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Week 4 is behind us and the Toronto Raptors (12-1) are the new leaders as the Golden State Warriors (11-2) were humiliated by the Milwaukee Bucks 134-111 at home to suffer their second defeat of the season. The Portland Trail Blazers and the Milwaukee Bucks are both off to a 10-3 start on the season, while the Denver Nuggets have suffered three straight losses to drop to 9-4. The Cleveland Cavaliers (1-11) are still the worst team in the league, the Phoenix Suns (2-10) are the worst team on the west coast, while the Minnesota Timberwolves (4-9) finally got rid of Jimmy Butler in hope for better days.
Portland is the best team in the league against the spread with a 10-3-0 record, Charlotte comes second with 9-4-0 ATS, while the Bucks are third with 8-4-1 ATS. Washington is the worst team in the league against the spread with a 3-9-0 record at the moment, while we have learned that the Los Angeles Lakers (4-9-0 ATS) are still a bad choice to wager on. Week 5 starts with nine games on Monday's schedule, November 12th, 2018, so let's take a look at top 5 games for the upcoming week.
Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic – Wednesday, November 14th
Jimmy Butler has arrived to Philadelphia, and the Sixers got their Big Three claiming that "The Process" is finally over. With Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Jimmy Butler, the Sixers should be able to challenge the championship in the further years, but we can't expect some instant miracles. They will need some time to gel and probably add a couple of role players, but the Sixers are certainly a team to watch from now on.
Butler's debut in the 76ers uniform should be against the Orlando Magic this Wednesday, and it will be the second H2H matchup of the season for the Sixers and the Magic. Philadelphia barely won the first one at home 116-115, although the Sixers were listed as 12.5-point favorites, it was Phila's fourth consecutive victory over the Orlando Magic. The Sixers are 5-1 straight up and ATS in the last six meetings with the Magic, and all these six games were ended in the over.
Orlando has won four of its last five games overall, but the Magic is 3-5 straight up and 2-6 ATS in eight home outings this season. Likewise, the Magic is just 5-12 straight up and 7-8 ATS in the last 17 home games when listed as underdogs. On the other side, the Sixers are 0-4 straight up and ATS in the last six games on the road when listed as favorites, so I'm backing them to end this streak on Jimmy Butler's debut. Before those four consecutive losses, the Sixers had 10 straight victories as favorites on the road, covering the spread eight times in the process.
My Pick: Philadelphia ATS
Memphis Grizzlies at Milwaukee Bucks – Wednesday, November 14th
The Milwaukee Bucks were on a heavy road trip last week visiting the west coast, and they won two of their four games beating the Golden State Warriors 134-111 and the Denver Nuggets 121-114. A couple of losses came at the Portland Trail Blazers 118-103 and the Los Angeles Clippers 128-126 in the overtime, but the Bucks can be pleased with their performance during this four-game span. Now, they are coming home to meet the Memphis Grizzlies as certain strong favorites to win the game straight up, although the Grizzlies are off to a nice 7-4 start on the season, ranking 4th in the west at the moment.
Memphis is 7-4 ATS in this term, as the Grizzlies have covered every time they've won the matchup, and they've surprised the odds a few time. They are 2-4 straight up and ATS in six games on the road this season, and, interestingly, both their road wins came against the Utah Jazz when the Grizzlies were considered as big underdogs. On the other hand, the Grizzlies kneeled at the Phoenix Suns 102-100 and the Sacramento Kings 97-92 when they were listed as slight favorites.
The Bucks are 6-0 straight up and 5-1-0 ATS in their six home games this season, and they are 10-0 straight up and 8-1-1 ATS in the previous ten games at home. Likewise, the Bucks are 4-1 straight up and 3-2 ATS in the last five meetings with the Grizzlies, and they are 4-1 straight up and ATS in the previous five H2H meetings in Milwaukee. As I've already mentioned, the Milwaukee Bucks are the 3rd-best team in the league against the spread, so I'll take them to cover on this one at home.
My Pick: Milwaukee ATS
New York Knicks at New Orleans Pelicans – Friday, November 16th
After losing six games in a row, the New Orleans Pelicans bounced back with a couple of consecutive wins last week, beating the Chicago Bulls 107-98 and the Phoenix Suns 119-99 at home. Before they face the New York Knicks this Friday, the Pelicans will have a pair of tough matchups on the road against the Toronto Raptors and the Minnesota Timberwolves, so this is why the game with the Knicks is so interesting.
The Pelicans are 1-5 straight up and 2-4 ATS in six games on the road this season, while they are 5-1 straight up and 3-3 ATS in six outings at home this term. Also, the Pelicans are 4-1 straight up and ATS in the last five meetings with New York, but the Knicks won their last season's duel in New Orleans 105-103. Interestingly, in the previous 19 H2H meetings between these two teams, the straight-up winner has always covered the spread.
Hereof, I'm backing the Pelicans to beat the Knicks and cover at home. Nikola Mirotic and Elfrid Payton should be back from injuries until Friday, while Anthony Davis should be too much for wounded Knicks. The Pelicans are 17-0 straight up and 13-4 ATS in their last 17 games on a home court, while the Knicks are 4-16 straight up and 8-11-1 ATS in their previous 20 games on the road as dogs and 2-5 straight up and 3-3-1 ATS in seven road games this season.
My Pick: New Orleans ATS
Sacramento Kings at Houston Rockets – Saturday, November 17th
The last matchup on the timetable will see the Houston Rockets against the Sacramento Kings at Toyota Center in Houston where the hosts will surely be listed as strong favorites to win straight up. The Rockets will play at Denver and to Golden State at home before they welcome the Kings, while Sacramento will host the Spurs and visit the Grizzlies before they play back-to-back at the Houston Rockets.
Hereof, this should be a strong pick for the end of the week, as the Rockets are slowly building up their form after a poor start. They've won three of their last five games overall, but the Rockets are just 1-4 straight up and ATS in five home games this season. On the other side, the Kings are 4-3 straight up and ATS in seven road games this term, and they are 9-11 straight up and 13-7 ATS in their previous 20 outings on the road.
The Kings are playing surprisingly well since the start of the season, but the Rockets will eventually start to win on a regular basis at Toyota Center, and after a matchup with the Warriors, the victory over the Kings will be a must. I'm backing them to take it comfortably, as James Harden is finding his rhythm after the injury, nailing 40 points and eight threes in Houston's previous outing against the Indiana Pacers.
My Pick: Houston ATS