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NBA Betting Odds & Expert Picks: Wednesday’s Best Bets

NBA Betting Odds & Expert Picks: Wednesday’s Best Bets article feature image
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Michael Owens/Getty Images. Pictured: CJ McCollum #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans handles the ball against Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

  • It's a glorious Wednesday for NBA betting and our Action Network staff is taking advantage of a few key value spots.
  • They are targeting spreads and totals in four games, including Pelicans vs. Lakers in the evening night cap.
  • Find their game analysis and best bets below.

Wednesday is typically the busiest day in the NBA and today is no different. While we have two must-see matchups on the national TV schedule — Celtics vs. Cavaliers (7:30 p.m. ET) and Grizzlies vs. Trail Blazers (10 p.m. ET) — tonight’s slate is a league pass watcher’s dream with nine more intriguing games to bet.

Our NBA analysts are targeting four of those games and are betting totals, spreads and more. You can check out their analysis and best bets for Wednesday night below.

NBA Odds & Picks

Click on a game to skip ahead
Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks
7:30 p.m. ET
Detroit Pistons vs. Milwaukee Bucks
8 p.m. ET
Utah Jazz vs. Dallas Mavericks
8:30 p.m. ET
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Los Angeles Lakers
10:30 p.m. ET

Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks

Pick
Under 234
Book
Caesars
Tipoff
7:30 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Chris Baker: These offenses both rank bottom-five in 3-point frequency on the season. Atlanta has lived in the midrange on offense ranking first in frequency taking about 41% of their shots from the midrange area.

Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau emphasizes taking away gaps and protecting the rim and it is evident in the fact that the Knicks defense allows the 4th fewest mid-range attempts (26.4%) in the league. Maybe that results in kick-outs to clean corner 3s but the Hawks don’t really have the elite catch and shoot guys that they had last year with Huerter gone and Bogdanovic out with injury.

The Knicks are dead-last in the NBA taking just 16.8 free throws per game. The Knicks have played much faster on offense this year ranking 16th in Pace after ranking 29th last year but they should be forced to slow down a little in this game as the Hawks are doing a great job of setting their defense.

Atlanta currently ranks second-best in the NBA in transition frequency allowed on defense. Atlanta has the bodies to matchup with Julius Randle and RJ Barrett on the wings and at the rim. The addition of Dejounte Murray will be huge in trying to contain Brunson with a bigger, longer body I expect he can contest and alter some of Brunson’s mid-range looks.

Another thing leading me to the under is the fact that both of these teams rank bottom-10 in FT rate on offense so that clock should be running the entire game. With both of these teams coming off of embarrassing defensive performances I expect that end of the floor to be a point of emphasis for both coaches.

This matchup has become a rivalry of sorts the past few years and both teams should come out with some intensity and urgency on the defensive end. This line opened at 229 and has been steamed up, but I am buying under 234.


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Detroit Pistons vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Pick
Bucks 1Q -3.5
Book
DraftKings
Tipoff
8 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Munaf Manji: The Milwaukee Bucks face the Detroit Pistons for the second time this week. These two teams matched up on Monday in Milwaukee where the Bucks squeezed out the victory 110-108.

The Bucks are the lone undefeated team in the league this season and look to keep it that way tonight. However, for this game, I am focusing on the first quarter with the Bucks against the spread.

Thus far this season, the Bucks are a perfect 6-0 against the spread on the season in the first quarter, including a perfect 5-0 ATS in the first quarter at home. Further, on Monday, the Bucks outscored the Pistons 34-23.

Additionally, according to nba.com/stats, the Bucks have the best net rating (+26.6) in the first quarter this season. The Pistons have the third-worst defensive rating in the league in the first quarter and the third-worst net rating (-19.9) in that span.

Lastly, the Pistons are 1-7 against the spread in the first quarter in their first eight games of the season.


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Utah Jazz vs. Dallas Mavericks

Pick
Mavericks -5.5
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
8:30 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Brandon Anderson: The Utah Jazz are the early surprise of the season. Utah is 6–2 already with shock wins over the Nuggets, Timberwolves, Pelicans, and Grizzlies (twice!).

Everyone’s got their own theory on the Jazz: Too many talented NBA players on the roster; Lauri Markkanen is a breakout star; Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson are dragging this team to wins; The Jazz care just too much to tank, etc.

I’m going with a different explanation: Math.

I wrote about Utah’s math advantage today as the reason the Jazz have had specific repeated advantages on certain opponents. Utah ranks top seven in four key categories: 3-pointers taken, 3s allowed, turnovers forced, and offensive rebounding. Against certain teams, like Minnesota and New Orleans, those strengths give Utah a huge math advantage.

Dallas is not one of those teams.

The Mavs allow the fewest 3-point attempts and makes of any NBA team. Dallas also has the third-highest 3-point-attempt rate. Additionally, the Mavs rank top five for fewest turnovers and on defensive rebounding. In short, Dallas is built to negate all the wonderful math-y things that makes Utah stand out.

My Utah math study is about to get an early test. I tabbed Dallas as the worst opponent for Utah’s stylistic advantages, which makes this a straightforward pick, especially since Dallas also forces heavy turnovers and ranks second in Offensive Rating.

The Mavs also play the slowest pace in the league, which could throw Utah’s timing off and limit the math advantage the Jazz usually get even further.

It’s time to test out my new theory. I’ll back Utah against other opponents, but Dallas is the wrong foe. I’ll play the numbers and back Luka Doncic and the Mavs to win and cover at home.


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New Orleans Pelicans vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Pick
Under 229.5
Book
Caesars
Tipoff
10:30 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Andrew O’Connor-Watts: If you’ve been following my plays this season, you may have heard me talk about the Lakers’ historically bad offense. And while fading them didn’t lead to a win last time I made a play, I’m coming right back with another fade on the scoring abilities of LeBron James and Co. and taking the under.

Since I’ve talked a lot about why I’m low on their offensive abilities, I’ll start this time on the Pelicans’ side. The Pelicans rank second in the league in defending the 3-point line where the Lakers rank last in makes per game (9.2) and percentage (26.6%). Against midrange shooting, New Orleans is 11th overall and the Lakers are 28th. The only cause for concern defensively for the Pelicans is their ability to protect the paint.

The only Pelicans player over 6-foot-7 who plays more than eight minutes per game is Jonas Valanciunas (26.3 mpg). He is a good defender, but the Pelicans tend to go small, and as a result, they rank 29th in rim protection.

On the other side of the ball, the Lakers are 16th in offense in the paint, but take the second-most shots in that area. While this is concerning, the aforementioned incompetency of the Lakers offense is why I’m playing this under. They rank 30th in 3-point accuracy, 28th in midrange and have the worst eFG% in the league.

The Pelicans meanwhile, are the third-best 3-point shooting team and are seventh in eFG% but they don’t play with pace, ranking 22nd in the league. While the Lakers are the fastest-pace team in the league, they’ve still only managed two overs in their six games this year, one coming at the hands of the second-fastest-paced Golden State Warriors.

The icing on the cake is the two teams’ recent over/under trends. In their last six meetings, since last season, the under has hit in all but one game for an average of 220.2 points per game. At 229.5 this is simply too high. I’d take the under down to 227.


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