NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Bulls vs. Jazz and Celtics vs. Warriors. (March 16)
Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls.
- With 12 games on Wednesday night's NBA schedule, there's plenty of options for our crew of analysts.
- They've settled on three games: 76ers-Cavaliers, Bulls vs. Jazz and Celtics vs. Warriors.
- Find their breakdowns for each game plus their favorite bets for Wednesday below.
Wednesday’s in the NBA rarely disappoint and tonight’s slate of games is truly awesome.
On the national TV front, we’ve got two star-studded East vs. West matchups: Mavericks vs. Nets (7:30 p.m. ET) and Celtics vs. Warriors (10 p.m. ET). But our NBA crew isn’t just watching those games. They’ve found betting value in two more matchups between postseason-bound squads and are betting props and totals in those games.
Read on for their in-depth analysis and best bets for Wednesday.
NBA Odds & Picks
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Raheem Palmer: If you listened to the Buckets podcast or follow me on the Action App, I mentioned this total as I liked the over at 217.
My colleague Matt Moore and I called the last Cavaliers-76ers game on the NBABet Stream a few weeks ago and noticed the Cavaliers pushing the pace. They were able to get easy buckets against a 76ers defense that ranks 24th in transition points added per 100 possessions (3.1) and they should be able to do that tonight as well.
The Cavaliers will be without their center in Jarrett Allen, which is a huge disadvantage when facing Joel Embiid. For much of the season, the Cavaliers were winning with their defense, which ranked fifth in Defensive Rating holding opposing teams to just 108.0 points per 100 possessions. Over the past two weeks, however, the defense has fallen off a cliff, allowing a whopping 117.1 points per 100 possessions, 20th among NBA teams.
The 76ers’ offense is rolling with Embiid and James Harden at the helm, and I expect both teams to score at will. My model makes this game 220, so there’s some value on the over.
Chicago Bulls vs. Utah Jazz
Austin Wang: As noted in my weekly totals report, the Bulls have been trending to the under recently — 11-3 in their past 14 games — and have gone under in five consecutive games.
DeMar DeRozan’s shooting has continued to cool off. In his previous eight games, he is shooting 40% from the field. Zach LaVine is not fully healthy, which hurts their offense, and Alex Caruso is back in the lineup, which should have their defense trending upwards.
The Jazz have gone under in six of the past seven games. Bojan Bogdanovic has been declared out for tonight’s game — the Jazz will miss their second-leading scorer on offense.
Since the 2015-16 season, games between elite teams (defined as those with a 60% win percentage and greater) after the All-Star break are 116-72-3 (61.7%) to the under, per the Sports Data Query Language at Gimme the Dog.
Both of these teams are fourth seed in their respective conferences and have the Mavericks and Celtics right on their heels to overtake their spot. I expect a playoff intensity game as both of these teams have vested interest to maintain their homecourt advantage in the first round.
I agree with the market as this total opened up at 226.5 and has been bet down to 224. I would play this down to 223.
Boston Celtics vs. Golden State Warriors
Brandon Anderson: Draymond Green returned to the floor Monday night, and you’ll never believe this, but the Warriors immediately looked like the Warriors again.
Golden State played 15 minutes with both Stephen Curry and Green on the court together and in those minutes, the Warriors scored 56 points — and Curry scored 41 of them. Curry finished with 47 points, his most since November, and shot 7-for-14 on 3-pointers.
Curry is averaging 28.9 points per 75 possessions and getting up 14.0 3-point attempts with Green on the court this season. Without him, those numbers drop to 24.9 and 10.6, and his shooting percentage falls off too. This is the modern version of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. At some point we just have to accept that these guys are both great because they help make each other even greater.
The 3-pointers especially stand out. Curry can’t always get his shot on his own at an efficient rate, especially against a great defense like the Celtics, but his synergy with Draymond opens up so many more avenues to find his shot. The numbers speak for themselves.
Without Green, Curry averages 3.7 treys per game. With him, that leaps to 5.2 makes per game, and he’s gone over this 3.5 line in 31 of 35 such games, hitting the over 89% of the time. He’s also made at least five 3s in 21 of the games with Draymond, a robust 60% hit rate for a prop we’re getting at +164.
You can even take this escalator one step further and play six-plus 3s at +320 at PointsBet if you want, but with Green’s minutes limited and a tough matchup I wouldn’t get too crazy.
Still, Green being back in the lineup changes everything. Boston is a tough matchup and has always given Curry trouble, but we should be playing Steph’s 3s line with Draymond back over 3.5 until the books remember to adjust it back up.
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