NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Hawks vs. Wizards, Jazz vs. Rockets, More (Thursday, October 28)
Alex Goodlett/Getty Images. Pictured: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz.
- If the NBA is at the top of your betting slip on Thursday, you've come to the right place.
- Our staff broke down their favorite plays for three games -- Hawks vs. Wizards, Jazz vs. Rockets and Spurs vs. Mavericks.
- We're playing sides and totals on tonight's six-game NBA slate. Get all our favorite bets for Thursday below.
There is just one game on Tonight’s short six-game NBA slate that will be competing with Thursday Night Football on national TV: Knicks vs. Bulls (8 p.m. ET on NBA TV).
But that’s not stopping our NBA crew from finding value on tonight’s games. In fact, three of our hoops analysts are making bets on three other matchups tonight.
You can find their bets on those game below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Atlanta Hawks vs. Washington Wizards
Raheem Palmer: The Hawks and Wizards both off back-to-back games which presents and ideal spot for an under as both teams should have tired legs early in the season.
The Hawks will be playing their third game in four nights while the Wizards find themselves in a bad spot with Daniel Gafford expected to sit out. The Wiz are 5.5 points per 100 possessions better offensively with him on the floor. In addition, it’s likely we could see the Wizards rest Spencer Dinwiddie as he’s still recovering from a knee injury.
The Hawks are one of the best defensive teams in the league, holding opponents to 97.9 points per 100 possessions putting them fourth among all NBA teams. Meanwhile, the Wizards rank 19th in Offensive Rating, scoring 106.2 in their non garbage time minutes, so it’s tough to expect a dominant scoring outburst here.
With the Hawks playing at the sixth-slowest pace in the league and the Wizards just 15th in pace, this has the recipe for a low scoring game. With the new foul rules, teams are shooting fewer free throws this season.
Bradley Beal and Trae Young have been impacted heavily with Beal’s shooting foul rate dropping from 13.5% to 5.8% this season and Young’s dropping from 14.4% to 7.6%. My model makes this game 218 and there’s a reason we’re seeing this total steamed down from the opener of 224.
I’ll take the under 223 and would play this down to 221.
Atlanta Hawks vs. Washington Wizards
Matt Moore: Raheem and I are in lockstep here. Based on half court and transition efficiency modeling, I have this down at 203, giving us a big gap between model and number.
Atlanta’s defense has been outrageously good so far — they have the No. 3 halfcourt defense this season, while Washington comes in 11th. Neither team ranks in the top 10 in Pace, the Wizards come in at 15th as the higher-pace team.
Washington has proven competent in its defense, though they’re likely to be shorthanded in this game up front without Daniel Gafford and Thomas Bryant. Montrezl Harrell is a defensive liability, but he plays with physicality and in a regular season context is fine.
Both teams are on a back to back as part of a third-game-in-four nights. But that’s factored into the line; games with both teams in this spot have seen the over go 437-408-10 (51.7%) for essentially no edge.
But with Bradley Beal banged up, there’s a chance he rests in this spot and his efficiency hasn’t been great anyway. If the Hawks win, they likely hammer an outmatched and slightly shorthanded Wizards squad. If the Wizards win, it means they managed to grind out a victory as they have consistently this young season.
I like the under here down to 220.
Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets
Moore: This is unwarranted caution early in the season. In the first 10 games of the season, double-digit favorites are 20-36 ATS (36.4%) via Bet Labs. So there’s reason for the caution historically, but I have this projected closer to Jazz -15.
Houston’s strength should be its offense, but the Rockets have offensive ratings below 102.0 in three of their four games. Their numbers are boosted by their win over the Thunder.
The Jazz smash these teams. Quin Snyder’s Jazz teams are 14-5 (73%) ATS as a road favorite of 9 points or more. Their regular-season-elite approach just destroys teams who can’t match up, and on top of it, Houston’s a young team who will get lost in the Jazz’ ball movement.
There’s zero reason this should be single-digits.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks
Malik Smith: We’re barely one week into the NBA regular season, so I feel the need to preface everything by noting the limited sample size of data we have. Through the few amount of games that have been played, the Mavericks have proven to be slow starters.
According to NBA Advanced Stats, they average 21.7 points per game in the first quarter, last in the NBA, while the Spurs average 28.8 points in the opening period, which is tied for 11th. Despite those numbers, the Spurs are +2.5-point underdogs in the first quarter against the Mavs.
Dallas hasn’t covered the first quarter spread yet this season, not even against the Houston Rockets at home. The Spurs are 3-1 ATS in first quarters this season and I’m willing to back them in this spot to make that 4-1.