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NBA Weekend Specials: Thunder, Warriors and Nuggets our picks

Fri, Nov 2, 2:04pm by Staff Writer

NBA action continues this weekend with three games on ESPN Australia, including the reigning champion Golden State Warriors at home to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Washington Wizards

Saturday, 3 November 2018 at 11am at Capital One Arena, Washington

The Washington Wizards return home from their four game Western Conference road trip with just one victory as they sit bottom of the Eastern Conference.

The 1-6 Wizards have had a disastrous start to the season, with their latest loss a 107-95 defeat at Memphis.

Oklahoma City is not fairing much better at 2-4, but they did have an impressive win against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

The Thunder rattled off a 39-10 third quarter to turn a 12-point half-time deficit into an 18-point victory.

This will be the second night of a back-to-back for OKC, as they are in action at Charlotte on Friday morning.

The Thunder has had the ascendency in the head-to-head matchup between these two ball clubs recently, but the teams split their season series last year, with both teams winning at home.

Washington is the worst in the NBA for opponents’ points per game, giving up 122.4 points in their seven games so far.

The Wizards are also third worst in the NBA in rebounding, but will welcome new recruit Dwight Howard for his first game on Saturday. The Thunder are third best in the NBA, averaging over 60 total rebounds per game.

OKC is on the end of a back-to-back but this Wizards team has been diabolical to start to the season. Look for the Thunder at a generous price in this one and take them at the plus handicap with any points start.

Best bet- Oklahoma City Thunder to cover any plus-line points handicap

Minnesota Timberwolves at Golden State Warriors

Saturday, 3 November 2018 at 1:30pm at Oracle Arena, Oakland

The Minnesota Timberwolves have managed to channel a tumultuous off-season into some good on court, winning their past two games to move to 4-4.

They face the toughest test in basketball when they go to Oracle Arena to play the 8-1 Warriors on Saturday.

Golden State is 4-0 at home this season and most recently beat New Orleans 131-121 on Thursday.

It’s been a big week for the Warriors who completed a three-game East Coast road trip with Klay Thompson breaking the NBA record for the most three-pointers in a game with 14 on his way to a 52-point scoring night.

Minnesota had its own milestones to celebrate, with former MVP Derrick Rose dropping a career high 50 points in their win against Utah on Thursday.

In that game starters Jeff Teague and Jimmy Butler were both missing and both are questionable for this trip to California.

Golden State is the best scoring team in the league at 124.2 points per game, while the Wolves rank 10th with 114.3 points per game.

It is at the defensive end where the difference is stark, with the Wolves giving up 117.6 points per game compared to the Warriors’ 110.8 points per game.

Golden State won both home games against Minnesota by double digits last season and with Teague and Butler in doubt, they should roll to another big win against a porous defensive team.

Best bet- Golden State to cover the handicap

Utah Jazz at Denver Nuggets

Sunday, 4 November 2018 at 12pm at Pepsi Center, Denver

The 6-1 Denver Nuggets meet Northwest Division rivals Utah on Sunday in a clash of two teams that have started the new season in promising fashion.

The Nuggets overcame Chicago on Thursday thanks to a late Paul Millsap putback with just 0.1 seconds left on the clock to win 108-107.

Utah wasn’t so fortunate in a close loss to Minnesota going down 128-125.

The Jazz has certainly upped their intensity on offense this season, scoring nearly 10 points more per game than a year ago.

Denver has had an emphasis on defence and it has paid dividends, with the Nuggets possessing a top-five defence through their first seven games.

In four games last season, the home team won each of its matches to split the season series at two apiece.

Denver’s two wins at home came by 24 and eight points.

The Nuggets will certainly have the edge in this one, but play a road game at Cleveland on Friday before flying home to play the Jazz on Sunday.

Utah will be on the second night of a back-to-back as it hosts Memphis on Saturday, a team it lost to by eight points at home this season.

Look for Denver to have too much offensive firepower for a Jazz team that hasn’t quite hit the mark on the defensive end yet this season. Take Denver at the handicap giving away 4.5-points or less.

Best bet- Denver to cover a handicap of 4.5-points or less.

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