Wednesday’s NBA Experts Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets Nets vs. Hawks, Pacers vs. Thunder

Wednesday’s NBA Experts Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets Nets vs. Hawks, Pacers vs. Thunder article feature image
Credit:

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: T.J. Warren and Malcolm Brogdon

There are 10 games on the NBA schedule for Wednesday night and our experts are betting the total and spread in three specific matchups:

  • 7 p.m. ET: Golden State Warriors at Charlotte Hornets
  • 7 p.m. ET: Milwaukee Bucks at Detroit Pistons
  • 7:30 p.m. ET: Brooklyn Nets at Atlanta Hawks
  • 8 p.m. ET: Indiana Pacers at OKC Thunder 

See what bets they’re making below.

Odds as of Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET

John Ewing: Warriors at Hornets

  • Spread: Hornets -2.5
  • Over/Under: 209
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET

The Warriors have lost their past three games, six of seven and are an NBA-worse 4-18. It has been an awful season in the Bay Area.

Oddsmakers opened the Dubs as 5-point underdogs on the road in Charlotte on Wednesday. Nearly 60% of spread tickets are on the Hornets but despite the public action and Golden States poor recent performance, the line has moved from Warriors +5 to +2.5.

What gives? While a majority of bets are on the Hornets, there is a large dollar percentage on the Dubs. This means that bigger bets, usually placed by sharps, are on the Warriors.

Since we began tracking spread dollar percentages in 2015, it has been profitable to bet teams receiving a larger percentage of dollars than tickets when the line moves, like with the Warriors.

A $100 bettor following this strategy would have returned a profit of $5,064.

The pros don’t always win, but being on the same side as the sharps is a profitable long term strategy. Smart money is backing the Warriors tonight and I will be too.

The PICK: Warriors +2.5
[In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

John Ewing is 506-445-19 (53.2%) overall betting on the NBA. You can follow him in our free app.

Brandon Anderson: Bucks at Pistons

  • Spread: Bucks -8.5
  • Over/Under: 224
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET

Look, some bets you just need to go with your first instinct. As of this writing, Blake Griffin is listed as questionable, expected to potentially sit out to rest. That leaves a Griffin-less Pistons team shorthanded against the reigning MVP and a loaded 18-3 Bucks team.

Sounds familiar? It should.

We already watched that series in last year’s playoffs, and by watched I mean ignored completely and didn’t bother to catch a single minute. The Bucks walked all over the Pistons.

This Pistons team is a little more prepared to play without Griffin this time around, but this is a gigantic mismatch either way. Plus, the Pistons are on the second night of a back-to-back and the Bucks are rested.

You know Milwaukee will win. Trust them to cover too.

The PICK: Bucks -8.5
[In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

Wob: Nets at Hawks

  • Spread: Nets -3
  • Over/Under: 229
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

Two of the league’s worst defenses countered by efficient offenses (yes, Brooklyn has been efficient during Kyrie Irving’s absence) who love nothing more than to run the court and play pace and space. There is a reason why this line has moved nearly four points since the open, it’s because it’s going to finish in the 240s.

Not a soul on either team is interested in putting in any sort of effort on defense, and as a result: there are simply too many possessions in this game for it to statistically stay under. No matter how poorly either team may shoot.

This is a different Nets team without Kyrie; actually, no it’s not … it sure looks a lot like last year’s, doesn’t it?

The PICK: Over 228.5
[In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

Bryan Mears: Pacers at Thunder

  • Spread: Thunder -1
  • Over/Under: 209.5
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET

After missing a variety of starters here and there for the last month, the Pacers are now whole (well, at least until Victor Oladipo returns). And the data says that a healthy Pacers squad is pretty darn good.

The main unit of Malcolm Brogdon-Jeremy Lamb-TJ Warren-Domantas Sabonis-Myles Turner has blitzed teams in its 230 possessions together, posting a +19.1 Net Rating — the 92nd percentile of lineups. They’ve scored 118.3 points/100 (83rd percentile) and have allowed just 99.1 (78th).

The starting lineups over the last month haven’t been bad, mind you. The lineup with Aaron Holiday in for Lamb and JaKarr Sampson in for Turner — the Pacers’ second-most used lineup this year — has posted a +18.0 Net Rating. Especially when Brogdon, Warren and Sabonis have been on the floor, the Pacers have been pretty, pretty good.

Their issue at times has been the ripple effect of the injuries. Holiday is a solid backup and has some intriguing upside in his sophomore season, but him playing more with the starters hurts the bench. The same thing happened with Turner out, as they had to rely on guys like Goga Bitadze and Doug McDermott, who are better suited for end-of-the-bench roles.

Now that the Pacers starters are back together, everyone can go back to their rightful roles, and I think we’ll see the bench numbers improve.

Now the Thunder: Their starting lineup has posted a -3.1 Net Rating together in 400 minutes, which is mediocre, even in a tougher conference. They’ve actually made up ground with their bench this season: They’re 12.2 points/100 better when Dennis Schroder is out there — the highest on/off mark on the team.

Let’s talk this specific matchup: The Thunder on offense have been average, and the few areas they’ve excelled are at the rim (sixth in the league) and long mid-rangers (first).

Unfortunately, that’s exactly where the Pacers are best defensively, ranking third in rim defense and third on long-2s. They’re also second in corner-3%, highlighting how good and smart this defense can be, especially at full strength with Turner, Sabonis and Brogdon.

I think the Pacers are potentially undervalued here for the reasons listed above and don’t mind grabbing them at a pick’em or better (there are a few +1 lines floating out there). I also will look betting them in the first and third quarters, when I think the starters will do damage.

The PICK: Pacers +1 (will still bet at pick)
[In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

Bryan Mears is 387-302-10 (56.2%) overall betting on the NBA. You can follow him in our free app.

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