NBA Odds, Best Bets Today: Expert Picks for Heat vs. Raptors, Hornets vs. Thunder Tuesday, March 28
Ian Maule/Getty Images. Pictured: Luguentz Dort #5 of the Oklahoma City Thunder high fives Aaron Wiggins #21 of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
- Looking to bet the NBA tonight? Action Network's staff is all over Tuesday's hoops slate.
- They are targeting two games – Heat vs. Raptors and Hornets vs. Thunder – for their best bets today.
- Check out their picks for those matchups below.
The NBA jumps back into the national spotlight tonight with six games on the schedule, including a TNT doubleheader: Raptors vs. Heat (7:30 p.m. ET) and Pelicans vs. Warriors (10 p.m. ET).
Our NBA analysts have three best bets today for two of tonight’s games. Read on for their expert picks for those matchups below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Miami Heat vs. Toronto Raptors
Chris Baker: The Heat matchup well here as their defense specializes in the areas where Toronto excels. The Raptors offense ranks third in offensive rebound rate, but the Heat are the seventh-best defensive rebounding rate team in the NBA.
Toronto ranks first in the NBA in transition rate, but the Heat have the eighth best transition defensive rating. Toronto also wants to attack the rim and draw fouls but the Heat rank fourth in rim rate allowed and sixth in Free Throw rate allowed.
This is Heat defense has all the profiles of an elite defense but they have been a bit unlucky in terms of opponent shooting variance, as they rank 26th in opponent effective field goal percentage on the season.
On the flip side of the ball, we get a Heat offense that ranks fourth in corner 3-point attempt rate against a Raptors defense ranking 29th in corner attempt rate allowed. This Raptors defense doesn’t have a good profile as they rank bottom-10 in rim rate allowed (24th) and 3-point attempt rate (20th).
Furthermore, this is quietly the healthiest the Heat have been all season as they have no one on the injury report outside Nikola Jovic and Kyle Lowry. I would expect Lowry to suit up given his history in Toronto. This Heat team finally has some depth and that will be huge as this Raptors second unit is uninspiring. Toronto has listed Will Barton is doubtful, Dalano Banton as out, and Gary Trent Jr. as questionable.
The Raptors do not have a lot of depth so if a bunch of these guys can’t go expect them to have issues when their key ball-handlers are off the floor. The Heat are also well-rested as they haven’t played since Saturday and got some extra rest in that one due to the game being a blowout.
Finally, there is something to be said for Erik Spoelstra having two days of rest off of a blowout loss to the Nets. This game has massive playoff implications and I fully expect Spoelstra to gameplan effectively here. Spoelstra is the best coach in the NBA and I am willing to trust him in what feels like a must-win game for the Heat. Take the Heat at +135 and play this down to +120.
Miami Heat vs. Toronto Raptors
Bryan Fonseca: I thought about a few things for this game — they were all player unders. Example: Scottie Barnes under 26.5 points + rebounds + assists. And I still might do that, but this entire game feels like an under.
These are two of the muddiest offenses in the NBA, and have been over the last couple of seasons. Currently, the Miami Heat are dead last in points per game at 109.1, have allowed the second fewest per at 109.9, and are third-to-last in Pace. The Raptors? They’re in the bottom 10 in points at 113 per game, sixth fewest in points allowed at 111.9 per, and 25th in Pace.
Overly simplistic stats? Yes — this is gambling, so I don’t really care about RAPTOR here — just these Raptors tonight.
In their three contests previously — all in October and November — the Heat and Raptors have finished with 221, 198 (!!), and 216 points, respectively. The Raptors have been scoring the ball better lately, averaging about 119 points over their last seven games — the Milwaukee Bucks were the only team ranked top-10 in defense during that stretch, and the Raptors got to 111.
The Heat, you just can’t trust on a night to night basis. They might not break 100. They might get 120-plus. They’ve done each twice in their last five games. Ultimately, I think this can be really low scoring by today’s NBA standard, and hopefully it is, because that’s my bet.
Charlotte Hornets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Andrew O’Connor-Watts: The Charlotte Hornets haven’t been able to score at all lately. They have an Offensive Rating of 108.9 in their last 10 games and averaging 106.8 points per game, according to Statmuse.
Cleaning the Glass shows the accuracy of each team from certain shot areas, and if we look at the Hornets’ accuracy from each section, they rank last in the league from every spot on the floor besides long midrange (17th) and at the rim (25th).
On defense they’re far from elite, but they do a surprisingly decent job of protecting the perimeter (12th) and the rim (third). The Thunder, who aren’t a great shooting team from anywhere aside from from the corners and long midrange, do take 37.4% of their shots at the rim (fourth).
Recent and historical trends also align. The under is 6-3 in the last nine Thunder games, 5-0 in the last five Hornets games, and 7-2 in their last nine head to head meetings. There hasn’t been much scoring lately and I don’t see it starting tonight. I like the under down to 226.5.
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