NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Our Best Bets for Grizzlies vs. Raptors, Thunder vs. Warriors and More (Saturday, May 8)
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Stephen Curry.
I your Saturday plans begin and end with betting on the NBA, then this article is perfect for you. Our NBA analysts are eyeing two games on tonight’s seven-game hoops slate and are betting one spread and one total.
You can check out their analysis on those games below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Washington Wizards vs. Indiana Pacers
Brandon Anderson: I just can’t help myself. I’ve never seen an assists line this high in my life, and the books are giving us plus juice to take the under.
Look, I’m well aware how absurd Russell Westbrook has been the last couple months. He has 16 triple-doubles in his last 19 games, and in two of the misses, he’s come just one assist away. Westbrook is averaging 21.8 points, 13.7 rebounds, and 13.4 assists per game during that stretch. Ho hum.
We’re so used to it now that we barely even pay attention anymore, but it’s absolutely absurd. Westbrook could play every minute the rest of the season without passing, rebounding, or shooting, and he’d still average a triple-double for the season.
He could shoot at the other team’s basket and assist opponent layups (would anyone really put it past him?) and record negative statistics somehow and still average a triple-double on the year.
And despite all that … I’m taking the under.
This is not a bet against Russell Westbrook. It’s more of a bet on math and physics and probabilities and the limits of humanity. If you give me plus money to bet against any player in the history of the world getting under 14 assists in a game, I have to take that bet. I am compelled to.
Westbrook has gone under 13.5 dimes in nine of the 19 games I mentioned above. This line keeps moving up and up and still this basically comes out to a coin flip since the start of April.
For the season, though, Westbrook has gone over 13.5 assists 16 times in 60 games, hitting the under 73% of the time, and 10 of those 16 overs were at 14 or 15 dimes. He’s only gone way past this line eight times, though of course three of those were his most recent three games, in which he recorded 58 combined assists.
Listen, I know what I’m getting myself into here. It’s not like this is going to be a slow or low-scoring game against the Pacers. Russell Westbrook could have 14 assists in one half. He could do it in a quarter, and I don’t think I’d be that surprised.
I’m sorry. Don’t hate me.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Toronto Raptors
Raheem Palmer: The Memphis Grizzlies have lost six out of their last 10 games and now find themselves ninth in the Western Conference playoff race, tied with the Golden State Warriors.
After a disappointing loss to the Detroit Pistons who didn’t start Jerami Grant or Mason Plumlee to develop young players, the Grizzlies have just a 1.5 game lead over the San Antonio Spurs for the 10th seed.
Although the Grizzlies aren’t likely to miss the play-in game with Pelicans star Zion Williamson out for the year and the Sacramento Kings four games back, they certainly want to do everything they can to improve their seed and build momentum for a chance to make the postseason.
With a day off, they face a road game against a Toronto Raptors team that will be missing Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Chris Boucher and possibly Yuta Watanabe. Surprisingly, the Grizzlies have a better record on the road this season where they’re 19-15 compared to 14-18 at home, so this could be an even better spot.
Team trends aside, this Grizzlies team is still ninth in Defensive Rating holding opposing teams to 111.8 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage time minutes, according to Cleaning the Glass and I’m seeing this Raptors offense which is just 17th in Offensive Rating (111.7) over the past two weeks struggling to score without their stars.
The Raptors primarily rely on three point shooting as 41% of their field goals come from behind the arc and they’ll be missing three of their top four three point shooters in VanVleet, Lowry and Anunoby. While Gary Trent can hit the three, he’ll be without solid creators at the point guard position. The Grizzlies are good at limiting these shots anyway as they’re 20th in three point frequency.
Offensively the Grizzlies face off against as Raptors defense which is 24th in Defensive Rating (117.2) over the past two weeks. The Grizzlies like the push the pace and they should thrive in transition where they rank first in points added per 100 possessions against a Raptors team which is 27th in transition points per 100 possessions.
The point guard matchup is a real mismatch as rookie Malachi Flynn will have to deal with Ja Morant which certainly won’t be favorable for the Raptors. The Grizzlies are the better team, and as long as they don’t shoot 27% from deep again, they should win and cover this game to keep pace in the Western Conference Playoff race.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Golden State Warriors
Malik Smith: These two teams just played on Thursday and the Warriors predictably won with ease against the tanking Thunder.
The Dubs put on an absolute passing clinic that resembled the championship days with 36 assists. The Thunder … well they were awful and didn’t crack 100 points for the fourth time in their past five games.
Still, oddsmakers have this line sitting around 225 across the market, which is where the first matchup closed. As of this writing, 55% of betting tickets are on the over, while 75% of tickets are on the under.
This game also fits a profitable system between teams that are playing for the second time that shows value in betting the under.
The Thunder have the worst Offensive Rating (104.1) in the NBA this season and it has been even worse over the past two weeks (98.2). Conversely, the Warriors maintain a stellar defense that has been top-five all season and top-three over the past two weeks.
Even if the Warriors manage to go off, they should keep the pedestrian Thunder at bay without breaking a sweat.
I won’t overcomplicate this one. I like the under down to 220.