NBA Predictions and Best Bets: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Phoenix Suns Picks

NBA expert Adam Taylor is here with his prediction and picks for the Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns and more NBA games across Saturday.
Adam Taylor
Sat, October 23, 6:46 AM EDT

NBA Predictions and Best Bets: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Phoenix Suns Picks

When: Saturday, October 23, 10:00 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: NBA TV

Spread: Trail Blazers -2.5

Total: 232

Click Here For Trail Blazers vs. Suns Odds

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction

I made the mistake of doubting the Phoenix Suns in their match-up with the Los Angeles Lakers yesterday, and in hindsight, that was a bad move. This Suns' team doesn't know when to quit and certainly doesn't care about the star names staring them down. Monty Williams has his team playing freely, operating under a set of basketball principles that puts the onus on the players to find the right moment strike, and they're thriving because of it.

The Portland Trail Blazers, on the other hand, are essentially unchanged from last season but are adjusting to the new system implemented by head coach Chauncy Billups. After losing to the Sacramento Kings during their season opener, it would be fair to have low expectations of them coming into this contest. Yet, the Kings just performed exceptionally well in their loss to the Utah Jazz, so maybe we can't read too much into the Blazers' loss.

Luckily for Portland, the Suns are on their second night of a back-to-back, which could allow Damian Lillard to smell blood in the air as the Trail Blazers look to get their first win of the regular season. However, after being stung for underestimating the Suns' resolve when they faced the Lakers, it would be unwise to count them out against a Trail Blazers team still finding their identity under a new coaching staff. But that is precisely what I'm going to do.

The Suns have a 1-1 record heading into this game and are a -0.5 in points differential thus far in the season, with their offense ranking 20th league-wide (again, it's still early, so don't read much into the numbers). The Trail Blazers are another team who never say die and can flip a switch when Lillard and CJ McCollum decide to get going.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Phoenix Suns Pick

Trail Blazers -1.5 (+108)

Chicago Bulls vs. Detroit Pistons Prediction

When: 8:00 p. m. ET

Bulls vs. Pistons Odds

Detroit remains without their #1 draft pick Cade Cunningham who remains on the team's injury report, along with Isaiah Livers and Chris Smith. The Detroit Pistons also have the issue of spacing to contend with as they continue along with their roadmap of internal development, which means they will be hoping for a big night from Jerami Grant while banking on an impactful night from Killian Hayes or Saddiq Bey.

In what is a repeat from their season opener, the Pistons will want to tie their season series against the Chicago Bulls, who finished their first meeting with a 6-point victory. The Bulls are on a two-game winning streak, having defeated the Pistons and New Orleans Pelicans thus far in their young season, and have been playing some exciting basketball.

Notably, this is the Bulls' second night of a back-to-back, meaning there could be some tired legs out there as the game wears on, so expect the Pistons to be a physical opponent as they look to drain whatever energy the Bulls have left in the tank. Lonzo Ball dropped a triple-double against the Pelicans, meaning he will come into this contest full of confidence, especially given the Pistons' lack of perimeter defense.

Chicago's second unit is still in need of some upgrades, and the absence of Coby White will hit their bench unit hard. This is a tough one to call due to Detroit having had more rest and Chicago playing two nights in a row, but the talent void is too big to ignore, which is why the Bulls should scrap through to take their season to 3-0.

Cleaning The Glass has the Bulls operating with a +15.6-point differential over two games (points scored minus points allowed per 100 possessions), ranking them at 6th league-wide. Of course, it's far too early to read into these numbers, but it's an indication of their offensive potency.

Chicago Bulls vs. Detroit Pistons Pick

  •  Bulls -5.5 (-186)

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. New Orleans Pelicans Prediction

When: 8:00 p.m. ET

Timberwolves vs. Pelicans Odds

Another team on the second night of a back-to-back is the New Orleans Pelicans, who come fresh off a loss to the Chicago Bulls. The Pelicans have been struggling in Zion Williamson's absence and currently sit at 0-2 for the season, but with Josh Hart also set to miss the contest, they will be facing a stern test against a revitalized Minnesota team.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have looked vastly improved during the preseason and their season opener, flying around on defense while assertive in their offensive execution. Anthony Edwards is using his athleticism to impact plays on both ends of the floor, and Karl Anthony-Towns looks like a man on a mission, while D'Angelo Russell is giving off vibes that he's ready to take another jump. Malik Beasley will be a swing factor for this game, as the wing has struggled to find his scoring stroke since preseason, and being the team's best shooter, they will need him to rediscover his magic sooner rather than later.

Brandon Ingram has been on fire since mid-way through preseason and will test the Timberwolves defensive mettle. At the same time, the Pelicans would be wise to limit the Timberwolves transition opportunities and force them to play half-court basketball – where they struggle. However, without Zion Williamson, the Pelicans offensive is somewhat predictable, as they look to feed Jonas Valanciunas on the low block or run through Ingram on elbow sets, which feeds right into the wheelhouse of Jaden McDaniels and Josh Okoge.

This game will be a hard-fought battle between two teams desperate to improve their performances from last season, but the Timberwolves should find an advantage with their speed and three-point shooting ability.

  • Timberwolves -2.5 (-200)

More NBA Games

Los Angeles Clippers Memphis Grizzlies

When: 10:30 p.m. ET

Clippers vs. Grizzlies Odds

Paul George has started the season strong, as he went to battle with Steph Curry before the LA Clippers ultimately fell short. These two teams are aspiring for different things this season. The Clippers hope to make an NBA final, and the Memphis Grizzlies will be content with making it into the playoffs. Jaren Jackson Jr has looked solid since returning from injury, and his partnership with Ja Morant will go some way to realizing the teams' goals this year. If you're looking for some outside odds that have a realistic chance of paying off, taking the Grizzlies to cover a -2- or -4-point spread wouldn't be a bad choice.

Toronto Raptors vs. Dallas Mavericks 

When: 7:30 p.m ET

Raptors vs. Mavericks Odds

Toronto is coming off a performance where they mauled the Boston Celtics on their way to a blow-out victory – which most people didn't see coming. Without Pascal Siakam, coach Nick Nurse has ushered in a scrappy system that encourages forcing turnovers and punishing teams on the break. You also can't ignore how promising rookie Scottie Barnes has been since being drafted earlier this summer. But the Dallas Mavericks aren't the Celtics, and in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, the Raptors will face a multi-dimensional threat that can generate offense in a heartbeat. Without Siakam, the Raptors will continue to lack size, length, and scoring off the bench, which gives the Mavericks an edge heading into tonight's game.

Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat

When: 7:00 p.m ET - NBA TV

Pacers vs. Heat Odds

Myles Turner went for 40 points last night, but the Pacers still fell to their second loss of the season t the hands of the Washington Wizards. The Miami Heat are sweating on Kyle Lowry's fitness, with him being questionable for today's game along with Dewayne Dedmon. However, the Heat are a fearsome opponent who will claw and scratch on every possession, and despite the Pacers' improved level of play, the Heat will expect to take their season to 2-0. Caris LeVert and TJ Warren being out are both big blows to this Pacers team, which is why the Heat enter tonight as favorites.

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