NBA Betting Odds & Expert Picks: Wednesday’s Best Bets
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jrue Holiday #21 of the Milwaukee Bucks.
- We've got another big NBA Wednesday slate on our hands.
- With 13 games on the schedule, our crew is targeting two: Jazz vs. Hawks and Bucks vs. Thunder.
- Find their expert picks and predictions for tonight's games below.
Editor’s Note: The Milwaukee Bucks have ruled out Giannis Antetokounmpo for tonight’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. For real-time injury updates, check out our FantasyLabs NBA news page.
After a brief hiatus, the NBA is back on Wednesday night with another massive slate of games. We’ve got 13 games on the schedule with cross-town rivalry games — Knicks vs. Nets (7:30 p.m. ET) and Lakers vs. Clippers (10 p.m. ET) — anchoring the national TV portion of the slate.
Our betting experts are looking elsewhere for their Wednesday best bets and see value on two games tonight. They make their case for taking each side of one of those matchups plus first quarter spread in another game.
Read on for best bets for Wednesday night.
NBA Odds & Picks
Utah Jazz vs. Atlanta Hawks
Chris Baker: I’m fading the Jazz here as they are being massively overrated after playing the NBA’s 24th most difficult schedule so far, according to Dunks And Threes.
I expect Trae Young to play in this one after resting against the Bucks on Monday. I like this regardless of whether he plays as the Jazz have no one to effectively matchup with him or Dejounte Murray.
They should struggle to guard the Hawks heavy Pick and Roll offense as they really have zero rim-protectors on their team. This has shown up in their defensive stats as they rank 28th in rim rate on the season.
I expect Atlanta to generate good looks off of their pick and roll actions consistently vs this Utah defense. Atlanta should also be able to earn some second chances against a Utah defense that ranks 27th in offensive rebound rate allowed. Utah is being massively overvalued after beating up on a horrible Lakers team twice in the past week.
If you go back and look at their upsets over perceived good teams you see that their opponent shot sub 30% from three in virtually every victory. The season-long numbers bear this out as they rank seventh-best in opponent 3-point accuracy on the season.
I don’t think this is the product of elite defense as their current starting lineup of Conley, Clarkson, Beasley, Markkanen, and Olynyk does not project as a great defensive unit. Overall, they rank 10th in adjusted defensive rating on the year. This is absolutely not a top-10 defense in my opinion and I expect the Hawks to expose that as it is clear to me that the Hawks are an elite offensive team even without Young.
The Hawks just blew out the Bucks who are #1 in defensive rating and they were without Trae in that one. I think the Hawks should be able to score at will here with or without Trae versus an overrated Utah Jazz defense. Trust the Hawks at home on Wednesday night.
Utah Jazz vs. Atlanta Hawks
Brandon Anderson: Well, well, well. Just like we all expected, one month into the season the Utah Jazz are 9-3 and sitting atop the Western Conference. So much for Tanking SZN after trading away Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell.
The Jazz just keep on winning, and they’re winning with math. I wrote about Utah’s math in an article last week. The Jazz near the top of the league in 3-point volume, both by hoisting a ton of shots on their end and allowing very few defensively. They’re also turning opponents over and smashing the offensive glass. That means more possessions, and it means more valuable possessions, and Utah ranks top five in each of those stats.
Some teams are more vulnerable to Utah’s math problem than others, and Atlanta looks like one of the most vulnerable teams in the league. The Hawks somewhat inexplicably rank second to last in 3-point attempt rate. Atlanta’s defense also isn’t forcing many turnovers or hitting the defensive glass well.
The Hawks, in many ways, are the opposite of Utah’s profile. That means the Jazz could end up getting five or 10 extra possessions in this game and taking at least that many additional 3s too.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Jim Turvey: This is another one of those stars aligning plays.
The Bucks are fresh off their first loss of the season, and will be looking to get back on track against the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Wednesday. For the game as a whole, this pesky Thunder roster could sneak into a backdoor cover, but in the first quarter that seems doubtful.
The Bucks have been absolute monsters in the first 12 minutes of games this season, sporting a +26.1 net rating in the first quarter of games this season. That number is head and shoulders above anyone else in the league, and this is not just some small sample fluke. The Bucks were the second-best team in the league in first quarter net rating last season too (+9.9 net rating), and have never been worst than fifth in the past four seasons.
On the flip side, this iteration of the Thunder are notoriously slow starters. Last season, the team was, by far, the worst first quarter team in the league (-16.9 net rating). This season, they’re off to a slightly better start, but they are still farrrrr from a good first quarter team (-5.3 net rating, 22nd in the NBA).
Finish it all off with the fact that the Bucks are very likely to win the tip (part of why I also like Bucks first to five points and might look at Brook Lopez first field goal props today), and this is a recipe for a first quarter cover from the Milwaukee Bucks.