NBA Odds, Best Bets: Saturday Picks Including 76ers vs. Nets & Lakers vs. Warriors
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images. Pictured: Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson.
- Saturday's NBA slate goes deep, featuring nine games as an appetizer for tomorrow's Super Bowl.
- Our staff came through with four best bets, including picks for 76ers vs. Nets, Heat vs. Magic and Lakers vs. Warriors.
- Read on for all four of our staff's best bets for Saturday night's NBA games.
Saturday’s NBA slate is loaded with nine games on the docket.
Our staff came through with four best bets for this post-trade deadline Saturday, including picks for 76ers vs. Nets and Heat vs. Magic. And with the sports world focused on tomorrow’s Super Bowl, we even included a cross-sport parlay featuring Lakers vs. Warriors.
Whether you’re looking for an early-game bet or hoping to ride a parlay throughout the weekend, be sure to check out all four of our NBA best bets for Saturday below.
NBA Odds & Picks
76ers vs. Nets
PJ Walsh: Seventy-seven percent of tickets wagered on the 76ers vs. Nets total have come in on the over, but Action Network’s Platinum Reverse Line Movement Unders PRO System suggests that the value is instead on the under.
Since 2005, NBA divisional games in which 60% or more of the action is on the over, yet the total drops at least one point, have finished under the closing total 57% of the time for a record of 389-295-8.
As of the time of writing, the 76ers vs. Nets total is at a consensus of 224.5, but savvy bettors can snag an extra half-point of value by shopping for the best line and picking off under 225 at PointsBet
76ers vs. Nets
Andrew O’Connor-Watts: The Nets have played shockingly well without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving thanks to big scoring nights from Cam Thomas.
In their last 10 games, the Nets are 5-5 straight up but 8-2 against the spread— all 10 coming without Durant. In their last four, which came without Irving, the Nets are 2-2 straight up and 4-0 ATS.
New Nets acquisitions Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson are questionable to make their Nets debut, but DPOY candidate Nic Claxton is probable.
The Sixers have been playing well enough (5-3 straight up and 4-4 ATS), but they’re coming off a win over the Knicks in which Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tobias Harris played 38, 37 and 35 minutes, respectively.
Embiid is currently listed as questionable, and I think we could sit this second half of a back-to-back.
The two teams met in Philadelphia at the end of January, and the Nets lost a close game but managed to cover the spread. I have this game as a PK, and with the possibility of Embiid taking a breather, I’ll jump on the Nets at any underdog number.
Get in quick, as Action Network’s PRO Report has already tracked sharp money on Brooklyn. Take this down to a PK if Embiid plays and -3 if he sits.
Heat vs. Magic
Austin Wang: The Miami Heat are in an awful scheduling spot today. They’re on the road playing in the second night of a back-to-back and their third game in four nights.
Even though the travel time from Miami to Orlando is short, I think this is a letdown spot after squeaking out a win over the lowly Houston Rockets last night.
The Heat are one of the most overvalued teams in the market this season with a poor 20-33-3 ATS record. They also have a tendency to play down to their opponent and have a 4-7 record on the road against teams below .500.
The Magic, meanwhile, have been turning heads of late with their excellent play. Since the beginning of December, they are 18-16 straight up and 23-10-1 ATS. This young, talented squad boasts a deep roster that’s brimming with confidence after an upset win over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday.
With all of the situational factors in mind, I make the Magic -2 here and will be backing Orlando this evening.
Lakers vs. Warriors
Brandon Anderson: The Lakers and Warriors play Saturday night in what was probably supposed to be one of the marquee games of the season — and oh, what might have been.
In another timeline, we’d be getting Steph Curry vs. LeBron James with the all-time scoring record on the line, but instead, Curry is hurt and James broke the record Tuesday.
Alas — I guess we’ll just have to make some money instead.
The Lakers and Warriors are the two fastest-paced teams in the NBA this season. Lakers games average 235.7 points per game, and Warriors games are at 236.8.
Those are two of the three highest marks in the league, and all that pace and run-and-gun offense will only compound as the teams play each other. In three games against one another over the past two seasons, we got totals of 232, 235 and 232.
We should expect something in at least the 230s again here, even with Curry out, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see this game hit the 240s or higher. That means Jalen Hurts (-4.5) will need at least 240 yards passing to win his side of this bet, and maybe more.
Hurts was very boom-or-bust as a passer this year. He threw for 285 yards or more in a big outing five times in 17 games. But in nine of those games — more than half of them — he was at 229 or fewer, six times failing to even reach 200.
There are three games between 239 and 243 that could make this a close call, but if the Lakers-Warriors total gets to 238, that means Hurts would have only covered his side of this bet in five of his 17 games (29%) all year.
The Chiefs have a young secondary, but their pass defense has actually been pretty solid and even better down the stretch. It’s their run defense that’s much worse — dead last in ESPN’s run-stop metric — and Philly’s No. 1 run game is its huge advantage in this game.
There’s always the chance Hurts puts up 280 yards and this bet is dead. But it’s far more likely that he ends up somewhere around 200, where I expect him, and this is effectively a freebie even if the Lakers and Warriors are cold.
I think the -4.5 is on the wrong side of this one and expect Hurts to fall well short. Give me the Lakers vs. Warriors total, and hopefully we’re sitting on a number in the 240s or higher heading into Sunday night.
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