NBA Betting Odds & Picks: 5 Best Bets for Hornets vs. Celtics, Nets vs. Kings, More (February 2)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets.
- With a full slate of games in the NBA, our staff of writers is all over it with their favorite picks.
- You're covered from coast to coast, with the Nets and Lakers both in action out west.
- Check out their picks and detailed breakdowns below.
Wednesday’s generally present us with the most games to bet in the NBA and out analysts are all over tonight’s games. The national TV schedule will feature a must-see double-header — Grizzlies vs. Knicks and Nuggets vs. Jazz — but we’re looking squarely at some league pass specials tonight.
Our team has five picks across four games, including spread bets, player props and totals. Check out their analysis and best bets for Wednesday night below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Charlotte Hornets vs. Boston Celtics
Joe Dellera: The Celtics take on the Hornets tonight in what should be an exciting matchup. The Hornets have been a prop bettor’s dream due to their lightning-fast Pace, 100.7 (second-fastest in the NBA), and their abysmal defense (26th in Adjusted Defensive Rating). These two teams have split their two previous meetings.
I’m targeting is Robert Williams in this matchup. He missed the last contest in January, but in October, he secured a double-double with 12 points and 16 rebounds. Williams has been a monster this season as he’s nearly averaging a double-double, and he should feast in this matchup.
The Hornets have the second-worst Rebounding Percentage in the league, 48.1%. Williams has a Rebound Percentage of 17.3, which is 16th-best in the league. He should see plenty of putback opportunities with his elite Offensive Rebounding Rate of 13.4%, which is in the 87th percentile among all big men.
Just a month ago, Al Horford filled in for Robert Williams and tallied 23 total points and rebounds, and Williams is a far better rebounder. Williams’ Total Points and Rebounds line is set at 21.5, a number he has cleared in five of his last 10 games, and he secured 28 in his matchup against the Hornets back in October. I’ll take Williams to go over this line.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks
Matt Moore: This is a low number with Kristaps Porzingis ruled out for Dallas, but the Thunder offense ranks 30th in the league — dead last — against top-10 defenses, and the Mavs rank fifth. The Thunder offense against competent defenses turns into vomit in a sippy cup. I have them projected to score 96 points in this matchup.
Meanwhile, Dallas has the third-longest average time of possession on offense per DunksAndThrees.com, while OKC averages the second-longest defensive time of possession.
OKC makes opponents work for it on offense; they play physically and make good rotations, with very little dropoff to the bench unit. The Thunder’s big defensive weakness is rim protection with their lack of bigs, but Dallas ranks 30th in the league in Rim Rate offensively.
So you have a team that takes a lot of jumpshots in Dallas facing a team that contests jumpers well in the Thunder. This looks like a slugfest, and since I have this projected at 197 total, that provides enough room to take the under here.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Sacramento Kings
Kenny Ducey: The Nets fought admirably against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday and stuck within striking distance until late in the fourth quarter. In that game, they posted an Offensive Rating of 114.4 against a highly-regarded defense, only to be let down once again by their own defense, which allowed 123.5 points per 100 possessions.
The defensive woes that have contributed to many of Brooklyn’s recent losses shouldn’t be present here against the Kings, who rank 27th in points per 100 possessions in the past two weeks of play. Things have been bleak without De’Aaron Fox, and while he is still listed as questionable for this game, you surely wouldn’t expect him given the amount of time he’s missed.
Brooklyn is 10-9-1 against the spread coming off of a loss, which has been one of its most profitable spots. It will still have Kyrie Irving and James Harden, barring something unforeseen, and those two did their best to nearly beat the league’s best team all by themselves on Tuesday. I think the Nets were a victim of some bad breaks in that game, and because of a five-game losing streak, they enter this one incredibly undervalued.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Sacramento Kings
Brandon Anderson: It’s hard to believe it, but Kyrie Irving has already played nine games with the Nets this season. Irving returned to action almost a month ago on Jan. 5 and continues to play in Nets road games.
The Nets continue their West Coast road trip tonight, and that means another game with Irving in the lineup. We now have five games of data this season with both Irving and James Harden playing but no Kevin Durant. And the data so far tells us Harden’s volume and counting numbers drop in that spot.
In one of those five games, Harden had a vintage monster game, a 37-point triple-double with 13 assists to boot. But in the other four games, the volume has dropped off dramatically. In those four, he’s averaging just 18.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 10.0 assists per game. Even including the triple-double against the Spurs, Harden is still at only 22.4 PPG, lower than his season average, and the shots are down too. Kyrie is a shooter, and Harden is facilitating a little more and scoring a little less with Irving back in the lineup.
This is a spot to fade overall Harden volume, and playing the points + rebounds + assists under is a way to do that with a little extra room on our line. Harden has gone under 45.5 PRA in all of his Kyrie-but-no-KD games other than that triple-double. In fact, he’s had 39 or fewer PRA in all four of those unders, so this line gives us some real room for error.
If Harden goes off and puts up another huge performance — always a possibility against a bad defense like the Kings — he could go way over this line and make us feel silly. But recent trends point under, so I’ll play to -140.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Raheem Palmer: My model makes this game close to Lakers -3 right in line with the market, but this feels like a prime bounce back spot for a team returning from six-game road trip that has lost three straight and four out of its last five.
Those Lakers losses have coincided with the absence of LeBron James (knee) in addition to a brutal three games in four night stretch against the 76ers, Hornets and Hawks. Fortunately for the Lakers they come into this matchup with the Portland Trailblazers rested with two days off.
The Blazers haven’t been in good form recently either, losers of two straight, including Monday’s 98-81 loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Now playing their third game in four nights without Nassir Little, Larry Nance Jr or Cody Zeller, the Blazers could be in trouble here.
Without James in the lineup, Russell Westbrook will be the Lakers’ primary ball handler and it’s a role he should thrive in. While much criticism can be made about Westbrook’s play this season, the past five games have arguably been the best stretch of this season for him as he’s averaging 22.8 points on 54.9% shooting along with 6.6 assists to just 3.8 turnovers.
The Lakers rank eighth in points per possession in transition (3.1) facing a tired Blazers team that ranks 23rd in points per possession in transition (2.9). In addition, the Blazers are dead last in half court defense and are in the bottom six in defending every area of the floor. I’m expecting an offensive surge from the Lakers who should be able to score efficiently in transition and in the half court with Westbrook and Anthony Davis.
I’ll lay the 3.5 with the Lakers in what should be a good spot for them to end their three game skid.
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