Tuesday’s NBA Expert Betting Picks: Our Experts’ Favorite Bets, Including Trail Blazers vs. Kings

Tuesday’s NBA Expert Betting Picks: Our Experts’ Favorite Bets, Including Trail Blazers vs. Kings article feature image

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0).

There are eight games on tap for Tuesday night, but much of the excitement is happening out West highlighted by the Lakers in Phoenix to face the upstart Suns.

Our NBA crew details how they are betting tonight’s slate with picks on four specific games:

  • 7:30 p.m. ET: Detroit Pistons at Miami Heat 
  • 8 p.m. ET: New York Knicks at Chicago Bulls
  • 9 p.m. ET: LA Lakers at Phoenix Suns 
  • 10 p.m. ET: Portland Trail Blazers at Sacramento Kings 

Odds as of Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.

John Ewing: Pistons at Heat

  • Spread: Heat -8.5
  • Over/Under: 215
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

‪Miami is coming off a bad offensive game. The Heat scored 80 points in a loss on Friday to the Lakers. Miami made only 35% of its attempts and shot 6-of-35 from behind the arc.

Normally, casual bettors love wagering on the over as it is more fun to cheer for points to be scored. But in tonight’s matchup, tickets are evenly split on the total, likely a result of recency bias as the public remembers the offensive struggles of the Heat.

However, it has been profitable to bet the over following a bad offensive game.

Since 2005, bettors following this strategy have gone 172-108-4 (61%) returning a profit of $5,522 for a $100 bettor. This system works because teams tend to bounce back after a poor offensive showing.

The Heat didn’t play well, but it was really just one bad quarter that sunk them. In the fourth quarter where they struggled against the Lakers as they shot 4-of-19 and made one field goal and scored only six points in the final 8:54.

Positive regression is expected for a Miami team that is averaging 111.1 ppg and 12.6 made threes a game.

Despite tickets being evenly split, the total has increased from 216.5 to 217. An indication sharp action is on the over. With history and the pros expecting more points than the oddsmakers, the smart play is to bet the over.

The PICK: Over 215
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Matt Moore: Knicks at Bulls

  • Spread: Bulls -6.5
  • Over/Under: 212.5
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET

I kept taking the Bulls because all the data said their performance should regress to the mean. They have the third-best expected eFG with the fourth-worst actual eFG per PBPStats.com. They just should be better offensively, but they’re not. It wasn’t until last week that I realized that the differential there is coaching.

Jim Boylen is pretty clearly damaging their confidence, energy, and enthusiasm.

So, despite knowing better, I am … gulp … taking the Knicks. The Bulls should just quite frankly not be a 6.5-point favorite over any team whatsoever. So much so that I’m actually taking the Knicks on the moneyline as well.

Please note: If this were reversed and the Knicks were -6.5 at home vs. the Bulls, I would be taking Chicago against the spread and straight up as well. Neither of these teams should be favored. This game should end in a tie.

The PICK: Knicks +6.5, God Help Me, and Knicks +180
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Brandon Anderson: Lakers at Suns

  • Spread: Lakers -2
  • Over/Under: 220
  • Time: 9 p.m. ET

Look, this Phoenix Suns thing has been super cute and all, but it’s time for a little reality check. Aron Baynes is not an All Star, or a star (or maybe even a star-ter long term) and LeBron James and Anthony Davis will give him and Dario Saric all they can handle. I know our own Matt Moore has been all over the Suns, and it’s nice to see them trying out there, but these are still the Lakers.

Phoenix is going to get hammered on the boards, and as a team that ranks fifth in 3-point percentage and first in field-goal percentage, they’re due for a major shooting regression soon. Tonight looks like a good night for that to start against the Lakers No. 1 ranked defense. All that Lakers size could wreak havoc.

Give me LeBron and Brow -2 against a team called the Phoenix Suns, and I’m taking them every time.

The PICK: Lakers -2 
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Wob: Trail Blazers at Kings

  • Spread: Trail Blazers -2
  • Over/Under: 222
  • Time: 10 p.m. ET

I’m giving out a number three points worse than it was last night when you could have gotten it when the De’Aaron Fox news dropped. I’m doing this because I simply do not trust the Sacramento Kings as far as I can throw them.

The Portland Trail Blazers are extremely overrated, but they finally got over the hump on Sunday night against the Hawks. Should they have won by 11 stress-free without overtime? Sure. But these are the games they’ve lost all season.

There also isn’t a soul on the Kings who can handle the Blazers back court. We haven’t had one of those Lillard/McCollum nuclear games yet, and in Sacramento where less than zero defense is played and pace is through the roof, the conditions are ripe. Portland finally flexes tonight.

The PICK: Blazers -2
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Byan Mears: Trail Blazers at Kings

Unlike Wob, I was able to grab this line at Blazers +2 last night after the Kings announced that De’Aaron Fox tweaked his ankle in practice and was going for testing to determine the severity.

It sat at that number or +1 for a while until they finally ruled him out for 3-4 weeks, at which it fairly quickly moved to Blazers -2 on the road. If you want alerts on bets either before or after this post, make sure to follow me in the app.

The Kings have been just 2.5 points per 100 possessions better with Fox on vs. off this season, although I think that’s underrating him a bit. He has a +8.3/100 split on offense and a -5.8/100 split on defense; I don’t think point guards contribute that much to defense and thus would not put the blame on him. That’s probably more of a starter/bench split than a Fox one.

The line moved four points, which might seem like a bit much for Fox, but I don’t necessarily think it was a strong line anyway. The Blazers are certainly a better team, and their weaknesses so far — particularly forcing turnovers on defense, rebounding and limiting fouls — are ones that aren’t strengths for the Kings. It’s unlikely the Blazers would’ve been punished for those.

One other weakness the Blazers have that the Kings could have exploited was in transition; Portland is allowing the most transition opportunities in the league so far this year. That said, the Kings have played super slow without Fox on the court this year (they already weren’t fast, which is odd). With Cory Joseph on and Fox off, the Kings have played at a 93.7 pace; for context, the Magic are last in the league this year with a 99.5 mark.

Fox is probably worth three-ish points in this game, but I think the line should’ve started around a pick’em, which means I would put this around Blazers -3. There’s a bit of value still at -2, but unfortunately the value in both and spread and total (down to 222.5 from 227) is mostly gone.

The PICK: Blazers -2 (Wouldn’t bet it past -2)
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