Saturday NBA Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Best Bets for T’Wolves vs. Pelicans, Grizzlies vs. Magic (May 1)
Alex Menendez/Getty Images. Pictured: Zion Williamson’s pass to Lonzo Ball
If horse racing isn’t occupying your attention on Saturday night, maybe it’s the NBA instead.
Our staff broke down a pair of games and arrived with three favorite bets, including a side, total and prop.
NBA Odds & Picks
Grizzlies at Magic
Raheem Palmer: These teams meet once again on Saturday to close out their two game series. The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Orlando Magic 92-75 in a game with just 97 possessions Friday night.
Game 2 of these back-to-back series is 47-32-1 (59.5%) to the under this season, according to our Bet Labs database, so I’m looking towards the under in this spot.
I’ve never been big on blindly betting trends so it’s worth it to note that my model makes this game 219 with the market sitting at 221 and 220 so there’s a small edge here. Nevertheless, The Grizzlies are eighth in Defensive Rating, allowing opposing teams to score just 111.3 points per 100 possessions in their non-garbage time minutes according to Cleaning the Glass.
They’re playing a Magic offense that is 29th in Offensive Rating (105.7) in their non-garbage time minutes and over the past two weeks, scoring just 99.4 points per 100 possessions.
After trading away Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier this team is developing younger players and preparing for next season. Terrance Ross, Michael Carter Williams and Otto Porter have been sitting out games which means this offense is really G-League level at this point. The Magic had an Offensive Rating of just 76.7 in Friday night’s matchup so I’m not expecting a huge offensive output. I’m going to play the Magic team total under 104.5 and the full game under 221.
Pelicans at Timberwolves
Joe Dellera: Betting on Zion’s assist prop is back. Sportsbooks have reverted back to a line of 3.5 assists for Zion after he experienced a bit of a downturn in his assists per game when Lonzo Ball returned from injury. However, the downturn is in his average, not his median total.
Over Zion’s last 10 games he has an average of 3.5 assists with a median of 4 assists. He has gone over 3.5 in six of his last 10 games, and often with room to spare.
Odds of -143 indicate an implied probability of 58.8%, and he’s gone over in 60% of his last 10 games. Considering the Pelicans are playing the Timberwolves with the highest listed total on the slate (238), I like this over.
Pelicans at Timberwolves
Kenny Ducey: It’s hard to ignore how great the Timberwolves have looked of late. They’ve covered four games in a row and continue to be disrespected by oddsmakers with this line.
Sure, the Pelicans need wins right now to get back in the playoff picture, and the Timberwolves are out of the running. Betting on narrative alone hasn’t yielded great results this month, though, and if anything it feels like it’s lost you money. Minnesota has no reason to tank right now with the league’s new lottery system, and it certainly hasn’t shown any signs of letting up lately.
This team is actually competitive with D’Angelo Russell healthy, and has risen out of the basement in offensive efficiency to 25th. It sounds bad, but it’s a lot of progress for the Timberwolves, and against a team notorious for its horrific defense I think it finds another way through on Saturday.
Another huge factor here is the absence of Steven Adams, which should eliminate the biggest strength of this New Orleans team which is its frontcourt. Karl-Anthony Towns should dominate down low in what I see as a Timberwolves outright win. Getting points here is a great deal.
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