NBA Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Nuggets vs. Raptors, Clippers vs. Spurs (Wednesday, March 24)

NBA Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Nuggets vs. Raptors, Clippers vs. Spurs (Wednesday, March 24) article feature image
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Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Michael Porter Jr. #1, Jamal Murray #27, and Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets.

We’ve got a busy Wednesday night in the NBA with 11 games on the slate, including the Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks (7:30 p.m. ET) and Brooklyn Nets vs. Utah Jazz (10 p.m. ET).

The games our NBA guys are eyeing, are more off the radar and three of our analysts are lined up on one matchup. You can check out the four bets they are making on tonight’s slate below, including in-depth analysis for each game.

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NBA Odds & Picks

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Nuggets vs. Raptors Spread
7:30 p.m. ET
Nuggets vs. Raptors Spread
7:30 p.m. ET
Nuggets vs. Raptors Total
7:30 p.m. ET
Clippers vs.  Spurs Total
8:30 p.m. ET

Denver Nuggets vs. Toronto Raptors

Pick
Nuggets -2 (PointsBet)
Tipoff
7:30 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Joe Dellera: The Denver Nuggets opened as 2-point dogs against a Toronto Raptors team that has struggled this season. The Nuggets have the sixth-best point differential per 100 possessions in the league while the Raptors are 17th due to their middling offense and defense.

Rumors are swirling about a potential trade of Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell. If both of these players are traded or are unavailable to play, you’re going to see a depleted Raptors’ roster. In all lineups without both Lowry and Powell, the Raptors are 3.0 points worse per 100 possessions and it will thin out their rotations.

Besides this, the Nuggets are cruising right now having won four of their last five games and they’re continuing to post strong metrics on both sides of the ball. Even though this is the second game of a back-to-back, the Nuggets are 2-1 against the spread as a road favorite on no rest. This has been a profitable spot to take a discount on a stronger team considering all teams in the same spot as the Nuggets are 27-19-2 ATS, per Bet Labs.

Take the road favorites against at a discount due to the rest with an even greater potential for a line move in their favor due to the trade rumors surrounding the Raptors.

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Denver Nuggets vs. Toronto Raptors

Pick
Nuggets -2 (PointsBet)
Tipoff
7:30 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Brandon Anderson: The last time the Toronto Raptors won an actual NBA basketball game was Feb. 26. Almost a full month ago.

This is not a diss on Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, Nick Nurse, or anyone else in the Toronto organization. Championship banners fly forever, and this team has been playing in another country while dealing with a number of COVID issues all season.

Still, it feels like this is over. I mean, come on, the Raptors lost by 18 to the Houston Rockets their last time out, who had lost 20 consecutive games.

The Nuggets have maybe the best player in basketball this season in Nikola Jokic, and Denver is playing well and should take care of business here. This is admittedly a bit of a trap spot for Denver. The Nuggets just played last night, so it’s a back-to-back, but it’s not a long trip from Orlando to Tampa and it wasn’t a particularly difficult game last night.

On top of that, Toronto is mid trade talks on half its roster right now, so it wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see Lowry, Norman Powell, or others pulled here if talks intensify. I’m getting my money in early before this line rises. The end is here in Toronto … or Tampa, I guess. Nuggets win and cover.

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Denver Nuggets vs. Toronto Raptors

Pick
Over 223.5 (DraftKings)
Tipoff
7:30 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Raheem Palmer: As Eminem said on ‘Till I Collapse‘, “when your run is over, just admit when it’s at its end.” Toronto Raptors team president Masai Ujiri is smart enough to recognize that and it’s likely we could see Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell moved before the deadline.

I believe this number is mispriced regardless as my numbers make this game Nuggets -6.5 with a total of 225, a clear discrepancy from what we’re seeing within the market. The Nuggets are coming off a back-to-back against the Magic but none of their starters played heavy minutes as they quickly disposed of the Magic 110-99.

The Raptors have struggled to defend all season ranking 19th in Defensive Rating (113.1) in their non garbage time minutes according to Cleaning The Glass, but they’ve fallen even further recently. During the last two weeks they’re giving up 116.5 points per 100 possessions, 27th in the NBA over this time frame.

With Nikola Jokic the Nuggets offense is shooting 67.5% at the rim and can exploit the Raptors’ weak rim protection that is allowing teams to shoot 64.6% at the rim, 19th among NBA teams.

The Raptors are also allowing the fourth-highest frequency of opponent 3-point field goal attempts (41.1%) and while this worked out well for them in recent years where they fielded top-five defenses, in a season with no fans, opposing teams are shooting lights out.

Raptors opponents are making 38.2% of their 3s and the Nuggets should be able to exploit this poor perimeter defense as they’re seventh in 3-point shooting percentage (38.8%) this year. If you can’t protect the rim or guard the perimeter in the modern NBA, you’re in trouble.

I’m going to lay the points with the Nuggets at -2 and I also like this game to go over the total of 221.5 as the Raptors are playing the fourth fastest pace post All-Star break at 101.93 possessions. While the Nuggets play a slow pace, their efficiency should more than make up for that.

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Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs

Pick
Under 220.5 (BetMGM)
Tipoff
8:30 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Justin Phan: Serge Ibaka and Patrick Beverley did not join the Clippers on their two-game road trip as they remain in Los Angeles to rehab their current injuries that have cost them multiple games.

Ibaka missed the past four games with a tight lower back, and Ivica Zubac has started with Ibaka unavailable. Reggie Jackson joined the starting lineup with Beverley out the last five games.

The Clippers rank dead last in Pace (93.38) since the Ibaka injury with Zubac in starting lineup and were already a slow-paced team this season, ranking 24th in Pace before that stretch.

Suffice to say, I like the under in this spot. I grabbed it at 220.5 and would play this down to 219.5.


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