NBA Odds, Best Bets Today: Expert Picks for Grizzlies vs. Hawks, Timberwolves vs. Warriors Sunday, March 26
David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 and Rudy Gobert #27 of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
All the shine might be on the college hardwood on Sunday, but the NBA has action all day.
Our best bets reflect that. We’re starting with Bulls vs. Lakers at 3:30 p.m. ET and going until Timberwolves vs. Warriors at 8:30.
Check out our staff’s five favorite NBA picks for today below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Bryan Fonseca: If you only need 23.5 points from DeMar DeRozan to win a bet, it’s safe to say he’ll come through more often than not. Sure, the Lakers have had the NBA’s fourth-best Defensive Rating in March and second best since the All-Star break, but it’s not like guys aren’t putting up points against them.
Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander each scored 27 against the Lakers. Devin Booker had 33 against L.A. in the Lakers’ previous game. Kevin Porter Jr. had 27 points just days before Booker.
DeRozan had four points in his last game against the Sixers, but that’s because he left the game with an injury. Before that, he scored at least 24 points in five consecutive games. DeRozan is averaging 24.1 points since the All-Star break, and it’s 25.8 if you don’t count that four-point anomaly.
Since the break, DeRozan is taking 17 shots a game, shooting about 52% and is at the free throw line, where he’s shooting 82.4%, seven times per game.
He’s DeMar freakin’ DeRozan. No over/under prop is a gimme, but I’d be pretty surprised if he doesn’t finish with 24 or more points.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Atlanta Hawks
Andrew O’Connor-Watts: The Hawks are coming off a statement win over the Indiana Pacers, one they desperately needed if they want to avoid the play-in tournament.
Atlanta has the second-toughest remaining schedule, according to Tankathon, and a home win on Sunday could put them on the right path toward the No. 6 seed. Beating the Grizzlies when they’re vulnerable — on the road — is a great opportunity for Atlanta to notch a precious win.
The Grizzlies don’t have nearly the same motivation. They’ve already clinched their division and the only thing that hangs in the balance is seeding in the West. They sit two games ahead of Sacramento in the loss column and while the No. 2 seed would be nice in theory, there are a few teams — the Lakers, Pelicans and Thunder, to name a few — vying for the play-in. Their presence might not make the 2-7 matchup so appealing for Memphis.
My model makes Atlanta the favorite in this game and with the revenge factor from a loss to Memphis earlier this season and the motivation for its playoff seeding, I like the Hawks at any plus-number. I’ll also play them for one-half unit on the moneyline.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Atlanta Hawks
Matt Moore: Trae Young is a game-time decision because of an injury and a potential suspension for chucking a ball at an official en route to getting ejected on Saturday.
Without Young this season, the Hawks are 2-5 straight up but 4-3 against the spread (ATS). Memphis meanwhile is 12-23 ATS on the road, including 10-13-1 ATS as a road favorite.
I’m not saying I like the Hawks better without Young; the plus-minus data says they are dreadful without him. But when Dejounte Murray plays the lead, they play a little tougher. De’Andre Hunter might be back for this one, as well.
I’ll take the points with Atlanta because somehow winning this game would be infuriating given their season-long meh-ness, and the only thing I trust the Hawks to do is frustrate everyone.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Orlando Magic
Chris Baker: These two teams don’t match up well. The Magic love to attack the rim and paint, ranking 10th in offensive rim rate and 24th in 3-point attempt rate. This bodes well for them against a Nets defense that ranks 23rd in rim rate allowed since their blockbuster trades.
The Nets are obsessed with limiting the 3-ball, but that’s not really what Orlando is looking to do on offense.
The Magic should have consistent matchup advantages in the halfcourt. The Nets simply do not have the size to contend with Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr. The Magic also rank eighth in offensive rebound rate since the deadline, while the Nets rank 26th in defensive rebound rate. Expect the Magic to physically impose themselves on offense tonight.
On the flip side, we have a Nets offense that loves to get up 3s facing off against a Magic defense that’s incapable of defending the 3-point line. The new-look Nets rank sixth in offensive 3-point attempt rate, while the Magic rank 27th in three point attempt rate allowed on the season. The Magic defense also allows the fifth-highest spot-up rate in the NBA this season.
Orlando does a good job of limiting rim-looks, but that’s not what this Nets offense is designed to do. The Nets are looking to generate catch-and-shoot 3s to force you into rotations with their ball movement. The Magic struggle with this so I expect the Nets to roll offensively here.
Ultimately, each of these offenses thrive where the opposing defense is weakest, so I expect this game to clear this relatively low total. Take the over 225.5 in Orlando and play this up to 226.5. Use our live NBA odds page to be sure you’re getting this best possible number.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Golden State Warriors
Matt Moore: This is pretty simple: The under is 21-9-1 (67%) this season in Warriors home games with a total above 230. The Warriors defense is trash on the road but elite at home, and that throws off the scent for bookmakers.
Even with Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards back, the Wolves will struggle with the defense of Golden State, and the Wolves’ own defense is underrated. The over has a great record when the Wolves are dogs this season, but that is likely attributed to adjustments made for injury, and now those same adjustments probably overstate the Wolves’ mediocre offense.
I project this all the way down at 229.5, so I like it to any number.
Pick: Under 239.5
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