NBA Expert Picks, Predictions: Tuesday’s Best Bets, Including Cavaliers vs Jazz, Mavericks vs Clippers
Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks and Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers.
- Tuesday's NBA slate brings us seven games and three best bets.
- Their picks come from two of the games on tonight's schedule: Cavaliers vs. Jazz and Mavericks vs. Clippers.
- Read on for their in-depth analysis and pick below
Tuesday's NBA slate brings us some fun matchups. There are seven games in total on the schedule, including Thunder vs. Heat (7:30 p.m. ET on TNT) and Suns vs. Warriors (10 p.m. ET on TNT) on the national TV front.
Our betting analysts are going elsewhere with their three best bets for Tuesday, targeting the "revenge game" in Utah between the Cavaliers and Jazz and the always exciting rivalry between the Mavericks and Clippers.
Read on for their expert picks and predictions for those matchups below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Utah Jazz
Dylan Wilkerson: The Jazz may be missing some players, but I still love Utah to keep it close against the Cavs tonight.
Even though they are below than .500, the Jazz have exceeded expectations this season. The Jazz hopeful are pushing hard to get Lauri Markkanen a spot in the All-Star game, and the Cavs have a few potential all-stars of their own. Donovan Mitchell, Jarrett Allen, and Darius Garland all have legitimate cases to make the trip to Utah for the All-Star game.
However, I do expect this game to be all Jazz, even with their lack of star-power. The Jazz success tonight will depend heavily on their 3-point shooting. While Cleveland's interior defense is impressive, they allow opposing teams to make it rain from outside of the arc with very little contention. The Cavs defense is allowing the second-highest 3-point percentage, only behind the San Antonio Spurs.
It just so happens the Jazz takes the fourth-most 3's, and 3-pointers account for over 44% of their field goals. Utah's frequency to put up long-distance shots will be the key to their success tonight.
Utah also has a slight scheduling advantage. This game marks the start of a three-game home stretch, which will last nearly a week. The Cavs on the other hand are in the middle of a road trip lasting five games and nearly 10 days.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Utah Jazz
Andrew O'Connor-Watts: These two teams played earlier this season and the Cavaliers won convincingly 122-99 in Cleveland. However, these two teams have been different in their respective home and away splits for this matchup. The Jazz are 10-9 against the spread at home, while the Cavaliers are just 7-11-1 against the spread on the road and are 3-10-1 in their last 14 road games.
Another reason I like this matchup for the Jazz is how they rain down on teams from beyond the arc, as Dylan noted above. Utah attempts the fourth-most 3-pointers in the league, with 41.7% of their shots coming from deep.
Cleveland does almost everything well defensively, but they’re middle of the pack in terms of preventing opponent 3s. The Cavaliers allow 34.5% of opponents shots from beyond the arc (12th) and 8.4% come from the corner (22nd), the highest-percentage 3-point area in the league.
I bet the Jazz last night at +3.5 and it’s now +2.5 at some books. Take the Utah down to +2.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Baker: The Clippers are being undervalued here due to the Paul George and Luke Kennard injuries but I believe that the Mavericks injury report is much worse. The Mavericks will once again be without their three best wing-defenders as Dorian Finney-Smith, Josh Green, and Maxi Kleber have all been ruled out for this one.
Their defense has been awful without these guys as they have allowed a defensive rating of 116.4 (25th percentile) with these guys off the court. These are massively impactful defenders for this Mavericks team but their absence hasn’t been noticed due to the relatively easy schedule the Mavericks have played over the past three weeks.
Eight of their past 11 games have come against bottom-10 net rating teams. They went 2-1 against the Pelicans, Celtics, and Knicks, but the Pelicans were missing Zion Williamson, CJ McCollum, and Brandon Ingram and the Mavericks needed a flukey miracle comeback to beat the Knicks.
You can argue that the Celtics are the only quality team that the Mavericks have played in the past three weeks and the Celtics blew them out by 30. I have respect for this Mavericks team when fully healthy but this current version of the roster has them rolling out guys like Jaden Hardy, Frank Ntilikina, and McKinley Wright IV off the bench.
These are completely unproven guys and they should struggle against a Clippers team that is full of quality bench depth. The Clippers have been admittedly awful this season but there is something to be said for the motivation factor in this one.
The Clippers know the narrative is that Luka Doncic owns them and they should come out with some intensity and energy on both ends. Backing this Clippers team is always a bit unnerving but I think that this Mavericks team is being over-valued and they should struggle with the Clippers wings in this one.
I’ll buy the Clippers at pick'em here at home as I view this as a great get right spot.