NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Lakers vs. Hawks, Warriors vs. Grizzlies (Saturday, March 20)
Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors high-fives teammate Andrew Wiggins #22.
Saturday’s NBA slate is short with just five games on the schedule and it also starts early with the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Lakers set to tip at 3:30 p.m. ET. Saturday night’s four games are anchored by a rematch from Friday between the Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies.
Those are the two games that our NBA analysts are finding value in Saturday. You can check out their game analysis and picks below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Atlanta Hawks
Joe Dellera: The Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks play each other this afternoon in what should be a low scoring affair. Over the last 10 games both of these teams rank in the top 10 in Defensive Rating, while playing at sub 100 Paces (Lakers 14th, Hawks 29th)
The Lakers don’t take many 3-point shots, and they rank 25th in 3-point frequency. The Hawks, however, lean on 3-point shots and drawing fouls. When matched up with teams ranked in the top 10 in defense, their Effective Field Goal percentage dips by nearly four percentage points.
We’ve seen significant sharp action on the under with the total dropping four points since the open, but considering these top defenses are playing, I’m willing to bite. I like the under at 220.5.
Golden State Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Raheem Palmer: It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Warriors struggle to score without Stephen Curry on the floor. The seven time All-Star and former two-time MVP is averaging 29 points, 6.2 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game, but beyond that the gravity that Curry brings leads to open shots for the rest of the team.
The Warriors are +10.5 points per 100 possessions better with Curry on the floor vs. off, so it was surprising to see them put up 1.13 points per possession against a Grizzlies team that ranks eighth in Defensive Rating, holding teams to just 110.4 points per 100 possessions.
I think it’s pretty clear the Warriors performed well over their head as they got 40 points from Andrew Wiggins on 14-of-24 shooting. Just one day later these teams meet again and the total is just one point lower than Friday’s closing line (221), which doesn’t feel priced accurately in my opinion.
Although the Grizzlies didn’t score efficiently, scoring just one point per possession, I see the Warriors’ offensive output as a bit of an anomaly and we should see that regress in this second matchup. The Grizzlies do play at the ninth fastest pace in the NBA this season at 100.96 possessions a game and while last night’s game clocked in at 102.4, I’m not sure we see as many possessions on a the second night of a back-to-back.
Last night’s game went under the total despite a monster game from Wiggins and, so I’ll go back to the well again today. I’ll take the under 220.