Wednesday NBA Odds, Picks & Projections: Betting Analysis for Hornets vs. Celtics, Clippers vs. Nuggets, More
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets.
- Raheem Palmer is breaking down the entire slate with his projections on Wednesday.
- Are the Boston Celtics (-3.5) overvalued at home vs. Charlotte Hornets? Can the Denver Nuggets bounce back vs. the Los Angeles Clippers?
- He gives his model projections for the entire slate, plus breaks down his best bets for tonight's games below.
Wednesday’s slate is loaded with games and it’s the perfect night to lean on my betting model to find value across the board.
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 13-game slate.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Washington Wizards
The Brooklyn Nets come into this game losers of two of their past three games after Monday’s 114-107 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. They’ll be without Kevin Durant, who has been the midst of an MVP caliber season, for at least four weeks.
The Nets are scoring 114.1 points per 100 possessions with Durant on the floor vs 110.1 with him off the floor. With Kyrie Irving missing most of this season and now playing only road games, they’re essentially replacing Durant with Irving. While he’s had a huge impact on the offense, the Nets defensive struggles should get worse in the absence of their 6-foot-11 wing who can also act as a rim protector and dominate on the glass.
Over the past two weeks, the Nets rank 25th in Defensive Rating per Cleaning the Glass, allowing 117.5 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage time minutes and they come off a game against the Cavaliers in which they gave up an 1.20 points per possession. The Cavaliers lacked true playmakers outside of Darius Garland but still had success and the Nets will have to deal with a Washington Wizards team that has two playmakers: Bradley Beal and Spencer Dinwiddie.
In addition the Nets are one of the worst defensive rebounding teams in the league, ranking 25th grabbing just 27.4% of available rebounds. The Wizards rank 28th in Offensive Rebound Rate, but they dominate on the defensive glass.
The Wizards are finally healthy for the first time this season and with Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant back on the floor, they are extremely deep and likely too much for a Nets team missing Durant, Joe Harris Nic Claxton, Paul Millsap and possibly DeAndre’ Bembry who is questionable for tonight.
FanDuel has the Wizards +1, but I’d still lay it with the Wizards at -1 where the rest of the market has this line.
Charlotte Hornets vs. Boston Celtics
My model makes this game Celtics -3.92 and while we’ve missed the best of the number I still think the Hornets have some value here. The Celtics aren’t very good offensively despite having Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown, two of the better young wings in the league.
They rank 22nd in Offensive Rating (109.7) for the season — over the past two weeks they’ve improved, but they’re still just 16th scoring 112.1 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage time minutes over that stretch. The Hornets are one of the better offensive teams in the NBA this season and the’ve improved their defense, holding teams to just 102.5 points per 100 possessions over the last two weeks, second among NBA teams according to Cleaning The Glass.
The Celtics will be without Marcus Smart for this matchup and the Hornets should present a challenge for the Celtics’ transition defense, which ranks 19th in points added per 100 possessions (2.7). The Hornets rank third in transition points added per 100 possessions (3.9).
Along with the better half court offense, I think this game should be closer to a PK than the -3 we see in the market currently. I’ll back the Hornets here with the +3.5 at BetMGM.
Toronto Raptors vs. Dallas Mavericks
The Toronto Raptors and the Dallas Mavericks rank among the slowest paced teams in the league with the Raptors ranking 26th in Pace (96.2) and the Mavericks at 29th (95.6).
Digging even deeper the Mavericks are 28th in Offensive Length of possession (15.4 seconds) and the Raptors are 22nd (14.9 seconds) so we’re all but guaranteed to get a game with not many possessions.
Both of these teams also rank in the top 10 in Defensive Rating over the past two weeks with the Mavericks ranking first, allowing just 101.3 points per 100 possessions and the Raptors ranking eighth, allowing 108 points per 100 possessions.
The Raptors are just 26th in half court points per possession and rely on getting out in transition however, they’re facing a Mavericks team, which is fifth in transition points per 100 possession.
They should have a tough time scoring efficiently tonight, and along with their defense on the other end of the floor, that should be enough to keep this total under 208.5 with my model making this around 205.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets
Motivation is one of the biggest factors in handicapping NBA basketball on a nightly basis and you won’t find much more motivation than losing a game after blowing a 25-point lead.
THE CLIPPERS (+120 ML) COMPLETE THE 25-POINT COMEBACK 🤯
WHAT A FINISH pic.twitter.com/rqTnf3pAlq
— NBABet (@nbabet) January 12, 2022
Since then, the Nuggets have won two out of their last three games and are healthy coming into this revenge spot against the Clippers are in the midst of their longest road trip of the season after defeating the Indiana Pacers 139-133.
The Clippers are downright abysmal offensively and performed well over their level against a Pacers team which falls off defensively without Myles turner. The Clippers are scoring just 107.0 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage time minutes per Cleaning the Glass which ranks 27th among NBA Teams.
The Nuggets are much better defensively than the Pacers and they held the Clippers to just 28 points on 0.58 points per possessions in last week’s matchup before totally collapsing in the second half.
This has been a common theme for the Nuggets who have come out to hot starts for much of this season and they’ve been a great bet in the first half of games, going 26-15-1 (63%) against the spread according to our Bet Labs database.
On the other hand, the Nuggets have completely collapsed in the second half of games where they’re just 13-28-1 (32.%) ATS.
When looking at how the Nuggets have faired in the first half of games compared to the second, it’s tough to play the full game number.
My model makes the game Nuggets -4.63, but I don’t think that captured the difference between these two teams. I’m going to bet the Nuggets 1H -4.5, but FanDuel is also offering a first quarter/match winner parlay at -120, which I’ll also be taking.
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