NBA Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Blazers-Heat, 2 Other Games

NBA Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Blazers-Heat, 2 Other Games article feature image

Steve Mitchell, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Hassan Whiteside

There are eight NBA games on the itinerary tonight including the headliner between the Raptors and 76ers (-3) in Philadelphia.

We covered that game in length in our betting guide but our experts have gone elsewhere for their favorite bets for Tuesday night.

Ken Barkley: Pistons-Knicks Over 207

There is so much uncertainty in this game that I don’t think I can bet Detroit reliably at -4. After giving us a winner last night in this guide with an outright victory against Denver, the Pistons now head to the Garden to take on a mash-up of the Knicks and the old Dallas Mavericks.

Detroit actually plays pretty well compared to other teams on the second night of back-to-backs, as it’s offensive and defensive efficiencies only change by minuscule amounts, and the team remains completely healthy for this game, so I wouldn’t expect a letdown based on those trends.

What I’m really thinking about is the new Knicks, who comprise most of the healthy talent on the team. There’s absolutely no way this group can have any defensive identity or cohesion — coach David Fizdale said yesterday it will take about a week for the guys to learn the new system.

On offense, I’d expect a lot of isolation and playground basketball, and on defense, a complete shambles. And it’s not like this team was playing incredible defense anyway; they were at the bottom of the league even with guys who had played together for a while.

Considering one team is probably going to want to run as much as possible, and have no idea what they’re doing at the defensive end, and I get a very low total, I’m taking the over almost no matter who the opponent is when it’s down near 200. Maybe you even get a little more energy in the Garden with so much change going on, which can only help.

Matt Moore: Magic +10 at Thunder

The Thunder are 3-5 when laying 10 or more points at home, and the Magic have personnel to give them issues. OKC’s scheme is to control the roll man and attack the ball-handler. But Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon are great at slicing in for short-range buckets that aren’t at the rim, which are what OKC gives up the most of in the league.

They are 17th in the league at defending shots within 17 feet per posssession, via Synergy Sports. Throw in the first game back from an East Coast road trip for OKC and I’m grabbing double digits.

John Ewing: Blazers-Heat under 211.5

The Blazers-Heat over/under opened 213 and the over is receiving more than 60% of bets. Yet the line has decreased to 211.5. When the line moves in the opposite direction of the betting percentages this is called reverse line movement (RLM) and is an indication of sharp action.

In high-total games, 200 or more points, when 60% or more of bets are on the over but the line decreases the under has gone 1,136-958-22 (54.3%) in regular season games since 2005. In the past five years, following RLM in this situation has gone 587-458-10 (56.2%).

Bryan Mears: Blazers-Heat under 211.5

I’ll double-down on this one with John. Here’s another trend for you: When a team scores 130-plus points and then plays at home in the following game, the under has gone 128-102-3 (55.7%, good for an 8.8% ROI). The reasoning is simple: Bookmakers and the public overrate teams coming off a high-scoring affair.

Further, the Blazers are playing on six-days rest; they blew out the Jazz last Wednesday. I think this is a spot for bookmakers and the public alike to overrate offensive performance given the high-scoring affair last week plus the rest, so I’ll take the under with John.

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.