Top NBA Picks and Predictions Today (Grizzlies, Heat, Raptors Among Favorites to Back on Wednesday)

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler.
Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler. / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA season is back and we have a loaded 12-game slate on Wednesday night to bet on!

Both home favorites took home the win on opening night, and the BetSided team is leaning towards a few more favorites on Wednesday to get the season started on the right foot.

Here are some of our top picks and predictions for Wednesday, Oct. 19's NBA action:

New York Knicks vs. Memphis Grizzlies Odds, Prediction and Pick

The Memphis Grizzlies and Ja Morant get an early season primetime matchup against the New York Knicks in their season opener on Wednesday. 

The Grizzlies were one of the best teams in the NBA last season, and they finished 59-34-1 against the spread, good for the best ATS record in the league.

I’m high on the Knicks’ depth this season, especially with Derrick Rose healthy on the bench unit, but this is a nightmare matchup for New York. 

The Grizzlies won both meetings last season by 12 and by four points, and they happen to be the best home team against the spread if you look at last season (31-16). 

New York’s offense should be much better with Brunson leading the show, but the firepower of Ja Morant is going to be tough for New York to match. Last season, the Grizzlies finished fourth in offensive rating and sixth in defensive rating, while the Knicks were 23rd and 11th in those categories. 

The Knicks’ offense may not be enough to keep up in this game. I’ll back Memphis to remain an elite home team heading into this season. 

Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat Odds, Prediction and Pick

Before last season started, I had a lot of questions about the Bulls – with their defense, offensive fit and overall standing in the Eastern Conference. I have the same questions coming into this season. With Lonzo Ball out and three non-defenders in the starting lineup, I don’t trust Chicago to be as good defensively as it was last season.

Secondly, we got the best version of DeMar DeRozan last season. Can we expect that again?

Finally, they just aren’t as good as the Heat. Miami is going to compete for Eastern Conference title, while Chicago is likely going to be in the play-in. 

The Bulls were 19-24-1 ATS as the road team last season – sixth worst in the league. With Miami coming into the season healthy at having this game at home, I have to trust the Heat. 

Orlando Magic vs. Detroit Pistons Odds, Prediction and Pick

This total is way too high even with some outstanding young talents on hand. These were two of the three worst teams in terms of offensive rating last season and while there will be improvement on that side of the ball, it will take time.

I see very little separating these two teams but I think with a lot of developing players and a few veterans that will receive minutes early in the season ahead of the bright young stars (see: Killian Hayes over Jayden Ivey for Detroit), scoring can be subdued on opening night.

I lean towards the Magic winning on the road, but I see more betting value on taking the under in what can be more of a grind than this total is indicating. For what it's worth, these two last met on Feb. 23 with a total closing at 210.5. Yes, there is talent on offense, but this is expecting a fairly high scoring matchup and I need to see it before I jump to conclusions.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Toronto Raptors Odds, Prediction and Pick

I like the make-up of this year's Cavaliers squad, but I'm not ready to back them in a difficult opening matchup in Toronto.

The Raptors are a nightmare to handle with their length all over the court and their ability to switch on nearly everyone in defensive matchups. Last season, after the All Star break, Toronto ranked fifth in the league in defensive rating.

Donovan Mitchell has also struggled historically against Toronto over his career, tied for his second-lowest points-per-game with 21.1.

With Cleveland still trying to figure out their identity, even with their talent, it's difficult to want to back them as their new roster needs time to gel. Even Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has acknowledged that, saying pregame, "(The team is) a work in progress, a new interesting dynamic. We're not a finished product."

I think the Raptors, along with my longshot pick of Most Improved Player Precious Achiuwa, get it done tonight and cover the short number at home.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.