NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Best Bets for Knicks vs. Pistons, Timberwolves vs. 76ers & More (Saturday, April 3)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Head coach Tom Thibodeau and Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks.
The Final Four gets all the headlines tonight, and rightfully so, but there’s still some action going in the pro game. Saturday’s slate features eight NBA games, including the highly anticipated return of a former MVP frontrunner.
Our NBA analysts walk you through their favorite bets for tonight’s action featuring a first half spread and a three-team moneyline parlay.
NBA Odds & Picks
Timberwolves vs. 76ers | Magic vs. Jazz | Bucks vs. Kings
Brandon Anderson: I’ll be honest, it’s Final Four day, and I want to watch Baylor, Houston, Gonzaga, and UCLA battle tonight. Oh sure, I’ll have NBA on second screen and keep a stray eye on that, but March Madness weekend is here and that’s going to grab 90% of my attention.
Still, there’s no reason my money can’t make me a little more money on the side, right?
It’s not the most appetizing NBA slate in the world tonight with a heap of big favorites, and I hate playing 10- or 12-point favorites, watching them coast up 20 for three quarters, and then sweating out a cover the second string guys do not seem nearly enough invested in for my tastes.
On slates like this, sometimes I just take the easy way out and parlay a few of the favorites’ moneylines together. I know these teams want the win, so they’ll try if it’s late and should certainly be able to win this sort of game.
First up is the Sixers against the Timberwolves. Need I go on? Joel Embiid is expected to be back and he typically feasts on Karl-Anthony Towns like a mid-afternoon snack. Minnesota won’t be able to score efficiently against the Sixers’ great defense.
The Jazz are next, at home against the Magic. Respect to the Magic, who have actually been a little frisky since trading away everybody but the staff janitor. Either way, this is still a matchup of the NBA’s best team against its worst.
Our last pick is the toughest. The Kings have been winning a bunch of games lately and get this one at home, but I’m not buying what Kings are selling. Their recent wins aren’t as impressive when you see the schedule, and this team just lost to the Laker leftovers last night. I’ll trust Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks to find a way.
Usually on a parlay like this, I get two easy wins and sweat out the third, but at nearly even odds and knowing I’ve got the far better team with motivation to get the W, I like that angle.
I grabbed this moneyline parlay at FanDuel for -136 and you should too. Let your money make money for you tonight while you’re watching the Final Four.
New York Knicks vs. Detroit Pistons
Malik Smith: The Knicks scored 86 points on Friday night and somehow they didn’t end up with the fewest points scored on the evening (I see you, Warriors).
You’ve got to love the way they compete defensively, but the offense has been brutal and it’s getting worse lately. Since Julius Randle injured his thigh five games ago, their Offensive Rating (100.0) ranks 29th in the NBA and it is even lower (99.6) in the first half of games.
In their past two games they blew an 18-point lead to the Timberwolves and a 13-point lead allowing both opponents to get the cover. The Knicks have actually been the best team at covering in the first half (30-18-1), according to Bet Labs — in fairness they are usually dogs but are still 11-7 as favorites in this spot.
After an ugly showing against the Mavs, I think we’ll see the Knicks respond, in large part because Tom Thibodeau demands so much from this group.
On the second game of a back-to-back, the Knicks have shown the ability to come out with much more energy.
This team is far from perfect, but I trust they they can continue to be what they’ve been all season: good enough. At a PK, I like the Knicks in this spot.