton-Tucker and Nickeil Alexander-Walker are both guys the Jazz want to give minutes to who have NBA experience.
Utah’s just a deeper team with great second-half comeback potential vs. a tired team.
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