Moore’s Tuesday NBA Betting Picks & Angles: Tailing the Red-Hot Damian Lillard
Photo credit: Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: Damian Lillard
Angles for Tuesday’s NBA slate based on matchups and trends…
Odds as of Tuesday afternoon and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
BULLS AT WIZARDS (-3), 230
7 p.m. ET
THE ANGLE: The Wizards should not be favored
The tickets and money are both in on Washington, and, man, I don’t know about that. Chicago is 16-14 straight-up this season vs. teams under .500; the Wizards are 3-5 ATS as a home favorite.
What’s more, the Bulls are sneaky good defensively, 12th in Defensive Rating. The Wizards this season are 3-7 vs. sub-.500 teams that have a Defensive Rating below 110. I get that sounds overly-specific, but think of it this way: The Wizards get overvalued vs. teams that can actually play defense against them.
The Bulls should be able to get whatever they’re looking for vs. this defense, which is why I don’t want to go for the under. Zach LaVine should have a monster duel with Bradley Beal.
The Wizards have these absolutely insane scoring games at home this season, so there’s a perception of them being lights out on the over there. But the over is actually 17-8 in Wizards road games and only 13-12 when the Wizards are at home.
When the Bulls are on the road vs. a sub.-500 team, their opponent has averaged 110 points per game. In games in which the total is north of 220, that jumps to only 114.
The Wizards offense is slightly inflated vs. Chicago, and Chicago’s in a good spot.
THE PLAY: Bulls +3.5, Wizards team total under 117. (Also, I like the Chicago ML at +120.)
CLIPPERS (-1.5) AT 76ERS, 227.5
7 p.m. ET on TNT
THE ANGLE: I cannot trust Joel Embiid
I want to take the Sixers here. I get the 24-2 record at home, and they’re fully loaded against the Clippers, who are on an East Coast trip. Joel Embiid vs. that front line of Ivica Zubac and Montrezl Harrell should eat. He should have 40 and be at the line so often he has to apply for residential rezoning.
I can’t trust Embiid. I just can’t trust him to punish the mismatches. I can’t trust him to force the double team and handle it. I can’t trust him to win this game. And that’s a problem for the Sixers.
There is objectively value on the Sixers. But they’re 1-2 when an underdog at home this season and 12-15 vs. teams over .500.
I don’t like the Clippers in this spot; they have their own issues. But I definitely can’t trust Embiid.
THE PLAY: Stay away and be immediately angry when Embiid goes for 35
BLAZERS AT PELICANS (-3), 240
8 p.m. ET
THE ANGLE: Portland’s offense
The Blazers are 7-3 in their last 10 games and chasing for the 8-seed. In that span, they are the No. 2 team in effective field goal percentage and the No. 1 team in Offensive Rating. Gary Trent Jr. and Trevor Ariza are absolutely balling for them, Melo’s doing his thing and Damian Lillard is a fire monster.
The Pelicans defense remains terrible. The Blazers defense remains terrible. The total is really high at 240. This is tough. Especially because…
But I’m going to lean towards the Blazers here. They’re playing better basketball, and while Zion Williamson should wreck when he’s in there, he plays only so many minutes.
Meanwhile, the Pelicans play drop coverage a lot in pick-and-rolls, and that’s one reason they are 20th defending it, per Synergy Sports. Lillard eats those coverages alive. If you don’t blitz him, he destroys you.
Combine that with how Trent Jr. has been playing on both ends as a counter for Brandon Ingram (who remains questionable) and New Orleans’ struggles with consistency, and I’ll take the underdog on the road.
THE PLAY: Blazers +3, Blazers over 120
SPURS AT THUNDER (-9) 218.5
8 p.m. ET
THE ANGLE: I’m going to talk myself into the Spurs now
On a back-to-back, DeMar DeRozan is doubtful. So that’s why the line is what the line is. OKC has been the best team in the league ATS this year.
But this is too many points.
For starters, when more than a two-possession favorite this season (-6.5 or higher), OKC is 2-7 ATS. If this gets to -9.5? The Thunder are 0-3 in such spots this season ATS.
Additionally, in 34 of the Spurs’ 53 games this season (64%), DeRozan has been a net zero or negative in plus-minus. This isn’t about DeRozan’s play, which has been stellar over the last month. It’s about how the San Antonio starters play vs. how its bench plays. The bench has been great the last two seasons.
More minutes for players who can shoot 3s will make the offense better. The defense will still struggle… but vs. OKC they’ll be able to put up enough points to cover.
THE PLAY: Spurs +9