NBA Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Kings-Raptors, 2 Other Tuesday Games

NBA Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Kings-Raptors, 2 Other Tuesday Games article feature image
Credit:

Photo credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kyle Lowry

  • Our experts offer their favorite NBA betting picks for Tuesday's four-game slate.
  • You'll find a number of intriguing betting angles, including historical trends, matchup analysis and why Kyle Lowry should smash his points prop.

There are four games on tap Monday night starting at 7 p.m. ET. That means there are plenty of betting opportunities in the marketplace.

Let’s dive into our experts’ five favorite wagers in the following games:

  • Sacramento Kings at Toronto Raptors: 7 p.m. ET
  • Portland Trail Blazers at Oklahoma City Thunder: 8 p.m. ET
  • Minnesota Timberwolves at Phoenix Suns: 9 p.m. ET

 


Rob Perez: Suns +5 vs. Timberwolves

Weren’t we in this SAME exact scenario just one month ago? The Suns back home after a bunch of soulless losses, the Timberwolves off an emotional win … and Suns just randomly wax the Wolves off the floor.

In this case, however, the two teams just played on Sunday, and that emotional Wolves win was against these very Suns.

The Suns just finished a four-game road trip in which they looked like they showed up only because they are contractually obligated to.

Deandre Ayton and Richaun Holmes are out. Dragan Bender is starting.

WHY IS THIS LINE ONLY 5?

Why is 61% of the money on the Suns and it’s still coming in? This smells stinkier than old fish.

They always care right when you think they’re done with this season. Back-to-back home-and-homes are difficult enough to sweep as is, and let’s be honest: The only reason the Suns aren’t favored is because it says “Suns” on their jersey.

The Wolves are 6-16 on the road … SIX AND SIXTEEN!!!! And they’re favored by 5!!! I’ll take some moneyline action while I’m at it, too.


Matt Moore: Thunder -5.5 vs. Blazers

The Blazers are 5-10 on the road vs. Western Conference opponents this year. They are on a road back-to-back in OKC, and Billy Donovan teams are 18-14 ATS at home against teams on the second night of a back-to-back.

Terry Stotts’ teams the last four years have been decent on a SEGABABA (SEcond GAme of a BAck to BAck), but given the Blazers’ road struggles this year, their exhaustion after a late game vs. a tough Utah team in altitude, how the OKC offense has improved over the last month (despite some defensive slippage they’ve corrected in the past week) and how few options Portland has to defend MVP candidate Paul George, I’ll lay the 5.5.

I like getting this number under two possessions.


Evan Abrams: Thunder -2.5 First-Half Spread vs. Blazers

The Thunder are technically on a back-to-back after playing in New York City on Monday, beating the Knicks in the Garden.

The Blazers are also on a back-to-back, beating the Jazz in Utah on Monday.

I think the fact that the Thunder played earlier (12:30 p.m. ET) and traveled back to OKC should help them early on, while Portland beat Utah last night, which turned out to be a tight, back-and-forth game down the stretch.

Currently, the Thunder are -3  in the first half, but our Line Predictor thinks the full-game price should dip below 5.5, which should bring the first half with it.

The Blazers have dominated this matchup as of late, winning and covering six of their last seven against the Thunder. I think OKC will be ready for this one at home.


John Ewing: Kyle Lowry Over 15.5 Points

Kyle Lowry has a great matchup against the Kings tonight and will operate more of the offense than usual with Kawhi Leonard out.

Sacramento likes to run, ranking second in pace (104.2), and sits just 22nd in Defensive Rating (110.3). The Kings have also allowed opposing point guards to average 24.2 points per game this season.

Further, bettors are expecting a shootout, as the over has increased from 227.5 to 229.5.

In what should be a high-scoring game against a weak defense, I like Lowry to go over his total of 15.5 points. The FantasyLabs Player Props tool currently projects Lowry for 19.4 points — easily over his listed mark.


Ken Barkley: Under 229 in Kings-Raptors

Evaluating the Raptors without Kawhi Leonard is a fascinating exercise. In general, he has sat mostly on the second night of back-to-backs, and those games have also strangely enough coincided with the Raptors playing elite opponents very often.

They’ve played the Sixers, Warriors, Pacers, Jazz, Bucks and Lakers all without him. Therefore, if Toronto struggles, how much is it because of Kawhi not playing, and how much is that the team in general is exhausted and playing a high-caliber foe?

It’s so difficult to parse real trends from the data because their average opponent in these spots has been better. Sure, the Suns and Bulls are in there, too, but overall the sample is definitely skewed.

What we do know about the team is that, despite the absence of Leonard (and OG Anunoby and Jonas Valanciunas), they are still capable of elite offensive and defensive performances no matter who is out there. They’ve registered insane highs in offensive and defensive efficiency in such situations. So rather than try to predict which Toronto you’ll get, I’ll take a different approach.

The Raptors’ opponent tonight, Sacramento, is in a horrific travel spot — the second night of a back-to-back, the third game in four nights and going to Canada — as part of a grueling road trip.

In these situations looking back, it’s the Kings offense that has dropped off most notably, cratering to a 100 Offensive Rating. The defense in that spot has actually gotten slightly better.

A blowout is absolutely possible, which means slower, less-efficient possessions down the stretch, and that helps, too. Rather than lay double digits with a Toronto team missing key pieces, I’ll trust that the Kings offense lets them down again here and take the under.