Wednesday’s NBA 12-Pack: Everything You Need to Know to Bet the Slate

Wednesday’s NBA 12-Pack: Everything You Need to Know to Bet the Slate article feature image

A Tuesday six-pack has doubled into a Wednesday 12-pack. Based on my experience, things are about to get wild.


We’re hitting on all 12, so if you’re super interested in Hornets-Magic, we won’t judge you; we’ll help you out with some vital information. That’s just the way we roll here at The Action Network. — Mark Gallant

All info as of Wednesday afternoon. 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.

MIA-PHI | LAC-BOS | LAL-NOP | GSW-POR | Rest of Slate


7 p.m. ET

What the metrics say: The 76ers are rolling, and it’s because of their elite defense. They rank third in defensive efficiency on the year, and over their past three games, they’ve allowed just 69.3, 95.1, and 93.4 points/100. That 69.3 mark against the Pelicans is the best mark of the season by any defense. They’re dominant in the most important areas of the floor, ranking ninth and first, respectively, in field goal percentage allowed at the rim and 3-point line. Embiid’s reputation as a rim protector is clearly growing, as opponents aren’t even challenging him down low anymore: Opponents are taking just 30.8 percent of their shots at the rim, which is the second-lowest mark in the league. These teams played their first matchup of the year just two weeks ago, and Philly took it 103-97. Miami was held to just 76.8 points per 100 in the half court (ninth percentile of games this year) and only stayed in it by getting out in transition. The 76ers are a tough matchup for them. — Bryan Mears

What I’m watching for: Stay the hell out of Philly’s way right now. Since returning from London in mid-January, the Sixers are 10-5 with the fourth-best net rating in the league, behind only Houston, the Warriors and (just barely) Utah.

There is, of course, the Whiteside-Embiid feud to consider, and Whiteside needs a win in this one. Meanwhile, the more interesting battle will be on the perimeter. Both teams have shooters galore and great cutters. This should be a high-execution game with a lot of quick guards making smart plays against tough defense. Sneaky great game.  Matt Moore

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

DFS nugget: Embiid has played through a lot of questionable tags recently, but today’s slate is a bit of a different animal with the All-Star break on the horizon. Teams seem more inclined to give players the day off today in hopes of getting them some extended rest, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see Embiid miss today’s contest. If he does sit, look for Dario Saric to assume some extra offensive responsibility. He’s averaged more than 35 fantasy points per game with Embiid out of the lineup this season, resulting in an average Plus/Minus of +11.9 on DraftKings. — Matt LaMarca

Trend to know: Erik Spoelstra teams have thrived on quick turnarounds against familiar foes of late, going 27-11-1 ATS (71.1%) the past four seasons when playing on a back-to-back against a team from the East. If you look at just the past two seasons, they’re 14-3 ATS. — Evan Abrams

Did you know? Since Embiid missed back-to-back home losses for the Sixers on December 19th and 21st, Philadelphia is 10-0 SU and ATS at home. The Sixers are the only undefeated team ATS at home since New Years, and Embiid is averaging 24.3 PPG and 10.7 RPG during the streak. Philly is covering the spread by an average of 9.8 PPG. — Evan Abrams


8 p.m. ET | ESPN

What I’m watching forBrad Stevens has basically admitted the Celtics aren’t great. They’re a perfect example of why regular-season record has never been as good of an indicator of future success as point differential: Boston has been closer to the pack in the latter than among the elite for most of the year.

This is a crucial game for the C’s; they need to stop the bleeding and get a feel-good win before the All-Star break. Meanwhile, the Clippers are held together with duct tape, but it’s working. Doc Rivers continues to have a sneaky excellent year, and, while the new components aren’t as star-studded, they do bring versatility and basketball intelligence.

This is a big game for Jayson Tatum, who has struggled since dislocating his pinkie last month. Tobias Harris has one of the worst on/off defensive ratings in the league this year, and Tatum should be able to get to his spots. — Matt Moore

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

What the metrics say: Early signs for the Clippers’ new lineups are great. Their most-used current lineup — a combination of Avery Bradley-Austin Rivers-Tobias Harris-Danilo Gallinari-DeAndre Jordan — has blitzed teams, posting a +19.9 net rating. The offense has been hit-or-miss, but the defense has been elite, allowing just 85.4 points/100. While those numbers will obviously regress, that lineup does have excellent defenders and length, which kind of sounds like the Boston Celtics. This is a very intriguing matchup, and hopefully we’ll get a good version of Boston. They’ve dropped three of their past four games, and they still have a ton of lineup questions. During that time frame, their starting group has been great, posting a +16.4 net rating. Their second-most used lineup, which switches out Aron Baynes for Marcus Morris — has been trash (-20.8 net rating). — Bryan Mears

DFS nugget: This game doesn’t feature a ton of DFS appeal given the sheer volume of teams available. But one player who could be worth some consideration is Danilo Gallinari. He’s averaged 0.98 fantasy points per minute over the past month and has played at least 35 minutes in each of his past two games. That kind of production would make him a decent value at $6,300 on FanDuel. — Matt LaMarca


8 p.m. ET

What I’m watching for: Anthony Davis is going to have a time. The Lakers defense is good but struggles with players like Davis — you know, mutant pteranodons with range. Everyone has kind of written off New Orleans, but their numbers are still in the positive without DeMarcus Cousins with Jrue Holiday and Davis on the floor. They’re still in the playoff hunt, but they need wins vs. teams like the Lakers, who are holding onto desperate hopes of staying in the playoff race.

Isaiah Thomas may score a lot, but Holiday will target him in the post, and if they move Thomas onto E’Twaun Moore to hide, Moore’s going to back-cut the Lakers to death. This is a pretty bad matchup for LA. — Matt Moore

DFS nugget: Matt nailed it: It’s tough to envision a scenario in which Davis doesn’t crush the Lakers in today’s contest. He’s only failed to hit value in two games since the DeMarcus Cousins’ injury: Once against the Jazz and once in a blowout loss to the 76ers. The Lakers defense is a far cry from those two units; Davis has a +3.22 Opponent Plus/Minus for today’s contest. Don’t sleep on Julius Randle on the other side of this matchup, either. He’s averaged 1.15 fantasy points per minute over the past month and is coming off a 37-minute game. — Matt LaMarca

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

What the metrics say: The Lakers don’t have anything to tank for, so they’ll likely try to get Thomas back to his Boston form. He looked solid in his first bit with the team, and the main lineup with him, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Julius Randle did well, scoring at a rate of 113.6 points/100 across their 11 minutes together. They’ll have a tough test against a hungry Pelicans squad that has rebounded the past two games, largely thanks to excellent play from Brow and Holiday. They were especially impressive last game against Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond, posting a 77.3 percent field goal mark at the rim. The newly-acquired Nikola Mirotic spacing things didn’t hurt either: New Orleans shot 46.7 percent from behind the arc. If the Pelicans are going to space the floor and run with Davis at center — which is what they should have been doing for years — they’re a very dangerous team. — Bryan Mears

Trend No. 1 to know: Under Luke Walton, the Lakers are 16-26 ATS on the road against Western Conference teams. — John Ewing

Did you know? Davis has faced the Lakers five times over the past two seasons, and he has wrecked Luke Walton & Co. Davis is averaging 34.4 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 2.2 BPG, and a 52.5 percent field goal mark. He’s gone for 38 PPG in the three games without Cousins. — Evan Abrams


10:30 p.m. ET | ESPN

What I’m watching for: Portland is going to have a bad time. Their defense in the past 15 games has slid to 20th, while their offense has jumped up to ninth. That said, they’re still very limited in terms of creating shots for anyone who isn’t Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Draymond Green could miss this one, and, if so, expect Ed Davis to feast.

Zaza Pachulia vs. Jusuf Nurkic is a complete and total rockfight, which should result in pretty much everyone being mad in their last game before All-Star break. — Matt Moore

What the metrics say: The Blazers have some ways to make things difficult for the Warriors. On the season they are third in opponent frequency of shots from the 3-point line, and they’re first in field-goal percentage allowed at the rim. In their first game vs. the Warriors this year, those strengths emerged: Golden State had a terrible shot profile:

Unfortunately, the Warriors are the Warriors, and they shot 77.8 percent at the rim and 50.0 from 3. Oh yeah, I should probably mention that Curry didn’t play. The Warriors are an embarrassment of riches.  Bryan Mears

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

DFS nugget: Damian Lillard loves trying to prove himself against other elite PGs, perhaps none more so than Stephen Curry. He’s historically been dominant against the Warriors when playing them at home, averaging just under 52 DraftKings points per game and exceeded salary-based expectations by an average of 11.31 points. Expect him to try and show out in this one. — Matt LaMarca

Trend No. 1 to know: Under Steve Kerr, the Warriors are 25-16 ATS (61%) on the road against above-.500 opponents in the Western Conference — the most-profitable NBA team in that spot. — Evan Abrams

Trend No. 2 to know: The Warriors covered their last game by 30.5 points (-15.5 vs. Suns on Monday). Teams that covered their previous game by 30 or more points have gone 104-122-3 (46%) ATS in the next game. — John Ewing

Quick Hits on the Rest of the Slate

Hawks at Pistons (-10.5) | O/U: 205.5

7 p.m. ET

DFS nugget: Atlanta is going to be without three of their highest usage players today in Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore, and Ersan Ilyasova. That will open up a lot of value for the rest of the players, which should make them one of the top team targets of the day. — Matt LaMarca

Betting market: With no Schroder, Ilyasova or Bazemore, the Pistons have moved from -8.5 to -10.5 since opening. While none of these players are worth a point by themselves, the combination of the three will certainly hurt the Hawks’ chances. Even more interesting is the movement on the total. It had opened at 212 last night and had already made it down to 209 this morning, but following the slew of injuries, it dropped all the way to 205.5/206. Fifty-eight percent of bets and 78% of dollars are backing the under. — Mark Gallant

Trend to know: Atlanta (18-40) is on a back-to-back. Bad teams (win rate of .333 or worse) aren’t bad bets on a B2B: 321-264-9 (55%) ATS since 2012. — John Ewing

Hornets (-5) at Magic | O/U: 213

7 p.m. ET

What I’m watching for: Malik Monk has to get better at some point, right? At something? He can’t just be this bad, right? Right? — Matt Moore

Did you know? The Hornets have dominated the Magic lately . . .

  • Won 9 consecutive games straight-up (won 11 of last 12 SU by 11.5 PPG)
  • Won 7 consecutive games ATS (won 10 of past 12 ATS covering by 7.8 PPG) — Evan Abrams

Pacers (-4.5) at Nets | O/U: 212

7:30 p.m. ET

Betting market: This game isn’t getting a ton of action compared to the others, but the total does appear to be getting some looks from sharper players. Even though 78% of bets are on the over, 74% of dollars are on the under. We’ve also seen two bet signals on the under, including one from Pinnacle. This has helped push the total down from 214.5 to 212. — Mark Gallant

Trend No. 1 to know: Over the past five seasons, teams with a win rate below .333 and an ATS record above .500 are covering just 38.7 percent of their games in January or later. This applies to both the Nets and Hawks tonight. — Evan Abrams

Trend No. 2 to know: Brooklyn has been the NBA’s best team against opponents with a winning record this season, going 21-12-1 ATS. That said, they have failed to cover in five of their past seven such contests. — John Ewing

Wizards (-4.5) at Knicks | O/U: 209.5

7:30 p.m. ET

Betting market: The over in this games appears to be one of the sharper sides of the day. With three bet signals from 5Dimes, CRIS, and Pinnacle, the total has moved all the way from 205 to 209.5. — Mark Gallant

DFS nugget: Bradley Beal could fly a bit under the radar on today’s slate, but he’s in a wonderful spot on FanDuel. The Knicks defense has been putrid with Porzingis off the court this season, allowing an average of 112.7 points per 100 possessions, and Beal has a Bargain Rating of 86 percent. — Matt LaMarca

Trend to know: Since losing Kristaps Porzingis for the season, the Knicks are 0-3 SU, losing on average by 16.3 points. New York has been an 11-point underdog on average in each game and still has yet to cover. — John Ewing

Raptors (-6.5) at Bulls | O/U: 217.5

8 p.m. ET

Trend to know: Chicago is only 17-16 SU against Eastern Conference teams but a league-best 23-10 ATS. That said, the team has failed to cover its past four games vs. the East. — John Ewing

Kings at Rockets (-15) | O/U: 217.5

8 p.m. ET

Trend No. 1 to know: Houston is on a back-to-back. Elite teams (win rate of .700 or higher) playing on the second night of a back-to-back against the league’s worst teams (win rate of .333 or lower) are 114-145-3 ATS (44.0%) since 2005. — John Ewing

Trend No. 2 to know: Teams favored by double-digits are 52-66-4 ATS (44.1%) this season. The cumulative numbers are brought down by two teams in particular:

  • Cavaliers (0-12) and Rockets (5-12-1): 5-24-1 ATS
  • Other 28 teams: 47-42-3 ATS — Evan Abrams

Trend No. 3 to know: Over the past decade, when a great offensive team (110-plus ORtg) faces a terrible defensive team (110-plus DRtg), it’s paid to be a contrarian bettor. The under is 175-124-1 (58.5%). — Evan Abrams

Thunder (-4) at Grizzlies | O/U: 208

8 p.m. ET

Trend No. 1 to know: OKC has been dreadful as a road favorite this season, going 8-14 SU and 7-15 ATS. Only the Cavs (4-14 ATS) have been worse. — John Ewing

Trend No. 2 to know: Since LeBron James returned to Cleveland, teams are 29-35-4 ATS on a back-to-back after playing the Cavaliers — the fourth-least profitable opponent in the league. — Evan Abrams

Suns at Jazz (-12) | O/U: 211

9 p.m. ET

DFS nugget: This game features plenty of DFS appeal on both sides. The Jazz are obviously the preferred target against the awful Suns D, especially considering they’ll be without Ricky Rubio once again. The Suns will also be shorthanded with Devin Booker and Tyson Chandler expected to miss today’s contest. That puts guys like Josh Jackson and Alex Len in play even in a difficult matchup. — Matt LaMarca

What I’m watching for: What fresh humiliation will the Suns face this time? Beaten by 50 by the Spurs, the Warriors had their players coach. Will the Jazz just set up a dunk contest for Donovan Mitchell and spot them 20 points 5-on-0 before coming back? — Matt Moore

Top photo via Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports