NBA Picks & Predictions: Our Favorite Game 2 Bets For Wednesday
Photo credit: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Paul George & Kawhi Leonard
Tuesday’s games proved that chaos is an inevitability in the bubble with the No. 1 seed in the Eastern and Western conference dropping their postseason openers in dramatic fashion. We can only hope that Wednesday’s slate has more excitement in store with four Game 2s on the schedule, headlined by the Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Clippers.
Where’s the value today? Our staff is here to break down their favorite NBA bets for Wednesday’s slate and has found angles in three of the four games:
- 1:30 p.m. ET: Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors
- 4 p.m. ET: Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets
- 9 p.m. ET: Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Wednesday NBA Betting Picks
Matt Moore: Mavericks vs. Clippers
|Mavericks odds||+6 [BET NOW]|
|Clippers odds||-6 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+205/-250 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||229.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
Kristaps Porzingis is questionable with knee soreness for Game 2. I’m going to assume he’s playing, but don’t wager on this until you know for sure. (You can stay up to date with our Insiders tool). I wouldn’t have. But since I’m locked in, I’m sticking with the idea he’s not missing a playoff game for “soreness.”
I wrote about what the Mavericks did right in Game 1. They’ll continue to find answers. I’m just not sold on this Clippers defense, especially with their big men. Ivica Zubac is a soft target on switches, and Luka Doncic figured that out as the game went on.
I don’t want to bet on spread or moneyline, because the Mavericks defense may simply get overwhelmed. But I’m laying pretty good juice (-106) on the Mavs to score over 112.5 points. The Mavericks got good looks after they stopped turning the ball over in Game 1. I’m betting on the best offense in the league vs. an overrated defense.
The PICK: Mavericks over 112.5 (-106)
Malik Smith: Nets vs. Raptors
|Nets odds||+11.5 [BET NOW]|
|Raptors odds||-11.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+600/-835 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||226.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||1:30 p.m. ET|
The Raptors dominated in their Game 1 win over the Nets scoring 134 points, their third-highest point total of this season. Bettors have already jumped on the over for Game 2 with 56% of betting tickets coming in on the over per our Sports Insights tools. However, 59% of the money being bet on this total is hitting the under.
This matchup is an interesting one as it pertains to the over/under. Both teams ranked in the top 10 for pace in the seeding games and the Nets rank seventh in Offensive Rating over that span (116.2). The Nets’ defense, however, is among the worst (116 Defensive Rating) and they are facing the reigning champions who have the most balanced team and the best Defensive Rating over that span (102.7).
With all due respect to Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Joe Harris, I’m skeptical that the Nets’ role players can sustain the offensive output we saw in Game 1. Brooklyn is a scrappy team, but I think the Raptors will continue to clamp down on Caris Levert and force other players to prove they can score.
The spread in this game is double digits for a reason, the Raptors will likely win comfortably again, especially if they can break Pascal Siakam out of his slump. I’ll stay away from the full game total because I don’t fully trust the Nets’ offense against a great team, but I will gladly take the over on the Raptors team total at 118.5.
The Pick: Raptors over 118.5
Brandon Anderson: Jazz vs. Nuggets
|Jazz odds||+4 [BET NOW]|
|Nuggets odds||-4 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+135/-162 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||217.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||4 p.m. ET|
The Jazz and Nuggets treated us to one heck of a playoff opener. Donovan Mitchell was dazzling all game with 57 points, third-most by any player in NBA playoff history.
Jamal Murray was just as good down the stretch for the Nuggets, matching Spida shot for shot with a personal 10-0 fourth quarter run. The game went to overtime, and there the shorthanded Jazz finally ran out of steam, and Denver took a 1-0 series lead.
So, what about that game in particular made anyone think Denver was clearly the better team and should be favored here?
Nikola Jokic did not have a great game. His four 3s were huge, but he struggled to score inside against Rudy Gobert, missing a potential game winner late. Michael Porter Jr. had a miserable playoff debut after his bubble breakout and watched the key moments from the bench.
The Nuggets had no defensive answer for Mitchell and played very little defense at all. Mitchell shredded them for his own points, but he also created seven assists for teammates, and the Nuggets struggled to handle Utah’s spaced-out shooters.
I do think Denver is the better team here, in theory, but Monday sure felt like a coin flip, and Utah looked the better team for much of the game. The Nuggets remain severely shorthanded themselves, with Gary Harris and Will Barton out again. Jerami Grant played nearly 40 minutes, while the Nuggets gave almost 50 minutes to Monte Morris and P.J. Dozier.
What if Jokic doesn’t hit four 3s, or Murray doesn’t hit all those late jumpers? You can make the same argument about Mitchell’s shots, of course, but the point remains that this feels like a coin flip game, and that Utah has some serious matchups in its favor. At +140 on the moneyline, I’m happy to take those odds and would play the Jazz down to +130.
The Pick: Jazz ML +140
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Raheem Palmer: Jazz vs. Nuggets
The Nuggets ran well over expectation from 3-point range, shooting an unsustainable 51.6% (22-of-41) in Monday’s Game 1 win against the Jazz. The Nuggets were shooting 35.9% from 3-point range during the season and 32.1% from the deep throughout the bubble.
In spite of this, the Jazz still managed to take control of the game as the Nuggets had no answer for Mitchell who torched them for 57 points.
Ultimately, a late game mental error from Mitchell and the benching of Michael Porter Jr., who was being abused defensively, proved to be the difference in Game 1. Without Gary Harris and Will Barton, Porter Jr. will still play a key role in the rotation and whenever he’s on the floor, he will be hunted on defensively. Craig and Morris are solid defensively but trusting them to go a combined 5-of-8 from three point range again doesn’t feel replicable.
My full season numbers make this game a Pick’em, while my restart numbers make this game Nuggets -3.46, which says to me this game is pretty much a coin flip, as Brandon stated above. The Nuggets shooting performance should regress to the mean and the Jazz get inside the number and possibly win outright.
The Pick: Jazz +4