NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Best Bets for Wizards vs. Bucks & Knicks vs. Nuggets (Wednesday, May 5)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Immanuel Quickley #5 and Derrick Rose #4 of the New York Knicks.
- As the regular season winds down, every game has a little more importance, which is the case tonight.
- Joe Dellera and Raheem Palmer break down their best plays of Wednesday night.
Wednesday night in the NBA rarely disappoints and tonight is no different.
Today’s nine-game slate features just one national TV game — Spurs vs. Jazz (9 p.m. ET on NBATV — but there’s plenty of intrigue elsewhere with the Suns facing the Hawks and Knicks battling the Nuggets out West.
Our NBA analysts are focused on one of those games and another matchup that will be key for the NBA playoff standings as the season speeds toward its end.
Take a look their in-depth analysis and picks below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Washington Wizards vs Milwaukee Bucks
Joe Dellera: The Milwaukee Bucks just made it through a two-game mini-series with the Brooklyn Nets and now have to play the surging Washington Wizards who have gone 8-2 over their past 10 games and are on the cusp of a play-in berth.
Since April 1, the Wizards have a top 10 Net Rating (+3.4), per NBA Advanced Stats, and it’s in large part due to their 109.5 Defensive Rating. Despite this incredible run, the Bucks are still the better team between the two.
Over the same time period the Bucks are fifth in Net Rating (+5.9) and have top-10 Offensive and Defensive Ratings. The Bucks are a title contender, and while the Wizards may think they are too, they’re more likely to just be an exciting out in the first round, if not the play-in tournament.
The Wizards are ill equipped to handle this Milwaukee Team. Since April 1, the Wizards shoot about league average from 3-point range, however, they take 3-point shots at the lowest frequency in the league — 23.9% per Cleaning the Glass.
This is not the recipe to defeat a Bucks team that can rely on their tried and true drop coverage in the regular season. You simply cannot depend on a mid-range game to take on the Bucks, even if you have Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal.
The Bucks are 2-0 ATS as a home favorite with no rest, according to data from Bet Labs, and I expect them to make it 3-0 tonight.
New York Knicks vs. Denver Nuggets
Raheem Palmer: The Denver Nuggets just can’t catch a break.
After trading for Aaron Gordon at the deadline, the Nuggets were on their way to becoming viable championship contender. After winning seven of their first eight games with Gordon on the roster, it felt like the Nuggets got the wind knocked out of their sales when they lost Jamal Murray for the season with a torn ACL.
To everyone’s surprise, the Nuggets kept rolling, winning nine of their last 11 games as Nikola Jokic put his strangle hold on the MVP race. Since Murray went out on April 12, the Nuggets rank fourth in Net Rating (6.9) with an Offensive Rating of 115.8 (ninth) and a Defensive Rating of 108.9 (seventh), according to NBA Advanced Stats.
At some point, not even Jokic’s stellar play can overcome all the injuries on this team as they lost both Will Barton and Monte Morris to hamstring strains, while PJ Dozier was ruled out with a right adductor strain after exiting Monday’s night’s game early.
To make matters worse, Jokic is dealing with right toe soreness of his own, though he’s listed as probable. They host a feisty Knicks team that ranks fifth in Net Rating (6.1) since the All-Star break and looks very different compared to the Knicks whom they defeated by 25 points in January.
That version of the Knicks was offensively challenged and finished the game shooting 6-of-21 (28.6%) from behind the arc, an area that has become a strong suit of the Knicks recently. Since the break, the Knicks are shooting a whopping 41.3% on 3s, so I expect them to shoot a lot better in tonight’s game.
In their first game, the Knicks also shot just 58.8% at the rim and although this isn’t an area where they thrive, that game was in the 29th percentile of all games this season, so it’s pretty clear they ran under expectation against a Nuggets team that ranks dead last in field goal percentage at the rim (68%).
With the Jokic bothered by a toe injury, in addition to the injuries to Dozier, Morris and Barton, I’m expecting a much better offensive performance tonight from the Knicks. My model makes this game Nuggets -2.34, but this feels like a spot in which the Knicks can win outright. I’ll play the Knicks against the spread at +3.5 and I like their moneyline at +145.