NBA DFS, Betting Angles for Every Wednesday Game
You know what? I decided to bet on the Cavs yesterday. I admit it. They just got their keesters handed to them on their home court on national TV, and I thought to myself, “Boy, they’ll be looking for a statement win down in Orlando against the lowly Magic.”
They looked good! They looked better than good! Then, they went and did that thing they do …
Ahahaha, Lebron, do that thing you do! Don’t cover! Hahaha. Be up by 21 and lose by 18. Score 31 points in the second half. As the King himself would say, “Sheesh!” Bet you weren’t expecting any Andy Milonakis references, either.
The Cavs are back at it again, and they’re a home dog for the third time this season. Will they bounce back? Will this be the last game for some players in their respective uniforms before the trade deadline? What edges can our panel of experts find for you tonight? — Mark Gallant
All info as of Wednesday afternoon. Check back during the day for and keep an eye on our Twitter handle for any updates.
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BROOKLYN NETS AT DETROIT PISTONS (-9.5) | O/U: 209
7 p.m. ET
What I’m watching for: The Pistons are red hot. One of these times, they’re not going to face a sub-.500 team on a back-to-back. Today is not that day. What’s crazy is Blake Griffin hasn’t even been that good. He’s in the 73rd percentile running the pick-and-roll as the ball-handler but below the 50th percentile in the post. What he is doing is slaying as a playmaker. Twenty percent of all Griffin’s possessions end with an assist with Detroit so far, and many more get him or Andre Drummond to the line. The Nets’ front line is paper thin; watch out for Drummond in this one. — Matt Moore
What the metrics say: The Pistons have now won six straight games, including their first three with Blake Griffin in town. During that time, they’ve ranked fifth in the league with a +12.3 net rating. It’s largely been due to excellent defense: In 103 minutes with the starting lineup of Ish Smith-Reggie Bullock-Stanley Johnson-Blake Griffin-Andre Drummond, they’ve posted a +13.0 point differential and have allowed just 86.0 points per 100 possessions. That would rank in the 97th percentile of lineups this season, and, while they won’t keep up that pace, things are looking encouraging in Detroit. — Bryan Mears
DFS nugget: Drummond has been an absolute monster recently. He’s averaged 1.6 fantasy points per minute on DraftKings over the past month and has exceeded salary-based expectations by an average of 11.36 points over his past 10 games. He has an elite matchup today against the Nets, who have allowed the second highest Plus/Minus to the position this season. Drummond comes with a Bargain Rating of 99 percent on DraftKings. — Matt LaMarca
Trend No. 1 to know: The Nets (19-35) are on a back-to-back. Bad teams (40% or worse win rate) haven’t been bad bets on the second night of a B2B, going 307-256-12 against the spread (55%) over the past four seasons. — John Ewing
Trend No. 2 to know: The Pistons are 4-10-1 ATS vs. teams with a win percentage below 40 percent this season, failing to cover seven of their past eight games in the spot. — Evan Abrams
HOUSTON ROCKETS (-5) AT MIAMI HEAT | O/U: 209.5
7:30 p.m. ET
What I’m watching for: This matchup is less than ideal for Houston on a back-to-back. Miami has long, switchable defenders, and shooters who can benefit from quick secondary transition opportunities. Hassan Whiteside can contain the lob to Capela, which often forces James Harden into floaters — the only shot he struggles with, and I mean that literally, in the half court.
Watch out for Wayne Ellington, who’s having a monster season. The Rockets’ guards don’t have the size to close out effectively on him. — Matt Moore
What the metrics say: I’m on the other side of this from Matt: I think the Rockets are a brutal matchup for the Heat. On offense, Houston ranks first in drawing fouls, and the Heat are 24th in defensive foul rate. On the other side, the Rockets are weakest in transition, but the Heat rank just 28th in transition offense. The Heat will have to hope for some variance, and that’s possible, as they both rank in the top-five in frequency of shots from the 3-point line. But the most likely outcome is a solid Houston victory, especially since the Heat have had drastic negative home/away splits this season, posting a -2.1 net rating (25th) in Miami vs. a -0.7 mark (T10th) on the road. — Bryan Mears
DFS nugget: Bam Adebayo could be an intriguing player to target in DFS. Hassan Whiteside told reporters after his last game that he’s only expecting to play 22-23 minutes per game moving forward, and Kelly Olynyk is currently questionable with a shoulder injury. That could result in a solid handful of minutes for Adebayo, who has averaged 0.96 fantasy points per minute over the past month. — Matt LaMarca
Did you know? In games that James Harden and Chris Paul have both played, the Rockets are 24-3 straight-up but only 14-12-1 ATS. — John Ewing
Trend to know: Teams have had a lot of ATS success playing on a back-to-back in Miami. The Heat are 4-1 SU but just 0-3-2 ATS playing teams on a back-to-back at home this season. Historically, the trend has continued:
- Past five seasons: 22-29-1 ATS (43.1%)
- Past decade: 51-57-4 ATS (47.2%)
- Since 2005: 62-79-4 ATS (44%) — Evan Abrams
MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES (-3.5) AT CLEVELAND CAVALIERS | O/U: 225
8 p.m. ET | ESPN
What I’m watching for: Pain. Disaster. Misery. What else can befall the Cavs? A fight on-court between teammates? The Wolves annihilated Cleveland last time out. I don’t like obvious plays like this, it feels like a trap … but Cleveland is so lost. I just don’t know what stops the bleeding. If Orlando, off a rest day, with an 18-point lead, can’t cure what ails you, how is a back-to-back vs. one of the best teams in the West going to be the stopping point?
Look for Andrew Wiggins to feast, and don’t be surprised by a big game from Tyus Jones, who can push the ball in transition where the Cavs are weakest. — Matt Moore
What the metrics say: These teams first faced off almost exactly a month ago, and it wasn’t pretty. The Cavs got absolutely rocked:
Cleveland’s defense has been atrocious all year, and it was especially bad in this one. Minnesota scored 137.8 points/100, they hit almost every shot, they didn’t turn the ball over, and they rebounded the few misses they did have. What more can you do to dominate a defense? The Cavs are certainly in a free fall, and even their trusty offense has broken down lately. They haven’t exceeded 98 points in each of their past three games, the latter of which was an embarrassing 116-98 blowout at the hands of the tanking Magic. If this isn’t rock-bottom, that’s scary. — Bryan Mears
What the sharps are betting: Fifty-two percent of tickets wagered on the total have played the under, but sharp bettors spent the morning hammering the over. Our Bet Signals triggered two separate Steam Moves on the over, one at 221 and a second at 223, explaining why the total has pushed from an opener of 220 up to 224. — PJ Walsh
DFS nugget: Jimmy Butler been a much better value than LeBron of late. He’s averaged more fantasy points per minute over the past month despite being approximately $2,000 cheaper across the industry over that time frame. Butler also clearly has the better matchup of the two today: He owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.33 compared to -0.34 for LeBron. He deserves to be the higher-owned player today. — Matt LaMarca
Did you know? Cleveland is 0-8 SU and ATS in their past eight national-TV games. With that said, this has been a short-term blip: They’re 49-28 SU and 45-32 ATS in regular season games LeBron has played on national TV since 2014. — John Ewing
Trend No. 1 to know: The Cavs are 27-38-1 (41.5%) ATS on a back-to-back since LeBron returned to Cleveland. — John Ewing
Trend No. 2 to know: It seems like a broken record when it comes to the Cavs and their ATS struggles, but their performance against the West this season is next level. Cleveland is 3-14 ATS vs. the West, failing to cover the spread by an average of 9.6 PPG. The 3-14 ATS record includes a 1-8 ATS mark at home as well. — Evan Abrams
UTAH JAZZ (-7) AT MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES | O/U: 199.5
8 p.m. ET
What I’m watching for: Utah’s offense has been blistering of late. This team is so Jekyll-and-Hyde offensively. One minute they’re basically cavemen throwing stones and big mammal bones at their opponent, and the next they’re a squadron of fighter jets streaking through the sky.
Don’t expect Tyreke Evans to play in this one as trade talks continue. Dillon Brooks vs. Donovan Mitchell should be fun; Brooks is turning into one of the best defenders under 25. — Matt Moore
What the metrics say: Utah has had a resurgence and now have a 74 percent chance of making the playoffs, per 538. The Jazz have been the best team in the league over their past 10 games, evidenced by their outstanding +11.3 net rating. They’ve been especially elite over their six-game win streak, during which they have a stupid +18.1 net rating and own top-three marks on both offense and defense. I mean, look at these numbers . . .
DFS nugget: This game has easily the least DFS appeal of the day given the low over/under and the projected slow pace. With that said, Ricky Rubio could be an intriguing contrarian option on DraftKings. The Grizzlies have actually somewhat struggled with opposing PGs this season, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.95. Rubio has also crushed recently, exceeding salary-based expectations in nine of his past 10 games. He remains affordable on DraftKings despite his awesome production, and his current $6,700 salary results in a Bargain Rating of 97 percent. — Matt LaMarca
Trend No. 1 to know: Teams off a blowout win (the Jazz won their previous game by 24 points) facing a bad conference opponent (win rate of 40 percent or less) are 182-214-8 ATS (46%) since 2005. — John Ewing
Trend No. 2 to know: The Jazz are in the top-five of the most profitable ATS teams in the NBA (29-24), and they are on their second six-game ATS winning streak of the season currently. Prior to this year, Utah had not had a six-game ATS winning streak since 2013. — Evan Abrams
INDIANA PACERS AT NEW ORLEANS PELICANS (-3.5) | O/U: 220.5
8 p.m. ET
What the metrics say: Things haven’t been good for the Pelicans since DeMarcus Cousins went down with a torn Achilles. During their four-game stretch so far without him, they’ve lost three and have posted a poor net rating of just -7.4 — the sixth-worst mark in the league. They’ve been bad on both ends of the floor, although newly-acquired stretch 4 Nikola Mirotic will help offensively. This team just needs time — the starting lineup with Niko has played just 39 minutes together — and unfortunately they don’t have much of that as they fight for the playoffs. Even with Niko stretching the floor, this defense may struggle all year, especially with Rajon Rondo seeing heavier minutes of late. — Bryan Mears
DFS nugget: Anthony Davis struggled against the Jazz in his most recent contest, but this could be a prime spot to potentially buy-low on him. Before posting a dud vs. Utah, Davis had averaged over 60 fantasy points per game in his five prior contests with an average usage rate of 35.5 percent. The Pacers haven’t been an elite matchup for centers this season, but they’ve spent lots of time playing without Myles Turner. With Turner in the lineup, they’re much closer to the team that gave up 3.1 fantasy points above expectation to opposing centers and had a bottom-six rebound rate. — Matt LaMarca
- With: 30-19 SU, 29-20 ATS, +7.5 net rating
- Without: 0-6 SU and ATS, -8.8 net rating — Evan Abrams
SAN ANTONIO SPURS (-9.5) AT PHOENIX SUNS | O/U: 201.5
10:30 p.m. ET | ESPN
What I’m watching for: Did you know the Spurs are .500 since January 1st? Their unshakeable consistency has been shakeable this past month. However, they’re playing Phoenix, who just lost Isaiah Canaan to a horrific injury.
I want to see how the Spurs guard Devin Booker. Attach Danny Green and let him chuck? Hedge in the pick-and-roll? It’s always interesting to see if Pop goes for cutting off the head of the snake or limiting everyone else and making one guy beat them. Tune in for what should be a huge night from LaMarcus Aldridge, if you’re into that sort of thing. Or, if you are into that sort of thing, I’m sure there’s a snail documentary or an accounting thriller on Netflix somewhere. — Matt Moore
What the metrics say: The Suns seem to be in full-on tank mode. Devin Booker, oftentimes their only semblance of an offense, sat out last night with a left hip pointer. He stated he is very sore from multiple injuries he has been dealing with over the previous week, adding, “Right now I couldn’t physically play if I tried to.” They’ll want to be cautious with him throughout the rest of the season, and it shouldn’t be a surprise if he sits out more games for preventative reasons. In those cases, it could be wise to take the other squad: Prior to Tuesday’s game, the Suns’ starting lineup of Tyler Ulis-TJ Warren-Josh Jackson-Dragan Bender-Tyson Chandler had played just 23 minutes together, during which they posted a -47.8 point differential. — Bryan Mears
What the sharps are betting: Wiseguys on the Booker-less Suns? I guess so. After opening between +10 and +11 around the market, they’re down to +9.5. We’ve tracked three separate bet signals on Phoenix, all of which were triggered by sharp books: CRIS, Bookmaker, 5Dimes, and Pinnacle. — Mark Gallant
DFS nugget: This game features plenty of appeal on both sides. The Suns are one of the best matchups in the league for DFS purposes, and the Spurs’ current implied team total of 108 points represents an increase of more than seven points when compared to their season average. The matchup for Phoenix is obviously much tougher, but both TJ Warren and Josh Jackson have the opportunity for some extra usage and playing time with Booker unlikely to play. Jackson in particular looks like an excellent value: He’s averaged 0.86 fantasy points per minute with Booker off the court this season and played over 36 minutes yesterday. — Matt LaMarca
Trend No. 1 to know: The Spurs are always good, posting a 69.6 percent win rate since 2005. But when well-rested (four or more days between games), they’re even better, going 41-14 (74.5%) straight-up in the regular season. And when you look at the entire league, well-rested road favorites are 123-98 ATS (56%) since 2005. — John Ewing
Trend No. 2 to know: Over the past four seasons, Spurs’ road games have gone under quite a bit: 88-61-1 (59.1%). When Popovich & Co. have faced a home team with a defensive efficiency mark of 105 or above in that span, the under has gone 61-35 (63.5%), including 14-4 this season with home teams averaging just 94.5 PPG. — Evan Abrams
Top photo via Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports