NBA Odds, Picks & Projections: 3 Bets for 76ers vs Pelicans, Rockets vs Timberwolves & More (Wednesday, Oct. 19)
Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Karl-Anthony Towns.
- The first full slate of NBA games is here, and Raheem Palmer is back with his projections.
- With 11 games on the docket, Palmer has identified three games with the most value on Wednesday.
- Check out his projections for the entire slate and best bets below.
The NBA season is back, and that means I’m back to break down the week’s biggest slate of games with my betting model.
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. For the first week of the season, we’ll be using last year’s numbers as a baseline.
Check out my analysis for tonight’s 11-game slate.
Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors
If you listened to the Buckets podcast with myself and Matt Moore, you know that I gave out this total at 218.5. I still think there’s value at this number as my projections make this game much higher.
This Washington Wizards team doesn’t project as a decent defensive team. The Wizards were dead last in Defensive Rating during the preseason, allowing 112.4 points per 100 possessions and 20th in Defensive Rating last season at 112.3 points per 100 possessions.
Although this team was just 17th in Offensive Rating last season scoring 110.7 points per 100 possessions, I’m expecting this team to improve it’s scoring prowess with the additions of Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell.
Although the Raptors struggled in the halfcourt last season, I’m expecting this team to have no problems scoring against this Wizards team in their home opener after playing their home games in Tampa last season. I’ll play the over in what should be a high-scoring game.
Philadelphia 76ers at New Orleans Pelicans
Unfortunately for the New Orleans Pelicans, All-Star Zion Williamson missed training camp and the entire preseason, and he’ll sit out at least two more weeks before being re-evaluated after having offseason foot surgery.
Williamson’s injury status is troubling to say the least given his impact on the team. The Pelicans scored 116.8 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor vs 110.2 with him off (+6.6).
New Orleans will be facing a Philadelphia 76ers team without Ben Simmons, who was suspended for this game, but still has one of the best and high impact players in the league in Joel Embiid.
Overall, I think the market has overreacted to the news of Simmons and this line is too low. Back the 76ers to open their season with a win.
Houston Rockets at Minnesota Timberwolves
Since this is a brand new season, my numbers aren’t truly capturing what these teams are today.
Early on in the season I’m doing much more handicapping than relying on my numbers. Nevertheless, I think this number is short, as the Minnesota Timberwolves with a motivated Karl-Anthony Towns and a full season under Carl Finch. The Wolves have real potential to challenge for a playoff spot out west with Townes, D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels. This is a team that showed real improvement under Finch and we can expect that to carry over this season.
Minnesota will be facing a Houston Rockets team in rebuilding mode with Jalen Green, Christian Wood, Alperen Sengun and Josh Christopher. The Rockets don’t project as a good offensive team or defensive team, and they scored just 98.4 points per 100 possessions in the preseason. Given the youth on this roster, it’s tough to expect this offense to figure it out right away.
With Daniel House out for this game, Houston’s depth will be tested. This isn’t a model play for me, but I’ll back the Timberwolves to win and cover tonight.