We are just four or five games into the new NBA Season, but there is just one team without a loss on their card so far, and one team yet to land a win.
But perhaps the most interesting thing right now in these formative weeks of the new NBA season, is that some of the big name teams are struggling a little, and we are seeing the emergence of some teams from the middle of the pack in what promises to be an intriguing campaign ahead.
We’re going to take a look at some of the top performers and underachievers in Week 1 of the season, together with a look at some games coming up over the weekend, with odds provided by BetRivers Sportsbook as per usual.
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Jazz Call The Tune With Perfect Start
Top of the tree are the Utah Jazz at the moment, and the Western Conference Champions have continued very much where they left off last season, winning all their opening four games in some style too.
A 107-86 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder was followed by a 110-101 victory over the Sacramento Kings. Then the Denver Nuggets were bested 122-110 and finally, the Houston Rockets were comfortably beaten last night 122-91.
Admittedly, this was a pretty soft start for the Jazz and things are going to get much more difficult in their next five games with the Bulls, Bucks, Hawks and Heat in amongst the next five opponents.
Pistons Misfire Once Again
At the other end of the scale, it’s been another disappointing start to the season for the Detroit Pistons. However, they have had a very tough opener, with two games against the reinvigorated Bulls, followed by matches against the Hawks and 76ers.
They could pick up a win this weekend against the youthful Orlando Magic, who have also had a tough start, but their next four games see them take on the Brooklyn Nets twice, the current NBA Champions the Milwaukee Bucks and the current Eastern Conference champions, the Philadelphia 76ers.
So I think by this time next week, if the Pistons don’t beat the Magic, they may still be waiting for that elusive first win.
Favourites Struggle In Opening Week
No team is going to lose too much sleep when losing one or even two games in their opening few games, but what is notable is that some of the teams that punters have backed to win either their Conference or even the NBA Finals, have struggled.
The Brooklyn Nets are the biggest example of this as they are sorely missing Kyrie Irving and have lost three of their five games so far to lie 11th in the Eastern Conference.
The other two powerhouses in this conference, the Bucks and 76ers lie 7th and 8th respectively with 3-2 records.
In the Western Conference, the Jazz have probably started as most expected but other well-backed teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers (2-3), Phoenix Suns (1-3) and Los Angeles Clippers (1-3) have all found wins tough to come by.
Part of that seems to be the emergence of teams that were in the middle of the table last season, but who have started this season very well.
Bulls Perfect Start Ended By Knicks
Last night the Chicago Bulls perfect start to the season was ended in a narrow 104-103 defeat to the New York Knicks, who now top the Eastern Conference. A last gasp jumper from DeMar DeRozan missed to hand the Bulls their first loss after their new look team (and one I tipped at the start of the season) made a superb start to the season.
Along with the Knicks and Bulls, who have lost just once this season each, the Hornets, Wizards and Heat have all just lost the one game. Washington perhaps being the most eyecatching performers defeating the Raptors, Pacers, Celtics and Hawks, but losing to the Nets in a fine start to the season.
In the Westm the Golden State Warriors lost their 100% record when being beaten by the Memphis Grizzlies for whom Ja Morant was in superb scoring form. They along with the Dallas Mavericks (my tip to shine in the West) and the Minnesota Timberwolves have also made solid starts.
There are some very interesting games coming up over this weekend, starting tonight with an intriguing match between the Indiana Pacers (11/4) and Brooklyn Nets (2/7), a game that both teams will feel that they need to win, although the Nets are the strong favorites to do so with BetRivers.
The Dallas Mavericks at the Denver Nuggets looks to be a very close contest, with the Mavericks a very tempting 19/20 to land the win against the 20/23 Nuggets.
Both LA teams are also in action tonight as the Clippers head to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers, with the Clippers 23/20 and the Trail Blazers 8/11 for the win. While the Lakers host the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have enjoyed a much better start to the season than many people, myself included, expected.
There hasn’t been too much movement in the NBA Championship market, with the Nets still the favorites in the East and the Lakers in the West, however I still feel the Mavericks (30/1) and the Bulls (40/1) are both certainly worth considering especially at those odds.
It’s been an exciting start to the NBA season, I wonder what Week 2 will hold in store for us?