NBA Odds, Picks, Projections: Betting Analysis for 76ers vs. Knicks, Trail Blazers vs. Suns & More (Wednesday, March 2)
Chris Coduto/Getty Images. Pictured: Jae Crowder
- Raheem Palmer is firing up his NBA betting model once again for Wednesday night's basketball games.
- He's analyzing totals on Knicks-76ers, Thunder-Nuggets and Blazers-Suns.
- Check out Raheem's model projections for tonight's eight-game NBA slate below.
It’s Wednesday, so that means we have a deep and intriguing NBA slate with plenty of value on the board. I break down all of my projections below and give out three key picks.
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
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 eight-game slate.
New York Knicks vs Philadelphia 76ers
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
Here’s another play I gave out on the Wednesday Workshop podcast, however, there’s been some resistance in the market with this line moving up from the opener of 225.5 to where it sits currently at 226. Nonetheless, I still like the under here.
The Nuggets are just 19th in pace at 97.7 possessions per game and are just 21st in offensive length of possession (14.8). The Thunder are just 15th in pace, so this is likely to be a game with a limited amount of possessions. Given the lack of possessions, I think this total is a bit high considering the offensive struggles of the Thunder, who are dead-last in Offensive Rating, scoring 103.1 points per 100 possessions this season.
While the return of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander should help this offense improve, they’ll still be facing a Nuggets team that is second in Defensive Rating over the past two weeks (103.3). The Thunder are 29th in half court points per 100 possessions (87.6) and tend to score in transition, an area where the Nuggets are 13th in points per 100 possessions (2.4).
The Thunder offense is a big part of this handicap, as the Nuggets are hyper-efficient offensively despite playing at a slow pace. However, even with this team putting up 124 and 115 in their last two games, both went under the total.
I think we could see a similar result here so I’ll take the under 226.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Phoenix Suns
With no Damian Lillard or Jusuf Nurkic, the tank is on in Portland and there’s simply not a ton of talent on this roster. Although Anfernee Simons has been a bright spot, the Blazers are just 28th in Offensive Rating over the past two weeks, scoring just 104.6 points per 100 possessions in their non-garbage time minutes, according to Cleaning the Glass.
Although this isn’t the same Suns team without Chris Paul in the lineup, Phoenix is third in Defensive Rating (106.8) and has beaten up on inferior teams, going 28-4 against teams below .500. The Suns should be able to do the same here, holding down this anemic Blazers offense. Although I expect the Suns to score efficiently, there has been a drop-off without Paul in the lineup.
With Paul on the floor, the Suns are scoring 117.9 points per 100 possessions vs. 109.8 with him off the court. While that hasn’t shown up too much post-All-Star break in games vs the Thunder and Jazz, they did just score 1.05 points per possession against the Pelicans, so this is clearly not the same offensive juggernaut as it is with Paul in the lineup.
Overall, the Suns should get theirs in this matchup, however, with the ineptitude of the Blazers’ offense in conjunction with a slight drop-off without Paul, I think this total is a tad bit too high.
I make this total around 220, so I’ll play the under 228.5 here.