I’m back on NBA Best Bets after about a week off, but it’s been a great start to the season for the article, going 9-3 thus far. We’ll stay selective and keep focusing on the props that’ve helped us be successful, but with a couple weeks of data in the books, we can also expand our plays a bit. Betting first quarter and first half trends can be a great way to take advantage of spreads, rather than looking at the full game.
Despite dropping their last game to the Cavaliers, the Hawks are off to a hot 4-2 start this season. Much of the success has been due to starting games strong — winning the first quarter by an average of 7.5 points per game, and 9.0 points in home games.
Atlanta has won its first quarters by 13 in Chicago, five in Memphis, eight vs. the Pistons, three and six in a pair of games in Brooklyn and then 10 vs. the Cavs. We’re getting a great number here at -2, going against a Knicks squad that’s been just about average early in games. New York is winning first quarters by an average of 1.5 points per game, but nothing strong enough to fade the Hawks’ early dominance, particularly in Atlanta.
New York Knicks at Atlanta Hawks: Clint Capela Double-Double (-143)
Capela made his season debut four games ago, and after initially playing on a 20-minute restriction, it appears he’s now a full-go. In those first two games, Capela finished with seven points and nine rebounds in 20 minutes against the Pistons, then seven points and 12 rebounds in 20 minutes against the Nets.
Since then, Capela’s seen his minutes rise to 30.5 over his last two games, recording double-doubles in both — 12 points and 11 boards against the Nets again, and 16 points and 16 boards against the Cavs. A matchup against the Knicks’ frontcourt should be a softer one, similar to the recent matchup against Cleveland.
Overall, Capela has been a huge spark for the Hawks, and is averaging 10.5 points and 12.0 rebounds in 25 minutes per game. Given we expect 30-plus minutes to be the standard role for Capela moving forward, we can use his 12.5-point, 14.3-rebound averages per 30 minutes. Playing over 11.5 rebounds at -110 is also a reasonable play if you don’t want to lay the juice. Since having his minutes restriction lifted, Capela is shooting 14-for-22 from the field, so I’m not worried about him finding the 10 points.
The Warriors are coming off a massive win over the Blazers, fueled by a career-high 62 points from Steph Curry. It was actually the Warriors’ only first quarter cover of the season, enter the game 0-5 1Q ATS. In those five games, the Dubs lost all five first quarters outright by an average of 7.8 points.
Assuming Curry doesn’t have another 20-point quarter in him, the Kings should be able to take an early lead in this one. Sacramento has actually gone 4-2 1Q ATS, and is coming off its first bad loss of the season — a 12-point loss to the Rockets without James Harden. Look for the Kings to show some urgency early in this one. On the flip side, the Warriors are coming off the high of Curry’s career night.
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