NBA Betting Picks (Tuesday, Aug. 4): Our Staff’s Bets for Celtics vs. Heat, Rockets vs. Trail Blazers

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Photo credit: Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: James Harden and Russell Westbrook

  • Looking for betting picks for Tuesday's NBA slate? You've come to the right place.
  • Tonight's slate is highlighted by Celtics vs. Heat and Rockets vs. Trail Blazers, and both games are catching the eyes of our experts.
  • Check out how we're betting the Celtics-Heat spread, as well as the spread, total and a player prop in Rockets-Blazers.

The NBA bubble continues Monday with six games, headlined tonight by two great matchups in Celtics vs. Heat and Rockets vs. Blazers.

Where’s the value today? Our staff is here to break down their favorite NBA bets for Tuesday’s slate and has found value in three games:

  • 2:30 p.m. ET: Dallas Mavericks vs. Sacramento Kings
  • 6:30 p.m. ET: Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat
  • 9 p.m. ET: Houston Rockets vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Tuesday NBA Betting Picks


Odds as of Tuesday morning and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


Brandon Anderson: Mavericks vs. Kings

Mavericks odds -5.5 [BET NOW]
Kings odds +5.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -210/+175 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 236.5 [BET NOW]
Time 2:30 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass

The Mavericks were my deep sleeper heading into the bubble, and it hasn’t gone so well. Dallas is 0-2 and looks mostly locked into the 7-seed now.

In related news, the Kings were my pick for the 9-seed, and they’re also 0-2 and have looked absolutely atrocious, never really challenging the Spurs or Magic.

I’ve given up on the Kings. Given their games and the results around them, this was just about the worst possible bubble start. They do need this one — more than Dallas really — but the Mavericks are just so much better.

Luka Doncic has been terrific, and Kristaps Porzingis continues to quietly break out. Dallas’ real problem is on defense, and Sacramento’s offense isn’t good enough to punish them there.

The line is a point or two higher than I’d love, but sometimes you just gotta run with the much better team, the one you still believe in. Stick a fork in Sacramento.

The Pick: Mavericks -5.5

[Bet $20+ on the Mavericks at PointsBet and Win $125 if they make at least one 3-pointer]

Matt Moore: Celtics vs. Heat

Celtics odds -3.5 [BET NOW]
Heat odds +3.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -167/+140 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 220.5 [BET NOW]
Time 6:30 p.m. ET
TV TNT

This line isn’t sweet. It’s longer than it needs to be. Miami is on a back to back… after a four-month layoff. The Heat are talented, deep and versatile.

However, it’s not too long to push me off it. Free throws with possession get you home.

Here was the first thing I noted: Boston was 14-13 vs. the top-13 teams in the league. Nothing to write home about for a top-three seed. However, the Celtics were second in Net Rating in those games. They were better than their record indicated.

They went 2-0 vs. Miami, which I’m not putting a lot of stock in — at least in this environment. After all, both of those games were back-to-backs for Miami… but then again, this one is as well.

Kelly Olynyk is a problem in this matchup; the Celtics frontcourt is awful. But Olynyk’s biggest danger is on hand-offs into a pick-and-pop, and the Celtics have the mobility with Daniel Theis and Grant Williams to counter.

Boston is undefeated this season vs. opponents on a back-to-back and 6-1 ATS. The Celtics are 20-10-1 ATS the last three seasons vs. teams on a B2B.

The last three seasons, they are 43-24-1 ATS vs. teams with a 60% win percentage.

The Celtics aren’t limited offensively or defensively. Depth will be tough, but they have enough to get by. I’m good to lay the points.

The Pick: Celtics -3.5

[Bet $20+ on the Celtics at PointsBet and Win $125 if they make at least one 3-pointer]

Matt LaMarca: Rockets vs. Blazers

Rockets odds -3.5 [BET NOW]
Blazers odds +3.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -162/+135 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 244 [BET NOW]
Time 9 p.m. ET
TV TNT

It’s easy to look at these two teams and see a ton of offensive potential, but I think this total is a bit too high. For starters, taking unders on totals between 240 and 248 has historically been a profitable endeavor, posting a record of 21-13-1 against the spread (61.8%).

While the Blazers have been great offensively, they also haven’t played at a blistering pace. They’ve averaged just 99.6 possessions per game through their first two contests, and they have historically played slower with Jusuf Nurkic on the court.

The Rockets will obviously want to push the tempo in this contest, but don’t expect Portland to try to turn it into a track meet.

THE PICK: Under 244 (wouldn’t play below 244)

[Bet now at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

Raheem Palmer: Rockets vs. Blazers

The Blazers might have the worst collection of wings in the league; thus, the Boston Celtics might have been the worst possible matchup for this team that is fighting for its playoff life. I have a tremendous amount of love and respect for Carmelo Anthony’s Hall of Fame career, but him in his current form plus Mario Hezonja are no match for Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward. The Boston trio combined for 86 points and led the Celtics to a 24-point lead before the Blazers fought their way back.

Fortunately for the Blazers, wings aren’t an issue for Houston. Robert Covington can shoot the 3 in catch-and-shoot situations and defend, but he’s not a guy you have to worry about breaking down the defense, getting to the hoop and creating offense for himself.

In addition, the Blazers have a tremendous size advantage and should be able to make Houston pay inside with Jusuf Nurkic.

Typically, the Rockets welcome teams posting their bigs vs their small-ball lineup, knowing they can trade 2 vs. 3 all game while taking the ball out of a team’s best player’s hands. However, Nurkic is another animal and should be able to create +EV offense vs. this lineup.

The Rockets have been running on thin ice, and while they’ve buckled down in crunch time to get comeback wins against the Mavericks and Bucks, I think that stops here.

The Blazers defeated the previous incarnation of the Rockets with Clint Capela as 8.5-point road underdogs in Houston on January 15 and defeated them again as five-point home favorites on January 29.

Although the small-ball lineup has opened things up offensively for the Rockets, they were dominated on the boards against the Bucks and Mavericks and rank 27th in second chance points allowed and 25th in points in the paint. I think that comes back to haunt them against Portland.

The market has moved this line down from +5 to +4. If you can find a +4 or better I think you have a positive expected value proposition; the Blazers have a solid chance to win this game. The path to that happening involves Nurkic making the Rockets pay, so his point props look great tonight, too.

The PICK: Blazers +4 or better, Nurkic over 18.5 points

[Bet $20+ on the Blazers at PointsBet and Win $125 if they make at least one 3-pointer]

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