Thursday’s NBA Odds & Picks: Best Bets for Warriors vs. Heat, Nuggets vs. Clippers (April 1)
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry.
- With seven games on Thursday night's NBA docket, there are plenty of places to find betting value.
- Our experts at The Action Network have identified two games, and they explain why below.
It might be Opening Day in Major League Baseball, but that doesn’t mean things won’t heat up Thursday across the NBA landscape.
Our NBA analysts have targeted two games on the seven-game card, highlighted by a road underdog and total in one of the night’s earlier matchups. We also have an angle on a favorite away from home, which comes via the schedule’s nightcap.
Let’s take a look our experts’ in-depth analysis for each showdown below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Warriors at Heat
Raheem Palmer: My model makes this game at 215 points, so at 219 I’m seeing a ton of value on the under in this spot.
Miami is simply struggling to score this season. The Heat are 23rd in Offensive Rating, scoring 109.1 points per 100 possessions in their non-garbage time minutes. Their regression from 3-point range has been a major problem, as they’re just 27th in the NBA this season, shooting 34.8% from behind the arc.
Duncan Robinson has seen his 3-point percentage drop from 44.6% to 39.9%; Tyler Herro has gone from 38.9% to 32.6%; Goran Dragic has regressed from 36.7% to 34.6%; and, one of their best shooters — Jae Crowder — is no longer on the team. Jimmy Butler doesn’t shoot a ton of threes, but his numbers have also fallen from 24.4% to 20 percent.
Although the Heat are first in scoring percentage at the rim shooting 68.3%, they’re facing a Golden State team that’s in the top half of the league at defending the rim. This team is also shooting just 39.5% in the mid-range, which ranks 25th overall.
As a whole, this is a team that struggles to find offense and if you watched Wednesday’s game against the Indiana Pacers, it went on frequent scoring droughts that gave it multiple double-digit deficits before taking control in the fourth quarter.
The saving grace for this Heat team is their defense, which is sixth among clubs and holding foes to just 110.1 points per 100 possessions. It also helps they’ll be facing a Warriors team which mirrors their offensive ineptitude, especially when Steph Curry is off the floor.
The Warriors are just 22nd in Offensive rating, scoring 109.3 points per 100 possessions in their non-garbage time minutes, according to Cleaning the Glass. However, Golden State is scoring 113.9 per 100 possessions when the former two-time MVP is on the floor.
When Curry is on the sideline, the Warriors are scoring just 103.6 per 100, so you can see the impact of him being back in the lineup. The Heat rank in the top 10 in defending the rim, the mid-range and the 3-point range, so Golden State won’t have the easiest time scoring.
I’m playing the under, but I after watching the Heat vs. Pacers game I think there’s also some value on the Warriors. Miami fought back from multiple double-digit leads and after flying from Indiana to Miami, and taking on a hungry Warriors team on a back-to-back set, this feels like a bad spot.
The Warriors are coming off a day of rest after Tuesday’s win against the Chicago Bulls in Curry’s first game back. Meanwhile, Butler played 37 minutes and Miami needed every bit of his effort in the third quarter just to keep up with the Pacers when the game almost got out of hand.
Nuggets at Clippers
Brandon Anderson: I’m loving these new-look Denver Nuggets.
I wasn’t totally sold on the Aaron Gordon addition. I thought it was fine, but didn’t really move the needle a ton. I wondered if what he’d add individually on defense wasn’t enough to help a lackluster defensive team, while his lack of shooting would hurt the offense and spacing enough to offset things.
So far, I look to be very wrong. Gordon has immediately opened up this offense by adding a vertical threat Denver hasn’t had in ages, and his screening and cutting are lethal. Gordon can be the dive man or play the dunker spot on this team since their 7-foot MVP is running point guard, and everyone else on the team can already shoot and space things.
Denver knows it can beat the Clippers after last year in the playoffs, and this is precisely the sort of matchup the franchise went out and got Gordon for down the stretch. He’ll match up with Kawhi Leonard and do his best, and Los Angeles is super shorthanded with no Paul George, Serge Ibaka, Patrick Beverley, Rajon Rondo and possibly Marcus Morris (questionable) as well.
We’ve seen the Clippers win plenty of these half-mast games, but the Nuggets are hot right now and I think this is prime for a breakout spot in the national TV game with the shiny new addition and Denver really starting to smell a potential MVP.
Give me a signature performance from Nikola Jokic dominating Ivica Zubac and whomever else Los Angeles throws at him, and I’ll take the Nuggets to roll. I might even look to give back some points if I can find a nice number later.
Show us you belong in the top tier of the West, Denver.