Wednesday NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Hornets vs. 76ers, Lakers vs. Kings, More
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers.
- The NBA has a packed slate with nine games on Wednesday, and our Action Network NBA team has six best bets.
- Our analysts have picks for a handful of games, including Hornets-76ers, Heat-Hawks and Lakers-Kings.
- Check out their analysis and best bets below.
The NBA season keeps chugging on Wednesday night with nine games, and our Action Network NBA Staff has you covered with a whopping six best bets.
NBA Odds & Picks
Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers
Kenny Ducey: Marcus Smart is an impact player for the Celtics, but they’ve managed to find ways around his absences this season. In 714 minutes with Smart off the floor, the team’s Defensive Rating stands at 104.8 — 1.3 points better per 100 possessions than in the 1,294 minutes he’s played this year.
The sample size is still relatively small — and certainly does not mean Smart is a bad defender — but it tells us that this team does not crumble on defense when he’s missing.
While Boston’s Offensive Rating has tanked by 7.5 points with Smart off the floor, I’m not too worried about that component should he miss Wednesday’s game as expected. The Pacers have struggled all season on defense, and over the last two weeks of the season rank 18th in Defensive Efficiency.
On top of that, Indiana may be without Malcolm Brogdon, Chris Duarte and Caris LeVert here on top of T.J. McConnell, which will really have this Pacers defense in a bind. Brogdon, the leader of this defense, will be needed against some strong Boston guards while Duarte, an exciting scorer, is one of the weapons the Pacers could use to solve a tricky Celtics defense.
We have a pretty tight line at Celtics -2 given the fact that both teams are likely to be without important players. However, one team should be able to survive shorthanded while the other simply can’t afford to be.
Charlotte Hornets vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Joe Dellera: Joel Embiid is gunning for the 76ers’ consecutive 30-point game record tonight against the porous defense of the Charlotte Hornets. Currently, the record is eight consecutive games, and he can match that tonight against the Hornets with another 30-point performance.
The Hornets play at the fastest Pace in the league, and their abysmal defense, fifth-worst Adjusted Defensive Rating, will not be able to stop Embiid tonight. In Embiid’s prior to matchups against the Hornets, he dropped 43 and 32 points against this Mason Plumlee-led interior. Moreover, both of those games resulted in 76ers victories.
On the season, the 76ers are 12-2 straight up when Embiid drops 30 points, and they’re listed as 5.5-point favorites tonight. Over his last 10 games, Embiid has scored 30 in nine of them. I’ll back this narrative and to get Embiid at a better number, I’ll parlay the 76ers moneyline and Joel Embiid 30+ points at plus money.
Miami Heat vs. Atlanta Hawks
Roberto Arguello: The ugly Atlanta defense has been the worst in the league recently, and it is also a big reason why the Hawks rank 29th in the league in Spread Differential over the last two weeks as they are failing to cover the spread by eight points per game. The potential return of De’Andre Hunter will help the defense, but it won’t help nearly enough.
The Hawks have serious issues defensively, and Eric Spoelstra’s Heat team is as good as any team in the league in exploiting defensive weaknesses and attacking those pressure points to create easy baskets.
The Heat are also better suited to hold Trae Young in check this year with better defenders at the point of attack like Kyle Lowry and Gabe Nnamdi Vincent, and they still have more than enough offensive firepower with Duncan Robinson, Max Strus and Tyler Herro firing away from deep.
With Lowry leading the way, these Heat shooters have kept the offense afloat despite the Heat’s injury woes as they rank second in the NBA in 3-point accuracy at 38.1% (excluding garbage time, per Cleaning The Glass).
Expect the overachieving Heat to beat the underachieving Hawks in Atlanta regardless of whether the players questionable to play are active. I like the Heat to cover the spread of +2.5, but I’ll be riding with them on the moneyline at DraftKings at +120 (with value down to -120).
Miami Heat vs. Atlanta Hawks | Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Utah Jazz | Los Angeles Lakers vs. Sacramento Kings
Matt Moore: The Cavs are dogs to a Jazz team that is without Rudy Gobert and has looked completely lost without him. The Cavs have a monstrously big lineup that should feast inside and the ability to hound the Jazz defensively.
The Lakers are 2-1 vs. the Kings this season with their loss in triple-overtime. The Lakers are underrated by the market.
The Heat are dogs against the Hawks who have been completely lost. No Jimmy Butler, but Dewayne Dedmon might play. The Heat are 10-4 straight up as underdogs this season; the Hawks are just 4-4. The potential return of De’Andre Hunter concerns me, but the Hawks are facing a competent, professional team, and that’s enough for me to go the other way.
Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs
Moore: This number opened at 234.5 at WynnBet and is now down at some places to 230.5. It’s an absurdly high number given where offenses are at this season. Totals of 230 or more this season are 30-20 to the under.
On top of that, San Antonio’s defense is bad but not that bad, and it largely depends on whom they play. San Antonio has the sixth-rated defense against bottom 10 offensive teams this season, per Cleaning The Glass.
It’s possible the Spurs put up 120 in this game, but even then you’d need the Rockets to get to 112. This will be a fast-paced game; both teams are top 10 in offensive possession length via DunksAndThrees.com. However, San Antonio forces teams to the sixth-longest offensive possession length.
The total seems reflective of where the Spurs’ defense has been at in recent days with their COVID-impacted roster, but it was largely an outlier RJ Barrett performance vs. the Knicks and and a domination by a much-better Sixers team that shape that.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Sacramento Kings
Raheem Palmer: The Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Lakers have played three times this season with games playing out to total scores of 278, 209, 236. The one game that went under was their second matchup in which the Kings were just 6-of-29 (20.7%) from behind the arc.
Over the past two weeks, the Lakers offense is rolling with them scoring 120.2 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage-time minutes. The biggest difference in this Lakers team is the lineups with LeBron James at center. In 407 minutes with James at center without Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan or Anthony Davis on the floor, the Lakers are scoring 117.65 points per 100 possessions.
The Sacramento Kings are 27th in Defensive Rating, allowing 113.3 points per 100 possessions according to DunksandThrees.com. The biggest issue the Kings should have tonight is their inability to stop teams in transition, where they’re 28th in points added per 100 possessions at 3.4. The Lakers should have no problems getting what they want in this spot.
On the other side of the ball, the Lakers are just 20th in Defensive Rating themselves and have given up an average of 119 points during their last three games. The Lakers are 29th in opponent field goal frequency at the rim (35.6%) and are just 19th in opponent field goal percentage at the rim (65.3%), so I expect De’Aaron Fox to get to the rim at will.