Moore’s Saturday NBA Betting Picks & Angles: Consider Fading Kyrie and Brad Stevens
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Brad Stevens.
Here are some betting angles for Saturday’s games based on matchups and trends.
Odds as of Saturday and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Bucks at Nets
- Spread: Bucks -10.5
- Over/Under: 235
- Time: 6 p.m. ET
The Angle: Kyrie’s ATS Struggles
I don’t want to make too big a thing out of it but the Nets are 5-8-1 ATS with Kyrie Irving playing in the basketball games. The last two seasons including Boston teams with Kyrie playing are 38-44-4 (44%) ATS. That’s not great for a superstar, because he’s clearly moving the line but then isn’t carrying.
This line opened as Bucks -6.5 and is all the way up at 10. When favored by at least six points on the road, Milwaukee under Mike Budenholzer is 21-9-1 (70%) ATS. When favored by 10 points or more vs. East teams under Budenholzer, the Bucks are 28-16-2 (64%).
So it’s a pretty good spot for the Bucks.
Here’s the other side of it: the Nets are 6th-best in the league in points allowed in the paint per 100 possessions and 4th best in opponent fastbreak points allowed per 100 possessions. They’re also 7th in the league defending catch-and-shoot situations.
I’m leaning towards the under based on those factors; Brooklyn’s better defensively than common consensus and the total is all the way up at 235.
Milwaukee’s also a good matchup defensively vs. Brooklyn. The Bucks give up the most 3’s per 100 possessions in the league, but Brooklyn is 24th in 3-point percentage. They just don’t have the weapons on the perimeter outside of Joe Harris and Garrett Temple.
The Bucks’ drop defensive scheme in pick and rolls means you can feast in the midrange, but the Nets are 4th-worst in the league there, shooting just 35%. Irving can tilt that stat, specifically, but it’s also an inherently less efficient offense which you need vs. the Bucks.
In lower-scoring games, taking a big spread is dangerous but I think there’s only so much you can do vs. Milwaukee.
The Play: Bucks -10.5 and under 235.
Suns at Celtics
- Spread: Celtics -6
- Over/Under: 222.5
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
The Angle: Brad Stevens vs. The Bad, Bad West
Here’s an interesting trend: Brad Stevens as a home favorite vs. Western Conference teams under .500 is 15-19-1 (44%) ATS. That seems like an overfit, I get it. But let me explain.
Stevens is a good coach ATS but he’s also overestimated in certain spots. The West teams under .500, meanwhile, are the victim of a significantly tougher schedule. So when you’ve got a West team coming in undervalued vs. a popular public team with a good ATS coach, it’s probably going to be a little high.
Boston’s without Jaylen Brown (thumb) and Kemba Walker is questionable. This opened at 6 and was bet down; our line predictor expects it to go back to 6.5. You might be able to get it at 7 or higher by tip, so make a late play. Just be prepared in case Kemba Walker is surprisingly listed as out.
The Play: Suns +6, but wait to see if you can get it higher before tipoff.
Pistons at Hawks
- Spread: Pistons -1.5
- Over/Under: 227.5
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
The Angle: The Fully Operational Hawks
This is working out well for me. I took the Hawks win total under and the first week of the season freaked me out. But then John Collins was suspended and Huerter got hurt and the Hawks fell into a pit of despair.
In related news, coming off two ATS wins, the Hawks with Trae Young, Collins, and Huerter all healthy and playing are 7-4-1 ATS this season.
The Pistons are a road favorite? Seriously? They’re 2-3 ATS on the season as a road favorite, so no big trend because they haven’t done it much… for good reason.
The over (228) is a little high, so I don’t love that, but the Hawks just have too much value as a home underdog to a bad team. East road favorites under .500 are 11-14 ATS (44%) this season.
The Play: Hawks ML
Sixers at Knicks
- Spread: Sixers -4
- Over/Under: 217.5
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
The Angle: None
Every time I trust the Sixers they burn me. Every time I fade the Sixers they burn me. Every time I trust the Knicks, they burn me. Every time I fade the Knicks, they burn me.
I’m out. This is a back to back for the Sixers on the road as a short favorite without Joel Embiid vs. a truly terrible Knicks team. This is the spot you don’t want to trust the Sixers… which means it’s also not a spot you can trust the Knicks. NOPE.
The Play: Pass.
Raptors at Timberwolves
- Spread: Raptors -5
- Over/Under: 223
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
The Angle: Return of the Dinos
Toronto has everyone back, and that’s a big deal. With Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry, and Marc Gasol all healthy, they’re 10-8 ATS this season and 12-6 ATS.
Weird thing: Karl-Anthony Towns is 3-0 straight up and ATS vs. the Raptors at home in his career. Not what you’d expect given where both teams have been at. I like the ML at -205. That’s a lot of juice, I get it, but you need a better than 67% chance they win, and Toronto is so good at full strength that feels like value.
The Play: Raptors -205
Cavaliers at Bulls
- Spread: Bulls -7
- Over/Under: 214
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
The Angle: The Cavs Don’t Suck Against Teams That Suck
The secret with the Cavs is that they are awful vs. good teams (2-20 vs. teams over .500 SU) but good vs. bad teams (10-9 SU and 12-8-1 ATS).
I trusted the Bulls vs. the Sixers as dogs and they burned me, now they’re home favorites on a back to back. I’m willing to get burned both ways by the Bulls. Cleveland’s been too consistent vs. sub.-500 teams.
The Play: Cavs +6.5
Lakers at Rockets
- Spread: Rockets -2
- Over/Under: 235.5
- Time: 8:30 p.m.
Bryan Mears and I teamed up to give you the full breakdown here.
Blazers at Thunder
- Spread: Thunder -6.5
- Over/Under: 216
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
The Angle: The Thunder Remain Underrated
No C.J. McCollum in this one, no Danilo Gallinari. OKC is 10-4 ATS as a home favorite this season.
Terry Stotts is sub-.500 ATS on the second night of a back to back, and the Thunder are 33-29 ATS under Billy Donovan vs. teams on a back to back.
Portland’s offense is not well built to counter the aggressiveness defensively of OKC’s guards and the Thunder have big enough wings to stay home on Carmelo Anthony.
Without McCollum, and along with all the other injuries for the Blazers, this tilts pretty heavy. There’s always the risk of a Melo revenge game this season, though.
The Play: Thunder -6.5 and under 216.5