Wednesday NBA Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Jazz vs. 76ers, Thunder vs. Mavericks (March 3)
Meg Oliphant/Getty Images. Pictured: Al Horford #42 of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
- There are 10 games on Wednesday night's NBA schedule and our analysts have you covered with their favorite picks of the night.
- Our crew is betting the spread in two games: Jazz vs. 76ers and Thunder vs. Mavericks.
- Check out which sides they are backing below
Wednesday’s slate of games should not disappoint.
On the national TV front, we’ve got two rivalry games to bet. In the early slot, James Harden and the Brooklyn Nets head to Houston to face his former Rockets teammates at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. In the late game, Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers will face Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors for the first time since Curry scored a career-high 62 points on the Blazers in January.
Oh, and the two best teams in each conference, meet when the Utah Jazz face the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo arena.
Our NBA crew has found two spread bets in two Wednesday games that show value. You can find their analysis and picks for all two games below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Utah Jazz vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Raheem Palmer: With a 23-12 record through the first half of the season, the Philadelphia 76ers have the best record in the Eastern Conference and Joel Embiid has put himself in the conversation as the league’s Most Valuable Player. What’s not being talked about enough is that the 76ers are just 8-8 against teams .500 or better and they have just five wins against teams above .500.
They defeated a short handed Celtics team twice in back-to-back games without Jayson Tatum, a Lakers team coming off a tough game against the Cavaliers, the Nets coming off a back-to-back game against the Raptors and missing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and a Mavericks team without Kristaps Porzingis. The 76ers team has simply beat up on inferior competition the entire year as they 15-4 against teams below .500 while struggling against the league’s best competition.
Now they face the team with the best record in the league right when they’ve hit a bit of adversity after losing two of their past three games against the Pelicans and Heat. The losses aside, this is still arguably one of the best teams in the league as they are second in both Offensive Rating (119.6) and Defensive Rating (107.6) in their non garbage time minutes, according to Cleaning the Glass.
The real concern for the 76ers in this matchup is that the Jazz will likely outshoot them from behind the arc. The Jazz are shooting a league leading 45.4% of their field goal attempts from behind the arc while making 40.3% of them, third among NBA teams. The 76ers are rank 12th in opponent 3-point percentage and with them making just 10.7 3s per game on offense vs. Utah’s 16.9, they could potentially be outscored by 18.6 points from behind the arc.
The Jazz have a whopping nine player shooting 37% or better from deep, which will put pressure on the 76ers to make up the difference in the 3-point shooting disparity somewhere else on the floor. Zion Williamson dominated the Jazz on Monday, scoring 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting, so one may think that Joel Embiid could do the same.
Looking back at the previous four meetings between these teams, Gobert held Embiid under 40% shooting in three games, forcing him into 7-of-20, 5-of-16 and 5-of-13 shooting nights. Ben Simmons has the ability to completely wreak havoc as he did in their first matchup when he scored 42 points on 15-of-26 shooting, however that level of aggressiveness is few and far between with Simmons.
In order for the 76ers to win, they’ll need an aggressive Simmons on offense who can also slow down Donovan Mitchell on defense. They’ll also Embiid to be dominant enough against Rudy Gobert to overcome the 3-point shooting disparity. The 76ers are a beast at home with a 15-3 record compared to 8-9 on the road, but I’m still not seeing it.
I’ll lay the points with the Jazz who will look to close out their historic first half of the season with a win.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks
Brandon Anderson: The Thunder keep sneaking up on people, and Sam Presti just can’t build a proper losing team. Every time Presti trades another star and blows up the team, in comes another competent set of guys who play hard and keep the team afloat yet again.
This year it’s an Al Horford renaissance combined with an All-Star-snub-worthy leap from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander along with meaningful development from young players like Darius Bazley, Isaiah Roby, Theo Maldeon, Lu Dort, and others. New year, new players, new coach, same old story. OKC shows up every night and competes hard, even if it doesn’t always have enough talent to close the deal.
The Mavericks also don’t appear to have enough talent, but expectations were different in Dallas. Many, including myself, thought the Mavs might make the leap into contention this year, but they are barely contending for the playoffs at this point.
Luka Doncic has been awesome and even better lately, but he isn’t getting much help. Kristaps Porzingis continues to disappoint, and the Mavericks role players haven’t meshed as well this season.
Now Doncic is questionable, according to our NBA Insiders tool, and as they near the All-Star break, I wonder if he may get a little extra rest here. If he does, we are getting serious value for our +6 line.
But even if he does play, I still think this could be close. The Mavericks are just 1-6 against the spread this season when they closed as 5-point favorites or more, according to Bet Labs.
I like OKC to keep this game close, like they usually do, and Dallas plays in a ton of close games too. If Doncic does play, Dort should make his night miserable, and Dallas doesn’t have enough other firepower to pull away. I like the Thunder a lot in this spot and love them if Luka ends up sitting.
I’d play down to +5 and might sprinkle a bit of my bet on the +198 moneyline too in case the Mavs totally blow this one.