Wednesday NBA Odds, Picks, Projections: 4 Bets for Hawks vs. Pacers, Hornets vs. Bucks & More (Dec. 1)

Wednesday NBA Odds, Picks, Projections: 4 Bets for Hawks vs. Pacers, Hornets vs. Bucks & More (Dec. 1) article feature image
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Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks.

  • NBA analyst Raheem Palmer breaks down his favorite plays on tonight's nine-game NBA slate.
  • Get his full model projections for Wednesday's NBA slate, plus his favorite bets, below.

With a busy Wednesday night ahead in the NBA, I’m leaning on my betting model to find some value on matchups that might get overlooked on such a huge schedule.

Here’s what you’ll find in my model: projected team totals, projected combined totals, projected spreads for the matchup and the implied odds for the moneyline.

Note: My projections won’t be updated in real-time throughout the day, but Action’s PRO Projections tool is dynamic and will reflect the latest injury and lineup news.

I’ll also be highlighting some of the slate’s most intriguing matchups with in-depth, game-level analysis that goes beyond the numbers.

NBA Projections Model

NBA Odds & Picks

Click on a game to skip ahead
Minnesota Timberwolves at Washington Wizards
7 p.m. ET
Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers
7 p.m. ET
Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics
7:30 p.m. ET
Charlotte Hornets at Milwaukee Bucks
8 p.m. ET

Although projections give us a solid baseline for what a number should be, it’s also important to handicap each matchup for things that the numbers can’t tell us.

Check out my analysis for tonight’s nine-game slate.

Minnesota Timberwolves at Washington Wizards

Pick
Under 216.5
Gametime
7 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

If you listened to the Buckets podcast and live stream, which dropped yesterday, you’ll know that I gave out the under on this game with my model making this matchup 209.

The Wizards have seen their offense completely fall off a cliff as they’re just 23rd in Offensive Rating, scoring 113.4 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage time minutes according to Cleaning the Glass over the past two weeks.

The Wizards rank 17th in eFG% (52.1%) and 27th in 3-point field goal percentage (32.4%), and last season’s second-leading scorer, Bradley Beal, is averaging just 22.9 points per game — he averaged 30-plus for two consecutive seasons prior — on 43.6% shooting and 27.2% from deep this season .

The Wizards don’t play at a fast pace either as they’re 24th in Pace (97) and 29th in the average number of seconds per offensive possession (15.3) according to DunksAndThrees.com.

This struggling Wizards offense will have to deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves who rank third in Defensive Rating (103.7) over the past two weeks and fifth (105.4) and fifth for the season.

The Wolves rank second in half court Defensive Rating (86.3) so I’m not expecting this Wizards offense to have a resurgence in this spot. Despite the solid defense, the Wolves have their own offensive struggles as they’re just 25th in half court Offensive Rating (85.9) and are just 21st in eFG% (51.2%).

Overall this feels like the perfect spot for an under and BetMGM has the best number at 216.5.


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Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers

Pick
Hawks +1.5
Gametime
7 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

The Pacers could see their perimeter defense tested against Trae Young and the Hawks who rank sixth in 3-point percentage (37.4%). The Pacers are allowing opposing teams to shooting 34.8% from behind the arc and 34.6% on corner 3s, those figures rank 16th and 22nd respectively among NBA Teams.

The big struggle for this Pacers team is scoring consistently as they’re just 18th in Adjusted Offensive Rating (107.5), which factors in strength go opposing defenses faced. Nonetheless, things will be even tougher tonight as they’re missing Justin Holiday who has entered the league’s Health and Safety protocols.

Myles Turner is questionable with an illness and should he miss tonight’s game we could see this defense struggle as the Pacers are allowing 104.3 points per 100 possession with him on the floor vs 113.3 with him off (-9.0). The Pacers are 26th in short mid range shot frequency an area where the Hawks thrive at with Young’s floaters. He is in the 90th percentile in midrange shooting accuracy and the Pacers will struggle to stop him if Turner isn’t in the lineup.

The Hawks are clearly the better team with a superior, Offensive, Defensive and Net Rating, but I’m still not getting to this number even with home court. I think the wrong team is favorite here, so I’ll back the Hawks at +1.5 (BetMGM and FanDuel have the best line) as they should bounce back from their 99-90 home loss to the New York Knicks on Saturday night.


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Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics

Pick
76ers +3
Gametime
7:30 p.m. ET
TV
NBA TV

Jaylen Brown is questionable for tonight’s game and could sit out for load management. The Celtics welcome back Robert Williams and Al Horford who could reasonably defend Joel Embiid, but I still feel Embiid has an advantage in a matchup against a Celtics team that ranks 25th in opponent field goal percentage at the rim (66.4%).

Although the 76ers have slipped since their hot start, they missed Embiid and Tobias Harris for an extended stretch and I can’t help but think this line would be different had they not blown a double overtime game against the Timberwolves on Saturday night.

With a full healthy roster, I believe the 76ers are the better team. The Celtics have struggled offensively as they’re just 17th in Offensive Rating (107.9) and 17th in half court offense (92.3) facing a 76ers defense which ranks eighth in Defensive Rating (107.2) over the past two weeks and eighth in half court Defensive Rating (89.5).

I grabbed this line at +4.5, but my model makes this game Celtics -1.9 so at +3 I’m seeing value on the 76ers in this spot.


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Charlotte Hornets  at Milwaukee Bucks

Pick
Over 230.5 | Bucks Over 119.5
Gametime
8 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Have you seen the Hornets’ defense over the past few games?

They’ve given up 146 to the Rockets and 133 to the Bulls and it’s tough to imagine that changing against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks who rank fourth in Offensive Rating, scoring 116.5 points in their non garbage time minutes the last two weeks per Cleaning the Glass.

The Bucks are firing on all cylinders and the Hornets have no answer to stop them inside as they’re allowing teams to shoot 65.4% at the rim, 19th among NBA teams. Along with a porous defense, the Hornets play the at third-fastest Pace in the league (101.2) and rank first in average offensive length of possession (13.9 seconds).

With the Bucks also ranking top 10 in both of those categories, we’re looking at an uptempo game. My only concern here is if the Hornets can hold up their end of the bargain and score against a Bucks defense that is giving up just 96.1 points per 100 possessions over the past two weeks.

Looking deeper into their schedule, they’ve played the Thunder, Magic (2x), Pistons, Nuggets and Pacers. These teams rank 29th, 27th, 30th, 16th and 14th in Offensive Rating in their non garbage time minutes. By comparison, the Hornets are sixth in this category.

I’ll play the Over 230.5 at PointsBet and Bucks team total over 119.5


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