NBA Odds, Best Bets Today: Expert Picks for Mavericks vs. Heat, Clippers vs. Pelicans Saturday, April 1
Tom Pennington/Getty Images. Pictured: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks scrambles for the ball against Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat.
- The NBA has two games on the schedule tonight: Mavericks vs. Heat and Clippers vs. Pelicans.
- Our betting analysts have three bets for those two matchups, including a pair or player props.
- Check out their expert picks for Saturday's NBA slate below.
The NBA schedule has been a seesaw for the past few days: 10 games Wednesday, two games Thursday, 13 games Friday and two tonight.
While the two games tonight don’t quite measure up in terms of importance compared to what we’ll see in the college ranks, they are fairly pretty important for the four teams involved. The Miami Heat need every win they can get down the stretch to keep home court in the Play-In. The Dallas Mavericks need every win they can get just to make the Play-In.
That’s followed up by a game between the Los Angeles Clippers (second night of a back-to-back) and the New Orleans Pelicans who are also looking to gain Play-In positioning in the Western Conference.
Both games are the focus of our best bets today with plays on two player props and total. Here are their expert picks for Saturday’s NBA slate.
NBA Odds & Picks
Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat
Bryan Fonseca: Last week, the Miami Heat were one of four Eastern Conference teams to have won seven in a 10-game span. Now they’re on a three-game losing streak, each loss as embarrassing as the last.
Against the Nets, they allowed a 44-11 run en route to a 129-100 loss on their home floor against a team that likely sealed their fate as a Play-In team. They followed that up with horrid offensive effort (told y’all, take the under) against the Toronto Raptors on TNT, and then lost to the New York Knicks handily despite Julius Randle playing poorly and then spraining his ankle.
And then you have the Dallas Mavericks, who are currently out of the Play-In entirely, are 8-14 since trading for Kyrie Irving, including back-to-back home losses to the Charlotte Hornets at one point.
This game is going to suck for somebody, but it doesn’t have to suck for bettors, as long as Reggie Bullock can get us eight points.
The Heat defense isn’t as great this season — statistically, it’s better than it actually looks — and open shots have been there for opposing shooters.
Last game, Quentin Grimes had 23 points. Before that, Precious Achiuwa hit two 3-pointers and scored 12, the first time he’s done either of those things since Feb. 10. Against the Nets, it was everyone, including Edmond Sumner, who had 12, his most since Feb. 6.
All we need from Bullock is two 3s and another bucket. He’s averaging 9.1 points per game since All-Star and is shooting42.3% on six 3-point attempts per game. He also had 15 points (5-of-6 from 3!) against Miami in January. I like his chances tonight.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat
Andrew O’Connor-Watts: The Mavericks and Heat are two of the slowest-paced teams in the NBA. Head coaches Jason Kidd and Erik Spoelstra have their offenses mostly executing in the halfcourt and they don’t do a lot of running up and down the court.
This makes sense for a poor-defending, poor-rebounding team like the Mavericks, who don’t get as many chances to create points off turnovers. But for a top-10 defensive team like Miami, that may come as a bit of a surprise. Despite their toughness on defense, the Heat rank last in transition plays off steals per Cleaning the Glass.
Both teams also rank in the bottom five in Offensive Possession Length. The Mavs offense doesn’t utilize a lot of ball movement, relying on Luka Doncic or Kyrie Irving to play in isolation until a shot opens up. The Mavs offense this season hasn’t been bad — actually it’s been quite good (sixth) — it’s just been slow. However, lately, it’s been slow and bad. In the last 10 games, they rank just 18th in Offensive Rating and 24th in Pace.
On the flip side, the Heat offense has been bad all season (26th). They don’t have many facilitators outside of Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry. As a result, the Heat often find themselves at the end of the shot clock without a quality look. The last two times they played the Mavs, they were held to just 90 and 99 points respectively.
Both of these teams are trending under. The Heat are 4-2 to the under in their last six and the Mavericks have only played to one over in the last seven games. I use a few models and one of them has this total as low as 220.1, so take the under down to 222.5 for a full unit, but I don’t mind taking this down to 221.5 at reduced exposure.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. New Orleans Pelicans
Tyler Schmidt: Winners of six of their last seven games, the Pelicans find themselves tied with the Lakers for the seventh seed in the Western Conference standings. The Pelicans are three-point home favorites against the Clippers who will continue to play without their All-Star Paul George who has a knee injury.
With Zion Williamson still out, Brandon Ingram continues to play at an elite level. During their last seven games, Ingram is averaging 29.4 points and 8.6 assists per game while shooting 52.7% from the field. He leads the Pelicans with 11.9 potential assists per game, which is three more than CJ McCollum.
The Pelicans have an implied team total of 114.75 points, which is the highest amongst the four teams. The Clippers rank middle of the pack in Defensive Rating and assists allowed, but this new playing style of Ingram is leading the Pelicans to success. His peripherals have been jumping like crazy. In his last seven games, he has two triple-doubles and three double digit assist games.
Our model has Ingram projected for 7.3 assists, which is nearly a full assist higher than his player prop. This is also a good reminder to shop around for the best odds as BetMGM has his over on 6.5 assists at even-money tonight. Based on how well he has played lately, I wouldn’t mind this prop at 8.5 assists.
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