NBA weekend best bets: Can Kings halt red-hot Curry, Warriors?
The NBA has already gotten off to a hot start with historic wins and blowout upsets. What will the first weekend have in store? Here are our best bets heading into Saturday.
If the Heat are going to play like they did in their season-opening win over the Bucks, they're going to be a force to reckon with in the East. Miami jumped out to a 23-point lead in the first quarter and never let up in Thursday's 42-point win over the defending champions, the sixth-biggest victory by any club across the last two seasons.
Since the start of 2018, teams coming off a 40-point victory are 15-10 straight up in their following contest, outscoring opponents by an average of 15.1 points. The Pacers have struggled to put away subpar competition through their first two games and don't have the star power to afford a sloppy performance in this one.
Pick: Heat (TBD)
Just how low can things get for the Thunder? Two days after losing by 21 points to the Jazz, Oklahoma City fell by 33 to the Rockets, who were blown out in their first game of the season. That doesn't bode well for the Thunder's chances Sunday - the last 11 teams to lose consecutive games by 20 points or more went 1-10 SU the following contest with an average scoring margin of -12.6 points.
The 76ers have their own issues, namely at point guard, but they still beat the Pelicans by 20 points and followed that up with a strong showing against the title favorite Nets on Friday. Expect a much easier test for the Sixers on Sunday.
Pick: 76ers (TBD)
Stephen Curry has been on an absolute tear to start the season. His triple-double keyed the Warriors to a season-opening win over the Lakers, while a 45-point outburst was too much for the Clippers to overcome Thursday. Curry could struggle to keep up that pace, though, in a tricky matchup with the Kings.
Sacramento's offense was clicking in Wednesday's upset win over the Trail Blazers, but its defense was the key to victory. Damian Lillard scored just 20 points on 8-of-24 shooting and shot just 1-for-7 when being guarded by rookie Davion Mitchell, who closed the game with the starters. Expect Mitchell to play a key role in this contest, too, especially if Curry is cooking.
Pick: Kings (TBD)