NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: 4 Best Bets for Wednesday, Including Knicks vs. 76ers, Thunder vs. Nuggets, More (March 2)
Isaiah Vazquez/Clarkson Creative/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Gordon
- Knicks-76ers on ESPN is one of the highlights of a busy Wednesday NBA slate.
- We have a pick for that game below, but also some props and totals from two other games.
- Continue reading for our staff's best betting picks based on tonight's NBA odds.
Our analysts have found plenty of value on the slate, including a pick on one of those ESPN games — Knicks vs. 76ers — a pair of player props in the tank-tastic Pacers vs. Magic, and a total play in Thunder vs. Nuggets.
Let’s get right to it. Here are our four best bets from Wednesday night’s NBA slate.
NBA Odds & Picks
Indiana Pacers vs. Orlando Magic
Brandon Anderson: It’s a brand new era in Indiana, and it’s an entirely different Pacers roster these days. We never got to see that presumed starting Opening Day lineup of Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert, T.J. Warren, Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner. In fact, we never got a single minute of that lineup, and now two of those guys are traded and two others are presumably out for the season.
Instead, here’s the starting lineup the Pacers rolled out their last game out: new acquisitions Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield, along with another acquisition, Jalen Smith, plus Oshae Brissett and rookie Isaiah Jackson.
Jackson is the guy we’re focusing on today. The Pacers first turned their big-man minutes over to Goga Bitadze, but he still hasn’t caught on in Indiana. So now the Pacers are turning to their bouncy rookie out of Kentucky. Jackson profiles as a rim runner in the NBA. He can jump out of the gym and is a huge vertical threat, and he’s a great athlete who is getting his chances these days.
Jackson has started five of his last six appearances. He left under a minute into one of those starts injured, but his numbers in the other starts are quite impressive: 15.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks per game. Not bad for a rookie still getting his sea legs.
Jackson has played at least 15 minutes seven times this season. He’s averaging 14.9 PPG in those games with double-digits in six of them, hitting this over 86% of the time. The only under was his last time out against these Magic, when he had only six points, but it’s not like Orlando is an intimidating opponent so that’s really just buying us some value on the line.
Jackson has also recorded multiple blocks in each of these last four starts. You can play his blocks over at -155 if you like, or even parlay it with his points if you want to be more aggressive. You can also play Jackson to score 15-plus points, if you prefer, at +350. He’s done that in four of his five games over 18.5 minutes this season.
Indiana Pacers vs. Orlando Magic
Joe Dellera: Tyrese Haliburton has been given the keys to the Indiana Pacers’ offense after his arrival from Sacramento. Since the trade, Haliburton has played in seven games and here are his stats:
37.9 minutes | 20.3 points | 4.6 rebounds | 10.1 assists | 3.1 3PM | 6.7 3PA
Malcolm Brogdon is expected to play tonight, but I’m not overly concerned because he’s still shown out in those games.
Haliburton’s Points and Assists line opened at 24.5, which was a number he had cleared in all seven games with the Pacers. This has since been bet up to 25.5, which is still fine. He’s missed this just twice and both misses were at 25 Points + Assists. He has a matchup with the Magic, a team that he just recorded 30 Points + Assists against two days ago and has gone over this number in both of his games against them this season.
New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Raheem Palmer: The New York Knicks travel to take on the Philadelphia 76ers for the second game of their two-game series after their 125-109 loss Sunday. If you listened to the Wednesday Workshop podcast with me and my colleague Matt Moore, you’re aware that I gave out this over at 221 but I still think this is playable as my model makes this game 226.
Since trading the disgruntled Ben Simmons for James Harden, the 76ers have been unstoppable on the offensive end of the floor, scoring a whopping 124.6 points per 100 possessions. It also helps when you have two stars in Harden and Joel Embiid generating a ton of fouls; they’re averaging 40 free throw attempts a game since pairing up.
With an offense this good, it’s tough to imagine this Knicks defense stopping it. New York is 23rd in Defensive Rating over the past two weeks, allowing 116.3 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes, per Cleaning The Glass.
While much of this handicap is about the 76ers’ offense, the Knicks put up 109 points on 106.2 points per possession and you could argue that they underperformed. They were just 11-of-33 from behind the arc, and should the Knicks put up an average performance offensively, we should see a high-scoring game.
I took some over 221 Tuesday but I would still play this up to 225.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Denver Nuggets
Kenny Ducey: In what is ultimately a matchup between two up-tempo teams, I don’t expect a ton of points. That’s because both teams have been exceptional on defense of late, and one’s dealing with a big injury, which should limit it on the offensive end.
I’m talking, of course, about promising young rookie Josh Giddey, who was the lifeblood of this team’s offensive attack of late. He added 3.5 points per 100 possessions when on the floor since the start of the new year, contributing in a major way by distributing the ball and scoring plenty on his own. In the two games without Giddey, Oklahoma City has mustered just 109.1 points per 100 possessions.
The thing is, Giddey wasn’t as vital on the defensive end — so there’s reason to believe this team’s solid play on that end should continue. Oklahoma City has allowed 32.3% shooting from three and ranks just outside the top 10 in defensive efficiency since the beginning of February, which is enough for me to believe it can do its part in helping keep this game under the total.
On the other side of the coin, the Nuggets have been elite on the defensive end in that same span and have actually allowed an even-better 31.3% shooting from three. They should be able to easily stymie a Thunder offense that is hurting right now without Giddey. Even in a game with a lot of possessions, I still think there’s plenty of value on the under.