NBA Odds, Picks, Projections: Betting Analysis for Clippers vs. Magic, Suns vs. Jazz, More (Wednesday, Jan. 26)
Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns.
- Raheem Palmer is firing up his NBA betting model once again for Wednesday night's basketball games.
- He's analyzing and betting three games, including Clippers vs. Magic after L.A.'s 35-point comeback on Tuesday.
- Check Raheem's model projections for tonight's 10 game NBA Slate below.
We saw some history on Tuesday night’s NBA slate and with 10 more games on the schedule, there’s plenty of value to find for Wednesday night.
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 10-game slate.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Orlando Magic
The Los Angeles Clippers had one of the most stunning performances of the season, coming back from 35 points to defeat the Washington Wizards yesterday.
Trailing 66-31 with a little more than a minute left in the first half, their 35 point comeback is the second-biggest comeback in the shot clock era only behind the Utah Jazz coming back from a 36-point deficit to defeat the Denver Nuggets in 1996.
Despite the fact that Clippers head coach Tyron Lue didn’t play three of his starters in Reggie Jackson, Ivica Zubac and Nicolas Batum in the second half of last night’s win, this is still tough situational spot for the Clippers who are playing their third game in four nights in addition to a game on a back-to-back.
My colleague Matt Moore pointed out that teams that win on a back-to-back by a margin of just 1-6 points are just 9-23-2 in the following game this season, a spot, which perfectly fits backing the Magic here.
Trends aside, these are two teams which are offensively inept with the Clippers ranking 27th in Offensive Rating (106.8) and the Magic ranking 28th (103.4).
Neither of these teams play fast either with the Clippers ranking 16th in Pace (98.3) and 17th in Offensive Length of Possession (14.7 seconds) and the Magic ranking 15th in Pace (98.3) and 15th in Offensive Length of Possession (14.6 seconds) according to Dunks And Threes.
New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat
The Miami Heat have officially moved into the top spot in the Eastern Conference, which is extremely impressive given the injuries to Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro which has kept them from playing any meaningful time together.
They haven’t played since Sunday and come into this game well rested against a New York Knicks team which has struggled on both sides of the ball and are playing their third game in four nights.
The Knicks allow the fourth highest frequency of three point field goals (40.5%) while facing a Heat team which shoots the second highest percentage (38.0%) from behind the arc so I expect this Heat team to have a solid offensive outburst.
In addition, the Knicks are 21st in transition defense facing a Heat team which is 2nd in transition offense. This is a spot where the Heat should get theres. On the other side of the ball, the Heat are dead last in opponent three point frequency (43.4%) and the Knicks are 10th in 3-point shooting percentage (36.4%). The Heat are also 22nd in transition defense.
With both teams struggling to defend the three, struggling in transition I think we could see a higher scoring outburst here. With the Heat ranking 9th in free throw rate and the Knicks ranking 11th, I like this total to go over 202.5 with my model making this game 203.
Phoenix Suns vs. Utah Jazz
The Phoenix Suns have dominated the Utah Jazz since Chris Paul has joined the team, winning four straight games, including Monday night’s 115-109 win in Phoenix in a game where the Jazz covered as 11.5 point favorites. Now the venue switches to Utah where the Jazz will have some reinforcements back in the lineup in the form of Bojan Bogdanovic and Royce O’Neale.
The Jazz will be without their two best players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. While many may see this as an ideal spot to play the Jazz given how tough the backups played the Suns, I think it is unlikely the Suns will shoot 14-of-31 (45.2%) from behind the arc again. It’s also unlikely we see Devin Booker shoot 3-of-13 (23.1%) from behind the arc as well. Bridges also shot just 2-of-8 from the field and 0-of-2 from deep, so despite the victory, it feels like the Suns didn’t play their best game.
In addition, the loss of Gobert looms large for this Jazz defense which is allowing 107.1 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor and 114.3 points per 100 possessions with him off the floor (-7.2). The offense is hurt just as much with Mitchell off the floor as they’re scoring 120.1 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor vs. 113 points per 100 possessions with him off (+7.1).
The Suns should be able to take care of a Jazz team missing their two best players. The Suns are missing Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder, Cam Payne and JaVale McGee but they have more than enough to overcome the Jazz without Mitchell and Gobert.
With both teams at full strength I make this a PK but given the losses for the Jazz, I think you have an edge laying the 2 points with the Suns.