Phan: Why NBA Game 82 Is My Betting Super Bowl — And the 15 Bets I Like Tonight
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Sacramento Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox (5)
As someone who bets a lot of NBA games off injury news, today is my Super Bowl. It’s Game 82 of the regular season. Players are getting scratched left and right, and the odds have been on the move all day.
If you follow me in the Action App, you may have noticed your phone lighting up a little more than normal today. Like I said, it’s my Super Bowl.
Today is an extremely good reminder of the value of using our @FantasyLabsNBA Twitter handle and news feed as a betting and fantasy resource. Minutes after high-profile players got ruled out, you saw games come off the board, but it’s not instantaneous. That means you can absolutely beat the market if you’re speedy.
Let’s quickly go through each of the 15 NBA bets I’ve made (so far) for tonight. I’ll give some of my thought process behind the wager, and, more importantly, some analysis on whether the current numbers posted around the market still have value.
Pistons at Knicks
8 p.m. ET
My Bet: Under 208
Current Odds: Over/Under 206.5
This was a straight reaction to the news that Blake Griffin is out tonight. I figured that was coming, as he looked severely limited and was completely ineffective (7-25 FG, 3-13 3PT) in the Pistons’ last two games. Detroit’s Offensive Rating plummets from 107.6 (17th) to 102.6 (28th) when Griffin is off the court this season.
Does it still have value? No. Think 206.5 is about right and there’s not much of an edge at the current number.
Warriors at Grizzlies
8 p.m. ET
My Bet: Grizzlies +6.5
Current Odds: Grizzlies +6
Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala will all play tonight for the Warriors … but they’re expected to be limited to just 15-20 minutes. With Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins and Shaun Livingston already out, Golden State is waving the white flag in a game that has no meaning whatsoever given they already clinched the No. 1 seed in the West.
Does it still have value? Yes, at +6. What’s been abundantly clear over the course of the season is that this is one of the Warriors’ worst bench units in some time. With Durant and Thompson limited to just 15-20 minutes, we’ll be seeing a ton of Quinn Cook, Alfonzo McKinnie, Damion Lee, and Jacob Evans tonight. No thanks.
Pacers at Hawks
8 p.m. ET
My Bets: Hawks +1.5; Hawks -1
Current Odds: Hawks -4.5
I bet Hawks +1.5 right when the lines opened in the early morning. Pacers coach Nate McMillan has been talking about resting his starters, and since he hadn’t done it in any of the previous games, it was pretty obvious they were going to sit a bunch of guys tonight.
Bojan Bogdanovic, Myles Turner, Thaddeus Young and Wesley Matthews will all miss tonight’s game — and I expect Indiana’s veterans who are playing (Darren Collison and Tyreke Evans) to have their minutes capped in what is a totally meaningless game for the Pacers. There was some uncertainty on the status of Domantas Sabonis, but he’ll only play in case of an emergency (foul trouble, injuries).
Meanwhile, the Hawks get back Trae Young and John Collins after a one-game absence due to load management. They’ll essentially have a full squad (minus Dewayne Dedmon) playing against a very depleted team.
Does it still have value? No, though I’m a bit surprised it’s gotten all the way up to -4.5. I would’ve still bet it at -2.5 or -3, but the Hawks have lost most of their value at this number.
Bulls at 76ers
8 p.m. ET
My Bets: Bulls +9, Under 223, Under 222.5
Current Odds: Bulls +6; Over/Under 219
My initial Bulls bet came after I found in a game recap that Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris wouldn’t play tonight, while Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid and JJ Redick were unlikely to suit up. Butler, Embiid, and Redick have since been ruled out.
The Bulls are also missing four of their five starters — Otto Porter Jr., Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and Otto Porter Jr. In addition, JaKarr Sampson, who’s been Chicago’s best player lately, is no longer with the team as the Bulls were unable to sign him with a second 10-day contract because they were granted a roster hardship provision to sign him initially.
With so many shot-creators out on both sides, I bet the under twice.
Does they still have value? No for the spread; yes for the over/under. I still like Under 219. Both of these teams are severely lacking players who can create their own shot. I have a hard time seeing either team scoring a whole lot more than 105 points.
Thunder at Bucks
8 p.m. ET