NBA Odds, Expert Picks: Best Bets For Knicks-Celtics, Grizzlies-Clippers
Via Noah Graham/Getty Images. Pictured: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers moves the ball during the game against the Golden State Warriors on MARCH 2, 2023 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California.
- There's a full Sunday of NBA action today, and our betting experts have six best bets ready.
- They have picks for all four games on ABC and ESPN, including totals, moneylines, spreads, player props and moneyline parlays.
- Find their expert picks and analysis below.
The NBA regular season marches on with a quadruple-header of nationally televised games, starting with Suns vs. Mavericks at 1 p.m. ET on ABC. Our Action Network NBA betting experts have best bets for all four nationally televised games and two other picks as well. Find their best bets and analysis below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Suns vs. Mavericks SGP
Matt Moore: I like the Suns in this matchup. The Mavericks have had a mental edge over the Suns since their win in the playoffs last year, but this Suns team has Kevin Durant, and this Mavericks team is worse.
Early in the game, Devin Booker is acting as facilitator, then shifting into scoring mode when Durant’s not on the floor. Booker has averaged 3.5 assists in the first quarter and 6.5 assists per game in the two games with Durant.
Furthermore, I like the Mavericks team total under and Devin Booker’s assist prop. I’ll be playing those in a Same Game Parlay.
Dallas doesn’t project to have the defensive capability to slow down Phoenix enough. I like the Suns on the moneyline, the Mavericks’ team total under and Devin Booker’s over on assists.
Pick: Suns Moneyline
Pacers vs. Bulls 1Q Spread
Jim Turvey: The next official national holiday may not be until Memorial Day in May, but for anyone who has been betting into the NBA quarters derivatives market, you know today is actually a true national holiday.
It’s the fourth and final meeting between the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers, two teams neck and neck in the actual standings but separated by the Grand Canyon when it comes to first-quarter performance.
The Bulls rank first in the league this season with a 37-25-2 record against the spread in the first quarter, for a +13.3 percent ROI. The Pacers, on the other hand, are a dismal 21-42-1 against the spread in the first, a mind-numbing -36.0 percent return.
And these first quarters have played out just as one would expect in the three previous meetings:
October 26 — Chicago 38, Indiana 27
January 24 — Chicago 33, Indiana 21
February 15 — Chicago 39, Indiana 15
Each time by double digits! Nothing is a lock when it comes to betting, but this is as strong a play as you’ll find. I am going to put a full unit on the standard spread and then another half unit on the best alt spread I can find.
The best standard spread as of writing is Chicago -1.5 (-107) at BetRivers, and the best alt line is Bulls -6.5 at BetMGM.
And if you want to get truly wild, WynnBet has Bulls to win the first quarter by 21+ at +7500… That literally happened the last time these two played. Do I think it will happen again? No. Do I think there’s a better than 1.32 percent chance that it does? You betcha!
Warriors vs. Lakers Spread
Joe Dellera: The Warriors have struggled outside of San Francisco as they are just 7-23 on the road and 9-21 ATS on the road this season. They are a significantly worse road team than home team – it is not a coincidence that this five-game winning streak has occurred at home.
Although the Lakers are fighting for a Play-In spot, these teams are not all that different on the full-season numbers. The Warriors have a +0.7 in Adjusted Net Rating while the Lakers are -0.8, per Dunksandthrees.
While Curry’s return is valuable, the Warriors’ road struggles are well documented – they cannot be considered the same team on the road. On the road, the Warriors have a Net Rating of -6.5 compared to +7.6 at home, per NBA Advanced Stats. They are simply overvalued on the road.
The Warriors may be in better health and better form at the moment, but their road struggles are well documented, and this spread is inflated due to their recent performance at home against struggling teams.
Pick: Lakers +5
Jazz vs. Thunder & Grizzlies vs. Clippers ML Parlay
Chris Baker: I rarely bet parlays, but I think this is a unique situation where it is warranted. The Grizzlies just lost three crucial players in Ja Morant, Brandon Clarke and Dillon Brooks, and they will be facing an extremely motivated Clippers team in Los Angeles. The Clippers rested Kawhi on Friday night, so expect him to go for this one. The Clippers also have no real travel/fatigue concerns as they have been in California for the past five days.
As for the Grizzlies, they have been on the road for the past five days, flying to Houston and then to Denver and now from Denver to LA. It’s hard to remain focused on extended road trips, but that is only further exacerbated when your star player is mired in a gun-related controversy. This team got hit by a sledgehammer over these past 24 hours, and it is extremely hard for me to envision them defeating a motivated Clippers team in LA.
As for the other leg of this parlay, we will be pairing the Clippers with the Thunder, who are coming off an impressive blowout victory over this Jazz team. The Thunder handled the Jazz with ease and came out with a 27-point home win without their superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Now they get SGA back while the Jazz lose their superstar, Lauri Markannen.
The Thunder handled this team with Markkanen and without Gilgeous-Alexander, so it is hard for me to envision them losing here with Shai back in and Markannen out of the lineup. I expect both of these teams to defend their homecourt, so pairing them at basically even money is attractive to me. I wouldn’t play this parlay at prices north of -120.
Pick: Thunder & Clippers ML Parlay (+103)
Knicks vs. Celtics Total
Chris Baker: This should be an exciting game between two division rivals, and I expect plenty of points to be scored. This Knicks defense doesn’t match up well with what the Celtics are trying to do on offense, and I expect Boston to capitalize. The Celtics will not shoot sub-25% from 3 tonight, and Jaylen Brown’s return as a playmaker is huge for their offensive ceiling.
On the other hand, expect the Knicks to remain efficient on offense as that has been their calling card all season. The Knicks rank fourth in Adjusted Offensive Rating despite playing the 10th-most difficult schedule of opposing defenses. They’ll be going up against a Celtics defense that ranks fourth in Defensive Rating, but I believe they may be slightly overrated as they have played the second-easiest schedule of opposing offenses.
I will be looking to play the over at 227.5 as I believe we are getting a bit of a discount on this number after an outlier Celtics shooting performance. These two teams have cleared this number easily in two of three games this year, and I expect them to clear it easily tonight. Trust these offenses to positively regress and play this total up to 229.
Pick: Over 227.5 | Play to 229
Grizzlies vs. Clippers Player Prop
Jim Turvey: The Clippers side of this spread certainly looks tempting, but I really try to avoid betting Clippers sides at all costs because I struggle to pin them down in my numbers, and they have proven themselves as the most inconsistent team in the league (a glorious oxymoron).
There are, however, a couple of different angles that could prove interesting if the numbers come out low.
I’ll be looking at Jackson over 26.5 points + rebounds + assists if that’s the opener. (That was the number the last time Morant and Brooks were out.) And I’ll be on the Grizzlies team total under 110.5. Both as leans (half unit plays for me).
But my favorite bet is Leonard’s points over. For his last extra-rested game, the books boosted his prop a bit to 23.5, and I would take that to -125. I would also take over 24.5 at -110.
Additionally, I’ll assess the 30+ point market and will likely be tweeting out a play for that after I am able to shop lines for it upon release.
Pick: Kawhi Leonard Over 23.5 Points
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