Tonight’s slate features ten games and a lot of Eastern Conference action. The best team in each conference, the L.A. Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks, are both in action, and we have also picked out a couple of tempting lines from the remainder of this evening’s heavy schedule.
As always, we’ve scoured the major betting agencies to bring you all the best plays for the huge slate on offer this Saturday. Check out our best pick, value pick, plus picks for all games below, and good luck to everyone following!
NBA Picks – Saturday, November 23rd
Miami Heat @ Philadelphia 76ers
Wells Fargo Arena, 7:30pm ET
You wouldn’t know from the lines alone that the Miami Heat actually have a better record on the season thus far than the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Heat are second in the Eastern Conference at 11-3, only half a game back of first, while the 76ers are in fifth place on a 10-5 record. And although Philadelphia have won five of those last seven games, those wins have come against the Cleveland Cavaliers (x2), the Charlotte Hornets, the New York Knicks and the San Antonio Spurs. There is a very good chance that none of those teams make the playoffs this season, and with the two losses coming against the Orlando Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder, the 76ers have a good but not great record over what should be significantly lesser opposition.
Furthermore, they will be an important man down tonight. Starting shooting guard Josh Richardson will be absent with a hip injury, which will test three key areas of concern for the team. They already lack for wing depth, they distinctly lack for scoring and half-court shot creation in the back court, and they need someone to check a motivated Jimmy Butler tonight, back in Philly for the first time. Without him, although Furkan Korkmaz has been shooting well, he is not nearly as capable as a defender and ball-handler as Richardson is, placing added pressure in the half court on Ben Simmons, somewhere he already struggles to find a role.
Miami by contrast will be at full health among their key players, except for Justise Winslow, who has missed most of the season thus far. And him being absent has not cost them too much so far due to the sweet shooting and scoring of sophomore pairing Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson. The Heat rank second in the NBA in defence, and, were it not for absolutely prolific turnovers on the season thus far, would likely be an elite offensive unit as well given their excellent shooting efficiency from all areas.
Given that Bam Adebayo also figures to be a decent match-up for Joel Embiid on the interior, the Heat – who admittedly have also had an easy schedule of late, but who have impressive wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets to back up their credentials – are much more likely to win this game than the money line suggests.
Toronto Raptors @ Atlanta Hawks
State Farm Arena, 7:30pm ET
At the core of why the Hawks are near the bottom of the Eastern Conference is their defensive play. They rank a lowly 27th in the NBA in defensive rating; when combined with their 11th-highest pace ranking, they rank 26th in opponent points per game. In particular, they concede 20.0 points per game off turnovers, the fifth-highest mark in the league, and they are third-last in the NBA in turnover percentage. They thus give up the ball a lot, and who better of a player to expose that than one man fast break, Pascal Siakam.
On the season, Siakam averages 25.1 points per game, so the line being set at essentially merely one basket more than that seems low considering how heavily favoured the Raptors are. Not only does he have a favourable match-up against these Hawks, as above, but he also has an added offensive responsibility on the team right now given the injury absences of Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka around him. And for what it’s worth, in three games against Atlanta last season, Siakam posted his second-highest scoring average of any team he played against.
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