NBA Odds, Picks & Previews: 3 Best Bets, Including Nets vs. Raptors, Clippers vs. Rockets and More (March 1)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Reggie Jackson
- There's plenty of betting value to be found on tonight's NBA slate.
- With six games, our analysts have found angles on three of them including four total picks.
- Continue reading for how our staff is betting these games, including a pair of picks on Nets vs. Raptors.
As the calendar turns to March, we’ve got teams gearing up for a playoff push … or making summer plans.
Regardless, our NBA analysts are all over this slate, with four picks, including a pair on the rematch between the Nets and Raptors after Toronto blew Brooklyn out on Monday night.
Here are our best bets from tonight’s NBA slate.
NBA Odds & Picks
Detroit Pistons vs. Washington Wizards
Brandon Anderson: On the one hand, the Wizards definitely are not good. On the other hand … the Pistons.
Detroit has won three of four games, but it’s not like the Pistons have turned some sort of magical corner. The Pistons are still tied for the fewest wins in the NBA even after that, and Detroit ranks last in the NBA in Net Rating on the season and second-to-last in Offensive Rating.
These three recent wins came by a total of five points, too. Detroit isn’t suddenly good now. This is still a young team slowly trying to figure things out from night to night, and the truth is that all these recent wins have really done is buy us some value on this line.
Look, the Wizards aren’t good either, but they do have the one legitimately quality unit on the floor, and that’s their defense. Remember, it was only a few months ago that Washington was the East 1-seed after a real stretch of games, thanks largely to Wes Unseld Jr.’s improvements to this defense. That was obviously long ago, and the defense fell off in a big way, but it’s back to 10th in Net Rating over the last 10 games.
Of course, some of the cost of that is the absence of Bradley Beal, Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans, which has left Washington’s offense pretty shorthanded. This team is grinding things out. But Washington has every motivation to push for a win since the Wiz are actually tied with the Hornets in the loss column for the final play-in spot, Beal or not.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors
Joe Dellera: Scottie Barnes just unloaded a career day against the Nets (28/16/4) and the books are giving us the opportunity to run it back literally a day later. We’ve seen this line torpedo down, and I hope some of you were able to grab his double-double Monday at (+1000) but the matchup remains the same. The Nets have the 24th-ranked Adjusted Defensive Ranking in the league and, even with the acquisition of Andre Drummond, their interior defense and rebounding leaves much to be desired.
While Fred VanVleet’s status is a bit in question, the one player who we know will be missing tonight is OG Anunoby and this gives Barnes more opportunity for points, rebounds, and assists.
In three games against the Nets, Barnes is averaging 19.7 points, 11.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 36.3 minutes. Here are his current lines: 15.5 points (-120), 6.5 rebounds (-114), 3.5 assists (+134), 25.5 PRA (-120), 9.5 RA (-115), and Double-Double (+475 Caesars). As you can see, he absolutely is smashing these lines based on his averages. So how do we capitalize on this?
When playing this many minutes, I think scoring can fluctuate especially against a team like the Nets. If Pascal Siakam, VanVleet, or Gary Trent Jr. get hot then the Raptors may feed the hot hand. However, the other counting stats are up for grabs. Barnes is an efficient and effective passer while remaining a strong rebounder.
My preferred prop here is 9.5 rebounds and assists, a number he has cleared in all three games against the Nets this season (11, 17, 20). Additionally, I’ll sprinkle Double-Double for half a unit at (+475 Caesars) — something he has recorded in two of three games against Brooklyn this season.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors
Kenny Ducey: I hit the Raptors -4 Monday before the news that Fred VanVleet would miss the game, and after such a comfortable win I see no reason not to go back to the well here. The VanVleet absence meant little, considering how poorly the Nets are playing without Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons and Joe Harris.
Toronto, at worst, had an average month of February. It ranked 14th on offense, scoring 114.2 points per 100 possessions, and it was also 14th on the defensive side of the ball. Brooklyn, meanwhile, was 23rd on offense and second-worst in defense, accentuated by a devastating 133-97 loss to the Raptors on Monday.
I’m just not sure what oddsmakers see here with Brooklyn. Cam Thomas has really cooled off lately, shooting 37.3% from the field over his last four games, and Patty Mills has been unseasonably cool in the last three, shooting just 7.1% from downtown. Without the shot-making ability of these two, there’s simply no way for the Nets to score the basketball, and that’s a terrible sight considering how horrid their defense has been.
Los Angeles Clippers at Houston Rockets
Raheem Palmer: The Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets meet for the second game of the duplex series with the Rockets hosting both games at the Toyota Center. Sunday’s game ended in a 99-98 final going well under the closing total of 230 with just 96 possessions and neither team cracking 100 points. While I think the offenses could be a little better tonight, I think we could see a similar result with the game going under.
The Rockets play the fastest pace in the league at 100.7 possessions a game, but they are just ninth in Offensive Length of Possession (14.4 second) per DunksAndThrees.com. They’re just 26th in Offensive Rating (108.1), so despite the fast pace, they aren’t scoring efficiently and they’ve been trending worse offensively over the last two weeks, scoring just 106.4 points per 100 possessions over the past two weeks.
The Rockets will be playing a Clippers team that is first in Defensive Rating over the past two weeks, allowing just 102.0 points per 100 possessions so I’m not expecting the Rockets to overcome their recent offensive struggles.
The Clippers should be able to score efficiently against this Rockets team, which is dead-last in Defensive Rating (117.6) however, this is still an offensively inept team. In Sunday’s win, the Clippers scored just 1.02 points per possession, and while that should improve tonight, even if this team does hit its season averages, this total still feels high based on how well they’re playing defensively.