NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Nuggets vs. Hornets, Kings vs. Heat (March 28)
Nic Antaya/Getty Images. Pictured: Miles Bridges #0, LaMelo Ball #2 and P.J. Washington #25 of the Charlotte Hornets.
We’re coming down the stretch of the NBA season and Monday’s schedule features a few crucial games, including Warriors-Grizzlies on NBA TV.
Our experts are focused on two other West vs. East matchups tonight and see value on one spread bet and one prop bet. Read on to get their in-depth analysis and best bets for Monday night.
NBA Odds & Picks
Denver Nuggets vs. Charlotte Hornets
Matt Moore: Denver is 7-15 straight up with a 20th-ranked -1.4 spread differential vs. top-10 offenses this season. In the last two weeks, the Hornets are eighth in spread differential and 15th in defense, their Achilles heel.
Charlotte’s been sneaky good as of late and the Nuggets are a beatable team with good shooting. The Hornets’ 4-9 record on the second night of back-to-backs is worrisome, but ultimately, Denver’s 8-9 ATS record on the road as a favorite and 3-4 record vs. teams with a 40% win percentage or better as a favorite is enough to move me off here.
Mason Plumlee played for Denver and is familiar with how Nikola Jokic plays, and LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier should be able to get loose vs. Denver’s perimeter defense.
The big X-factor here: the Hornets are the third-best team in the league in points off turnovers per 100 possessions, and Denver surrenders the fourth most. That’s how Denver loses games, and the Hornets are in a ripe spot here as more than a possession dog.
Sacramento Kings vs. Miami Heat
Brandon Anderson: Remember when the Kings went all-in on this year’s playoff race, trading the centerpiece of their future in Tyrese Haliburton to get Domantas Sabonis? Well… you’ll never believe this, but yet another Sacramento Kings master plan has not worked out.
The Kings have lost 11 of their last 16 games, and it appears now that Sacramento has accepted its fate and packed up shop for the season. De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis are sitting things out, and that means that it’s been the Davion Mitchell show lately.
A year ago at this time, Mitchell was leading his Baylor Bears to the national championship before becoming a surprise Kings lottery pick. At the time, the pick was surprising because Mitchell joined the Kings as a third guard behind Fox and Haliburton. But with both of those two gone, Mitchell is playing all he can handle now.
Over the last four games, he’s taking on a huge load for Sacramento at 41.0 minutes per game, and he’s getting all the reps he can handle creating, handling, getting shots up, and running the show. If you want to play Mitchell’s points + assists over at 23.5, I don’t mind that. He’s averaging 21.8 points and 6.8 assists during this stretch and has at least 23 PA in all four games.
But I make the safer play a bet against Mitchell in a way. With so much time on the court and the ball in his hands constantly, the rookie is bound to turn it over. He’s had four, five, three, and one turnover these last four games, averaging 3.3 turnovers per game and going over this line of 2.5 in three of the four. Miami is badly in need of a bounce-back statement win and that should start with its defense. The Heat rank third in the NBA in turnover percentage so that spells bad news for Mitchell.
Not that Sacramento will care much. A loss is better at this point anyways, and this is all about Mitchell getting reps and experience. If a few turnovers — hopefully three at least — come up along the way, so bet it. I’ll play to -170.