NBA Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: 3 Best Bets on Tuesday, Including Suns vs. Lakers
Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Paul
Brandon Anderson and Roberto Arguello are on the same side of Pacers vs. Heat while Raheem Palmer and Kenny Ducey are on the opposite sides of the Suns vs. Lakers late night matchup on TNT.
Check out their analysis and best bets below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat
Brandon Anderson: Call me crazy, but I still think the Pacers are kinda good.
Indiana is 13-18, third to last in the Eastern Conference. If the playoffs started today, the Pacers are so far back right now that they not only wouldn’t make the play-in tournament, but they wouldn’t even make a play-in tournament FOR the play-in tournament.
Look past the record though. Dig a little deeper. The Pacers rank 10th in Offensive Rating at Basketball Reference. They’re 14th in Defensive Rating. Hey, that’s top half of the league in both! Indiana ranks 10th in the entire NBA in Net Rating with a +1.6. That’s a positive point differential for the season!
The Pacers are not terrible, I promise you. Domantas Sabonis is an All Star! Myles Turner is a DPOY contender! Malcolm Brogdon is a terrific point guard. Chris Duarte has been one of the league’s best and most productive rookies. This team is genuinely not terrible and maybe even a little good… when they can get out of their own way.
So what’s the problem? In games with a final margin of four points or less, the Pacers are an unfathomable 1-9. They have been truly horrendous in the clutch. And with a line this low, the books are expecting another close game.
I’m not. The Heat do not measure up to Indiana, at least not this version of the Heat — the version missing Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler and P.J. Tucker and maybe Tyler Herro. The Pacers will have four of the top five players in this game, and I simply have to take them against this outmanned Heat team missing so many key players.
Yes, the Heat are 6-4 without Bam and Jimmy this season, and yes one of those wins came against these Pacers. But they needed huge shooting luck to get there, and this Miami team looks even more shorthanded and is coming off a four-game road trip while the Pacers haven’t played since Thursday.
Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat
Roberto Arguello: Last season, whenever the Heat played without Bam Adebayo, it was a nearly automatic bet for me to fade the Heat on the spread. The Heat simply could not replicate his creation on dribble handoffs offensively and defensive versatility that allowed Miami to play a variety of defensive coverages.
This season, the Heat have Kyle Lowry as their main distributor while P.J. Tucker has stepped up in Adebayo’s absence as a short roll passer, and his defensive IQ and versatility have also helped fill Adebayo’s void on that end. However, both Tucker and Adebayo are out on Tuesday against the Pacers while Jimmy Butler is also out due to a tailbone injury.
The Heat will struggle without their three starting frontcourt players and are also without key frontcourt backups in Markieff Morris and Caleb Martin. This means Miami will need some combination of Omer Yurtseven, KZ Okpala, and Udonis Haslem to step up — and after watching the Heat’s loss to the Pistons over the weekend, I don’t like their chances of pulling this one out unless the Heat get really hot from beyond the arc.
Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Raheem Palmer: The Los Angeles Lakers will be moving to a much smaller lineup with Russell Westbrook, Isaiah Thomas, Wayne Ellington, Lebron James and DeAndre Jordan. Of course, Jordan isn’t the rim protector he used to be, and with Thomas at shooting guard, we can expect this roster to hemorrhage points to a Suns team that is eighth in adjusted Offensive Rating (110.9) and fifth in half court points/play (97.4).
The Lakers come off a game against the Bulls in which they gave up 1.16 points per possession with the same lineup, so I’m expecting more of the same or worse here, especially considering the Bulls shot just 10-of-33 (33.3%) from behind the arc. The Suns are third in 3-point shooting percentage (37.8%) and should be able to capitalize on a Lakers defense which allows opposing teams to shoot 65.3% at the rim, 23rd among NBA teams.
The Suns should be able to get whatever they want offensively in this matchup, and while they do have the league’s third-ranked defense rating, I think the Lakers should score enough with this lineup to help this get over the total of 223. I’ll also lay the 6.5 points with the Suns as well because I don’t think the Lakers can keep up.
Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Kenny Ducey: I’m going to close my eyes as I hit “place bet” on this one.
It’s rarely been fun to bet on the Lakers this year, but that’s often been because they’re overvalued as favorites. As the underdogs this year, L.A. is actually 6-4 against the spread, which is a good number compared to their 12-19 overall record against the spread.
The Suns may have Devin Booker back in the fold, but it appears Phoenix is going to take its time getting him back up to speed. He logged 26 minutes last time out in a blowout win over Charlotte, but he was just 6-of-15 from the field. I wouldn’t be surprised, in a game where the Suns are expecting to win easily, if Booker sees south of 30 minutes again. On top of that, considering he shot 40% against the worst defense in basketball, the chances of him torching the Lakers with limited minutes and some rusty shooting are slim.
L.A. has Talen Horton-Tucker back, who should help on both ends, and Dwight Howard’s return means there is at least one center here to bang with Deandre Ayton. The Lakers were actually picking things up on the defensive end with LeBron James’ return before being ravaged by COVID-19, and despite being shorthanded, had an impressive performance in a five-point loss to the Bulls. I think they can keep things tight again.