Wednesday NBA Odds, Predictions: Best Bets for Cavaliers vs. Celtics, Clippers vs. Kings & More
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Ivica Zubac #40, Reggie Jackson #1, Paul George #13 and Luke Kennard #5 of the Los Angeles Clippers.
- There's plenty of NBA action on Wednesday night even as the league continues to deal with COVID outbreaks.
- Our analysts have their eyes on three games tonight, with four picks in total.
- Continue reading for our best bets from tonight's NBA slate.
Betting the NBA this week has been … tricky, to say the least.
With the number of players entering the league’s health and safety protocols rising each day, lines and lineups have been tougher predict than usual. Still, our NBA analysts are making their picks on three games on tonight’s slate.
You can check out their analysis for those matchups and best bets for Wednesday night below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Orlando Magic vs. Atlanta Hawks
Joe Dellera: Franz Wagner has been an under the radar rookie this season, but he’s been excellent for the Orlando Magic. He is averaging 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. But with the Magic suffering from multiple players in health and safety protocols, he has stepped up across the board.
One area in which he has truly shined is his passing ability and court vision. Over his last 10 games he has averaged 4.2 assists but has recorded four or more in seven of those 10 games. With the possibility that Cole Anthony (questionable) may be sidelined or limited if he returns from an ankle injury, plus the number of Magic players who are already missing, Wagner should see plenty of opportunities to create for his teammates.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics
Kenny Ducey: The Celtics’ biggest weakness on defense this season has been in the restricted area, where opponents are shooting 66.5% — the fourth-worst mark in the league. In a loss last time out to Philadelphia, they let Joel Embiid go to work inside the arc, and he was 4-of-5 in shots taken inside or just outside the restricted area.
So, that’s why missing Al Horford and Grant Williams seemed to cast a dark cloud over the Celtics, who had just gotten Jaylen Brown back and were looking good. That’s where a matchup against the Cavaliers should help.
Cleveland will be missing three starters — Isaac Okoro, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley — who are all key cogs to this team’s defense. In addition, it’ll leave the interior scoring to Lauri Markkanen, Kevin Love and Dean Wade — three player who shouldn’t be burning the Celtics, no matter how weak their rim protection is on a nightly basis.
Boston has gotten great production out of Payton Pritchard lately, too, making up for the loss of Josh Richardson. This is a healthy team by the admittedly low standards of the moment, and one that has picked things up drastically on defense with the return of Brown. Boston should roll and end Cleveland’s 14-game ATS win streak.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Sacramento Kings
Austin Wang: Two Pacific Division teams collide as the Los Angeles Clippers travel to the state’s capitol to face the Sacramento Kings this evening.
The Kings have dominated this matchup as of late. They’ve won three straight games against the Clippers, each of them as underdogs. Two of those matchups occurred this season. I think this presents a nice revenge spot for the Clippers as they should come out with more motivation, especially against a division rival. In addition, the Clippers also have a favorable rest advantage against the Kings, who are playing their third game in four nights.
Finally, the Kings have been hit hard with players ruled out due to health and safety protocol. De’Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell, Terence Davis, Alex Len and Marvin Bagley are all key rotational pieces who are out. Richaun Holmes is listed as questionable and without their talented big man, I give the Clippers an additional bump here.
The Clippers have largely avoided this outbreak (for now). Marcus Morris is the only player out due to protocols, but the Clippers are notorious for late scratches and ambiguous injury reports so keep your eye on the FantasyLabs news feed for any updates.
Large road favorites (-5 or above) off a loss as favorites at home have gone 111-66-3 (62.7%) against the spread since the 2013-2014 season, per the Sports Data Query Language at Gimme the Dog. This is active as a play on the Clippers, whom I expect to bounce back after their disappointing blow out loss against the Spurs.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Sacramento Kings
Raheem Palmer: Austin hit the nail on the head above. Motivation looms large in this matchup between the Clippers and Kings.
The Kings have absolutely dominated the Clippers this year winning back-to-back matchups at the start of December. Of course, in that first matchup the Clippers were just 9-of-31 (29%) from behind the arc and in the second game they were shot just 38% as a whole. The Kings are just 27th in Defensive Rating this season (113.1), so clearly that said more about the Clippers offense than the Kings defense.
To be fair, the Clippers have been inconsistent this year, playing either really well or really poorly which is why they are just 26th in Offensive Rating scoring jut 106.2 points per 100 possessions. Still, they should be able to capitalize against this Kings team which is missing D’Aaron Fox, Terence Davis, Marvin Bagley, Alex Len, Davion Mitchell and potentially Richaun Holmes. Paul George is playing his second game back since returning from injury.
This inconsistent Clippers team is laying 5.5 points for a reason. I’ll back them here in this spot.