NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: 2 Saturday Best Bets, Including Pelicans vs. Grizzlies, Kings vs. Clippers (April 9)
Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images. Pictured: Davion Mitchell
We’ve reached the final weekend of the NBA regular season, and most teams are either getting set for the summer or prepping for what they hope will be a lengthy playoff run.
There isn’t a lot of seeding intrigue on Saturday night’s slate, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t betting value. Our analysts have identified two games to find value with two picks total.
Here are our best bets from the final Saturday of the NBA regular season.
NBA Odds & Picks
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Kenny Ducey: The Grizzlies have been the better of the teams down the stretch, and as recently as last week were simply unbeatable. While I don’t know if they will lose this one outright, I will certainly bite on the Pelicans to cover.
New Orleans has gone 3-1 against the spread in its last four and will run into a Memphis team which has covered in 64.6% of its games, but just 62.1% of games where it was a home favorite. It’s hard to find a number which is under 63% and it’s certainly nitpicking, but it has been ever so slightly vulnerable in these spots relatively speaking.
The Grizzlies have been very average on the glads this year and in the past two weeks — ranking 15th — and with Ingram potentially coming back, I think New Orleans could take away some extra possessions from Memphis.
I will back a hot team to cover as a large underdog in a game it needs to win.
Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Brandon Anderson: Why yes, I am in fact going to just keep writing about and betting on Davion Mitchell’s turnovers prop every game until it stops hitting or until the season ends, whichever comes first — and I’m banking on the latter at this point.
The Kings have closed up shop for the season. De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis are nowhere to be found, and that means Sacramento has turned everything over to rookie point guard Davion Mitchell.
Mitchell has started and played huge minutes in each of the last nine Kings games. He’s averaging over 40 minutes a game and posting pretty respectable counting numbers at 18.6 points and 8.9 assists per game. Not bad for a rookie! This might even be enough to get Off Night a spot on the All-Rookie Second Team.
It’s that other number that we’ve been consistently hitting though, and that’s the turnovers. With great power comes great responsibility, and all that extra handling and usage in all those minutes has led to hefty turnover numbers for Mitchell. He’s averaging 3.9 turnovers per game over these nine starts and he’s gone over 2.5 in seven of the nine, hitting this prop 78% of the time. Heck, he’s gone over 3.5 in six of the nine, and that includes games with 5, 5, and 7 turnovers.
If only we could play an escalator prop on these turnovers, we’d be rolling in the dough. As it is, the books are starting to catch on but haven’t come far enough yet. The Clippers rank in the top half of the NBA in both steals and blocks per game. I think Mitchell probably gets four or more turnovers again. I’ll play the over 2.5 as high as -180 if needed.
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