NBA Odds, Picks, Projections: Betting Analysis for Lakers vs. Trail Blazers, Warriors vs. Jazz (Wednesday, February 9)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers.
- Raheem Palmer is back for another Wednesday night NBA slate using his betting model to find edges across the board.
- Among the games he's betting is the late game between the Lakers and Trail Blazers.
- Read on for his three picks tonight plus all of his model projections.
It’s Wednesday, so you know that means. My top picks on tonight’s NBA slate.
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 six-game slate.
Toronto Raptors at Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder are the worst offense in the league, (103 points per 100 possessions) and things have gotten worse since losing their leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. With Gilgeous-Alexander on the floor, the Thunder were scoring 105.9 points per 100 possessions compared to 99 with him off (+6.9).
Their offense isn’t scaring anyone and they’ll be tasked with facing a Raptors defense that has been holding teams to just 108.6 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage time minutes the last two weeks — fifth in the NBA.
Dealing with the length of OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam is tough enough, but Fred VanVleet is also one of the better defenders as a point guard. There simply won’t be many opportunities to score for a Thunder offense that ranks last in 3-point shooting (31.8%) and field goal percentage at the rim (58.4%). In addition, the Thunder are 29th in half court offense (87.5 points per 100 possessions) and 23rd in transition (1.7 points per 100 possessions).
Despite how anemic the Thunder are offensively, they are solid defensively, ranking second in Defensive Rating (104.4) over the past two weeks. While the Raptors’ offense has performed well recently, they are still just 26th in half court offense at 90.5 points per 100 possessions. The Raptors rank 26th in Pace (96.1), 25th in Offensive length of possession (15.1 seconds) and 28th in Defensive length of possession (14.9 seconds), according to Dunks and Threes.
Although the Thunder play a little quicker, they’re still just 26th in Pace (98.2) and likely won’t find many transition opportunities against a Raptors team which is seventh in transition defense.
Los Angeles Lakers at Portland Trail Blazers
I gave this one out on our Wednesday Workshop at -5.5 and this line has since moved to Lakers -9. This line still isn’t high enough, though, as the Trail Blazers have simply given up on this season by trading CJ McCollum and Norman Powell.
Both of these teams come off back-to-back losses, however the Blazers suffered a blowout home loss against the Orlando Magic while the Lakers lost to the defending world champion Milwaukee Bucks.
We actually played the Lakers last week at -3.5 and the Blazers have only gotten worse since then. The Lakers rank twelfth in points per possession in transition (2.8) facing a Blazers team that ranks 20th in points per possession in transition (2.8).
In addition, the Blazers are dead last in half court defense and are in the bottom six in defending every area of the floor. Last night against the Magic, the Blazers scored just 99.3 points per 100 possessions. I hate to give this out at a worse number than I gave out last night on the Wednesday Workshop but you should be safe here fading a Blazers team which has all blew it.
Golden State Warriors at Utah Jazz
Cue up the Johnnie Cochran Chewbacca Defense for this line because for the life of me, this one doesn’t make sense. The Warriors have already defeated a full strength Utah Jazz team without Rudy Gobert in the lineup and no Draymond Green.
The Utah Jazz struggle to defend without Gobert in the lineup as they’re allowing 107.1 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor and 114.4 with him off the floor (-7.3). The Jazz are just 16th in opponent field goal percentage at the rim (65.3%) an area where the Warriors thrive, ranking first in field goal percentage (69.8%). The Jazz are also 15th in opponent three point field goal percentage (35.1%) which won’t bode well against Steph Curry and this Warriors three point shooting attack.
The Warriors, on the other hand, can defend with Green off the floor, which should provide them with an advantage in this matchup. Given Utah’s struggles against switching defenses, I think we’re looking at a game that should be closer to a PK than the +2.5. I’ll back the Warriors here.