Bulls (-3 ½, 193) at Hornets – 7:05 PM EST
Chicago has jumped out to a 2-1 record with both of its victories coming against winless clubs Brooklyn and Orlando. Following a road overtime setback at Detroit on Friday, the Bulls held off the Magic on Sunday, 92-87, but Chicago failed to cover as eight-point home favorites.Derrick Rose struggled from the floor by shooting 2-of-10 for six points, the second straight game the Bulls’ guard has failed to reach double-digits. The Bulls split four meetings with the Hornets last season, while seven of the past 10 matchups have gone ‘under’ the total.
The Hornets were expected to get back to the postseason after missing the playoffs last season, but Charlotte has stumbled to an 0-3 start. All three losses have come within the Southeast division, including consecutive defeats to the Hawks by a combined five points. The offense has struggled to come around through the first week, failing to bust the 94-point mark in three losses, while shooting below 41% from the floor in each game. The Hornets closed out last season with an impressive 6-3 ATS record in their final nine games as a home underdog, while pushing as two-point ‘dogs in Sunday’s loss to Atlanta.
Hawks at Heat (-4, 195) – 7:35 PM EST
Atlanta overcame an opening night loss to Detroit to win three consecutive games and move into first place of the Southeast division. The Hawks swept a home-and-home set with the Hornets, capped off by a 94-92 road victory on Sunday, limiting Charlotte to 4-of-24 shooting from the field in the final quarter. Mike Budenholtzer’s club is listed as an underdog for the first time this season, going 3-6 ATS in their last nine opportunities as a road ‘dog last season. The Hawks pulled off a four-game season sweep of the Heat last season, while winning six straight in the series since 2014.
The Heat erased a 21-point deficit to shock the Rockets on Sunday, 109-89, as Miami held Houston to 26 second half points. Miami cashed in both opportunities as a home favorite so far this season, with its lone loss coming at Cleveland last Friday. Hassan Whiteside took advantage of Houston restingDwight Howard by putting up his first double-double of the season with 25 points and 15 rebounds on Sunday. In the lone game Whiteside faced the Hawks last season, the Heat center tied a career-high by pulling down 24 rebounds in a 94-92 home setback.
Pacers at Pistons (-5 ½, 201 ½) – 7:35 PM EST
Indiana is the lone Eastern Conference team that has yet to cover a game, as the Pacers look to break through the win column at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Frank Vogel’s team is 0-3 following home losses to the Grizzlies and Jazz, while dropping a 21-point decision to Utah on Saturday night. Monta Ellis has yet to bust out for the Pacers, averaging 10 points per game, while being held to single-digits twice. The Pacers and Pistons split four matchups last season, as both meetings in Detroit sailed ‘over’ the total.
The Pistons are one of the early surprises through three games, pulling off impressive victories over the Hawks and Bulls during a 3-0 start. Detroit has been off since Friday night after beating Chicago in overtime, 98-94, while holding its third straight opponent to 94 points or fewer. Stan Van Gundy’s club heads out of town for a six-game Western Conference road swing starting Friday at Phoenix, so it will be interesting to see how sharp this team is with plenty of time off.
Raptors (-1 ½, 204 ½) at Mavericks – 8:05 PM EST
Toronto continues to look like the best team in the Atlantic division after a quick 3-0 start, which includes victories over Indiana, Boston, and Milwaukee. The Raptors have topped the 106-point mark in all three wins, as the dynamic duo of DeMar Derozan and Kyle Lowry are combining for 38 points per game, while center Jonas Valanciunas is averaging a double-double (15.3 ppg and 11 rpg). Toronto struggled against Dallas last season, losing both meetings, including a 99-92 setback in Texas as Lowry and Derozan combined to shoot 11-of-36 from the field.
The Mavericks have turned some heads early with a 2-1 record out of the gate prior to playing at home. Dallas wrapped up its three-game road swing with a 103-93 triumph at Los Angeles, covering as four-point favorites against the winless Lakers. Newly acquired Deron Williamshas played well in both Mavericks’ victories, averaging 11.5 points per game, as Dallas has allowed fewer than 95 points in each win. The Mavs won eight of 15 home contests against Eastern Conference foes last season, while cashing the ‘over’ in 10 of their last 12 games at American Airlines Center.
Grizzlies (-5, 197 ½) at Kings – 10:05 PM EST
Memphis didn’t start its five-game road trip in ideal style, dropping a 50-point decision to Golden State on Monday, 119-69 as nine-point underdogs. The Grizzlies actually led by one after the first quarter, but were outscored, 72-27 in the next two periods, while Memphis was held to 27% shooting from the floor. Dave Joerger’s team fell to 2-2 straight-up and 1-3 ATS with the loss, but the Grizzlies fared well in their only opportunity with no rest, beating the Pacers, 112-103 as three-point road favorites on October 29.
The Kings will be without top scorer DeMarcus Cousins tonight, who suffered an Achilles strain in Saturday’s loss to the Clippers. Sacramento has cashed the ‘over’ three times so far in three games, while allowing at least 111 points each time. George Karl’s club failed to cover in their only opportunity as a home underdog, losing to the Clippers on opening night, 111-104 as 5 ½-point underdogs. The Kings lost three of four meetings with the Grizzlies last season, while seven of the past eight matchups have finished ‘under’ the total.