NBA Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Pacers vs. Nets, Thunder vs. Lakers (Wednesday, Feb. 10)
Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Hamidou Diallo #6 of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
- It's a busy Wednesday in the NBA with a packed nine-game slate.
- Our staff outlines their favorite bets for the nightcap, Thunder vs. Lakers, below.
It’s shaping up to be a busy Wednesday in the NBA with nine games scheduled for tonight, highlighted by two national TV matchups: Atlanta Hawks vs. Dallas Mavericks (7:30 p.m. ET) and Milwaukee Bucks vs. Phoenix Suns (10 p.m. ET).
Our NBA analysts are betting four of those games on tonight’s slate and have found three totals, one spread and one prop that show value.
You can find their analysis and picks on those matchups below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Toronto Raptors vs. Washington Wizards
Raheem Palmer: This one is contingent on whether Norman Powell starts as OG Anunoby is once again questionable for this matchup. With Anunoby on the floor, the Raptors are -7.7 points per 100 possessions worse defensively and they’re also slightly worse offensively.
Powell has started each of the past four games and averaged 22.5 points on 51.7% shooting while also making 3.5 3s per game at 50% clip. For a team that is taking 42.5% of their attempts from behind the arc, having Powell in the starting lineup is big deal.
The Wizards also struggle to defend from behind the arc as they rank 26th in opponent 3-point field goal percentage, allowing teams to shoot 39.5% from deep. The Wizards defense as a whole is one of the worst in the league, allowing 116.8 point per 100 possessions.
While the Raptors rank eighth in Offensive Rating (114.3) in their non garbage time minutes this season, according to Cleaning the Glass, their offense has hit its stride over the past two weeks scoring 121.4 points per 100 possessions.
The only teams better during that time frame are the Bucks, Nets, Jazz, Pelicans and Clippers. The Raptors are playing their fifth game of a six-game road trip in which they’re scoring 125 points per 100 possessions.
However, their defense hasn’t been nearly as kind as they’re giving up 118.1 points per 100 possessions. They will be facing a Wizards team that has struggled to score recently, putting up fewer than 100 points in three straight games.
This feels like a solid get right spot and with the Wizards playing the fastest pace in the league at 104 possessions, I like the over in this matchup. I grabbed this at 232.5 and would bet up to 234 (you can find the most updated totals on our NBA odds page).
Atlanta Hawks vs. Dallas Mavericks
Malik Smith: I’ve played the under on the Hawks a few times this season in spots where it feels like offense is being overvalued and this game feels like one of those spots. On the surface this looks like it could be a high-scoring matchup between Trae Young and Luka Doncic, who just played last week.
The Hawks have been a better than average defensive team this season — they rank 12th in Defensive Rating (111.0). They are near the middle of the pack (13th) in Pace this season and the Mavericks also fall in that range ranking 18th in league. While the Mavs have put up some high-scoring perfomances recently against the Warriors and Timberwolves, both teams play at much faster pace than the Hawks this season.
Ultimately, this is a play on the trends. The under is 16-7 in Hawks games this season, making them the third-most profitable team to take the under on in the league. With totals at or above 230, the under is 6-2 (both overs came against the Nets).
Add in the fact that the public is backing the over (63% of betting tickets) while the under is getting nearly all of the money (93%) and I like the under here down to 230.
Indiana Pacers vs. Brooklyn Nets
Kenny Ducey: In a matchup of two teams in miserable form, it’s hard not to take the points, and upon a closer examination this is almost certainly one of those occasions.
It’s bad enough that the Nets are playing like an “average” team, according to Kyrie Irving — and that even may be a generous assessment — they’re now staring down the barrel of a fifth loss in six games and won’t have Kevin Durant, or fresh legs, to help them.
Durant will remain sidelined under the league’s health and safety protocols as his teammates play on the second night of a back-to-back, where they are 1-4 against the spread this season. While things aren’t much better for the Pacers, who have lost five of six games, they’ll at least have a rest advantage, and still possess a clear edge in the paint with Domantas Sabonis.
He is one of the most proficient post-scorers in the NBA, and should be able to feast against a Brooklyn team that is allowing 56.3 points per game in the paint over the past six games, the most in the NBA.
One other positive for the Pacers over their six-game slide has been the defense, which has allowed 115 points per 100 possessions, ranking right around the middle of the league.
If there’s one side of the ball where you can stand to struggle against the Nets, it’s on offense, considering they can’t stop a nosebleed.
I make the Pacers a favorite here if the game’s being played in Indiana, and while Barclays Center will be just the same as its been in seasons past for the Nets — empty — I still believe the disadvantage of being on the road won’t be too much for the Pacers to overcome.
Pacers vs Nets
Joe Dellera: These two teams have been excellent for the over this season posting a combined 33-17 mark to the over.
Both teams have above average offensive ratings — the Nets rank third-best in the league while the Pacers rank 12th. They also play relatively fast, with both teams playing above the league average Pace.
The Nets have struggled to make up for the loss of Jarrett Allen on the interior, and with Durant sidelined due to health and safety protocols their defense has suffered even more.
Durant is the Nets second-best player in Defensive Plus/Minus and they give up 6.2 fewer points when he is on the court, per Cleaning the Glass. This Pacers team is led by excellent bigs, namely Domantas Sabonis (as Kenny noted above) and Myles Turner who should shred DeAndre Jordan on pick-and-roll plays in tonight’s matchup.
Thunder vs. Lakers
Brandon Anderson: My eyeballs literally almost popped out of my head when I saw this line. Surely it must be a mistake, right?
It is not.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are hilarious short-staffed right now, particularly at guard. George Hill has been out awhile and may never suit up for this team again if he turns into trade bait, and now Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Theo Maledon are out too.
The only other time those three guards all sat was a week ago against the Timberwolves. Diallo started at point guard with Kenrich Williams, Isaiah Roby, Darius Bazley, and Al Horford in a big lineup you’d really only know if you have been specifically following this OKC team this season. And Diallo went OFF. He had a career game with 16 points and … wait for it … 10 ASSISTS. Good gravy.
I watch a lot of Kentucky basketball, and never in my wildest dreams did I think Diallo would ever be a real NBA player. He’s learned how to use his athleticism, can really drive to the rim, and can certainly play some defense.
But I just can’t get there on an expectation of five assists. Diallo literally has never gone over 4.5 assists in any other game of his career — NBA or college. And sure, he’s going to play big minutes and handle the ball a lot, but he just cleared 40 minutes his last game out and had just two dimes.
SGA played that one, so maybe that’s not fair, but maybe it’s also not fair to expect Diallo to know how to play point guard just because he had one random outlier game against the awful Timberwolves.
The Los Angeles Lakers, are certainly not the Wolves. They actually play defense, and Diallo running point might not be so fun against a real professional opponent.
Sometimes when you’re playing poker, you look the opponent in the eye, know exactly what he might possibly have in order to beat you, and then pay that man down to make him prove it. If Diallo really knows how to run an NBA offense, in the iconic words of Teddy KGB, “I’m just going to have to pay dat man his money.”
I’ll take the under on his assists at 4.5 down to -130 at FanDuel.