Wednesday NBA Odds & Betting Picks: Our Bets Bets for Nets vs. Cavaliers (Jan. 20)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving.
- Things should heat up in NBA action on Wednesday, with a nine-game card on deck.
- Brandon Anderson and Raheem Palmer each have a play as part of our staff's best bets in games around the league.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Tonight’s game between the Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers has been postponed due to contract tracing.
We have another loaded NBA card on deck Wednesday, with 10 games taking place around the country. Brandon Anderson and Raheem Palmer have their respective sights set on two plays as part of our staff’s Best Bets for the night’s action below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Nets vs. Cavaliers
Brandon Anderson: We spent about half our podcast Wednesday at The Action Network talking about the Brooklyn Nets. The powerhouse is the talk of the hour right now after the James Harden trade changed this entire team, making it the face of the Eastern Conference.
The Nets are now conference favorites now and beat the full-strength Milwaukee Bucks two nights ago even without Kyrie Irving. The star guard is finally back tonight, so this is our first chance to get a look at him playing with Harden and Kevin Durant.
And as well as Harden and Durant have meshed, I’m not positive it will be quite so easy to add a third star out there right away. Durant already knows how to play with a second star point guard. He’s been doing that for awhile, and Harden basically took the place of Irving, Steph Curry or Russell Westbrook.
However, with three of them out there, it’s an entirely whole new dynamic.
There’s one thing that won’t be different, though, and that’s the bench unit. I expect Brooklyn to have a massive advantage over most teams there, because the Nets will be able to play with a superstar on the court at all times.
While the Cavaliers are rolling out Lamar Stevens, JaVale McGee and Dean Wade off the bench, the Nets will be able to pick one of their big three and keep them on the court with shooters.
I expect that to be Harden, allowing more Durant and Irving minutes together since that’s what this team is used to doing. You can then put Harden out there, surrounded by spot-up guys.
That gives Harden a chance to eat and soak up usage to get his numbers, which means Brooklyn can have a serious bench edge when the opponent is running Wade/Stevens pick and rolls.
I won’t be surprised if it’s a rocky first quarter, with these three figuring things out for the first time against a defense that’s been pretty tough, but I like the Nets to use that bench advantage for a big second quarter.
Grizzlies vs. Blazers
Raheem Palmer: I’m not really big on these revenge spots, but I can’t help but feel like this is the perfect situational spot for the Memphis Grizzlies, who were eliminated from playoff contention by the Portland Trail Blazers in play-in game last season.
The Blazers are reeling after losing CJ McCollum (foot) and Jusuf Nurkic (wrist) for an extended period of time. Nurkic’s loss hurts, but the absence of McCollum might as well be a death sentence for this team, as the Blazers are a whopping +13.4 points per 100 possessions better offensively with him on/off and +15.0 points points per 100 possessions better in general.
For a Portland team that is 26th in Defensive Rating and gives up 113.7 points per 100 possessions, it was highly dependent on offense particularly from McCollum and Damian Lillard, who were averaging 26.7 and 28.1 points per game respectively.
I faded the Blazers in Monday’s matchup against the Spurs and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. I just don’t see the Blazers being able to overcome his loss, especially with the amount of minutes they have to play defensive sieves like Enes Kanter and Carmelo Anthony.