NBA Odds & Best Bets: Our 4 Expert Picks for Today (Saturday, March 11)

NBA Odds & Best Bets: Our 4 Expert Picks for Today (Saturday, March 11) article feature image
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Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors.

We know it's a big Saturday in the college ranks, but let's not ignore the magnitude of today's games in the NBA. We've got a star-studded matchup (hopefully) on ABC between the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors (8:30 p.m. ET) and that's just one of the 10 games on the NBA schedule for the day.

Our Action Network analysts are targeting two other games on the slate and have four best bets today in total. Read on for their expert picks for Saturday below.

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NBA Odds & Best Bets

Click on a game to skip ahead
New York Knicks vs. Los Angeles Clippers
4 p.m. ET
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Golden State Warriors
8:30 p.m. ET
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Golden State Warriors
8:30 p.m. ET
Sacramento Kings vs. Phoenix Suns
9 p.m. ET

New York Knicks vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Pick
Under 227.5
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
4 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Chris Baker: This is a play on the impact of Jalen Brunson’s absence on this Knicks team. Brunson has an Offensive Rating swing of +8.5 (third-best amongst point guards) and a Defensive Rating swing of +8.1 (last amongst guards).

Fortunately, the Knicks have one of the best defensive guards in the NBA backing up Brunson as Immanuel Quickley leads the entire NBA in Defensive Rating swing (-11.3) by two full points. With Brunson off and Quickley on, the Knicks have an elite 109.2 Defensive Rating, but their Offensive Rating is poor as they are scoring just 110.8 points per 100 possessions. This is an entirely different team with Quickley at the helm and I expect their offense to stagnate and their defense to percolate in the absence of Brunson.

Furthermore, this Clippers offense tends to be slightly overrated as they rank just 23rd in Offensive Rating despite playing the easiest schedule of opposing defenses this year, according to Dunks And Threes.

On that same note, the Clippers' defense has been solid, ranking 16th despite playing the fifth-most difficult schedule of opposing offenses. I talked about it in the lead-up to the Raptors game, but this Clippers defense has unbelievable bad-luck as opponents have shot greater than 40% from beyond the arc in 10 of their past 16 games and greater than 50% in five of those games. That is unbelievable shooting variance and I expect them to start seeing positive regression in that department.

The Clippers also matchup well with the Knicks as the Knicks are highly dependent on offensive rebounds. New York ranks second in the NBA in offensive rebound rate (31%), but the Clippers do a great job on the defensive glass ranking seventh in defensive rebound rate. Expect Zubac to do a good job containing Mitchell Robinson and limiting Knicks second chances.

Finally, both of these teams rank bottom-10 in pace in the NBA as the Knicks rank 27th and the Clippers rank 22nd. This is a fair line if Brunson was playing, but without Brunson the projection for this Knicks team is completely different. Grab the under and play this down to 225.


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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Golden State Warriors

Pick
Warriors -1
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
8:30 p.m. ET
TV
ABC

Andrew O'Connor-Watts: The betting see saw continues with the Warriors taking on the Bucks in Primetime tonight. My previous best bet was the Grizzlies at home against the Warriors who — as I hope we all know by now — struggle mightily on the road.

Tonight, the Warriors will be at home where they’re 22-11-1 ATS and have won and covered in their last six games. A primary reason for their home success is their defensive presence at Chase Center, where they have the third-best Defensive Rating in the league (108.1) and the sixth-best Net Rating (+7.6).

Milwaukee matches up well defensively: They rank third in opponent 3-point
rate and the Warriors attempts the most 3s in the league. However, the Bucks rank 19th in above the break 3-pointers allowed (26.6%) and that’s where the Warriors thrive, taking the most shots from above the break (35.5%) and making them at a 38.7% clip.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is questionable and could miss his third straight game. Obviously, I like the Warriors more if Antetokounmpo sits, but I think they have enough motivation to pull off a win at home even if he plays. Going back to last season, the home team has won and covered in every meeting, including the Bucks winning at home in the first matchup this year.

I like the current spread/moneyline prices of -1 and -120 but wouldn't go past them with Antetokounmpo's status is unclear. If he sits I'd take the spread down to -3.5.



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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Golden State Warriors

Pick
Warriors ML
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
8:30 p.m. ET
TV
ABC

Matt Moore: There is a world where this is a NBA Finals rematch from last season. It was a very likely (relatively speaking) NBA Finals matchup in the preseason. It's even possible now, though the Golden Stare Warriors aren't doing a great job of making it a reality.

Golden State is one of the worst road teams we've ever seen. They are an amazing home team, though. Golden State is the worst team in the last 20 years on the road covering just 28% of their games. Luckily for them, they're not on the road Saturday. The Warriors are also the fifth-best team in the last 20 years at home at 65% ATS. It doesn't really make any sense, but they're nearly unbeatable at home and completely helpless on the road.

Antetokounmpo popped up as questionable with right hand soreness, the same hand he injured before All-Star break. Wesley Matthews is out with a stress reaction in his leg. It's unlikely that Antetokounmpo misses this game for various reasons, but you'll want to be sure he's in or out before betting.

If the Warriors win, it's likely because one or both of the Splash Brothers had an especially prolific game. The Warriors rank 28th in shots-at-rim frequency, but the Bucks are the third-best defensive team at the rim. The Warriors will need to beat the Bucks from the perimeter, given the Bucks' size and strength advantage.

The issue with the Warriors on the road is their defense. But they have the third-best defense in the league among home teams, and the under is 20-13-1 (60.6%). Their ability to slow down the Bucks' relative weakness offensively is key.

I make this game Warriors -4 with their homecourt advantage. The Bucks have outperformed their metrics all season, and it's entirely possible they do so again. But Golden State gets up for these games as they did with Boston.


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Sacramento Kings vs. Phoenix Suns

Pick
Suns -3.5
Book
DraftKings
Tipoff
9 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Brandon Anderson: The Durant injury may be a blessing in disguise for bettors here, buying value on a disguised line with KD out.

Even without Durant, Booker and Paul have shown they can pick apart this lackluster Kings defense. The Suns won both games shorthanded, one on Valentine's Day with effectively this same Durant-less roster, with the three remaining Suns stars having big games.

I'll be looking for some Suns overs on props. Paul had 19 assists in his one Kings game, and Booker averaged 39.0 PPG in his two games and has been on fire lately. I especially have my eye on Ayton, averaging 23/11.5 with a pair of efficient double-doubles. I'll look to play a points escalator as he should find some easy finishing looks against this beatable defense.

In the end, I love what the Kings are doing, but I have to back the team that has proven it can win in this spot and that's playing at home on a discounted line.

Phoenix is only 15-19 on the road but the Suns are 22-10 at home. The Suns are pushing to improve playoff positioning and hold down the fort without Durant, and this is a game CP3, Book, and Ayton are good enough to win even with KD watching.

The Kings have only lost by less than three points three times all season, while the Suns have only won by three or less twice. So if you like the Kings, you should probably just take the moneyline instead of the spread — and if you trust the Suns, go ahead and lay the points.

Sacramento may still win this season-long war, but in a big spot at home with such a short line, I'll back the favorite to win the battle. Give me Suns -3 and I'll play to -3.5.


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