NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s 2 Best Bets for Nets vs. Magic (March 15)
Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets.
Because of the NCAA Tournament, this week has days like today where the slate is short and the value is tough to find. With just four games on the schedule Tuesday, our NBA analysts are focused on one game: Nets vs. Magic.
Brandon Anderson and Joe Dellera explain where they are finding value on props and a first quarter total. Check out their analysis and best bets for Tuesday night.
NBA Odds & Picks
Brooklyn Nets vs. Orlando Magic
Brandon Anderson: Wagner has quietly been one of the league’s brightest rookies for the Orlando Magic. At Michigan, Wagner took on a smaller role as more of a role player, a connector who profiled as a 3-and-D prospect. He’s showing he can be more than that in the NBA and has already taken on a bigger role.
Helped by a lack of available bodies in Orlando with all the injuries, Wagner has earned major playing time, and he’s started every game this season for the Magic. For the season, he’s playing almost 32 minutes a game and averaging 15.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assists. Wagner’s defense has translated, and he’s already showing surprising playmaking and shot making.
And like any good rookie, Wagner is improving as the season goes along. Over his first 18 games, he was at 2.0 APG. Since then he’s jumped to 3.3 dimes per night, and he was even higher for awhile until the rise of Jalen Suggs and return of Markelle Fultz.
Another area Wagner is booming lately is his rebounding, and that’s the angle we’re playing today. Wagner was at 3.8 RPG those first 18 games. Over the next 40 games, that improved to 4.9 RPG. And now over Wagner’s 11 most recent games, his rebounding is up to 5.3 RPG.
During those 11 games, Wagner has multiple offensive rebounds six times, and he’s racked up at least six boards in every one of those six. The Nets are a bottom-five defensive rebounding team so Wagner should be able to hit the glass again tonight.
He’s gone over 4.5 rebounds in eight of 11 (73%), and all the better that we can play the alternate line for just one rebound more. He’s had six-plus boards in seven of 11, hitting that over 64% of the time versus an implied 35% at this number.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Orlando Magic
Joe Dellera: The Nets take on the Magic today and Kyrie Irving can play since they are on the road. Both of these teams play relatively fast with the Magic operating at the 10th fastest Pace in the League and the Nets are 12th.
Normally, this would set up for a lot of points, but one issue is that the Magic’s offense is abysmal — they are just 29th in Adjusted Offensive Rating compared to Brooklyn who is ranked 10th (112.8).
With that in mind, I’ll focus on the Nets.
Over the past two weeks the Nets are scoring 120.8 points per 100 possessions, fifth-most in the league, per Cleaning the Glass. And I expect them to get off to a strong start considering their current starting lineup of Kyrie Irving, Seth Curry, Bruce Brown, Kevin Durant and Andre Drummond is scoring 135.0 points per 100 possessions.
I don’t want to play a full game team total because of the blowout potential in a game with a double digit spread. I want to capitalize on the lineups and rotations that I know to be successful, and those happen in the first quarter.
The Nets’ 1Q Team Total is set at 31.5, a number they’ve cleared in all five games since Kevin Durant has returned from injury. It’s simply too low against a Magic defense that ranks just 17th in Adjusted Defensive Rating yet likes to play fast. I’ll back the Nets to start off hot.