NBA Odds, Best Bets: Expert Picks for Nuggets vs Suns

NBA Odds, Best Bets: Expert Picks for Nuggets vs Suns article feature image
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Pictured: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • The NBA is in the home stretch of the regular season with less than a week remaining.
  • There are motivation disparities in several games today, and our NBA betting analysts have five best bets ready.
  • Find their picks and analysis below.

The NBA regular season continues on Thursday night with a five-game slate, including two nationally televised matchups in Heat vs. 76ers and Nuggets vs. Suns. Teams have either two or three games remaining in the season, so these matchups are pivotal for playoff and play-in positioning. Our Action Network NBA betting experts are ready with five best bets. Find their picks and analysis below.

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NBA Odds & Picks

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Heat vs. 76ers Player Prop
7:30 p.m. ET
Heat vs. 76ers Spread
7:30 p.m. ET
Heat vs. 76ers Spread
7:30 p.m. ET
Thunder vs. Jazz Player Prop
9 p.m. ET
Nuggets vs. Suns Spread
10 p.m. ET

Heat vs. 76ers Player Prop

Pick
Jimmy Butler Over 5.5 Assists (-130)
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
7:30 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Bryan Fonseca: As someone who watches too many Heat games, I was surprised to see Jimmy Butler's assist prop this low.

Sometimes he gets his teammates involved early and then erupts late in the game as he did Tuesday against the Detroit Pistons, where he scored 18 fourth quarter points after an offensively decent first half. Sometimes, he's right after it from jump, like he did against the Knicks two weeks ago, aggressively setting the tone and finishing with 35 points.

In both instances, he had high-assist outputs.

The Heat don't really have a trustworthy point guard right now. Gabe Vincent starts at the position but is hardly a floor general — he's more of a small 3-and-D guard who occasionally runs the point because he's 6-foot-2. But even when he explodes offensively — see the 22 points and six 3s on Tuesday — his Usage Rate rarely reaches the 20s.

Kyle Lowry comes off the bench and hasn't been a big factor this season, as many Heat fans would be quick to remind you.

Point is, Butler is the defacto floor general, and everything has been running through him, even when he's not scoring at will. His Usage Rating on Tuesday was under 26.

He's gotten over 5.5 assists in three straight and five of his last six. And against the 76ers, I'm expecting him to show up, so he'll have to pass out of some double teams anyway.


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Heat vs. 76ers Spread

Pick
Heat +4
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
7:30 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Chris Baker: I’ll grab the Heat catching four against a 76ers team that they have owned over this past year. The Heat still could technically earn the 6-seed with three wins and two Nets losses, so I expect them to compete here tonight.

Bam Adebayo is the only key questionable designation, while the 76ers have already listed Tyrese Maxey, De’Anthony Melton, and PJ Tucker as questionable. Maybe these guys play, but I find it highly unlikely given that the 76ers are locked into the 3-seed. Joel Embiid should also rest given his injury history, but it appears he wants to lock down the MVP award this season.

I’m going to grab the Heat +4 now with the expectation that we some more names pop up on the 76ers injury report throughout the day. However, even if Embiid and Harden both play, I believe that the Heat have enough talent and coaching ability to win this game on the road.

The Heat will continue to try for the 6-seed for as long as it is possible as I promise you that they would rather play the 76ers than the Celtics. The Heat beat this team comfortably in six games last year, and they just match up much better with Philly than they do with Boston.

The Heat also do not want to fall back to the 8-seed as they could still technically be usurped as the 7-seed by the Raptors, who are just 1.5 games back. I think +4 is fundamentally mispriced given the wildly different motivations for both of these teams, so I will back the Heat tonight in Philly. Play this down to +3.


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Heat vs. 76ers Spread

Pick
Heat +4
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
7:30 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Jacob McKenna: It shouldn't be a surprise to see Joel Embiid producing at such a high level on the offensive end, but the lack of support recently, along with some vulnerability on defense, puts the 76ers in an interesting spot. As a result, I like the Heat to cover the spread as a road underdog.

Philadelphia already has several key players listed on the injury report. Tyrese Maxey, PJ Tucker and De'Anthony Melton are all listed as questionable, which would likely cause Philadelphia to lose a large chunk of production on both ends of the floor.

Kyle Lowry and Bam Adebayo are on the injury report for Miami, but both played in Miami's last game against the Pistons.

The Heat have more to play for and are the healthier team — which could certainly puts them in position to keep this game close. I would play this spread down to +3.



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Thunder vs. Jazz Player Prop

Pick
Talen Horton-Tucker Over 28.5 Points + Assists
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
9 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Brandon Anderson: Props are probably the safest route here. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's points prop sits at 31.5. He's cleared that in nine of 14 appearances since the break (74%) and twice against the Jazz, but it's a high line and you risk going under if this turns into a blowout.

Talen Horton-Tucker has cleared 22.5 points in four straight. He's also cleared 5.5 assists in nine of 13 (74%) and was one away in two others. Utah is allowing Horton-Tucker to explore the studio space, so if Lauri Markkanen is out, you can play Horton-Tucker for 23/6 with potential escalators. He should also be fairly blowout proof.

The safest play is a points + assists over since he could easily hit that on points alone. Or, you can be more aggressive with alternate lines or a SGP.


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Nuggets vs. Suns Spread

Pick
Suns -7
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
10 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Joe Dellera: The Nuggets simply have nothing to play for tonight, and there is no real reason for them to show any of the schemes they may deploy against the Suns in a potential Western Conference Semifinals matchup. If anything, this is a good opportunity for them to figure out which of their non-starters are deserving of playoff minutes moving forward.

I fully expect the Suns to take control of this game, and even if the Nuggets don't fully rest their starters, it would not be a surprise if their minutes are limited like when Nikola Jokic played just 25 minutes on Tuesday against the Rockets.



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