NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Hawks vs. Grizzlies and Celtics vs. Spurs (November 26)
Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics.
The Friday after Thanksgiving is typically reserved for leftovers, college basketball and more leftovers. But tonight’s NBA slate has our analysts buzzing with excitement.
They are looking at two games on tonight’s schedule and have three bets — two props and one spread — in those matchups. You can find their analysis and best bets for Black Friday below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Atlanta Hawks vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Brandon Anderson: Clint Capela had a breakout All-Star caliber season last year for the Hawks, then built on his season with an excellent playoff run. Capela led the league in rebounding last year at 14.3 rebounds per game, a career high in his first full season with Atlanta.
It was a slow start this season, though. Capela looked worn down after the short offseason and working his way back to health, and he averaged just 8.4 points and 10.2 rebounds his first five games, and he had only two double-doubles in that stretch after basically being a walking double-double all of last year.
But Capela, um, rebounded with 12 boards in his sixth game, and his numbers have stabilized ever since. He’s had double digit rebounds in 13 of 14 games since that stretch, averaging 12.6 RPG, back again near the lead league. His 4.1 offensive rebounds per game have been especially huge in that stretch and should be a big weapon tonight against a leaky Grizzlies defense.
Capela has gone over 11.5 rebounds in eight straight now, so it feels like this line hasn’t, er, rebounded yet the way it should have. He’s gone over this line in 12 of 14 after that cold five-game stretch to start the year, and he was way over this line much of last season.
In fact, if you want to get aggressive, you might consider playing an alternative over too. Capela had 14 or more boards in 36 of 63 games last season, 57% of them, and you can play him to have 14-plus rebounds at +190 at FanDuel. He’s done it only 29% of his games in this stretch but that number doubles right back to 57% if you count 13 and up.
If you want to get even bolder, Capela had 16 or more boards 24 times last year (38% of the time). You can play him to hit 16 rebounds at +400 at FanDuel. That’s an implied 20% and he’s done it twice in the last 12 games and came a board away from a third.
The high-end outcomes haven’t been quite as prevalent for Capela this season, so the edges in those alternate overs are not huge, but they’re in our favor. At the very least, make sure to play this traditional rebounding over 11.5, which he’s hit eight games straight.
We’re projecting him at 14.2 boards and I’ll play to -140.
Atlanta Hawks vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Joe Dellera: The Grizzlies welcome the Hawks to Memphis and while I’m a little surprised the Hawks are underdogs in this matchup I’m looking at a player prop on this Black Friday for some value.
Dillon Brooks has returned from injury for the Grizzlies and has immediately commanded massive usage, 29.3%, which is second just to Ja Morant, per Cleaning the Glass. This 29.3% usage would be a 4% increase from last season. Brooks is not someone who contributes much besides points, but he’s an excellent scorer of the basketball.
He’s seen an uptick from last season in points per game and is averaging 19.4 across five games this season and he’s cleared 17.5 points in all but one game which was a blowout of the Houston Rockets.
Boston Celtics vs. San Antonio Spurs
Raheem Palmer: Sometimes Thanksgiving gets the best of NBA athletes just as much as it does everyone else. Imagine hosting a party with friends and family in your home and then the following day have to play a sport at the highest level.
Historically, the road team who is traveling on Thanksgiving often has an advantage. Going back to 1995, road favs the day after Thanksgiving are 85-35 SU and 72-44-4 ATS covering 62.1% with an average margin of victory of 5.6 points.
Despite how interesting that is, I never blindly play trends. Still, tonight’s Celtics/Spurs is great spot to test this. The Spurs continue to be abysmal offensively, scoring 105.6 in their non garbage time minutes according to Cleaning The Glass.
It doesn’t help that this team is missing their best 3-point shooter in Doug McDermott who is shooting 4.8 3s a game at 43.9%. This is a team that is still stuck in the stone ages when it comes to shooting 3s, ranking dead last in 3-point field goal frequency (28.9%) and 19th in 3-point field goal percentage (34.1%).
Although the Boston Celtics have had their struggles on offense, the defense has really come together recently, holding teams to just 105.6 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage time minutes, according to Cleaning the Glass.
This figure marks fifth in the NBA this season and they shouldn’t have much problems slowing down a Spurs offense which is 22nd in Half court points/play (89.3) and 24th in transition (1.8). Although the Celtics did give up 123 points on 1.27 points per possession against the Nets on Wednesday night, this is a drastic step down in class from having to deal with Kevin Durant and James Harden.
There’s not even a Patty Mills on this Spurs team anymore and he comes off a game against the Celtics in which he went 8-of-12 shooting, making seven 3s for 23 points. You had to expect some struggles from the Celtics who welcomed the return of Jaylon Brown while missing Josh Richardson but this is a good get right spot against a Spurs team which has lost six games in a row.
Lay the 2.5 points with the Celtics.