The first night of the new in-season tournament is being looked at with plenty of questions and skeptical eyes. Many of those eyes will be fixated on the much-discussed courts but what effect will the format and maybe even those courts have on the games themselves? That is to be determined.
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Wizards vs. Heat Betting Odds
*Lines accurate at time of publication
Wizards vs. Heat Best Bets
Wizards-Heat u225 (-110, PointsBet)
Washington is playing at the fastest pace in the league and with little regard for the other end of the court. That leads to a higher total than expected for many Heat games.
Even with the same amount of rest, there has to a question of the Miami flu for a Wizards team that is playing like they know this season is not about winning games and that had a short flight from Atlanta to Miami with a night to spend on South Beach. Players are obviously not looking down that often at the court but for the in-season tournament games, the Heat are using a mostly deep red court. Some colleges have outrageous courts and do not seem to have horrific shooting splits but with this being out of the ordinary, it is fair to bring up.
On the injury front, Daniel Gafford will play for Washington, helping their rim protection some and Corey Kispert will be out, taking a shooter off the floor. Miami is only going to be missing Caleb Martin. Considering how much slower Miami would like to play and both teams being in the bottom four of ORB rate early in the year, te second-chance points that could save a longer-than-expected possession are not likely. Any Wizards game could turn into a shootout but if there was a recipe for a slog, this would be it.
Risk: 1.1 units on PointsBet to win 1 unit.
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Grizzlies vs. Blazers Betting Odds
Grizzlies vs. Blazers Best Bets
Blazers +3.5 (-110, DraftKings)
Betting on the Blazers this early in the season was not something that was expected but against a Grizzlies team that is struggling mightily and a key absence from the lineup, there is room to bet Portland.
Clearly, the future is what matters for Portland, so Scoot Henderson has gotten every chance to make every mistake and he has taken those chances so far. The Blazers have a -34.6 net rating per Cleaning the Glass with Henderson on the floor in non-garbage time minutes. That is a shocking number even when taking into account the small sample size. Henderson is out tonight, along with Anfernee Simons. In all likelihood, that will mean more minutes for the steadying hand of Malcolm Brogdon. The Blazers are a +25.9 with Brogdon on the court this year but some of those numbers are influenced by better second unit play than starters. Just having someone with the starters to get everyone in the right place and make the right decisions should go far in making Portland’s offense competitive.
Memphis is in a world of hurt with missing Ja Morant, Steven Adams, and Brandon Clarke for extended time, along with Derrick Rose and Santi Aldama out tonight. Memphis is 0-5 and has looked bad against sub-standard opponents. The Grizzlies are also coming from a game in Utah, at elevation. With the chance at some improved play from the Blazers offense and the spot for a woeful Grizzlies squad, take the points.
Risk: 1.1 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit.
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