Wednesday NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Our Favorite Bets for Celtics vs. Hawks, Cavaliers vs. Nets (November 17)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics.
- There are 11 games on tap for the Wednesday night NBA slate, and two of those games are popping for our crew.
- Our analysts have identified betting value in two games: Cavaliers vs. Nets and Celtics vs. Nets.
- Read on for their detailed breakdowns on why there is value on underdogs in those matchups.
Wednesday night’s NBA schedule is loaded with 11 games, including a matchup between two teams with Finals aspirations: the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks.
Our NBA analysts are going with two games off the national TV grid, however and are betting two underdogs in Eastern conference matchups.
You can check out their analysis and bets on those games below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Brooklyn Nets
Kenny Ducey: Most have lost faith in the Cavaliers who, despite a hot start, have now lost two key pieces to injury in Collin Sexton and Evan Mobley. While Ricky Rubio has filled in admirably for the former, the latter is going to be next to impossible to replace on the defensive end, and that is especially true on Wednesday night when the Cavaliers get set to take on the Nets without Jarrett Allen as well.
It’s true that Kevin Love, who is expected to return from COVID, is a significant downgrade in frontcourt defense, but one thing that gives me a bit confidence in the Cavaliers here is the Nets’ hesitance to take high-percentage shots. Entering play on Wednesday, the Nets have taken the fewest field goals on average inside five feet at just 21 per game.
With that, I’m not quite sure the absence of Mobley and Allen will sting the Cavs quite as much on the defensive end, at least in this game. You also have to consider the fact that Blake Griffin looked very flat against the Warriors on Tuesday and Kevin Durant is playing through a shoulder injury.
Cleveland’s perimeter defense has been rock solid and it should be able to slow a collection of Nets guards and wings that looks worn at this point. The Nets will play on the second night of a back-to-back, a spot where they are just 8-9 against the spread since the start of last season, per Bet Labs.
I expect the Cavaliers to keep this thing close against a Nets team that was beaten senseless less than 24 hours ago. I already bet the Cavs at +10.5 but I’d take them to +9.5.
Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks
Raheem Palmer: The Hawks host the Celtics in the third game of their five game home stand and should see a ton of public support with their 5-1 record at home. Personally, I’m not buying it as my model makes this game a pick’em and I’m not upgrading the Hawks after wins over the Orlando Magic and banged up Milwaukee Bucks.
The Celtics will be missing Robert Williams for this matchup and both Bogdan Bogdanovic and Kevin Huerter are questionable for tonight. The Hawks are still without DeAndre Hunter, who is out for the next two months after undergoing wrist surgery.
This should loom large for a team that has struggled to defend, ranking 27th in Defensive Rating (112.5) for the season in their non garbage time minutes and 29th in Defensive Rating (117.6) over the past two weeks, per Cleaning the Glass.
Jayson Tatum is averaging just 23.5 points per game on 38.6% shooting, but I expect him to regain his previous form as the season goes on and this represents an ideal spot without Hunter.
Clint Capela has looked like himself in the past two games but for the most part has struggled defensively; it remains to be seen if the Hawks can contain the Celtics at the rim as they’re allowing opponents to shoot a league-high 69.9% at the rim.
Although the Celtics still dealing with the absence of Jaylen Brown, they have been trending up recently, winning five of their last seven games and have the league’s best Defensive Rating over the past two weeks, holding teams to just 97.2 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage time minutes.
Trae Young is averaging 25.5 points per game on 45% from the field and 39% from behind the arc, but the Celtics have been one of the best in the league at defending the perimeter, holding teams to 32.4% from behind the arc.
While the Hawks have an edge in depth, I like the Celtics to keep this one close and possibly win this game outright as they’re playing better basketball at this point.
Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks
Joe Dellera: As Raheem mentioned above, the Hawks have been bitten by the injury bug with De’Andre Hunter, Bogdan Bogdanovic (Ankle) and Kevin Huerter (Hamstring) all on the injury. The Celtics will be without Robert Williams (knee), which means we should see plenty of Al Horford.
The Hawks came into this season with lofty expectations and have not lived up to the hype and this injury to Hunter is significant. While his counting stats are not overly impressive, he is a stopper on the defensive side of the ball while providing valuable length and agility that blended well into any defensive scheme the Hawks decided to employ. When he was on the floor this season, the Hawks were +4.7 points per 100 possessions.
The Celtics on the other hand, started the season off slow but have gone 5-2 over their last seven games with the fourth best point differential in the league — +9.9 per 100, per Cleaning the Glass. They’ve been anchored by their defense which is the best in the league over this stretch and they’ve defeated some strong teams including the Heat, the Bucks, and the Cavaliers.
While it would be ideal for the Hawks to capitalize on a size advantage if Williams is out, Clint Capela has not been nearly as effective this season and he has been getting torched on the interior. Between Capela’s struggles defensively and the injury to Deandre Hunter, an already poor Hawks’ defense looks even worse.
Boston is 4-0 with a +12.0 point differential against teams in the bottom 10 in defense and the Hawks are ranked 27th. I think the market is overvaluing the Hawks in this spot and there’s value on the Celtics.
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