NBA Odds, Expert Picks: Saturday’s Best Bets, Including Raptors vs. Hawks, Jazz vs. Trail Blazers
Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: Damian Lillard.
- Whether your Saturday football bets cashed or crashed, you can always turn to some weekend NBA.
- Our crew of betting experts are making three bets tonight, including Raptors vs. Hawks and Jazz vs. Trail Blazers.
- Read on for their top Saturday bets.
Our crew of bettors is targeting a player prop, total and spread bet for tonight’s games. You can find their in-depth analysis and best bets for Saturday below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Toronto Raptors vs. Atlanta Hawks
Joe Dellera: The Hawks and Raptors remind me of each other, neither is particularly stunning but both are feisty with nearly identical records. They have length, shooting, and a commitment to defense, but we keep waiting for them to turn the corner this season.
One flaw of the Raptors is they allow the sixth-highest frequency of 3s in the league but specifically the second highest frequency from the corner. While they do a decent job defending above the break, the Raptors allow their opponents to shoot 39.3% on corner 3s.
One player that can take advantage of this for Atlanta is De’Andre Hunter. He takes 14% of his looks from the corner while shooting 46.4% on those looks (a team high). He’s exceeded 1.5 3s in six of 10 games, including a three 3-pointer game vs. Toronto on Halloween and I’ll back him to drain 2 from long range at plus money.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Chris Baker: Minnesota has a two-day rest advantage over the 76ers who played last night versus a physical Milwaukee team. Minnesota also has the health edge as they currently have no one out with injury.
Philly should be down at least Tyrese Maxey but they may also be without Tobias Harris who missed last night’s game with a hip injury. With multiple stars out Philly will turn to Joel Embiid to carry a large Usage Rate.
The problem with that is that Minnesota actually has a capable defender to guard him with Rudy Gobert at center. Between Gobert, Towns, and McDaniels the T’wolves have the length to disrupt Embiid on the offensive end.
There has been 180 possessions with James Harden and Tyrese Maxey both off the court and throughout that sample size the 76ers are averaging just 101.7 points per 100 possessions (third percentile). Their pace also slows even further as they have just a 12.8% transition rate without Maxey and Harden.
This team struggles massively on the offensive end without their two starting guards and I expect that to continue tonight. This team gets significantly better on the defensive end without Harden and Maxey as they rank in the 97th percentile allowing just 102.7 points per 100 with those two guys out.
We should be seeing a lot more Matisse Thybulle, De’Anthony Melton, and PJ Tucker minutes and if Tobias Harris gets ruled in I think that would further boost their defensive ceiling.
I think these teams match up well here and I expect the pace to be much slower with the 76ers missing both of their starting guards. I’ll play this under down to 216.
Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Austin Wang: The Jazz are off an impressive victory where they defeated the Suns 134-133. They had to turn around and travel overnight to Portland, where they will be on the road and on the second game of a back-to-back.
After such a hard fought game that ended with such a tight margin, I see a letdown spot for the Jazz. In addition, they shot an unreal 56% from the field and 16-for-31 from behind the arc (51.6%). That is not sustainable and I see some regression against a dramatically improved Blazers defense that is ranked sixth in Defensive Rating.
The injury report for the Blazers looks clean. Both Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons are back in the line-up after each of them missed a few games earlier in November. The clutch factor is strong in this duo, and I trust them to pull away fourth quarter when the Jazz become fatigued.
With these situational factors in mind, I make this line Blazers -6 and would play the Blazers up to -4.