NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Best Bets for Hawks vs. Knicks, Clippers vs. Nuggets (March 22)
Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Jokic high-fives Monte Morris and Aaron Gordon.
The NBA season heads down the home stretch on Tuesday with four games in total, including a nationally televised doubleheader on TNT.
Our Action Network NBA analysts Raheem Palmer and Joe Dellera break down their two favorite bets on each of the TNT primetime games, including a play on a total and a prop bet.
Check out their analysis and picks below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks
Raheem Palmer: The Hawks and Knicks meet in a rematch of last season’s first-round playoff series.
The Hawks disposed of the Knicks in only five games, but the Knicks have gotten the better of the Hawks this season, winning each of the last three matchups. After making it to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Hawks are in the midst of a disappointing season. They’re 35-36, 10th in the East and need to win two games in the play-in tournament for the chance to make the postseason.
So what’s changed for the Hawks?
Although they’re second in Offensive Rating — scoring 115.6 points per 100 possession — nearly all of their offensive prowess is cancelled out on the defensive end of the floor with their 27th-ranked Defensive Rating (114.8) that leaves them with only a +0.8 Net Rating.
While the Knicks have struggled to score the basketball, ranking 21st in Offensive Rating (110.2), they have the Hawks’ number with 115.4 points per 100 possessions in the three matchups this season. But while the Knicks have scored efficiently against the Hawks, that hasn’t exactly translated to high-scoring games. The three matchups have ended 99-90, 101-87 and 117-108.
We’re also seeing both defenses improve recently: The Hawks have improved to 14th in Defensive Rating (115.9) over the past two weeks while the Knicks are sixth in Defensive Rating (107.9).
The Hawks have trended toward the under, including in six of their last eight. The Knicks have, too, going under in three of their last four. The Knicks also play at a slow pace, ranking 28th in possessions per game (96.1) and 28th in Offensive Length of Possession (15.2 seconds).
The Hawks aren’t a particularly fast-paced team, either, ranking 18th in Pace (98) and 20th in Offensive Length of Possession (14.8). That said, we should expect a slower-paced game.
With my model making this total 222, I’ll back the under in a game I believe is priced too high.
LA Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets
Joe Dellera: The Nuggets host the Clippers tonight in a game with playoff implications. The Nuggets are trying to hold on to the sixth seed and avoid the play-in tournament while the Clippers are seemingly locked into the eight seed.
This is a matchup that is favorable for the reigning MVP, Nikola Jokic. He is opposed by Ivica Zubac, who is having a good season but has struggled to contain Jokic in their three matchups this season.
Jokic’s rebounds prop is set at 12.5 rebounds, and although he has only hit this in four of his last 10 games, he’s cleared this in every game against the Clippers this season with games of 22, 13, and 14 rebounds. This makes sense considering the Clippers have the fourth-worst Rebounding Rate in the league.
I’d imagine Jokic plays heavy minutes here, and he’s averaged 38.8 minutes against the Clippers this season. When Jokic has played 35 minutes, he has hit this prop in 64% of those games, and I see no reason why that would not continue tonight.
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