NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Pacers vs. Rockets, Wizards vs. Kings, More (Wednesday, April 14)
Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Russell Westbrook #4 of the Washington Wizards.
Our NBA analysts are focused on three under-the-radar matchups tonight and are betting two spreads and one one total.
Take a look their in-depth analysis and picks below.
NBA Odds & Picks
New York Knicks vs. New Orleans Pelicans
Brandon Anderson: In a matchup featuring two teams floating around the fringe of the playoff race in each conference, I’m always inclined to take the better conference.
This is a matchup of offense vs. defense, with the Pelicans bringing one of the league’s best offenses in recent months against the Knicks and their stout defense under head coach Tom Thibodeau. I usually trust great offense over great defense, and that’s the case here.
The Knicks rank second in Defensive Effective Field Goal percentage (51.3%), but that number is slowly coming back to earth and due to regress further. New York still leads the league in opponent 3-point percentage, but the Knicks’ 2-point defense is a bit more ordinary and that’s far more important against the Pelicans who love to attack the paint.
The leader of that attack is Zion Williamson of course. Williamson continues to get better by the month, and he’s become quite unstoppable in the paint. While Nerlens Noel’s long limbs are quite bothersome in some matchups, he doesn’t have the heft or strength to hang with Williamson in the paint, and I’m not sure anyone on the Knicks does. The Knicks don’t have a great matchup for Brandon Ingram either.
And on the other end, 2-point percentage could be a problem, too. The Pelicans give up plenty of points on easy looks, but the Knicks rank 29th on 2-point percentage offense, so the Knicks aren’t so good at converting the easier looks they may come by tonight.
Indiana Pacers vs. Houston Rockets
Raheem Palmer: At what point can a team’s lines be adjusted too much? That’s the question I find myself asking here as this total is up to 234. The Pacers are much better team defensively with Myles Turner on the court as they’re allowing 98.6 points per 100 possessions with him on compared to 101.1 with him off.
Interestingly enough, the Pacers also have a better offense with him off the floor. But with him missing for the past four games the Pacers have seen their totals go 3-1 to the over. The Pacers have also played the second-fastest pace (104.13) in the league over that span as well.
I can’t help but think that this is a dead spot for this offense on a back-to-back, playing their third game in four nights in three different cities, flying from Memphis to Indianapolis to Houston in four nights.
Outside of this three game stretch where the Pacers have scored 141, 111 and 132 against the Timberwolves, Magic and Grizzlies, this offense hasn’t been great this season as they’re scoring just 111.7 points per 100 possessions, 17th among NBA teams.
Although they’re facing a Houston defense that ranks 26th in Defensive Rating (114.2), the Rockets are solid at defending the the mid-range area where the Pacers score most efficiently and shoot 42.9%.
If a team’s most efficient area of the floor is the mid-range, what does that say about their overall offense? The Pacers are shooting just 35.4% of their field goal attempts from behind the arc at a 36.1% clip, 19th among NBA teams.
As bad as the Rockets are defensively, they’re equally as bad offensively where they’re scoring just 112.3 points per 100 possessions over the past two weeks. While they’ve improved since adding Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley and DJ Augustin to the roster, this offense still isn’t scaring anyone.
Washington Wizards vs. Sacramento Kings
Justin Phan: The Sacramento Kings’ depth is already a mess, and Richaun Holmes’ expected absence is a big blow.
Holmes is officially listed as doubtful Wednesday after he suffered a tight right hamstring on Monday and was unable to return to the game. Damian Jones is a candidate to slide into the starting lineup, but missing Holmes would be crucial: Sacramento’s Net Rating is 8.9 points per 100 possessions worse when he’s off the court.
Buddy Hield is also questionable Wednesday and was a late scratch on Monday due to an illness. Tyrese Haliburton drew the start in his place and logged 31 minutes while De’Aaron Fox saw a usage bump, tallying 30 field goal attempts in 39 minutes.