NBA Betting, DFS Guide: Towns vs. Jokic, Harden vs. Lillard, More

NBA Betting, DFS Guide: Towns vs. Jokic, Harden vs. Lillard, More article feature image

It’s not often that a round of golf overshadows an NBA slate, but I have a feeling that is the case today … and tomorrow … and Saturday. The NBA smartly scheduled just one game Sunday, and I have a feeling that the only people watching will be the players’ parents.

That doesn’t mean we’re going to leave you in the dark, though. Nosirree. We have you covered for the next three days. You’re out of luck Sunday, though … — Mark Gallant

All info as of Thursday morning. Check back during the day and keep an eye on our Twitter handle for any updates.

If there’s a specific matchup you want to jump to, click the quick links below. For live spreads and bet percentages, check out this page. Follow the latest injury info on our industry-leading news feed. To get access to our premium betting tools, subscribe here.

WAS-CLE | POR-HOU | MIN-DEN | Quick Hits


WASHINGTON WIZARDS AT CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (-5.5) | O/U: 218

8 p.m. ET


David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Metrics to know: John Wall has played two games since returning from a two-month injury, and he’s hit the ground running, at least in terms of playing time and usage. In those games, he’s played 33 minutes in each and used 35.1% and 36.0% of the Wizards’ possessions while on the floor. His on/off court differential marks are less stark this season offensively — the Wizards were 10.9 points per 100 possessions worse with him off the floor last year; they’re 3.8/100 worse this season — mostly due to the solid play of backup Tomas Satoransky. Still, his overall absence has been felt, as the Wiz have taken a sizable hit on the defense end with Wall out and Sato in. The main unit with Wall and Kelly Oubre at the four instead of Markieff Morris continues to roll teams, posting a +18.5 point differential and stellar 95.5 Defensive Rating. The Wizards will get a nice test tonight against the Cavaliers before the playoffs come around. — Bryan Mears

Trend No. 1 to know: The Cavaliers have covered four consecutive games, with all four going under the total. Since LeBron James returned to Cleveland in 2014-15, this is the first time the Cavs have accomplished that feat. — Evan Abrams

Trend No. 2 to know: Since Kevin Love returned from injury March 19, Cleveland is 8-1 straight-up and against the spread. In the one game the Cavs lost and failed to cover, Love played just seven minutes. — John Ewing


PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS AT HOUSTON ROCKETS (-10) | O/U: 213.5

8 p.m. ET

Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Metrics to know: The Blazers are 0-3 this season against Houston, mostly because their typically stingy defense hasn’t been able to hold up. On the year, they rank in the top 10 in defensive efficiency, allowing just 106.5 points/100. In three games against the Rockets, however, they’ve allowed 127.8, 118.6 and 132.2 points/100. In that last one, the Blazers allowed Houston to shoot a ton of 3s — 42.0% of their shots, to be exact — which is something Portland’s scheme typically limits. Houston hit 55.9% of its 3s, which … is a problem. The Blazers just don’t seem to have an answer for James Harden: The Rockets scored a ridiculous 120.5 points/100 in the half court (98th percentile of games this season), and Harden went for 42 points on a stupid 53.6% usage rate. Even with Chris Paul in that game, he assisted on 58.3% of the Rockets’ possessions while on the floor. As long as he’s cooking, the Blazers don’t have a great way of beating the Rockets. — Bryan Mears

Trend No. 1 to know: The Blazers just lost to the Mavericks, one of the worst teams in the NBA. Since 2005, when teams with a win rate of 60% or higher lose to teams with a win rate of less than 33%, they cover the spread in their next game 56.5% of the time since 2005. That ATS percentage jumps to 57.1% when their next opponent also has a win rate of 60% or higher. — Evan Abrams

Trend No. 2 to know: Chris Paul is 15-3 SU (won nine straight) but only 9-7-2 ATS in 18 regular-season meetings against Damian Lillard. — Evan Abrams

Trend No. 3 to know: The Rockets (63-15) have the best record in the NBA. Late in the season (March-April), teams with a win rate of 80% or higher have gone 92-115-2 (44%) ATS since 2005. — John Ewing

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES AT DENVER NUGGETS (-5) | O/U: 223.5

10:30 p.m. ET

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Metrics to know: The Wolves are 2-0 against the Nuggets this year, and the most recent affair was an offensive shootout. That one combined for 253 points, and both squads posted an offensive efficiency of 125 points/100 or higher. Both of these teams are highly motivated at this point of the season: The Wolves sit in the No. 7 spot of the Western Conference playoff race, although they’re just one game ahead of the Nuggets at No. 9. It’s hard to overstate the importance of this one. Despite the Wolves pushing for their playoff lives recently, they’ve actually been quite poor: Over the past 10 games, they rank just 23rd in the NBA with a -4.5 net rating. It’s mostly been due to their terrible defense, which has allowed a league-worst 112.7 points/100 during that time frame. That’ll be an issue against a Denver team that ranks second in offensive efficiency over the past 10. — Bryan Mears

Trend No. 1 to know: Minnesota lost to Utah 121-97 on Sunday. The Timberwolves have had four days to get over the loss. Since 2005, teams with four or more days between games following a loss have gone 40-24-1 (63%) ATS in April. — John Ewing

Trend No. 2 to know: Tom Thibodeau has made four trips to Denver to play the Nuggets since 2014. The Timberwolves and the Bulls are 4-0 against the second-half spread in those meetings under Thibs, covering by 7.1 PPG. In that span, Denver is the only home team Thibs is undefeated against vs. the second-half spread. — Evan Abrams

Quick Hits on the Rest of the Slate

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (-2) AT INDIANA PACERS | O/U: 210.5

7 p.m. ET

Trend No. 1 to know: Under Steve Kerr, the Warriors are 80-78 (50.6%) ATS on the road in the regular season, but against opponents with a .500 or better record they’re 47-35-3 (57%) ATS. — John Ewing

Trend No. 2 to know: Since Kerr took over as coach in 2014, the under is 90-71 (55.9%) in Warriors road games — the third-highest mark among Western Conference teams (Pelicans and Spurs). On that note, the under is 24-15 in Pacers home games this season, cashing in seven of their past eight home games. — Evan Abrams

BROOKLYN NETS AT MILWAUKEE BUCKS (-8.5) | O/U: 220

8 p.m. ET

Trend No. 1 to know: Brooklyn lost on Tuesday 121-95 to the 76ers in Philadelphia in the first of a three-game road trip. Bad teams (win rate of 33% or worse) on a road trip that lost their previous game by 20 or more points have gone 151-126-6 (55%) ATS since 2005. — John Ewing

Trend No. 2 to know: The Bucks have won 10 straight games SU and 12 of their past 13 against the Nets. Since 2014, Milwaukee is 9-3-1 ATS (75%) against the Nets, covering by 6.3 PPG. The Nets are the Bucks’ most profitable opponent over that span. — Evan Abrams

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS AT UTAH JAZZ (-7) | O/U: 211

9 p.m. ET

Betting market: Sharp bettors hopped on Utah early, as detailed in PJ Walsh’s Wake and Rake.

Trend to know: The Jazz have failed to cover the spread in five consecutive home games for the first time since … February. Utah is 5-10 ATS at home since the trade deadline — the third-least profitable team in the NBA — ahead of just the Nets and Bucks in that span. — Evan Abrams

Photo credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports