NBA is almost back again! As we did last preseason we will touch on some free-agent signings, trades and players roles and how they affect the team’s style of play, players expected role and opportunity. Most of all, which player’s early line bets we will look to take advantage of when the season begins based on those changes. Coming off a respectable 24-18 for last season and in total 66-41 & 16.4 units profit for the last three seasons. We again hope to provide some more preseason value on top of our regular season bets. A reminder that our record is based off the first 3 games of the season only and if there are any major changes to teams starting line up due to injury you should not follow these tips as it upsets the balance too drastically.
You can review how we went in last seasons preseason projections here.
Trades, free agent signings and player roles
Gary Harris, much like last years preseason predictions of Tim Hardaway and Mike Conley (where we predicted they would get back to 20ppg scorers, Conley avg 21ppg and Hardaway were 21ppg for the first 3 months of the season), Gary Harris to is coming off an injury-riddled season. People are very quick to put the blame of performance on that the player is simply not good or past their prime and regressing. Injury is one of the best ways to take advantage of the public perception of a player and in turn bookmakers react accordingly. Remember they are not trying to set a line reflecting the exact number of points a player will score, rather a number where they believe they can get equal money on both the under and over. Excluding his rookie year, last season Gary Harris had career lows in; minutes, FG% and 3P% along with a 2.5 drop in FGA and almost 3% drop in FT%. So a combination of lower attempts and percentages took his average PPG down 4.5 from the previous season. Quite simply I think he will be healthy and ready to get back to his 17/18 form. Gary Harris points over.
New Orleans Pelicans
Derrick Favors, he seems like he is really old because he has been in the league so long. One of these things is true…He is close to being in the prime of his career. Up until the last two seasons he has been roughly a 51%FG shooter. However, in the last two seasons he has played 60% of his minutes at the Center position and shot 56% & 58% respectively in those seasons. (59% & 64% on his 2P%) This season we expect him to play pretty much 100% of his minutes at Center, especially with a glut and the wing position. With no other quality starting Center on the roster we expect an increase in minutes combined with what we expect to be one of the fastest-paced teams in the league. We love the balance of minutes, shots attempts, shot quality and efficiency. With the Zion injury news this only bolsters these stats. This is one of our favourite bets to begin the season. Favors points over.
New Orleans Pelicans
Lonzo Ball, much like the Gary Harris injury speel, Lonzo is now also considered by many a bust but again arises opportunity for us. Two injury-prone seasons don’t bode well for Lonzo thus far however even in only 47 games last year Lonzo still increased his FG% by 4 and 3P% by 3 while his attempts dropped, this doesn’t usually go hand in hand, generally, this is the opposite. Obviously the presence of LeBron hurt Lonzo’s rebounds and assists down 1.5 & 2 respectively. As we mentioned in Derrick Favor’s section, this team will be playing at a high pace so I expect Lonzo’s assist numbers to rise most of all. Now with Zion out for the first few weeks of the season I like the rebounds over too. Lonzo Ball assists over and rebounds over. (some books offer assists & rebounds take this over also)
Terry Rozier, hopefully joining a small market team will take some of the attention away from the fact that Rozier is the only scoring option on this dismal team. With Kemba Walkers 32% usage now on the Celtics there are a lot of shots to go around but not many ‘good’ options for them. Rozier averaged 4ppg more than his season average when Kyrie Irving sat out last season while sharing the court with the likes of Tatum, Hayward and Horford far superior talents of shot creators and makers than anything this Hornets roster has on offer. The only sticking point with this prediction is Rozier’s shooting percentage but the attempts will definitely be there. Rozier points over and assists over. (Points & assists over also)
Oklahoma City Thunder
Steven Adams, this one could be under the close watch with a player of Russell Westbrook’s magnitude leaving town however let’s have a go. Majority of people will know the scheme of the Thunder was for Adam’s to box out, Westbrook to come in and grab the rebound and initiate the break. 34-year-old Chris Paul certainly isn’t interested in that. What he is interested in is passing and running pick and rolls. With Adam’s being one of the better screen setters in the league and Paul’s superior passing ability over Westbrook. Fair safe to say Adam’s should be having a career-high in points and rebounds this season. Especially with no other quality rebounders sharing the floor and getting some higher quality looks at the basket. Look to play either the points and rebounds overs separately and/or combined.
Our record is based off the first three games of the season for each player for these ‘blind’ tips.
Part 2 of our 2018/19 Line prediction preview with early line bets will be out soon.
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